One of the most charismatic cities on our planet, Paris has long been regarded as one of the greatest getaway destinations for couples and travellers alike.
Stunning architecture combined with deep cultural history makes Paris a pure joy to explore.
Whether you’re in the city for a holiday, romantic weekend or simply making the most of a Paris airport transfer, we highly recommend checking out some of the unique attractions listed below.
Sometimes it’s the less well-known attractions that provide the greatest memories and ignite the dinner time conversations!
Promenade Plantée and Viaduc Des Arts
One of the prettiest parts of Paris, the Promenade Plantée was once an elevated railway track that stretched all the way from Bastille, through Gare de Lyon, to the entrance of Bois de Vincennes. Referred to by locals as La Coulée Verte, the promenade is now a beautiful stretch of flowers and trees that seems like a breath of fresh air to the city. Once you have taken in the garden promenade, just nip below onto street level where you can wander though the amazing Viaduc Des Arts – a stunning mix of artisan shops, cafes and galleries that all lie within the vaulted arches of the old viaduct.
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For people that like a treasure hunt, this may just be for you! Whilst Paris is certainly not known for its Roman ruins, the city was once a Roman stronghold and plenty of the ancient civilisation’s remains can still be spotted for those with a keen eye. A coliseum, baths and numerous pillars and walls can still be seen strewn across the city. The highlight are the Roman baths at Cluny, however, there is also an archaeological crypt near Notre Dame that reveals the dead centre of the ancient Roman city of Lutetia.
Without doubt the most popular destination on our list, the Paris catacombs or l’Ossuaire Municipal as they’re officially called, are haunting, eerie and totally unforgettable. The tombs quite literally lie beneath the streets of Paris and hold the remains of over 6 million individuals. Constructed in the 18th century when the cemeteries of Paris began to overflow, the bones of the deceased line the walls in an almost decorative form. The catacombs stretch for over 2km and visitors are limited to 200 people at one time, so book ahead and bring a jumper!
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When everyone thinks of the best views in Paris, people’s imaginations generally head to the top of the Eiffel Tower. However, only one view beats the Eiffel Tower and it’s the view of Paris with the Eiffel Tower in it! Montparnasse Tower is one of Europes tallest buildings and offers travellers unrivalled views across the city, particularly at night. Whilst the crowds head to the Eiffel Tower, Montparnasse Tower generally has no queues and far cheaper tickets!
Pere Lachaise Cemetery
So it’s not a typical ‘top 10 Paris sight’, but the Pere Lachaise Cemetery is truly one of the most excellent places in the city. Forget the macabre and bleak look of most cemeteries, Pere Lachaise is lined with beautiful trees, cobbled paths and large tombs that take you into another world entirely. Among the buried deceased include Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison, Frederic Chopin and Marcel Proust just to name a few.
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Paris’s Other Museums
Okay, so you’ve braved the queues to see the Mona Lisa, you’ve bought the expensive ticket to see Monet’s Waterlilies, what next? Luckily, Paris is home to a whole host of excellent and unusual museums that are just waiting to be explored. For natural history lovers there is the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle next to the Botanical Gardens. For science lovers, check out the weird and wonderful Musée des Arts et Métiers and the Steampunk-style metro station just below it. For people looking for the truly unusual, Paris also has dedicated museums to perfume, fairground rides and erotic art!
So there it is, our list of the top unique attractions to see in Paris. We hope you enjoy exploring the sights as much as we did. For the best experience possible, try visiting Paris in the Autumn when the crowds are less and the trees are in full colour.