Secret Paris You Need to See

beige concrete building

By Christina

Growing up in the States I was raised to be weary of alleyways. My mother was not the one who enforced this. 

Even now, living in France, I am still nervous about entering alleyways. But when I do muster up the courage to wander through an alley I am pleasantly surprised.

Seriously, if you don’t go down an alley, especially in Paris you’ll have a hard time finding places. 

Here are five secret passageways and streets you should stumble upon the next time you are in Paris. 


When you explore Paris, you’ll notice just how small it actually is. You see each arrondissement is sort of like its own little village.

There is nothing you can’t find in whatever arrondissement you’re in, meaning you don’t have to leave it just to buy something, see architecture, or go to a museum.

You’ll have your pick of restaurants, bakeries, and other shops to explore and adopt as your favorites. 

But there is more to Paris than the tourist sites, well there are ones anyone hardly knows about, even native Parisians. Check out the Secret Paris you need to see! 


snow in paris

Never miss a post!

Get your dose of tips, advice and lessons learned at my expense. Grab a cup of coffee, get cosy and let’s do this! 


One of the prettiest areas in Paris, Saint-Germain-des-Prés was the haunt of both the French existentialists and the Americans of the Lost Generation.(writers and artists from the United States who lived in Paris) *see note  Home to the Jardin du Luxembourg and the church of St-Germain-des-Prés, travelers choose to stay in St Germain for the luxe shopping, the famous cafes, and the parks.


*Americans of the Lost Generation: T.S. Elliot, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemmingway, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Stein, Jean Rhys Henry Strater, and Silvia Beach.


Believe it or not, not many people visit the 14th, 15th and 16th arrondissements. So if you wanna get away from the crowds and explore at your own pace these are the places to go. I loved my old stomping grounds. There is a Korean restaurant on the 15th that has the best ramen, and of course, in the 14th you’ll find several bakeries that are top-notch. I visited a butcher on (rue) and was quite embarrassed there when I accidentally asked for ***hole instead of a duck. (if you know French you know the words are very similar)

The 16th has a large cultural aspect to it, with museums and sweet sites. It is a great place to explore and discover. 

Secret alleyways of Paris you need to explore.

Passage Dauphine

Connects rue Dauphine with rue Mazarine in the 6th arrondissement. This private road is located on the site of a former doggy club in Rue Dauphine, the garden of which extended into Rue Mazarine.

Building 20 is a language institute, its main building was built against a large section of the Philiippe-Auguste wall. 


Passage du Grand cerf-2nd arrondissement

 This passageway takes you from Montorgeul to Saint-Denis. You’ll discover metal and cast iron roofs tipped with a pretty skylight. Also, the highest in Parst at 12 meters, allowing a lot of light in! 

You’ll be delighted to find traditional arts and craft shops as well as furniture and design shops. 

Cour de rohan-6th arrondissement

Built by King Henry II for his mistress Diane de Poiters this tiny oasis is located in the Monnaie neighbourhood. It is far removed from the hustle and bustle of the boulevard Saint Germain and Carrefour de l’Odeon.

The courtyard has two entrances: one from Commerce-Saint-Andre courtyard and the other from rue du Jardiet.

This is a private passage, so you’ll have to wait for the residents to open the gates. 

Passage du grand cerf-2nd arrondissement


(Photo source)


Thinking about going after your dreams? But, do you need more confidence? I’ve created a list to help you figure out your passions and feel confident in going after your dreams. Read More! 

Rue du chat qui peche-5th arrondissment

In the Sorbonne neighborhood, this secret passage runs perpendicular to rue de la Huchette and quai Saint Michel. Butil in 1540 to give residents access to the Seine River.

One of the narrowest streets in Paris, it’s name is probably a wink and a nod to the fishing tackle shop that used to be here. 


Rue Berton-16th arrondissement-

Possibly my favorite arrondissement, this is the neighborhood I would live in in a heartbeat if I were to move back to Paris.

The 16th em, in my opinion, is romantic and sweet. It is on the right bank of the Seine River,  and the Eiffel Tower is looming just over the river.

So close you’d think you could reach out and touch it. 

This tiny cobbled alley will make you feel as though you’ve traveled back in time. About midway, you’ll see a milestone that indicates the boundary between Auteuil and Passy. 


Never miss a post!

Get your dose of tips, advice and lessons learned at my expense. Grab a cup of coffee, get cosy and let’s do this! 

Secret streets of Paris

Rue cremieux-12th arrondissment

This street is so picturesque. Lined with coloured houses the tiny street is just a short walk from the Gare de Lyon.

You’ll find 35 free-standing houses with colorful facades that you may think aren’t Paris at all!

You feel like you’re walking through a rainbow, with the greens, yellow, pinks, and purples. 


Rue des thermopyles-14th arrondissment

secret streets in Paris

(source image)

This long narrow cobblestone street, lined with private dwellings and worksphos is particularly charming. This magical street is stroll-worthy and as you do you’ll forget about the busy city just a breath away.

There are flowers and plants everywhere, the cats roam freely and lovers walk hand in hand.

Take your time, this narrow street is worth the time. 


La mouzaia-19th arrondissement

Near Parc des Buttes Chaumont this green enclave is like a little island complete with tiny houses, flower gardens, and steep cobblestone streets.

You’ll enjoy getting lost as you immerse yourself in the history of this wonderful neighborhood. Originally built for the working class, however, nowadays this is an affluent Parisian village in the center of Paris. 


Square de montsouris-14th arrondissment

secret streets of paris

(Source image)

Incredibly beautiful private road, lined with individual houses is a little slice of wonder. Built in 1922, the most spectacular house is located at the end of the road and was built by Le Corbusier for his friend, painter Ozenfant.

The house is a half-timber that was designed by the architect Gilbert Buisson and is sure to give you house envy. 


La campagne a paris 20th arrondissement

Founded in 1907 by Pastor Sully Lombard, this charming housing estate was formed as a cooperative for low-income families.

Located in the hills to the east of Paris, the roads are lined with small red brick houses and rose buses on the facades.

Explore this idyllic neighborhood and you’ll understand why Paris is so lovely. 

secret parts of paris

Source image


I hope you find this blog post on the Secret Paris, which you need to see now, inspiring. While I am not a huge fan of Paris, I do love exploring the romantic city and digging right into the history. 


So if you’re looking for a variety of things to do in Paris, give these secret, hardly visited areas a gander. 

Ready to Live a More Simple Life?

Sign up and get your dose of Christina’s secret tips, advice, and hard learned-lessons. Grab a cup of coffee, get cosy and let’s do this!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hi, I’m Christina

how i'm managing my anxiety

I’m the coffee-addicted creative behind Christina Q. Writes. As a full-time writer and lover of history, I share insights into my crazy wonderful life.  Christina Q. Writes is where I share tips and advice to help you live simply and in the moment, and do it your way. Don’t be afraid to laugh at my mistakes!