City of Lights: Meet 12 amazing places that are not in the tourist guides of Paris

Who doesn’t have Paris on their bucket list? And when you check it off, it still does not leave the list. The City of Lights keeps people constantly wanting to experience it again and again. Although when you are finally tired of the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, Paris has much more you would never think to explore. If you are ready to explore Europe’s walkable city, grab your most comfortable pair of Christian Louboutin’s and let’s get started.

Let’s Start Small…

Photo: Vivre Paris

If you think sharing that queen size mattress with your husband or wife gets tight, imagine your entire apartment being that wide. 39 Rue du Château d’Eau is the smallest building in Paris. Starting out as an awkward building gap, the 3.3 feet wide and 16.4 feet tall space was used to solve a property dispute between the two buildings. It now serves as a “comfortable” apartment for living.

A Little Bigger than a Mattress…


Next on our list of hidden gems to explore in Paris, is the La Butte- Bergeyre Jardin. This is Paris’ smallest neighborhood with one of the last vineyards in the city. Located in the cities 19th arrondissement, the neighborhood can only be reached by three public staircases and is perfectly tucked away into the park. On your route here, do not miss the breathtaking view from the top of the hill.

Speaking of Gardens…

Photo: Getty Images/Daniel Auduc

The Jardin des Colonnes is a secret gem in the city of Paris. From the exterior, one would never know they could possibly be approaching a garden. Not only is this a unique looking garden with a misleading facade, but the interior design continues to add even more. It is located down Rue Vercingetorix behind grandiose iron gates. Through these gates, you enter the sweet smell of lavender and experience futuristic architecture which is quite rare in Paris.  Surrounded by greenery and glass mirror panes all around you, you feel quite removed from the city surrounding you.

 Unique and Rare Finds Continue…

Photo: Getty Images/Philippe Lissac

Similar to the rare design of the Jardin des Colonnes, The Notre Dame du Travail, is definitely individualized. Known as one of the quirkiest churches in Paris, this masterpiece of metal is much different than the rest of the city. Designed by Victor Baltard, a French architect, along with the south side of Place de Catalogne, came a church designed for railway workers. Filled with mosaics, metal beams and large influence of Art Nouveau, many claim this church to seem intriguing, and eclectic. While visiting Paris, why not see things that surprise you?

The Unpopular Crowd…

Photo: Brian Jannsen/Alamy

History surrounds us constantly. Sometimes the most interesting stories and moments you learn are ones that you did not expect, or already have prior knowledge of. To explore your “nontypical” historical experience in Paris, take a break from all that walking for a snack at the Auberge Nicolas Flamel. This is the oldest stone house in all of Paris. “The House of Nicolas Flamel” built in 1407 by himself, still has prayers for the dead engraved on the outer pillars of the building.

Speaking of History…

Photo: Cherry Chriss

Many people enjoy touring the famed Yves Saint Laurent museum in Paris to see the designers sketches and imagination process. Although the true beauty in this tour is hidden in the upstairs part of the home, where everything has been left untouched. His famous eyeglasses from the day he died have been left in the exact spot. Art books, stunning fabrics, measuring tape, everything still in the same spot he liked. This hidden gem of Paris is a must-see for any design or history lover.

Celebrate Life…

Most people love their pets more than their family right? So why not have a true place to celebrate the beautiful life they lived. The Pet Cemetery in Paris, although a bit morbid to visit, is so unique and interesting place to experience. Established in 1899 in the Northwestern part of the city, the animals buried over the years range from dogs to monkeys to horses. Included the grave of Barry the Dog, a dog who fought in World World I and helped to save 40 lives.

“Academie de Magie”…

Photo: John Kellerman/Alamy

If you are a lover of all things magic, the Magic Museum is a must-see on your trip! Ranging from illusionists from the 18th century and up, the underground cellar-like museum gives off the energy of magic just by entering. Houdini’s historical warped mirrors and cabinets can be found walking through this museum.  And if that isn’t enough, there is a magic show in the vintage theatre following the tour.

“Mini Versailles” with a Fast Pass …

Photo: Jacque Matandre

If you are a lover of furniture, tapestries, and all things Renaissance art, the Musee Jacquemart-Andre is a definite destination for you! Visit the former home of Edouard Andre and Nelie Jacquemart, who traveled the seven seas together, collecting art and furniture.  Explore the land of history and design without waiting in lines and surrounded by crowds with this hidden gem.

Stop and Smell the Perfumes…

At this point of your walking journey through Paris, you probably do not smell your best. So what better time to visit the Le Grand Musee du Parfum. In this ivy filled courtyard, experience history and amazing and versatile scents dating back to ancient Egypt, and tour the raw materials that are and were used to produce these smells.

Bookworms Enter Here…

If you are a large lover of reading, the Abbey Bookshop is the perfect destination for you. Complimentary coffee and paperback books greet you on the patio of the shop. With a collection of over 35,000 books, it takes ladders to explore each and every ceiling-high stack. Famous for rare fiction, photography and one of a kind prints, this Canadian bookstore is not your average stop when exploring Paris.

Let’s Start the Party…

Photo: Getty Images/Foc Kan

After the miles you have walked by now, you are well read, smell good and informed of religion, the environment and history you never imagined. The perfect way to end the visit to these must-see destinations in Paris is with our final spot, Rosa Bonheur. In the heart of Buttes Chaumont, this unmistakable spot is recognized by its pink neon sign. Rosa Bonheur is a fun and energetic nightclub to party from dusk until dawn. Then once the sun comes up, stay a while for weekend brunch.

Enjoy any and all of these must-see, hidden beauties in the city of lights on your next visit!


Source: Architectural Digest*