Things to see and to do in Paris
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Updated 3 weeks ago

Paris never ceases to amaze visitors and locals alike. Steeped in arts and culture, nightlife, music, gastronomy, sports, history and world-class shopping, Paris really does have something for everyone.

Museums & exhibitions

Paris has long been an artistic and cultural powerhouse, and any trip to the capital can include a visit to both its iconic museums and lesser-known collections. Of course, there are the classics: The Louvre, the Centre Pompidou, the Musée d’Orsay and the Petit Palais, but be sure to branch out and discover some of the less publicised gems of the capital. The Musée du Quai Branly is home to a fantastic collection of exhibits of non-European culture; the Musée des Arts et Métiers is an astounding testament to the rich scientific and engineering heritage of France; while some museums are dedicated to a single artist, such as the Museums of Picasso, Rodin or Delacroix. There are also various thematic and private museums in Paris, including the Institut du Monde Arabe, and the Jacquemart André Museum, an astonishing mansion housing a remarkable private collection.

On top of exhibitions, many museums also organise conferences regularly. This is the case for the Louvre, which holds events for the public on a variety of themes. For up-to-date information on classes, exhibitions and seminars, check out the website of the museums you wish to visit, many of which are accessible in English.

European youngsters under 26 years of age are entitled to free access to permanent exhibitions in Paris. Rates for the major Paris museums generally hover around 9 euros, whereas rates for temporary exhibitions cost about 15 euros. On the first Sunday of every month, many major museums in Paris offer free entry.

Ballet & opera in Paris

Paris' ballet and opera are world famous. The iconic Palais Garnier, with its famous green rooftops and elegant architecture, was built by Charles Garnier in the 19th century and remains one of the most impressive buildings in the city. The Opéra National de Paris is based both at the Palais Garnier and the more modern Opéra Bastille, so you can expect a vibrant programme of ballet, dance and opera at both locations. While a stroll around the Opera neighbourhood will reveal some beautiful sights - including the glamorous Place Vendôme and the Ritz - be sure to venture inside the Palais Garnier itself to enjoy a stunning setting and world-class performances. Alternatively, there are also regular guided tours of the Palais Garnier in English which are not to be missed.

At the Opéra Bastille, you will discover a modern opera house boasting a rich programme of opera, symphony, and occasional ballet performances.

Those under 26 are eligible for interesting reductions at both the Palais Garnier and the Opéra Bastille.

Theatres

Paris has a buzzing theatre scene which showcases both amateur and professional productions. Created in the 17th century, the Comédie Française is a cultural institution in France and has welcomed the stars of French theatre to its stage with performances of Molière, Racine, Beaumarchais, Voltaire and Hugo. Don’t speak French? Don’t worry! Many theatre shows offer English subtitles, and English language performances are also available. Besides classical performances, many contemporary and up-and-coming artists regularly perform in Paris, so to keep yourself abreast of the latest plays and shows, visit the Officiel des Spectacles. Don’t forget Paris is also home to a host of smaller theatres where stand-up comedy, new plays and classic drama can be found. Those under 26 can benefit from ticket reductions.

Paris cinema

French cinema is held in the highest esteem around the world, so it’s no surprise that Paris has a lot to offer the avid cinema lover. With screenings in both multi-screen cinemas and the tiny independent cinemas of the Latin Quarter, you’ll find everything from the classics to the latest blockbusters. If you’re searching for English-version of the latest films, look out for the label VOstF - meaning that the film has not been dubbed into French, but has French subtitles.
Paris by night

Night clubs

Whatever your musical tastes, the after-hours Paris scene has the answer - whether you’re looking to enjoy some live jazz at a Latin Quarter club or dance the night away to electro. Trendy, relaxed venues such as the Bellevilloise, L’Alimentation Générale and Comptoir Général are ones to watch for their lively programme of events, DJs and live music. For Jazz, renowned venues such as the Duc des Lombards and Sunset-Sunside are joined by the smaller basement-clubs like Caveau des Oubliettes and 38 Riv. For the full-throttle club scene, you may want to check out Nuits Fauves, Concrete, the classic Rex Club, the intimate L’Entrée des Artistes or La Station.

Bars

With a growing craft cocktail scene and a new love of speakeasies, fans of expert mixology will be in their element in Paris. For those who love a little secrecy, names like Moonshiner, Candelaria, Lavomatic and Little Red Door are classic addresses, while superb cocktails are being served across the city at hotspots like Le Syndicat, Gravity Bar, Marie Celeste and - of course - the famous Hemingway Bar at the Ritz. Wine lovers are spoiled for choice in Paris’ array of wine bars, where platters of cheese and charcuterie can be enjoyed with affordable French wines. Student bars and affordable prices are plentiful around rue Mouffetard in the Latin Quarter, and right across the city you’ll find Parisians and visitors alike enjoying a beer en terrasse, a classic Parisian pastime year-round.

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