10 BEST HIDDEN (AND NOT SO HIDDEN) GEMS IN PARIS

BATD ON Feb 13, 2014 AT 12:54 pm

Paris

Paris

The late, great Audrey Hepburn said, “Paris is always a good idea,” and who can argue with that? But while it’s always exciting to see the Eiffel Tower and other popular sights in the City of Love, we’re challenging you to focus on the lesser-known destinations and attractions during your next holiday to Paris.  Just in time for a romantic Valentine’s Day trip (or whenever else!), take a look at our favorite hidden gems and discover a whole new side to Paris. Get those passports out now!

Cafe des Moulins

Café des 2 Moulins

This charming café’s claim to fame is that it was featured in the film Amélie as the title character’s place of work. While tourists still occasionally pop in as they tour Amélie’s Montmartre, the Café des 2 Moulins has gone back to being a cozy neighborhood mainstay with scattered tables and vibrant red chairs. It’s the perfect place to grab a coffee and sit for a while, especially since its location makes it a prime spot for people-watching near the bustling street market.

Berthilion

Berthillon

For those with a sweet tooth, getting ice cream at Berthillon needs to be at the top of the to-do list. With a storied reputation as the best ice cream in Paris, this ice cream parlor and tearoom is an excellent spot for a late night treat, or even an afternoon indulgence! Berthillon’s flagship location is on the Île St Louis. We suggest taking your dessert to go so that you can eat while strolling along the picturesque streets and the waterfront.

La Promenade Plantee

La Promenade Plantee

La Promenade Plantée

There’s nothing better than a relaxing stroll through a beautiful park, and that’s exactly what you’ll get by visiting La Promenade Plantée. Full of lush gardens and greenery, the park is elevated because it was built atop an obsolete railway structure. The walking path is just under five kilometers, and it links up to Jardin de Reuilly, a hidden garden in the middle of Paris and the perfect place to have a picnic while enjoying the gorgeous scenery.

La Perlerie

La Perlerie

La Perlerie

It doesn’t have an impressive facade, but La Perlerie is one of the cutest and most unique little shops around Paris. All along the Rue de Temple you’ll find haberdashery shops, but this one is a definite favorite because it’s host to an extensive collection of antique charms and buttons. Search around for a tiny Eiffel Tower charm – it’s the perfect way to commemorate a fabulous time in France, and you’ll have an adorable conversation jewellery piece when you leave!

Belleville Paris

Belleville Paris

Belleville

This hilltop district is one that isn’t usually on most tourists’ radars, so you’ll certainly be able to immerse in the true culture of the area. There’s a burgeoning population of artists in this neighborhood, so it’s home to loads of interesting street art and murals. For a romantic escape, pack a couple glasses and a bottle of wine and head up the walkway to the top of one of Belleville’s many hills – the view of the city is absolutely gorgeous from those vantage points!

La Meurice

La Meurice

Le Meurice

A historic hotel that provided the setting for Gil and Inez’s wine tasting in Woody Allen’s film Midnight in Paris, Le Meurice has been a lot of things: a residence for artist Salvador Dali, the location of a wedding dinner Picasso held, and even a hospital for wounded soldiers during World War I. Now, it’s a luxury hotel with a bar/restaurant decorated in the utmost ornate style. Definitely try for a reservation at Le Meurice if you’re looking for a romantic and beautiful place to wine and dine!

Pierre Herme

Pierre Herme

Pierre Herme

It’s a patisserie renowned for its sights as well as its tastes. Choose from a list of the quirkiest macaroon flavours you have ever seen, and make sure to sample the croissant delights too. There are a few locations across Paris, so pin point them before you go, so that you know where to angle your walks wherever you end up, for a sneaky little macaroon stop-off.

La Mer A Boire

La Mer A Boire

La Mer à Boire

Overlooking the Parc de Belleville, a visit to La Mer à Boire will feel like you’re on top of the world. It’s located at one of the highest points in the city, so naturally the views are spectacular! The outside terrace is always popular during warmer weather, but the inside is just as fun: you’ll see artists perfecting their sketches of the scenery, nosh on classic Parisian café fare, and often enjoy serenades from young musicians during the weekend.

Pozzetto

Pozzetto

It’s one of the best-loved gelato cafes in Paris. The pistachio gelato is a firm favourite amongst locals, and is made from bright-green Sicilian Bronte pistachios and the gianduja has the smoky-nuttiness of roasted Torinese hazelnuts. You can also get a real 22-second Italian espresso here too.

Hotel Plaza Athenee

Hotel Plaza Athénée

This five-star hotel famously provided the backdrop for the series finale of HBO’s Sex and the City, and for good reason – it’s one of the most magical, beautiful buildings in the city! If you’re lucky enough to get a room at the Plaza Athénée, try a true Parisian experience by requesting a room with traditional Louis decor (most rooms have Art Deco furnishings) along Avenue Montaigne for a breathtaking view of the Eiffel Tower, just like Carrie’s suite!

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