Paris Off The Beaten Path

Louvre Paris

Paris, one of Europe’s prettiest, most romantic, and most popular cities, is packed with stunning tourist attractions. It’s also incredibly easy to reach from the UK, with really short flights as well as fast connections on the Eurostar. But, even in this most visited of cities, it’s still possible to escape the tourists and get off the beaten path in Paris, by exploring like a local and seeking out some of the more unusual experiences…

Cemeteries and Catacombs

Visiting a graveyard in romantic Paris may not seem the most obvious choice, but this city of beautiful architecture also has some pretty beautiful cemeteries. The biggest is Père Lachaise, the world’s most visited cemetery and home to some ornate and even ostentatious tombs and headstones.

Long as I can see the lightEven weirder than a graveyard is Paris’ other must-see resting place, Les Catacombes. The renovated tunnels and caverns, which have been open to the public since 1874, are home to about six million skeletons, and are well-worth a look for anybody who has an interest in history. In fact, the catacombs are also considered a work of art, as many of the bones and skulls have been arranged into patterns and structures which make really interesting viewing.

Vintage Shopping

les puces in parisShopping in Paris! It’s one of the most famous cities for shopping, rammed full of designer stores and beautiful boutiques. But if you want to get a real bargain, you should seek out some of the more unusual corners of the city. The girls from Chasing Sunsets (@Chasingsunsets1 on Twitter) recommend Belleville’s open air market, which they say were really cool, while lovers of antiques and vintage fashion should check out Les Puces. These vintage street markets covering seven hectares are perfect for shoppers, but sure that you take note of the flea market opening hours before you visit the area. More vintage shopping can be found in Le Marais, as the lovely folks at BonAppetour pointed out.

Street Art

C215, L'homme de Bercy. By Marie Aschehoug-Clauteaux on Flickr.

C215, L’homme de Bercy. By Marie Aschehoug-Clauteaux on Flickr.

Home of C215, my favourite artist, Paris is an incredible place to spot street art. Vicki Hall (@talking_teapot on Twitter) recommends the district of Belleville as a great place to find it – but you can spot incredible pieces all over. Christian Guémy (aka C215) recommends the Vitry-sur-Seine neighbourhood for international street art – you can check out this interactive map of his suggestions to plan a walking tour.

Sexy Shows!

Crazy Horse Everyone’s heard of the Moulin Rouge, and it’s where every tourist heads for a taste of Paris’s saucy side. But for a more “authentic” experience head to the Crazy Horse in the chic 8th arrondissement, along with a horde of locals, to catch a show which combines wonderful showmanship and beautiful dancers with a little of the raunchiness Paris is famous for!

Les égouts de Paris

Les égouts de ParisIf you didn’t get enough of the underground at the catacombs, you could always head down into Les égouts de Paris – aka the sewers of Paris. Yes, that’s right; you really can visit the Parisian sewer system, a masterpiece of architecture that follows the exact roadplan of the city. This is a really interesting tour that will give you an eye (and nostril)-opening education of the city’s history.

La Petite Ceinture

Petite ceintureThe Geordie Traveller sent me another great tip on Twitter – the hidden and abandoned railway lines of La Petite Ceinture. A must-see for anyone with an interest in the city’s rich history, this is a beautiful place for a walk which makes a complete circuit of Paris. Some parts of the railway, like the 15th arrondissement, are now gentrified green spaces popular for jogging and strolling, while others are wild wastelands rich with urban biodiversity from wild-flowers to foxes.

If you have a great tip for getting off the beaten path in Paris, leave a comment and share it with your fellow travellers. We’d love to hear it!

This post was sponsored by FlyBebut was based on my own experiences and all words are my own.

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Paris off the Beaten Path


About Emily Luxton

An award-winning writer and travel blogger on a mission to explore the world through deeper, more intelligent travel. Seeking out adventure, cultural exchanges, food experiences and more as she attempts to get to know the world. Lover of the great outdoors, sunsets, good food, and the odd bit of luxury!


  1. Some great tips here – I can also recommend the Hippy Market for cheap vintage shopping in Paris. I’ve recently covered Paris on my travel blog too, but your post just made me want to visit all over again! The Petite Ceinture (which I first read about via Bruised Passports) and Pere Lachaise are both high up on my agenda for next time.

    • Thanks Polly! I visited Pere Lachaise a few years ago and I loved it – very eerily beautiful. I’d love to visit the Petite Ceinture too next time 🙂

      Thanks for the tip about the Hippy Market, that sounds awesome!

  2. worldjourneysdiscover

    thanks for these Emily – the sewers, catacombs and the abandoned railway are all things I’d LOVE to see!

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