Measuring 324 metres, the impressive “Iron Lady” overlooks the Trocadéro Gardens. Designed by Gustave Eiffel, it was built for the Paris World’s Fair to celebrate a centenary of the French Revolution. Inaugurated on March, 31, 1889, the Eiffel Tower took more than 2 years to be constructed and has become a symbol of Paris.
Entry fee 2012: EUR 13.40 (lift to the top floor).
Good to know: Every evening, the Eiffel Tower is lit up in gold and sparkles for 5 minutes every hour on the hour, from the time the lights are on till 01:00.
The Baccarat crystal museum welcomes visitors to one of its last Parisian storehouses of the 19th century. Crystal pieces on display show the technical and stylistic achievements that have earned Baccarat its reputation. The Museum is based around major works produced for the World Fairs and for which Baccarat was each time awarded the highest distinctions: gold medals or grand prizes.
Address: 11 Place des Etats-Unis, Paris 16
Once a medieval quarrying site, the place was converted into cellars by the Minime brothers of the Passy Monastery. Owned by the wine brotherhood Conseil des Echansons de France, the museum opened to public in 1984. It displays tools and objects related to wine-growing and wine-making. The entry fee includes a glass of wine to taste.
Address: 5 square Charles Dickens, 75016 Paris
In the heart of the former village of Passy, this is the only Balzac’s residence still in existence. That’s the place where the famous French novelist lived from 1840 to 1847, imagined The Human Comedy and wrote some of his most beautiful novels, such as The Black Sheep, A Harlot High and Low, Cousin Bette and Cousin Pons. Acquired by the City of Paris in 1949, it was converted into a museum and provided with a library later on. Containing original manuscripts, it offers an insight into Balzac’s life and oeuvre.
Address: 47 rue Raynouard, Paris 16
Housed in a listed building on Rue de la Faisanderie in Paris, it was established in 1951 by Union des Fabricants, a manufacturers’ organisation. The museum offers visitors an overview of the counterfeit, its spread and impact on the global economy. It raises awareness of such important issues as the protection of industrial property rights and the penalties imposed for counterfeit-related crimes. Unique in its kind, it displays an extremely wide variety of items, paring each counterfeit with its authentic original, so that visitors could distinguish them: Rodin’s bronze figures, perfumes, tobacco, dictionaries, software, CD’s/DVD’s, toys, tools, household appliances, cleaning products, textile, leather goods, crockery, automotive parts, pens, etc.
Address: 16 rue de la Faisanderie, Paris 16
Housed in a 19th-century palace once owned by the duchess of Galliera, the museum, inaugurated in 1977, hosts prestigious temporary exhibitions bringing the fashion history to life. A fascinating insight into the museum’s collection of 90,000 pieces, they feature lavish 18th- and 19th-century clothes, pieces by great couturiers and well-known designers, bearing witness to three centuries of fashion history.
The museum is only open for temporary exhibitions.
Address: 10 avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie, Paris 16
Established in 1934, the museum is housed in a beautiful 19th-century mansion surrounded by a garden. A former hunting lodge, this empire-style building quaintly stands out in a more recent architectural setting. With its look and feel of a private residence and the many art pieces it houses, it was bequeathed to the Institut de France by Paul Marmottan (1856-1932), a French art historian and collector.
Having received several major bequests, the museum abandoned its original vocation and became one of the impressionist hot spots in Paris. Today, its lavish interior, mixing golds, marbles and precious woods, hosts sublime impressionist paintings by Monet and his friends.
Address: 2 rue Louis-Boilly, 75016 Paris France
The museum is set in a private residence built by Charles Plumet at the beginning of the century.
Address: 35 rue Paul Valéry, Paris 16
The museum is the brain-child of Emile Guimet (1836-1918), a Lyon’s industrialist who devised the grand project of opening a museum dedicated to the religions of Ancient Egypt, Classical Antiquity and Asia. In the course of his travels he acquired extensive collections of objects which he put on display in a museum opened in Lyon in 1879. Later on, these collections were transferred to a new museum which he had built in Paris and which was inaugurated in 1889.
From 1945, during a massive reorganization of the French national art collections, the Guimet Museum transferred its Egyptian pieces to the Louvre and, in return, received the entire collection of exhibits from the latter museum’s Department of Asian Arts.
Since then, the Guimet Museum, located on the Iena Place, became one of the world’s major museums of Asian art.
Address: 6, place d’Iéna, 75116 Paris
Designed by the architect Jean Nouvel, it is dedicated to primitive art from Africa, Asia, Oceania and America.
The museum’s collection features some 300,000 exhibits, most of them coming from the Musée de l’Homme (250,000 items from the ethnology laboratory) and the Musée national des Arts d’Afrique et d’Océanie (25,000 items).
During the 20th century, non-Western arts began to be largely present in the museum’s collections, with the advent of cubist and fauvist artists, influenced by writers and critics from Apollinaire to Malraux, and in the wake of works by great anthropologists, such as Claude Lévi-Strauss.
Under UNESCO’s high patronage, the Quai Branly Museum offers a whole range of viewpoints, from the ethnologists’ to the art historians’, on civilizations whose cultural heritages tend to be relegated to a second tier on a global cultural scale.
Address: 37 quai Branly, 75007 Paris
Housed in Palais de Tokyo’s building, designed for the International Art and Technical Exhibition in 1937, the Modern Art Museum opened in 1961. Having received its core holdings from the “modern” collections of the Petit Palais, the museum was endowed by art collectors, such as Emanuele Sarmiento, Mathilde Amos, Ambroise Vollard.
The museum’s collection features over 8,000 artworks representing diverse art movements of the 20th century. The museum’s most popular events include exhibitions themed around major European artists and art trends and of the 20th century, monographic and theme-based exhibitions offering an insight into today’s art.
Address: 11 avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris
Created for the Paris World's Fair of 1878, they then stretched out in front of a Hispano-Moresque palace, replaced by the Chaillot Palace in 1937. Appreciated by both walkers and skaters, its alleys and slopes offer stunning views of the Eiffel Tower. In summer, Parisians cool off around the famous Warsaw Fountains (built in 1937), featuring a big central basin dominated by a series of cascading pools which, with their 20 water cannons, offer a remarkable water display.
The church was built between 1860 and 1871 in the Little Poland area (now Saint-Augustin Square), in the 8th district of Paris. Under the Second Empire, with a demographic influx, it undergoes major construction works, conducted by the prefect Haussmann. A new, straight-line avenue layout required upscale buildings at streets’ intersections. Napoleon III chose the church to house the sepulchre for princes of the imperial family, while emperors and empresses’ remains were laid to rest at the Saint-Denis Basilica.
Address: 5, avenue Dutuit, Paris 75008
Built for the Paris World’s Fair of 1900, it was inaugurated as a museum on December 11, 1902, under the name of Palais des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris. In a green setting just off the avenue of Champs-Elysées, it is part of a monumental architectural complex including the Grand Palais and the Alexandre III Bridge.
Was entirely renovated and refurbished from 2001 to 2005.
Address: 5, avenue Dutuit, Paris 75008
Built for the Paris World’s Fair of 1900, it houses the Palais de la Découverte Museum, dedicated to sciences and their applications (opened in 1937), the National Galleries of the Grand Palais, where international art exhibitions are held (opened in 1964), and the nave, today restored, hosting cultural and other events.
Address: 1, avenue du Général Eisenhower, Paris 75008
The Tuileries Gardens were redesigned by André Le Nôtre, King Louis XIV's architect.
Starting from Palais de Tuileries, the hub he traced and that became, later on, the famous Champs-Elysées, allowed the Sun King to follow the sun’s course across the sky and to see it touch the horizon at its western extremity.
No wonder this avenue, stretching from Place de la Concorde to Place Charles de Gaulle – Etoile, got such a bright, visionary future.
The arch was designed by the architect Jean-François Chalgrin, upon commission by Napoleon I, to commemorate the victories of the French army. Started in 1806, the construction works took more than thirty years and were completed under Louis-Philippe. With its majestic, Antiquity-inspired architecture, the Arch is set in the middle of Place de l’Etoile, from where it dominates the Champs-Elysées Avenue.
The pedestals feature 4 allegorical high-reliefs by Cortot, Etex and Rude, including the famous “Marseillaise”.
Located halfway between the Louvre and Grande Arche de la Défense, it is a link between the old and the new Paris.
Entry fee 2012: EUR 7
It is home to the Musée de l’Homme anthropology museum, the Cinema Museum, the Cinémathèque, the Chaillot National Theatre and the National Navy Museum. Originating in a collection offered to Louis XV, the latter hosts permanent and temporary exhibitions themed around the history of the French navy.
Designed by Azema, Carlu and Boileau, the palace was built for the Paris World’s Fair of 1937. It features two curve-shaped wings pointing down to the Seine with a vast esplanade, l’Esplanade des Droits de l’Homme, between them. The Eiffel Tower and Champs de Mars are down beneath. The Chaillot Palace replaced the Moresque-inspired Trocadéro Palace. Dating back to 1878, it owes its name to the fort of Cadix.