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Khayma at the Generator Hostel Paris |Courtesy of Khayma
Khayma at the Generator Hostel Paris |Courtesy of Khayma
Paris / See & Do / 14 Nov 2017
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The Most Beautiful Spots in Paris That Even Parisians Don't Know About

Even if the British summer isn’t a total washout (and, let’s face it, it probably will be) there’s no better time than July and August to hop on the Eurostar to Paris for some fun in the sun. As part of its #feelparis campaign, the Voyages-SNCF currently has an incredible deal on tickets at just £29 one way. Once you’re here, make the most of the French capital by checking out these secret gardens, exclusive rooftops, and little-known neighborhoods.


La Chapelle Expiatoire

Tucked away in the bustling shopping district around Boulevard Haussmann is a secret garden that is as historically significant as it is tranquil. In it, you’ll find La Chapelle Expiatoire, which was designed in 1816 by Pierre François Léonard Fontaine and Charles Percier as a memorial to Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. The executed royal couple were initially buried here on the site of the old Madeleine Cemetery before being reinterred at the Basilica Saint-Denis.

Location and Phone Number:

La Chapelle Expiatoire, 29 Rue Pasquier, 75008 Paris, France, +33 1 44 54 19 33


Le mur des je t’aime

Most visitors to the historic neighborhood of Montmartre get off the metro at Abbesses and head straight up the hill towards the tourist sights of the Place du Tertre and the Sacré-Coeur. However, just in front of the station is a small park named the Square Jean Rictus which contains one of Paris’ most romantic spots. The phrase ‘I love you’ has been inscribed on the Wall of Love 311 times in 250 languages.

Location and Phone Number:

Le mur des je t’aime, Square Jean Rictus, Place des Abesses, 75018 Paris, France, +33 6 77 06 81 38


Terrass”

Just along the road from the Wall of Love, and even further off the tourist trail, is the Terrass” Hotel . This is one of the city’s chicest and less well-known rooftop bars and the views it offers over central Paris, including the Eiffel Tower, are second to none. It’s also just a few minutes from the bars and restaurants of Rue Lepic, Montmartre’s long and winding road that was once home to Vincent van Gogh.

Location and Phone Number:

Terrass” Hôtel, 12-14 Rue Joseph de Maistre, Paris, France, +33 1 46 06 72 85

The rooftop bar at Terrass │© Christophe Bielsa, Courtesy of Terrass'' Hôtel Montmartre

The rooftop bar at Terrass │© Christophe Bielsa, Courtesy of Terrass” Hôtel Montmartre


Rue Crémieux

It doesn’t take long to realize that much of Paris looks pretty much the same thanks to, or as a result of, Baron Haussmann’s extensive renovations during the Second Empire of the 19th century. One street that breaks the mold is Rue Crémieux in the 12th arrondissement. This cobblestone alleyway with its brightly colored terraced houses looks as if it has been plucked from London’s leafy West End and dropped into the heart of the City of Light.

Location:

Rue Crémieux, 75012 Paris, France

Colorful street in Paris │© lynn78 / Pixabay

Colorful street in Paris │© lynn78 / Pixabay


Jardin Alpin

Most Parisians and tourists who visit the Jardin des Plantes are content with its zoo, tropical greenhouses, and Museum of Natural History. Few know that in all of these popular sites is a garden that allows you to experience a mountain stroll in the very center of one of Europe’s biggest cities. The Jardin Alpin was created in 1640 and has over 2,000 plant species found in France’s highest ranges.

Location and Phone Number:

Jardin Alpin, 75005 Paris, France, +33 1 40 79 56 01


Jardin d’Agronomie Tropicale

One of the city’s most fascinating ruins is the Jardin d’Agronomie Tropicale, which is hidden away at the eastern edge of the Bois de Vincennes. It was created as part of the Exposition Coloniale in 1907 and is filled with crumbling pavilions representing France’s former colonies. At the height of its fame, it effectively functioned as a human zoo. Long abandoned, you can still get a sense of this darker period in French history by walking through this overgrown patch of land.

Location and Phone Number:

Jardin d’Agronomie Tropicale, 45 bis Avenue de la Belle Gabrielle, Paris, France, +01 49 57 15 15


Khayma

Overlooking some of the most spectacular sights in the city on the rooftop of the Generator Hostel (one of a growing number of design-oriented, low-cost places to stay in Paris) is Khayma. Freshly opened in April 2017, it offers a menu of classic and signature cocktails and Middle Eastern cuisine. The hostel is also only a stone’s throw from the trendy stores, restaurants, and bars of the Canal Saint-Martin district.

Location and Phone Number:

Khayma, Generator Hostels, 9-11 Place du Colonel Fabien, 75010 Paris, France, +33 1 70 98 84 00

Khayma at the Generator Hostel Paris │ Courtesy of Khayma

Khayma at the Generator Hostel Paris │Courtesy of Khayma


Butte Bergeyre

The Butte Bergeyre is one of Paris’ few remaining micro-districts, a sort of village within the walls of the city. Located in the 19th arrondissement, just a few minutes’ walk from the beautiful and ever-popular Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, this hillside neighborhood is made up of ivy-covered apartment buildings, picturesque alleyways, community gardens, and a co-op vineyard. The views from its peak are also breathtaking.

Location:

Butte Bergeyre, 76 Rue Georges Lardennois, 75019 Paris, France


À La Folie

If you follow the Canal Saint-Martin north, you’ll eventually arrive at the Parc de la Villette, Paris’ third largest green space and by far its most unusual. Containing numerous scientific and musical attractions, it is best-known for its collection of metallic sculptures. Aside from picnicking on its lawns, the park also has excellent eateries such as À La Folie. Meat and fish dishes, all of which are cooked on an open-wood fire, pair perfectly with gourmet salads.

Location and Phone Number:

À La Folie, Parc de La Villette, Folie L2, 26 Avenue Corentin Cariou, 75019 Paris, +07 767 970 66

À La Folie │© Pascal Montary, Courtesy of À La Folie

À La Folie │© Pascal Montary, Courtesy of À La Folie


Parc Georges-Brassens

Despite its decent size, the Parc Georges Brassens in the 15th arrondissement is surprisingly peaceful. Built on the site of a former fish and horse market and slaughterhouse, it still contains a few of its original structures, though thankfully none of their smells. It also has a small functioning vineyard, a puppet theater, and beehives. The Montfort performing arts theater is also just around the corner.

Location:

Parc Georges-Brassens, 2 Place Jacques Marette, 75015 Paris, France


Petite Ceinture

The best train-related experience you’ll have in Paris this summer, aside from your trip over on the Eurostar, is a saunter along the Petite Ceinture. Known as the “Little Belt” in English, this disused railway line traces the 32-kilometer perimeter of the city. While most of the line is still off limits, several portions of the track have been transformed into unique garden walkways and even an urban farm and restaurant.

Location:

Petite Ceinture, 123T Rue Didot, 75014 Paris, France


Huguette

Paris truly is a city that has everything, including the chance to visit the seaside without leaving Saint-Germain-des-Près. Inspired by the crab shacks of the Atlantic coast, Huguette is a cheerful alternative to your traditional seafood restaurant, offering delicious food and ample terrace seating. It’s the perfect place to chill out with the in-the-know locals who haven’t yet left town for their summer holidays.

Location and Phone Number:

Huguette, 81 rue de Seine, 75006 Paris, +33 1 43 25 00 28

The terrace at Huguette │ Courtesy of Huguette and Michel Tréhet

The terrace at Huguette │Courtesy of Huguette and Michel Tréhet