7 Offbeat Destinations in Paris
Paris is a dream destination for every globetrotter. The fascinating beauty of the place makes it a real favorite among world travelers.
The moments you spend in Paris become golden, long-lasting memories of your life. There is so much to see, explore, and experience in this romantic destination.
You will find everything here, from historical places to marvelous theatrical facades and mesmerizing gardens. This majestic place has so much to offer that you may feel overwhelmed with options and wonder which locations to explore and invest time in. After the obvious first choices such as the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame and the Louvre you may want to explore some unusual and lesser-known attractions in Paris.
Well, that’s what we’re here for.
1. Visit the Oldest House in Paris
In the heart of Le Marais, a walk through the cobblestone-lined road will lead you to an unco house at 51 Rue de Montmorency, in the 3rd arrondissement of Paris.
This house was built in 1407 by Flamel, a renowned alchemist and this is officially recognized as the oldest house in Paris.
Rumor has it that Nicolas Flamel created an elixir for long life. If the name and story sound familiar it might be because in Harry Potter, a Nicolas Flamel created an elixir that Voldemort was after.
Yes, this ancient stone house belongs to that famous personality. It now houses a striking restaurant. Savor the delicious food in the restaurant and find more offbeat stories about this historic house.
2. Enjoy the View from the Oldest Shopping Establishment
Don't miss the panoramic view of Paris from the rooftop of the city's oldest shopping establishment, Galeries Lafayette.
It was built in the late nineteenth century and has since become a prominent edifice in the City of Light.
Admission to visit the top floor is free and very much worth your time. The 360-degree scenic view from the terrace is captivating.
Twenty-five million people visit Galeries Lafayette each year. Its magnificent domed central hall will likely leave you awestruck and easily accessible near Opera Garnier on Boulevard Haussmann in the 9th arrondissement.
3. Explore Old Book Stores
Paris is a secret paradise for all vintage book lovers with numerous quaint and precious bookstores in every neighborhood. Head towards 37 rue de la Bûcherie, in the 5th arrondissement and you’ll find two of the oldest English-speaking book stores on the left bank of the Seine.
The names of the stores are Shakespeare and Company. One sells modern classics, and the other is famous for vintage books.
You’ll also find an alluring small cafe in there. Grab your favorite book from the antique library and spend some time in serenity while sipping a cup of coffee.
4. Defunct Railway Tracks of La Petite Ceinture
There’s just something fascinating about abandoned places. They can feel like portals to the past and do wonders for the imagination.
One such place of past wonder in Paris is the tracks of La Petite Ceinture.
This little belt was started under Napoléon III and Baron Haussman. It used to take people around Paris on a steam train from 1852 to 1934.
Now, this amazing location has become a hidden gem for thrill-seekers. You can access this abandoned railway belt in the 14th arrondissement of Paris.
Add little quirks to your Paris tour by visiting La Petite Ceinture.
5. Pere Lachaise Cemetery
Generally, tourists don't add a visit to the cemetery to their to-do list when they plan an itinerary. But Pere Lachaise Cemetery is not a usual cemetery. It's a truly special and peaceful place of contemplation and beauty.
The atmosphere of the cemetery is calm and quiet with breathtaking scenes of cobblestoned paths and ancient trees.
Take a stroll through this hauntingly beautiful garden and while you’re at it, pay homage to its famous inhabitants, such as Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde.
Pere Lachaise cemetery is located in the 20th arrondissement of Paris, and the nearest metro station is Philippe-Auguste.
6. La Musée de la Vie Romantique
If you’re planning your first trip to Paris, it’s highly unlikely that you’ve heard of La Musée de la Vie Romantique.
The museum was once the beautiful home of Ary Scheffer, a Dutch-born painter. It was turned into a museum in 1982 and houses ancient furniture and outstanding paintings.
The ground floor is dedicated to George Sand. It exhibits portraits, furniture, and jewelry from the 18th and 19th centuries. On the first floor, you’ll also see the contemporary artwork of Ary Scheffer.
This is one of the most romantic places in Paris, situated at the base of Montmartre Hill in the 9th arrondissement of Paris.
7. Paris Sewer Museum (Musée des Égouts)
This has to be one of the most bizarre destinations to explore in Paris.
After all, how many cities in the world let you see their sewage system? So, don't miss this rare chance to get a glimpse of the world beneath the world's most beautiful city, Paris.
This quirky museum is situated at the Esplanade Habib-Bourguiba, near the Pont de l'Alma, in the 7th arrondissement.
Some of the sewers in Paris were built in the early 1300s and it will only cost you 10 euros to experience those unique and ancient structures. You'll also get a chance to learn how Paris manages its waste and keeps the city clean.
Visit these offbeat places in Paris and experience the City of Light in a totally unique way.