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Promenade Plantée │© Bryce Edwards / Flickr
Promenade Plantée │© Bryce Edwards / Flickr
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8 Amazing Places in Paris You Didn't Know Existed

Picture of Paul McQueen
Updated: 25 May 2017
If you thought Paris had given up all its secrets, prepare to think again. The museums, parks, galleries and cultural centers on the list below have something for first-time visitors to the city who can’t be bothered with the queues and crowds of its most popular attractions, as well as those who know the city well and are searching for new horizons on its cultural landscape.

Monnaie de Paris

Museum
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France, Paris, St.-Germain-des-Pres, Hotel des Monnaies, the Mint, large ornate museum, trees and river in front.
Hotel des Monnaies, the Mint, St.-Germain-des-Pres, Paris | © Dorling Kindersley ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

Monnaie de Paris

For lovers of history, there’s plenty to be gained from the Monnaie de Paris, France’s longest-serving institution and the oldest enterprise in the world. The Paris Mint has been issuing coins since 864AD—that’s more than 1,150 years—and its collection of ancient currency, medals and other items of metalwork is a national treasure (no pun intended). But this strangely underpromoted museum has an altogether different side. Its temporary exhibitions, three or four held each year, feature contemporary art to rival anything you’ll see at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris or the Centre Pompidou.

Monnaie de Paris, 11 Quai de Conti, 75006 Paris, France +33 1 40 46 56 66

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Sun:
11:00 am - 7:00 pm
Tue:
11:00 am - 7:00 pm
Wed:
11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Thu:
11:00 am - 7:00 pm
Fri:
11:00 am - 7:00 pm
Sat:
11:00 am - 7:00 pm

Le Louxor

Movie Theater
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Egyptian styled Le Louxor movie theatre by architect Henri Zipcy 1921
Le Louxor movie theatre designed by architect Henri Zipcy, Paris | © Edward Westmacott / Alamy Stock Photo

Le Louxor

The brightly decorated façade and interiors of Le Louxor are well matched to its colorful past. Opened in 1921 as a chic cinema, an example of Egyptian-inspired Art Deco design at its best, it has been a soft-porn palace, Paris’s largest gay nightclub, and one of its most depressing abandoned places in its lifetime. Saved by the local community, it was reopened for its original use, in all its former glory, in 2013. If you can’t get a seat at its rooftop bar, just head across the road to the effortlessly cool Brasserie Barbès.

Louxor – Palais Du Cinéma, 170 Boulevard de Magenta, 75010 Paris, France +33 1 44 63 96 98

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Promenade Plantée

Park
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Paris France Promenade Plantee, garden on viaduct.
Promenade Plantee, Paris | © Geoffrey Taunton / Alamy Stock Photo

Promenade Plantée

If you’re looking for a place to cycle, run, walk or simply sit and take in the day, one of the least touristy places in Paris that you can pick is the Promenade Plantée. Stretching for 4.7km (that’s 2.9 miles) between Bastille and the Bois de Vincennes, this garden pathway through treetops and apartment buildings is partially built upon the remains of a 19th-century railway viaduct. The project, inaugurated in 1993, was actually the inspiration behind New York’s much more famous (and crowded) High Line in Chelsea.

Promenade Plantée, 69 Rue de Lyon, 75012 Paris, France

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Sun:
8:30 am - 8:30 pm
Mon:
7:30 am - 8:30 pm
Tue:
7:30 am - 8:30 pm
Wed:
7:30 am - 8:30 pm
Thu:
7:30 am - 8:30 pm
Fri:
7:30 am - 8:30 pm
Sat:
8:30 am - 8:30 pm

Le Centquatre

Building
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Paris Museum fur Moderne Kunst Centquatre Le 104 Paris Museum of Modern Art Centquatre Le 104
Le Centquatre, Paris | © Viennaslide / Alamy Stock Photo

Le Centquatre

Le Centquatre is the place to go if you enjoy discovering the unexpected. This massive converted municipal mortuary, located in one of Paris’s least affluent neighborhoods, has rapidly become the city’s most vibrant cultural center. Drop by any day of the week and you’ll find musicians, dancers and performance artists rehearsing in its wide-open spaces as well as a diverse mix of shows in its temporary exhibition spaces. There are also shops, cafés and food trucks so you can really make a day of it.

Le Centquatre, 5 Rue Curial, 75019 Paris, France +33 1 53 35 50 00

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Sun:
11:00 am - 7:00 pm
Tue:
12:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Wed:
12:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Thu:
12:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Fri:
12:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Sat:
11:00 am - 7:00 pm

Grande Mosquée de Paris

Mosque
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Paris, Grande MosquEe de Paris, 1922-1926 (Die Grosse Pariser Moschee, im Quartier Latin von Paris, wurde nach dem Ersten Weltkr
Grande Mosquée de Paris | © allOver images / Alamy Stock Photo

Grande Mosquée de Paris

Despite its grandeur, architectural and cultural significance, and prime location on the edge of the Latin Quarter, one of Paris’s most talked-about and visited districts, the Grande Mosquée de Paris remains a relatively secret retreat for visitors in the know. The entire mosque complex stretches to over a hectare and contains sections reserved for worship and study as well as a souk, hammam, North African restaurant and café, set in a beautiful tiled courtyard filled with orange blossoms and playful sparrows.

Grande Mosquée de Paris, 2bis Place du Puits de l’Ermite, 75005 Paris, France +33 1 45 35 97 33

Fountains at the Grande Mosquée de Paris │© Marc Cooper / Flickr

Fountains at the Grande Mosquée de Paris │© Marc Cooper / Flickr | © Marc Cooper / WikiCommons

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Mon - Thu:
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Mon - Thu:
2:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Sat - Sun:
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Sat - Sun:
2:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Villa La Roche

Villa
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Villa La Roche, Paris
Villa La Roche, Paris | © Maryade via Flickr

Villa La Roche

The Villa La Roche and its neighbor the Maison Jeanneret are must-visit sites for architecture buffs and, in particular, appreciators of the work of Modernist master Le Corbusier. These residential properties were the Swiss architect’s third Parisian commission. Along with the Immeuble Molitor in the 16th arrondissement and the Villa Savoye in the suburb of Poissy, they were recently included in a new transnational UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today, the Villa La Roche houses a museum dedicated to Le Corbusier, containing more than 8,000 drawings, photographs and notes.

Maison La Roche-Jeanneret, 8-10 Square du Dr Blanche, 75016 Paris, France +33 1 42 88 75 72

Interiors at Villa La Roche │© Steve Cadman / Flickr

Interiors at Villa La Roche │© Steve Cadman / Flickr | © Steve Cadman / Flickr

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Rivoli

Building
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Chez Robert Rivoli Street 59 in Paris
59 Rivoli, Paris | © PHOTOMAX / Alamy Stock Photo

59 Rivoli

In the past couple of years, 59 Rivoli has emerged as the most rewarding artistic experience on Paris’s Rue de Rivoli, which is saying something considering it shares an address with the Louvre and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. This converted squat is a great place to see contemporary art and, without bankrupting yourself, to buy it. The six-story building, every inch of which is painted, is divided into studios for 30 artists. You can chat with these artists as you try to find the perfect piece to take away with you.

59 Rivoli, 59 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France

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Sun:
1:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Tue:
1:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Wed:
1:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Thu:
1:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Fri:
1:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Sat:
1:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Palais Galliera

Museum
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The Palais Galliera Musee de la Mode de la Ville de Paris shows the history of fashion and costume  France designer couturier
The Palais Galliera Musee de la Mode, Paris | © Peter Horree / Alamy Stock Photo

Palais Galliera

Much is made about Paris being the capital of fashion, both as a destination for the industry’s elite for seven days of catwalks, cocktails and Kardashians and for shoppers of every style and budget. In all the commotion surrounding the newest concept stores, boutiques and vintage treasure troves, it seems like Paris’s Palais Galliera, a museum specialized in the history and genius of clothing, has been sidelined. But what a treat it is!

Palais Galliera, 10 Avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie, Rue de Galliera, 75016 Paris, France +33 1 56 52 86 00

Palais Galliera │© Mbzt / WikiCommons

Palais Galliera │© Mbzt / WikiCommons | © Mbzt / WikiCommons

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Sun:
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Tue:
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Wed:
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Thu:
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Fri:
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sat:
10:00 am - 6:00 pm