Next time you go to Paris, why not do something a little different. Forget the Eiffel Tower, romantic walks along the Seine and visits to the Louvre. Here are 10 far more interesting and unusual things to do on your next trip to Paris.
1. Père Lachaise Cemetery
The Père-Lachaise cemetery is the largest Parisian cemetery in Paris and one of the most famous in the world. Located in the 20th arrondissement, many famous people are buried there. Among them, you can spend some time with Guillaume Apollinaire, Franck Alamo, Edith Pïaf, Molière, Jean de La Fontaine, Honoré de Balzac.
2. Petite Ceinture
The “Petite Ceinture” line of Paris is an old double-track railway line which is 32 kilometers long. Deserted by the Parisians because of the growing competition from the metro, the line was closed to passenger traffic in July 1934.
Pedestrian access to the Petite Ceinture is strictly forbidden and most of the access points are fenced or walled, but this article highlights a number of ways you can explore this abandoned railway in Paris.
3. Gustave Eiffel’s Secret Apartment
Nearly 7 million tourists go to the Eiffel Tower every year, but few know the hidden faces of this extraordinary building. On the last level of the tower is the former private apartment of Gustave Eiffel.
Gustave Eiffel used this place as a scientific laboratory, especially for astronomy and meteorology. Today only a very small part of this apartment remains, where you can see the sculpture of Thomas Edison facing his esteemed French colleague.
4. Catacombes de Paris
The catacombs of Paris were originally part of the old underground quarries located in the 14th arrondissement of Paris; They were linked together by inspection galleries. At the end of the eighteenth century, they were transformed into a municipal ossuary with the transfer of the remains of about six million people, evacuated from the various cemeteries in Paris until 1861 for reasons of public health.
Visits to the Catacombs begin at the address “1, avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy”. The two-kilometer walk requires at least forty-five minutes. The catacombs are tunnels, within which the temperature is constantly 14 ° C. They have 130 descending steps and 83 rising steps and six million French bones rest in approximately 780 meters of tortuous galleries.
5. Musée Carnavalet
Carnavalet’s mission was to share the history of Paris from its earliest origins to the present day. The Carnavalet Museum highlights history of Paris and reveals its diverse identity. Note: It is now closed until 2019 for renovation.
Located in the Marais district, in the 3rd arrondissement of Paris, it presents exceptional collections: souvenirs from the French Revolution, paintings, sculptures, furniture and more. The museum is made of the “’Hôtel de Carnavalet” and the “’Hôtel Le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau” linked by a gallery on the first floor. It has an area of 10,000 square meters and has a hundred rooms.
6. Paris Sewer Museum
Of all the cities in the world, it is currently Paris that has the largest sewerage system. All the galleries which drain the roads and buildings, form like a second subterranean Paris. This museum is devoted to the sewers of Paris, following the history of the sewers, from Lutetia to present day. It is a really an unusual way to discover Paris.
7. Gallery of Paleontology and Comparative Anatomy
The Gallery of Comparative Anatomy has gathered approximately 650 skeletons which are showcased. The collections of Comparative Anatomy and Paleontology are housed in a magnificent building of brick, metal and glass built by the architect Ferdinand Dutert and opened in 1898 for the Universal Exhibition of 1900. With a length of nearly 80 meters, the structure is decorated with numerous sculptures inspired by nature.
8. Paris Flower and Bird Market
The Flower market is located in the Place Louis-Lépine, in the 4th arrondissement behind the Tribunal de Commerce. If you are having a walk on the banks of the Seine, near Notre Dame, the Latin Quarter and Place Saint-Michel, head over to this market which is open every day from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm.
Specialising in market flowers, birds, other small pets, the market is set in pavilions from the 1900’s. There is a bird market on Sundays which offers a wide variety of birds including some rare, cages, seeds and other accessories.
9. The Beverley Adult Cinema
The Beverley is a Parisian adult cinema. It opened in 1970 following the Bikini. It is located in the 2ᵉ arrondissement of Paris and is well hidden down a small street perpendicular to one of the great Parisian boulevards. The Beverley cinema continues to offer adult programming.
10. La Recyclerie
In a former railway station, this trendy bistro serves simple dishes from a different country each week. The railway station used to be used as part of the “Petite Ceinture” line of Paris.
Located next to the flea market of Clignancourt, La Recyclerie has been transformed into a canteen. This space includes a restaurant, a bar and a cultural and social program focused on the concepts of “better living” and “better consumption”.
For a charismatic hotel stay, take a look at our guide to the best luxury boutique hotels in Paris.
These recommendations come from our friends at Universal Tour Guide.
Disclosure: Most of our property, service & product reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced by any sponsor.