Explore Paris by visiting these 10 hidden gems instead of the usual tourist traps


Paris is a city full of wonders, but if you want to avoid the crowds and discover some hidden gems, here are 10 under-the-radar or offbeat experiences you can have in the City of Light.

Swim in a cool pool at Piscine Pontoise

If you’re looking for a refreshing dip in a historic setting, head to Piscine Pontoise, an Art Deco pool that opened in 1924 and is illuminated by underwater lights at night. You can swim under the glass roof, admire the mosaic tiles, or relax in the sauna and hammam.

Explore an unknown Asian art museum at the Musée d’Ennery

The Musée d’Ennery is a hidden gem that houses a stunning collection of Asian art, donated by Clémence d’Ennery, the wife of a successful playwright. You can admire more than 7,000 pieces of Chinese and Japanese porcelains, stamps, figurines, carvings, ivories, and furniture, displayed in elegant cabinets and rooms. The museum is only open to small groups two Saturdays a month, so book your visit in advance.

Visit a Parisian salon at Salon des Vins et Vignerons Indépendants

For wine lovers, there’s no better way to taste the diversity of French wines than to visit the Salon des Vins et Vignerons Indépendants, a trade show that gathers more than 500 independent winemakers from all over France. You can sample wines from different regions, chat with the producers, and buy bottles at reasonable prices. You’ll also find gourmet snacks and sandwiches to pair with your wine.

Explore the amazing Gothic cathedral of Basilique Saint-Denis

The Basilique Saint-Denis is not only a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, but also the burial place of most of the French kings and queens. You can marvel at the stained glass windows, the sculpted tombs, and the crypt where the royal remains are kept. The basilica also hosts concerts and cultural events throughout the year.

Sip on a cocktail with the best view of Paris at the Peninsula Hotel

If you want to splurge on a memorable experience, treat yourself to a cocktail at L’Oiseau Blanc, the rooftop bar and restaurant of the Peninsula Hotel. You’ll enjoy a panoramic view of Paris, including the Eiffel Tower, while sipping on a creative drink made with local ingredients. You can also dine on refined French cuisine inspired by aviation history.

Grab a gourmet bite on the Rue du Nil

The Rue du Nil is a small street in the 2nd arrondissement that has become a foodie hotspot thanks to chef Gregory Marchand, who opened his restaurant Frenchie and its sister venues Frenchie Bar à Vins and Frenchie To Go. You can taste his inventive dishes made with seasonal products, or try other delicious options on the street, such as Terroirs d’Avenir (a grocery store selling organic fruits, vegetables, cheese, and bread) or L’Arbre à Café (a specialty coffee shop).

Immerse yourself in art at L’Atelier des Lumières

L’Atelier des Lumières is a digital art centre that offers immersive exhibitions in a former iron foundry. You can walk through the projections of famous artworks, accompanied by music and sound effects, and feel like you’re entering a new dimension. The exhibitions change regularly and feature artists such as Van Gogh, Monet, and Klimt.

Walk along a former railway at La Promenade Plantée

La Promenade Plantée is a green oasis in the 12th arrondissement, built on an abandoned railway line. You can stroll along the elevated path, surrounded by trees, flowers, and plants, and enjoy the views of the city below. The promenade stretches for 4.7 km (2.9 miles) from the Bastille to the Bois de Vincennes.

See the hidden clock at the Musée d’Orsay

The Musée d’Orsay is famous for its collection of Impressionist paintings, but did you know that it also has a hidden clock that offers a spectacular view of Paris? The clock is located on the fifth floor of the museum, in a room that used to be a hotel. You can peek through the glass and see the Sacré-Coeur, the Louvre, and the Seine.

Discover the secrets of Montmartre

Montmartre is one of the most popular areas in Paris, but it also has some secrets that most tourists miss. You can explore the charming streets and squares, such as Place du Tertre, where artists paint portraits of visitors, or Place Dalida, where a bust of the famous singer stands. You can also visit the vineyard of Montmartre, the only one in Paris, or the Musée de Montmartre, where you can learn about the history and culture of the neighbourhood.

Hotels in Paris

Disclaimer: Portions of this content may have been generated with the assistance of AI, but have been vetted by human editors. We are committed to delivering high-quality, informative content that reflects the fusion of human expertise and AI innovation.

ENS Editors

Learn More →