Paris, also known as the City of Light, is the capital of France and its most populous city. It is also among the four most populous cities in the European Union. A designer paradise and shopping mecca, Paris is a major travel destination for visitors to France and is known worldwide for its art, culture, fashion, and cuisine.
Traveling to Paris by plane is accomplished through two international airports: Charles de Gaulle Airport and Orly Airport. If you are coming into the area by rail, traveling the Paris metro system makes it easy, with Paris receiving the Sustainable Transport Award in 2008 and again recently in 2023. While visiting The City of Lights, consider straying off the beaten tourist path and finding a few unique things to do in Paris.
La Petite Ceinture
If you are looking for an alternative adventure in Paris, head to La Petite Ceinture. Relatively unknown to tourists and rarely visited, these abandoned train tracks can be tricky to find, with entrances sometimes hidden. These rails were part of the larger Chemin De fer de Petite Ceinture and transported freight and passengers around Paris. The tracks were finished in 1867, with Metro service launched in 1900 and declined until it was shut down permanently in 1934.
Some sections have been revitalized and transformed into urban park areas. In June 2023, nine rail segments opened to the public as service establishments and cultural spaces, with more spaces planned for 2026. Be aware that not all places on the rail line are open to the public, and some tunnels are permanently closed for safety reasons.
The Dog Cemetery
For unique things to do in Paris, visit The Cemetery of Dogs and Other Domestic Animals, or the Dog Cemetery, the world’s oldest pet cemetery. The Dog Cemetery opened in 1899 in Asnieres-sur-Seine, a suburb of Paris. Many animals are buried here, including treasured pets and a Hollywood celebrity, Rin Tin Tin. The monuments in this cemetery rival those in human burial grounds, with some quite elaborately designed and including heartfelt inscriptions. This lovely cemetery is located on the banks of the Seine, and maps are available for a nominal fee.
If you want to get a bit of exercise on your trip to Paris, take advantage of the Pari Roller. This entirely free Friday night, every Friday night, event starts at 9:30 pm when you can roll your way through the streets of Paris from Gare Montparnasse at the base of the tower on Place Raoul Dautry and see the sights. You can rollerblade, skateboard, scooter, or bike through some of Paris’s most beautiful monuments by night. This experience is not for beginners, as the terrain can be rough with cobblestones and plenty of hills.
Travel The Path Less Taken
Visit the world-renowned museums and famous landmarks, sample the delicious cuisine, try your hand at making French Perfume, and shop for haute couture. But when you’ve exhausted the ordinary offerings, explore some unique things to do in Paris. Another type of travel experience awaits you in The City of Lights when you take the path less traveled.
In conclusion, while Paris is celebrated for its iconic landmarks, museums, and culinary delights, there’s a whole world of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Venture beyond the well-trodden tourist paths to explore the lesser-known corners of the city. Whether it’s strolling along the revitalized La Petite Ceinture, paying homage to beloved pets at the Dog Cemetery, or gliding through the streets with Pari Roller, these unique experiences offer a different perspective on the enchanting City of Light. Embracing the offbeat attractions not only adds an extra layer of depth to your Parisian adventure but also allows you to connect with the city more intimately and authentically. So, when you find yourself in Paris, take a detour from the usual and uncover the charm of the unconventional, for in the hidden corners lie the true treasures of this captivating city.