Paris is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world, but there is a hidden Paris that one can explore and unique activities that people can do to know the city a little bit more. Hidden in a way that these unique activities are not generally included in most travel itineraries and tourist maps, these places of the hidden and unique activities were merely discovered by local Parisians and adventurous tourists who dared to go a street further than what was instructed in the guide book or had the courage to enter a door that is not included in the top places to visit in Paris. These unique activities are part of the hidden Paris that not most people get the chance to visit, explore, and experience.
Top 8 Unique Activities to explore in Hidden Paris
- Bateaux Parisiens River Cruise
- Mesee des Egouts de Paris
- Crypte Archeologique
- Chateau de La Motte Tilly
- Chapelle Expiatoire
- Look for three Statues of Liberty in Paris
- UNESCO – The Garden of Peace
- Le Musee du Vin
1. Bateaux Parisiens River Cruise
The first that a person must do in order to explore the hidden Paris is to get out of the highway–opt for the river. The Bateaux Parisiens River Cruise may not be as popular as other trips in the city but it enables tourists to view the hidden Paris in a new perspective. A trip down the river would reveal the evident signs that Paris was truly once a port city. This hidden Paris also displays unusual sightlines, unexpected open areas, and secret places.
2. Mesee des Egouts de Paris
Next on the unique activities to do in exploring the hidden Paris is to drop by Mesee des Egouts de Paris which is focused on the sewers of Paris–the subterranean routes which is also a story book of ancient stories of the hidden Paris. Part of the tour of the museum is to pass by secret tunnels and gothic arches that tell stories about history, architecture, and engineering.
3. Crypte Archeologique
As for the Notre Dame, it might be a popular spot but climbing to its peak, one will be treated to a view of the not so hidden Paris. Underground, there is also the unique activities like doing down to Crypte Archeologique which is a time capsule of lives and artifacts of the people that have lived in Paris dating back from 2000 years ago.
4. Chateau de La Motte Tilly
Aside from unique activities, there are also innumerable grand chateaux that are rich with history, culture, and architecture. Some of the lesser known chateau in Versailles but equally beautiful are the Chateau de La Motte Tilly, Chateau de Maisons-Laffitte, and the Chateau de Rambouillet.
5. Chapelle Expiatoire
For those who are really into history, the Chapelle Expiatoire is a remembrance of the French Revolution. This chapel that is often overlooked by tourists is where Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette were laid to rest after they were guillotined. It is also the burial place of more than 3,000 victims of the revolution. In the middle of the world’s fashion capital, seen from between the Eiffel Tower and the grand carousels and ferris wheels, is this small chapel called Chapelle Expiatoire part of the hidden Paris, that is home to one of the most important parts of the French history.
6. Look for three Statues of Liberty in Paris
It is general knowledge that the Statue of Liberty in the United States is a gift from France. Throughout Paris, one of the unique activities a tourist can do is to go hunting for the Statue of Liberties all over Paris. This is one of the unique activities that kids could find enjoying. In the Luxembourg Gardens, there is one Statue of Liberty in there and there are two more statues. There is also a life-size model of the statue’s finger and her torch. The second Statue of Liberty could be found near the Grenelle Bridge on the Ile des Cygnes. This Lady Liberty stands tall at 37 feet and was considered to be the original model for the one that was sent to New York.
In the Pont de l’Alma tunnel near Champs-Elysees, there is a life-size copy of the torch. Moreover, the said tunnel was also where Princess Diana of Wales died. The third Statue of Liberty in Paris and the life-size finger is located in the Musee des Arts et Metiers, the Paris museum of Science and Technology. Inside the museum, there is a display showing the progression of how the design was finalized and a 9-foot model of the final model. This scale model was also the one where the Statue of Liberty in New York was modeled after.
7. UNESCO – The Garden of Peace
People who just wants to relax with nature, do unique activities, and would like to explore to hidden Paris can go to the UNESCO Headquarters and Garden of Peace. The UNESCO is responsible for recognizing all the beautiful places all over the world and their headquarters is in Paris.
The Garden of Peace is Japanese-styled but it can’t be viewed entirely from a single viewpoint. The upper garden has a platform where the whole vista of the garden could be seen. Inside is the Nagasaki Angel which was plucked from the bombed ruins in Nagasaki, after the bomb attack in 1945. The Nagasaki Angel was once a part of the Urakami Church and it was the only thing that was left of the church after the atomic bomb was dropped. In 1976, the city of Nagasaki presented this to UNESCO as a gift and a sign of hope for the Japanese people.
8. Le Musee du Vin
Wine lovers and drinkers, on the other hand, can spend some time in this part of hidden Paris, the Le Musee du Vin, a museum dedicated to wine and wine alone. The museum is all about French wines–from history to techniques and the process of wine making. There is also a tasting room and a restaurant so guests can fully experience the French wines. A visit to this museum that dates back to 14th century also offers guests a glass of wine as an entry ticket and inside, there are some unique activities, as well as educational and interesting tour about the craft of winemaking in France.
These are just some of unique activities and many places in the hidden Paris. Tourists can try these unique activities and have varied memories other than spending some time in the Eiffel, cruising across the Seine, and lining up in the Louvre. Of course, these popular places have earned their status, however, there are also other places that are worth visiting.
And for travelers, everyone knows that exploring a country or a new place is not just limited to what is there on the tourist maps and travel books. There are more unique activities and interesting places in the hidden Paris, one just needs to explore.
Discover also The 20 Best Places to visit in Paris.