I’ve spent a good many summers in Paris and I’m always looking for something out of the way and different to see and do. Here are a few things I’ve discovered over the years that are little hidden gems around the city.
Bercy Village is an outdoor shopping mall with as many cafes as shops. Many of these shops are not tourist geared. There’s a nature shop and a kitchen store as well as a movie theater and Starbucks. It borders Parc de Bercy. Metro line 14
Parc de Bercy
Parc de Bercy is located in the 12th arr. and is accessible by metro 6 or 14 as well as many busses. Part of the park is located near a bus terminal that takes people out of the city so there are a lot of travelers. There is a beautiful walking bridge that leads to the center of the park from the other side of the Seine. The pathways leading towards Bercy Village are filled with flowers and tall hedges creating little hidden grassy squares. In amongst these garden squares is a small garden museum house. The end of the park by Bercy Village has a small canal and water features that sort of create a circle filled with ducks and turtles.
Rooftop of the Gallery Lafayette Haussmann
If you want one of the best views of Paris you have to go to the rooftop of the Gallery Lafayette on Haussmann. Not only do they have an amazing stained glass domed ceiling but the views are unsurpassed by any other place. It’s not very crowded at the top and you can have a 360 degree view. The rooftop also features a bar and restaurant. Metro lines 7,9
Hidden in the 17th arr. is the market street of Rue Poncelet. This street has all the elements of a traditional market. There is a fishmonger, 2 or 3 fruit vendors, a meat shop, as well as a few places to eat. There is also a Fromagerie, or cheese shop, going back three generations. Alléosse is one of the top fromageries in Paris. The family uses traditional cheese making techniques including caves under Paris. They make the trip across town worth it for many Parisians. Metro line 2 to Ternes
L’Estaminet des Enfants Rouges is a tiny market set back from the main street of Rue de Bretagne. It’s well hidden if you’re not looking for it. A long time ago an orphanage stood here. The market is named for the children because they wore red. Enfant Rouge means, ‘red child’. The market gets very crowded for lunch and there are many food choices, from Italian to Moroccan to sushi. It’s a fun place to people watch and eat good food. Metro line 8,11
Cafe Pierre Herme
This is the first cafe Pierre Herme opened. This is a great place for lunch as well as dessert and coffee. All the workers are very friendly. Make sure you don’t go too late or all the desserts will be gone! The Beaupassage opened in 2018 and is filled with exceptional chefs. Metro line 12
Parc Monceau is a small local park with a beautiful black and gold gate. There is a pond and statues all around. Some statues look like old ruins and others small pyramids. Stroll across a lovely brick bridge over a stream to have a great view of the flowers. This is a local hot spot for runners. Metro line 2
The Jaquemart-Andre is an old mansion turned museum. You can walk through the music room and up the grand staircase. One of the best parts of the museum is actually the cafe. It’s a beautiful tea house set in the original dining room. They have delicious desserts and a nice view of the garden. You can even come just for the cafe. Metro 9, 13 or by bus