Discover the cultural unusual places around Paris

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Discover the cultural unusual places around Paris

Booster2Success has created an opportunity for the curious among us who would like to discover Ile-de-France. There are so many wonderful places around Paris to walk off the beaten track on your Sunday walks. Improbable museums, dramatic gardens, and interactive artworks, and numerous undiscovered nuggets are hidden in the capital area. Here are some of Paris’ ordinary, and quite unexpected places where to relax and enjoy the culture.

Essone unusual place: The Cyclop’

On the borders of the Essone, lives a giant made of glass and steel which dominates the woodlands. The Cyclop of Milly-la-forêt came out of Jean Tinguerly’s imagination, a great man of rough art in 1969. No architects and no subsidies, but with the sweat of their hands (and of their purse) did Tinguely and Niki de Saint-Phalle set up this 22,5 height meters gargantuan artwork.

The visitor will not only be able to admire the lifesize polyphemus made of broken mirrors, but also receive an art history lesson! Indeed, the ear of the monster shelters a fantastic museum displaying devices and extremely varied works. Discover small jewels of modern art, both heterogeneous and playful (from César, Arman to Eve Aeppli including JR Soto, a kind of small around the world trip). On top of this, an interactive, sparkling guided tour for all ages awaits you. Besides, Milly-la-forêt is a charming village, not only the capital of aromatic herbs, but also Jean Cocteau’s holiday home which is opened to all culture lovers.

Le Cyclop’ – 91490, Milly-la-forêt

» READ ABOUT – Unique parisian streets to discover during a corporate treasure hunt in Montmartre!

Unusual place around Paris: the medieval city of Senlis

Only 42 kilometers from Paris (26 miles), Senlis is a medieval town with incontestable charm. The origin of the city goes back to antiquity and was developed through the Middle Ages. The city of Senlis has a rich cultural and historical heritage as well as several historical museums.
Walking its cobbled streets and step back into another time.

Admire the majestic Gothic cathedral which dominates the city from its imposing bell tower, the ancient buildings, and the wonderful shops from another era. Discover it’s rich in history in a team building treasure hunt in Senlis for companies in order to promote team cohesion while exploring the wonders of the medieval city!

Senlis city – 60300, Oise

  • Unique places around Paris - Senlis city a medieval house
  • Unique places around Paris - Senlis city the cathedral
  • Unique places around Paris - Senlis picture around the city

Val d’Oise unusual place: the absinthe museum

Between two ponds of water lilies (Nymphea), there is a singular place where to stop in the quaint village of Auvers-sur-Oise. A must do, visit the absinthe museum and satisfy your curiosity by revealing the secrets of the preparation of the famous « green liquor ».

Fascinating spirits, the absinthe convenes/ summons up a whole festive, artistic and spiritual history. Adulated, then prohibited, the visitor will discover through a collection of various artworks, the mysteries of the “green fairy”. In a typical “Belle Epoque” decoration, this unusual museum tells the story of absinthe, and the guided tour leads the public to the Parisian posters of Toulouse-Lautrec. In addition to the charming house and the beautiful green gardens, the most adventurous can even participate in an absinthe tasting at the museum bar. At only an hour’s drive from Paris, the Absinthe Museum is a cultural and unusual place not to be missed!

Le musée de l’absinthe – 44 rue Callé, 95430, Auvers-sur-Oise

Unusual place around Paris: the open air theatre and Shakespeare garden

What could be more charming than a journey to Stratford-upon-Avon without leaving Paris? This haven of peace and poetry, located in the heart of Bois de Boulogne, is inspired by William Shakespeare’s major play. At the crossroads of English countryside and fairy tales, five thematic gardens will make you dream during a midsummer night. 

Each garden shelters European specific plants evoking various parts of the playwright. The botanists and theatre fans will be delighted, but families will also appreciate the magic touch of the garden. And to take the most of this experience, what could be better than to attend an open air performance in an idyllic and unusual framework. Here is a delightful way to enjoy theatre. An activity to enjoy in spring, summer and even autumn, go ahead as you please.

Le jardin Shakespeare et le théâtre de Verdure – Allée de la Reine Marguerite Route de Suresnes, Bois de Boulogne, 75016 Paris

» ALSO READ – Join us discovering an incredible team building experience in the musee d’Orsay

Unusual place in Yvelines: the scenes of tales of the Castle of Breteuil

To complete this dreamlike journey, nothing better than a long visit at Breteuil’s Castle. Both young and old will discover an imposing architecture, antique furniture, masterpieces, beautiful gardens… But what makes of Breteuil an unusual and delightful place, beyond its patrimonial interest? The tales of Perrault! In the bend of a boudoir, the visitor is invited in the intimacy of the characters of the storyteller, from Donkey Skin to Blue Beard.

Thanks to Grévin museum and its wax statutes, princesses, ogres and small chaperones take life and inhabit the charming place. To fulfill this extraordinary experience, storytellers enchant the visitors by passionately telling the adventures of Cinderella while real life knights are acting in wild duel. Brave gardeners are also challenging the most courageous to get lost in the fantastic labyrinth. To benefit from this outstanding castle, no need to put on its seven-league boots, a short RER or car ride is enough to come from Paris to the wonderland.

Le château de Breteuil – 78460, Choisel

unique places around Paris - Chateau de Breteuil

Unusual place in Yvelines: Skit of the holy spirit

What could be more curious during a walk in the forest of Fay’s wood, in Mesnil-Saint-Denis than encountering a Byzantine temple? Indeed, what is this religious complex doing in the center of the Yvelines area?

Built in 1938, the buildings are constructed in the Byzantine tradition which still lodges orthodox monks. The inside is even more surprising: beautiful frescoes and orthodox icons will invite the visitor to an artistic and spiritual journey. The visitor will even have an opportunity to meet an active monastic hermit. It is definitely an unusual and magical immersion in the orthodox culture!

Please note that you will have to book in advance before visiting, for that you have to contact the Tourist Office of the Mesnil Saint Denis (the website is in French but you will find email and phone number).

Le skit du Saint-Esprit – 7 Avenue des Bruyères, 78320 Le Mesnil-Saint-Denis

Unusual place around Paris Skit du saint Esprit

Unusual place around Paris: the monumental works of Dubuffet

Coming full circle, let’s come back to the admirable rough artworks. Jean Dubuffet, left for modern art lovers two gigantic and improbable monuments. La Tour aux figures de l’Île Saint-Germain overhangs the surrounding meadows with its 78 foot height.

This indefinable and asymmetric shape is decorated with unrecognizable faces in the particular artist style: refined lines with a white, blue and red color code. Strange and fun at the same time, the tower will poke the curiosity of young and old alike who will soon be able to visit the entrails of the giant, slated to open in 2019!

La Tour aux figures – Parc de l’ile Saint-Germain, 92130 Issy Les Moulineaux

Let’s continue the route to the Val-de-Marne where “closerie Falbala” welcomes the curious ones. This immense playground will plunge the visitor into an alternate universe. Dressed all in white, the black lines draw the contours of a crazy puzzle hiding a mysterious anteroom, it has to be seen to believe it!

La closerie Falbala – Sentier des Vaux, 94520 Périgny

This custom tour in Ile-de-France proves that we don’t need to go far from Paris to discover new unique places and fill up on culture. The region of Ile-de-France is clearly hiding unsuspected richness… Find out with Booster2Success what awaits your next adventure!

Photo credit: Booster2Success

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