You’re sitting in a sidewalk café along the bank of the River Seine, enjoying the last of your coffee and croissant and contemplating what you should do today. In the past few days you’ve visited the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and Notre Dame cathedral, and they were all incredible sights. But what else is there to see and do on holiday in Paris? Below is a list of five noteworthy sights (in no particular order) that many tourists miss but are well worth your time to explore.
#1: The Cathedrals of Sainte-Chapelle and Église Sainte-Gervais
If the gawking crowds around Notre Dameare starting to get to you, head over to one of two nearby and equally beautiful alternatives. Sainte Chapelle is also located on the Il de la Cite, just a few minutes’ walk from Notre Dame. Built in 1248, this church contains one of the world’s most extensive collections of thirteenth-century stained glass. Just across the bridge, in the fourth arrondissement, is the beautiful cathedral of Sainte-Gervais, which features the oldest pipe organ in the city (dating back to 1601).
#2: The Catacombs
This narrow labyrinth of passages, ossuaries, and galleries carved out twenty meters beneath the city surface is a sight unlike any other. The catacombs are the resting place for more than six million Parisians, and many passages contain poems, maxims, and tableaus that commemorate their stories. Since space is limited, queues can get quite long, so be sure to book your tour in advance!
#3: Luxembourg Gardens
Especially beautiful during the spring and summer, Jardin du Luxembourgis located in the sixth arrondissement near the Panthéon. Constructed in the seventeenth century by Marie de’ Medici, this stunning oasis in the middle of the city is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic lunch.
Long a haven for artists and musicians, this often-overlooked section of Paris is all about ambience. Beneath the beautiful white Sacre Coeur basilica, you’ll find a lively neighborhood teeming with museums, outdoor artists, and delightful street cafes.
#5: Shopping at les bouquinistes
Visitors and locals alike flock to these tiny artists’ booths that line the banks of the Seine. They sell everything from brand-new to vintage and authentic to touristy. It’s the perfect place to find fun gifts for your friends back home or a unique souvenir to commemorate your trip to France!