Paris’s Most Beautiful Hidden Sights

Paris is a city of bold monuments. The Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, the Bastille, even the Pompidou Centre – you can pick out these iconic buildings from photos even if you have never been to Paris. However, if you are interested in a slightly more out of the way version of Paris, you might want to check out some of the City of Light’s most beautiful hidden sights. and start exploring!

Je t’aime Wall – (I love you wall)

Many European cities are known for their public expressions of love – locks on bridges seems to be common in quite a few. In Paris, they have taken it one step further and build the “I Love You wall”. The wall dates back about twenty years, when Frédéric Baron began walking the streets of Paris and asking people to write “I love you” in their own language in his notebook. By the time he reached 1,000 notes, over 300 languages and dialects were represented, and he converted each note into a tile of enameled lava, used to construct the wall. “Le Mur des Je t’aime” can be found in the Jehan Rictus public garden, behind the Place des Abbesses.

Paris Catacombs

This hidden labyrinth nearly twenty meters below the streets of Paris is one of the world’s largest underground graveyards. Nearly six million (former) Parisians are buried in the cavernous tunnels. Interestingly enough, unlike many other catacomb complexes, these tunnels were originally dug as stone quarries to help build the cities, and were later converted into a final resting spot. The Catacombs are open to the public, and provide a creepy and cool respite from the chaos above.

Montmartre Cemetery

If you prefer to honor the dead in the open air, then make your way up to Montmarte. Up on the Montmarte hill near the (worth visiting in its own right, but not quite as “hidden”), this cemetery is home to many famous Frenchmen, including François Truffaut, Alfred de Vigny, Jacques Offenbach, Hector Berlioz and Edgar Degas.

Arènes de Lutèce

Looking to inject a little Roman history into your French experience? Then a visit to the Arènes de Lutèce is in order. This “Parisian Colosseum” was home to games, gladiator fights, and theater, dating back to its original construction in the first century. The ruined arena is now a center of active Parisian cultural life, and countless citizens flock to the field amidst the ruins for games and sport.

Of course, these are just a few of the many things to see and do in Paris. You cannot escape the world famous gastronomy, and incredible collections of art. Even then, though, you can lead yourself a bit off the beaten path and discover previously unknown gems of restaurants, museums, art galleries and more. Of course, it is great to see the famed sites, but for a real Parisian experience, try turning left when the rest of the tourists go right!

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