Top 15 unusual and unique places to visit in Paris

“Unusual, adjective. Different from others of the same type in a way that is surprising, interesting or attractive”. The scene has been set… Even though Paris is a large city, rich with its mixture of inhabitants & seeped in history, the “unusual side” is a personal taste. The following propositions correspond to my idea of “unusual” but knowing that I have not included short lived plans (my friends still remember an incredible underground (secret) restaurant which I discovered in Belleville), certain artistic squats or too “Rock & Roll” (trips on the old train track around Paris

The Flea Market (Clignancourt)

Now last but not least as we say, I have kept the best for the end. On the Richter Scale this Market gets the drum roll ! And the good news is that it is just two minutes away from the flat. Imagine for one moment the biggest Antique Market in the World with 1500 antique dealers located in 9 hectares displaying the rarest, the craziest & the most unusual furniture and objects. Here you will find my guided tour in the flea market with some very subjective propositions allowing you to miss nothing: design, the 30’s, Louis XV, stuffed zebras, airplane engines & even cinema seats and of course a musical break at a bar well known for it’s live Gypsy Jazz music!!


No need to introduce crepes, this delicious sweet French desert!
And I’ve got good news: a friend of mine (professional chef) proposes teaching you in his pancake house all his secrets of how to make delicious crepes:
– how to prepare the batter (no lumps garanteed recipe!),
– tricks to cook with a professional crepe maker (not so easy!),
– the fillings (sugar, jam, homemade chocolate, salted butter caramel and much more).

After practicing in the kitchen you’ll eat the crepes alltogether with a bowl of cider and you’ll even be able to take some away for your friends!
You’ll have fun, make nice pictures and I promise you won’t be hungry!!

– This class is for beginners.
– English is spoken.
– All the ingredients + an apron + recipe (sent by email) are provided.
– Not suitable for gluten or milk allergy sufferers
Easy access to metro (metro “Bonne Nouvelle”, close to Opera).
More info:
Write me and I’ll send you a code to have a 12€ discount.

The Catacombs

Let’s make things clear! Visiting the Catacombs means walking around a communal burial ground of the remains of 6m Parisians. Not very glamorous… but this visit deserves the detour as it is a fantastic discovery of Paris’ history, the building of the quarries and some underground chef d’oeuvres. I highly recommend you to take the guided tour failing that a take an audio guide, if not you will miss out on some very precise explanations and be seriously disappointed (all you’ll see are bones blah blah blah).

Some practical details : the visit lasts 45 minutes, the temperature is constant… 14° all year round, 130 steps going down and 83 going up. 2km tour. No toilets & no cloakroom.

Open every day from 9.45 am to 8.30 pm except Mondays & some bank holidays. The ticket desk closes at 7.30 pm. Full rate is 29 € (audio guide included), reduced rate of 23 € for young people (18 – 26) (audio guide included), child rate of 10 € (5 – 17) no audio guide and free for under 4 years old (and people living in Rome !!). Not very reasonable prices for the general public decided by a socialist mayor!
Online booking mandatory:

Discover Paris in a 2CV Citroën

As you have surely understood I have a certain weakness for the 2CV and I am far from being the only one! For several years now a young team full of ideas propose several trips around Paris: Paris Eternal, Paris Gardens, Paris Cinema, Crazy trips etc. Imagine yourself in the back of an old CV convertible, being driven by a guide & chauffeur looking like a street urchin taking pictures on the Champs Elysées. Great stuff!! It costs for 1 car (3 passengers) 110 € for 45 minutes and 220 € for 1h30.

The Museum of Fairgrounds

This unknown museum hosts a superb collection of old fairground equipment & attractions from the period 1850 / 1950. Completely restored young & old will have great pleasure in trying them out: wooden horses, merry- go- rounds and waiter races. Lots of emotion, patina, magic & beauty and the observation that these apparently old & antiquated attractions take us straight back to our childhood. The visits are by appointment only & it is necessary to sign up for one of the guided tours.

For your information the museum is situated next to Bercy Village. An area once used as wine & alcohol depots which has been renovated & turned into restaurants & boutiques. Finally the very nice park of Bercy is just two minutes walk away.
More info:


Since 1888 Deyrolle has been the most famous taxidermist & natural history shop in Paris. Halfway between a museum and a curiosity shop it allows you to take a fascinating voyage in time amongst its natural science collections. You will discover stuffed birds, multi-coloured insects, incredible sea shells, snake skeletons & other exotic animals.

During my last visit a full-sized mounted giraffe was being sold for 25 500 €, a lion for 29 000 € and some enormous trapdoor spiders at 200 €. No need for me to insist but I definitely recommend this visit which can then be extended by eating an excellent pastry at the “Patisserie Philippe Conticini” ( or “l’Epicerie du Bon Marché” ( 

Dinner – Cruise on the Seine

Comfortably installed on this Riverboat from the year 1939 you will see passing before your eyes the Notre-Dame, L’ile de la Cité, The Invalides & the Eiffel tower… An atmosphere apart in a neat décor with musicians accompanying you at your table. Two hours in which to dream & why not make a romantic declaration. Count 87 € per person and only one departure time per day. You can find less expensive elsewhere but it is like the difference between your favourite shop and the supermarket.

More info:

The Galleries

It’s raining and you don’t want to spend the day in the museum so why not discover the “Les Passages de Paris”. I thoroughly recommend it. Dating from the end of the 19th century these glass covered alleys are a little like a Souk. An atmosphere very Parisian and really authentic. An excellent way to cross Paris away from the cars and the noise and why not eat in one of the numerous little restaurants very lively during the day.

Don’t miss out on this website as it is the only one which gives a printable map of the routes to take.


Le Kube Hotel

Back to the 21st century…
For something completely different the “Ice Bar” where the temperature stays at minus 10. And I am not joking! Everything is made of ice the chairs the glasses & the curtains. Atmosphere to say the least… cold with neon lighting & flashy colours. The entrance is not cheap (38 €) but for this you can drink for 30minutes as many of the choice of 4 vodka based cocktails as you can. Fortunately the metro is not far.
More info:

La Lucha Libre

This bar near the Latin Quarter hosts professional wrestling matches every Saturday in its pocket ring, and on Thursday/Friday evenings there’s an ‘open ring’ formula where customers come to battle it out in good humour dressed in a foam sumo suit. Admission is free, drinks are cheap and service is a bit of a mess.
More info:

PS: Away from the sweaty smells, I recommend an excellent Tibetan restaurant just across the road. The owners are charming and will be happy to show you their dishes (whose names are absolutely unpronounceable, worse than at Ikea!).
Warm decor, low prices, militant atmosphere…
More info:


Margaux opened a new café in Bastille in autumn 2013. And she didn’t come empty-handed, because she’s got a dozen cats with her!
Welcome to the world of purr therapy!
This concept of a cat bar, very popular in Japan, was a first in France. The principle is simple: you sit down on a comfortable salvaged sofa (preferably in the beautiful vaulted cellar), order a drink or a savoury tart (€9), and pet the cats that pass by.

The atmosphere quickly becomes friendly, as customers exchange photos of their own cats and the young staff wander around without fuss. Finally, don’t worry about cleanliness: I came out without a single hair on my black jumper, and I dare you to come across a single mouse!
More info:

Auto Passion Café (CHILDREN WELCOME)

Its slightly out-of-the-way location (Porte d’Orléans) shouldn’t put you off, as the decor is totally dedicated to cars and is superb. During my visit, I kept discovering details right down to the toilets! Don’t go there for the meal (the steaks, burgers and pizzas aren’t incredible) but for a drink with the family and a bit of daydreaming.
Plus d’infos :


This establishment, which opened in 2023 near Opéra, is the first immersive cocktail bar in Paris. With mixology, visual and sound immersion (flat screens on the walls), cocktail shows and exotic dishes to share, Unplug appeals to your 5 senses and disconnects you from the city for an evening in a retro-futuristic 70s atmosphere. The menu is excellent. Please note: seating only, so booking is highly recommended.
More info:

Red Poppy

Red Poppy is a cocktail bar that’s instantly recognisable thanks to its superb décor set in the heart of Chinese legends. In the early evening, the atmosphere is confidential and intimate, but as the hours go by, the place puts on its night clothes to take you downstairs to its clandestine bar, the “Shanghai Surprise”.
The pagoda roof, opium bed, ceiling lanterns, lacquered tables and red neon lights welcome you to sip incredible cocktails, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, with no shortage of originality. Chinese cuisine is also available. Concerts and DJ sets at weekends.
More info:

Le Calbar

In 2013, two young Frenchmen combined the concept of “pants” (“caleçon” in French) with that of a “bar” to create “Calbar”, where the boys behind the bar wear pants.
The decor is pleasant and relaxed, with a chic little industrial entrance and a nicely furnished back area with comfy sofas and original knick-knacks on the walls.
The cocktails are excellent, just check the reviews. I recommend a “Surprise Me” drink, for which the barmen create a cocktail to suit your tastes.
More info:

speakeasy BARS

Hidden bars have been all the rage in Paris for the last 10 years. Although I can’t say I’ve visited them all, I’ve discovered quite a few… If I had to pick just 3, I’d say  No Entry in Pigalle, Moonshiner in Bastille and Rehab on rue Saint Honoré.
Don’t expect me to tell you where the entrance is!


There are plenty of unusual restaurants in Paris. Here are a few examples…

– Eating in the dark in a restaurant where the waiters are blind. I haven’t tried it yet, but I have customers who have been there many times and loved it. More info:

– Dinner on a bus that crosses Paris. More info:

– Have a drink in a strange vehicle where 12 people pedal. More info:

– Dine in a restaurant where the waiters and singers perform the most famous opera arias. More info:

– Tonton Mao”: This restaurant is a UFO. The menu is reminiscent of an anatomy course (beef aorta, pig’s ears, etc.). The service is full of humour. The clientele (only 3 Westerners in the packed dining room when I visited). The atmosphere from one table to the next, very cool. The barbecue was just too good! Five stars without hesitation! More info: Instagram

– A little less unusual, but very cool all the same: a bar/restaurant on the roofs of the capital: “Le Perchoir”. More info:




This is the first indoor surfing complex in Paris, located in the 15th arrondissement. This unique sports center lets visitors experience the thrill of riding flowboards and bodyboards, blending the experiences of surfing, snowboarding and skateboarding. It uses Flowrider technology to create static artificial waves, offering a safe and accessible environment even for youngsters. Further information:


A unique concept where participants can let off steam by breaking everyday objects in a safe environment. Come along, alone or in a group, to release your stress and frustration by smashing objects such as screens, crockery and furniture. All destroyed objects are recycled, ensuring a responsible approach. Participants choose their own music and protective gear before they start smashing. Special sessions for children aged 6 to 12, with pillow and shaving foam battles. Warning: the reviews on the Internet are not good, but the concept is great fun! Further information:


An axe-throwing center offering a unique experience to have fun and let off steam. The first of its kind in France, it offers participants the chance to throw axes at wooden targets, guided by experienced instructors. Sessions, lasting 60 minutes, include a safety briefing, practice, challenges, and opportunities to test different axe models. Further information:


How about a calmer ending? The Beer Spa in Paris offers a unique experience where customers can enjoy a whirlpool bath containing the main ingredients of beer: hops, malt and yeast. Relaxation is enhanced by tasting beer and beer-based cosmetics. Benefits include regulation of sebum production, relaxation and nail and skin care. The baths, some of which are double, are heated to between 30 and 36°C. Each session lasts an hour and costs €70 per person. The spa is fully privatized for the duration of the experience, which includes baths, a shower, a relaxation lounge, as well as an audio and video system. Cheers! Further information:


Cruise on the Saint Martin Canal

Paris has 2 waterways: the Seine with the famous Bateaux Mouches and the Saint-Martin Canal. One is the Motorway and the other is the Country Lane… On the Canal don’t be in a hurry it takes 2h30 from Bastille to Parc la Villette a distance of only 9 km. The children and Lovers will adore it: locks, moving bridges, footpaths, 100 year old trees, preserved riverbanks and of course the famous “Hotel du Nord”. A really nice way to discover the other side of Paris full of greenery & very relaxing. Please note one daily departure each way at 9h45 & 14h30 (reservation obligatory from October to March) & one extra boat from June to September.
More info:


The RHPS is an American musical film that was a complete flop when it was released in 1975. But that didn’t stop it from becoming… cult, to the extent that it’s been shown daily all over the world for the past 40 years. In Paris, it’s in the Latin Quarter, every Friday and Saturday night at 10pm (12€ admission). A troupe of fans disguised as the film’s characters take to a small stage during the screening and put on a show: hilarious commentaries, wacky dialogue additions, improbable choreography… The audience, for its part, is not to be outdone and contributes greatly to the collective delirium by singing, dancing, and throwing various odds and ends brought along for the occasion to match the film’s scene. Is it raining? We pour water on our neighbors. A wedding? You’ll have to bring toilet paper, household gloves, a newspaper…

Needless to say, there’ll be a bit of cleaning up to do for the cinema owner…

Don’t expect me to tell you the plot, just know that you’ll be seeing a mysterious castle, a very uptight couple, an eccentric transvestite and an Apollo in gold briefs. It’s vintage in the purest sense of the word, set to a brilliant soundtrack.

Any tips for attending?
– We strongly advise you to make a reservation, as the venue is not large,
– Nothing hardcore, but I don’t think children belong there,
– Avoid the first two rows, unless you want to experience your 15 minutes of fame,
– The film is in English with French subtitles.
More info:


Conservatoire Citroën

If you love classic cars, the “Conservatoire” Citroën is the place to go. This private collection of 370 vehicles, inaugurated in 2001, is located in a building of the Aulnay production plant (between Paris and Roissy Airport). Don’t expect a conventional museum, because this is just an atmospheric carpark… but what a carpark!! Tractions, 2CV, DS, SM, CX, half-track and helicopter, models and prototypes, rally cars and other unusual cars like the “James Bond” 2CV or the 2CV “petition” (covered with signatures of fans asking Citroën not to stop its production).
More info:

The “Galeries Lafayette” department store

Hey Bertrand! Since when has the “Galeries Lafayette” been unusual?

A little moment of weakness with this selection? What nonsense! Everything is under control. I just wanted to share with you 2 interesting events… 

1// Fashion shows
The store organises every Friday at 3 o’clock (except in August) a fashion show with professional models. Aimed more for a (rich!) international clientele the show lasts 25 minutes and allows you to discover the latest fashions. Admission charge applies.

2// Panoramique terrace
Surprising as it may be there exists a 7th floor of this store dedicated to fashion, with a very large terrace open to the public offering a superb view of 360° of the capital and it is possible to have a drink when the weather permits. The difference between this one and the terrace of the “Printemps” department store next door is that this one is much bigger and it is easy to find a seat. A little anecdote is that on January the 19th 1919 a small plane actually landed on this terrace, making this the first ever landing to be made on a building. It also picked up a 25 000 francs reward offered by the management of the store for a challenge made 10 years earlier to achieve this exploit.

The Galeries Lafayette Store, 40 bd Haussmann, 75009 Paris, open during the usual store hours.