Paris is known for its popular attractions such as Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe, Tuileries Gardens and the Louvre Museum, but there are many more unique and lesser-known places to explore in the city. Our blog post will take you on a journey through the hidden gems and secret spots of Paris, revealing some of the more unusual experiences that you can enjoy.
We’ll show you charming Rue des Rosiers, grand Palais Garnier opera house, and iconic Pont Neuf, offering new perspectives on the City of Light. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first time visitor, our expert guide will help you uncover the best things to do in the French capital and make your trip truly unforgettable. You can also check our blog Paris Daytrips if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Paris for a day!
What is the best time for fun things to do in Paris?
Paris is a wonderful destination to explore in April due to the pleasant weather and lesser number of tourists as compared to the peak summer season. Additionally, if you have a liking for metropolises like London or New York, Paris has much to offer you as well. You can revel in the joy of walking along the Seine River, marvel at the Metro station architecture, and discover the majestic monuments and boulevards that were constructed during Napoleon’s era.
1. Climb 300 Steps to a Tower (Not the Eiffel)
Climbing the 300 steps to the top of Notre-Dame Cathedral’s tower can be an exciting experience for adventurous travelers. It offers stunning panoramic views of Paris without the crowds and queues of other tourist spots. The climb is easy and takes less than an hour.
2. Cool Vintage Car Tour
Explore Paris in a unique and exciting way with a vintage car tour. Enjoy a knowledgeable guide who shows you famous landmarks and hidden gems, while cruising in style. Get picked up and dropped off at your desired location or hotel, making it convenient to fit into your schedule.
3. Visit a chateau as day trips
If you’re looking for a unique day trip outside of Paris, visiting one of the many beautiful chateaus in the surrounding areas is a great option. Not only do they offer stunning architecture and gardens, but each chateau has its own rich history waiting to be discovered. For example, Château de Versailles is one of the most famous chateaus in the world and boasts over 700 rooms! Meanwhile, Château de Fontainebleau is a UNESCO World Heritage site with over 1,500 rooms and centuries worth of history to explore. With so many options to choose from, visiting a chateau as a day trip from Paris is sure to be an unforgettable experience.
4. Richest National Modern Art Museum in Europe
The Centre Pompidou, one of the most visited museums in Paris, is a must-visit for art lovers. As the richest national modern art museum in Europe, it houses an extensive collection of modern and contemporary art that includes impressive works by Kandinsky, Matisse, and Picasso.
5. Carbaret Show at Moulin Rouge
Indulge in a magical evening of entertainment and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the Moulin Rouge. The iconic cabaret show boasts a history dating back to 1889, and is renowned for its elaborate dance performances, dazzling costumes, and high-energy music acts.
The show features an array of talented artists who take the stage with grace and skill, captivating audiences with their dynamic performances. With its colorful ambiance and lively vibe, the Moulin Rouge provides an unforgettable experience that is beloved by locals and visitors alike. Book your tickets in advance to secure your spot at this unmissable Parisian institution. You can check our blog to discover Parisian Nightlife.
6. Cherry blossom hunting
As the temperature rises, cherry blossom season in Paris is a sight not to be missed. Whether you’re a nature lover or just looking for a picturesque spot to relax, cherry blossom hunting is an excellent way to spend your day in Paris. The Parc de Sceaux is one of the most popular locations among locals and tourists alike, offering stunning views of blooming trees. The beauty of the cherry blossoms is mesmerizing, making it an ideal backdrop for picnics and bike rides. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the magical moments!
7. Père Lachaise Cemetery
For a unique and off-beat experience in Paris, head over to the Père Lachaise Cemetery. This sprawling space is the final resting place of many iconic figures, including Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, and Jim Morrison. The serene atmosphere of the cemetery provides a peaceful contrast to the bustling city outside its walls, making it an ideal spot for a reflective stroll. Take some time to explore the intricate tombs and mausoleums that dot the landscape while learning about the rich history of Paris through its most famous residents. You may even come across a crypt or two, adding to the eerie charm of the cemetery.
8. Ice skate on the Eiffel Tower
What could be more thrilling than ice skating on the Eiffel Tower with best views? Enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime skating experience with breathtaking views of Paris from the Eiffel Tower’s first level. Skating sessions are available throughout the day, and night-time sessions add a romantic touch. Don’t miss out on this unforgettable activity that’s only available from mid-December to early February each year. Make your winter getaway extra special by hitting the ice at one of the world’s most famous landmarks.
9. Cooking Class with a Parisian Chef
Learn the secrets of French cuisine, cooking techniques, and discover new flavors. Immerse yourself in Parisian lifestyle as you prepare traditional French dishes under the guidance of an expert chef. This hands-on experience allows you to take home new culinary skills, and the opportunity to taste delicious French food and wine while enjoying the company of fellow foodies.
Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner, this unforgettable cooking class is perfect for anyone looking to explore Parisian culinary culture on their trip.
10. See Paris by helicopter
Seeing Paris by helicopter is a unique way to experience the City of Light. With a bird’s eye view of the city, visitors can take in the iconic architecture and landmarks from a new perspective. From the Eiffel Tower to Notre-Dame Cathedral, every sight is breathtakingly beautiful from above.
11. Palais Garner
Palais Garner is a stunning opera house in Paris that is known for its ornate decor and grand performances. The opulent building was constructed in the late 1800s and remains a testament to the city’s rich cultural history. Visitors can take a guided tour of the Palais Garner to experience the lavish interior, including magnificent marble staircases, gilded ceilings, and intricate murals.
The theater also hosts world-class performances of operas, ballets, and concerts throughout the year, providing visitors with an unforgettable night of entertainment.
12. Rue des Rosiers
If you’re a foodie looking for an authentic culinary experience in Paris, Rue des Rosiers is the place to go. Located in the trendy Marais district, this charming street is known for its delicious Jewish cuisine. The aroma of freshly baked bagels and falafel fills the air as visitors stroll down the cobblestone streets.
From traditional Jewish delis to modern restaurants with a twist, there’s something for everyone at this place. Don’t forget to stop by some of the local bakeries and pastry shops for a taste of some of Paris’ most delicious sweets.
13. Gallery of Evolution
The Gallery of Evolution is a fascinating museum that offers a unique perspective on the evolution of different species. With over 7,000 specimens on display, it provides visitors with an in-depth look at the diversity of life on Earth. But what makes this museum stand out is its interactive displays, which bring the specimens to life and make the learning experience fun for all ages.
Located in the Jardin des Plantes, the Gallery of Evolution is just one of several museums and gardens worth exploring in Paris. So if you’re looking for something educational and enjoyable to do in the city, be sure to pay it a visit!
14. Musée Grévin
Musée Grévin is not your typical museum experience. Instead of stuffy exhibits, visitors are treated to a wax figure extravaganza where they can snap selfies with their favorite historical figures and celebrities. The museum’s lifelike and meticulously crafted figures make it easy to forget that they are not real.
But the fun doesn’t stop there – Musée Grévin also has interactive exhibits, including virtual reality experiences, that bring visitors closer to their idols than ever before. Located in the heart of Paris, Musée Grévin is an unmissable attraction for anyone looking for a unique and entertaining museum experience.
15. Enjoy some Cheese Tasting in Paris
When in Paris, one of the must-try experiences is indulging in the city’s famous cheese. With an abundance of cheese shops and markets, there are plenty of opportunities for cheese lovers to try a variety of flavors.
Beyond just the popular Camembert and Brie varieties, there are lesser-known cheeses waiting to be discovered. The best part? Pairing your cheese with local wine or beer can enhance the flavors and make for a truly enjoyable experience.
For those interested in learning more about French cheese, attending a tasting class or speaking with knowledgeable shop owners can provide insights into the history and production of this beloved food item.
16. Dinner river tour Seine
Experience the beauty of Paris by night with a dinner river tour on the Seine. Dinner cruise past some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral, while dining on delicious French cuisine and sipping on delicious drinks. The ambiance created by the soft lighting and gentle lapping of the water against the boat is truly enchanting – perfect way to celebrate a romantic evening. With different tour options available, such as live music or a champagne reception, there is something for everyone to enjoy. See our guide of Paris River Cruise Guide!
17. Join a street art tour
Experience a different side of Paris with a street art tour that goes off the beaten track. This unique experience offers insight into the city’s vibrant street art scene and uncovers hidden gems. Learn about the history and culture behind each artwork while supporting local artists and small businesses. Take Instagram-worthy photos and see the city beyond the usual tourist attractions. It is a great option for the ones who do not know what to do in Paris this weekend.
18. Go on a feminist tour of the Louvre
Exploring the Louvre can feel overwhelming, with over 35,000 works of art on display. Swerve the crowds and opt for a feminist tour instead. Discover the influential female figures represented in the museum’s collection while examining how women have been depicted in art throughout history.
The tour highlights overlooked pieces and provides a new perspective on more well-known works. By choosing this unique experience, not only will you learn about important female representation in art, but also support a company that values diversity and inclusivity. Don’t miss out on this enriching opportunity during your trip to Paris.
19. Catch a DJ set at Montezuma
Montezuma is the ultimate destination for wine and music connoisseurs. This chic and trendy bar has become a hotspot for locals and tourists alike, offering an unforgettable experience with its lively atmosphere. Catching a DJ set at Montezuma is a unique way to experience Paris nightlife, with each night bringing a new vibe to the bar. Whether you’re looking for a solo night out or a fun time with friends, Montezuma offers the perfect mix of music and ambience.
20. Concert at the Philharmonie
Visiting Paris and love classical music? The Philharmonie is a must-visit venue. Its exceptional acoustics and stunning architecture provide a unique experience. Enjoy a range of performances, from symphonies to chamber music recitals, in a beautiful setting. Even if you’re new to classical music, the Philharmonie is sure to leave you mesmerized during your stay in Paris.
21. Art shows at Fondation Louis Vuitton
Introducing the Fondation Louis Vuitton, an art museum situated in the Bois de Boulogne park. The building’s architecture is a sight to behold, designed by Frank Gehry and resembling a sailboat. Notably, the Fondation hosts some of the most significant contemporary art exhibitions and installations in Paris, featuring works from artists worldwide. Visitors can see exhibitions on display for only a limited time, making each visit a unique experience. With its exceptional collection, world-class architecture, and stunning views of Paris from its rooftop terrace, the Fondation Louis Vuitton is an ideal destination for art lovers seeking something extraordinary.
22. Latin Quarter’s arthouse cinemas
Explore Parisian cinema culture by going on a tour of the Latin Quarter’s arthouse cinemas. These unique theaters showcase independent and foreign films, offering an alternative to mainstream blockbusters. From art-house classics to experimental works, these cinemas provide an immersive experience for cinephiles and casual viewers alike. Discover the creative and intellectual side of Parisian life through these lesser-known gems. Don’t miss out on this intimate and personal way to experience French cinema.
23. Swing by La Gare for a Jazz Night
La Gare is an exceptional venue located in a former train station in Paris that offers a unique experience to visitors. The bar is a popular spot for live jazz nights, featuring talented musicians from all over the world, creating a cozy and comfortable atmosphere. Apart from the fantastic music, La Gare’s drinks and food menu are equally delightful. If you’re looking for an unforgettable night out in Paris, swing by La Gare for an eclectic jazz experience that will leave you feeling uplifted and satisfied.
24. Indulge at L’Avant Comptoir du Marché
If you’re a foodie looking for a unique dining experience in Paris, head to L’Avant Comptoir du Marché. This hotspot is known for its lively atmosphere and small plates that are packed with flavor. Each dish is made from fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, ensuring that your meal is as delicious as it is memorable. Whether you’re enjoying the signature croque-monsieur or indulging in a charcuterie board, you’re sure to be impressed by the bold flavors and innovative presentation.
25.Picnic in the Place des Vosges
A visit to Paris is incomplete without a picnic in Place des Vosges. The square flaunts stunning gardens, fountains, and impressive architecture that make for a romantic or fun outing. Grab some French goodies from nearby markets and cafes before finding a cozy spot under one of the trees. You can also play traditional French games like boules or petanque and soak in the lively atmosphere of this historic spot. Pack your basket and head out for an unforgettable picnic experience at one of Paris’s most beautiful locations.
26. The “Paris Criminal Experience” Tour
The “Paris Criminal Experience” Tour offers a unique opportunity to explore the city’s dark history of crime and punishment. Led by experienced guides, this immersive experience takes you through prisons, courtrooms, and execution sites where infamous criminals were once held and punished. You’ll learn about the city’s most notorious criminals and their heinous crimes, as well as the justice system that determined their fate. It’s not for the faint of heart, but for those seeking a fascinating insight into Paris’s lesser-known past, the “Paris Criminal Experience” Tour is an opportunity not to be missed.
27. Pont Neuf
Pont Neuf is a historic bridge that spans across the Seine River, connecting the left bank and right bank of Paris. It’s one of the oldest bridges in the city and has been designated a French national monument. Take a leisurely stroll across the bridge and admire its beautiful architecture, including the iconic stone arches and ornate details. From here, you can also enjoy stunning views of the river and some of Paris’s most famous landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral. Pont Neuf is a must-visit attraction for history buffs.
28. Create your own lipstick
Create your own personalized lipstick in a Parisian workshop and learn about the history of this iconic cosmetic. Discover the cultural significance of lipstick in France and choose from a wide range of colors and ingredients to create your perfect shade. Under expert guidance, mix, pour, and mold your bespoke lipstick while learning new skills. Take it home as a unique souvenir or gift for someone special. Perfect for cosmetics enthusiasts or those looking to try something new in Paris.
29. Creation of a tailor-made hat
Designing a custom-made hat is an unforgettable experience that showcases the creativity and craftsmanship of traditional Parisian artisans. Work with a skilled hat-maker to create your dream hat, incorporating personal style into every step of the process. Learn about French millinery techniques and take home a one-of-a-kind piece that captures your personality and serves as a cherished memento of your time in Paris. Experience Parisian fashion firsthand through this personalized, hands-on process.
St. Chapelle is a stunning Gothic-style church in Paris that dates back to the 13th century. Its breathtaking stained glass windows, which depict scenes from the Bible, are considered some of the finest examples of this art form in the world. Take a guided tour to learn about the history and significance of this iconic landmark, which has served as both a royal chapel and place of worship throughout its history. Admire the intricate details of the architecture and soak in the spiritual atmosphere of this awe-inspiring building. Don’t forget your camera to capture pictures of this magnificent piece of French history.
31. Discover Petite Ceinture
The Petite Ceinture is a hidden gem in Paris that offers visitors a glimpse into the city’s rich history. This abandoned railway line was once a bustling transportation hub, but now it serves as an urban exploration site for locals and tourists alike. Walking or biking along the tracks allows visitors to discover parts of Paris that are off the beaten path, including unique natural spaces and wildlife. The circular track around Paris provides an interesting perspective and is an ideal location for those looking to escape the crowds of tourists in more well-known areas of the city.
32. Le Marais
Le Marais is a historic district in Paris’s 4th arrondissement with a rich cultural and architectural heritage. It’s home to some of the city’s best museums, galleries, restaurants, and shops. With its narrow streets and charming alleys, Le Marais is an excellent place to wander around and soak up the atmosphere of old Paris. Be sure to visit Place des Vosges, one of the oldest planned squares in the city, and explore the fascinating history behind its elegant architecture. Whether you’re interested in art, history, or simply want to experience the unique charm of Paris, Le Marais is there not to miss.
33. Shakespeare and Company
Shakespeare and Company is not just a bookstore but a literary haven for people who love books. This historic English-language bookstore has been a cultural landmark since the 1920s, attracting famous authors and literary enthusiasts alike. If you are looking for a unique experience in Paris, Shakespeare and Company should be on your must-visit list. The bookstore features rare and unique books, including first editions and signed copies that you can browse through. In addition, they offer a writing residency program that allows aspiring writers to immerse themselves in the city’s rich culture and history, making it an unforgettable experience.
34. Galerie Vivienne Arrow
Hidden away in the bustling streets of Paris, Galerie Vivienne Arrow is a true oasis for those seeking a unique shopping experience. With its stunning architecture and intricate details, this hidden gem offers a delightful escape from the city’s busy crowds. Visitors can spend hours exploring the various boutiques and shops, ranging from fashion and accessories to books and antiques. Additionally, Galerie Vivienne Arrow features several cozy cafes and restaurants perfect for a quick break or leisurely lunch while soaking up the ambiance of this historical landmark.
35. Crazy Horse Cabaret
Crazy Horse, a renowned cabaret in Paris, offers an enchanting experience like no other. With its distinctive lighting and mesmerizing visual effects, the theater provides an unforgettable evening of entertainment. Beyond the technical aspects that make Crazy Horse so iconic, there is also the talent displayed by its dancers. Their captivating performances include unique choreography set to exceptional music that will leave you breathless. For those looking for a fun and exciting way to experience Parisian nightlife, Crazy Horse is a must-visit destination.
36. Take a day trip to Versailles
Take a day trip from Paris to Versailles and escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Visit the opulent Palace of Versailles, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its stunning gardens. A guided tour will give you insights into its history. Explore the charming town with its cobblestoned streets, markets, and restaurants serving delicious culinary delights. Enjoy a leisurely stroll and take in the picturesque sights. Experience French history and culture on your visit to Versailles.
37. Family escape in the Sacré-Coeur
Explore Paris with your family for an exciting and memorable experience. Try the family escape game at Sacré-Coeur for a unique adventure. This interactive game offers a chance to bond with loved ones while exploring the monument’s stunning architecture and rich history. Suitable for all ages, it involves solving puzzles and clues, making it thrilling for teens and interactive for kids. Learn about French culture, history, and architecture while creating lasting memories with loved ones.
38. Ice-Cream at Berthillon
Indulging in a sweet treat is one of the many joys of traveling. When in Paris, a visit to Berthillon is a must for any ice cream lover. Established over 60 years ago, this iconic ice cream shop offers an array of flavors, including seasonal and unique options, making it difficult to choose just one favorite. From classic vanilla to decadent chocolate fudge brownie, Berthillon’s flavors are sure to satisfy any craving. Enjoy your scoop while taking a leisurely stroll along the Seine River, taking in all the sights and sounds of Paris.
39. Walk along Canal Saint-Martin
Canal Saint-Martin in Paris is a unique and scenic walk that offers trendy cafes, bars, and boutiques. The locks regulating water levels add interest to the walk. You can escape crowds and explore the hidden gem of Paris while enjoying beautiful views and cultural significance. Take a leisurely stroll along the serene waters of Canal Saint-Martin and experience everything this off-the-beaten-path location has to offer. Check our blog to discover the best restaurants there.
40. Place de la Concorde
One of the most picturesque locations in Paris is the Place de la Concorde. Located at the end of Champs-Élysées, this iconic square is home to a stunning fountain, two beautiful fountains and the Luxor Obelisk. The grandeur of the surrounding buildings and the historical significance of the location make it a must-visit for anyone traveling to Paris.
The Place de la Concorde has a rich history, having been a site for public executions during the French Revolution. Today, it serves as a peaceful gathering spot for locals and tourists alike.
The Catacombs of Paris are a unique and eerie attraction that offers visitors a glimpse into the city’s past. Located beneath the streets of Paris, the catacombs contain the remains of over six million people. These tunnels were originally created as quarries for the limestone used to build many of the city’s famous landmarks. At the conclusion of the 18th century, several Parisians cemeteries’ bones were relocated to the city’s ossuary. You can check out our blog to learn more about Catacombs.
42. Tour Montparnasse
The Tour Montparnasse is the only skyscraper in Paris and offers unparalleled views of the city. From the observation deck on the 56th floor, visitors can see landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Arc de Triomphe.
Not only does it offer stunning views, but it also has a variety of restaurants and cafes where you can enjoy a meal while taking in the sights. It’s a great place that will truly take your breath away. Too see what you can do more, check out our Montparnasse blog!
43. Rodin Museum
If you’re a fan of art, the Rodin Museum is a must-visit when in Paris. It houses an extensive collection of works by the famous sculptor Auguste Rodin, including his iconic piece “The Thinker.” The museum is set in a beautiful garden filled with sculptures, making it the perfect place to spend an afternoon.
Aside from its impressive collection, the museum also offers guided tours and workshops for those interested in learning more about sculpture and art history. For a cultural and educational experience, don’t miss out on the Rodin Museum during your trip to Paris.
44. Musée d’Orsay – Masterpieces of Monet and Renoir
The Musée d’Orsay is a must-visit for art enthusiasts, as it houses an impressive collection of French art from the 19th and early 20th centuries. The museum is located in a stunning Beaux-Arts railway station and features works by famous artists such as Monet, Renoir, and Van Gogh.
Aside from its permanent collection, the museum also features temporary exhibitions and events throughout the year. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in French culture and history while admiring some of the world’s most beautiful art pieces.
45. Musée de l’Orangerie
Another museum in Paris that art lovers should not miss is the Musée de l’Orangerie. Located in the Tuileries Gardens, this museum houses a collection of impressionist and post-impressionist works by famous artists such as Claude Monet and Paul Cézanne.
What makes this museum unique is its oval-shaped rooms specifically designed to showcase Monet’s famous water lily paintings. It’s a truly mesmerizing experience to be surrounded by these magnificent paintings, which were created to provide a sense of peace and tranquillity.