Paris is famous for its landmarks such as the Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Eiffel Tower, which thousands of tourists climb each and every year.
But the truth is there is so much more to this awesome city than most people imagine.
So this is not going to be just another one of those blogs that recommend these famous landmarks.
Instead, you’ll get a chance to learn about the collection of unusual and quirky places where you can get to know the real Paris!
Catacombes de Paris
Catacombes de Paris houses houses the skeletal remains of some six to seven million former Parisians.
The reason they are there is that cemeteries began to be emptied in 1786. It took the city 12 years to move all the bones—with bodies numbering between 6 and 7 million—into the catacombs.
These quarry tunnels have existed on the outskirts of Paris since Roman times.
Although some parts of these catacombes are not open to the public, you’ll still get a chance to explore this underground world which shows you a side of Paris that many will never get to see.
The Catacombes de Paris are an ancient part of French history and are unique in their own right.
If you want a taste of the unusual in Paris, then look towards the skies. If you head over to André-Citroën Park, then you’ll get an opportunity to take a ride on the biggest hot air balloon in the world.
But that’s not the only attraction available at André-Citroën Park.
The park is divided into three themed areas: the Jardin Blanc, the Jardin Noir and the big central park area. Here you will find numerous exotic trees and rare plants, two impressive hothouses and many other surprises.
If you are travelling with children, there are plenty of activities for the little one too.
If you want a real taste of French art, then look no further than the 59 Rivoli, an artist squat in the heart of Paris. In 2006, the city of Paris acquired 59 Rivoli as part of its effort to bring legality and building safety to popular illegal artist squats.
It then underwent a series of renovations before reopening in 2009, with studios for over 30 artists who pay minimal rent.
It is presented as a real cultural alternative to mainstream art. Instead it presents art in a way that empowers the artist and informs the public.
Located in the centre of Paris, 59 Rivoli creates interest with its fun, unique, and creative façade which changes every few months.
I Love You Wall
I love you. No this isn’t a cheesy chat up line to you the reader, it is the name of a tourist attraction in Paris.
The wall is covered in 612 lava tiles and features the words “I love you” in 311 different languages, including all 192 languages of the United Nations.
The piece of artwork was created by Frédéric Baron and Claire Kito, who originally collected the phrase in notebooks by knocking on the doors of embassies. The wall is open for public viewing Monday through Friday starting at 8:00 AM.
Explore Bois de Boulogne
If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city altogether, then Bois de Boulogne is like an oasis in the heart of urban development.
Situated near the end of Metro 1, this former royal hunting ground is now home to the Louis Vuitton Art Foundation and the Jardin d’Acclimation.
These are essentially a series of landscaped gardens, castle, a mini golf course and several eateries. So for a breath of fresh, natural air, be sure to put Bois de Boulogne on your itinerary.
While iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower will always be a draw for tourists, you will certainly be missing out if that’s the only side of Paris you ever saw.
In some ways, this blog is misleading because it only lists five unusual places in Paris. The truth is, there is an abundance of weird and wonderful places to visit.
However, by listing some of the main attractions available, I hope I've given you some food for thought and inspired you to delve deeper into this fascinating city.
One of the best ways to explore Paris is through a group tour. If you do not have anyone to travel with, consider joining a group tour at WiGo Trips via our app.
Our app is unique in that it allows you to mingle and travel with like-minded people, and filter by age.
Janine Griffiths | Journalist
Janine is a copywriter and marketing strategist from England, with a background in journalism. She has represented many major brands throughout her career such as HSBC, Prudential and BIM. She runs a popular travel blog called janinesjourneys.com and has made has previously worked for major regional newspapers in the UK such as the Guardian, Yorkshire Post and the Shropshire Star