Unique Places in Paris to Visit

Everybody can tell you what the main highlights of Paris are. Who hasn’t heard of the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, or the banks of the Seine River? But if you are looking for something else during your next trip to the French capital, you may like this selection of unique places in Paris.

Paris is an incredible city with countless landmarks and attractions, and there’s no way to see them all during a short stay. So, each of these unique places in Paris to visit is carefully selected, and I include only the most singular places that make Paris so special.

Here are my ten favorite unique places in Paris, France, to fall in love with the city!

Are You Planning a Trip to Paris Last Minute?

If you are booking a last-minute trip to Paris, I’ve got you covered! Below are our must-guides, top tours, hotels, and more:

» Plan: Paris Travel Planner; Paris Arrondissements Guide; Check out the best Paris Metro tickets for tourists

» Book your flight tickets with Omio; book your train tickets with Omio

Book your transfer from the airport to the city with Welcome Pickups.

» Where to Stay: Best Districts to Stay in Paris

  1. Le Pavillon de la Reine (historical 5-star hotel in Le Marais)
  2. Hotel La Comtesse (mid-range hotel with Eiffel Tower view from all the rooms!)
  3. Hotel Ducs de Bourgogne (super central 4-star hotel near the Louvre)

» Top-Rated Paris Tours & Tickets:

  1. Louvre Museum Skip-the-Line Ticket
  2. Eiffel Tower Summit Access Ticket
  3. Seine River Night Cruise
  4. Catacombs Skip-the-line tour with VIP access to restricted areas

Want skip-the-line access at museums & attractions in Paris? Get your hands on a Paris Museum Pass!

» Don’t leave without travel insurance! Safety Wing works well for long and short trips (starting with a minimum of 5 days). SafetyWing covers COVID-19 for new policies purchased, and unplanned quarantine is covered, too.

Must-Visit Places in Paris, France

1. Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame de Paris

The Notre Dame Cathedral is among the most iconic landmarks in Paris. This stunning Cathedral is located on the Ile de la Cité, and it has been watching over Paris since medieval times.

Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the first Gothic cathedrals in the world, and this style is evident as soon as you admire its elegant volumes, flying buttresses, and stained glass windows.

The Cathedral is currently closed to visitors for reconstruction works after the devastating fire of 2019. In the meantime, you can take this Ile de la Cité walking tour which includes the visit to Notre Dame from the outside. Another great alternative is joining this immersive experience, a trip back in time for a first-hand experience of the building’s past.

Notre Dame Cathedral is Paris’ beating heart, so you really shouldn’t miss it!

2. Panthéon  

The Panthéon in Paris

Located in the Latin Quarter, the Panthéon is one of the unique places to see in Paris for its important history.

The Panthéon, built in the 1700s in Neoclassical style, was originally designed as a Catholic church. After the French Revolution, it became a mausoleum for distinguished French men and women, including Victor Hugo, Voltaire, Marie Curie, and Émile Zola.

The Panthéon’s dome is imposing. From it, you can admire one of the best views of Paris, looking out to the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Eiffel Tower. You can climb up the dome from April to October.

Another noteworthy element inside the Panthéon is a replica of Foucault’s pendulum, still hanging from the dome. The device was used by Léon Foucault to demonstrate the Earth’s rotation – Click here to buy your tickets to the Panthéon of Paris

3. La Maison Rose

Maison Rose - Montmartre

On the picturesque Rue de l’Abrevoir, La Maison Rose is just too iconic to miss! This quintessential building in the Montmartre neighborhood has been immortalized by many painters and photographers.

Its pink facade, leaning against an ivy-covered building, has changed little since 1910, when it was a modest boarding house where artists came to eat. It is said that this building owes its atypical color to Laure Gargallo, a model for Picasso, who painted it pink when she acquired it.

This picture-perfect building today houses a restaurant for tourists, but it still encapsulates all the charm of Old Montmartre for a trip back in time.

4. Musée d’Orsay

Among the most unique museums in Paris is the Musée d’Orsay, housed in a former train station.

The first reason to visit is its unique location. Before entering the Museum, look at the 1900s architecture of the former Gare d’Orsay (Orsay Station). The huge clock on its main facade, which can be admired both from the outside and the inside of the building, is stunning.

The second reason to visit the Musée d’Orsay is its top collection of Impressionist works. Strolling around the museum, you will find paintings by world-famous painters like Renoir, Cézanne, Degas, and Monet. There’s also a beautiful collection of Van Gogh paintings.

If you are an art lover, the Musée d’Orsay is the best place to admire Impressionism in Paris – Click here to buy your tickets to the Musée d’Orsay

5. Musée de l’Orangerie  

Orangerie Museum

Another must-see museum in Paris is the Musée de L’Orangerie. This small museum designed by Claude Monet in the former Orangerie of the Tuileries Garden is nicknamed the “Sixtine Chapel of Impressionism.”

Among the magnificent pieces displayed in the Museum’s permanent collection are Monet’s Water Lilies murals. The painter offered these eight large murals to the French State as a symbol of peace on the day that followed the Armistice of 11 November 1918. The murals were inspired by his water garden in Giverny, Normandy.

The unguided experience of the visitor through several entrances to the oval room is different depending on the light coming from the roof, thus making the paintings resonate according to the weather. I especially like to visit when it rains: the contemplation of the water lilies with the sound of rain on the roof is very peaceful.

The museum also showcases artwork by Picasso, Sisley, Cezanne, and Matisse – Click here to buy your tickets to the Musée de l’Orangerie

TIP: Skip the line and save money in Paris with this bundle Musée de l’Orangerie + Musée Rodin!

6. Opéra Garnier and Grand Foyer

The Opéra Garnier is the world-famous opera house in Paris. Commissioned by Napoleon iii and designed by the young architect Charles Garnier, it was built between 1865 and 1872 using the finest materials. The result is a stunning masterpiece that will surely blow your mind!

The outside boasts a multi-colored marble facade with golden statues on top, but you need to visit the Opéra Garnier’s inside, particularly the Grand Foyer.

Inspired by the Hall of Mirrors in Château de Versailles, the hall’s vaulted ceiling is covered in mosaics on a gold background. Painted by Paul Baudry, the mosaics with the history of music are accentuated by the giant mirrors on the walls, which also gives the impression that the hall is even more vast – Click here to visit the Opéra Garnier

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7. Sainte Chapelle 

Sainte Chapelle - Paris

This Gothic chapel on the Île de la Cité is one of the most unique places to visit in Paris.

The Sainte-Chapelle was commissioned by King Louis IX of France to host the remains of the relics from the Passion of Christ, including Jesus’ crown of thorns.

The upper Chapel, reserved for the King and his family, resembles a jewelry box with 15-meter-high stained-glass windows arranged around the walls and depicting 1,113 scenes from the Old and New Testaments with bright colors.

The first glimpse of the windows in the upper Chapel is an experience you’ll never forget! For a more unique experience, attend one of the candlelight concerts in the Chapel – Click here to buy your tickets to the Sainte-Chapelle

8. Catacombs of Paris

Paris Catacombs

Among the unique places to visit in Paris are the Catacombs. Wandering through the bone-filled Catacombs is a great way to discover the dark side of Paris.

This underground cemetery has been open to the public since 1874, but originally, the various tunnels were simple quarries for stones to construct Parisian buildings. It wasn’t until the 18th century that these quarries gained a new purpose when the authorities decided to close the cemeteries in central Paris for hygienic purposes. All the skeletons in the central cemeteries were transferred here.

Today, the Paris Catacombs are home to about six million skeletons. The bones are arranged into peculiar patterns and structures, and among the remains are the ones of several French Revolution leaders, including Maximilian Robespierre – Check out this Catacombs VIP tour with access to restricted areas

9. Père Lachaise

Père Lachaise Cemetery

Another unique place in Paris to learn more about its history is Père Lachaise. This monumental cemetery is timelessly beautiful, thanks to the ornate tombs, headstones, and mausoleums. It is the largest cemetery in Paris and has been open since 1804.

A visit here may sound like a macabre way to spend your day, but Père Lachaise is actually the most visited cemetery in the world! It houses the tombs of all-time celebrities, including the Paris lovers Héloïse and Abélard, writer Oscar Wilde, composer Frédéric Chopin, and singer Jim Morrison.

There are also mysterious legends about Père Lachaise, saying that illustrious ghosts inhabit the cemetery and it was the theater of satanic rites. The interesting mix of architecture, history, and legends make Père Lachaise a must-visit! If you want to know more about the Cemetery and its inhabitants, take this top-rated walking tour.

10. Place de la Concorde 

Place de la Concorde

Place de la Concorde is one of the Royal Squares in Paris. I included it on this list of unmissable places in Paris to visit because of its history and its main monument, the Luxor Obelisk.

This elegant square, nestled between the Tuileries Garden and the Champs-Élyséees, was where King Louis XVI, Queen Marie-Antoinette, and Robespierre were executed by guillotine during the French Revolution.

In the center of Place de la Concorde stands the Luxor Obelisk, the oldest monument in Paris. It was brought from the Temple of Luxor in Egypt to Paris in 1830 as a diplomatic gift. This stunning Obelisk is also the world’s biggest sundial, another reason to pass by Place de la Concorde during your trip to Paris!

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Quirky Parisian explorer with a preference for lesser-known sights, I am continuously looking for new ideas and tips to bring you the best of the City of Light! Read more about me.