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13 Off-the-Beaten-Path Things to See in Paris (Updated 2023)

One of the many narrow cobblestone streets near Montmartre, Paris

Last Updated: 5/13/2023 | May 13th, 2023

Paris is filled with famous attractions: the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Versailles, the catacombs, the Pantheon, the Arc de Triomphe, Sacre-Coeur. The list goes on. There are so many amazing sites here that you could spend days (heck, even weeks) just seeing the main, most well-known ones.

But there’s more to Paris than the sites that attract thousands upon thousands of visitors each day.

While I was living Paris the past few months, I made it my mission to see some of the more unusual, lesser-known (but equally awesome) attractions (that didn’t come with the aggravating crowds that make so many of Paris’ attractions unbearable).

And, while some of the things on the list below might not be “super secret” attractions or activities, they do fall into the category of “overlooked attractions” so I included them.

Here are some of the best off-the-beaten-path things to see and do in Paris:

1. Le Manoir de Paris

This is where macabre museum meets haunted house. Numerous rooms highlight some of the more unsettling aspects of Paris’s long and often dark past, such as the Phantom of the Opera, vampires, or the crocodiles in the sewers. Using real actors as well as animatronics, the city’s gruesome and unsettling history is brought to life in an interesting way. In addition to their museum, they also have escape rooms as well as different levels of intensity depending on how scared you get!

18 Rue de Paradis, +33 6 70 89 35 87, Open Fridays 6pm-9:30pm and weekends 3pm-6:30pm. Admission is 29 EUR for adults and 20 EUR for children 10-15. Note: temporarily closed due to covid-19.

2. Musée Édith Piaf

Édith Piaf is perhaps the most famous French singer from the 1930s to the 1960s, and know around the world for her songs La vie en rose and Non, je ne regrette rien (which appeared in the movie Inception). She lived in a little apartment in the Ménilmontant district at the start of her career, which has been turned into a tiny museum dedicated to her. You get a glimpse at her life through her gold and platinum records, photographs, clothing, letters from fans, posters, recordings, and sheet music.

5 Rue Crespin du Gast, +33 1 43 55 52 72. Open Monday-Wednesday 1pm-6pm and Thursdays 10am-12pm. Admission is free, but you’ll need to make an appointment. You’ll also want to either speak decent French or go with someone who does.

3. Musée Curie

Marie Curie was the first woman to…

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