paris-building

Musée Nissim de Camondo

An extravagant early 20th-century Parisian mansion, the expansive former home of Belle Époque banker Moïse de Camondo is one of the 8th arrondissement’s crowning jewels. It encompasses some of the city’s most fascinating social and cultural history, particularly surrounding the two world wars. The house’s owner was an avid 18th-century furniture collector, turning the manor into a fascinating meeting point between pre-revolution opulence and Gatsby-style modern accoutrements in the kitchen and offices. You’ll catch glimpses of leafy Parc Monceau through massive windows on your tour, and will definitely be tempted to take a stroll through it afterwards. Don’t miss the stunning colonnade that curves around the edge of the park’s pond.

Musée Picasso

Set in a bright and airy Marais mansion, this museum will make you feel as though you’re in a Woody Allen film the minute you set foot in the pale stone courtyard leading to the entrance. Containing everything from Picasso’s preparatory works for his famous Demoiselles d’Avignon to video footage of the artist running around a garden in the South of France with his wife and son, this is a real goldmine for Cubism and Blue Period fans. After marvelling at the museum’s expansive collection, make the most of the sunshine-flooded building by paying a visit to the lovely rooftop terrace café for an iced tea overlooking the surrounding Parisian rooftops and Sacré Cœur.

Cinéma du Panthéon

Dating back to 1907, Cinéma du Panthéon is one of the oldest surviving cinemas located on the Left Bank. Showing mostly art and avant garde films and a selection of obscure international films, the cinema also hosts meet-the-director nights on occasion. Upstairs, housed in an open-plan loft with a charming outdoor terrace, is Le Salon, a lounge bar/restaurant/tea room designed by none other than famous French actress Catherine Deneuve. At lunch the space is always filled with directors, students and actors, so book in advance or come for tea and cake in the afternoon.

La REcyclerie

La REcyclerie is located in porte de Clignancourt in the 18th arrondissement and housed in the old Ornano train station of the abandoned ‘la petit ceinture’ trainline. A project by the team behind Le Comptoir General, which is famous for upcycling, it is a café, bar, restaurant, urban farm and educational and creative centre with a focus on sustainability. Check the diary for the various DIY workshops (winter gardening, screen printing, clothing repairs and upcycling furniture) talks, screenings and yoga classes which are constantly on offer, or just go for a beer and sit outside on the defunct railway tracks.

Parc de Bagatelle

Parc de Bagatelle situated in the Bois de Boulogne is one of four botanical gardens in Paris. It was first created as a result of a bet between the Count of Artois and Queen Marie Antoinette, who claimed he could not build a palace with a park in less than three months. Together with architect François-Joseph Bélanger and landscape gardener Thomas Blaikie, they created a small chateau with an English garden which still remains one of the most beautiful and romantic spots in Paris. Wander through the rose garden or relax by the nymph pond on a sunny day.

  • Route de Sèvres À Neuilly
    Paris
    75016

Le Comptoir Général

Never has the phrase ‘cabinet of curiosities’ been more fitting than at Le Comptoir Général. It calls itself a ‘ghetto museum,’ but in fact this treasure trove is a multi-purpose space and living relic focusing on Francophone countries in Africa and the Caribbean. Here you can search for rare antiques and collectables, ogle at the posters and artwork which line the walls, shop for second-hand clothes, drink fair trade coffee at the bar and at night dance to a host of DJs playing afrobeat, dancehall, and hip hop. Check the agenda for what’s going on.

Canal Saint-Martin

Built under Napoleon’s rule to provide Paris with fresh water and food, the Canal St. Martin attracts a young and eclectic crowd of Parisians and internationals, and with them trendy restaurants and bars. Drink and socialise on the quais and footbridges that formed the backdrop for the famous film Amélie or simply stroll under the shade of the canal’s overhanging trees. We suggest Holybelly or Ten Belles for breakfast, Café Craft for coffee or La Verre Volé for lunch or dinner. Head to Le Comptoir Général for a cocktail.

Walking Around Montmarte

This hill overlooking Paris was once home to emerging artists before rising house prices drove them out. It isn’t hard to see the inspiration they found here; Montmartre feels more like a village than a city with narrow cobbled streets and moulins that still adorn some of the rooftops. Be sure to take your time as you climb towards the Sacré Coeur perched at the summit of Montmartre – the winding alleyways are full of surprises. It is best to go early in the morning or on weekdays given the throngs of tourists you might encounter, especially during warmer months. At the foot of Montmartre is Pigalle, where many present-day artists now reside.

  • Montmartre
    Paris
    75018

Marché des Enfants

This orphanage dating back to 1615 was reopened in 2000 as a food market in the heart of Le Marais. Although not exactly a secret amongst tourists, we still love wandering the food stalls serving up Italian, Lebanese and African fare before heading over to Café Charlot for happy hour across the street.

  • Marché des Enfants Rouge
    Paris
    75003

Catacombs of Paris

This is the one thing that all tourists know about but few get around to doing. Visiting the catacombs is a fascinating way to spend an afternoon in Paris. A web of tunnels that were used by resistance fighters in World War II, the catacombs encompass all the mystery and history that Paris is known for.

  • +33 1 4322 4763
  • Go to Website
  • 1 Avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy
    Paris
    75014

Musée Jacquemart-André

See how the high society of Paris once lived with a visit to Musée Jacquemart-André, the 19th century mansion of art collectors Nélie Jacquemart and Edouard André. Converted in 1913 to display their collection, wander through the opulent residence filled with Greek and Roman antiquities, Egyptian artefacts, Dutch period furnishings and an outstanding collection of Italian Renaissance art with works by Botticelli, Luca Della Robbia and Donatello. We love the winter garden with sculptures and potted plants arranged in a marble room and glass roof.

Fondation Louis Vuitton

Set in the swanky suburbs of Bois de Boulogne, Paris’ second largest public park, The Fondation Louis Vuitton is an impressive architectural spectacle and centre for contemporary art and culture. The building is owned by Bernard Arnault, the chairman of LVMH and the wealthiest man in France, and houses his private collection of modern art in 11 galleries inside. The building itself however, is what has caused most of the excitement. Designed by all-star American architect Frank Gehry, it is shell-shaped and made from huge glass sails which contrast starkly with the surrounding greenery.

  • +33 1 4069 9600
  • Go to Website
  • 8 Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi
    Paris
    75116

Palais de Tokyo

While romantics snap the hundredth photo of the Eiffel Tower, contemporary art lovers should pop into the Palais de Tokyo a stone’s throw away. Located in the 16th arrondissement, Palais de Tokyo has one of the largest centres for contemporary art in Europe with multiple exhibitions, screenings and performances going on year-round. But that’s not all. Palais de Tokyo is a hot-bed of cool with two restaurants: the ever- chic Monsieur Bleu and the funky Eat Tokyo, a 900sq ft bookshop open until midnight with hundreds of independent magazines and specialty books, the garden Jardin aux Habitants curated by 16 different gardeners/artists, a foto automat and a nightclub called YoYo.

  • +33 1 8197 3588
  • Go to Website
  • 13 Avenue du Président Wilson
    Paris
    75116

Musée Nissim de Camondo

Musée Picasso

Cinéma du Panthéon

La REcyclerie

Parc de Bagatelle

Le Comptoir Général

Walking Around Montmarte

Marché des Enfants

Catacombs of Paris

Musée Jacquemart-André

Fondation Louis Vuitton

Palais de Tokyo

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