Paris Hidden Gems: 9 Things To See and Do
I’m Hannah, co-founder of That Adventurer, an outdoor adventure travel blog. From vanlife to hiking, mountain biking, skiing and other outdoor adventures, That Adventurer shows you the best places to get off the beaten path and experience natural beauty wherever you’re travelling. Find out more
Paris is full of museums, beautiful architecture, cute neighbourhoods, and amazing sights. If you’ve visited Paris before, you’ve likely seen the Mona Lisa in the Louvre, gone up the Eiffel Tower, and cruised the Seine.
But one of the best things about Paris is that no matter how many times you’ve been, you’ll always find something new to discover, be it a little-known park or even more delicious pastries. Looking for some ideas for your list of hidden things to do in Paris? Here are a few of our favorites.
Wander Rue Crémieux
Rue Crémieux is a picturesque cobblestone street in a residential area, lined with bright, pastel-colored houses. It’s a true Paris hidden gem and although it’s becoming more well known due to its popularity on Instagram, it isn’t on most tourists’ radars. Grab your camera and head to the 12th arrondissement to discover this beauty for yourself.
Take a French pastry or dessert cooking class
Ever wondered how the French get their pastry so perfect? There’s surely no better place to learn than in Paris. There are lots of pastry classes on offer across the city but this pastry cooking class is one of the best.
You’ll learn the secrets behind delicious French patisserie from an expert chef as you get the chance to make your own. Once they’re baked, you’ll enjoy all the delicious desserts from the class with a cup of tea.
If macarons are more your thing, then this class is for you. Macarons are a tasty treat that are notoriously difficult to perfect. Made with almond flour, they aren’t to be confused with the coconutty macaroons. Learn the secrets from Chef Noémie, a graduate of one of the finest patisserie schools in the world.
At the end of the class, you’ll get to take home 2 different flavours of macarons, as well as the skills to recreate them at home.
Explore Le Marais by bike
Le Marais was the Jewish quarter of the city and is now known for its old-world charm, hip boutiques, and cheap eats.
One of the best ways to explore the area and discover the secrets of Le Marais is to take a guided tour, and doing so by bike means you’ll get to see more in a shorter space of time. Book this guided bike tour for the ideal way to discover ancient ruins, hidden courtyards, and local secrets.
If food is the reason you’re excited to visit Paris then discover the foodie gems of Le Marais with a guided cheese, wine, and delicacies tour. You’ll be taken far off the beaten path to explore an authentic market full of fresh produce. Eat French cheeses with baguettes, charcuterie, pastries, and chocolates to finish it off.
Explore Paris’ nooks and crannies to find the real hidden things to do in Paris
Paris is full of secret courtyards and other charming hidden spots that are missed by many who visit the city.
Join a local guide and explore Paris by bike as you learn more about the city’s history. You’ll cross over the Seine river and explore medieval areas and beautiful parks. It’s the best way to get an overview of some of the popular areas, as well as hidden beautiful spots that you can return to later during your trip.
Head into the Catacombs
The Paris Catacombs are underground tunnels filled with the remains of around 6 million Parisians. It’s a little spooky, but also fascinating, and a visit helps tell you all about why the tunnels were built and how they came to be filled with the city’s dead.
See and smell the flower market
There’s something about Parisian streets lined with flowers that will make you feel as though you’re living in a movie. The Queen Elizabeth II Flower Market — on Place Louis Lépine near Notre-Dame on the Île de la Cité — is open daily and is one of the most beautiful experiences for your eyes and nose. On Sundays, it transforms into a bird market. The flower market has been a Paris institution since it opened in 1808 and shouldn’t be missed.
The Montmartre windmills
Paris was once full of wooden windmills, but there are very few left nowadays. If you’re prepared to head off the beaten path, you can find two that still exist on Rue Lepic, just a short detour away from the main area.
Tourists flock to the Sacre-Coeur Basilica at Montmartre’s highest point, but its surrounding streets are perfect to get lost in and discover the area’s bohemian charm. If you’re curious to find out more, make a stop at the Museum of Montmartre — its gardens and the Montmartre vineyards are a hidden gem themselves.
Shop the flea markets
Paris, and France as a whole, is great when it comes to flea markets. You never know what you’ll find, from vintage fashion to special antiques.
However, finding the gems amongst them can be difficult and takes time. Booking yourself onto a Paris flea market tour helps take away some of the stress and helps you identify the best places to go to find whatever item you’re looking for. You’ll learn how to negotiate the price like a Parisian too
Rent a boat at la Villette
Head to Bassin de la Villette and Marin d’Eau Douce and see Paris from a different viewpoint: the water. Here you can hire a boat without a license and cruise the canals on the Bassin. It’s such a fun thing to do if you’re visiting Paris in the summer and is definitely something most visitors don’t know about.