When you think of Paris, your mind probably jumps to the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and Notre Dame. However, it’s time to see the rest of the city. There’s much more available than these famous buildings and landmarks.
You shouldn’t have a problem finding things to do, no matter how often you’ve visited the city. But if you’re looking for something off the beaten path, try these places instead:
- Classical Concerts at La Chapelle
La Sainte Chapelle, which means “Holy Chapel,” is famous for its Gothic architecture, stained glass windows, and interesting history. But the church is also used for more practical reasons: they hold classical concerts throughout the week. The performers are of the highest caliber, and the acoustics make the experience unforgettable.
- Boat Tour of Canal St. Martin
Unless you’ve visited Paris in the last couple of years, you might have overlooked the now-trendy 19th century waterway that is Canal St. Martin. It’s surrounded by picturesque greenery and boasts breathtaking iron footbridges. To get the full experience, take a boat tour and visit any of the eateries surrounding the water.
- Pomenade Plantée
Pomenade Plantée was once a Vincennes railway viaduct. Now, it’s an elevated park and walkway. If you’ve heard of the High Line in New York City, this is the original model. In fact, it was the world’s first elevated park, filled with rose trellises, cherry trees, bamboo corridors, and breathtaking views of the city.
- Lesser-Known Galleries
If you want to experience art, the Louvre is not the only place to do so. Some of Paris’s best museums are ones you’ve heard little about, including Centre Georges Pompidou, Musée du Quai Branly, Musée d’Orsay, Jardin des Plantes, Musée National Rodin, and Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.
There are hundreds of art galleries and museums scattered throughout the city, and the exhibits change frequently. If you’re an art lover, you’ll never run out of displays to see in the City of Lights.
- Catacombs Tour
If you want a different viewpoint of Paris, consider a sewer or catacombs tour. These catacombs were once limestone quarries used to build bridges and buildings. Then, in the late 1700’s, these underground passages served a different purpose. The rooms and caverns were used to handle the overflow of bodies from overcrowded cemeteries. Gravediggers exhumed bodies and stacked their bones inside these spaces. Now, some of the walls within the halls are made entirely of decomposed human remains.
It’s a unique tour, but certainly not for the faint of heart!
This hilltop neighborhood is composed of cobblestone streets, unique bars and eateries, and a variety of boutiques. But what makes it really stand out is the street art on the buildings and sidewalks. If you’re a lover of free artistic expression and contemporary art, Butte-aux-Cailles is a must-see.
- Restaurant Hopping
The fine cuisine in Paris is too good to reserve it for a single restaurant. To experience more eateries and food throughout the city, split up your meals among multiple destinations.
Start with appetizers and drinks at one place, then go somewhere else for the main course. Finish at a bakery or creperie for delicious desserts made from recipes handed down through the centuries. Restaurant hopping is the only way to try as much food as possible in this incredible city while gaining a unique and memorable experience.
After you’ve visited the city a couple of times, you should focus on truly exploring. Get on a bus without a destination in mind. Enjoy the scenery as it passes, and choose a stop at random. You’re sure to run into something incredible.