Paris is known as the City of Lights, filled with incredible history, culture and amazing landmarks. Most of these are widely popular such as the Eiffel Tower and the Palace of Versailles but if you’re looking to get more out of your vacation you should definitively visit these beautiful lesser known places.
Bois de Boulogne
Once a hunting ground exclusively for the Kings of France, this park is a great place to relax in Western Paris. It’s also one of the largest parks in the area, offering a selection of activities such as boating in Lac Inférieur or a trek around it.
Marché couvert Saint-Quentin
It’s one of the last remaining covered food markets in Paris with an unbelievable Baltard style architecture, high ceilings, iron, glass and big windows that allow natural light to come in. Here you can find many delicious speciality cheeses as well as the city’s best fresh produce.
Hôtel de Sens
One of three medieval private residences that still remains in Paris. It was built between 1475 and 1507. At first, it was supposed to be a home for Archbishop Tristan Salazar but he died before he could live in it. It’s most famous resident was Queen Margot, Henry IV ex-wife. A cannonball from the French Revolution is still logged in one of its walls. Now it’s home to the Forney Art Library.
Église Saint Étienne du Mont
Built in a Gothic style, once part of an abbey dedicated to Saint Genevieve, it’s one of the most interesting churches in Paris. It’s main attractions are the shrine and golden reliquary that hold the body of the patroness of Paris: Saint Genevieve and the fact that it’s houses the only remains of a renaissance choir screen in Paris.
La Butte aux Cailles
A neighborhood that revels the past of the city. It has remained undisturbed and hasn’t succumbed to global chain stores, remaining with the traditional style. A few places you can’t miss are: Place Paul Verlaine, Rue des Cinq Diamants and Alsacian Villa. You can find a 19th century well that gives natural spring water in Place Paul Verlaine.
It is the first prison in Paris, converted to a prison for both common and political criminals in 1931. In the French Revolution time, prisoners like Marie-Antoinette spent their last days here before being guillotined in the Concorde Square. Nowadays you can visit the Prisoner’s Gallery, Women’s Square and Marie-Antoinette’s dungeon.
Parc des Buttes Chaumonts
One of the largest parks in the city with dramatic slopes, bridges, waterfalls and plants. It’s most amazing feature is a towering cliff that rises in the middle of the lake with a Corinthian temple at the top.
The vineyard has been in the area for over 800 years and it’s the last active vineyard in the whole city.
Louxor Palais du cinéma
The oldest cinema in the city. Restored in 2013, it’s a look back to Parisian history. It shows contemporary films and on special occasions, historic French films.
Known as the traditional epicenter of Paris, it marks the point of distance to anywhere else around the country. Though it’s centric, located next to Notre Dame, it’s easy to miss since it’s sunken into the ground. Parisians consider it a spot to wish or request certain things.
So if you’re feeling adventurous check out these impressive places when you visit Paris and step away from the traditional guidebook vacation.