Top 7 Secret Non-Touristy Spots in Paris  

March 31, 2024

Dive into the hidden gems of Paris.
Discover the city's secret spots and local favorites in this captivating episode.

Hey there. Welcome back to another quick-hit episode of The Radio Vagabond – in my ‘Vagabond Shorts’ series. In these, I give you travel inspiration and more, all in quick 10-minute episodes. It’s the perfect travel companion to my regular episodes as I continue my quest to visit every country in the world. 

Yesterday, we ticked off the top seven must-see tourist spots in Paris. Today, let’s uncover some of Paris’s hidden gems that aren’t swarming with tourists. We’re delving into the hidden heart of Paris, those off-the-radar places where the city’s true spirit and charm come alive. These are the spots where Parisians themselves love to escape, away from the tourist bustle, revealing the authentic pulse of the city. 

My name is Palle Bo, and this is The Radio Vagabond… “Discover Secrets of Paris: Beyond the Tourist Trails.” 

Before we dive into the list, here are a few surprising fun facts about Paris that I bet you didn’t know: 


The Eiffel Tower Can Be 15 cm Taller in Summer

Believe it or not, the Eiffel Tower can grow during the summer! When the iron structure heats up under the sun, it can expand by as much as 15 centimeters.  

The Mona Lisa Has Its Own Mailbox 

The Mona Lisa receives a lot of fan mail, so it has its very own mailbox at the Louvre Museum. Visitors from around the world send letters and postcards to the famous painting.  

Parisian Cats Have a Job 

There are working cats in Paris! To help control the city’s rat population, some Parisian shops and cafes employ cats as “rat catchers.”  

Paris Syndrome 

Paris Syndrome is a real psychological condition that affects some tourists. It occurs when visitors to Paris have such high expectations of the city that the reality doesn’t meet their romanticized perceptions, leading to symptoms like anxiety and hallucinations.  

Yes, Paris has a reputation to uphold 

Now, let’s have a look at some secret hidden gems of Paris, so you don’t get the Paris Syndrome. And before I start, let me just say that I’ll be doing my best with pronunciations but “pardon my French”. 

Canal Saint-Martin 

Canal Saint-Martin in Paris’ 10th district is a leafy, quiet retreat with iron bridges and a laid-back feel, perfect for strolls or picnics. Surrounded by cool cafes and artsy spots, it buzzes with music and laughter in the evenings, offering old-world charm away from the tourist scene. 


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Parc des Buttes-Chaumont 

Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, in Paris’ 19th district, is more than a park – it’s like stepping into a fairy tale. With rolling hills, cliffs, and winding paths, it’s a dreamy escape.  

This park is a mix of lush lawns, exotic trees, and hidden grottoes, perfect for nature lovers and those seeking tranquility. Imagine waterfalls, a charming bridge, and perfect picnic spots. It’s an ideal spot for joggers, dreamers, and romantics, all seeking a magical Parisian getaway. 

Rue Crémieux 

Rue Crémieux, in Paris’ 12th district, is a charming cobblestone street known for its pastel-colored houses, bright shutters, and blooming flower boxes. Walking here feels like stepping into a storybook. It’s a peaceful, car-free zone, perfect for a quiet stroll or capturing that Instagram-worthy shot.  

With its unique charm and colorful façade, Rue Crémieux offers a striking contrast to Paris’ grand architecture, drawing photographers and dreamers alike for its quaint, picturesque setting amidst the city’s hustle. 

Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen 

Just outside Paris, the Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen, or ‘Les Puces’ (The Fleas), is a treasure trove for vintage and antique enthusiasts. This vast flea market is filled with stalls selling everything from classic furniture and retro clothes to unique collectibles.  

It’s a bustling spot where locals enjoy hunting for hidden gems. In between the stalls are cozy cafes, great for a break in the middle of the lively atmosphere.  

Belleville Neighborhood 

Belleville, bridging Paris’s 19th and 20th districts, is a lively mix of art and culture. Once a working-class area, it’s now known for its dynamic art scene, with streets lined with impressive graffiti and murals.  

Exploring Belleville, you’ll find secret courtyards, unique shops, ethnic restaurants, and lively bars, all showcasing its multicultural vibe.  

Don’t miss Parc de Belleville for great city views. Belleville is authentically Parisian – unpolished and charming. 

La Promenade Plantée (Coulée Verte) 

Coulée Verte René-Dumont, also called La Promenade Plantée is a 4.7 km elevated park in Paris, stretching from Bastille. This green oasis, built on a retired old railway bridge, offers a serene atmosphere with flowers, lush greenery, and art pieces.  

Benches, gardens, and fountains provide relaxation spots. Its elevated perspective offers nice views of Paris, attracting joggers and walkers seeking a peaceful escape. This transformed viaduct is a testament to innovative urban design. 

Le Marais on a Sunday

Le Marais, spanning Paris’s 3rd and 4th districts, is a historic district teeming with medieval and Renaissance architecture.  

On Sundays, it transforms into a lively scene, breaking the typical Parisian tranquility. Streets come alive with open shops, bustling markets, and trendy cafes. Historic buildings house chic boutiques and art galleries, along with renowned falafel eateries.  

It’s also a hub for the LGBTQ+ community, adding to its diverse and lively vibe. A Sunday stroll through Le Marais reveals a mix of past and present and it truly capture the Parisian way of life. 

These are a few suggestions for you to get a taste of Paris that’s off the beaten path – seven hidden gems of Paris that offer a peek into the city’s heart away from the usual tourist trails. 

Each of these spots has its own unique flavor and story, adding to the rich tapestry that is Paris. 

What do you think? Do you have any secret spots in Paris that you’ve discovered and fallen in love with? Share your hidden gems in the comments – let’s uncover more of what this incredible city has to offer.  

And if you found this episode valuable, don’t forget to share it. Bon voyage on your Parisian adventures! 

My name is Palle Bo, and I gotta keep moving. See you. 


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