Hidden gems in Paris: 9 of the best kept secrets
Most people head to the well-known Paris attractions to tick them off their bucket list, and so they should as they’re awesome.
However, if you dig a little deeper, you’ll find many hidden gems in Paris too. From crazy artistic corners of the city to unbelievable pockets of nature, there are secret spots scattered everywhere.
In this guide, you’ll discover some of the most unique areas and sights in Paris that we’ve uncovered after visiting the city of love almost every year for longer than we can remember.
At the end of each section, you’ll also find the address of each location. These truly are some of the coolest things to do in Paris.
Key information about Paris
Best time to visit: June – October
Average flight time from the US: 7.5 hours
Visa: No visa is required unless you’re staying for more than 90 days
Language: French is the main language, however, most also speak English
Plug: Type C and E – you’ll need a travel adapter!
Daily budget: €50/£45/$60 USD
Safety: Paris is a safe city to explore both day and night, however always make sure you pack a money belt!
Hidden gems in Paris
Le Squat du 59 Rue de Rivoli
It was previously occupied by squat artists up until 1999 when Paris legally announced it as a museum.
The walls of 52 Rivoli are head to toe in artistic graffiti, with many artists claiming each room as their studio to present their fascinating work to the public.
While the museum is free to enter, you can make a small donation or purchase pieces of art from the hosts.
We highly recommend visiting Le Squat du 59 Rue de Rivoli to admire the creative work and capture some funky pictures.
The opening hours are between 1 pm and 8 pm.
Where to find it: 59 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
Read more: We just mentioned the Louvre, which is also featured in our post: things to do in Paris: 10 attractions you can’t miss
Le Mur Des Je T’aime (I love you wall)
The I love you wall is possibly one of our favourite hidden gems in Paris.
In keeping with the city’s romantic theme, this wall contains the words ‘I love you’ in 311 different languages across 612 lava tiles.
Artists Frédéric Baron and Claire Kito knocked on both embassy and neighbours’ doors until they had collected each phrase to create this monument of love – how amazing is that!
If you’re in Montmartre then this is a great little discovery in a small park with very few tourists.
Where to find it: Square Jehan Rictus Paris, 75018 France
Read more: We love Montmartre for so many reasons. It also features in: things to do in Paris: 10 attractions you can’t miss and where to stay in Paris: budget to luxury locations.
Rue Crémieux – a hidden street in Paris
Similar to Notting Hill in London, these tiny French houses in the Parisian suburb of Bastille allow you to escape the busy city life.
The colourful streets bring life to what would otherwise be a concrete jungle.
Just like most Europeans, the residents here wouldn’t be able to call it their home without having a plant or two outside the front to add to the finishing touch.
Whilst this street is absolutely beautiful and will no doubt give you home envy, it’s worth being mindful that it is also a residential street that real Parisians live on.
If you’re taking pictures and a local is trying to enjoy their home, you may want to consider asking whether they mind you taking pictures of their home.
Read more: We also think Bastille is a great place to stay, so it features on our post: where to stay in Paris: from budget to luxury.
Parc des Buttes-Chaumont
Parc des Buttes-Chaumont has a permanent place on our list when visiting Paris – it’s full of waterfalls, bridges, and great viewpoints!
Tucked away in Canal Saint-Martin, it always feels surreal going from a busy city high street to a peaceful place to eat your lunch!
For us, this is one of the best free things to do in Paris.
If you consider yourself a hiker, then this will give you your fix.
Plus, the hike to the viewpoint certainly gets your blood pumping!
Where to find it: Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, 1 Rue Botzaris, 75019 Paris, France
Read more: We think that Canal-Saint-Martin is a great base, so it’s featured on: where to stay in Paris: budget to luxury locations
Petite Ceinture – Paris’ abandoned railway
Following the implementation of the metro in the 19th century, Paris’ previous transport line was abandoned.
Today, many sections of the overgrown tracks are covered with an abundance of greenery and flowers, as well as artistic graffiti.
You can access the railway from many points between the 12th and 20th arrondissements of Paris, however, entering from the Catacombs is the easiest option.
From here, you take a break from the busy streets and wander along the railway line surrounded by nature.
Read more: More information about the Catacombs can be found on: things to do in Paris: 10 attractions you can’t miss
Montmarte’s sinking house
This clever optical illusion has been right in front of us for years and we’ve only just noticed!
If you look behind you, you’ll spot the vibrant orange house.
Tilt your phone to the left to snap this quirky optical illusion!
Where to find it Sacré-Cœur, 35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre, 75018 Paris, France
Read more: We love Montmartre for so many reasons. It also features on: things to do in Paris: 10 attractions you can’t miss and where to stay in Paris: budget to luxury locations.
Statue of Liberty, Pont de Grenelle
This miniature version of the real statue was gifted to France in 1889 by the United States to commemorate the centennial of the French Revolution.
The hidden little red car outside Meric in Paris
This retro little red car is slowly popping up on Instagram feeds, often dressed with seasonal décor!
You can find this in the small courtyard area off of the main high street if you’re in Le Marais.
The Merci concept store which sits behind is home to a host of fashion and homeware stores that are presented in a hip and trendy design.
The Merci Cine has a cute bookstore incorporated and does great food in each of its 3 cafes!
Where to find it: 111 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003 Paris, France
Read more: We just mentioned Le Marais which also features on: where to stay in Paris: budget to luxury locations.
Among the fancy restaurants that swamp the city is the hidden gem, La REcyclerie.
It heavily focuses on reducing waste and recycling materials whilst offering locally sourced food at an impeccable standard.
What used to be a train station is now a vibrant quirky café, also offering classes such as cooking and gardening!
It’s also right by the previously mentioned Petite Ceinture.
When we visited back in 2016 I took zero pictures as we didn’t expect to go on to share our findings, however, I’ve managed to source a picture elsewhere.
It doesn’t really show off how cool it is, so we’d recommend checking them out on Instagram instead.
Where to find it: 83 Boulevard Ornano, 75018 Paris, France
Hidden gem hotels in Paris
There are heaps of hidden gem hotels in Paris, you just need to know where to look.
Below are some handpicked hotels that deserve a mention.
Check prices: Cheval Blanc Paris & Dior Spa Cheval Blanc Paris
Check prices: SO Paris Hotel
Check prices: Château Voltaire
Check prices: Goralska Résidences Hôtel Paris Bastille
Check prices: La Maison Gobert Paris Hotel Particulier
Check prices: Hotel Luxembourg Parc
Check prices: Too Hotel Paris – MGallery
Check prices: Grand Pigalle Hotel
Explore beyond hidden gems in Paris
Some of these hidden gems in Paris will undoubtedly make it onto your itinerary.
However, if you’re looking for further resources for your trip then we’ve written some more guides which you can find below.
- Things to do in Paris / You won’t want to miss some of these bucket list things to do and see in Paris
- Paris in March / Discover why visiting Paris in March is the perfect time
- Where to stay in Paris / This guide covers all the best areas to stay in Paris, from budget to luxury
- Hidden gems in Dubai / Discover some secret spots in another part of the world
Stay Wild Travels.
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