With so many world-famous things to see and do in Paris, it might be difficult to set aside a day or two to visit a sampling of the city’s more off-beat attractions. Some of the more unusual things, however, may turn out to be the most memorable. Whether taboo, macabre, underground or just plain off the wall, Paris boasts myriad attractions to keep visitors entertained, surprised and, in some cases, shocked.
Located in the heart of the infamous Pigalle district, the Erotic Museum features seven floors of art and artifacts devoted to the history of erotica. From bawdy sculptures and off-beat paintings to devices, sex toys and more, the museum’s collection of taboo items will entertain and shock.
Musée de l’Erotisme
72 boulevard de Clichy Paris
Below the city streets lurks a dank, dark sewer system made famous by Victor Hugo in “Les Miserables.” In the 1970s, boats took tourists through the tunnels. Today, the museum is visited atop metal grates beneath the Quai d’Orsay on the Left Bank.
Stroll the Marais District on Friday evenings and enjoy the many clubs and restaurants of the gay quarter, where thousands of happy patrons spill out of clubs and onto the streets. The real party does not get started until 1 a.m., when the dance clubs turn up the beat.
An underground world of skulls and bones reveals a surreal slice of French history. Neatly stacked to form walls on either side of walkable tunnels, millions of Parisian skulls were exhumed from local cemeteries beginning in 1785. These macabre residents are now the sole occupants of dimly lit corridors beneath city streets.
1, Place Denfert-Rochereau
75014 Paris, France
+33 1 43 22 47 63
Musée de la Curiosité et de la Magie
The mysterious world of magic is on display in this fascinating museum, where artifacts include optical illusions, objects that float on thin air and a box for sawing people in half. A fun live show takes place every half hour.
Ecole de Magie
11, rue St-Paul 75004
01 42 72 13 26