If you are looking towards finding something new and exciting about Paris beyond its popular attractions about which you can speak to your friends and relatives then try to explore some of its hidden treasures. These hidden gems may not be that very well known but can amaze you with their beautiful designs and stunning architecture but to find them you will need to don your explorer hat and leave the confines of your holiday rental.
Agoudas Hakehilos Synagogue: Situated 10 rue Pavée in the 4th arrondissement (Le Marais), Paris is the Agoudas Hakehilos Synagogue, also known as Guimard synagogue and the Pavee synagogue. The only religious building designed by the Art Nouveau genius Hector Guimard, this Jewish Synagogue was commissioned by the Polish-Russian Orthodox association. Notable for its open book like facade, the synagogue is also known for its beautiful furnishings best seen in its chandeliers, brackets, and benches as well as for its vegetal decorations made of staff and the cast iron railings. Get down at Metro St-Paul if not staying in a Le Marais serviced apartment and coming from some other part of Paris.
Archives Nationales: Housed in two spectacular buildings the Hôtel de Soubise and the Hôtel de Rohan is the country’s premier archival center-the Archives Nationales where thousands of important historical documents with some dating way back to 625 AD are preserved. Other notable archival documents include the Edict of Nantes (1598), the original Declaration on the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789) as well as Louis XVI’s diary among others. One should also visit the archives for fine decorative arts of the Hôtel de Soubise and the Hôtel de Rohan. The Archives also have a museum for which guided tours are available. Various exhibitions, concerts and exposition are also held at the Archives from time to time. For details do get in touch with the archives authorities. Archives Nationales is located at Le Marais and the nearest metro is Metro Rambuteau.
American Church: The first American Church to be established outside the United States, the American Church in Paris located on the quai d’Orsay in the 7th arrondisement is notable for its Tiffany stained-glass windows- said to be the first of its kind in Europe. The Church serves both the expatriate American community as well as a wide variety of English-speaking people from different countries. Services are held at 9am (weekly communion service), 11am (traditional service with special music) and at 13.30pm. Besides ecumenical Protestant services, this neo gothic church also hosts classical and acoustic concerts, fitness classes, kung fu, basketball leagues and many other community based services. The best way to reach the church from your short term let is to take the nearest metro or the RER and get down at Alma-Marceau or the Pont de l’Alma.
Aquarium de Paris – If are staying in a Champs-Élysées vacation rental with kids then make sure to take them to the Paris Aquarium located near the Trocadéro gardens. Besides the fishes and the sharks, you and your kids can enjoy the day watching magic and puppet shows and taking classes in art and dance. And yes, if in a mood for movie, you need not go far for there is a movie theatre located therein! To reach there, take the metro and get down at the Trocadéro station.
You will be surprised with the number of fascinating wonders that lie lurking in every nook and corner of Paris. To see them all, you will need more than a day or two so make sure to book a serviced apartment for a longer duration and to enjoy your Parisian vacation to the hilt.