Visit unusual places in Paris: some ideas

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Judit Llordes


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Paris is the city of great museums and famous monuments, but it is also a city where many unusual sites are hidden. Alone or with a guide, discover a little-known capital to stroll through the Cité du Figuier, descend into the Sewer Museum or the Catacombs, take an instant trip to Kyoto or see the last traces of the guillotine … Here are some of the unusual places in Paris.

1- The astonishing Sewer Museum

The underside of Paris is rich in discoveries. Without forgetting the Catacombs, you can visit the Sewer Museum to discover the reverse side of the city center as well as the history of the water distribution system. It is not a question of traversing the 2 km of underground galleries but of crossing the center of certain Parisian conduits. In an hour, we see another side of the capital through furnished rooms and old tunnels that bear the names of the surface streets. The entrance is opposite 100 quai d'Orsay, Pont de l'Alma.

2- The model trains of the Gare de l'Est

Under the Gare de l'Est is hidden a complete network of model trains from yesteryear. An association of enthusiasts operates these machines on 600 meters of track, to the delight of children and adults alike. Hundreds of switches, locomotives and wagons handcrafted with great attention to detail were installed between 1946 and 1955. Everything remains as it is on the surface. A beautiful visit of 1 hour 30 minutes.

3- The last traces of the guillotine

The guillotine was not only on Place de Grève (now Place de l'Hotel de Ville) but in many places in Paris. In the 11th century, executions took place in front of the entrance to the prisons. In the 1851th arrondissement, at the corner of rue de la Croix-Faubin and rue de la Roquette, there was such an establishment. To install the guillotine, five flat slabs were laid in the middle of the cobbled street. The street is now paved but the flagstones are still there to remind us that between 1899 and XNUMX, two hundred people were beheaded at this place.

For a selection of the most amazing activities in the capital, also discover the unusual tours with Paris City Vision.

4- The Museum of Fairground Arts

For all fairground and circus enthusiasts, this museum is a must-see. You can admire a hundred objects from all over Europe. During the guided tour, the rides begin to spin, the attractions light up and take you on a real journey through time. This museum is located in the Pavillons de Bercy and the visit is accompanied by actor guides who make you enjoy an unforgettable 1 hour walk. We go from cabinets of curiosities to the Carnival of Venice, from extraordinary gardens to ancient fairgrounds. You just have to book your visit to have an exceptional moment.

5- The garden of the Buddhist Pantheon

Nestled in the 16th arrondissement, it is the ideal place to enjoy the calm, in a haven of peace, surrounded by bamboos, statues of Buddha, along a small stream spanned by wooden bridges. It feels like Kyoto without leaving Paris. You can even attend the tea ceremony. Located behind the Guimet Museum, the Buddhist Pantheon houses a collection of more than 200 Japanese works in a beautiful mansion. The 450 m² of the garden are a real "zen" place where it is good to come and recharge your batteries, in winter as in summer.

6- Gain height in the Ballon de Paris

Since 1999, in the André Citroën park, you can climb in the largest balloon in the world to have a breathtaking view of the capital. It is a curiosity in itself with its 35 meters high, its 22,5 meters in diameter, its two tons which hoist you to an altitude of 150 meters. The balloon even changes color depending on the quality of the ambient air while being perfectly ecological because it is powered by an electric winch.

Paris Unusual is also an ice bar at -10 °, the Deyrolle house, a cruise on the Canal Saint-Martin and many other sites to discover. And to complete your stay, you can also sleep in the only campsite in Paris, or on board a floating hotel.

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