You haven’t been here before

If you’ve caught the Eurostar to Paris before, you’re going to want to skip the major tourist sights and head off somewhere different. And, if it's your first time visiting the French capital download your tickets to your phone for a super-smooth travel experience. Just one tap from your phone and you're through the barrier, wave buh-bye to flimsy paper tickets and looooong queues at the ticket machines. 

Paris has plenty of quirky and unusual places to visit. Here are a few of our favourites.

1.The pet cemetery (Cimetière des Chiens et Autres Animaux Domestiques)

Forget human graves, this cemetery is devoted to pets. From Rin Tin Tin to Barry the trench dog, our canine companions are well represented – and there’s a liberal scattering of cats, the odd horse and even a monkey too! You’ll find the cemetery at Asnières-sur-Seine, still in Paris but just outside the centre.

2.The rat shop

Most storekeepers would be keen to keep rats out of their shop, but this one's a little different – they’re all hanging up in the window. Julien Aurouze and Co. have been in business since 1872 and this pest control specialist shows no signs of letting up on the critters just yet. The shop's address is 8 Rue des Halles.

3.The sewer museum (Le Musée des Égouts de Paris)

Much of the Paris sewer system is off limits to visitors, but if you really want to get an alternative view of the City of Love, then head to the city’s sewer museum, the Musée des égouts de Paris. Covered sewers were introduced by Napoleon, but the ones in use today are newer – they date from around 1850.

4.The inside-out building

The inside-out building has been a popular yet controversial fixture on the streets of Paris since it opened in 1977. Giant pipes surround the outside, colour-coded for their purpose, and inside some head-scratchingly "out there" modern art. 

5.The bird market

On Sundays, the Paris Flower Market makes way for a different commodity – caged birds. The city’s bird sellers flock to the Place Louis Lépine with everything from parakeets to canaries. There are also chickens who’ll meet a more grisly fate, destined to become someone’s dinner. It’s worth checking out for the ornate cages alone.

6.The American gift

It’s well known that France gifted the Statue of Liberty to the USA, but did you know that the Americans gave the French a present too? This scaled-down version of the Statue of Liberty graces the Seine at the Pont de Grenelle and was inaugurated in 1889 – on American Independence day, the 4th of July.

Paris is full of wonderful surprises like these? Why not hop on a Eurostar train and see for yourself?