Paris, France has some of the worlds most famous sights. You’ve probably know a lot of them – The Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, Notre-Dame etc… And while I definitely think that you should see them when you’re in Paris (especially if it is your first time), I’d also recommend venturing out to explore some of the cities lesser known sights. From parks to shopping, there are many Paris hidden gems to make you feel like your experiencing Paris as a local.
Looking to save some money while in Paris? Here’s how you can see Paris without spending a single cent!
Paris Hidden Gems – Attractions
1. Opera Garnier – a world class opera and ballet house that is absolutely stunning inside and out. The architecture and decor are magnificent. You’ll find gold walls and painted ceilings. You feel like a member of the elite as you walk through.
2. Hammam at Mosquée de Paris – If you don’t know about Hammam’s, they are Turkish bath houses where you can get a steam bath and massage. This Hammam is bright and open and has beautiful marble and mosaics.
3. Ile Saint-Louis – Surrounded by water, the island is an escape from the hustle and bustle of lively Paris. It has a street full of delicious gelato and other sweet treats.
4. La Pagode – An old historic movie theater inside a pagoda with a painted ceiling, gold decor and walls of silk. Outside there is a beautiful Asian garden where you can enjoy a cup of tea.
5. Seine River – Yes, you’ll see the river if you’re in Paris, but spending time walking the promenade next to the river is an experience in itself. You’ll be able to see many famous landmarks while walking, and you’ll pass by the romantic Pont Alexandre III bridge. You could also take a relaxing boat tour of the Seine if that peaks your interest.
6. Père Lachaise Cemetery – More visited than the Montmarte Cemetery because of some of the famous people that are buried there (think Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf and Oscar Wilde) but since most tourists prefer to go to the other main Paris attractions, it’s still a relatively secluded place. You could wander for hours through the cobblestone paths and giant trees. It is especially beautiful during the fall when all the leaves are changing.
7. La Campagne à Paris – a bit far from the center of Paris, but if you want to get a feel for local Parisian life, it’s a good place to be. Beautiful houses line charming cobblestone streets. it’s a great place to take a leisurely stroll
8. The Flower Market – a colorful marketplace located on L’Ile de la Cite that has an amazing variety of flowers. Even if you don’t want to buy any, it’s an aromatic stroll with beautiful scenery
9. Le Mur Des Je t’aime – A wall of love in a charming little garden, it is a unique spot to revel in romance
Paris Hidden Gems – Parks
10. Bois de Vincennes – located on the eastern part of Paris, this park is huge. Everyone can find something to do here. They have 4 lakes, a horse racing, a bicycle trail, a chateau, a zoo, a place to play family games, and much more. You can find different events going on here in the summer too.
11. Les Buttes Chaumont – Another decently sized park a bit further out of the city center. There are many walking trails perfect for a stroll, activities for kids, and the scenery is beautiful. The Temple overlooking the lake in the center of the park is a must see.
12. Promenade Plantee – A linear park raised above the streets that is built on an old railway. It spans just under 3 miles, and is a unique place to take a walk through greenery.
13. Parc Monceau – A beautiful park with curved walkways and full of different statues and other architectural feats. It’s a local spot great for an afternoon picnic.
Paris Hidden Gems – Views of the Eiffel Tower
The three streets below (14-16) offer a good view of the Eiffel tower from a unique point of view. You’ll have a much better chance of getting away from the tourist crowd, and you can snap a picture that many don’t get to take. They are pretty to see in the day and at night when the Eiffel Tower is twinkling.
14. Palais de Chaillot
15. Avenue de Camoens
16. Avenue de Suffren
Paris Hidden Gems – Churches
17. Église Saint Vincent de Paul – an old church built on a prison yard where St. Vincent himself lived and worked. It features two organs and has a beautiful arrangement of flowered landscaping (except in the winter).
18. Église Saint-Sulpice – Often overlooked by the other popular churches, but it is actually one of the largest churches in Paris (just after the Notre-Dame). If you’ve read or seen ‘The Da Vinci Code’ you’ve heard of Saint-Sulpice. With a lot of history and a grand organ, this church shouldn’t be missed.
19. Sainte-Chapelle – a Gothic chapel built to house a relic of the Crown of Thorns in the 13th century has the most amazing stained glass windows (see above). Go when the sun is shining so that you can see the biblical scenes from the windows in their colorful brilliance.
Paris Hidden Gems – Museums
20. Musée de Rodin – Find Rodin’s work in the chateau that he lived and worked in. After you tour the inside DON’T SKIP THE GARDEN. You’ll see his most famous piece surrounded by a crazy amount of rose bushes. It’s the perfect spot for a picnic
21. The Musée de l’Armée Invalides – an impressive museum focused around war history. The crown jewel in my opinion is Napoleon’s Tomb.
22. The Holocaust Museum / Museum of the Shoah – one of the most comprehensive Holocaust museums in the world, worth a see if you are interested in the subject.
Paris Hidden Gems – Shopping
23. Le Marais – 60 shops line one of the most charming Parisian neighborhoods. It also boasts some delicious food and cute side streets.
24. Rue de Rivioli – another strip for great shopping along with restaurants and cafes.
25. Saint Germain – for most of us, this is a place for great window shopping. You’ll find small French boutiques and other high end brands. If you’re on a girls trip, schedule time at Eva Eriksson to create your own perfume. They’ll walk you through understanding scents and create a fragrance you love.
There you have it. Enjoy seeing parts of Paris that most people never will. Don’t forget to subscribe!