What are Hidden Gems in Paris?
Hidden gems in Paris are secret spots that are less well known to tourists. Typically, these are places that locals know and love. Hidden gems of Paris aren’t typically found in guidebooks and require in depth research or local knowledge to find.
Below you’ll find a list of 25 of the best hidden gems and secret spots of Paris. These include the prettiest places and non-touristy must do activities in the city of Paris. Visiting these secret gems in Paris makes for a perfect addition to any Paris itinerary, especially if you want to explore a bit off the beaten path!
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25 Hidden Gems in Paris and Where to Find Them
1. La Masion Rose
Located at 2 Rue de l’Abreuvoir, 75018 Paris, France
La Maison Rose is a café on the picturesque cobblestone street of Rue de l’Abreuvoir. Located in the Montmartre neighborhood, La Masion Rose makes for a perfect stop for a cup of coffee in one prettiest neighborhoods and streets of Paris.
La Masion Rose is one of the most Instagrammable spots in Paris, so what really makes this café a hidden gem in Paris is its beauty and interesting history behind its.
La Masion Rose is over 120 years old, and was purchased in 1905 by Laure Germaine and her husband. Laure Germaine was a French dancer and model, and had once been one of Picasso’s muses and lovers. After a trip to Barcelona, Germaine was inspired by all the colors and came back to paint the café pink and rename it La Masion Rose.
2. Montparnasse Viewing Deck
Located at 33 Av. du Maine, 75015 Paris, France
Every year, millions of people go to Paris and go up the Eiffel Tower for a view of the city. The only problem with viewing the Paris skyline from the Eiffel Tower is that you don’t see the Eiffel Tower!
Montparnasse Viewing Deck solves this problem by giving you an amazing view of the Paris skyline with the Eiffel Tower!
Located in the 5th arrondissement, the Montparnasse Tower has a wonderful outdoor viewing deck on the 56th floor of the building. The panoramic views of Paris are astonishing and you can even enjoy a glass of champagne from the café here.
3. Canal St Martin
Starting point located at 47 Quai de Valmy, 75010 Paris, France
Everyone has heard of the Seine, and while it is certainly beautiful it is also full of tourists. So where do the local Parisians go to hang out and sip wine along a river? The answer is one of the best hidden gems in Paris, the Canal St Martin.
Located in the trendy 10th arrondissement the Canal St Martin is nearby to several bars and restaurants. The Canal stretches for 4.6km. The sides of the canal are a popular spot amongst locals to bring drinks and hang out, especially in warm weather.
4. Musee De Cluny
Located at 28 Rue du Sommerard, 75005 Paris, France
The Cluny Museum is a museum focusing on the Middle Ages. This museum was reopened in 2022 after years of renovation and is home to important historical artifacts of the middle ages. This is a must see hidden gem in Paris for history lovers!
The highlight of the Cluny Museum is the Lady and the Unicorn which is a series of six tapestries from the middle ages. The first five tapestries depict the five senses, and the sixth tapestry is thought to depict love as a sixth sense.
5. Half-Timbered Houses – Maison du Faucheur & Maison du Mouton
Located at 11 rue Francois Miron, 75004 Paris France
Located in Le Maris district, you will find some of the oldest houses in Paris. These half-timbered houses are strikingly different from the typical Haussmann style Parisian buildings. The ground floor of these two houses was built in the 14th century, with later additions in the 16th century.
This makes these houses some of the oldest in all of Paris, and a great secret spot to check out for those that love history!
6. Château de Fontainebleau – One of the Hidden Gems in Paris that is a Perfect Day Trip!
Located at 77300 Fontainebleau, France
Everyone has heard of the famous French palace of Versailles, but why not avoid those crowds and visit a forgotten gem just outside of Paris?
Built in 1137, Château de Fontainebleau has been the home to more French royalty than Versailles. In fact, 34 French kings and two emperors have claimed a residence here.
So why isn’t Château de Fontainebleau as popular as Versailles? It certainly isn’t for the lack of history as Château de Fontainebleau is around 500 years older than Versailles. Additionally, while Versailles is massive and very beautiful, so is Château de Fontainebleau.
Getting to Château de Fontainebleau is also quite easy. Located a mere 50 minutes outside of Paris, this hidden gem day trip can easily be reached using public transport or by car.
To take public transport, simply take the train from Paris Gare de Lyon station to Fontainebleau-Avon station, and then take a short bus ride on line 1 to the Château stop.
7. Wall of Love
Located at Square Jehan Rictus, Pl. des Abbesses, 75018 Paris, France
When visiting one of the most romantic cities in the world, why not check out the Wall of Love? This hidden gem is located in the artsy Montmartre neighborhood.
The Wall of Love is a permanent art installation that features 612 squares of enameled lava, on which the phrase ”I love you” is written 311 times in 250 languages.
There are several red marks across the art piece. These red marks symbolize a broken heart due to the lack of love people have for each other across the world. If you put all the red pieces together, it would form a complete heart.
However the fact that the red pieces are scattered across the mural symbolizes how people from all around the world need to work together to rebuild and heal the world’s broken heart.
8. The Luxembourg Gardens
Located at 75006 Paris, France
Located in one of the prettiest neighborhoods in Paris, the Luxembourg Gardens are a hidden gem in Paris. Full of blooming flowers, beautiful statues and picturesque water fountains, these gardens are perfect for an afternoon stroll or picnic.
Many people visit the Tuileries Gardens near the Louvre, and miss out on the Luxembourg Gardens completely. In my opinion, the Luxembourg
9. Balloon de Paris
Located in Parc André Citroën, 75015 Paris, France
Looking for some great views of Paris? Look no further than Air Balloon de Paris! This hidden gem is located in the Park André Citroën in the 15th arrondissement of Paris. The balloon ride takes you up to 984 feet (300 meters) in the air.
The balloon rides go everyday from 9am, as long as the weather is decent. Tickets are also very affordable at only 15 Euros per adult or 8 Euros per child.
This definitely makes for a unique and off the beaten path activity in Paris! It’s also a great way to see the Paris skyline and Eiffel Tower.
10. Rue Crémieux
Located at Rue Crémieux, 75012 Paris, France
Located in the 12 arrondissement, you’ll find a picturesque pedestrian only cobblestone street filled with pastel colored houses. Known as Rue Crémieux, this adorable street may just be the prettiest street in Paris.
Rue Crémieux has become more well-known with the increasing amount of instagrammers and photographers seeking out one of Paris’ prettiest streets. When visiting, keep in mind that this is a residential area so it’s important to be respectful of those who live here.
11. Abbey Bookshop
Located at 29 Rue de la Parcheminerie, 75005 Paris, France
Shakespeare and Company is the famous bookstore in the heart of the Latin Quarter. Lines to get in this bookshop can be super long, so why not visit a hidden gem bookshop in Paris instead?
Abbey bookshop is similar to Shakespeare and Company and sells new, secondhand, and rare books, mostly in English. This is a great alternative to visiting Shakespeare and Company.
Abbey Book Shop also encompasses historical significance as the street it is located on in the Latin Quarter was once called Rue des Escrivains after the medieval scribes who were the heart of the Parisian book trade, that is until parchment makers replaced them in the late Middle Ages.
12. Parc des Buttes-Chaumont
Located at 1 Rue Botzaris, 75019 Paris, France
Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is one of the hidden gems in Paris, frequently visited by locals. Located in the north-east part of Paris, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont offers an extensive 61 acres of green space.
Parc des Buttes-Chaumont makes for the perfect spot for a Parisian picnic on the green space surrounding the lake.
When visiting, check out the Temple de la Sibylle, a small replica famous ancient Roman Temple of Vesta. There is also a small waterfall in the grotto, which is a refreshing spot to visit on a hot summer day.
13. Rooftop Terrace of Galeries Lafayette
Located at 40 Bd Haussmann, 75009 Paris, France
The Galeries Lafayette is a grand department store that is over a century old. It has over 2,000 brands and a number of cafés, bars, and restaurants and is famous for it’s Art Nouveau dome.
The Galaries Lafayette is a very popular tourist site, but what you may not know is that Galaries Lafayette has a rooftop terrace that offers amazing panoramic views of Paris.
Visiting the rooftop terrace is especially great at sunset, as it has a magical sunset view of the Eiffel Tower and Paris skyline.
14. Rent an E-Bike along the Seine
Located along the Seine River
A typical tourist activity in Paris is to take Seine River boat cruise, but why not ride a bike along the Seine instead like the local Parisians do? Along the banks of the Seine from the Eiffel Tower to the Notre Dame, you will find electric bikes and scooters.
To rent a bike or scooter, you just download the app, scan the bike, and go! When you have finished your ride, you park it, click finish ride, and submit a photo. It is a super easy and fun way to see Paris!
15. Paris Statue of Liberty
Located at Pont de Grenelle, Paris, 75015 France
Everyone knows of the Statue of Liberty in New York, but did you know that Paris also has a Statue of Liberty?! While much smaller in size, there is a replica Statue of Liberty located amongst the banks of the Seine River.
The statue is an important piece of history, and was gifted to Paris from the Americans in 1889 to commemorate the 100 years since the French Revolution. The gift was also because France had originally gifted the United States with the original Statue of Liberty that was placed in New York City.
This statue symbolizes the alliance and respect between France and the Untied States.
16. Père Lachaise Cemetery
Located at 16, rue du Repos Paris, 75020 France
The Père Lachaise Cemetery is home to the grave sites of several notable people. One of the most visited is that of Oscar Wilde. Fans of Wilde will leave love letters, flowers, and even kiss the gravestone while wearing lipstick. Another notable grave is Jim Morrison’s, where you will likely see full bottles of Jim Bean and roses left in remembrance at the site.
History lovers will want to stop by the tombstones for Abelard and Heloise, two famous star crossed lovers from the 12th century. The two had a love affair resulting in a child, but once found out Heloise was forced into the nunnery and Abelard was castrated. Their love was only allowed to live on through the letters they wrote each other.
17. Gustave Eiffel’s Secret Apartment
Located at Champ de Mars 5 Anatole France Ave Paris France
The Eiffel Tower is the most famous monument in Paris, but did you know about the secret spot at the top? Gustave Eiffel created a hidden apartment at the top of the Eiffel Tower in order to entertain high society Parisians.
While the apartment isn’t open to the public, you can view it through a window if you purchase a ticket to the Eiffel Tower Summit.
18. Centre Pompidou
Located at Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris, France
Everyone has heard of the Louvre, but art lovers should also know about another hidden gem in Paris, the Centre Pompidou.
The Centre Pompidou is home to the National Museum of Modern Art, and features art by famous artists such as Matisse, Picasso, Andy Warhol, and others. The building itself is also incredibly unique as it is designed as being inside out.
19. Musée de la Vie Romantique
Located at 16 Rue Chaptal, 75009 Paris, France
While in the City of Love, why not stop at the Museum of Romantic Life? This small museum os located in the romantic Montmartre district and is dedicated to the authors, artists, and literary works that prevailed during the romantic period.
There is also a picturesque cobblestone alleyway and small garden, a great hidden gem for instagram photos.
20. La REcyclerie
Located at 83 Boulevard Ornano , 75018 Paris
La REcyclerie is a unique café located in a former train station. The idea behind La REcyclerie is sustainability and the food here is from freshly sourced ingredients. This eclectic café is a great spot to grab a Vegan or Vegetarian meal, or for coffee or drinks. A true hidden gem, La REcyclerie is a nice change of pace from the typical Parisian cafes.
21. Sinking House Of Montmartre
Located at 1 Rue Lamarck 75018 Paris, France
Known as the Sinking House of Montmartre, this Parisian building appears to be sinking into the ground. However, the appearance is an Optical Illusion due to the hill (and turning a camera at a 45 degree angle) which give the building a “sinking” look. This hidden gem in Paris makes for a great photo opportunity!
22. Pont Alexandre III Bridge
Located at Pont Alexandre III, 75008 Paris, France
Pont Alexandre III Bridge connects the Eiffel Tower to the Champs-Élysées area. The bridge has ornate decorations and gilded statues, along with an impressive view of the Eiffel Tower. Known as one of the most beautiful bridges in the world, this is certainly worth a stop on your next trip to Paris.
23. Place de la Republique Statue
Located at Place de la République – 75003 – 75010 – 75011 Paris
Place de la Republique is a large square which marks where the 3rd, 10th, and 11th arrondissements meet. This is a popular meeting spot for Parisians, and is also a place where important protests may occur.
In the middle of the square is a large statue with a girl named Marianne at the top. Marianne embodies the French Republic and holds an Olive branch in her right hand and a tablet of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen in her left hand. The three statues below her symbolize liberty, equality, and fraternity, which are the values of the French Republic.
24. Place des Vosges
Located at Place des Vosges, 75004 Paris, France
Located in the lively Le Marais district, Place des Vosges is a picturesque square. This square is one of the oldest in Paris, and was opened in the 1600’s. It is a great starting point for exploring the charming and historical Le Marais neighborhood.
25. 59 Rivoli – One of the best hidden gems in Paris is a secret art gallery
Located at 59 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
59 Rivoli is a contemporary art gallery in Paris with a unique story. In 1999, it started out as an illegal artist squat house in an abandoned building. Today, 59 Rivoli is a art studio for 30 artists, a contemporary art gallery, and hosts concerts on Saturdays and Sundays. The contemporary art exhibit is free to visit, and truly is a secret spot in Paris!
In Conclusion: Hidden Gems in Paris
There are plenty of amazing hidden gems in Paris, that are well worth exploring! These hidden gems are great additions to any length of trip, and will help you to truly experience all Paris has to offer.