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7 Unique Places to Visit in Paris on Your Next Vacation

As Paris gears up for the Olympics, the city has endless experiences to offer beyond the iconic Eiffel Tower.

As the summer sun graces the enchanting city of Paris, plenty of captivating experiences await. While the Eiffel Tower may be the quintessential symbol of Paris, this guide goes beyond the obvious, inviting you to explore the hidden gems and hot spots that make the City of Lights truly unforgettable. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, here’s a curated list of places to visit in Paris as the Olympics draw near.

7 Places to Visit in Paris During the Olympics

A view of the Eiffel tower through buildings in Paris.

1. Le Marais

Step into the heart of history as you wander through the cobblestone streets of Le Marais. This district, with its preserved medieval architecture and charming boutiques, offers a perfect blend of old-world charm and modern elegance. Make sure to visit Place des Vosges, a square surrounded by arcades and elegant townhouses, providing an oasis of calm in the bustling city.

2. Montmartre

Nestled atop a hill, Montmartre has long been a haven for artists, poets, and dreamers. Wander through the narrow streets, discover cozy cafes, and soak in the artistic ambiance that inspired the likes of Picasso and Van Gogh. Don’t miss the iconic Sacré-Cœur Basilica, offering panoramic views of the city, creating an unforgettable backdrop for your Parisian adventure.

3. Canal Saint-Martin

Escape the conventional tourist paths and embark on a leisurely stroll along the Canal Saint-Martin. Lined with trendy boutiques, charming cafés, and vibrant street art, this area provides a refreshing break from the hustle and bustle. Consider taking a boat cruise or simply enjoy a picnic by the water’s edge – a perfect way to experience Paris like a local.

The quay and the Canal Saint-Martin, a unique place to visit in Paris.

4. Sainte-Chapelle

While Notre-Dame Cathedral is undergoing restoration, the nearby Sainte-Chapelle remains a hidden jewel waiting to be discovered. This Gothic masterpiece is renowned for its breathtaking stained glass windows, depicting biblical scenes in a kaleidoscope of colors. Visit during the afternoon when the sunlight illuminates the chapel, creating a mesmerizing display of light and color.

5. Shakespeare and Company

Book lovers, rejoice! Tucked away on the Left Bank, Shakespeare and Company is a legendary English-language bookstore that has been a haven for writers and readers alike since the 1920s. Spend an afternoon browsing its shelves, attend a literary event, or simply relax in the charming reading nooks. It’s a delightful escape into the world of literature in the heart of Paris.

6. Palais-Royal Gardens

Escape the urban buzz and step into the serene oasis of the Palais-Royal Gardens. Surrounded by arcades, this hidden gem offers beautifully manicured lawns, elegant sculptures, and the renowned Buren Columns. It’s a perfect spot to unwind, reflect, and enjoy a peaceful moment amidst the city’s vibrant energy.

7. Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie

For a family-friendly excursion, head to the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, the largest science museum in Europe. Engage in interactive exhibits, explore the planetarium, and embark on a journey of discovery for visitors of all ages. It’s a great way to add a touch of education and wonder to your Parisian adventure.

An arial view of the Ile-de-Paris, one of the best places to visit in Paris.

As Paris gears up for the Olympics, the city has endless experiences to offer beyond the iconic Eiffel Tower. From historic districts to artistic enclaves, tranquil gardens, and literary retreats, each of these hot spots adds a unique flavor to your Parisian sojourn. As you plan your trip, consider weaving these unique places to visit in Paris into your itinerary for a truly unforgettable adventure in the City of Lights.

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