THINGS TO DO IN PARIS

 

Many of our guests come to Provence via Paris or head there after a visit to the south. It will be no surprise then when I say that we are often asked by visitors what they should do when they are in Paris. To make matters worse some of these folk are only going to be there for three days and want to do 'everything"!  So here is our list of our top things to do and places to eat. 

1. Musee de Louvre

Located on the right bank in the 1st arrondissement, the Musee de Louvre is housed in the Louvre Palace - home to French royalty before Louise IV moved his household to Versailles. The building is amazing in its own right and houses some 35,000 treasures over an area of more than 6 hectares!

  • Check their website for the current collections

  • Closed on Tuesdays

  • Visits in the evenings are nice to avoid some of the crowds

 

Dellas' favourite - Winged Victory of Samothrace

Simon says - Don't miss Liberty Leading the People by Delacroix

3. Muséum National dHistoire Naturelle

The museum comprises a number of sites throughout France, 4 of which are in Paris. The main location is at the Jardin de Plantes in the 5th. We have only visited one of the galleries - the Gallery of Palaeontology and Comparitive Anatomy and will visit the Grand Gallery of Evolution next time, saving Geology for last. These are brilliant old fashioned museums where there are lots of neat things all crammed in with labels in Latin that look like they were printed by hand 60 years ago. It is facinating stuff and the buildings themselves are amazing.

  • It is a separate charge to visit each gallery

  • Be warned there are a lot of dead things!

 

5. Walk around the Île Saint- Louis

The Île Saint-Louis is one of two natural islands in the Seine. The Île Saint-Louis is connected to the rest of Paris by four bridges to both banks of the river, and to the Île de la Cité by the Pont Saint-Louis. The Ile is magical, with lovely shops down the centre street and has a café with the best hot chocolate in the world! Le Flore en L'Ile is a great place to sit and watch the world go by with a great view across the Seine to the back of Notre Dame with its flying butresses. Complete with snooty French waiters!

7. Visit la Tour Eiffel

Conceived by Mr Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 Exposition Universelle, la Tour Eiffel is one of the most recognisable symbols of France and is located in the 7th.

 

Very, very touristy but an icon that has to be visited and a great way to see the layout of Paris. Not somewhere to go if you are in a rush as there are a couple of elevators to catch before you get to the top. The elevators have a glass bottom.

 

  • Go early to avoid the crowds and prebuy your ticket if time is short

  • Combine a visit with a meal at one of the restaurants

9. Palais Garnier

Located in the 9th is the spectacular Palais Garnier, a 1979 seat opera house built from 1861 to 1875 for the Paris Opera.

 

This is one of the most spectacular, breath-taking buildings in Paris. A must see whether you are a "Phantom of the Opera" fan or not.

11. Places to eat in Paris

Trip Advisor currently lists reviews for 13,799 resaurants in Paris!  

2. Musée de Orsay

Located on the left bank, in the 7th arrondissement, the Musee de Orsay is houses in the former Gare d'Orsay a railwaystation built between 1898 and 1900. It has a massive ornate old railway clock and houses an amazing collection of the impressionists' works and spectacular sculpture.

  • Check the website for the current collections

  • Closed on Mondays

 

Dellas' favourite - Little Dancer of Fourteen Years, sculpture by Degas

Simon Says - Check out the magnificent clock

4. The Promenade Plantée

Once a train line from the Paris suburbs to Bastille this verdant viaduct is located in the 12th. The rail line has been transforned into a beautiful garden 4.5km long. A great place to go for a walk and beautiful shops and galleries underneath.

  • Watch out for the Police headquarters decorated with male torsos

6. Ride the Bateau Mouche

Very touristy but a great way to see the sights of Paris. The Bateaux Mouche motor up and down the Seine all day and into the night. 

8. Visit Père Lachaise Cemetery

If you have been to Paris lots of times and want to do something different - what about a visit to Père Lachaise Cemetery?

Père Lachaise Cemetery is the largest cemetery in the city of Paris, though there are larger cemeteries in the city's suburbs. It is quaint and interesting. Tour companies do walking tours.

 

  • 16 Rue du Repos, 75020 Paris, France

  • Area: 48 ha

  • Famous Burials: Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Édith Piaf, Frédéric Chopin, and more

10. Place des Vosges

The Place des Vosges is the oldest planned square in Paris and one of the finest in the city. It is located in the Marais district, and it straddles the dividing-line between the 3rd and 4th arrondissements of Paris. 

 

  • Stroll the arcade shops - bring lots of money if you want to do more than window shop!

  • Buy a baguette, sit on a bench and watch the world go by

12. La Fermette Marbeuf

You may think I am recommending this restaurant as a place to eat. True it does serve food, but the food is nothing to get excited about - we rated our dinner here a couple of years ago as a 3/5 - good food but not exciting. What is exciting is the decor. It is stunning....

 

In 1889, a young, talented architect, Hurtre and artist Wielhorski were commissioned to refurbish the Hôtel Langham dining-room, rue Boccador, and today you can admire the results of their work.

After a period of oblivion, this sleeping beauty was restored to life in 1978. Work was begun on the walls of a storeroom in an unimposing restaurant and an open breach revealed an authentic Art Nouveau decor that had undergone the ravages of time. 

 

Not until 1983 was the room listed as an historical monument. In September 1982, a man asked to see the "1900″ room. Looking at length, he finally said: "it’s the same". In a park in Maisons-Laffitte, a winter garden with a similar decor was up for sale by auction. Difficult to resist the pleasure of reuniting these two 'sisters', on the 20 November 1982, the sale was concluded! This marked the beginning of long, painstaking work, with the removal, one by one, of the five thousand tiles, thanks to a layout master plan. Weeks were needed to remove the stained glass windows from the glass roof designed in 1898 by Hubert and Martineau.

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