The cultural capital of the world, Paris, should be reason enough to visit the beautiful country of France. Be it the stunning vineyards or the iconic museums, France has something for everyone. A tourist favorite, the country also has some hidden secrets that usually just the locals are aware of. To cover all such places, you can either carefully plan you itinerary or choose one of these travel vacation packages to France. Whatever you choose, a vacation to France is a must once in a lifetime.
We have listed below five unusual things that you must do while in France, to add to your vacation.
1. Take a tour of the Catacombs
Probably the most absurd, gruesome and unique item on this list, Catacombs are mainly underground graves. For hundreds of years, the city of Paris was dug for limestone, creating quarries, which basically helped in the building of the city. These quarries are estimated to be over 200 miles long, and some places, the city is directly over these quarries. When the cemeteries of Paris got too overcrowded in 1800’s, remains of former residents were brought to these quarries and kept here. Today, these quarries, or at least some parts, are open for public viewing, making for interesting conversation.
2. Attend a book reading at Shakespeare and Company
Located opposite Notre Dame in Paris, this famous bookstore originated as a bookstore cum hotel for travelling writers. Till date, over 40000 writers have stayed here. The bookshelves double as bed at night. The park adjacent has been converted into a cafe where you can grab a coffee after browsing through the books. The bookstore also is a popular place amongst local bibliophiles and hosts book readings.
3. Cycle across the Normandy bridge
Spread over the Seine in northern France, just before the river meets the sea, this cable stayed bridge was the longest of its type in the whole world, when it was first built in 1995. The bridge apart from the motor traffic also has lanes for walking and cycling. The vibrations while crossing the bridge make it a must-cover feature while you are in the country.
4. Roam around Mont Saint Michael
This wonderful castle is one of the most unusual structures in the whole world. Surrounded by water, the structure here sits on top of a rock. Once upon a time the accessibility of the place was dependent on tides. Today, there is a bridge, however, the abbey as well the town surrounding it remains quite secluded from the eyes of general public. Built in a similar fashion to the St. Michael chapel in Jerusalem, this beautiful place has quite a rich history. You can either take a day tour here or go for an overnight stay at the island itself.
5. Visit the house of Nicholas Flamel
Does not matter if you are into the Harry Potter franchise, you might have heard about the famous alchemist Nicholas Flamel who is said to have accumulated riches after his ‘alleged’ discovery of the Philosopher’s stone. What is true in the Flamel legend is highly debatable, but almost everyone agrees that this house that he built in the start of 1400’s is today the oldest stone house in the whole city. Located at 51 rue de Montmorency, the place has been converted into a restaurant. You can spot strange runes on the walls, which further create mystery about Flamel and his legacy.
Apart from all this, there are many other unusual things to do as well in France which the general tourists remain unaware of. So, plan your trip well in advance to uncover some of these hidden gems in France!