Paris, the City of Lights, is renowned for its iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, and Notre-Dame Cathedral. However, for the adventurous traveler seeking unique and offbeat experiences, Paris has a hidden side waiting to be discovered. Here's a guide to the most unusual things to do in the French capital.
1. Catacombs of Paris:
Delve beneath the city streets to explore the eerie Catacombs of Paris. Home to the skeletal remains of over six million people, this underground ossuary is an unconventional attraction. The bones are artfully arranged, creating a haunting yet fascinating atmosphere that provides a unique perspective on Parisian history.
2. Street Art Exploration in Belleville:
Venture beyond the traditional art scene and explore the vibrant street art of Belleville. This multicultural neighborhood is a canvas for local and international artists, with colorful murals adorning its streets. Take a walking tour to discover hidden gems and witness the dynamic, ever-changing nature of street art in this eclectic district.
3. Le Musée des Arts Forains:
Step into a world of whimsy and nostalgia at Le Musée des Arts Forains, a private museum dedicated to fairground art and attractions. Tucked away in the Bercy neighborhood, this magical museum showcases a collection of vintage carousels, carnival games, and other amusement park artifacts that transport visitors to a bygone era.
4. La Petite Ceinture:
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city by exploring La Petite Ceinture, a hidden railway line that once circled Paris. Abandoned and reclaimed by nature, this secret pathway offers a unique opportunity to stroll through overgrown tracks, discover street art, and experience a different side of Parisian life.
5. Deyrolle: The Unusual Taxidermy Shop:
For a truly eccentric experience, visit Deyrolle, a taxidermy shop that goes beyond the ordinary. Not just a store, Deyrolle is a cabinet of curiosities, featuring a diverse collection of stuffed animals, insects, and other oddities. It's a quirky and unforgettable stop for those with a taste for the bizarre.
6. The Lavender Fields at Parc de Sceaux:
Escape to the Provence region without leaving Paris by visiting the stunning lavender fields at Parc de Sceaux. During the summer months, this park becomes a sea of purple, providing a picturesque and unexpected setting for a leisurely picnic or a romantic afternoon stroll.
7. Hidden Vineyards of Montmartre:
While Montmartre is famous for its artistic history and the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, few visitors know about its hidden vineyards. Clos Montmartre is a small vineyard producing local wine, and during the annual grape harvest festival, you can taste this unique vintage while enjoying live music and festivities.
8. The Museum of Vampires and Legendary Creatures:
Indulge your fascination with the supernatural at the Musée des Vampires et Monstres de l'Imaginaire. This small and quirky museum explores the folklore of vampires and other mythical creatures through an eclectic collection of artifacts, books, and artwork.
As you explore the unconventional side of Paris, you'll find that the city has much more to offer than its famous landmarks. Embrace the unexpected, and let the City of Lights illuminate your journey through its offbeat and extraordinary attractions.