Having lived in Paris on and off for quite some time, I have already written one off-the-beaten-track guide to unusual places in Paris.
But as time has passed, I have discovered new places; accordingly, here’s a second guide to unique places to visit in the City of Love. When you plan your stay, remember that finding last-minute lodgings in Paris can be difficult; I recommend booking a hotel in central Paris in advance to be in close proximity to transportation.
Musée de la Magie
I had never heard about Musée de la Magie (The Museum of Magic) until one of my local friends mentioned it. If you are into tricks and magic, this is your place!
You will find all kinds of artifacts connected to magic at the museum. Amid unique magicians’ gadgets and interesting posters advertising magic shows of yesteryear, you can feel yourself virtually becoming a wizard. The museum is spooky but will certainly entertain you and your whole family.
You’ll find Musée de la Magie two minutes’ walk from the Saint-Paul metro station. It’s quite small, so it won’t take too much of your time — just enough for a pleasant trip through the world of magic.
Le Musée Grevin
No, Musée Grevin is not a Madame Tussaud–style wax museum such as you might have already seen elsewhere. Instead, welcome to the creepy wax museum!
Like in Madame Tussauds, you will see dozens of wax replicas of celebrities. But these are quite spooky as well as realistic. Better still, the museum invites guests to its Hall of Mirrors for a light show featuring live actors waiting around the corner to provide jump scares.
Visiting Musée Grevin is also a good way to learn the history of France — especially that of the Dark Ages, which saw all kinds of torture. My favorite is the scene with Quasimodo and Esmeralda. Check it out!
Image by Flickr by Shadowgate
Did you know that skyscrapers are prohibited within the Paris city limits to protect the city’s original architectural look? I fully support this policy — it helps Paris retain its traditional identity.
To fill the need for a business center, then, La Défense was built in the outskirts of Paris. The business area of Paris is visited by few tourists, and that’s a pity — La Défense offers a truly futuristic setting in which even a UFO might not seem out of place. La Défense is also a great place for shopping — shops suited to all budgets sit together in Les Quatre Temps, free of the crush of crowds you’ll find in places such as Printemps.
La Promenade Plantée
Do you want to visit a hidden elevated park that even 90% of Parisians don’t know exists? Welcome to the charming Promenade Plantée — a suspended railway road abandoned in 1969, then transformed into a charming park. The entrance can be quite hard to locate. To find it, disembark at the Opéra metro stop, then follow the wall until you see a flight of stairs on your left — or, if you prefer, just ask a nearby shopper for directions.
The City of Lights has much more to offer than just the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. During your stay in Paris, don’t miss your chance to see the city from a local’s point of view.