Short & City Breaks: Second time in Paris? 5 unusual things to do on your next holiday

Paris is a bustling metropolis soaked in culture and a destination that is popular with British travellers. With the announcement that France is one of the countries which has been given the green-light for quarantine-free travel, many Britons may be eyeing the capital for their next holiday.

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Whether it is your first time in Paris, or you are returning for a second or third visit, why not leave some of the typical tourist traps for the crowds and visit one of these less frequented places.

Take home some treasures from the Paris Flea market

You may have relished in some of the big-name designers on offer at Paris’ Les Galeries LaFayette, but next time perhaps head on the hunt for some unexpected treasures at the city’s famous flea market.

Situated between Saint-Ouen and the 18th arrondissement, this sprawling network of twisting passageways is home to around 2,500 sellers.

Open weekends and Mondays, the shopping paradise is perfect for those with an eye for vintage or antique gems.

It’s also a great way to support local businesses and sellers too.

Check out the city’s Street Art

While you may have seen the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, on your next visit to Paris consider avoiding the queues and taking your own off-the-beaten-track art tour.

Paris is home to all manner of street art, both commissioned and work by independent artists.

Eye-catching motifs can be spotted all across the urban landscape, with Paris’ city hall dedicating a huge chunk of its budget participatif worth €500 million on creating more street art walls across its 20 districts.

Some hot spots include Rue Saint-Maur, Rue Oberkampf, Rue Germaine Tailleferre and Rue Laurence Savart.

If you don’t feel comfortable navigating the streets alone, there are also a number of street art and graffiti tours provided by local experts which visitors can book a spot on.

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Spook yourself at the Paris Catacombs

The idea of visiting passages filled with the dead might not sound like the perfect way to round off your romantic Parisian experience, but the Paris Catacombs might take you by surprise.

Beautifully macabre, this underground memorial turned art installation is home to around six million of the city’s dead dating back to 1810.

What was previously a tunnel network built to consolidate Paris’ ancient stone quarries, the metropolitan basement was turned into a burial grounds when the region’s graveyards become rapidly filled.

Walls and sculptures using bones have been created, making for a poignant sight for brave visitors to the mausoleum.

The Paris Catacombs are located in the 14th arrondissement.

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Uncover hidden passages

While tourists and locals may flock some of Paris’ more urban streets, it is also home to a number of 19th century covered passages.

These winding laneways are remnants of the post-revolution rise of the middle-class in France.

Less than 30 of the passages still remain, but intrepid travellers can take a peek at the surviving streets.

A long line of passages still stretches from Passage Vivienne, behind the Palais Royal, northbound to the rue Cadet, where they end.

Amongst the passages are nestled tiny galleries, small shops, as well as a number of bistros and brasseries.

Take a walk along Promenade Plantée and Viaduc des Arts

Make the most of a summers day or a beautiful evening by wandering along the Promenade Plantée and Viaduc des Arts.

Frequented by locals, this walk offers a retreat from the noise of the city and a lush space filled with greenery and artesian craftwork.

The defunct suburban railway was transformed in 1994 to a shopping hopping, arts and crafts centre known as the Viaduc des Arts.

Meanwhile, the Promenade Plantée is built atop the railway and promises a juxtaposition of calming yet vibrant surroundings.

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