The Hidden Side of Paris

Discover all of Paris’s hidden gems

Jun 9, 2023
Party boat lit up on the SeineParty boat lit up on the Seine

Known as the city of love and light and the center of the world for art and culture, it comes at no surprise that Paris has attractions and sights abundant. Of course when visiting Paris, you’ll take a picture with the Eiffel tower, saunter down the streets of Les Champs Elysees, and soak in the great works at the Louvre, but when living in Paris for an extended period of time, odds are you’ll want to move beyond the main tourist attractions to some more local and Paris hidden gems.

Les Nautes for a sunset

What sounds better than sipping a glass of wine along the Seine, nibbling a charcuterie board, and watching the sun set. All of this is possible at Les Nautes bar in Paris. This lively bar serves a variety of drinks, cocktails, and snacks, all while providing the perfect view over the water. This spot is loved by locals and tourists alike, so be sure to get there early to claim your waterfront view while trying some local treats.


When searching for top notch secret eats in Paris, what’s more underground than a restaurant literally named “hidden”. Tucked away in an area reminiscent of industrial Paris between the Père Lachaise cemetery and rue de Bagnolet, Caché is an intimate restaurant serving fresh seafood and vegetable dishes inspired by what’s available at the market and prepared by Chef François Le Doyen and his team daily. Reservations for Caché can be made online or over the phone, so be sure to add this to your Paris bucket list.

The passages of Paris

Tiled floors and tables under a sun roof in the paris passages

At its peak, Paris had about 183 hidden passages dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries, but today, only about 20 of them still remain. These undercover malls feature shops, galleries, restaurants, and more, but they are hard to find and super easy to walk past unknowingly unless you’re in the know because they are, as the description suggests, undercover.

Passage des Panoramas is the oldest of the covered passages, dating back to 1799, and is located in the 2nd arrondissement. Galerie Vivienne is a fan favorite built in 1823 and features mosaic floors and great shops such as Jean-Paul Gaultier and the Librairie Jousseaume. Passage du Grand Cerf Paris was built in 1825, and its awe inspiring glass roof catches the hearts of anyone who visits.


From the outside, Normandy Le Chantier may just seem like any other hotel, but if you descend the spiral metal staircase hidden behind a mirror door, you’ll discover Rehab. This speakeasy invites visitors into a mysterious room filled with vintage rugs, chandeliers, and novelty furniture pieces.

Dark room with old time tables and decorations

Unlike many other bars in the city, Rehab focuses on CBD infused cocktails, which adds to the calming vibe of the bar. Rehab looks to curate a dreamlike and sensorial experience away from the busy Paris streets, so come, drink, and disconnect from reality to reach full relaxation.

Vanves Flea Market

Most people have heard of the famous Clignancourt flea market, but if you want a more low key and secret alternative, then Vanves Flea Market in the 14th arrondissement is the place to be. There are about 300 stalls selling vintage, bohemian, and overall quirky goods every Saturday and Sunday morning. Be sure to bring cash to find yourself a one of a kind souvenir.


Someone holding a French pastry

Founded in 1730 by King Louis XV’s pastry chef, Stohrer is the oldest patisserie in Paris. The original bakery stands at 51 Rue Montorgueil, but there are a couple of locations across the city. They serve up a variety of freshly made French pastries who’s recipes have been perfected over generations.

Paris Folies at la Coupole

Once a month, the Paris Folies take over la Coupole to bring back the experience of the Roaring Twenties. La Coupole is a normal seafood restaurant upstairs, but downstairs hides a secret dance hall. You might just find a ball going on, complete with tap dancing, burlesque shows, and live musicians all gathered to celebrate a lively evening of dancing and partying.

Tea at the Grand Mosque

The Grand Mosque of Paris is no secret, but its accompanying tearoom and restaurant make the perfect Paris hidden gem. Enjoy mint tea and pastries on a terrace while surrounded by trees, white columns, and beautiful mosaic tiles. Take in the surrounding architecture to feel transported to North Africa while eating and sipping a sweet treat on a nice sunny day.

Green tiled fountain with a garden and white building with a green rooftop

Explore all of Paris’s hidden gems

Paris is continually one of the top tourist destinations in the world, which shouldn’t come as a surprise given its impressive architecture and distinguished arts and culture features. There’s plenty of things to explore upon arriving in Paris, but if you’re thinking of staying in the French capital for longer than a couple of weeks, then you’ll want to check out these Paris hidden gems to break away from the typical tourist attractions.

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