Unique Places in Paris

  • Mouffetard
    Mouffetard
    by Alexandra33
  • Jim Morrison grave
    Jim Morrison grave
    by pieter_jan_v
  • woman offering a flower
    woman offering a flower
    by ahlexis

Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Paris

  • Beausoleil's Profile Photo

    Fontainebleau, Palace of Kings

    by Beausoleil Updated Jul 7, 2014

    Fontainebleau is an easy day trip from Paris if you need a day away from the madding crowds. Go to Gare Lyon and buy a Mobilis Day Pass for Fontainebleau and it will get you there and back, take care of your bus trip into the chateau and you can use it on the Metro back in Paris for the rest of the day.

    You can visit the chateau, the beautiful and extensive gardens, any special exhibits they are having and even eat in their lovely tea room overlooking a lake. There is an audio guide available in several languages and there are private tours available.

    If the weather is nice, you can take horse and carriage rides through the park and gardens. The horses wear cute little bonnets so it's very photogenic.

    The chateau is closed on Tuesdays but the park is open every day.

    Fontainebleau by Beausoleil

    Chateau Fontainebleau Carriage rides at Fontainebleau The Chateau from the Park
    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • IreneMcKay's Profile Photo

    The Man who Could Walk through walls

    by IreneMcKay Updated Jul 4, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Le Passe-Muraille, which means the one who could pass through walls, is the title of a story by Marcel Ayme. In this story his main character, Dutilleul, discovers he has the ability to walk through walls. He uses this ability to rob banks, have affairs and escape from angry husbands and free himself from prison. There is a wonderful statue of Le Passe-Muraille in Place Marcel Ayme in Montmatre.

    Le Passe-Muraille
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • IreneMcKay's Profile Photo

    Churchill Statue

    by IreneMcKay Updated Jun 30, 2014

    We were surprised as we were walking around Paris to suddenly encounter a bronze statue of Winston Churchill.

    The statue is located on the Avenue Winston Churchill. It was unveiled on the 80th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice which ended World War I.The statue is ten feet high and was created by French sculptor Jean Cardot. It cost £250,000 and was funded by donations from the French public. The statue is modelled on a photo of Churchill walking down the Champs Elysee with General Charles de Gaulle on 11 November, 1944.

    In 2009 the statue was vandalized by anti-war protesters who daubed its hands with blood red paint.

    Churchill Statue.
    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • IreneMcKay's Profile Photo

    Clock Sculpture.

    by IreneMcKay Updated Jun 30, 2014

    Outside the Saint Lazare Station there is a sculpture consisting of many clocks joined together. The clocks show lots of different times, so when looking at it you can choose the time you want it to be. This sculpture is called L'heure de tous - everyone's time. It was sculpted by French artist, Arman.

    Arman, whose real name was Armand Fernandez, was born in Nice in 1928. He later moved to America and became a naturalized American citizen. He died in New York in 2005. One of Arman's specialties was accumulations - sculptures in which he welded large quantities of the same objects together. For example, avalanche an accumulation of axes which he created in 1990. This is on display at Tel Aviv University.

    L'Heure de tous
    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    Gregorian chants in a Lutheran church

    by Nemorino Updated Jun 15, 2014

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In striking contrast to the nearby Sainte-Chapelle and Nôtre Dame, the Evangelical Lutheran Church des Billettes is austere and undecorated, with bare walls and plain-glass windows.

    I went there one evening to hear a concert of Gregorian chants from the 10th to 13th centuries, sung by unaccompanied men's voices.

    Years ago I was intrigued by a short sequence of Gregorian chants in an otherwise unmemorable Spanish film, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to hear some more.

    Well, is was, but it turned out that there were only two men singing at this concert, not a whole choir, and after a while the chants got to be quite monotonous for someone like me who knew little or nothing about them.

    The other forty people in the audience didn't seem to have this problem, so I suppose Gregorian chants are an acquired taste like a lot of other things. I'll try again sometime, but with better preparation and in a more attractive venue.

    Second photo: The two singers of the evening.

    Third photo: The church from the outside, with just a bit of sunlight on the crosses at the top.

    24 rue des Archives, 75004 Paris
    Vélib' 4103, 4014
    Métro Hôtel de Ville
    GPS 48°51'28.72" North; 2°21'18.06" East
    http://www.infoconcert.com/salle/eglise-des-billettes-a-paris-16535/concerts.html

    1. In the ��glise des Billettes 2. Singing Gregorian chants 3. ��glise des Billettes from the outside
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Music

    Was this review helpful?

  • Inguuna's Profile Photo

    Rue des Thermopyles - green jewel of Paris

    by Inguuna Updated Jun 7, 2014

    Rue des Thermopyles which is located in the 14th district is a true jewel and secret gem of Paris. Street is still covered with cobblestones and houses are decorated with different plants. It's like to return many years ago :)
    Do not hurry and you'll notice many house walls are decorated with small graffiti - just wander around.

    More photos are here.

    Nearest Metro station: Pernety

    Rue des Thermopyles Rue des Thermopyles Rue des Thermopyles Rue des Thermopyles Rue des Thermopyles
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Photography
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    22, Rue Delambre

    by Nemorino Updated May 24, 2014

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Unlike the front of the building, the courtyard of 22 rue Delambre has not changed much (nor been kept in particularly good repair) in the past hundred years. When we were there some renovation work was in progress on the left-hand side of the courtyard (third photo).

    Traditionally, Montparnasse has been a place for people from Brittany, on the west coast of France, to come and live. Since 1975 the Breton mission in Paris has been using some of the ateliers at the end of this courtyard for cultural activities. Also several ateliers are still being used by artists.

    Again, we wouldn’t have been able to get in here if our guide hadn’t known the combination to unlock the front door.

    Vélib’ 14001
    Métro Edgar Quinet or Vavin
    Location of the Mission Bretonne at 22 rue Delambre on OpenStreetMap


    Next review from May 2013: Gauguin stayed here


    22, rue Delambre Tour group going in Courtyard
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    Foujita’s atelier

    by Nemorino Updated May 24, 2014

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Our guide did not know the entrance code to number 5, rue Delambre, but he asked next door at the Paradise shoe shop and they gave it to him.

    Location of 5, Rue Delambre on Google Maps.

    The plaque above the doorway reads: “The painter Foujita 1886-1968 lived and worked in this building from 1917 to 1924.”

    I must admit that up to now I knew hardly anything about Tsuguharu Foujita, and I don’t think I have ever seen any of his paintings or drawings in the original. But he turns out to have been a very famous (at the time) artist and one of the most eccentric artists in Montparnasse in the early 20th century.

    He grew up and was educated in Tokyo, where he also got off to a good start as an artist. He moved to Paris in 1913 at age 27 and quickly made friends with local artists, including Picasso and Matisse and the sculptor Ossip Zadkine.

    One of the often-repeated stories about Foujita is that after a few years he had earned enough money to install a bathtub with hot and cold running water here at 5 rue Delambre. (Few people in Paris even had a shower in their homes at that time, as I have pointed out in my tips on the Bains Odessa and the Bains de Chateaudun.) With this bathtub he was able to lure some of the most beautiful models to come and visit him and pose for nude pictures, including Kiki, the ‘Queen of Montparnasse’.

    Kiki, whose real name was Alice Prin (1901-1953), was well-known as the model for hundreds of images by Man Ray (1890–1976), including the famous photo of her as Le Violon d'Ingres, with the f-holes of a cello superimposed on her bare back.

    Rue Delambre, by the way, was named after the French mathematician and astronomer Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Delambre (1749-1822), who was most famous for preparing the tables that plotted the location of the planet Uranus. In addition to this Paris street, there is also a crater on the moon that was named after Delambre. Also there is a kind of pink rose called the Delambre Rose, which was bred in France in 1863.

    Related tip/review:
    Foujita's chapel in Reims, France.


    Next Paris review from May 2013: 22, Rue Delambre


    5, rue Delambre Plaque above the doorway Group and guide in the courtyard
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    Philippe Auguste's wall

    by Nemorino Updated May 4, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In the Marais district on the Right Bank you can see these remains of the city fortifications that were built starting in the year 1190 on orders of the king Philippe Auguste (1165-1223), who didn't want the city to be left undefended while he went off to fight in the Crusades.

    Second photo: As in many historical sites in Paris, there is a sign here giving the historical background.

    Third photo: Just around the corner on Rue Beautreillis there is a gate left over from a long-demolished building called l'hôtel Raoul.

    Fourth photo: Here there is also a sign, but it doesn't explain the whole history of the place, just gives a website where you can get the information.

    Fifth photo: Cycling in the Marais district.

    Address: Le portail de l'hôtel Raoul, 6 rue Beautreillis
    Directions: 48°51'8.92" North; 2°21'47.30" East
    Vélib' 4005. Location on the Vélib' map.

    1. Wall of Philippe Auguste 2. Sign with historical background 3. Gate of H��tel Raoul 4. Sign with URL of the H��tel Raoul website 5. Cycling in the Marais district
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • adema29's Profile Photo

    Spying people on Pl. George Pompidou

    by adema29 Written Apr 18, 2014

    I have discovered, by chance, visiting the Centre Pompidou in April 2014 a new game.
    It was a beautiful sunny day and probably all the Parisians (!) were lying down on the street enjoying the coming springtime.
    Looking at them all down-under me from the top floor of the Museum, have awaken the voyeur hiding deep (or not so deep) inside me.
    I have really enjoyed looking through the lens of my camera to the tiny beautiful people living below, unconscious about the spy following their movements, their kisses, reading with them, dancing with them, playing with them, drawing sketches with them and spying with them, of course.
    I'll load here some of my photos with the hope that you'll feel like me, that, from the sky, God must see us more wonderful than we see each other day by day.
    PS, if you have photos with me spying..it will be my pleasure, of course :))

    Have you seen this? Sweet indeed. The most loved father in the World Ssst! This is just between us ;) I am discovered! Waiting for your photos guys :)) Looking for a shadow...
    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • adema29's Profile Photo

    Atelier 102 on Rue Lepic

    by adema29 Updated Apr 18, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I am struggling around 102 Rue Lepic workshop for a year and a half and I stare at his windows , as babies at toy shop windows .
    After I searched the net on Andre Martins de Barros , I finally dared to rang the doorbell .
    If I could take life from the beginning , I would not waste it and I'll sweep this " workshop ", just to listen closer what is the muse murmuring in the ears of this small, gray haired man , who doesn't speak English at all .
    I dreamed I could buy an original but I managed only to find out that his originals are not for sale(!) .
    I somehow knew it since I first saw the wonders of the window . Anyway, even if he would sell something, I will never be rich enough to buy a painting from his Atelier.
    I almost begged him to give me "something" done by his hand but I had only to accept some copies, copied somehow after a new technique (I do not like at all this technique) with resin(this is plastic, isn't it?) on a piece of plywood.
    Bur, despite of this, I'll always go there, even to bore him and to enjoy my soul with the few originals, hanging on the walls.
    When I am standing next to a man like Mr. Andre Martins de Barros, some of my frustrations seem to perish.
    Luckily(!), once outside, I retrieve them all, one does not miss the opportunity to come back to me... who knows why?!
    PS. On the right you can see the restaurant Moulin de la Galette, which was subject of many paintings and novels in the "années folles".
    Now I found here only a small restaurant and an insane tasty apple pie :))

    Atelier 102 Rue Lepic-Andre Martins de Barros Atelier 102 Rue Lepic-Andre Martins de Barros
    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    Hôtel Fieubet (École Massillon)

    by Nemorino Updated Apr 5, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This seventeenth century building in the fourth arrondissement at the corner of Quai des Célestins and Rue du Petit-Musc is one of the 1,823 buildings in Paris that are listed as Historical Monuments, which is intended to protect them from being demolished or grossly changed.

    The word Hôtel is used here in the old sense, meaning a large private mansion. This one is called Hôtel Fieubet after its first owner, Gaspard de Fieubet.

    The building is notable for its many decorations, such as garlands, trophies, torches, draperies, caryatids, atlases and gargoyles, some of which may have been added in the nineteenth century.

    Today the building is used as a school, the École Massillon, which has been located here since 1877.

    Second photo: Hôtel Fieubet and the neighboring apartment building on Quai des Célestins.

    Third photo: The elaborately decorated side façade of Hôtel Fieubet, facing the narrow street Rue du Petit-Musc.

    Fourth photo: Two atlases and other elaborate decorations on the façade facing Quai des Célestins.

    Fifth photo: The corner of the building, where the Quai des Célestins meets the Rue du Petit-Musc.

    Address: 4 Quai des Célestins, 75004 Paris
    Directions: Location and photo of École Massillon on monumentum.fr.
    Métro Sully-Morland, line 7.
    Location on the Vélib’ map. The nearest Vélib’ station is number 4005 at 2 Quai des Célestins.
    Website: http://paris1900.lartnouveau.com/paris04/

    Next Paris review from March 2014: Quai des Célestins

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    Quai des Célestins

    by Nemorino Updated Apr 5, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In the fourth arrondissement, at the corner of Quai des Célestins and Boulevard Henri IV, there is a fine example of a belle époque apartment building from the beginning of the twentieth century.

    It is a solid stone building with seven floors above ground level, with the traditional black cast-iron fences at the windows and balconies. At various places on the façade there are decorations with Art Nouveau elements, such as oak leaves and female masks.

    One of the stones is engraved with the words "A. Poussin Architecte 1905".

    If you wanted to buy an apartment in this building (assuming one was up for sale), you might be interested in knowing that the estimated average price per square meter is listed as € 11,267 (as of 2014).

    This building is next door to the Hôtel Fieubet (École Massillon) and across from the Arsenal Library.

    Fourth photo: In the ground floor of this building there is a large flower shop which is open 365 days a year.

    Fifth photo: The Vélib’ station 4005 is located directly in front of the building.

    Address: 2 quai des Célestins, 75004 Paris
    Directions: Vélib’ 4005
    Métro Sully-Morland, line 7.
    Website: http://lindependantdu4e.typepad.fr

    Next Paris review from March 2014: Pavillon de l'Arsenal

    Cycle track and V��lib station 4005
    Related to:
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    Pavillon de l'Arsenal

    by Nemorino Updated Apr 5, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Pavillon de l’Arsenal describes itself as “the centre for information, documentation and exhibition for urban planning and architecture of Paris.”

    They say it is “a unique place, where information concerning urban development and architectural realisations in Paris is available to everyone.”

    Admission to the pavillon is free. It is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

    The pavillon is located on what used to be an island, the île Louviers, which was separated from the rest of the city by a small branch of the Seine. In 1843 this branch of the river was filled in to form what is now Boulevard Morland.

    Second photo: In the center of the pavillon is a large interactive digital map – “large” meaning 37 square meters – which serves to illustrate lectures and discussions. They say the map was “developed in partnership with Google and JCDecaux”, and from what I have seen it seems to work like a gigantic version of Google Earth, but with planned or projected new developments included so that past, present and future views can be compared. Presumably the lecturer can stand on the metal mesh platform at the left side of the photo. The website www.parismetropole2020.com includes a short time-lapse video showing how the map was installed.

    JCDecaux, by the way, is the outdoor advertising company which also runs the Vélib’ bike sharing system in Paris as well as Vélo’v in Lyon and similar systems in other cities.

    Third photo: This city map is almost historical, a traditional plaster model of Paris at a scale of 1:2000, made in the 1990s. This map used to be in the center of the pavillon, but in 2011 it was moved off to the back to make room for the new digital map.

    Fourth photo: The permanent exhibition, called “Paris, a city in the making”, devotes equal space to the past, present and future of the city.

    Fifth photo: The permanent exhibition starts with the Middle Ages, with explanations in both French and English. The English version of this first panel reads: “Paris became the capital of the Kingdom of the Francs circa 506-508, and capital of the Kingdom of France in the 12th Century. It was a powerful city which made its mark and spread its model throughout the land. After the Hundred Years’ War, towards the end of the 15th Century, a time of prosperity began, disrupted only be a few bouts of the plague. Paris had roughly 100,000 inhabitants. The structure, economy and form of the territory were organised under the leadership of the Monarchs.”

    Address: Pavillon de l'Arsenal, 21 Boulevard Morland, 75004 Paris
    Directions: Location on the Vélib’ map. The nearest Vélib’ station is number 4005 at 2 Quai des Célestins.
    Phone: +33 1 42 76 33 97
    Website: http://www.pavillon-arsenal.com/en/home.php

    More exhibits on the history of Paris:
    • Musée Carnavalet, the comprehensive city history museum.
    • The archeological crypt at the Notre Dame Cathedral.
    • History of the Sewers in the Paris Sewer Museum.

    Next Paris review from March 2014: Arsenal Library

    Arsenal Pavillon Interactive digital map Traditional plaster map Paris past, present and future The Middle Ages
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    Arsenal Library

    by Nemorino Updated Apr 5, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Arsenal Library (Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal) was founded by a man named René d’Argenson (1652-1721) and was declared a public library in 1797.

    The author Charles Nodier (1780–1844) was the librarian of the Arsenal Library from 1824 until his death twenty years later. During these years he established an influential literary salon which included such writers as Victor Hugo, Alfred de Musset and Alexander Dumas.

    The Arsenal Library is now one of the four Paris sites of the National Library of France. The other three are:
    • The François Mitterrand Library
    • The Richelieu-Louvois Library
    • The Library-Museum of the Opera

    Second photo: This historical sign about the Arsenal Library says that this was the site of a royal arsenal from the fourteenth century. There was a fire here in 1716, after which the architect Boffrand (that would be Germain Boffrand, 1667-1754) reconstructed the arsenal and built the building which now houses the library.

    Third and fourth photos: In front of the Arsenal Library there is a sculpture by Jean-Robert Ipoustéguy (1920-2006) in honor of the poet Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891). The sculpture was commissioned by the President of the Republic, François Mitterrand, and was set up here in 1985.

    Fifth photo: Riding past on a Vélib’ bike.

    Address: 1 Rue de Sully, 75004 Paris
    Directions: Location on the Vélib’ map. The nearest Vélib’ station is 4005 at 2 quai des Célestins.
    Phone: +33 1 53 79 39 39
    Website: http://www.bnf.fr/fr/la_bnf/sites/a.site_bibliotheque_arsenal.html

    Next Paris review from March 2014: Museum of the Sewers

    Arsenal Library Historical sign Rimbaud sculpture Rimbaud sculpture Riding past on a V��lib bike
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

Paris Hotels

See all 1949 Hotels in Paris

Latest Paris Hotel Reviews

Hotel Sevigne
81 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 3, 2014
Le Quartier Republique Marais
57 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 6, 2014
Quality Hotel Michel Montparnasse
37 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 26, 2014
Crowne Plaza Hotel Paris - Champs Elysees
249 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 2, 2014
Paris Marriott Opera Ambassador Hotel
190 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 3, 2014
Grand Hotel Leveque
47 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 6, 2014
Campanile Paris XVII Boulevard Berthier
132 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 29, 2014
Formule 1 Porte de Saint Ouen
51 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 16, 2014
Villa des Princes
44 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 21, 2014
Hotel National
191 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 26, 2014
Hotel des Chevaliers
132 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 6, 2014
Disney's Hotel Santa Fe - Parks tickets included
292 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 6, 2014
Paname Hotel Bastille
60 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 21, 2014
Hotel Esmerelda
141 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 27, 2014
Best Western Atlantic Hotel Paris
55 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 5, 2014

Instant Answers: Paris

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

67 travelers online now

Comments

Paris Off The Beaten Path

shrimp56's Profile Photo

If you are looking for something beyond the usual tourist stops, you will find many reviewed here. VTer have provided  tips and advice on visiting the historic cemeteries,  the...

Map of Paris

Paris Members Meetings

Jul 28, 2014 
Aussie in Paris

see all Paris member meetings