Paris is filled with attractions and activities to keep you busy for your entire trip. There's always a new and exciting experience to discover, especially if you travel off the beaten path to explore sites like the abandoned railway commissioned by Napoleon or walk in fthe footsteps of an infamous alchemist.
Here are some unusual Paris attractions to enjoy on your holiday, ranging from quirky and odd to outright bizarre.
Enjoy aerial views of the landscape
Some of the most attractive panoramic city views are seen from the rooftop of the Galeries Lafayette shopping centre. The outdoor rooftop terrace provides 360-degree vistas of the city with aerial perspectives on landmarks like the Eiffel Tower.
Stroll through Buttes Chaumont
The enchanting park of Buttes Chaumont is a lesser-known park in Paris. Found in the 19th arrondissement, the park boasts vast green spaces, a miniature temple modelled after the Temple of Vesta, a grotto, waterfalls and spectacular views of the Sacré-Coeur.
Browse the shelves of Shakespeare and Co
Shakespeare and Co is one of the earliest English-speaking bookshops in Paris. Located on the Left Bank, you'll find antique books next to modern classics in both shops, along with a cute cafe to enjoy a coffee while you read. Upstairs, you can nestle into a reading nook in the beautiful antique library.
Find hidden gems at L'Objet Qui Parle
Found near Montmartre, the quirky store of L'Objet Qui Parle boasts an array of vintage goods that range from clothing and homeware to oddities and trinkets. You can find such unique treasures as worn parchment and antique chandeliers, so it's well worth a look even if you don't want to buy anything.
Have a picnic on the Seine
After visiting a local market for Parisian foods and picnic essentials, such as French wine and French cheese, head to the Seine to find a picnic spot and enjoy views of the water and cityscape. The riverbank can attract crowds, but you'll get beautiful views of Paris landmarks from just about any spot.
Tour film locations
With its spectacular beauty and iconic landmarks, Paris has been the setting for many films over the years. You can tour the locations for films like Amélie, which takes place in Montmartre, one of the most picturesque arrondissements in the city. You can also explore the settings for the Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown's thriller that takes place in Paris. Fascinating historic landmarks in the book and film include the Pyramid of the Louvre and Saint Sulpice.
Shop for unique souvenirs at the Parisian Bouquinistes
The bouquinistes are part of a time-honoured tradition in Paris that dates back to the 16th century. In the stalls lining the Seine, you'll find unique gifts to bring home, including antiquarian maps, antique souvenirs and ancient artefacts.
Visit Butte Bergeyre
The micro-arrondissement of Butte Bergeyre is a hidden gem of cobbled lanes and passages lined with 1920s architecture. Deep in the network of lanes, you'll find an excellent secret vineyard.
Take part in Urbex
Urbex, or urban exploration, is a new trend among Parisian locals. The Petite Ceinture, a secret abandoned railway that loops through the city and was once used to transport goods during the time of Napoleon, is a prime location for urbex. Its old, rusted tracks still wind through the streets.
Enjoy a vintage film in the cinemas of the Latin Quarter
Paris is filled with old-fashioned cinemas, though many are concentrated in Le Marais and the Latin Quarter. You can visit these cinemas to screen a vintage film, followed by a stroll through the district to see the architecture of Sorbonne IV.
Visit Vincent Van Gogh's final resting place
In Auvers-Sur-Oise, a charming town in the northwest of the city, you can visit the final resting place of the painter Vincent Van Gogh, see an enchanting chateau and the Absinthe Museum. When visiting, you can trace the footsteps of the famed painter and see the location where he passed away in 1890.
Explore the Musée de la Vie Romantique
The Musée de la Vie Romantique is a beautiful home museum found in the romantic 9e arrondissement at the steps of Montmartre. The museum is the former home of Ary Scheffer and boasts ornate furniture and paintings with romantic appeal.
Marvel at street art
Paris's most impressive street art is found at the metro stations. Throughout the metro network, you can see stations adorned with quirky works of art in endless styles, such as a steampunk bronze station and Murano glass sculptures.
Visit Le Clos Montmartre
Centuries ago, Montmartre was farmland filled with vineyards. Over time, the Montmartre vineyards dwindled down to Clos Montmartre, the last remaining vineyard. The area around the vineyard is peaceful and hosts the grape harvest festival.
See Les Invalides, Napoleon's final resting place
Les Invalides is a complex of buildings that were built to care for wounded veterans. The complex is now home to the Contemporary History Museum, the Army Museum and Napoleon Bonaparte's final resting place.
If you want to see all of the city's off-the-beaten-path locations and landmarks, start planning your unforgettable Paris holiday.