Undiscovered gems of Paris
Home to Agilité’s HQ, Paris has held a top spot on the travel destinations hit list for decades now. Famed for its spectacular architecture, mouth-watering cuisine and elegant culture – over 30 million snap-happy travellers from all over the globe flock to ‘the City of Lights’ every year.
We are all familiar with the traditional Parisian tourist spots – the Eiffel Tower, the iconic Arc de Triomphe and of course, the Louvre Museum. However, there are plenty of picks for those who prefer to venture off the beaten track.
Whilst making exciting travel plans seems a little futile in the present climate, we’ve put together a list of the hidden gems of Paris, perfect for a more authentic Parisian experience, once normality resumes and travelling is possible again.
Tourists with an artistic streak may be interested in this alternative art gallery. The venue – formerly used by squatting artists to host wild parties and art exhibitions as far back as the 1800s – was purchased by the city in 2006 and renovated as a fully functioning gallery, complete with studios for 30 artists.
Visitors can take in contemporary art exhibits, dramatic spiralling staircases and vibrant murals covering the walls and floors.
The oldest cinema in Paris
Le Louxor Palais Du Cinema – now listed as an historic monument – was built in 1921. In 1983 it was transformed into a nightclub before closing in 1988 and finally being restored and reopened as a cinema in 2013.
Film fanatics can watch a range of genres in this extraordinary piece of Parisian history.
This gothic church, completed in 1624, was formerly part of an abbey dedicated to St. Geneviève – and to this day still houses the shrine of the patron saint of Paris.
Take in the intricate details of the pulpit, rood screen and ceilings, and enjoy a quieter tour in this still very much underrated historic building.
Just below the bustling city streets lies this underground labyrinth containing the remains of almost six million Parisians.
In the 18th century, following a decision made by the authorities due to major sanitation problems, the contents of all the city’s cemeteries were transferred underground. Tours of the 1,500-metre route through The Catacombs run from Tuesday to Sunday for those with a darker edge.
Still relatively unspoilt by tourism, but still acknowledged as one of the most beautiful churches in Paris. Nestled in the middle of the court of the Palais de Justice, Sainte-Chapelle was once the private church of French Kings.
Although you are required to go through security checks, the sight inside makes it all worth it. The upper chapel, decorated with over a thousand mosaic biblical depictions, is simply mesmerising.
Le Marché de Belleville
A popular spot among the locals, this market offers foods of the world for extremely modest prices.
Squeeze through the crowds to peruse the many food, flower, and antique stalls at this open-air market in the dynamic neighbourhood of Belleville.
Tourists can rent a boat to explore the beautiful waterways within the grounds, and if on foot, visit the botanical gardens, zoo, an amusement park, horse racing tracks, and the Stade Roland Garros – which holds the annual French Open tennis tournament.
Parc des Buttes-Chaumont
One of the largest and original green spaces in Paris measuring over 25 hectares, this impressive park spans over many levels, offering unrivalled views of the city.
Tourists can visit caves, waterfalls, a suspended bridge, viewpoint and lake – the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
This authentic food spot is open 365 days a year and offers traditional French cuisine served by waiting staff dressed in customary ‘rondin’ – tight-fitting black waistcoats and long white aprons.
The restaurant was founded back in 1896 by two brothers Frédéric and Camille Chartier, in a former train station concourse and is famed for its strikingly high ceilings, large columns and a mezzanine where excellent service is provided.
We hope that you enjoyed our suggestions for an alternative tour of Paris, and you get the chance to explore the city of lights very soon.