Paris is a magical place where one can visit some of the most famous attractions in the world. Everyone knows of the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and Notre Dame. Tourists flock to these locations by the millions. In fact, more than 30 million people visit these famous locations each year. What if you don’t want to fight through the crowds though? What if you have already visited these locations? Does Paris have anything else to offer? Is that last question even a real question? We are talking about Paris here, of course it does.
Here are five great attractions that you won’t find on many tourist guides but are worth visiting.
The Paris Sewer Museum (Le Musée des Égouts de Paris)
You may feel like you need to read that title again but I promise that you got it right the first time. Only in a magical place like Paris can you go on tour that shows you the history of poo disposal. Now this isn’t just any poo, its Paris poo and it has been moved by the sewer system in some way or another for over 700 years. If you have visited the Eiffel tower you have already been as high as you can in the city, you might as well go as low as you can as well. It’s well worth it.
The museum is open Saturday-Wednesday from 11-5. Admission is less than 5.00 Euros.
The Catacombs of Paris
What does a city do when there are too many bodies to put in the local cemetery? Some cities would simply add more cemeteries but the rapid growth of Paris in the last 1700’s so a new solution had to be found. Starting in 1786 bones began to be moved into the catacombs below the city. The bones were stacked and stored in a mass grave of bones and they are still there today. Formal tours have been conducted since 1867 but people were visiting this grave long before this. King Charles and Napoleon are also reported to have visited these sites as well. This tour is eerie and dark. Small children may not appreciate the visit.
The tour is available Tuesday – Sunday from 10-5 with a cost of 7 euros.
Père Lachaise Cemetery
Most people don’t make a habit out of visiting cemeteries but this is one worth making an exception for. Pere Lachaise is the most famous cemetery in the world. Here you will find the graves of great men and women such as Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison. The headstones and statues are also beautiful and worth seeing. Don’t fall too much love with this cemetery though. The rules to be buried here are very strict and there is currently a waiting list.
The map led tour is open daily. Check the site before visiting for hours. Guided tours are available by reservation for 6 euros
Musee de l’erotisme
In English the name of this museum is The Museum of Eroticism. This is 7 floors of erotic art from throughout history. The name of the museum may make it sound like a seedy low class place but the goal is to be everything but. The museums focus is to show the history of erotic art, not pornography. If you are looking for a cheep peep show this is not for you. Of course, even if you are not this may be pushing things a bit far. Check the site before visiting so you can have a good idea of what is in store for you.
The museum is open daily from 10am-2am with a cost of 8 euros.
Paris walking tour
You wont find this tour on any brochure but I add it for one simple reason. I took my wife to Paris for our honeymoon 9 years ago and there is one point that we both point to as one of the most romantic days of our marriage.
We arrived in Paris at the North Train Station (Gare du Nord) and we began walking south. We walked to our hotel which was located about a mile past the Eiffel Tour. We stopped at the Notre Dame and Sainte-Chapelle along the way but mostly we just walked. We had lunch in a small café where we were the only English speaking people. By our waiters reaction it was obvious that we were off of the tourists normal grid. We had the chance to see the real city of Paris. Away from all of the hussle and bussle of the tourists, and it was wonderful.
This tour is always open and ready. I would recommend taking it during daylight hours though. Its never a good idea to walk strange streets after dark. It’s also a good idea to wea comfortable shows, this isn’t a short walk.