You haven’t been here before.
If you’ve been to Paris before, you’re going to want to skip the major tourist sights and head off somewhere different. Fortunately the French capital has plenty of quirky and unusual places to visit. Here are a few of our favourites.
The pet cemetery (Cimetière des Chiens et Autres Animaux Domestiques)
#Sad faces for the #SaintBernard #dog named Barry. He was a WWI Trench dog that saved the lives of 40 people. "He was killed by the 41st." The child on the back of dog on the monument is the 41st person that Barry saved. The dog is said to have died from exhaustion from dragging 41 people to safety. At the #petcemetery in #anièressurseine
Forget human graves, this cemetery is devoted to pets. From Rin Tin Tin to Barry the trench dog, our canine companions are well represented – and there’s a liberal scattering of cats, the odd horse and even a monkey too. You’ll find the cemetery at Asnières-sur-Seine, still in Paris but just outside the centre.
The rat shop
Most storekeepers would be keen to keep rats out of their shop, but this one is a little different – they’re all hanging up in the window. Julien Aurouze and Co. has been in business since 1872 and this pest control specialist shows no signs of letting up on the critters just yet. The shop can be found at 8 Rue des Halles.
The sewer museum (Le Musée des Égouts de Paris)
Much of the Paris sewer system is off limits to visitors, but if you really want to get an alternative view of the City of Love, then head to the city’s sewer museum, the Musée des égouts de Paris. Covered sewers were introduced by Napoleon but the ones in use today are newer – they date from around 1850.
The inside out building
The inside-out building has been a popular yet controversial fixture on the streets of Paris since it opened in 1977. With its functional elements on the outside – they were colour coded as to their purpose – National Geographic described the reaction to this unusual building as “love at second sight”. Le Figaro was less kind, saying that Paris now had its own monster.
The bird market
On Sundays, the Paris Flower Market makes way for a different commodity – caged birds. The city’s bird sellers flock to the Place Louis Lépine with everything from parakeets to canaries. There are also chickens who’ll meet a more grisly fate, destined to become someone’s dinner. It’s worth checking out for the ornate cages alone.
The American gift
It’s well known that France gifted the Statue of Liberty to the USA, but did you know that the Americans gave the French a present too? This scaled down version of the Statue of Liberty graces the Seine at the Pont de Grenelle and was inaugurated in 1889 – on American Independence day, the 4th of July.