The Hornet Guide to Under-the-Radar Paris Museums
Oh, Gay Paris. The City of Lights has been a the top gay destination for years, partly due to the many bars and high-energy clubs to check out — not to mention those sexy Parisians! But while everyone acknowledges Paris as an artistic and cultural hub of Europe — with over 130 museums! — how many times can you see amazing masterpieces at the Louvre?
Which brings us to this compiled list of unique Paris museums that might interest you when you’re done wondering what the Mona Lisa’s smiling about.
Even if you don’t know this world-famous French chanteuse, you’ll likely recognize the melody of “La Vie en rose” or “Non, je ne Regrette Rien.” And even if you’re not a huge fan of Piaf, the Musée Edith Piaf is a must-see. It was converted from Piaf’s first apartment in the Ménilmontant district, from the start of her career. If you visit, you’ll get to see many of Piaf’s personal objects and her iconic black dresses in a super-intimate environment.
Obsessed with vampires? Want to learn more about their history? Then you need to visit Musée des Vampires & Monstres de L’Imaginaire to explore the extensive folklore surrounding vampires. Located in Les Lilas, just outside of Paris, the museum is curated by vampire fanatic and scholar Jacques Sirgent (who will personally share vampire stories with guests). Since it’s a private museum, you’ll need to make a reservation prior to visiting.
Angoulême is the French center of comics, and the Angoulême International Comics Festival has been going strong since 1974. Fans need to visit this one-of-a-kind museum in Angoulême, southwest of France, featuring iconic comic characters—from Asterix, Tintin and Charlie Brown to your favorite Marvel superheroes.
Release your inner geek here and learn anything about the medium, from comic strip history to creation techniques and more. The museum has a collection of over 12,000 originals, which get rotated three times per year to keep the content fresh. It’s like visiting a new museum every four months!
Paris has had an impressive infrastructure system in place since the 1300s, and you can learn all about it at the Paris Sewer Museum. Explore a 1,600-foot underground tunnel, and check out the gallery exhibit, which houses sewer-related artifacts and equipment, some centuries-old.
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Recently opened to the public, Pagoda Paris offers a one-of-a-kind experience in this Chinese-influenced building. Its visually stunning architecture was created by a Chinese businessman, Mr. Loo, originally as his residence. Loo also collected beautiful art objects from the Orient, and he loved to share his collection with local museum curators in Paris. Now the Pagoda Paris serves as a cultural environment for locals and tourists looking for amazing art and special events. You can even host a dinner party in this magnificent setting.
(Featured image via Dennis Jarvis/Flickr.)