Seven out of the ordinary places to visit in Paris

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THE true face of Paris is in its unknown sights, such as A Cat House on the Trocadero, The Opera Bastille – a meeting place for informal groups, Le Marais, Mare Quarter and others.

Everyone knows the obvious things to see and do in Paris – visit the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysees and much has been written about these sights.

So Booked.net’s Svetlana Malukha explores seven points of interest in Paris that are not usually included in tourist itineraries.


1. The steps near The Opera Bastille

Known as Parisian meeting place for alternative groups of people such as metal-heads, punks and emos, they gather on this huge staircase in front of the Opera de Paris at Bastille and admire the Place de la Bastille, the square housed the Bastille prison at the center of the French Revolution in 1789.

The square is dominated by its huge 52 meter column – the Colonne de Juillet or July Column – that commemorates the later revolution of 1830.

The Opera Bastille was erected in 1984 on the site of a former railway station and is situated at the edge of the Place de la Bastille itself.

Maybe the site’s history is a magnet, drawing these youth sub-cultures of metal-heads, punks and emos, like so many French revolutionaries before them.

2. Parc André Citroën

The nearest Metro station is Balyar (Balard).

This beautiful park is located near the Citroen factory.

The park consists of three lush gardens and mini waterfalls, making it an ideal place for a walk.

All year round ducks can be seen splashing in the water.

Moreover, there is a huge gas balloon, which can give you a bird’s eye view of Paris.

3. Bercy

It is worth visiting the unusual Palace of Sports when in Paris.

The palace is also known as Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy, often abbreviated as POPB or Bercy, it is a stunning pyramidal piece of architecture clad in lawns.

The waterfall tracks the surrounding Bercy Park and the stunning design of its bridges over the Seine, leading to skyscrapers, which remind people of New York’s distinctive skyline make this a memorable slice of Paris.

The nearest metro is Metro Bercy.

4. Open-air Shakespeare in Boulogne Wood

Bois de Boulogne (Boulogne Wood) plays host to outdoor theatre penned by no other than the Bard himself William Shakespeare as well as a diverse range of other performances.

The Jardin Shakespeare shows begin in May and run through late September or into early October.

Often the performances are in English.

The garden is often compared to something from Alice in Wonderland, a fairy tale come true.

5. The City of Science and Industry – Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie

The largest science museum in Europe, this huge museum comprises five levels, including a media center, a planetarium, exhibition halls, an IMAX theatre and, in great news, for those traveling with children – facilities for kids and teens.

For adults the museum also has a bar. The nearest metro station to the City of Science and Industry is Porte de la Villette.

The museum opens Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm, Sunday – from 10am to 7pm, on Monday it is closed. Tickets costs between EURO 20-30.

6. Marché Edgar Quinet – a street market in Montparnasse

You can find this great street market every Wednesday and Saturday selling everything from fresh produce to baked goods and hot food, as well as clothing, contemporary art and plenty of antique items (including of the twentieth century) – such as paintings, books, furniture, souvenirs and posters.

It’s easy to find if you go from the historic Cimetière du Montparnasse (Montparnasse Cemetery) towards The Tour Montparnasse, the tallest building in Paris.

Even if you do not intend to buy anything, it is a fascinating excursion just to check out the vast array of items on offer.

7. Royal Street

Or in French – Rue Royale – is a short street connecting place de la Madeleine Rue Royal with the place de la Concorde. What makes this street unique is it is crammed full of luxurious brands such as the head office of L’Oreal, Royal Village boutiques, Chanel and Dior.

Not far from the Madeleine Church you will find the best chocolate shop in Paris. It is a little shop called Fauchon, where you can look at the art of making chocolate, see unusual design of it and admire true masterpieces of confectionary art.

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