The 10 best hidden gems in Paris

The Eiffel Tower? Been there, done that. The Louvre? Queued there, seen that. Arc de Triomphe? Yawn. If you’ve been to Paris before, it’s easy to think that you’ve done it all. But there’s life beyond those must-visit Paris attractions, even if you’re visiting the city for the first time. If you want to feel like a local and see another side of the city away from its brightest lights or biggest attractions, then you’re in luck.  We’ve put together a list for first-timers and honorary Parisians alike showing off some of the best hidden gems and unusual things to do in Paris.

The Statue of Liberty

If Las Vegas has an Eiffel Tower, it's only fair that Paris has a Statue of Liberty! France gifted the US the Statue of Liberty in 1886, so the US (kind of) returned the favour in 1889 with a miniature version of the same gift. It’s one of the more rogue things you can expect to see from the top of the Eiffel Tower (the real one, not the one in Las Vegas).

Address: Pont de Grenelle, Paris, 75015, France

Opening hours: Open 24/7

Admission: Free

Dodo Manège

Is this the weirdest carousel in the world? Probably. You won’t find any wooden horses on this carousel, nestled away in the Jardin des Plantes (conveniently located near the Natural History Museum). Instead, you’ll only be able to ride extinct and endangered animals like giant pandas, dodos and Tasmanian tigers. A ride on this is, without a doubt, one of the more unusual things to do in Paris.

Address: Jardin des Plantes, 57 rue Cuvier 75005 Paris
Opening hours: daily 11 am to 6.30 pm
Admission: €2

 Paris Sewer Museum

This is definitely one of the strangest attractions you’ll find in Paris. Even if you initially turn your nose up at the idea (quite literally!), you might be surprised at how much you enjoy a visit to this ancient underground museum. Paris’s sewer system is incredibly intricate and tells you a lot about the history of the city. On your visit, you’ll learn about the evolution of the sewer system from its creation in 1370 to now, and you’ll also discover some pretty wild anecdotes!

Address: Pont de l’Alma, Esplanade Habib Bourguiba, 75007 Paris

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm

Admission: Tickets start from €7 

Le Louxor Palais du Cinéma

The French know a thing or two about cinema. France is, after all, the birthplace of modern filmmaking and has given us some of the biggest names in the industry’s history. One of the last surviving relics from the Golden Age of French cinema is Le Louxor Palais du Cinema. This 1920 Egyptian revival cinema was saved from demolition, restored and reopened in 2013.

Address: 170 Boulevard de Magenta, 75010 Paris, France

Opening hours: For showtimes, please check out the theatre’s schedule (

Admission: Tickets start from €5.50 

Victor Noir

None of Paris’ countless statues are quite like the one of Victor Noir. Buried in Paris’ famous Père Lachaise cemetery following his death in a duel, the political journalist has become one of the cemetery's most popular residents. Rather than visit him out of respect for anything he did in his life, Victor attracts (predominantly female) visitors to rub the shiny copper-coloured bump in his trousers. Rumour has it that a cheeky rub will prevent infertility!

Address: Cimetière Père Lachaise, 26 Boulevard de Ménilmontant, 75020 Paris

Opening hours: November to March: Monday to Friday 8am to 5.30pm, Saturday from 8am, Sunday from 9am. April to October: 8am to 6pm ; Saturday from 8.30am, Sunday from 9am

Admission: Free

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La Recyclerie

Head to the 18th arrondissement for Le Recyclerie. This converted railway station on the Petite Ceinture houses a restaurant, café, farm, garden and farmers market all under one roof, with a focus on sustainability and – as the name suggests – recycling. The food here changes frequently, flitting between different cultures and cuisines depending on who is occupying the kitchen.

Address: 83 Boulevard Ornano, 75018 Paris, France

Opening hours: Check opening times here

Admission: Free

Rue Crémieux

A few years ago, in the years before Instagram, Rue Crémieux was just a pretty Parisian street. But now, the colourful, pastel-hued façades of Rue Crémieux have become besieged by visitors looking for that perfect pic for the ‘gram (much to the frustration of its residents.) It's very reminiscent of Portobello Road and the Venetian island of Burano and certainly worth a visit if you're in the neighbourhood.

Address: 12e Arrondissement

Opening hours: 24/7

Admission: Free 

Le Marais

We know what you’re thinking, so let’s just get this out of the way early – Le Marais is not a hidden gem. It’s one of the most intriguing, distinctive neighbourhoods in the city, and we’d be lying if we said it was an unpopular part of town... but it’s still full of hidden gems. Formerly the preserve of the aristocracy, Le Marais is now a hodgepodge of Middle Eastern restaurants (L’As du Falafel in particular), high-end fashion outlets, independent shops, LGBT hotspots, traditional French bistros and boulangeries, bars, nightclubs, parks, charming museums and more. You’ll find something new and unexpected around every corner.

Address: Le Marais, 3e Arrondissement, 75003 Paris, France

Opening hours: Open 24/7

Admission: Free

Clos Montmartre

Vineyards? In Paris? You bet. With the Sacré-Cœur, the Moulin Rouge, an arty history and its status as a culinary hotspot, Montmartre is already a lure for tourists. But you can forget all that because this neighbourhood still has secrets to tell, and one such secret is a small vineyard, improbably tucked away amongst bourgeois houses in the side streets by the Sacré-Cœur. If you’re visiting in October, stop by for the annual five-day harvest festival, when thousands of bottles of wine are auctioned off for charity.

Address: Rue des Saules, 75018 Paris, France

Opening hours: Open 24/7

Admission: Free

Piscine Joséphine Baker

Named after the beloved adopted Parisian and Jazz Age star, Piscine Josephine Baker is a floating swimming pool on the River Seine. This impressive, stylish swimming pool is best visited during summer for late opening hours. Oh, and the roof slides open to reveal a huge sun deck.

Address: Quai François Mauriac, 75013 Paris, France

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 7am to 8.30am and 1pm to 8pm, weekends 11am to 7pm, hours may change during holidays

Admission: From 4€ 


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