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Paris hidden gems are my favorite thing to discover in the city! But don’t get me wrong, if you are visiting for the first time there are dozens of touristy spots to put on your Paris itinerary first.
If you are in the city, for 1 day, 3 days, or even a week, you will have plenty of things to tick off your Paris bucket list (and you likely won’t have time for all of these Paris secret spots and hidden places)…
But if you get the chance to stay a bit longer, or you keep coming back to this beautiful city, this list of hidden gems in Paris will take you beyond the guidebooks. Explore secret passages, micro-arrondissements, forgotten windmills, and more unique places even locals often don’t know about.
Here are 40 Paris hidden gems you will absolutely love to discover…
The Passage des Panoramas
Where to find it: 11 Boulevard Montmartre, 75002 Paris, France
The oldest covered walkway in Paris makes for an amazing place to get some photos in. The glass roof provides amazing lighting and the hanging lanterns give a vintage feel that takes you back a hundred years. The Passage des Panoramas is full of eclectic boutiques and ethnic restaurants. It is one of my favorite Paris hidden gems: the perfect stop for a quick bite and coffee on a rainy day!
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Where to find it: Rue Cremieux, 75012 Paris
One of the most colorful spots in Paris, Rue Cremieux is a beautiful cobblestone street nestled in a residential area. Rue Cremieux was a true Paris hidden gem but it has become a popular Instagram spot in the past few years. Even so, many Parisians still don’t know about it! You can take some gorgeous shots walking through the pastel-colored houses but be mindful not to disturb the residents or sit on people’s front stoops.
The Flower and Bird Market
Where to find it: 37 Place Louis Lépine, 75004 Paris, France
This pretty Flower Market is located along the River Seine between Notre-Dame Cathedral and Sainte-Chapelle. Take a stroll through the green cast iron pavilions and admire the colorful flowers and planters. Every Sunday, the Flower Market transforms into a Bird Market filled with the tweets of thousands of birds. It is a true Paris hidden gem you shouldn’t miss when you explore the Île de la Cité.
The Zadkine Museum Courtyard
Where to find it: 100 bis Rue d’Assas, 75006 Paris, France
The beautiful courtyard attached to the museum comes to life in Summer and Fall, bronze mythological statues are hidden amongst the foliage making for a magical setting. It’s free to enter the courtyard and museum so wander through this overgrown romantic space and admire the pure artistry, a real hidden gem in Paris.
Where to find it: Place Dalida, 75018 Paris, France
This is possibly one of the prettiest spots in Paris, the secluded Dalida Square in Montmartre is a lovely escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Featuring cobbled, tree-lined streets and quaint buildings it’s at its most beautiful in the Summer and the frosty Winter. You’ll find it at the intersections between rue Girardon and rue de l’Abreuvoir, a wonderful area for wandering around after.
The Columns of Buren Palais-Royal
Where to find it: 8 rue de Montpensier, 75001 Paris, France
The 260 striped columns within the courtyard of the Palais-Royal are an amazing sight and make for some really interesting photography opportunities. The columns aren’t new but they contrast with the palace beautifully, particularly as they’re all different heights so you can catch some fun angles. The courtyard and palace are free to enter.
The Passage Verdeau
Where to find it: 6 rue de la Grange-Batelière, 75003 Paris
The Passage Verdeau is one of the covered passages in Paris many locals don’t know about. With its classic design, glass roof, you will find some quaint boutique shops in Passage Verdeau.
The Hidden Red Car at MERCI
Where to find it: 111 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003 Paris, France
The little red FIAT at MERCI Concept store has become an iconic Instagram spot. But it’s still relatively hard to find if you don’t know where to look which makes it a Paris hidden gem. Merci Concept Store is tucked away in the high Marais district at the end of a hidden cobblestone street. Don’t miss the little red car on your next trip to Paris!
The Sacre Coeur Carousel
Where to find it: Place Saint-Pierre, 75018 Paris, France
Montmartre and the Sacre Coeur are one of the top sights to visit in Paris. But most people head directly to the stairs leading to the Basilique or take the funiculaire up. One of the best views of the Sacre Coeur is actually by the beautiful Carousel in the Square Louise Michel (next to Metro Anvers). It’s one of the best hidden gems in Paris that many tourists totally miss.
Where to find it: Villa Léandre (off Avenue Junot) 75018 Paris
Another hidden spot in Montmartre, Villa Léandre is a colorful art deco street with real old English vibes. Think vines crawling up colored buildings, cobbled streets, beautiful classic doors, and classic lantern street lamps. This is one of the most stunning hidden gems in Paris that you won’t want to miss.
The Montmartre Windmills
Head to Rue Lepic in Montmartre and discover the ‘Moulin de la Galette’ and its two windmills. Paris used to be full of wooden windmills but very few remain today. Many people visit the Sacre Coeur and Place des Tertres but few know to take the detour and see these adorable wooden windmills. One of the true hidden gems in Paris!
The Cloitre des Billettes
Where to find it: 22 to 26 rue des Archives, 4th arrondissement
A magical medieval spot just waiting to be found is the Cloitre des Billettes, one of the last medieval cloisters in the city. The entrance is free and the cloisters are now used as an art gallery, you can take some amazing pictures here and show a completely different lost side of Paris.
Where to find it: 83 Rue d’Aboukir, 75002 Paris, France
L’Oasis D’Aboukir is a true hidden gem in Paris because lots of locals don’t even know it exists! This vertical garden or mur végétal is located at the corner of rue des Petits Carreaux and covers 250 sq metres in greenery. This Hymne à la Biodiversité was planted by French botanist Patrick Blanc and features 7600 plants from 237 different species. The vertical is one of those unique unknown spots that is really worth a stop!
The Great Mosque of Paris
Where to find it: 39, rue Geoffroy Saint Hilaire, 75005 Paris 5
Perhaps not what you were planning to find on a Paris itinerary but The Great Mosque of Paris is a must-visit. It’s not only grand in the way it looks outside but inside you’ll stumble into a magical courtyard and lush garden area. Doors created in flower patterns, sculpted arches, colorful carpets, and there’s even a tea shop, library, and hammam to enjoy. One of our favorite Paris hidden gems.
The Damoye Court
Where to find it: Cour Damoye near Place de la Bastille 75011 Paris
This cute, paved pedestrian alley in the Bastille district is lined with boutique shops and looks quintessentially Parisian. There are some serious Madeline vibes here. If you’re shopping, or just want to sit at a quaint cafe looking for a perfect photos spot, this is it. Court Damoye is gorgeous in the Fall when all the vines start to turn.
Rue des Thermopyles
Now that’s a true Paris hidden gem… literally, no one knows this street even exists. Tucked away in the 14th arrondissement of Paris, Rue des Thermopyles comes alive in Spring and Summer when the vine is bright green and the flowers in bloom. This little street is far less popular than Rue Cremieux but equally as picturesque.
Saint Serphani Church of Sarov
Where to find it: 91 Rue Lecourbe, 75015 Paris
This tiny hidden tiny ecclesiastical building with a blue dome has a beautiful wooden aesthetic, ornate interior, and an overgrown courtyard. It’s like stepping back in time and is such a tranquil spot you’ll be happy to just take a moment to enjoy the atmosphere. A real hidden gem in Paris’s 15th arrondissement.
Boat at La Villette
Bassin de la Villette, 37 quai de la Seine, 75019 Paris
Head to Marin d’Eau Douce at the Bassin de la Villette to rent a license-free boat and sail the canals of the Bassin. Going boating is one of the most fun things to do in Paris in Summer. Such a fun and unique way to see Paris from a totally different vantage point!
Where to find it: 29 Rue de la Parcheminerie, 75005 Paris
Is there anything more romantic than a cluttered old local bookshop, full from floor to ceiling with second-hand books? With its old wooden shelves and ladders and over 35,000 English titles inside, this is a bibliophile’s paradise. Beautiful inside and out, don’t miss this Paris photo opportunity and pick up a good book while you’re there!
Courtyard of Carnavalet Museum
Where to find it: 16 Rue des Francs Bourgeois, 75003 Paris, France (please note that the museum is currently closed for renovations and is set to re-open in Spring 2020)
the Courtyard of the Musée Carnavalet is one of the most beautiful Paris hidden gems on this list, specifically in the Fall when the vine turns all shades of reds. This museum dedicated to the history of Paris is never really crowded so it can be enjoyed without a lot of tourists.
Church of St-Etienne-du-Mont
Where to find it: Place Sainte-Geneviève, 75005 Paris
With its carved wooden stairs, stunning facade, and surrounding paved streets the Church of St-Etienne-du-Mont is a beauty inside and out. It’s also much quieter than other more famous churches in Paris so you’ll be able to get some stunning historical shots.
Square Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet
Where to find it: Rue de la Bonne, 75018 Paris
Ready to get lost in a secret garden tucked behind Parvis de Sacré Coeur? Square Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet is particularly stunning when the wisteria is in bloom. A walk through the square is one of the most romantic things to do in Paris. It’s also lovely in the Summer and the perfect spot for a picnic. You’ll also get some of the best shots of Sacré Coeur from inside the park so it’s worth going for that alone.
Nef du College des Bernardins
Where to find it: 18-20 rue de Poissy 75005 Paris
One of the biggest and oldest medieval buildings in Paris, with vaulted ceilings and a gothic style hall, this a dream for anyone who loves architecture photography or wandering atmospheric buildings.
La rue du Chat-qui-Pêche
Where to find it: Rue du Chat Qui Peche, 75005 Paris, France
A real quirky secret place in Paris, it translates to the ‘Street of the Fishing Cat’ and is the narrowest street in the city. It dates back to 1540 when the local people would use it to go to the Seine. Make sure you find the cute cat street art inside.
Where to find it: Au 52, rue Mouffetard, 75005 Paris
Rue Mouffetard is one of the most famous streets in Paris: full of adorable restaurants and lively bars, it’s a hot spot for tourists and locals alike. But hidden behind the hustle and bustle of La Mouffe is a secret passage virtually no one knows about. You can access the passage by walking through a narrow door by a souvenir shop located at 52 rue Mouffetard. Past the door, you will find a hidden cobblestone street full of potted plants and hanging vines. This secret passage is a true hidden gem in Paris!
Le Square des Peupliers
Where to find it: 75013 Paris, France
Wander down this secret mews-like side street brimming with character and traditional charm leading to a gorgeous courtyard that looks like a tiny French town. It’s a photographer’s dream, catch it before it gets busy!
Where to find it: Rue de la Mouzaia, 75019 Paris
A tiny neighborhood that could rival Montmeatre for its old-warm charm except it’s far less busy. If you fancy a tranquil walk around a picturesque, residential area of Paris then this is perfect. It’s particularly welcoming the Spring when the trees are green and the blossoms are out.
Where to find it: 25 Quai de Montebello, 75005 Paris
This public square, adjacent to the Church of Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre, sits along the Seine and offers an unbeatable view of Notre Dame Cathedral. You’ll even find the oldest tree in Paris inside! It’s also a great starting point to explore the Latin Quarter.
Les cités du Figuier et Durmar
Where to find it: 104-106 rue Oberkampf, 11th
Escape busy Oberkampf to wander flowery green side streets with uneven cobblestones, Paris is full of secret impasses like this just waiting to be discovered. Colored house fronts and a real-life of local life, this is a street photographer’s dream.
Le quartier de “la Campagne à Paris”
Where to find it: 210 Rue des Pyrenees, 75020 Paris
A tiny city in the heart of Paris complete with gardens, quaint brick houses, cobbled streets, and traditional street lamps, and buckets of charm. It’s a place to get lost and take photographs and wish you could live there yourself. It can only be accessed by car from one street (Pierre Mouillard street) so it’s a wonderfully peaceful city escape.
The Japanese Garden, Albert Kahn Museum
Where to find it: 10 Rue du Port, 92100 Boulogne-Billancourt, France
This museum has its own authentic, traditional Japanese garden. It’s complete with a flowing brook, red bridges, ginkgo trees, and cherry blossoms that make for a stunning place to take the most colorful floral photos.
La promenade plantée
Where to find it: 1 Coulée verte René-Dumont, 75012 Paris, France
An abandoned elevated railway line has been transformed into a romantic walkway covered in gorgeous vegetation. You get views of the surrounding cityscape as well as a dramatic blend of the natural and the abandoned.
La Butte Bergeyre
Where to find it: 76 Rue Georges Lardennois, 75019 Paris, France
This is a quiet neighborhood park that’s situated on the side of a hill – it’s a thick, wild place to take amazing photos. Butte Bergeyre blends rugged woodland style with gorgeous Parisian architecture for a real treat.
Square Saint-Gilles Du Grand Veneur
Where to find it: 9 Rue du Grand Veneur, 75003 Paris
The buildings surrounding this square are the epitome of traditional baroque Parisian architecture. Mix that with the wrought iron gates and perfectly maintained flower beds and you have the ultimate in Parisian photo opportunities.
La Butte aux Cailles
Where to find it: 10 Rue Daviel, 75013 Paris
Simply known as Little Alsace, this is a quiet and quaint suburban-style neighborhood that offers photographers the chance to feel like they’re in an old Disney film of singing birds and happy elves. Make sure to stop by La Villa Daviel. This charming lane features terraced houses, a cobbled street, hanging ivy, stone walls. In short, everything you need for a romantic Parisian photo shoot.
Le Cabaret du Lapin Agile
Where to find it: 22 Rue des Saules, 75018 Paris
Lapin Agile, meaning ‘Intelligent Rabbit’ is an old cabaret club made from stone that looks like an old French cottage in the heart of Paris. It’s a little eerie and extremely tranquil; a photo opportunity like no other you’ll find in Paris.
Le passage de l’Ancre
Where to find it: 30 Rue de Turbigo, 75003 Paris, France
A beautiful and romantic passageway lined with trees, where each little shop is painted a different color. Under a blue sky, the place glows, and there are potted plants dotted around everywhere. This is one of the few remaining Paris hidden gems because it’s truly a secret spot you can’t stumble upon unless you really look for it.
Where to find it: 5 Rue de la Banque, 75002 Paris
This is one of the grandest and dazzling places in all of Paris. Golden walls and a glass ceiling turn this gallery into a photogenic palace that you can explore and photograph to your heart’s content.
Musée de la Vie Romantique de l’Hôtel Scheffer-Renan
Where to find it: 16 Rue Chaptal, 75009 Paris
The Museum of Romantic Life pretty much sums up this gorgeous space at the foot of Montmartre hill. Evoking the Romantic era in this former artist’s residence you can enjoy the permanent exhibitions for free and wander the paved courtyard and greenhouse. It’s picturesque in every way.
Marie De Médicis Fountain
Where to find it: Rue de Médicis in the Luxembourg Garden, 75006 Paris
Commissioned by King Henry IV’s widow in Luxembourg Garden, this impressive carved fountain and surrounding statues are impressive, to say the least. Italian renaissance vibes at their finest, you’d never believe this was in Paris.
Whether you are spending a romantic weekend in Paris, searching for the best Paris photo spots, or looking to indulge in some of the world-famous Parisian desserts, these beautiful places to visit will fit into any itinerary.
And if you love to find more unusual things to do when exploring a new city, check out my Venice Hidden Gems!