Hidden Gems in Paris near Le Meurice
Paris may be known as the ‘City of Lights’ but underneath its shining surface lies a whole world of secret sights and attractions to explore. Discover another side of the city with this two-day itinerary and join us as we take a tour of the hidden museums, eye-opening outlets and exotic spaces that prove there’s more to the French capital than the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe.
Start the day with a 20-minute drive or a 30-minute walk to Un Regard Moderne.
Home to what many consider to be the best cinnamon rolls in the French capital, Circus Bakery is a chic, petit spot on the Rive Gauche. In addition to the sweet treats, the bakery is loved for its crusty sourdough loaves and rich, well-crafted coffee from speciality Parisian roasters, Hexagone.
After the bakery, take a 10-minute walk to Maison Le Roux Chocolatier et Caramélier.
Maison Le Roux Chocolatier et Caramélier
Henri Le Roux is a master chocolatier and caramélier maker, with decades of experience spent perfecting his art and winning numerous awards for his delicious efforts. While in his shop in Saint-Germain, be sure to keep an eye out for the salted butter caramels and the rich, decadent Truffe de Truffe.
Your next destination can be reached with a 10-minute drive or 20-minute walk.
While Notre-Dame Cathedral is certainly worth visiting, there are decidedly fewer crowds at Saint-Étienne-du-Mont. The striking gothic church was once an important abbey used by the French royal family. Home to some unique and unusual features, highlights include the original Tower Clovis, the impressive wooden pulpit, and the colourful 16th century stained glass windows.
Hail a taxi for a 15-minute drive over the river to Maison de Victor Hugo on Place des Vosges.
Maison de Victor Hugo
If you’ve seen Les Misérables at the theatre or cinema, visit the Paris home of the story’s writer, Victor Hugo. The intriguing house museum features restorations of Hugo’s original apartment, where he lived for 16 years, and exhibitions dedicated to his life and literary career, including original manuscripts, handwritten letters, works of art, and much more.
Then, continue with a 20-minute drive to Gentlemen 1919.
Gentlemen 1919 is an elegant, masculine space. Primarily a barbers, you can take a seat in one of the chic 1960s Belmont armchairs for a trim or a shave. Perhaps even enjoy a shoeshine while you’re there. Alternatively, walk through to the speakeasy at the back to spend an evening in laidback luxury, enjoying well-mixed drinks, from Negronis to Mimosas, in fabulously retro fashion.
To get back to the hotel, it’s a 10-minute taxi ride or 20-minute walk.
Begin the day with a 20-minute drive to Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil.
Jardin des Serres d'Auteuil
Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil may not be the largest botanical garden in Paris, but it’s certainly one of the most intriguing. The historic garden, which dates back to 1761, features a huge traditional French-style parterre and several greenhouses in which rare plants, flowers, and trees are lovingly cultivated. It’s a highlight for green-fingered visitors, and a beautiful spot for a morning walk.
Take a taxi for the 20-minute journey to the catacombs.
Catacombes de Paris
Deep under Paris lies a maze of underground tunnels. Originally built to store bones from overflowing cemeteries, the Catacombes de Paris was later used by the Resistance during WWII. A two-kilometre series of subterranean passages awaits thrill-seeking visitors, just be warned – many real skulls and bones remain below.
To continue, take a 20-minute walk or 10-minute drive to your next destination.
Found in leafy Montparnasse, the house, garden and workshops of the artist Antoine Bourdelle are open to the public as the Musée Bourdelle. Stroll around the gardens to enjoy the impressive sculptures, cast in plaster, marble, and bronze, and explore the workshops, retained largely as the artist left them. In addition to the permanent collection, the Musée Bourdelle often hosts a rotating programme of temporary exhibitions.
Hail a taxi for the 20-minute journey to the Passage du Grand-Cerf.
One of Paris’ historic covered arcades, the Passage du Grand-Cerf was built in 1825 for the city’s well-heeled to shop in style. Today, the wrought iron arcade, topped with a stunning glass ceiling, is home to a wealth of independent boutiques offering a chic selection of antiques, jewellery, and more.
The final stop of the day is then 15 minutes away by taxi.
Musée Nissim de Camondo
The spectacular private mansion that now houses the Musée Nissim de Camondo was built for the collections of Moïse de Camondo in the style of Petit Trianon at Versailles in 1911-14 and has been fully preserved. Today the museum showcases French decorative art from the 18th century.
To return to the hotel, take a 10-minute taxi ride back to Le Meurice.
All journey times are approximate and subject to variation.