8 Places in Paris You Didn’t Know About

View on Paris

Ah, Paris – the majestic French capital that has conquered our hearts and souls time and time again. Beautifully depicted in literature, cinematography, famous paintings and photography, La Ville Lumière (“The City of Light”) is one of the most sought out tourist destinations not only in Europe but also in the entire world.

It houses the most precious art museums that have ever existed, numerous architectural landmarks and breathtaking tourist attractions scattered all across the city. In fact, Paris has proven to be one of the most popular destinations for travelers worldwide, attracting almost 30 million visitors in 2013 alone.

We all know about the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Sacré-Cœur, the Musée d’Orsay, the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Palace of Versailles or the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Arc de Triomph; but what are the best-kept secrets that this incredible city has to offer? We have hunted down the top 8 places in Paris that you didn’t know about, so you can go from a mere tourist to an authentic traveler when visiting one of the most romantic cities in the world.

 

Secret Paris: Must See Places in Paris

Places to Visit in Paris for a Unique Travel Experience

 

lapin-agile

1. Lapin Agile

If you’re looking for an authentic hidden gem in Paris, the Lapin Agile in Montmartre should be one of the first places you visit. Located on 22 Rue des Saules in the 18th arrondissement of Paris, Lapin Agile (translated into “The Nimble Rabbit”) is a small chansonnier (cabaret) that has definitely made a mark on the artistic history of Paris.

Back in the days, famous painters such as Picasso, Apollinaire, Utrillo, Modigliani or Matisse would share drinks at the Lapin Agile, paying for them in works of art. The quaint place was first named “Cabaret des Assassins,” as legend has it that the son of the owner was murdered by a group of assassins who broke into the cabaret.

In time, the name of “The Nimble Rabbit” became known after artist Andre Gill depicted a sign with a rabbit jumping out of a pan. The entrance fee is a little on the pricey side (28 Euros for adults, 20 Euros for students – that includes a small drink), but the entire artistic experience is priceless.

 

la-pagode-cinema

2. La Pagode Cinema

La Pagode is one of the most distinct movie theaters you will ever have the pleasure of visiting. With the aspect of a Japanese temple, La Pagode was established in 1896 by an entrepreneur who wanted to offer his wife an irreplaceable gift. It is absolutely stunning to witness, and they play excellent movies there, as well. It isn’t in that centrally located, though, residing on 57 rue de Babylone in the 7th arrondissement. You can drop by for a nice film or a lovely tea in the garden.

Places in Paris You Should See for the History Buffs

musee-marmottan-monet

3. Musée Marmottan Monet

This gorgeous museum is most well-known for housing the artwork that gave birth to the Impressionist movement itself – Soleil Levant, by Claude Monet. It is also reputed for hosting the most magnificent collection of Monet pieces in the world, the majority being donations from the Monet family. The museum is also the home of artworks by Manet, Pissarro, and Renoir, among other famous impressionist painters.

The Musée Marmottan Monet is opened daily between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., Thursdays until 9.p.m. and is closed on Mondays. Entrance is generally 11 Euros and 6.50 Euros for students and free for children under 7, disabled individuals and even journalists.

 

musee-carnavalet

4. Musée Carnavalet

Last but certainly not least, if you’re in Paris you have to visit the Musée Carnavalet to discover the history of La Ville Lumière thoroughly. Although it is rather quiet, this beautiful museum is hosted in 2 amazing mansions (the former Hôtel Le Peletier de Saint Fargeau and the Hôtel Carnavalet) on 23 Rue de Sevigne in the 3rd arrondissement.

It holds 600,000 works and is one of the fourteen City of Paris’ Museums. By visiting the Musée Carnavalet, you can find the six outstanding collections: Lutetia, The Medieval city, The Renaissance, and Wars of Religion, The French Revolution, Paris, Capital of the Nineteenth Century, and Paris in the twentieth century.

Auvers - Auberge Ravoux

5. Auberge Ravoux

Although the Auberge Ravoux isn’t in the heart of Paris, it is a significant landmark in the history of France. The monument is located in the commune of Auvers-sur-Oise (about 17 miles away from Paris) and is indeed worth visiting if you have the time. What makes this house so famous, though?

It is widely appreciated as the Maison de Van Gogh, as the world-famous artist passed away there. Actually, he stayed there for the last 70 days before he died, creating over 60 sketches and 80 paintings. On July 27th, 1890, Vincent Van Gogh shot himself in the chest and died two days afterward. The house is now an official museum, and tourists can visit Van Gogh’s room.

Places to Go in Paris for a Laid Back Excursion

chez-berthillon

6. Chez Berthillon

After all that sightseeing, you’re probably going to want a refreshing treat, especially if you’re visiting Paris during the summer. We’ll let you know that the best ice creams in the city can be found at Chez Berthillon, located on 31 Rue Saint Lous en I’ll. They have a vast selection of flavors, and each one of them is absolutely delicious.

Even though you have to be patient to enjoy your treat, as business is always booming, it is definitely worth the wait when you can eat your ice cream and take a stroll around the beautiful Ile Saint Louis.

Parc-des-Buttes-Chaumont

7. Parc des Buttes-Chaumont

The Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is a humongous public park located in the 19th arrondissement of Paris. It is the 5th biggest park in France’s capital, covering a whopping 61 acres. The park was built by engineer Jean-Charles Alphand in 1867, in the regime of Napoleon III. It is full of bridges, palm trees, and huge cedars, and also a lake and a cave.

Children will love the park, as they can enjoy pony rides or interact with other children in playgrounds. If you want a unique experience, visit the Temple de la Sibylle; it is perched 50 meters over the lake on a cliff and reflects the Temple of Vesta from Tivoli, Italy. The view is amazing, and the whole experience gives a new meaning to walking in the park.

places in paris

8. Parc Georges-Brassens

If you’re a keen reader, the Parc Georges-Brassens is the perfect place to stop by while taking a stroll in Paris. Located between Rue de Périchaux and Rue des Morillons in the 15th arrondissement, this quaint park covers almost 8 hectares where various other markets formerly carried out their activities.

Nowadays, Parc Georges-Brassens hosts huge second-hand book fairs every weekend, as well as lovely tree groves and a makeshift wall of artificial rocks that children can climb for fun. You can reach the Parc Georges-Brassens by taking the metro to the Porte-de-Vanves or Convention stations.

Best Places to Visit in Paris: More Hidden Gems in the City

Paris Royal Gardens

When you’re done with your Da Vinci Code inspired tour at the Louvre, there’s one more mystery you might want to discover just right next to the museum.

The Paris Royal Gardens is a secret haven that exquisitely reflects the taste of French royalty, specifically that of Duchess Henrietta who envisioned this beauty. There are galleries, boutiques, and cafes around the main garden that visitors can also check out while enjoying this rather intimate attraction in the city.

I Love You: The Wall

Aside from the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur, there are more exciting places to see at Montmartre. Right at the heart of Square Juan-Rictus is one of the hidden spots in the city that you should definitely see.

Dubbed as I love you: The Wall, the monument is made from enameled lava and features the nostalgic phrase “I love you” translated into 250 languages. This site is meant to be a place where people can set aside their differences, reconcile, and unite in the name of love.

La Promenade Plantée

Also called The Coulée verte René-Dumont, this linear park atop an old railway is the first one of its kind. It is also one of the few hidden Paris attractions that will surely take you closer to nature.

A walking tour through the park starting from behind the Opéra Bastille all the way to the Bois de Vincennes will give you a breathtaking view of the city while introducing you to different paths that are filled with various flowers, trees, and other types of plants. This secret sanctuary is truly worthy of being a part of your to-do list.

Sainte-Chapelle Chapel

Locals are no stranger to the history behind this Gothic chapel which is why it is regarded as one of the most valued Paris attractions to date. While the chapel is not exactly a hidden spot, it does conceal a timeless beauty in its interior that tourists should not miss.

For one, the upper chapel presents Gothic architecture at its best. 15 stained glass windows that feature 1,113 colorful scenes from the Old and New Testament tower above you. The play of color from the window and light from the outside produce a unique and fascinating display inside the chapel.

The lower portion of the chapel, on the other hand, houses the statue of the Virgin Mary and the surrounding walls feature twelve medallions, each representing the twelve Apostles.

Rue Cremieux

Rue cremieux is a relaxing place to wander along early in the day when there’s not a lot of people in the area. This charming pedestrian street is surrounded by private houses painted in different pastel colors and reflecting a true Parisian architecture–indeed, a picture-perfect backdrop to represent your Parisian escapade.

Vineyards in Montmartre

Yes, there are vineyards in Paris, and one of them is located just beyond the famous Sacré Coeur. If you’re planning to visit, the best time to come by is during September when the annual vine harvest festival is held.

Promenade des Berges de la Seine

Along the left bank of the River Seine, just between the Musée d’Orsay and the Ponte d’Alma near the Eiffel Tower, is a newly opened public park that features five floating gardens, playgrounds, cafes, sports facilities, and many others.

Île Saint-Louis

Île Saint-Louis is one of the two natural islands in Paris. While Île de la Cité is famous for being the home of the Notre-Dame Cathedral and other popular sites, Île Saint-Louis is likely less heard about especially by tourists.

However, you’ll be surprised to know that the island is actually a haven for locals who live there. It holds the true heart and soul of Paris. On top of that, it is also home to the biggest Berthillon shop in the city. So, if you’re thinking of spending a quiet afternoon while enjoying your favorite ice cream, the island is the perfect place for those two things.

Final Thoughts on Places in Paris You Didn’t Know About

Paris, France–a place that most often than not ends up in everyone’s bucket list. From the famous Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, Sacré Coeur Basilica, Louvre, and many others, the city seems to never run out of places and things to discover.

You probably have planned your visit to these famous sights for years now, but if you get the chance, visit some of the city’s hidden spots–possibly, places in Paris you didn’t know about before.

Whether you’re traveling with a Paris Pass, discovering the city through tours by locals, or taking a solo adventure, a trip to Paris, France is generally an experience of a lifetime.

Photo credits: Grand-paris.jll.fr, Patrickviall.com, Opolnocywparyzu.pl, Wikimedia.org, Parisprovencevangogh.com, Babyccinokids.com.