13 Off-the-Crushed-Path Matters to See and Do in Paris

One of the many narrow cobblestone streets near Montmartre, Paris
Posted: 6/24/2019 | June 24th, 2019

Paris is stuffed with well-known points of interest: the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Versailles, the catacombs, the Pantheon, the Arc de Triomphe, Sacre-Coeur. The checklist goes on. There are such a lot of wonderful websites right here that you can spend days (heck, even weeks) simply seeing the primary, most well-known ones.

However there’s extra to Paris than the websites that appeal to hundreds upon hundreds of holiday makers every day.

Whereas I used to be dwelling Paris the previous few months, I made it my mission to see a number of the extra uncommon, lesser-known (however equally superior) points of interest (that didn’t include the irritating crowds that make so lots of Paris’ points of interest insufferable).

And, whereas a number of the matters on the checklist beneath may not be “tremendous secret” points of interest or actions, they do fall into the class of “neglected points of interest” so I included them.

Listed below are a number of the greatest off-the-beaten-path matters to see and do in Paris:

1. Le Manoir de Paris

That is the place macabre museum meets haunted home. Quite a few rooms spotlight a number of the extra unsettling facets of Paris’s lengthy and infrequently darkish previous, such because the Phantom of the Opera, vampires, or the crocodiles within the sewers. Utilizing actual actors in addition to animatronics, town’s grotesque and unsettling historical past is dropped at life in an attention-grabbing means. Along with their museum, in addition they have escape rooms in addition to totally different ranges of depth relying on how scared you get!

18 Rue de Paradis, +33 6 70 89 35 87, lemanoirdeparis.com. Open Fridays 6pm-9:30pm and weekends 3pm-6:30pm. Admission is 29 EUR for adults and 20 EUR for youngsters 10-15.

2. Musée Édith Piaf

Édith Piaf is probably probably the most well-known French singer from the 1930s to the 1960s, and know around the globe for her songs La vie en rose and Non, je ne regrette rien (which appeared within the film Inception). She lived in somewhat condominium within the Ménilmontant district at first of her profession, which has been become a tiny museum devoted to her. You get a glimpse at her life by means of her gold and platinum data, pictures, clothes, letters from followers, posters, recordings, and sheet music.

5 Rue Crespin du Gast, +33 1 43 55 52 72. Open Monday-Wednesday 1pm-6pm and Thursdays 10am-12pm. Admission is free, however you’ll must make an appointment. You’ll additionally need to both converse first rate French or go along with somebody who does.

3. Musée Curie

The interior of the Curie Museum in Paris, France
Marie Curie was the primary lady to win the Nobel Prize (and the one lady to win it twice) for her analysis into radioactivity (a phrase that she invented). She was the primary feminine professor on the College of Paris in addition to the primary lady to be entombed within the Panthéon on her personal deserves. Situated within the fifth arrondissement, this museum, in her previous laboratory, highlights her radiological analysis. It’s insightful and eye-opening for anybody unfamiliar together with her historic discoveries.

1 Rue Pierre et Marie Curie, +33 1 56 24 55 33, musee.curie.fr. Open Wednesday-Saturday 1pm-5pm. Admission is free.

4. Archives Nationales

The exterior of the National Archives on a sunny day in Paris, France
Opened in 1867, the Nationwide Archives homes hundreds of historic paperwork courting again to 625 CE. One among six nationwide archives within the nation, the museum sheds gentle on France’s turbulent previous, offering nuanced historic particulars and context by means of everlasting and momentary exhibitions.

Constructed by the order of Napoleon I, the constructing itself (often known as the Hôtel de Soubise) is completely gorgeous. It’s within the late Baroque fashion, embracing lengthy columns and many statues and sculptures. It options immaculate grounds and gardens as nicely. They at all times maintain numerous good exhibitions too.

59 Rue Guynemer, +33 1 75 47 20 02, archives-nationales.tradition.gouv.fr/en. Open Monday-Saturday 9am-5pm. Admission is Eight EUR per individual.

5. The Gallery of Paleontology and Comparative Anatomy

A massive skull from a T-Rex in a museum in Paris, France
Opened in 1898, this museum is dwelling to over 1,000 animal skeletons from around the globe, together with full skeletons of elephants, giant cats, and even dinosaurs. It’s as attention-grabbing as it’s unsettling: all of the animals are dealing with the identical means, making it seem like you’re within the midst of some undead stampede!

2 Rue Buffon, +33 1 40 79 56 01, www.mnhn.fr/en/go to/lieux/galerie-paleontologie-anatomie-comparee-paleontology-and-comparative-anatomy-gallery. Open every day 10am-6pm (closed Tuesdays). Admission is free.

6. The Vampire Museum

Paris has a protracted historical past with the esoteric, one which is dropped at life on this fascinating (if not macabre) museum based by an eccentric scholar to showcase his information of the undead and esoteric. Right here you’ll discover vampire-killing kits, uncommon texts on demonology, and mysterious historical relics. It’s a busy, eclectic, creepy museum that’s a feast for the eyes and one worthy of a go to if you happen to’re in any respect focused on extra obscure (and fanciful) tales. It’s a enjoyable, kitschy museum.

14 Rue Jules David, +33 1 43 62 80 76, artclips.free.fr/musee_des_vampires/MuseeVampires1.html. You’ll must make an appointment upfront by cellphone. (Don’t fear if the voicemail greeting is in French — the curator audio system excellent English).

7. Petite Ceinture

The Petite Ceinture abandoned train tracks in Paris, France
In use from 1862 by means of 1964, the railway circling Paris was deserted when town expanded past its limits. It’s principally hidden behind buildings and coated in wild crops and grass now, although some sections are actually formally open to the general public. You’ll discover all kinds of flowers and road artwork alongside the tracks.

Whereas some sections are unlawful to go to, close to Parc Georges Brassens you’ll discover a part of the tracks often known as the ‘Passage de la Petite Ceinture’ that’s each free and authorized to go to. It’s situated within the 15e arrondissement.

8. The Salvador Dalí Sundial

An up-close shot of the Salvador Dali sundial in Paris, France
This surrealist sundial was created by world-renowned artist Salvador Dalí. Situated on Rue Saint-Jacques, it’s is a mixture of a human face and a scallop shell (the image of the Camino to Santiago, because the road is called after the saint). Whereas the sundial doesn’t truly work, it’s nonetheless a straightforward technique to see a bit of paintings by one of the crucial well-known artists on this planet.

27 Rue Saint-Jacques. Open 24/7 with no admission.

9. Montmartre Cemetery

One of the many statues located in the Montmartre Cemetery in Paris, France
Whereas the Père Lachaise Cemetery is the most important and hottest in Paris, for a extra secluded stroll, take a look at the Montmartre Cemetery. Loads of individuals go to the highest of Montmartre for Sacré-Coeur and the view, however few take the time to wander this cemetery sitting on the foot of the district. It opened in 1825 and is dwelling to many cobwebbed mausoleums, in addition to a handful of stray cats. You gained’t see many individuals right here, so you’ll be able to discover in peace.

20 Avenue Rachel, +33 1 53 42 36 30, paris.fr/equipements/cimetiere-de-montmartre-5061. Open Monday-Friday 8am-6pm, Saturdays 8:30am-6pm, and Sundays 9am-6pm.

10. The Museum of Counterfeiting

The sign of the Museum of Counterfeiting in Paris, France
Opened in 1972, this museum is dwelling to counterfeit objects which have been collected by France’s customs brokers and police (in addition to donated objects from manufacturers and customers alike). There are over 500 objects within the museum, starting from counterfeit artwork and luxurious items to extra mundane objects, like cleansing provides. Whereas some knockoffs are spectacular of their duplicity, it’s additionally humorous to see simply how unhealthy some counterfeiters have been!

16 Rue de la Faisanderie, +33 1 56 26 14 03, musee-contrefacon.com. Open Monday-Saturday 2pm-5:30pm. Admission is 6 EUR per individual for adults and 5 EUR for college students and seniors.

11. Promenade Planteé (Coulée verte René-Dumont)

The green Promenade Planteé in Paris, France on a sunny day
This tree-lined walkway is a greenbelt that extends nearly 5km alongside the previous Vincennes railway line. The railway line ceased functioning in 1969, with the park being inaugurated a number of a long time afterward. Till New York constructed their Excessive Line, it was the one elevated park in your complete world. (And, truthfully, that is means nicer then the NYC Excessive Line).

You’ll discover numerous timber, flowers, ponds, and locations to take a seat alongside this lengthy path that stretches from Bastille to the sting of Paris. It’s a protracted, straightforward, and delightful stroll. You gained’t discover many individuals right here. Even on a pleasant day, it’s relatively empty. It rapidly turned one in every of my favourite matters to do in Paris and I can’t suggest coming right here sufficient!

1 Coulée verte René-Dumont (12th arrondissement). Open every day from 8am-9:30pm. Admission is free.

12. Canal Saint-Martin

The calm waters of the Canal Saint-Martin in Paris, France
Stretching 4.5km, the Canal Saint-Martin is a man-made waterway commissioned by Napoleon. Development completed in 1825, connecting the Canal de l’Ourcq to the Seine through each above floor locks and underground tunnels. Whereas not any secret spot (on a pleasant day, you’ll discover the canal lined with individuals), it’s principally a spot for locals who need to have a picnic and chill out. So, say no to the Seine, and are available have your outside picnic alongside the canal. It’s extra stress-free and there can be fewer individuals!

The canal begins at Place de Stalingrad and ends at Quai de la Râpée. Canal cruises final 2.5 hours and price round 16 EUR per individual.

13. Museé de Montmartre

The queen gardens of the Montmartre Museum in Paris, France
Based in 1960, this museum is situated all through two constructing that dates again to the 17th century. Over time, the buildings have been dwelling to many well-known writers and painters. The gardens of the museum have been truly renovated to look extra just like the gardens in Renoir’s work (there may be additionally a winery close by that dates again to the Center Ages but it surely makes horrible wine). The museum’s everlasting assortment consists of all kinds of work, posters, and drawings.

12 Rue Cortot, +33 1 49 25 89 39, museedemontmartre.fr/en/le-musee. Open every day from 10am-6pm (7pm in the summertime). Admission is 12 EUR for adults, which incorporates an audio information. Reductions can be found for college students, youngsters, and individuals with disabilities.


Whereas the primary sights in Paris are at all times price testing, if you wish to be greater than a vacationer and develop a higher appreciation for the Metropolis of Gentle’s distinctive and complicated historical past, go to these unconventional and strange points of interest in Paris.

Guide Your Journey to Paris: Logistical Ideas and Tips

Guide Your Flight
Discover a low cost flight through the use of Skyscanner or Momondo. They’re my two favourite search engines like google and yahoo as a result of they search web sites and airways across the globe so that you at all times know no stone is left unturned.

Guide Your Lodging
You may e-book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you wish to keep someplace aside from a hostel, use Reserving.com as they persistently return the most cost effective charges for guesthouses and low cost lodges. I exploit them on a regular basis. A few of my favourite locations to remain in Paris are:

  • St. Christopher’s Canal – Cozy spot on the canal. Through the summer season months, the terrace is hopping!
  • Three Geese Hostel – This hostel has one of many most cost-effective bars within the metropolis, and it’s only a 10-minute stroll to the Eiffel Tower.
  • Les Piaules – Unbelievable chimney lounge, a cool bar, and a rooftop house. It’s an amazing place to fulfill individuals!

Don’t Overlook Journey Insurance coverage
Journey insurance coverage will defend you towards sickness, damage, theft, and cancellations. It’s complete safety in case something goes fallacious. I by no means go on a visit with out it as I’ve had to make use of it many occasions prior to now. I’ve been utilizing World Nomads for ten years. My favourite firms that supply the perfect service and worth are:

Searching for the perfect firms to economize with?
Try my useful resource web page for the perfect firms to make use of once you journey! I checklist all those I exploit to economize once I journey – and I believe will enable you to too!

Searching for extra info on visiting Paris?
Try my in-depth vacation spot information to Paris with extra recommendations on what to see, do, prices, methods to avoid wasting, and far, far more!

Photograph credit score: 4 – Adrian Grycuk, 5, 8 – Guilhem Vellut, 6 – Jim Linwood, 9 – Joanna Penn, 10 – Son of Groucho, 12 – PPun, 13 – advencap, 15 – Museé de Montmartre

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