Unusual Paris: 5 places to discover

The Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs-Elysées… All these well-known monuments are emblems of the French capital. However, Paris is also full of lesser known places that offer a different look at the city.

The Sri Manicka Vinayakar Alayam temple
Located in the 18th arrondissement, the Sri Manicka Vinayakar Alayam temple is a hindu temple dedicated to Ganesh, the elephant-head god of wisdom. In the midst of colorful deities, you will find yourself transported into India. The Feast of Ganesh will be happening on September 1st.


Photo credit: Michel Durand

Open daily from 9:30am to 8:30pm.
Free admission.  Donations accepted.

Sri Manicka Vinayakar Alayam Paris
17, rue Pajol
75018 Paris
Tel: +33 (0)1  40 34 21 89
Metro station: La Chapelle (line 2).

The Manor – Le Manoir de Paris
If you are interested in dark legends and horrific misteries, the Manoir de Paris is the place to discover the dark side of the capital. Seventeen stories and legends, some famous and some obscure, are told by actors in costumes. The Phantom of the Opera, the Hunchback of Notre-Dame, the secrests of the Père Lachaise cemetery, or the Tuileries ghost will give you a different perspective of Paris.


Copyright : Manoir H

Open Fridays from 3pm to 7pm, and Saturdays and Sundays from 6pm to 10pm.
Admission: 20€ / Reduced rate (under 18 years old, students): 18€ / Children (under 16): 15€.
Not recommended for children under 10.

Manoir de Paris
18, rue de Paradis
75010 Paris
Tel: +33 (0)6 70 89 35 87
Metro station: Château d’Eau (line 4) or Poissonnière (line 7).

The Paris Mosque
Located in the latin quarter, the Mosque features hispano-moorish architecture and opens the doors to islamic culture. You may wish to relax at the hammam or sip a cup of mint tea at the café. The visit is a sure way to feel like you have traveled far away from Paris.


Open daily from11am to 7pm.
For a guided visit: 3€ / Reduced rate: 2€ / Free for children under 7.

La Mosquée de Paris
2, Place du Puits de l’Ermite
75005 Paris
Tel : +33 (0)1 45 35 97 33
Station: Censier – Daubenton (line 7).

The Lutetia Arenas
This lesser known historic place houses the remnants of a 1st century amphitheater. A registered historical monument, the arenas are the only visible examples of gallo-roman architecture in Paris. Admission is free to this perfect place for a break in th Parisian sun.


Photo credit: Mareuil Hotel

According to the season: opening at 8 or 9am, closing at 7:30 or 8:30pm.
Free admission.

Les Arènes de Lutèce
47-59, rue Monge
75005 Paris
Tél : +33 (0)1 45 35 02 56
Metro stations: Jussieu (lines 7 and 10), Place Monge (line 7) or Cardinal Lemoine (line 10).

The Paris hot air balloon
For a new look at the capital city, why not try the world’s largest hot air balloon? From a 150-meter height, you will get a unique view of Parisian rooftops and monuments. All you need is favorable weather.


Open daily depending on the weather, from 9am to 7pm in October (until the 28th), from 9am to 8pm in September, from 9am to 9pm the rest of the year.
Rate: Adults 12€ / children 3-11 years old: 6€ / Free admission for children under 3.

Ballon de Paris
2, rue Cauchy
75015 Paris
Tel: +33 (0)1 44 26 20 00
Metro station: Javel – André Citroën (line 10).


Have the best ice cream around Hotel Mareuil

There is nothing like ice cream to enjoy a hot summer in Paris! That’s why we have selected for you three of the best ice cream makers around Hotel Mareuil.

Gelati d’Alberto in the Marais quarter
Besides the numerous flavors available, this ice cream maker serves scoops in the shape of flowers. The choice will be difficult between all the delicious flavors and mouth-watering colors.


3,50€ for two scoops.
Open daily from noon to midnight.

Gelati d’Alberto
12, rue des Lombards
75004 Paris
Tel: +33 (0)1 77 11 44 55
Metro stations: Châtelet (lines 1, 4, 7, 11 and 14) or Hôtel de Ville (lines 1 and 11).

Berthillon on Ile-Saint-Louis
Their motto is clear and simple: «quality is our passion». The amazing ice cream maker on the Ile-Saint-Louis serves unusual flavors such as lavender, mojito or foie gras, along the more traditional chocolate, pistacho or strawberry. In the heat of summer, a seasonal melon or almond milk flavor is deliciously refreshing.


Photo credit: Blog La Rapporteuse

3,80€ for two scoops.
Open Wednesday through Sunday, from 10am to 8pm.

29-31, rue Saint-Louis-en-l’Ile
75004 Paris
Tel: +33 (0)1 43 54 31 61
Metro stations: Pont Marie (line 7), Saint-Paul (line 1), or Cardinal Lemoine (lines 9 and 10).

MyBerry, all the good things without the calories
If you wish to enjoy ice cream without worrying about your calory intake, MyBerry is your choice. Specialized in frozen yogurt, this ice cream maker lets you compose your own cup, with a choice of delicious decorations such as smarties (chocolate candy), oreo cookies or fresh fruit. Delicious sweetness without the guilt!


Cup starting at 3€.
Open daily, from noon to 12:30am Monday through Friday, and from noon to 2am on Saturday and Sunday.

25, rue Vieille du Temple
75004 Paris
Tel: +33 (0)1 40 27 07 07
Metro stations: Saint-Paul (line 1) or Hôtel de Ville (lines 1 and 11).


Inside Out: an exhibition celebrating Canal de l’Ourcq

If you have recently been on a walk along Canal de l’Ourcq, you must have notices big black and white portraits on either side. From Place Stalingrad to Bassin de Pantin, 300 unknown faces celebrate the life and renewal of the area.


© Christophe Brachet

An international project
After Rio and New York, it is Paris’ turn to welcome the Inside Out Project by artist J.R. For this exhibit, pictures were taken by photographers Romain Bassenne and Ava du Parc. All the people on the pictures have one thing in common: they are currently, will soon be, or were previously working in the Canal Saint-Martin quarter. These men and women are workers at the concrete mixing plant, retired millers from the area’s mills, bankers, boat captains, graffiti artists, or restaurant owners.


© Christophe Brachet

A lively quarter
All of the people pictured on the exhibit show the evolution of the area, with their rhythm of life between work, home and weekend walks. New businesses are coming, such as a big publicity agency soon setting its offices in the abandoned warehouses of the chamber of commerce, currently occupied by street artists. Located just minutes from Hotel Mareuil, the canal and its multiple attractions is a lovely family outing, if only to enjoy this new exhibit, on foot, bicycle, or even on a cruise!


© Christophe Brachet

The Inside Out Exhibit, from Juy 7 to September 15, 2013.
Free admission.
Located along Canal de l’Ourcq, between Place Stalingrad – Paris 19th arrondissement – and Bassin de Pantin (near metro line 5 – Eglise de Pantin).


Welcome to the newly remodeled Place de la République

After a year and a half of construction and work, the Place de la République is back in action with a new modern and welcoming style.

A square for pedestrians
Now dedicated to pedestrians, Place de la République is an ideal spot for family outings. Entirely renovated and surrounded by vegetation, the square invites you to relax in its new atmosphere.  Children will enjoy the water mirror – miroir d’eau – on the ground, especially during hot summer days.  The well-known statue on the square is now surrounded by a refreshing water pool, complete with little water jets.  Red poppy-colored armchairs, chairs and tables are also available for your comfort.


Photo credit: Mareuil Hotel

L’R de jeux – the play area – on the square
L’R de jeux is designed for children with over 600 toys and games available for a wide range of ages. Foot scooters, board games, construction and puzzles will delight little ones. The games and toys are borrowed on a daily basis, which is perfect for an afternoon on the square. Set up on a 1000 m² terrace, this toy library is managed by the toy librarians of Ile-de-France Association.


Photo credit: Mareuil Hotel

R de jeux – Play area
Open from June 16 to September 15, 2013, Tuesday through Friday, Sundays and holidays, from 11am to 8pm, Saturdays from 11am to 11pm. Closed on Mondays.

Place de la République
Metro station : République (lines 3, 5, 8, 9 and 11).