Venture to La Chapelle for a new Paris experience . Picture:

For many Paris visitors, the Eiffel Tower and  Notre-Dame cathedral are must visit spots, but if you want to step out to the unconventional, a trip to La Chapelle will do.

La Chapelle, situated on the outskirts of Paris, is filled with all aspects of foreign cultures. What makes this spot special is that the mix of cultures is a fascinating way to discover a new Paris and a place where you can learn and explore.

The colourful streets are filled with shops and restaurants reflecting the Sri Lankan and South Indian culture. The tamil language is spoken a lot here, so a basic lesson on Google Translate before you visit will put a smile on any local face.

The vast cultural landscape was due to the 1980s when many Sri Lankans fled the civil war, landing in France. Today, an estimated 100 000 Sri Lankan Tamils now live and work in France.

If you visiting in August, be sure to watch the Ganesh Festival in honour of Lord Ganesh’s birthday.  And do not forget to stroll through the large number of shops on offer. The restaurants offer Sri Lanka and South Indian dishes at reasonable prices.  Make sure you try the assortment of small vegetable and curry dishes that is less than 10 euros that can be found at almost any restaurant.

This piece was compiled by Clinton Moodley.