Are you looking for unusual things to do in Paris, France? Awesome! I have a list of 21 great ideas for your trip! I have tried many of these activities during my trip to Paris, so you’re in for a real treat!
There are so many unusual things to do in Paris! In this amazing post, I have gathered a vast range of attractions, so by the end of the article, you will have all your days in the city booked! Get off-the-beaten-path ideas for a super unique trip!
In the end, I added a few accommodations where you can stay in Paris, so stay tuned!
If you are in a hurry
If you don’t have much time to read the whole article and need to book some tours and hotels fast, here you have the top 3 unusual things to do in Paris and 3 top hotels!
Here are the main things to book in advance:
- Buy your Catacombes de Paris tour
- Get your Crazy Horse Show ticket
- Take a Père Lachaise Cemetery tour
- If you are in a hurry
- 1. Explore the eerie Catacombs beneath the city
- 2. Watch the Crazy Horse Strip Show
- 3. Delve into the Paris sewer museum
- 4. Dive into The Louvre at Night
- 5. Discover the Père Lachaise Cemetery’s famous graves
- 6. Discover the secret apartment of the Eiffel Tower
- 7. Delight in a show at the Museum of Fairground Arts
- 8. Visit the eerie Montmartre Cemetery
- 9. Wander the forgotten railway, La Petite Ceinture
- 10. Engage in a treasure hunt at the Saint-Ouen Flea Market
- 11. Stroll through the 59 Rivoli artist commune
- 12. Discover the secret vineyard of Montmartre
- 13. Stroll around the Pet Cemetery
- 14. Sail an electric boat along Canal Saint-Martin
- 15. Dive into culture in a French cooking class
- 16. Delight in a silent movie at the historic Le Champo cinema
- 17. Dive into L’Objet qui Parle vintage store
- 18. Hunt for street art in the hidden neighborhoods!
- 19. Wander around Arènes de Lutèce
- 20. Explore the National Museum of Natural History
- 21. Go on a hidden gems guided bike tour of the city
- Unusual hotels to stay in Paris
- FAQs about unusual things to do in Paris
1. Explore the eerie Catacombs beneath the city
Explore the Catacombs, Paris’ underground ossuary on the left bank!
Okay, I know this is spooky, but it is so worth it! The labyrinths of the Catacombs de Paris were created in the 15th century. At that time, major construction had to be made in the underground of Paris to avoid the city from collapsing.
Those underground structures and labyrinths across the city were abandoned. In 1785, after big public health problems with the dead in the cemeteries flooded the city, they transferred the bodies to the Catacombs.
During the French Revolution, most of the bodies were buried here. It’s been said it is Marie Antoinette’s final resting place, too!
You can buy the entrance tickets on the official website, but I highly suggest you book a guided tour to skip the lines. When I went there, I waited around for a few hours in line and wished I had booked a tour! So don’t make my mistake!
If you want the lowdown before buying your tickets, check out our post with all the tips and tricks for buying Catacombs tickets!
PRICE: Catacombs ticket from €30 per person, guided tour from €110 per person
2. Watch the Crazy Horse Strip Show
Attend a unique cabaret show at Crazy Horse! We all know Moulin Rouge is one of the most popular places for cabaret shows. But the Crazy Horse is completely different.
The Crazy Horse show started in 1951 and is more of a “nude” show compared to Moulin Rouge, and it’s more about scenic lightning. So if you want to experience a completely different cabaret show, this one’s for you.
Crazy Horse offers different packages; some of them offer champagne, for example!
PRICE: from €120 per person
3. Delve into the Paris sewer museum
If you are visiting Paris, this is a MUST on the list of more unusual museums!
Paris, without a doubt, has many worlds hidden underground! This sewer museum is super interesting and dates back to the 1800’s. The sewers and constructions were made in the 18th century but weren’t put into use until the cholera disease was ”attacking” the city, and a new plan for sanitary water had to be put into place!
If you want to learn more about the wonderful city of Paris, then this museum will blow your mind. Also, when will you have the chance to explore Paris from beneath?
You can buy the tickets online on the official website.
PRICE: from €10 per person
4. Dive into The Louvre at Night
Alright, The Louvre is one of the French Capital favorites and an iconic landmark. But the thing is everybody visits it during the day!
On Fridays, you can access the museum until 8.30 PM, walk around the beautiful galleries, and see the Mona Lisa without a big crowd!
Oh! And you can take photos of the Louvre Piramide lit up after your visit to the museum before you head for drinks to the city centre! The Jardin des Tuileries and the Place de la Concorde are a stone’s throw away!
You can buy the tickets online here.
PRICE: from €17 per person
5. Discover the Père Lachaise Cemetery’s famous graves
Visit the Père Lachaise Cemetery’s famous residents with a guided tour! Definitely an unusual thing to do! The cemetery itself is quite beautiful, and is the resting place of famous artists like Jim Morrison from The Doors, and Édith Piaf the French singer.
Your tour guide will take you to see hidden gems in the cemetery. The tour is open to a small group, making it customizable. So you will learn about the legends and stories of the cemetery, as well as the people buried there.
NOTE: entrance to the cemetery is completely free!
TOUR PRICE: from €20 per person
6. Discover the secret apartment of the Eiffel Tower
Did you know the Eiffel Tower is a UNESCO World Heritage Site together with the Arc de Triomphe?
One of the iconic landmarks when you visit Paris is the Eiffel Tower. But what not everybody knows is that there is a secret apartment at the top of the tower, which you can visit!
Gustave Eiffel was a civil engineer and the creator of the famous Eiffel Tower. And at the top of the tower, he built himself an exclusive apartment with incredible city views!
I recommend you buy the tickets online and in advance to avoid waiting in line! This is the official site. If you want to avoid lines and take a guided tour to learn about the city’s history, I recommend you take the tour below. Make sure you select the submit option to see the hidden apartment!
PRICE: from €21 per person for tower tickets, from €70 for guided tour and ticket
7. Delight in a show at the Museum of Fairground Arts
This museum looks so much fun and is perfect for the entire family!
This is not one of your usual tourist attractions! This museum showcases fair carousels and attractions from fairs dating from the 1900s!
The museum is interactive and only accessible with a guided tour, which you can buy here. During your visit, you will be able to ride some of the fair attractions.
The tours during the winter are mostly in French, but they have guides for English-speaking visitors. During the summer, they have English-speaking tours.
PRICE: from €19 per person
8. Visit the eerie Montmartre Cemetery
Located in the beautiful neighborhood of Montmartre, this cemetery is quite outside the usual things to do during a Paris trip!
Still, it is worth a visit; this cemetery is the resting place of many local artists. For example, it is the resting place of Gustave Moreau, the famous French painter and the French novelist Émile Zola.
I suggest you book this private tour of Montmartre. You can choose what to see since it is customizable!
You could check out the cemetery, the small museum of Romantic life, and the Musée de Montmartre, a musée des arts (art museum) where Renoir once worked! Challenge: find the hidden “Thank You” wall in Montmartre!
PRICE: from €100 per person
9. Wander the forgotten railway, La Petite Ceinture
La Petite Ceinture (map) is an abandoned railway from the 19th century. Nowadays you can visit it and see all the beautiful biodiversity that grew in the area.
The abandoned railway makes great scenery to take some amazing photos. It will look like you are in a post-apocalyptic world!
In the past few years, it gained some popularity among a few tourists, but it’s still considered an off-the-beaten-path activity!
10. Engage in a treasure hunt at the Saint-Ouen Flea Market
The capital city of France is known for its amazing flea markets, which is why a visit to one is a must! Saint-Ouen Flea Market (map) is huge!
It is open from Saturday to Monday from 11 AM to 5 PM.
Visit the market alone, with your family, or a few friends, and look for the best gadget to take home as a souvenir!
Some of the artifacts at the flea market date all the way back to medieval Paris times!
If visiting a flea market as big as this one is overwhelming for you, you can do it with a guided tour! Also, the guide can let you know where to find that special thing you are looking for! You’ll come out with a few bargains you’d never have been able to find by yourself, trust me!
NOTE: The flea market has free entrance
TOUR PRICE: from €50 per person
11. Stroll through the 59 Rivoli artist commune
Visit the quirky 59 Rivoli! This cultural center is located on the right bank of the Seine, after crossing the île de la Cité, where Notre Dame Cathedral is located (map).
In 1999, the cultural center used to be occupied by a group of artists until it was legalized in 2005. Nowadays, it is open to the public and offers exhibitions, shows, and more!
This is definitely a must-visit to explore the contemporary art scene in the city!
12. Discover the secret vineyard of Montmartre
Experience the last traditional vineyard, Clos Montmartre!
Clos Montmartre is the oldest vineyard in the city of Paris! The legend says that artists and residents built it in 1933. The views from the vineyard are beautiful, and you will feel like you are in the French countryside for a bit.
Even though you can’t go inside, pay a visit and relax before going back to the vibrant city!
13. Stroll around the Pet Cemetery
This Pet Cemetery (map) is the oldest Pet Cemetery in Europe and one of the oldest in the world. The cemetery is located 30 minutes away from the city center and definitely worth a visit!
This cemetery is the resting place of the famous Hollywood dog Rin Tin Tin. Did you know Rin Tin Tin was rescued from the WWI battlefield?
Visit and enjoy a stroll through the narrow paths of the cemetery filled and surrounded by beautiful greenery!
PRICE: from €3 per person
14. Sail an electric boat along Canal Saint-Martin
Everybody cruises along the Seine River, but I have found a tour that is a bit different. It takes you along Canal St. Martin!
The tour will take around 3 hours, and it will start at the Seine, so you will be able to see most of the city’s main attractions, including Notre Dame. And when heading to St. Martin, you will be surrounded by calming greenery and medieval walls!
PRICE: from €23 per person
15. Dive into culture in a French cooking class
If you want to feel like a real French chef, you must take this cooking class!
You will learn to make traditional French dishes and learn top-tier cooking techniques. The tour starts with a quick visit to the local market where you will buy products for a 3-course meal you will cook!
You will sample French cheese and top-quality wine, and the reward after all the cooking will be trying out your creations! The entire class lasts about 5 hours!
PRICE: from €190 per person
16. Delight in a silent movie at the historic Le Champo cinema
Located in the Latin Quarter of Paris, this cinema was named in 2000 as a historic monument! The cinema opened in 1938. In 1939, it became a cult place for students in the city. They used to go to the movies to watch the not-so-popular movies at the time!
Did you know a scene of Emily in Paris was shot at this movie theater?
The cinema survived fires, and it almost got closed down a few times. Nowadays, it is still functioning as a cinema, and the facade still features a beautiful Art Deco vibe!
You can check the screening here.
17. Dive into L’Objet qui Parle vintage store
I love this store so much! L’Objet qui Parle (map) is located in Montmartre, just a short walk away from Sacre Coeur.
The store looks quirky like it came out of an old movie! Inside the store, you can find furniture, sculptures, 19th-century paintings, and toys! It’s definitely the perfect place to go hunting for the perfect souvenir.
Even if you end up not buying anything, visiting the store is an experience! I highly recommend it!
Explore the artsy Belleville with this street art tour! A local artist will guide the tour. They will tell you everything about the history of this neighborhood, including the social issues and what street art means historically in the city.
The guide will also share their personal experience as street artists, and all the different challenges they have to face. The tour will last around 2 hours and is a unique way to see a different side of the city with a local artist.
PRICE: from €32 per person
19. Wander around Arènes de Lutèce
This one is a hidden gem in the Latin Quarter!
These are one of the only Roman Ruins in Paris and date from the 1st century A.D. The ruins used to be arenas where gladiators fought.
Nowadays, you can visit it for free and sit in one of the many stone grandstands surrounded by greenery and beautiful houses! Without a doubt, it has a unique feeling, and most people don’t know about this secluded landmark!
20. Explore the National Museum of Natural History
Did you know this museum is part of the Sorbonne University?
Located in the Jardin des Plantes, this museum is a complete must! The collections cover skeletons and glasshouses with unique vegetation. Visiting the museum is a great way to explore biodiversity and learn about conservation methods.
There are exhibitions to learn about different animal species’ anatomy, and they have changing exhibitions every now and then. This museum is perfect for curious minds and families with kids!
PRICE: from €8 per person
Who doesn’t love a bike tour?! Without a doubt, it is an exciting and unique way to see the beautiful city of Paris.
This guided bike tour will take you to some of the most secluded areas of the city and show you the hidden gems of Paris only locals know! The tour includes cute romantic bridges, stories, and secrets of the city, and hip, cozy cafés!
The tour lasts around 4 hours, and you will see most of the city!
PRICE: from €60 per person
|🏛️ Best museum:
|Museum of Natural History
|🎢 Top paid attraction:
|Catacombes de Paris
|🚶🏽♂️ Best free activity:
|Père Lachaise Cemetery
|👧 Best family attraction:
|Museum of Fairground Arts
|🥟 Must try food:
Unusual hotels to stay in Paris
I didn’t want to end the post with you without sharing with you some unusual and unique hotels in Paris!
I’ve listed these hotels from most expensive (around €300) to least expensive (around €100) per night.
If you want to find hotels of all budgets and in the main areas of Paris, check out our ultimate area guide of Paris!
- Hotel du Petit Moulin – This hotel is super special. It was decorated by the designer Christian Lacroix. Which explains the tasteful and unique style! The hotel is beyond luxurious and has amazing amenities, including a spa center offering massages, free bike rentals, and a complimentary breakfast. The hotel is located steps away from The Picasso Museum.
- Hotel Duc De Saint-Simon – This boutique museum features a unique style! It is covered in wallpapers and has a quirky style! Super cute. It looks like it came out of an arty French movie. The hotel comes with an amazing bar, which is perfectly decorated, a complimentary breakfast, and the guest rooms look like a piece of art!
- La Maison Favart – If you want to feel like a French Royal, stay in this 18th-century hotel! It looks super luxurious and elegant, and the location could not be better. It is only a 5-minute walk away from the famous Opera House Garnier. It features amazing spa facilities, including a sauna and an indoor swimming pool!
FAQs about unusual things to do in Paris
🌆 How can I access the secret rooftops in Paris?
If you want to visit the rooftop on top of Galeries Lafayette, you need to take the elevator to the 6th floor, from there, you have to take the stairs to the rooftop. Now you can savor a meal or a drink with a view!
📅 How long should I spend in Paris?
I would suggest you stay at least 3 days. Paris is a big city, with many things to do. So if you want to enjoy the city and wander around without feeling super rushed, this is the minimum number of days you’ll need!
🖼️ What are some museums in Paris off the beaten path?
The Museum of Fairground Arts and the Museum of Natural History are excellent museums to visit if you’re searching for unusual things to do in Paris!
🇫🇷 Which are the best areas to stay in Paris?
I recommend staying in the 7th arrondissement! If you want to pick the best area to stay in Paris depending on your taste, check out our comprehensive Paris area guide and choose the best neighborhood for you!
That is all for today, my sweet angels! Those were the 21 best unusual things to do in Paris! I am sure that after all those varied options you know exactly which one you want to visit during your stay!
In the end, I added 3 unusual hotels with unique styles and amenities. So you can make your stay more memorable!
Which unusual Paris attraction are you most excited about? Let me know in the comments, and if you have any questions, let me know and I’ll be happy to help you out!
Until the next one,
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