The Best Kept Se­crets of Paris

Think you know the City of Lights? Think again... th­ese spots will have you fall­ing in love with the French cap­i­tal all over again.

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Père Lachaise Ceme­tery

A ceme­tery doesn’t usu­ally fea­ture on most peo­ple’s travel itin­er­ar­ies, but then Père Lachaise isn’t your usual ceme­tery. As the rest­ing place of great lit­er­ary and mu­si­cal icons such as Os­car Wilde, Édith Piaf and Jim Mor­ri­son, Père Lachaise has nat­u­rally be­come some­thing of a pil­grim­age site for fans of th­ese in­spi­ra­tional cre­atives. You can spend hours walk­ing through the gar­dens, which are dot­ted with in­ter­est­ing me­mo­rial stones (check out the lipstick kisses all over Os­car Wilde’s grave), but spring has to be the best time to visit, as the tulips have just started to flower.

The ceme­tery is in the 20th ar­rondisse­ment. Take the Paris Métro to Philippe-Au­guste, Père Lachaise or Gam­betta sta­tions (and don’t for­get to grab a free map from the ad­min­is­tra­tion build­ing be­fore you head in).

Rue Cremieux

This pas­tel-hued road has to be one of the pret­ti­est streets in Europe. Fea­tur­ing cute cob­ble-stoned streets, a house in ev­ery shade you can imag­ine, plant pots ga­lore and pic­ture-perfect door­ways, it re­ally is hard not to get a good shot of Rue Cremieux.

Rue Cremieux is a short walk from Gare de Lyon train sta­tion and Quai de la Rapée Paris Métro sta­tion. It’s a res­i­den­tial street, so you can visit any­time.

Les Puces de Saint-Ouen

As one the world’s largest flea mar­kets, it’s amaz­ing how many peo­ple over­look Les Puces when they’re in Paris... OK, so it’s not tech­ni­cally in Paris; you’ll find it in the sub­urb of Saint-Ouen – but it’s just 30 min­utes away from the city cen­tre by Paris Métro. Set over 70,000m2, peo­ple in the know have been search­ing out cu­riosi­ties here for years. From vin­tage frocks and old French movie posters to kitsch de­signer jew­ellery, you can find what­ever you’re look­ing for – just try to ded­i­cate a good amount of time for rum­mag­ing and don’t for­get to hag­gle. If you want to stay in the area, the new MOB Ho­tel is fun, with an or­ganic res­tau­rant that’s rea­son­ably priced to boot.

Les Puces is open Satur­days, Sun­days and Mon­days all year round. The near­est Paris Métro sta­tions are Porte de Clig­nan­court and Garibaldi. Rooms at MOB Ho­tel start from $160.

Mai­son de Serge Gains­bourg

When it comes to iconic duos, Serge Gains­bourg and Jane Birkin spring to mind as one of the hippest, most bo­hemian couples of their time – so who wouldn’t want to see a place plas­tered with graf­fiti of their faces? You can’t go in­side the home where Serge spent the last years of his life but you can stand out­side and take in the heart-felt tributes and ever-chang­ing art on the walls. Ru­mour has it Serge and Jane’s daugh­ter, ac­tress Char­lotte Gains­bourgh, was go­ing to open up the house to vis­i­tors at one point, but plans have been put on hold. Fin­gers crossed that it hap­pens in the fu­ture.

The house is at 5 bis, Rue de Verneuil, and is a short walk from Rue du Bac or Saint-Ger­main-des-Pres Paris Métro sta­tions in the 7th ar­rondisse­ment.

Sleep next to the Eif­fel Tower

Rather than book an over­priced ho­tel room, check out this Airbnb stu­dio apart­ment in­stead. With over 100 pos­i­tive re­views, taste­ful decor, a gor­geous bath­tub and prime lo­ca­tion (it’s lit­er­ally 30 sec­onds away from the Eif­fel Tower), the res­i­dence is re­ally one of Paris’ best kept se­crets. Plus, the host speaks English and French. Book in ad­vance with the Airbnb app from $233 a night.

Check out the stu­dio at­mPK.

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