There’s so much to do when you visit Paris that it’s easy to fall into the trap of just doing the classic tourist attractions in the French capital. However, Paris is full of off-the-beaten path destinations, just waiting to be explored. Here’s some unique must-do’s for your next trip to the City of Light.
59 rue de Rivoli
Rue de Rivoli is one of the most expensive streets in the city, home to the Louvre and high fashion stores. Nestled on this street is one building that definitely sticks out more than others: 59 Rivoli. Former home to the French bank Credit Lyonnais, it was abandoned for 15 years and used as a squat by the homeless population. In 1999, a group of artists came through and the former squat house is now the home to 30 different artist studios split over 6 floors. Everything from street art to sculpture is represented, so no doubt there is something that will appeal to your eyes. 59 Rivoli is open every day (except Monday) from 1 - 8pm with free entry. For the music fans out there, the ground floor gallery houses free concerts on Saturday and Sunday nights, starting at 6pm.
Paris Pet Cemetery
Something perhaps a little morbid, however definitely quirky is the Paris Pet Cemetery. Located just outside of the city centre is the world’s oldest pet cemetery. The pet cemetery was put into place in 1898 when French authorities wanted to stop owners from burying their pets wherever they wanted or dumping their bodies in the water. Here, you’ll be able to find some pretty elaborate tombs for a wide selection of animals ranging from dogs and lions, to monkeys and fish. The pride of the cemetery is the tomb of the famous Hollywood dog Rin Tin Tin, who starred in 27 Hollywood movies and nearly won himself an Academy Award for Best Actor. Definitely check out this quirky spot.
Canal St Martin
Instead of heading to the River Seine, give Canal St Martin a wander. Grab some wine and a baguette from the supermarket and sit alongside the river, or check out one of the many bars and cafes dotted along the street. Some faves include Pink Flamingo: a pizza restaurant where you wait alongside the canal with a pink balloon for the pizza to be delivered; or Hotel du Nord if you want to try some traditional Parisian delights. Whilst in the area, definitely check out the street art that fills the area surrounding the canals. There are also barges that offer rides up and down the canal for a price, allowing you to see the area from a different perspective.
Les Puces flea market
Paris is home to the largest antiques flea market in the world, covering seven hectares. Filled to the brim with bric-a-brac, knick knacks and vintage clothes, definitely check this one out. Although you might have no more room left in your suitcase, it’s definitely an excursion in itself visiting this bargain heaven. Tip: to avoid the crowds, go there in the morning!
Pigalle playground basketball court
For all you Instagrammers out there, this colourful haven is like no other. Pigalle is a basketball clothes and accessories store, however it's also home to the most beautiful basketball court you will ever see. Whether you like playing basketball, or are just keen to get some sick grams, definitely check out this basketball court with vibrant murals.
You can visit all these amazing off the beaten path sites in Paris with our Europe Hop-on Hop-off Travel Passes!