If you are looking forward to discover the cultural side of Paris, here is an overview to get you in the mood.
World famous for its great historical and cultural heritage, Paris is a beautiful city which attracts many expatriates every year. Thanks to more than 136 museums, dozens of exhibitions are held every month on different themes. Indeed, there is something for everyone. Mythical Paris also hosts many restaurants, bars as well as historical buildings which you can discover during your leisure time.
For the youth
Less than 26 years European students and youngsters are granted free access to all museums in Paris. You can thus seize this opportunity to discover the country's huge historical heritage. As regards exhibitions, these generally cost around 8 euros. Private exhibitions, for their part, cost around 15 euros. However, these may be an excellent way to enjoy your expat experience, especially if you like arts.
In the rain
If you do not want to get wet for too long, the main museums you should definitely try to visit are found around the Seine River.
Indeed, the Palais de Tokyo is full of the most outlandish works which will simply amaze you. Recently, visitors have been losing themselves inside a giant spider web, the “Inside” scotch meander.
The Quai Branly Museum is a quite amusing glass top garden. By strolling around, let your mind relax and wander amidst the strange sounds of wild animals and Indian flutes.
Formerly a train station, the Quai d'Orsay Museum hosts thousands of works within a magnificent building. Entrance fees are quite high but definitely worth the move.
From the outside, the Grand Palace offers impressive views. Inside, you will be delighted by its various themes, ranging from the 17th century classicism to ultra contemporary artists. You will be amazed by this graceful glass palace.
Further, you will find the Louvres Museum. Its first walls were built in 1202. The Louvres used to be a prison where illustrious villains such as Ferrand of Flanders were locked up. Over the years, it has been extended and turned into a royal residence. Each of its galleries displays a specific era. From Egyptian mummies to the 18th century, passing through Middle Ages, you will discover a great historical wealth, among which are Fragonard and Boucher.
The beautiful Notre Dame has seen Paris grow. This cathedral has in fact inspired the famous novelist Alexandre Dumas.
Do not miss the Châtelet, a covered and open air plaza. Formerly a prison, it hosts many charming streets leading to Odeon and the Marais.
You should probably start by the North with the Montmartre Basilica overlooking Paris. The nearby village is well known due to several artists, namely Picasso, Dali, Pissaro and Van Gogh. It is also the night dancer area thanks to the Moulin Rouge cabaret and many world famous shows such as the French Cancan and the Lido.
The Tuileries Garden is one of the best parts of Paris. Hidden among trees, the Orangerie is where you can admire the works of Monnet, Rodin as well as Giacometti sculptures in the shadows of poplars.
All the bridges in Paris have their own history. The Pont des Arts, the Alexander III Bridge, the new bridge and the small bridge are not to be missed. You are likely to discover their history by crossing them.
The Trocadero is an enchanting plaza surrounded by the Marine Museum and the Musée de l'Homme and leading to the Eiffel Tower. Entrance fees vary between 9 and 15 euros. However, you might have to queue up before being admitted. Till then, you can admire the Invalides and the Champ de Mars.
Luxembourg Gardens are ideal during the warm season. You can refresh yourself around the large pool surrounded by many chairs. Nearby, you will also find the Pantheon which tells its ancient history in a unique way.
Feel free to visit the Paris Official Tourism Portal for more information about these places of interest, exhibitions, museums, etc, and benefit from reductions.
Shopping and restaurants
Remember that Paris is known to be the mythical capital of fashion. So if you are a shopaholic, you will be delighted by its thousands of boutiques and galleries.
You can start by touring the 15th with the Beaugrenelle Galleries which have a unique view on the 16th and beautiful shops. Along the Promenades du Châtelet, you can go underground shopping. From the 1st to the 3rd along the cobbled streets, many big brands conduct end of stock sales.
Galeries Lafayette, near the Opéra Garnier, welcome you in their tea room to admire all of Paris, before visiting other stores on Haussmann Boulevard.
For dinner, Le Relai de Venise is a well-known restaurant for its delicious steak and the “pig's foot”. It is open all day and night and will definitely please you.
In the 7th, Pascal Mièvre delicatessen is not to be missed!