10 Secret Places in Paris That Tourists Must Know

Travel & LeisureVacation Plans

  • Author Sarah Wilson
  • Published January 8, 2024
  • Word count 538

Paris is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. While the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, and Notre Dame Cathedral take center stage, there are many hidden gems scattered throughout the City of Light that often go overlooked. Here are 10 secret places in Paris that tourists must know about to have an insider's experience of this iconic city.

Square du Vert-Galant - Tucked away underneath the Pont Neuf bridge, this small public park features lush trees, tranquil atmosphere along the Seine River, and an upclose view of the iconic love locks on the bridge above. It's named after Henry IV "The Green Gallant".

Villa Léandre - Once home to 19th century Parisian socialite Léandre, this whimsical home and garden with its plant-covered façade remains a hidden architectural treasure unknown to most visitors. Wander through the small peaceful streets of the Auteuil neighborhood to find this secret garden.

Passage des Panoramas - The oldest covered passageway in Paris is this glass-roofed arcade built in 1800. Located in the 2nd arrondissement, it houses small shops, galleries and restaurants. It's perfect for a quiet stroll away from the bustling streets.

Square Georges Cain - Tucked between trendy Marais buildings is this intimate, award-winning garden featuring varied vegetation, rose trellises, and even a waterfall. The Japanese maple and cedar trees provide nice shade in the summertime.

Musée de la Vie Romantique - Once home to 19th century artist Ary Scheffer, this small museum featuring Romanticist art & memorabilia transports visitors back in time. The pretty tea salon garden is an urban oasis with stone statues and foliage.

Marché des Enfants Rouges - Opened in 1615, this covered market is the oldest in Paris. The vibrant food stalls serve an array of world cuisine for visitors to try. From Moroccan to Japanese, it’s an international feast for travelers and locals alike.

Cour du Commerce Saint-André - Accessible through Le Passage Saint-André near the Stravinsky fountain, this small outdoor courtyard has remained mostly unchanged since the 1600s, offering a portal into medieval Paris. Have a drink at the Cafe du Commerce with exposed wooden beams overhead.

Square du Temple - Once the site of the Knights Templar in the 12th century, hidden alleyways with remnants of a fortress and tower remain. This little-known green space features old gravestones and is surrounded by small streets with quaint shops and cafes off the tourist track.

Parc de Bercy - This modern park was built on the site of a former wine warehouse district. The peaceful greenspace has ponds, bridges, grape arbors, a zen garden and more. The old wine cellar Cinémathèque Française shows classic French films andwine tastings can still be enjoyed.

Le Pavillon des Canaux - At the end of the tranquil Canal Saint-Martin and well off most tourist maps lies this charming seasonal restaurant and terrace bar on the water. Relax by the canal locks as boats pass by this industrial-chic hangout spot in northeast Paris.

So next time you visit the City of Light, venture into its hidden corners and discover these local secrets for an insider Paris experience! Immerse yourself in the city’s rich history, culture, cuisine and architecture by exploring these 10 intriguing destinations.

Sarah Wilson is a travel writer and Francophile who contributes articles to the blog: https://www.cruiseontheseine.com, a site dedicated to Seine river cruises in Paris. A frequent visitor to the City of Light, Sarah draws on her first-hand experience riding the Bateaux Mouches tours and her conversations with locals to provide readers with insider tips and recommendations

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