Yes, o Eiffel Tower it is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world. Of course, the Louvre and the Champs Elysees are spectacular.

Sure, some people really do dress like they’re walking a high fashion catwalk, as demonstrated by Emily In Paris. But these are not enough.

There are hidden gems in the well-traveled French capital. There are well-hidden and strange sights, tips, and some examples to avoid that you won’t find in travel guides.

So what “rules” should you follow?

  • Learn some basic French phrases

OK, there has long been an unpleasant rumor that Parisians will rudely cut off foreigners who try to speak French. Sure, that happens now and then. But the reality is that people in France—including Paris—really appreciate it when tourists make at least an effort to speak French. It sounds simple, but just learning how to say good morning (bonjour), thank you (merci) and goodbye (au revoir) could really change the course of your trip in a very positive way.

  • The most impressive “views” do not come from the Eiffel Tower

The best view is from the top of the Eiffel Tower, right? And yet no. Montparnasse Tower offers an unparalleled panoramic view of Paris. You can see 25 miles away on a clear day. Ideally visit the site at sunset. But at night, it gives visitors a front-row seat to the dazzling lights. And besides the view, you can also enjoy champagne.

  • Book your Louvre tickets in advance

This seems so obvious and yet every day countless tourists think they will arrive at the entrance of the Louvre expecting to walk right in and face the Mona Lisa without fanfare or waiting. The reality is that there is usually a long queue to enter one of the most famous and popular museums in the world. The way to skip the line? Book tickets in advance and actually show up at the appointed time.

  • There is an Under-The-Radar Greenway

The Highline is to New York City what the Promenade Plantée is to Paris—except the latter debuted in 1998 and is strangely absent from all guides. Occupying the abandoned railway viaduct, this pedestrian-friendly greenbelt holds the title of the world’s first elevated park. Suspended three stories above the ground, it is filled with fragrant cherries, roses and lavender.

  • Meals are meant to be savored

Parisians—especially those in the hospitality industry—would like to ask tourists to leave behind the fast food mentality in both senses. In France (and most of Europe), meals are meant to be enjoyed. The expectation is not to neglect the menu, order something basic and leave after eating the last bite. You have to love the whole experience… little by little.

  • Paris has two rivers

You are no doubt familiar with the Seine. But here’s a shocking and little-known fact: it’s not the only river in Paris. Another waterway, La Bièvre, runs through the French capital. The reason so few people know about it? You can’t see it…at least not anymore. It was once a source of drinking water. However, during the Industrial Revolution, La Bièvre became so polluted that it was filled with concrete. Today, it flows into sewers beneath the city.

  • Don’t miss Montmartre

Admittedly, Montmartre is far from some of the major sites, but this cinematic corner of the 18th arrondissement is picture-perfect with cobblestone streets, pastel-hued facades, sidewalk cafes and the Sacré-Cœur. It’s a more local, authentic part of town that’s worth visiting.

  • To “look out” for the angels that adorn the city

From the Arc de Triomphe to the Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris is famous for its awe-inspiring architecture. Most people are so focused on the big things that they fail to notice all the beautiful little angels. These little angels adorn churches, are carved into the stone facades of apartments (the giant, three-story guardian at 57 rue de Turbigo is particularly impressive), perch on rooftops like the Théâtre du Châtelet, and float over fountains.

  • The Champs-Élysées is not the only shopping street

After you’ve finished your walk, taken photos and spent your euros, it’s time to explore some of the other shopping streets such as Avenue Montaigne, Rue Saint-Honoré and Haussmann Boulevard.

  • You don’t have to spend all your money on a hotel

Paris is expensive. Some of the most famous five-star hotels cost over €1,500 a night. However, it’s reassuring to know that you don’t have to blow your entire holiday budget for a stay thanks to some boutique gems in the center that will let you ‘invest’ in shopping, dining and cocktails.