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Two less typical sites to see in Paris.

Paris offers everything from culinary indulgence, super chic shopping, the bohemian attractions of the Latin Quarter and Montmartre to some of the best high brow galleries and museums in the world. So, if you’re a frequent visitor to the French capital, and have seen all the well known sites, you may be wondering what’s left to see.

What about going tropical? Visit Les Serres d'Auteuil (1 Avenue Gordon Bennett, www.paris.fr), the beautiful Botanic gardens in the Bois de Boulogne on the western side of town. The gardens of Auteuil have been used to cultivate plants and flowers since 1761, when Louis XV built a flower garden there, and the present magnificent glasshouses date back to the 1890s, reports the Daily Telegraph. They provide a complete contrast to the Parisian climate and landscape, where you can languish with orchids, palm trees, tropical ferns and rare species from New Caledonia, not to mention warming up in winter. It’s worth a trip now as the gardens may be about to emerge from their delightful time warp. Part of the park is threatened by the expansion of the Roland Garros tennis courts.

And you don’t need an expensive ticket to a performance to visit the famous Palais Garnier opera house (Place de l'Opéra www.operadeparis.fr). Although its marble, gilding, frescoes and sculptures are best appreciated from one of the red velvet boxes whilst listening to Verdi, the Opera House is open every day for visits, allowing you to admire the grand staircase, auditorium and amazing foyers. If you are an opera lover, this winter’s season includes Smetana's The Bartered Bride, Handel's Giulio Cesare and Nicolas le Riche's ballet Caligula.

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