There are no seconds to the beauty of the Eiffel Tower, the legacy of the Louvre, or the sombre vineyards in Chamonix. But travel deeper and you’ll find places that may not offer the same experience elsewhere in Europe. By Anuja Dixit
The Catacombs of Paris are the underground tunnels sitting right below the heart of the city. This is no ordinary tunnel; here, stacked in layers are the skeletal remains of more than a million Parisians that were transferred to this former stone quarry from the graveyards between the mid-18th and mid-19th century. This tunnel stretches for miles and lends an eerie feeling 20 metres under the ground. Accessed from Place Denfert Rochereau, the catacombs hold equal relevance to the history of Paris as Eiffel Tower.
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris or the Sacré-Cœur is one of the prettiest spots in the city and one of the more popular tourist spots. But did you know, that the best way to experience this 18th-century church is when the first rays of the sun hit the cross on the tip of the dome? It is often said that the sun rises in Paris at the Basilica.
Credits: ArchinectThe Philharmonie de Paris hosts some of the most memorable concerts and shows. Worth mentioning are the ensembles of Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, the Orchestre de National d’ile-de- France, and Les Arts Florissants. If you’re short on time, just pass by—it has an innovative architecture coated with bird mosaic.
Marché Bastille is one of the biggest open-air food markets in Paris with the most creative and unique items on sale between 7 am and 2:30 pm on Thursdays and 7 am to 3 pm on Sundays. Shop for homemade cheese and wines, fish, fruits, and vegetables.
Credits: AparisguideIf you love collecting vintage items, you’ll have fun navigating through stores in the old neighbourhood of Marais. Experience true Parisian lifestyle unfold early in the morning as shops open, cafes set up the outdoor space, and locals filter in and out of the most uniquely orchestrated vintage style boutiques. From Rockabilly leather, retro glamour dresses and sunglasses to suits from the forties, Le-Marais is a big place for the vintage lover.
Credits: PinterestChâteau La Coste is a not just your regular vineyard. Here, sprawled amid the vines and over the lake are beautiful art installations by artists such as Tracey Emin and Frank Gehry. Stay for two days to discover quaint restaurants, art galleries, and other boutique hotels and at Chateau La Coste, indulge in three-hour wine tasting sessions followed by a hearty Parisian lunch. Chateau La Coste also holds operas at the start of the summer season.
The ‘I love you wall’ located in the Jehan Rictus garden square is an effort to spread some love amidst the violence and sense of individualism prevailing in the world. This 40-square-metre (430 sq ft) wall holds the message of love in 250 different languages across the world. This piece of artwork was created by Frédéric Baron and Claire Kito.
The Museum of History and Medicine is an 18th-century museum celebrating the evolution of medicine and medical equipment. It is home to 1,500 fascinating objects including prized ones such as the autopsy tools used on Napoleon and an intricate wooden model from the 18th century that was used for anatomy study.
The Museum of Vampires and Legendary Creatures was conceptualised by author and self-proclaimed ‘vampirologist’ Jacques Sirgent, to educate visitors about the history of vampires. The museum is located in Paris and is stocked with Dracula toys, books on vampires, vampire killing kits and Hammer Film collectibles.
Stay in bubbles made from recycled raw material and sleep under the starry skies in Allauch. Enjoy the calm oasis of Attrap’Rêves, be pampered with massages by the resident masseuse and enjoy meals curated specially for you by the in-house chef. There is a telescope and a star gazing map available here for you to discover some constellations on a clear night.
Explore Art at 59 Rivoli
Visit 59 Rivoli, an old building in Paris whose walls and floors are covered with words, sketches, and paint, and the spiral staircase of which that leads you to studio rooms above. Each room is designed differently and depicts the personality of the street artist it houses. If you’re here on the weekend, be sure to catch a concert.