5 Paris hidden gems that I discovered during my latest trip

When I travel to a new location, I like to see as much as possible, so I do a thorough research of what the travel guides are recommending. More often than not, I do not actually follow those recommendations, because I find myself walking around and discovering some spots or experiences that were not in any travel guide ๐Ÿ˜Š During my latest trip, I have discovered 5 Paris hidden gems, that I want to share with you ๐Ÿ˜€ I am sure you are going to love them, as I did ๐Ÿ˜›

Promenade plantรฉe โ€“ Parisโ€™ garden bridge

The promenade plantรฉe, which you will find on the maps as Coulรฉe verte Renรฉ-Dumont, is a 4.5 km long elevated linear park, built on top of obsolete railway infrastructure in the 12th arrondissement of Paris. It was inaugurated in 1993. The promenade stretches between Bastille and Bois de Vincennes.

I stumbled upon it by mistake, as I was walking in Bastille, the neighborhood where our hotel was located. The promenade is reachable by stairs and elevators and on some of its portions only pedestrians are allowed. I did not know anything about this promenade, but I later found out that it is actually a Paris attraction for those who know about it ๐Ÿ˜›

The promenade or parkway (as it is called in architecture) is a breath of fresh air, in a busy city and it really cheered us up after our flight and metro ride to the hotel. As you walk on the it, you realize that even the sounds of the traffic below are somehow muffled by the beautiful trees, plants and flowers. You can spend an entire day here and not get bored. There are so many species of plants and insects to observe that, for sure you will find something captivating.

What I enjoyed seeing most, however, was the way the parkway blended into the neighborhood โ€“ in some parts, in such a way that it was actually impressive. It cuts through buildings, ascends and descends, following the lines of the old railway. At one point even, it goes below street level towards the east, passing through several tunnels.

We did not walk to the end, as we were already very tired, but I would love to come back there one day and see it to the end. A fun fact about this location is that it appears in the film Before Sunset, directed by Richard Linklater in 2004 with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy (I am absolutely convinced that you have seen this film or at least youโ€™ve heard of it! If not, please give it a try โ€“ it is amazing :P)

The parkway is open to the public, without an entrance fee, however it is closed during the night, so, if you plan on visiting it, just google it before – hand, to check whether it has closed for the night or not.

A small (or not so small!) antique shop in Versailles neighborhood

As we were making our way back to the train station, after our visit to the Versailles Castle, my mother stopped in her tracks and made me go into this antique shop, which she had found. She had the best of ideas, because, as soon as I entered the shop, I was simply mesmerized. I am a fan of antique shops, but I donโ€™t visit them very often. Most of the times, I find that the prices of the things I want to buy are too high for me, so I end up disappointed and with a longing for a various object or another ๐Ÿ˜Š

The antique shop, called โ€œAu Facteur Chevalโ€ (the name actually has a funny history โ€“ just google it to find out what I am talking about! ๐Ÿ˜Š), is actually located in a covered yard, with smaller rooms on three sides, full of various objects, from decorative pieces to books and large pieces of furniture.

The yard is covered with glass, which gives it an almost surreal vibe. It was such a wonder to walk through the shelves filled with old books, glass objects or smaller pieces of decorations. Paintings were scattered on the floor, one over the other, just waiting to be discovered by an art lover and put where they belong. My mother got โ€œlostโ€ among the larger pieces of furniture โ€“ chairs, tables, secretaires (small writing desks), cupboards. You could have easily furnished an entire apartment with the items found here ๐Ÿ˜Š I would have loved to bring one or two of those with me home. Unfortunately, airlines do not allow furniture on planes, soโ€ฆ you can understand the rest โ˜น

I found something that made me extremely happy though. Just as we were prepared to leave the antique shop, I found an entire shelf full of postcards. And not just any type of postcards, but real postcards, the ones sent from vacation home to the family. There were for sure about a thousand of those there, but I chose 20, to complete my postcard collection. I am delighted that I now have postcards that go back as much as 1978, which is a start for me. Well, I guess that from now on Iโ€™ll be visiting antique shops more often ๐Ÿ˜€

You can find a sister shop of โ€œAu Facteur Chevalโ€ in Paris too.

A neighborhood garden โ€“ Le jardin nomade

If you find yourself walking aimlessly in the 11th arrondissement (Bastille neighborhood), at one intersection, you will come across a small garden, that looks like something out of a movie. Between two buildings, people from the neighborhood created a green oasis, open mainly during the summer, from Thursday to Sunday, in the afternoons.

An insalubrious abandoned plot was transformed into an open, healthy, shared community garden, offering a free and open space where locals of all age groups can meet and share this project.

This project helps bring communities together and also saves abandoned places, in the process. It is extraordinary what a bunch of people can do โ€“ neighborhood locals are given individual plots of land, which they can garden, under the strict supervision of a chief gardener. They can then enjoy a nice glass of something, while breathing fresher air, in the heart of a busy neighborhood.

I must admit, I was impressed by the project. Even more, when I found out that the Paris City Hall is also involved, providing (free of charge!) the plots for the community to create these gardens.

If you want to find out more about this project, visit Jardinons Ensemble (which translates to โ€œwe are gardening togetherโ€. You can find these small, community gardens all around Paris, so be sure to visit one ๐Ÿ˜Š

The last two hidden gems are related to food ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ I am pretty sure this is not a surprise for anyone who knows me (or has read some of my previous posts :P), because I am a complete foodie and I absolutely adore eating new foods, trying out local dishes or finding new places when I travel.

To come back to my hidden gemsโ€ฆ

La Parmentier de Versailles

As the sub-title suggests it, this is a small fast food place, which can be found on the grounds of the Versailles Castle.

Now, when you see fast food, you might think โ€œbleah, fats and calories and whatever. No, thank you!โ€. But, hold on to your hats. This place (or should I better say, this small food cart!!) brings you the best boiled (or baked) potatoes that you ever had (in your lifetime!). The options of fillings vary, from the classic, basic one, which only adds butter to the hot potato, to a combination of cheeses to meat products or smoked fish, perfect for stuffing a hot baked goodness.

We discovered this small cart in front of Grand Trianon residence and did not pay much attention. We were starving though, so we decided to get ourselves a baked potato. The price is relatively okay, given the location of the stand โ€“ we paid 9 EUR for a potato filled with cheese, prosciutto crudo and pickels. What we particularly enjoyed was the fact that we took our take away package, walked a few meters and enjoyed our lunch on a bench, listening to the birds singing and the sun caressing our faces. The best take away I have had in a looong time. It was also a great energy input for continuing our trip through the Versailles castle grounds.

Bagelstein

If you are like me and, apart from a coffee, you do not eat breakfast (most often the cause is that you are already late waking up!) the best option to have a quick energy burst is having a bagel at Bagelstein.

Believe me, once you have tried their bagels, you will be addicted. Lucky for some of you, Bagelstein has shops in Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium and Switzerland, so you may find some bagel goodness outside France. On a side note, I just realized Iโ€™ll be traveling to Belgium in June, soโ€ฆ yeeeey me!

What is great about Bagelstein is that all their products come from organic sources and you have an option for everyone. For example, I donโ€™t eat wheat flour, but luckily for me, they had a multitude of options, such as corn flour bagels, different types of seeds bagels or, my choice, whole wheat flour bagels. I am always happy when I can find alternatives, as I am always struggling with eating a bit healthier when I am traveling ๐Ÿ˜›

In terms of what you get on the bagel, it can be whatever you want. I opted for a pesto sauce, mozzarella and dried tomatoes bagels and let me tell youโ€ฆ it was like my taste buds had died and gone to heaven. It was the perfect combination of the three ingredients and it made the bagel perfect for breakfast. And with only 6 EUR, it was quality-price ratio perfect ๐Ÿ˜Š

I hope you have enjoyed the hidden gems I have discovered in Paris โ€“ be sure to discover some of your own when you get there. This is what makes trips the more exciting ๐Ÿ˜€

20 comments

  1. That Paris garden bridge is incredible! I like reading about these different places that others don’t really know about in the city. The antique shop in Versailles is so quaint and full of charm too. I’ll have a few different things to see the next time I return to Paris.

    1. Great news! Yeees, I absolutely love to discover new places and to experience new things ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Ahh I’ve been to Paris several times but have never been to any of these places! Part of the problem is I still haven’t made it out to Versailles yet – a shame, I know! It’s so refreshing to read a Paris post that doesn’t talk about the same things every other post talks about so thank you for sharing these hidden gems!

    1. You really need to get to Versailles! Despite being so touristic, it is a great experience ๐Ÿ™‚ And you get to walk through the streets of the small neighborhood of Versailles!

  3. I just about died looking at the pictures from the antique fair, I just love antique things. And Paris must have the best antique items of all. I do remember when I visited Paris that they had such lovely parks and gardens everywhere you would walk, it’s so nice to see them again!

    1. There are so many green spots in Paris, I loved that also! In terms of antique things, you are so right, Paris is full of them ๐Ÿ˜›

  4. Truly hidden gems, I didn’t know any of these. You’re making me want to fly to Paris to explore all of them right now! I could literally spend hours in that l antique shop in Versailles, I love browsing to old stuff ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I have been to Paris just enough to see all the famous sites. So next time, it is time to dig in into these hidden gems or things that locals like. I especially like that antique shop. It would be amazing to visit there, too bad it would be hard to bring home any furniture.

  6. I’ve been to Paris five times and I’ve never found any of those places. I’m from NYC so I wouldn’t think to try a bagel in Paris, but that one looks good. I love the photos of the Promenade Plantee! I’ll definitely see that the next time I am in Paris.

  7. Thanks a lot for your tips and it is so well described. We love going to Paris and knowing these hidden gems want to make us going back to Paris to discover the places you described.

  8. Oh my! Such an exploration. I’ve been a couple of times of Paris, but somehow never got to explore.
    The Garden Bridge is absolutely gorgeous. My guy wouldn’t want me to accompany me here, coz I’ll end up making him take a hundred photos of me here. Lolz…
    I wonder if the Bagel shop also has veggie options in the menu!

    1. They sure have veggie options! You can choose to put anything you want ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ I also took a hundred of photos on that bridge ๐Ÿ˜› ๐Ÿ˜›

  9. I went to Paris and could not spot these hidden gems. I think, I need one more trip to explore all these beauties. I loved that Garden bridge which is full of greenery. Also a quaint shop with all artistic stuff near Versailles neighborhood looks charming. Thanks for sharing!

  10. i went there and found the one of best garden here. Even i spent more than 3 hours with my wife. Thanks for sharing good trip experience with us, next time i will remember those places.

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