Paris is one of the world’s great cities—it's not the seat of government, but it's a culture capital par excellence. The city offers the opportunity to enjoy high-quality performances of all kinds alongside France's fascinating, complex history and trove upon trove of art treasures. Paris is probaby the world's favorite destination, but you may not have explored it in depth...yet. Some of my favorite Paris cultural tips:
Place des Vosges: One of my favorite public spaces in Paris, along with the Tuileries and the Jardins du Luxembourg. Place des Vosges is the open-air "living room" of the Marais and is surrounded by four-hundred-year-old structures and blissful symmetry. Families and lovers are scattered on the lawn in fair weather, soaking up the sunshine. Nearby, check out the wonderful Musée Carnavalet if you fancy an in-depth look at Paris history (including a toy guillotine and a lock of Marie Antoinette's hair).
For classical music programs, attend a concert at Cité de la Musique (which also has a museum). For other performances of all kinds, check out Salle Pleyel.
Opéra Garnier: Home to some of the world's finest ballet and opera productions, the Garnier is a Paris classic. Even if you don't attend a show, do take a tour of the historic main theater and museum. The Paris Opera and Ballet, though, splits its time and its productions between the Garnier and the impressive, modern Opéra Bastille. If you happen to find yourself near the latter, I highly recommend strolling down to the Viaduc des Arts, home to some of the city's most elevated and accomplished artisans like Tzuri Gueta, whose pieces I collect. Make your way back toward the Bastille via the Promenade Plantée, above the workshops.
The Louvre and Musée d'Orsay dominate the scene, of course, but Paris is filled with specialty museums of all kinds. Many are devoted to specific artists (Picasso, Monet, Rodin, Delacriox, or Maillol) and others are collection-based. Highlights include Musée du Quai Branly (art of Africa, Oceania, Asian and the Americas), the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature (hunting and nature), and Musée des Arts et Métiers (inventions and industrial design).
If you're a fan of the Barnes Collection in Philadelphia, don't miss the Musée de l'Orangerie. The collection of art dealer Paul Guillaume forms its core; Guillaume was closely associated with Dr. Barnes. Eight of Monet's monumental Water Lilies can also be found here. Palais Galliera: This elegant temple to haute couture was recently renovated and is the only permanent fashion museum in France (there are others, but they typically close for a few weeks between exhibitions). Fashionistas flock here on pilgrimage, with good reason. My favorite recent addition to the art scene is the Atelier des Lumières. A cavernous warehouse has been transformed into a magical digital art space where you'll completely lose yourself in the immersive experience.
A winter trip to Paris allows you to enjoy a more indulgent and swankier visit while also avoiding the crowds!
Mon Voyage is French for "My Trip"--and your trip is all about you: your travel style, your interests, your budget.
I plan customized travel itineraries for history, arts, and culture enthusiasts to destinations in Europe and beyond. I also offer escorted Small Group Trips, where you will engage with other curious travelers as we explore the world together.
Let's make that dream trip (or return trip) to Paris come to life. Its appeal never wanes and I spend as much time there as possible! Contact me today if I can help you with France or any other travel planning, domestic or international.
Last but not least: never forget that looking forward to travel has been scientifically proven to be good for your mental health!