Paris is the capital of France and is one of the most beautiful and most visited cities in the entire world. It is nicknamed the “City of Love” and the “City of Lights.” Paris has so much to offer as it is also the most populous city of France.
The French Capital draws tons of visitors each year for its’ history, architectural landmarks, rich cuisine, museums, and fashion scene (Paris is part of the big four fashion capitals of the world). Among Paris’ most popular tourist attractions include the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre (the most visited museum in the world in 2018), the Arc de Triomphe, and The Palace of Versailles, to name a few.
While tourists want to be able to hit some of the key landmarks like the ones stated above, Paris has so much to offer and there are several underrated spots across the city to check out as well. Checking out these hidden gems of tourist’s spots will produce the same amount of excitement and awe that the already popular sites draw from visitors.
With that being said, here are 10 spots to check out the next time you visit Paris:
1. Avenue des Champs-Élysées:
The Arc de Triomphe is one of France’s most iconic landmarks and its location and plaza are shared between three arrondissements (the French word for districts/boroughs): 16th (to the south and the west), 17th (to the north), and 8th (to the east). While at the Arc De Triomphe, be sure, to check out L’Avenue des Champs-Élysées, which is situated in the latter arrondissement of Paris.
Besides being the area where some of the country’s most famous landmarks are in, this boulevard is known for its great restaurants and shopping. For dining, be sure to try Pizza Pino, Ladurée, and Fouquet’s, to name a few. L’Avenue des Champs-Élysées is one of Paris’s major shopping districts and, on the boulevard, you will find upscale brands such as Louis Vitton (depicted in the photo below) and Cartier, in addition to affordable brand names such as Zara and Sephora. A little off the avenue, one will find more shopping hotspots and boutiques at Avenue Montaigne and Rue Saint-Honoré.
2. La Gaîté Lyrique:
La Gaîté Lyrique is an underrated tourist spot that adults and children will enjoy as it focuses on art and creativity in the digital age. It is located at 3-5 Rue Papin, which is in the 3rd arrondissement of Paris. La Gaîté Lyrique is like a mix between an art gallery, a place for artistic creation, and a concert venue (the place also holds events like workshops, screenings, and concerts).
The inside of this place is beautifully adorned. Given that the space of La Gaîté Lyrique used to be the former Théâtre de la Gaîté (a former 19th-century music hall), the classic Baroque-era architecture blends perfectly well with the modern-day art being exhibited.
3. Disneyland Paris:
Of all the tourist spots to make this list, Disneyland Paris is the furthest away from the Centre of Paris. It is in the new town of Marne-la-Vallée, which is about 20 miles east of the French Capital. Going to Disneyland Paris will make you feel like a kid again!
The resort consists of two theme parks, many resort hotels, a golf course, and a shopping, dining, and entertainment complex. One of the two theme parks is Disneyland Park where young children can meet their favorite movie and/or cartoon characters such as Micky and Minnie Mouse and go on rides such as Space Moutain and Pirates of The Carribean. Meanwhile, Walt Disney Studios Park is the second theme park and this one is more suited for adults and older children as its rides, buildings, and surroundings are all about the moviemaking business.
Given how far away Disneyland Paris is from the City of Light, the best way to get to the amusement park is either by the commuter train (RER) or by high-speed train (TGV). Regardless of which type of train you take to Disneyland Paris, you and your party (if you are traveling with family and/or friends) need to get off at the Marne-la-Vallée-Chessy stop.
4. Rue Crémieux:
Rue Crémieux is a one-block pedestrian street in the 12th arrondissement of Paris. The street of this area is cobbled and lined with bright pastel-colored houses on both sides of the street.
Over the last couple of years, Rue Crémieux has become a popular spot for tourists to take selfies, photos, and videos to post on social media. While anything or anywhere in Paris that one posts on social media will gain attention from his/her followers, posting a photo of yourself at Rue Crémieux will rack up major likes on Instagram for sure!
5. Les Passages Couverts:
The English translation of Les Passages Couverts is “The Covered Passages” and they are an early form of shopping arcades that were built in The City of Love during the first half of the 19th Century. By 1850, there was a total of 150 covered passages but, due to Baron Haussmann’s renovation of Paris, only a couple of dozen of these passages remain in the 21st century.
All the surviving passages are located either in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 8th, 9th, and 10th arrondissements of Paris. In addition, all of them are still in top-knot condition and hold shops, tearooms, and cafes. From the remaining covered passages, the best ones to stop by include Passage du Grand-Cerf (depicted in the photo below, in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris), Galerie Vivienne (in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris), and Passage Verdeau (in the 9th arrondissement of Paris), to name a few.
6. Montparnasse Tower:
Some might say that the best panoramic view of The City of Light is from the top of the Eiffel Tower, one of the city’s most iconic monuments. However, for tourists wanting the best panoramic view of Paris with the Eiffel Tower in it, the spot to go to for this is Montparnasse Tower. The skyscraper is currently the 19th tallest building in the European Union.
Montparnasse Tower is located in the 15th arrondissement of Paris. One perk of visiting this place is that there are no long lines and the tickets cost half as much compared to the ones sold for the Eiffel Tower. One can enjoy the panoramic view of Paris from Montparnasse Tower at any time of the day. However, it is best to go at night as the sight of the Paris skyline during that time is unbelievable with lights twinkling from all over the city.
7. Galeries Lafayette Haussmann:
Galeries Lafayette is a French Department Store Chain that has many locations in France and overseas. Its flagship store is located on Boulevard Haussmann in the 9th arrondissement in Paris. Galeries Lafayette’s flagship store is situated inside of a 100-year old dome and the architectural style is art nouveau.
The department store houses a wide range of brands (including luxury ones such as Chanel and Dior) to suit all budget types, from ready wear to haute couture. While visiting the flagship store of Galeries Lafayette, don’t forget to check out their rooftop for a beautiful and panoramic view of Paris!
8. Rue Mouffetard:
Situated in the 5th arrondissement in Paris, Rue Mouffetard is one of the city’s oldest and liveliest neighborhoods. The entire street is cobblestone and is centered on the Place de la Contrescape, the main square of The Latin Quarter.
One reason that you have to stop by Rue Mouffetard the next time you visit Paris is because of its spectacular street market (which runs daily). In addition, the area has amazing restaurants, shops, and cafes that are worth checking out.
9. Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris:
For all you fashion lovers out there, this is a place to check out the next time you visit Paris! The couture house where famed French Fashion Designer Yves Saint-Laurent worked for almost 30 years is located at 5 Avenue Marceau, which is in the 16th arrondissement of Paris.
La Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris opened in 2017 and showcases the late designer’s style and world-class courtiers designs across various rooms in the building. In addition, this museum features Saint-Laurent’s designs from the years he spent working at Dior and the most famous looks from his name-sake clothing label. The fashion museum is said to have housed around 35,000 items (which includes accessories, textiles, and drawings, to name a few), including more than 7,000 haute couture creations.
10. Canal Saint-Martin:
While the famous Seine River gains a lot of tourists, one underrated and beautiful waterway to see while in Paris is the Canal Saint-Martin. The canal is 4.6 kilometers long and was ordered to be made by Napoleon I in 1802 in order to provide citizens residing French capital with fresh-water supplies. In addition, the canal was created to avoid deadly diseases such as cholera.
Tourists can take cruises on the canal in passenger boats. The banks of the Canal Saint-Martin are lined with popular restaurants and bars with waterside terraces. There are also amazing shops along the banks as well. The next time you are in Paris, be sure to take a stroll along the Canal Saint-Martin and get some fresh air.
From these 10 underrated tourist spots, which ones will you go and check out the next time you visit Paris? Be sure to let us know down below in the comments section!
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I am currently a senior at The University of Miami. I will graduate in December 2021 with a major in Journalism and minor in Sports Administration.