Paris city features many iconic buildings and other monumental attractions such as the Eiffel Tower, Louvre museum, Champs-Élysées, and Montmartre to name a few. Yet the City of Lights offers many other attractions apart from these iconic sites to the visitors and natives.
Below is a compilation of such outlandish places to visit and things to do when on Paris city tours. While some may seem like merely off the beaten path, other places here are outright unconventional with creepy undertones.
See the Eiffel Tower on the Hour
Scaling up to the observatory area of the Eiffel Tower is a must when in Paris for the first time since it offers a sweeping skyline view of many of the attractions in the city. However, the downside to scaling the Eiffel in elevators is that you cannot see the Tower itself from afar.
So, climb up the Montparnasse, the edifice that ranges some 210 meters tall and you can see the Eiffel Tower alongside panoramic views of the city. The ideal time to see the Eiffel Tower is around dusk, which is when the tower offers a flashing view to visitors right on the hour.
Cruise Through the River Seine
Taking a walkthrough by the Seine would assure of a soothing experience of the cityscapes, but you may have to skip the sellers touting you merchandize products. Instead, navigate to any one of the canals starting from Canal Saint-Martin, which interlinks the Seine to the largest artificial lake in Paris, namely Basin de la Villette.
In fact, there are cafés, boutique shops, and bistros, which line up the waterfront alongside leisure spots abound with picnickers during summer. If a river cruise seems overwhelming to you, head to the Canal de l’Ourcq, which covers 100 kilometers with 10 stops to the northeast.
Explore Outlandish Museums in Paris
Musée du Louvre and Musée d’Orsay are two of Paris city’s largest, most treasured, and crowded museums. In case you have seen the antique collections in both museums, there are a relatively smaller ones in the city as well that cover many fields of study.
If you are a science and industrial fanatic, Musée des Arts et Métiers, also known as Museum of Arts and Crafts, is worth a visit. The museum houses many of the ancient Parisian lightings and the sphere of Jean Bernard Léon Foucault. Just underneath the museum, there is a steampunk metro station too. If you are into history, try the Musée du Quai Branly, or go to the Musée du Parfum if you are a perfume enthusiast.
Paris Sewer Museum
Always outlandish and one that figures in the list of must-see places in Paris, the catacombs are full of bones and skeletons of millions of Parisians. They were moved underground from the cemeteries in the period of French Revolution. Nowadays, people line up to see the ossuaries in these tunnels but they are not the only mystery in the city of lights.
Get to the Paris Sewer Museum, a historic place below the Quai d’Orsay Street on the left bank of the Seine, if you are into engineering, and likes Les Misérables by Victor Hugo.
Cemeteries of Paris
In the list of en plein air cemeteries to visit in Paris, the one that gets the most attention from one and all is the Père Lachaise. The cemetery features the tombstone of Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison, among many other French icons. There are ancient cemeteries bordering the City of Lights too, such as the Cimetiere des Chiens to name one.
You can see many animals buried in the ‘dog cemetery’ including kittens, dogs, monkeys, and even lions. The cemetery also features the tombstone of Rin Tin Tin the German Shepherd dog, which featured in many feature films in the early 20th Century.
Coulée verte René-Dumont
The open-air parks in the city are ideal for a leisure walk and even for crowd watching. If you have been to the Jardin du Luxembourg gardens, great for you but the city has more to offer to the leisurely person in you. Much like the High Line in NYC, Promenade Plantée scales over an ancient railway line known as the Vincennes. It was closed in the late 1960s, was even subject to destruction but the city council decided to turn the railway line into an open park in the years to come.
A walkthrough of Coulée verte René-Dumont begins at Viaduc des Arts and spans 1.5 kilometers until Bois de Vincennes. If you come here in Paris city tours, you get a walkthrough covering everything from fine arts, to maple and cherry trees to go with some amount of rest alongside the ponds.