Published on Friday, 10 July 2015
Think you know everything about the French capital? Are you tired of always doing the same tours? Don’t worry, we have put together some information on unusual guided tours in the heart of Paris, so you can discover the City of Light in a new light.
The capital is full of unusual and out of the way places. By looking at the city from below or from above, behind the scenes, and via cemeteries and improbable museums, you can discover the hidden Paris.
Unusual guided walks
As you walk the streets of Paris, you’ll see plenty of city tour buses, but why not be more original and opt for a tour in that classic French car, a Citroen 2CV? Your multilingual driver will tell you all about the places you visit and answer your questions, and there are various thematic tours to choose from, including Impressionism, cellars, unknown places, gardens and museums. If you don’t want to be on the road, various boat tours on the Seine will show you Paris from a different angle. You can also enjoy breath-taking panoramas of the city from balloons that rise to more than 150 metres above it.
Get some chills along with your culture
Despite what you may think, Paris has its dark and mysterious side. For the more adventurous, there’s visits to haunted places such as Le Manoir de Paris, where you can relive terrifying Parisian legends like the Phantom of the Opera, the Demon Barber of Paris and the Man in the Iron Mask. If this doesn’t freeze your blood, a trip down into the subterranean catacombs of Paris, where the bones of countless
Parisians are neatly stacked, most certainly will!
Then there’s other lesser-known, but somewhat more cheerful, places. These include the tropical aquarium of the Palais de la Porte Dorée. Those who wish to glimpse Paris behind the scenes will be pleased to know that the capital opens the doors of its major institutions to the public for guided tours. Thus, you can visit the RATP, or places usually off-limits, such as the non-public parts of the Stade de France. Culture lovers will find themselves in the Palais Omnisports de Paris Bercy and Bercy Village, the City of Fashion and Design, or even the Cinémathèque Française, where more than 40 000 movies are stored.
The green spaces of Paris
Nature lovers, meanwhile, will be seduced by the beautiful Parc Floral, which stretches over 28 hectares in the heart of the Bois de Vincennes. This consists of four distinct landscaped spaces and has many areas for children to play, as well as a mini-golf course, whose 18 holes each represent a Parisian monument. You'll also love the guided tour of the Promenade Plantée. Created in 1988, this linear park developed from a disused railway line and viaducts, links the Place de la Bastille and Varenne Saint-Maur.
For more information on these unusual visits, the Tourist Office Paris can help or see below:
• Paris Authentic
• Bateaux parisiens
• Manoir de Paris
• Tropical Aquarium at Palais de la Porte Dorée
• Parc floral de Vincennes (floral park)
Planted promenade copyright holder: Tourist Office Paris - Photographer David Lefranc
Hôtel de la Herse d’Or Paris, a two star hotel in the Marais district.