The hidden places of the City of Light
Paris is world-renowned for its sights, such as the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Élysées, Montmartre and the banks of the Seine. But the French capital has many secret and unusual places that will enchant you. We selected 15 of them in the gallery. Check them out!
1. Nicolas Flamel’s house
The oldest house in Paris is located in the 3rd district. Built-in 1407, it belonged to Nicolas Flamel, a bourgeois who, according to legend, had discovered the secret of the philosopher’s stone. The building has been converted into an inn of the same name.
2. The Witch’s Stone (Le Rocher de la Sorcière)
This imposing stone block is what remains of an ancient fountain, reminiscent of the old marquis of Montmartre. Legend has it that the rock was the home of a witch. It’s one of those places that add to the odd charm of Paris.
3. Rue Cremieux
Rue Crémieux is undoubtedly one of the loveliest in the capital, with its cobblestones and colorful houses.
4. The Passages
Paris has many shopping centers that are like little covered streets in the middle of the city. These so-called ‘Passages’ are ideal for strolling and shopping. We particularly recommend ‘Passage des Panoramas’ at the Grands Boulevards metro station and ‘Passage du Grand Cerf’ near rue Étienne Marcel.
5. The Arena of Lutetia
When Paris was still called Lutetia, gladiators fought in this great Roman amphitheater. The remains of the monument are preserved in the middle of a garden near rue Monge in the Latin Quarter.
6. The Great Mosque of Paris
Close to the Lutetia Arena is the Great Mosque of Paris, whose Moorish architecture and minaret stand out. The place of worship can be visited and one can also enjoy a mint tea and an excellent pastry there.
7. The Antoine Bourdelle Museum
This museum, dedicated to the famous sculptor, is located in the 15th district near the Montparnasse Tower. It presents visitors with impressive collections.
8. The Court of Rohan
Paris is full of small, hidden courtyards which allow you to go from one street to another. Sometimes you’ll even go through buildings. For example, you can cross the Cour de Rohan in the 6th district, just behind Procope, the oldest restaurant in town (since 1686).
9. Serge Gainsbourg’s house
On the Left Bank, in the 7th district, is the house where Serge Gainsbourg spent the last years of his life. Unoccupied since his death, it is covered in frescoes and words that pay homage to the singer. In these facilities, a project is underway to make the Gainsbourg museum.
10. The Pagoda
In the middle of the 8th district, this red Chinese pagoda stands out from the Haussmannian buildings that surround it. The former home of a collector, today it houses a museum of Asian art.
11. The church of Sainte-Odile
Lesser known than Notre-Dame or Sacre-Coeur, the Sainte-Odile church has the talles bell tower in Paris (72 meters / 236 ft). This building in the 17th district was inspired by Byzantine architecture.
12. Rue Denoyez
In the 20th district, Dénoyez street is famous for its murals. It is the quintessence of street art made in Paris!
13. Indian Quarter
You probably know Chinatown in the 13th district, but have you ever been to the Indian quarter in the 10th district? Less extensive, this mini-neighborhood around Passage Brady forms a small corner of India between Les Halles and Gare de l’Est.
14. The Florida City (Cité Florale)
Lesser known than Butte-Aux-Cailles in the 13th district, Cité Florale is a micro-district not far from Parc Montsouris. It’s made up of six small cobblestone streets, each named after a flower, and its houses have a charming façade, all in bloom of course!