Dreaming of Paris…

I’ve wanted to go to Paris for years. Took French for six years in school, even had a little metal knicknack Eiffel Tower that I kept for a long time. This May, @bluewillow29 and I are finally going to go, so I decided to put together a page of ideas, just to have a particular space to jot down ideas as they occur… [update: we didn’t make it in May 2010. Someday, though…]

Definitely a full day at the Louvre. Will most likely want to plan visit to the Louvre – while I’d like to see the Mona Lisa, I understand it’s a huge queue for 20 seconds looking at the painting, so I don’t know… is it worth it? Obviously I want to see the Venus de Milo, and the Raft of the Medusa. They also recommend booking tickets online ahead of time to skip the queues, and the Louvre has an excellent website.

Palace of Versailles
Also definitely a full day at Versailles. Palace, gardens… excellent. Website here

Other places I’d quite like to see:

Musee d’Orsay. Renoir. Manet. Monet. Pisarro. Degas. Van Gogh. Cezanne. Seurat. Matisse. Yes please.

Eiffel Tower. Day, night, etc. Excellent.

Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe. Yes, please.

Centre Pompidou
Centre Pompidou. For the architecture alone, but it also contains the Musee Nationale d’Arte Moderne, if we only had the time… 🙂 “Surrealists, cubists, pop art and contemporary works”. Not an absolute-must-see, though, if we don’t have time…

The Flame of Liberty Memorial, simply because I finally saw the Statue of Liberty last summer (which I don’t recall ever having seen before).

The Musee de l’Orangerie has Monet’s “Water Lilies” in a purpose-built room to the artist’s specifications, as well as Cezanne, Matisse, Renoir, Picasso….

Cathedral of Notre Dame looks spectacular, though obviously the Tower doesn’t hold much appeal…

Crypte Archeologique
– archaeological crypt under the square in front of Notre Dame. Displays in situ the remains of structures built on this site during the Gallo-Roman period, a 4th-century enclosure wall, the foundations of the medieval foundlings hospice and a few of the sewers sunk by Haussman. €3.50 entrance fee.

There’s a hop-on hop-off boat tour of Paris on the Seine which includes the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Musee d’Orsay, the Champs-Elysees and the Cathedral Notre-Dame, all for a mere €13 for one day or €17 for two days. Website here.

Le Grand Colbert is a lovely-looking restaurant that’s near the Palais Royale and also happens to feature in “Something’s Gotta Give”.

The Musee Rodin has been recommended by @aoifecarroll and @dinglesurf, and apparently has a fabulous sculpture garden (and of course The Thinker, among other works!).

@BlondieNY highly recommended visiting the neighbourhood of Belleville for street art and a great atmosphere. And @aoifecarroll recommended going to Montmartre, which looks great to me – the Basilica of the Sacre Coeur looks gorgeous.

@JennyC28 also recommended the Jardin des Tuilleries, Place de la Concorde and St. Chapelle church, which is meant to be gorgeous, on Ile-de-la-Cite – I’ll look up more detail on those asap!

I also discovered that Cafe de Flore and the Les Deux Magots cafes were favoured hangouts of Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus and Pablo Picasso (in the case of Cafe de Flore) and Hemingway and Sartre regularly frequented Les Deux Magots. Both cafes are near the St-Germain des Pres metro station.

If you’re interested in the French Resistance, the small Musee Jean Moulin is located in the Gare Montparnasse, and focuses on the Resistance during WWII occupation of Paris and the leader of the Resistance, Jean Moulin.

Nearby, the Cimitiere du Montparnasse contains the final resting places of Baudelaire, Samuel Beckett, Captain Alfred Dreyfus, Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir.

I’d seen it in the travel guide, but @BlondieNY said the Maison Europeene de la Photographie, the European House of Photography, was well worth the visit – according to Lonely Planet it “has cutting-edge temporary exhibits… as well as an enormous permanent collection on the history of photography and its connections with France”.

There are also hop-on hop-off boat tours on the Seine, apparently, which I’ll look into in case it sounds interesting… 🙂

Update! ROMAN RUINS!!

Arenes de Lutece
The Arenes de Lutece is a Roman amphitheatre built around the 1st century A.D.. Wikipedia entry here.

Musee de Cluny
The Musee de Cluny partly covers some of the huge Gallo-Roman bath complex on the site – Wikipedia entry here

There’s also a cruise on the Seine and Canal St. Martin, apparently. I love canals…

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Responses

  1. Hi Chi,

    Here are a few more suggestions for things to do in Paris: http://lifeisafestival.wordpress.com/2009/08/28/slow-pleasures-rediscovering-paris-one-macaron-at-a-time/

    I’m sure you’ll have a great time, it’s an amazing city!

    • thanks for the link! 🙂 Looking forward to it- we’ve had to reschedule by a couple of months, but will definitely be going! 🙂

  2. Saved as a favorite, I really like your blog!


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