When is the Best Time to travel to Paris & France?

When is the best time to travel to Paris and in the other French regions ? Planning a trip to France in the coming year? In an ideal world, you probably want to plan your vacation for a time when the sun is shining, the crowds are thin, and there’s plenty to see and do.

Don’t leave it to chance. Read our guide to weather, crowds, and specific regions, to find out what time of year is the best time to visit France.

What is the weather like in France?

France’s weather varies drastically depending on the season. At the height of summer, temperatures regularly reach up to 86°F (30°C). In the last few years, France has seen record heatwaves, with temperatures soaring as high as 104°F (40°C).

best time to travel to paris

In the winter, however, temperatures can plummet to as low as 32°F (0°C), so avoid traveling to France in December – February if you want to keep toasty (though of course, a cosy break filled with twinkling lights, charming markets, and plenty of vin chaud is nothing to be sniffed at!).

The best time to visit France if you want to avoid the crowds

The main tourist season in France runs from mid-June through to the end of August. Unsurprisingly, this is by far the busiest time of year to visit France, and maybe not the best time to travel to Paris. Popular tourist spots can be very crowded.

Don’t want to miss out on the sunshine, but don’t fancy battling through the crowds for your morning croissants? The shoulder seasons, between April-May, and then September through to early October, offer mild weather (and even some sun), and – crucially – a significantly shorter line at the boulangerie.

The best time to visit the wine regions of France

From Burgundy to Bordeaux, and Champagne to Côtes du Rhone, France produces some of the most famous wines in the world. But when is the best time to visit France’s wine regions? As with anywhere in France, the wine regions will be at their busiest (and hottest) in the summer.

france vineyards

To get the best of both worlds, plan your trip for May-June, and enjoy the mild weather before the big crowds descend. Alternatively, opt for late August to early October. It may be a little busier, but you’ll get to witness the most important time of the year: the wine harvest.

The best time to visit Alsace

Bordering Germany and Switzerland in north-eastern France, the Alsace region is a popular spot for tourists year-round. Like the rest of France, the high season is in the summer. Alsace’s wine regions are also a popular tourist haunt during the harvest in the early autumn.

However, Alsace really comes into it’s own at Christmas time, when some of the best Christmas markets in Europe line the streets. The markets generally open at the end of November, and pack up again a week or so after the New Year – so pack plenty of warm clothes!

christmas alsace

The best time to travel to Paris

The high season in Paris tends to last a bit longer than in the rest of France: from April through to September. However, the busiest period by far is still June to September.

To avoid the crowds without sacrificing the pleasant weather, April and May when all flowers in public gardens are blooming, or September and early October are probably the best times to travel to Paris.

However, it’s worth noting that Paris is a popular tourist spot throughout the year, and for good reason: it’s charming whatever the season.

From late November to early January, Christmas lights adorn the streets, and the Christmas markets – while perhaps not quite as charming as those in Strasbourg or Colmar– are certainly nothing to be scoffed at! And there are plenty of other fun winter activities in Paris, of course.

CHRISTMAS PARIS

While the early spring can be chilly, a trip to Paris in January-March is the perfect opportunity to check a few of the 130 museums within the city limits off your bucket list. And in April and May, the weather begins to warm up… think strolls along the Seine, picnicking in Parisian parks, and even a trip out to Monet’s garden at Giverny (which is at its most charming in May).

The summer months, while busy, are still an excellent time to be in Paris. From city beaches to bike tours around Versailles, there are plenty of activities on offer, and you’ll just have to cool off with an ice cream if you get too hot!

And, as discussed, the shoulder season extends into September and October, when cooler – but still mild – weather, and fewer tourists mean you’ll have Paris (more or less) all to yourself.

When not to visit Paris

While we can say the best time to travel to Paris is any time of year, there is one period which is best avoided: in August, many Parisians choose to escape the city for their summer vacations. This means that in the first two weeks of August in particular, many restaurants, shops and other businesses are closed – and you may find there are more tourists than actual Parisians!

Still need help deciding when to visit France?

Whether it’s a museum-hopping spring-time stay in Paris, a cosy winter break exploring the Christmas markets of Alsace, or a bubbly-sipping tour of Champagne, we’re happy to answer your questions and help you plan a trip to France that you’ll be talking about for years.

Get in touch today to start planning!

 

Travel to Paris in 2021 : Why Paris is Always a Good Idea

It’s been a strange year but planning to travel to Paris in 2021 is still a good idea. Many of us have spent months confined at home. We haven’t seen our families. We miss our friends. If you’re anything like us, you’re probably longing to get back to normal life. Work, school, socializing with friends, and – yes – travel. Though things are tough right now, there are signs that travel is quietly opening up again, and that we can start dreaming of trips abroad in 2021. After all, after the year we’ve had, we’re all going to need a vacation.

You may already have been tentatively Googling destinations for your 2021 vacation. Though there are endless places to choose from, at Paris-toujours we firmly believe that Paris is always a good idea.

Charming Whatever the Season

If you’re planning to travel to Paris in 2021, there are a lot of things to consider. As with any vacation, you’ll want to know what the weather is like in Paris, so you know what to pack.

Like New York or London, the weather in Paris can vary drastically depending on the year, reaching as high as 90°F (35°C) in the summer, and sometimes dropping to 32°F (0°C) in January or February.

paris in the winter

The great thing about Paris though, is that is really is charming whatever the weather. If you’re traveling to Paris in the winter, wrap up warm and stroll through streets adorned with twinkling Christmas lights. And there are plenty of reasons to visit Paris in the summer too, from city beaches to bike rides around the grounds of Versailles.

And that’s without even mentioning some of the best ice cream you’ve ever tried… Even a wet day won’t spoil your Paris getaway: there are plenty of fun rainy-day activities in Paris.

Fabulous Food, and Oodles of Culture

Let’s face it: you just can’t beat Paris for delicious food. Sure, there are expensive, Michelin-starred restaurants, which you should definitely try at least once in your life.

But the great thing about Paris is that even in a basic corner bistrot, brasserie, or boulangerie, you’re probably going to get a decent meal (or just a croissant to snack on between sight-seeing stops). Our advice? Just stay away from the top tourist spots (Saint Michel, or up by the Sacré Coeur in Montmartre), and you’ll be impressed.

As for culture, Paris has an estimated 130 museums within its city limits. Whether you fancy strolling past statues at the Louvre, inspecting Impressionist paintings at the Musée d’Orsay, or mooning over modern art at the Centre Pompidou, Paris has you covered.

louvre museum paris         louvre museum paris      musee-orsay-impressionnistes

For something more unusual, why not check out the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature for stuffed animals kids will enjoy gawking at, or the oldest museum in the world, the Musée des Arts et Metiers (arts and crafts)?

And it’s not just museums, of course! From outdoor film screenings, to theatre, to live music, Paris has no end of treats to whet your cultural appetite, and make your Paris holiday one you’ll never forget.

Something for Everyone

If museums and delicious food don’t get you excited, don’t write Paris off just yet. It’s a vibrant city, with plenty going on, so with a little research you’ll find that there really is something for everyone.

Unusual things to do in Paris include exploring the macabre catacombs, learning to ballroom dance in the Jardin Tino Rossi, and even just strolling trendy neighborhoods on the hunt for street art.

street art paris butte aux cailles

Need a little help finding off-the-beaten-track, unusual Paris activities? At Paris-toujours, we’ve organized cooking classes, treasure hunts, and even tours to help you take the best selfies in Paris and hoover up some Insta-likes.                                                                                        

Is it Safe to Travel to France?

At the time of writing, it may not be very easy to travel to France, depending where you are. However, forecasts for 2021 are looking positive, with many in the travel and tourism industry saying that travel to Paris in 2021 isn’t out of the question. Of course, it’s best to check government advice from your country before booking.

Inspiration for Your 2021 Paris Holiday

While you might not be ready to commit to booking your Paris holiday just yet, that means you have more time to research, make plans, and get excited. In the meantime, why not check out our day tours and sample custom-made itineraries for some inspiration to travel to Paris in 2021 ?

 

 

Where to get the best ice cream in Paris

Paris is heating up, and Parisians are preparing to escape the hustle of the city for a few weeks of sun, sea, and ice cream. Thankfully, there’s no need to leave Paris to taste some of the best ice cream around – here are our favorite spots in Paris for a cone of the good stuff.

berthillon ice cream

  • Berthillon

If you ask most Parisians where to get the best ice cream in Paris, they’ll send you straight to Berthillon. And it’s true that the long lines of hungry-looking tourists and Parisians you’ll see snaking down the picturesque Île Saint-Louis street on a summer’s day speak for themselves. Though waiting in line may be the last thing you feel like doing in the summer heat, you’ll need time to decide between the 78 flavors on offer! Berthillon’s offerings range from classic flavors to more unusual ones like earl gray tea, Grand Marnier or lavender, while sorbets such as blood orange, mint, or thyme and lemon offer welcome refreshment in the Paris heat.

29-31 rue Saint-Louis en l’Île, 75004

4,70€ for one scoop, 7,50€ for two scoops

Lebanon may not necessarily spring to mind when talking about the big players in the ice cream world, but the delicate, subtle flavors you’ll find here (think rose petal, pistachio or lemon) make Bachir a top spot for some of the best ice cream Paris has to offer. Founded by a team of two brothers way back in 1936, Bachir famously still make their ice cream from the same Lebanese family recipe with organic ingredients. For something different, try an “ashta”, Bachir’s take on a classic Lebanese dessert. In this version, you’ll be presented with single scoops of ice cream rolled in crushed pistachios and topped with a dollop of whipped cream. Be warned, the portions here are generous!

58 rue Rambuteau, 75003

3,90€ for a small, 4,60€ for a classic

bachir ice cream paris

© Bachir – Paris

  •  Le Bac à Glaces

This 100% organic ice-creamery, Le Bac à Glaces use only natural flavorings and preservatives, and often only local ingredients. Don’t be fooled, though: there are plenty of original flavors to be found here. In the mood for sorbet? Your palate will be truly cleansed by tart rhubarb, kalamansi or fig. If you prefer ice cream, you’ll find unusual flavors like cinnamon, halva or matcha. Looking for a fun addition to a Girls’ Trip to Paris? You’ll love the range of alcoholic creations, like morello cherry with kirsch and dark chocolate, or mirabello with plum brandy. Sounds like the perfect start to a night on the town!

109 rue du Bac, 75007

3,50€ for one scoop, 5€ for two scoops

bac a glaces paris

© Le Bac à Glaces – Paris

  • Michalak at Printemps du Goût

Michalak is the creation of French Master Pâtissier, television personality and author Christophe Michalak. Though famous for its religiouses and other pastries, the Michalak counter at Printemps du Goût (the famous department store’s gourmet food court) now offers a small range of ice creams. Flavors, while not startling, are all paired with a coulis, which makes things more interesting: think coconut with raspberry-violet, or chestnut with litchi. At over 5€ for a single scoop, this ice cream doesn’t come cheap, but the views from the top floors of Printemps make it worth it.

7th & 8th Floor, Printe

mps Homme, 64 Boulevard Haussmann, 75009

5,50€ for one 1 scoop with paired coulis

  • Raimo

In 1947, Antoine Raimondo opened a small ice cream shop on the Boulevard de Picpus – the very same shop, in fact, that you’ll see if you visit Raimo today. Raimo now offer over 150 flavors of ice cream, including their famous trois épices (cardamom, pepper and coriander). If you’re in the mood for something more refreshing, try sorbets such as lemon-basil or pink grapefruit. If you’re interested in something more substantial before your ice cream, check out the Raimo tearoom, with its chic, cozy interior and decent savory menu. But if you want to just have ice cream for lunch instead, go ahead – we won’t tell!

59-63 boulevard de Reuilly, 75012

5,90€ for 1 scoop, 8,60€ for two scoops

paris ice cream

With this list to hand, you’ll be able to build in some time into your trip for finding the best ice cream in Paris. For everything else, you may need a Paris trip planner. We’re experienced in building custom itineraries, Paris private tours, and even day trips from Paris. Contact us today to find out how we can help your vacation in Paris be one you’ll never forget – and not just because of all the ice cream!

 

Paris Live Tours : a new experience to travel to Paris from home

Discover our new live and online Paris live tours

#1 live tour ILE DE LA CITE on June 12th – Limited availabilities – Book your tour in the DAY TOURS section  : 

Paris Live Tour – Ile de la Cité

Be ready to be surprised by Paris, from the well-known monuments to the hidden lovely streets. Full of history, culture and architecture, our live tours will be the perfect way for you to discover Paris gems live from your living room. How exciting does that sound?

Paris-Toujours is a Paris based agency that creates custom made itineraries and private tours in Paris and France. We work with a network of selected partners to make sure you have the most authentic and seamless experience.

As flights are now on-hold and borders still closed, we have been thinking how we could keep on sharing the beauty of our beloved city. We have worked to propose a different way to discover Paris, to travel instantly from home and be able to interact with a local expert guide as if you were taking a real walking tour in Paris.

During 45 minutes, you will be able to attend an immersive live tour with a private expert local guide telling you secrets and fun facts about the very heart of Paris, the Ile de la Cité.

These live tours will be filmed by a professional film maker who knows how to make you feel the Paris atmosphere and setting, as if you were there with us strolling around.

Last but not least, you will have the opportunity to ask your questions to our expert guide. Don’t get confused, it is not a conference where you will just seat and listen. You will be part of the tour and interact with written questions while virtually walking in the streets of Paris.

Paris live tour

 

Book your live tour on the ILE DE LA CITE

The first  live tour takes place on the Ile de la Cité which is the oldest area of Paris. Your local guide will take you first to Place Dauphine where you will be amazed by the unique red-stone architecture and the peaceful timeless atmosphere. You will then continue your online discovery walking along the Seine river banks towards the Conciergerie, an ancient state jail where Marie-Antoinette was made prisoner. You will be taken to the famous Tour de l’Horloge and be able to catch a glimpse over the Sainte-Chapelle before heading to the charming Flowers market. Finally, you will be wandering the narrow streets of the old Paris and see Notre-Dame cathedral. This will be the opportunity to speak about the huge reconstruction work of this 12th century gothic masterpiece.

Paris live tour Paris Toujours

Paris-toujours brings Paris live to your home before you can travel for real. Interested by the experience? #1 live tour ILE DE LA CITE on June 12th – Limited availabilities – Book your tour in the DAY TOURS section : 

Paris Live Tour – Ile de la Cité

We look forward to having you on our new Paris live tours !

#parislivetours #travelfromhome

Discovering the Parc Monceau Neighborhood

Introducing our new Paris walking tours. There’s nothing wrong with the sweeping grandeur and imposing architecture of the Champs Elysées, or the quaint restaurants and winding streets of Montmartre. No one will tell you that the lively atmosphere and bustling bistros of the Latin Quarter, or the hip boutiques of the Marais are not worth a visit.

But there’s more to Paris than these Insta-famous neighborhoods. The places where real Parisians do their shopping, meet for an apéro or hang out on the weekend. Hitting up some of the lesser-known areas of town is a great way to immerse yourself in the city.

No one is going to tell you to skip the Louvre or the Eiffel Tower, but today we’d like to introduce you to a district you might not have heard of.

Encompassing parts of the 8th and 17th arrondissements, this little pocket of Paris contains magnificent architecture, pleasant parks, and charming food markets.

Here’s our advice on widening your Paris by exploring the Villiers/Parc Monceau neighborhood.

Top Five Things to See and Do

  • Shop for groceries on Rue de Lévis

Most of us have spent our lives dreaming of luxurious French dining, with delicacies from escargots to cuisses de grenouilles. There are certainly excellent restaurants in Paris, of course. But if you’re on a budget or just fancy a change, why not do as Parisians do? If you want to go shopping for your own food, there’s no better place than rue de Lévis. This colorful, vibrant shopping street, with its greengrocers, butchers, fromageries and wine merchants, is a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach.

rue de levis

  • Picnic like a Parisian

There’s no better place to head with your bag of pain, vin, fromage and other fresh produce than Parc Monceau. Established in 1779, Parc Monceau was the brainchild of Phillippe d’Orléans, Duke of Chartres and cousin to King Louis XVI. Designed in the fashion of English and German gardens of the time, the park was filled with follies, antique statues, and even exotic animals. Today, there’s still a miniature Egyptian pyramid, a Renaissance arch salvaged from the Paris City Hall, and plenty of other surprises. Of course, it remains a popular spot for Parisian picnickers, so you’ll be in good company!

Monceau park

  • Visit the Paris Pagoda

After enjoying your Parc Monceau Parisian Picnic, you could hop on the metro and be gazing up at the Arc de Triomphe in less than ten minutes… but why rush, when there’s plenty to see nearby? On the corner of rue Rembrandt and rue Courcelles, just South of Parc Monceau, one of Paris’ more surprising sights awaits you. In 1902, a young Chinese immigrant, Ching Tsai Loo, arrived in Paris. By 1926, he was a successful importer of arts and antiques, with enough money to turn his hôtel particulier (townhouse) into a Chinese Pagoda. Today, this magnificent – if incongruous – building is a private museum.

 

paris pagode

  • Mosey around mansions

Once you’re finished marveling at this glorious mix of East and West, head to the north of Parc Monceau, and cross the border into the 17th arrondissement. La Plaine Monceau – this chic and bourgeois corner of Paris – has no shortage of magnificent mansions, and some of the most impressive can be found on rue Fortuny. Over the years these have attracted plenty of famous names: writer and filmmaker Marcel Pagnol lived at number 13, and stage actress Sarah Bernhardt – a name known to any Parisian – owned the Gothic/Renaissance number 35. Even American actress, dancer and 1940s Glamour Queen, Rita Hayworth, lived just around the corner on rue Prony.

paris architecture

  • Explore a hip village during one of our Paris walking tours

A short walk further north will take you to the hip and up-and-coming Batignolles district, one of many Parisian neighborhoods which were once villages outside of the city. Retaining its village feel, Batignolles manages to be both tranquil and cool. Long regarded as sleepy and residential, a recent influx of young artists and bobos has led to the opening of plenty of unfussy bars and restaurants. If you happen to be there on a Saturday, there’s even an organic famer’s market – and if that doesn’t say hipster, what does?

Square des Batignolles

From the surprising follies of the Parc Monceau to the bustling shops of Rue de Lévis, there’s plenty to soak up in the Villiers/Batignolles neighbourhood. We’ll forgive you if you want to get starry-eyed looking up at the Notre Dame, or share a bisou with your amour in front of the Sacré-Coeur. But for a flavor of the “real” Paris, the 17th arrondissement is a good place to start.

Want to learn more about this neighborhood? Why not book Paris walking tours with Paris Toujours? We’ve just launched a new  private tour, beginning at the Nissim de Camondo museum with its impressive 18th century furniture collections, exploring the Parc Monceau, and finishing at the lively foodie paradise, Rue de Lévis and the Square des Batignolles.

Interested? Contact us to find out more!

 

10 Tips for a Magical Christmas in Paris with Kids

Spending winter holidays and Christmas in Paris with kids ? It seems only yesterday that we were sharing our tips for the best summer vacation in Paris with kids. But the nights are drawing in, Parisians are dusting off their chic winter coats, and the Christmas season will be upon us before we know it. If you’re headed to Paris with your family this winter, here are our top tips for making sure the kids never forget their Parisian Christmas.

  • Strap on your skates at the Grand Palais

Every year, the nave of the Grand Palais museum and exhibition hall is covered with ice and transformed into a winter wonderland. Though you’ll need to make sure you and your little ones are wrapped up warm, the experience of skating under the glorious domed glass roof will be one they’re sure to remember.

ice skating grand palais paris
Ice skating inside the Grand Palais
  • Soak up some Christmas Lights

As we mentioned in our article on romantic New Year trips to Paris, the city of lights truly lives up to its name every winter, when its streets are adorned with festive decorations. From the elegant domed Christmas trees at the Place Vendôme, to the twinkling glory of the Avenue des Champs Elysées, the Paris Christmas lights are sure to impress kids just as much as swooning couples. You can’t really avoid seeing Christmas lights if you stroll the city after dark, but particularly fine examples can be found on rue Cler (7th arrondissement), Avenue Montaigne (8th arrondissement) and rue du Commerce (15th arrondissement).

Christmas lights Paris avenue Montaigne
Avenue Montaigne (8th arrdt)

 

  • Stop by the Grands Magasins

Two of the largest department stores in Paris, Galeries Lafayette and Printemps do their best to outdo each other every year at Christmas with their theatrical, animated window displays. If you don’t mind pushing your way through the crowd, your little ones are sure to be enchanted. Have them wait their turn to step up onto the raised platforms put there to make sure tots don’t miss out. Sure, the stores are really just trying to convince you do pop in for some Christmas shopping, but the kids don’t need to know that!

 

NOEL GRANDS MAGASINS PARIS
Animated windows

 

  • Learn a new skill with a Bûche making class, a must-eat at Christmas in Paris with kids

While France is famous for many culinary delights, there’s a certain festive treat that often goes unmentioned abroad: bûche de Noel. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s France’s answer to a Christmas or Yule log: a chocolate cake smothered in molten chocolate. While you’re sure to find it on the menu at plenty of Parisian cafes, restaurants and tea rooms over the Christmas period, why not go the extra step and learn to make it yourself? That way, you and the kids will be able to start a new Christmas tradition, and bring a little bit of French know-how home with you.

Buche de Noel
Homemade Bûche

 

  • Wander the Christmas markets

Every year, somewhere between 15-20 Christmas markets pop up around the city of Paris. Though they’re all a little different, most will include swiss-style chalets where you can browse arts and crafts and Christmas decorations, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find one without welcome mulled wine stands and hot chestnuts to munch on. While these might not necessarily appeal to the kids, the twinkling lights, trinkets, and occasional appearances of Père Noel should be enough to keep everyone happy.

christmas market tuileries paris
Christmas market at the Tuileries
  • Take a One (or Several-) Day Trip from Paris to Alsace

While Paris is certainly not short of Christmas markets, some of the best in Europe can be found in the Alsace region in north-eastern France. Strasbourg, the capital of the region, holds the biggest and can be reached by train from Paris in less than two hours. But to really experience the fairy-tale magic of these medieval village markets, you might want to spend a night or two.

christmas alsace
Christmas in Alsace villages

While we’re talking fairy tales, the Loire Valley is the land of world-famous French castles, boasting over three hundred chateaux. While these are wonderful settings at any time of year, they’re particularly spectacular for a Christmas day trip from Paris. Many of them will be decorated in festive Christmas style – and a certain Monsieur Claus has even been known to spend time there at Christmas!

Noël - Chambord 2015 © Léonard de Serres
Noël – Chambord © Léonard de Serres

From twinkling lights to bustling markets, to impressive animatronic displays, there’s nowhere that incorporates Christmas spirit quite like Paris. If you’re lucky enough to be spending your Christmas in Paris with kids, you may be wondering if you can fit in everything this wonderful city has to offer! If you need help organising your trip, planning Paris private tours, or even day trips from Paris, Paris Toujours are here to help. Contact us today to start planning your Paris Christmas adventure.

 

Ten ideas for a rainy day in Paris

Wondering What to Do in Paris in the Rain? Here Are Ten Ideas for a Rainy Day in Paris

There’s a lot to worry about when you’re planning a trip. Will your hotel be nice? Will the kids like the food? Will the weather be ok? Let us take at least one thing off your mind. While some Paris activities are more suited to sunshine, there’s no need to let a rainy day spoil your fun. Here’s our list of ten things to do in Paris when it rains:

 

  • Explore the covered passages

With wrought iron shop signs, mosaic floor tiles, and an abundance of fancy boutiques for window shopping, the covered passages which adorn the right bank of Paris are a wonderful place to spend a few hours. Highlights include the luxurious Galerie Vivienne, and the trendy Passage Choiseul. The rain pattering on the skylights will only add to the fun.

galerie vivienne paris

  • Go for a swim

Swimming seems like a strange choice of rainy-day activity – but why not? You’ll be indoors, and won’t have to worry about drying your hair afterwards! Paris has plenty of pools, but one of the best is the Piscine de la Butte Aux Cailles, an Art Deco gem. It’s in Butte aux Cailles, one of several villages in Paris, which is worth exploring when the rain stops.

  • Visit the Catacombs

From the metro network to the sewers (which you can visit in the 7th arrondissement if you’re feeling brave!), there’s a whole lot going on below the rain-soaked streets of Paris. The star attraction is the catacombs, where you’ll stroll past hundreds of neatly piled skulls beneath the streets of the 14th arrondissement. Not for the fainthearted!

paris_catacombes

  • Shopping

If you’ve started the day with a wander through the covered passages, hop in a taxi to one of Paris’ huge department stores (Printemps, BHV, Galéries Lafayette), where you can easily pass the afternoon, and can find everything from fashion to ice cream!

shopping tour paris

  • While away the afternoon in a wine bar

What better excuse to huddle up in one of the many wine bars Paris has to offer? From bustling local joints to more upscale places, there’s somewhere for everyone, so find yourself a comfortable seat and enjoy sipping a glass of France’s finest as you watch the raindrops on the window pane.

  • Warm up in the Jardin des Plantes

The gardens of Paris are one of the city’s highlights – and there’s no need to miss out just because it’s raining. The Jardin des Plantes hides a wonderful secret: its three greenhouses. The largest is the Art Deco Winter Garden (Jardin d’Hiver), containing bananas and other tropical plants. And if you are more interested by the wildlife than tropical plants, visit the Grande Galerie de l’Evolution or the Paleontology gallery with an impressive animal bones collection.

museum histoire naturelle paris

 

  • Stroll around a museum

It’s no secret that Paris is a museum-lover’s heaven. While the crowds at the Louvre or Orsay on a rainy day are enough to scare off even the most avid fan, there are plenty of smaller museums which may not be too crowded.

Musee Eugene Delacroix paris
Musee Eugene Delacroix ©OTCP
  • Kick Back in the cinema

Paris has no shortage of cinemas. For big blockbusters, you can’t go wrong with one of France’s large chains (UGC, Gaumont Pathe, MK2). For something more interesting, there are even two cinemas – La Peniche Cinema and La Peniche Anako – located on barges on the river itself! If you don’t speak French, be sure to go for “VO”, which means original language with subtitles.

  • Cozy up with a chocolat chaud

If you get a little damp, a steaming cup of chocolat chaud will soon warm you up. There are plenty of contenders for the “best hot chocolate in Paris”, including the famous macaron-maker Laduree and the family-run chocolatier Charles Chocolatier. However, the long-standing champion is Angelina, whose belle époque tea house overlooks the Jardin des Tuileries. Their famous hot chocolate is so thick you’ll be “drinking” it with a spoon.

tea room paris

  • Get wet!

If all else fails, get out the umbrellas and the waterproofs, and simply enjoy having the usually crowded streets of Paris to yourself. Keen photographers will rejoice at the interesting photo opportunities the rain will provide. Sure, you’ll get a bit wet, but it’s a small price to pay for the beauty of Paris.

Paris rain

 

However you decide to attack your day in Paris in the rain, the city isn’t short of indoor activities, covered areas and spots whose beauty will only be enhanced by the downpour. If you need some help planning indoor activities and transport, Paris Toujours will be glad to help. We’re an experienced Paris trip planner and can plan day trips from Paris, private tours and more.

Get in touch today to start planning your trip (but maybe check the weather forecast first).

 

5 Ingredients for the Perfect Romantic New Year in Paris

Planning a winter getaway with the one you love ? There’s no better idea than planning to spend the Nea Year in Paris, a city that never fails to live up to its romantic reputation. The chance to spend New Year in Paris doesn’t come every day, so if you’re lucky enough to be headed to the City of Love this winter, you’ll need to make the most of it! Here are our tips for the perfect Paris New Year trip.

  • A hotel you won’t want to leave

Any great vacation starts with a great hotel. And since this is a romantic trip – well, what says romance more than a spa to relax in? There are literally hundreds of hotels to choose from, but some of the best rated spa hotels in Paris include Le Royal Monceau-Raffles, which boasts the largest hotel swimming pool in the city, plus Turkish Baths and ice fountains,  (not to mention the art gallery, cinema, and two Michelin starred restaurants). For something a little more intimate, you could try the Pigalle district’s Maison Souquet, whose “Salle d’Eau” – a small, dimly lit private swimming pool and hammam – makes it a perfect couple’s retreat.

  • A sprinkling of twinkling lights at New Year in Paris

Did someone say City of Lights? The Paris Illuminations begin to twinkle around the city at the end of November, and are on display until early January. An evening stroll around pretty much any area of the city will be bound to pass by some beautiful Christmas lights, but there are a few specific places that are not to be missed.

The most famous display is along the Champs Elysées, where a million lights (no, really!) adorn the street from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde. For a more subdued, elegant feel, head to Place Vendome to admire the perfectly domed, gently twinkling Christmas trees. And if you’re in the mood for something extremely lavish, one of Paris’ large department stores will certainly not disappoint – and hey, why not stop for a spot of shopping while you’re there?

MONTMARTRE paris

  • A glass of champagne (or several)

Does anything say romance more than champagne in Paris? At New Year? For a romance overload, head to Dilettantes, a champagne cellar/bar situated in the heart of the Latin Quarter, who offer a variety of tastings. The Terroir tasting will give you the chance to taste three terroir driven champagnes, while the “gourmet” version pairs them with French comté cheese and Spanish pata negra ham. Feeling hungry? They also do a lunch tasting, where you’ll get to taste three champagnes paired with plates of artisanal products, in the romantic setting of their 17th Century vaulted cellar.

champagne tasting

  • A romantic dinner cruise

One of the best ways to see the sparkling lights adorning Paris in winter is to take a cruise along the Seine… and since it’s New Year, why not splash out and make it a dinner cruise? Yachts de Paris’ restaurant ship Don Juan II embarks every evening on a scenic tour along the Seine, where you’ll be able to cozy up and watch the sights slide by while tucking into a gourmet dinner. It’s luxurious, yes – but on this trip of all trips, you deserve it.

yachts de paris dinner cruise

  • A cozy afternoon in a tearoom

What better way to warm up after a day’s chilly sight-seeing than a steaming cup of hot chocolate? And we’re not talking just any old hot chocolate – any Parisian will tell you that some of the best chocolat chaud in the world can be found in Paris. To make it even more seasonal (and decadent – you’re on vacation after all!), why not add in a taste of bûche de noel – France’s answer to a Yule Log? There are plenty of tea rooms to choose from, but Angelina or Carette, with their belle époque restaurants and unbelievably thick hot chocolate, is hard to beat.

tea room paris

 

At any time of year, Paris is one of the most romantic cities in the world. But add in the twinkling Christmas lights, charming Christmas markets, and plenty of spots to cozy up with your amour, and your New Year in Paris may just be the most romantic trip you’ll ever take.

Of course, romance should be spontaneous – but trips abroad take planning. Why not make your life a little easier, and consider using a Paris trip planner? At Paris Toujours, we’re experienced in arranging day trips from Paris, private tours, transport and plenty more. Ready to start planning your Paris New Year trip? Get in touch today.

A Brief Stroll Through the Villages of Paris

Though small compared to such metropolises as London or Berlin, Paris is nonetheless one of the most populous cities in Europe, and the largest in France. Even if most of the time in Paris you’ll feel like you’re in a big city, there are still some places which have not lost their village feel. Fancy a stroll through the villages of Paris?

  • Montmartre

Montmartre was annexed by the city of Paris in 1860, but still retains its village vibe. The highlight is the spectacular Sacré Coeur Basilica – take the funicular to the top of the hill if you don’t fancy the climb. The infamous Moulin Rouge cabaret is worth passing at night even if you don’t want to attend the show. Despite all the landmarks, there are parts of Montmartre that remain relatively free from tourists – don’t be afraid to go off the beaten track and dare walking the small cobblestones streets such as Villa Leandre or the Allée des Brouillards.

visite-montmartre

Don’t miss…

…The Musée de Montmartre, 12 rue Cortot, for a glance at the life of artists in Montmartre in the 19th and 20th Centuries. It’s garden offers a great view over the Vigne du Clos Montmartre.

 

Why not…

…Ride the Petit Train de Montmartre. An audio commentary will narrate the landmarks you’re passing, to a soundtrack of classic French music. Cheesy, but not to be missed!

 

  • Montsouris

The Square de Montsouris in the 14th arrondissement is one of Paris’ best kept secrets. Confusingly, the so-called “square” is not a square at all, but a street, full of Art Deco and Art Nouveau style buildings. Despite the occasional car passing through, it’s not hard to picture yourself travelling back in time to the 1920s and 1930s when they were built. Don’t be put off by the sign marked “privé” at the entrance to the street – it is accessible to the public if you respect the place and its inhabitants privacy of course.

Montsouris reservoir  Square Montsouris

Don’t miss…

…A stroll in neighboring Parc Montsouris. The vast, sprawling park is one of Paris’ largest green spaces, and boasts a lake, pony rides, and trails.

Why not…

…Visit the remains of a Roman aqueduct on the corner of Avenue Reille and Avenue de la Sibelle, just a  stone’s throw away.

 

  • Batignolles

Perhaps the least well-known of the Paris villages sits just west of the Sacré Coeur Basilica, in the 17th arrondissement. Though it may feel far from the tourist attractions of Montmartre, Batignolles is certainly an excellent place to escape the crowds for a while. And, with its artistic history (it was once home to Edouard Manet, and French literary heroes such as Paul Verlaine), cool restaurants and quaint streets, you may start to feel it has been unfairly overlooked.

Square des Batignolles

© Paris Tourist Office – Photographe Marc Bertrand

Don’t miss…

…La Cité des Fleurs, a pedestrian street with small houses, flowers and plants, open on week days from 7am to 7pm only.

Why not…

…Visit the Marché Bio, Saturdays, 34 Boulevard des Batignolles. The prices aren’t cheap, but the sights, sounds and smells of the market make it more than worth the trip.

 

  • Butte aux Cailles

One of the most well-preserved of the Paris villages, La Butte aux Cailles in the 13th arrondissement takes its name from Pierre Cailles, who bought a vineyard there in 1543. At that time, most of the industry in the area was centered around the now extinct Bièvre river. These days, it’s famous for its countryside feel, Art Deco architecture, and trendy bars and restaurants. There’s also a vibrant and interesting street art scene. All in all, this trendy micro-arrondissement is a great spot to escape the crowds.

 

Butte aux cailles street art

Don’t miss…

…A meal at Chez Gladines, 30 rue des Cinq Diamants. One of a chain of a few trendy restaurants around Paris, Chez Gladines is one of the best places to eat in the area.

Why not…

…Visit the Art Deco Swimming Pool, Piscine de la Butte Aux Cailles 5 Place Paul Verlaine. A swim will set you back a whopping 3€!

 

Just as each arrondissement of Paris has its own unique feel, the villages and neighborhoods within them are not afraid to celebrate who they are. You don’t always need to take a day trip from Paris to escape the crowds and relax in the (almost) countryside.

Need help organizing the rest of your vacation in Paris? Paris Toujours are an experienced Paris trip planner. We love organizing the best of Paris private tours and activities, to make sure your trip is as wonderful as you imagine. Get in touch today to start planning!

 

 

5 Cool Things to Do on a family trip to Paris in the summer

What do you think of when you think of a family trip to Paris? Wine? Fine food like escargots or cuisses de grenouilles? Magnificent art museums? None of it sounds very kid-friendly. If you can’t imagine your little darlings happily tucking into a dish of frogs’ legs or snails after marvelling at the fine art in the Louvre, you’re not alone. But even though it may not sound like it, Paris can be a great place to visit with kids.

Headed to Paris this summer? Here are our ideas for a wonderful family vacation:

Enjoy a day at the beach right in the heart of Paris

When you’re planning a vacation with kids, there are a lot of decisions to be made. Home or abroad? Apartment or hotel? City or beach? For the last one at least, Paris has you covered. Did you know that there are actually several beaches in the city of Paris itself? Every summer, the banks of the Seine and the Bassin de la Villette are covered with sand, deckchairs and pop-up refreshment stalls, and transformed into city beaches withParis Plages from July 6th to September 1st. You and the kids will need some time to kick back, so why not head to the beach without even leaving the city?

paris plage

Get hands on with a family cooking class on a family trip to Paris

Sure, you could stock up on French treats before you leave, but how long are they really going to last once you get home? Instead, keep a piece of Paris with you forever with you by taking the whole family to a hands-on cooking class, where you can learn to make some of your favorite French delicacies together. There are plenty of cooking classes available in Paris, but one of our favorites is a macaron-making class, where you’ll learn to make three different versions of the delicate French cookies which are sure to impress your friends back home.

atelier-patisserie-parent-enfant

 

Explore the gardens of Versailles by bike or horse

While Versailles is a beautiful place, not all kids are suited to wandering stuffy, crowded old buildings are admiring the furniture (though if yours are, all the better). Thankfully, the 17th Century palace’s gardens are great for all ages. For families with teens, horseback riding within the castle’s extensive estate is sure to be a memorable day. If your kids are younger, take a tour by bike with an expert guide, and they won’t even notice all of the history they’re soaking up. Either way, you and the kids will be looking at the same sights that the Sun King and Marie Antoinette gazed upon over 400 years ago. Just don’t forget the sunscreen!

versailles queen hamlet

 

Get out of the city and explore fairytale castles

Getting to the Loire Valley takes only a couple of hours, making it one of the most popular day trips from Paris. The region includes famous castles like Chateau de Cheverny, where the kids will be able to see toys from the era of Napoleon III in the children’s playroom, and Chateau de Chambord, an architectural marvel plucked straight from a fairytale. Because the towns and chateaux of the Loire Valley are quite spread out, you may want to consider enlisting the help of a Paris trip planner to make sure you see as much as possible.

Vélo - Bike_Chambord © Ludovic Letot

 

Take to the Seine with a private picnic cruise

Paris is a wonderful city to walk around, but can be tiring on little legs. When visiting Paris with kids, there’s a better way to admire the sights and monuments which line the banks of the Seine: by boat. A private picnic cruise down the Seine is the perfect way for the whole family to unwind after a morning exploring the Louvre. You’ll love cruising past historic monuments and admiring the skyline, and the fun of being on board a boat means it’s sure to be a hit with the kids too. Add in a delicious picnic to enjoy while floating down the river, and everyone’s happy.

Seine river picnic cruise

Planning a  family trip to Paris can seem like a daunting task, but this city has everything you need to keep them (and you) entertained. If you need a little help with your Paris planning, consider using a Paris trip planner. At Paris Toujours, we love putting together custom itineraries for families like yours. We can advise on the best things to do in Paris with kids, and organize everything to make sure you and your little ones get the most you can out of your family vacation in Paris.

Interested? Get in touch!

Drinking Wine in Paris: the Ultimate Guide

A city with a bar, bistro or brasserie on almost every corner, there’s no better place than Paris for sipping a chilled glass of white as the sun sets over the impressive skyline. If you really want to make the most out of the city’s wine scene, here are our tips on the best wine bars and wine tasting Paris has to offer. Want to go a little further afield? Scroll down for our tips on the best wine day trips from Paris!

paris wine bars
© OTCP Paris Tourist Office

Paris Wine Bars

A selection of our favorite Paris wine bars, as recommended by wine expert Anne Dumont:

© Anne Dumont – Voyages Divins
  • Le Redd, 28 rue Saint Saveur

The fine selection of wines both French and foreign by the glass is just one reason to visit Le Redd. Their friendly atmosphere, “build-your-own planche” system and delightful brunch on weekends make it a place not to miss. Reservations are advised. 

  • Frenchie Bar à Vins, 6 rue du Nil

Frenchie isn’t the most budget-friendly of Paris wine bars, but they do have a list of beautiful wines as long as your arm. They also serve decidedly gourmet small plates and sharers (think Tapas, French-style). There are no reservations, so arrive early.

  • Le Barav, 6, Charles François Dupuis

With a selection of over 250 wines by the bottle, there’s plenty of choice at this friendly, authentic bar. If you can’t agree, you can always pick from a selection of rotating wines by the glass. Hungry? They also serve excellent planches and meals.

  • Les Caves de Prague : 8 rue de Prague

If you’re looking for a friendly ambience, wines for all budgets, and delicious planches, you can’t go far wrong with Les Caves de Prague in the trendy 3rd arrondissement. Don’t be fooled by the name: the wine here is strictly French.

Wine Tasting in Paris

Our suggestions for some of the best wine tasting Paris has to offer:

  • Caves Legrand

Situated in the beautiful Galerie Vivienne, a 19th Century covered passage, Caves Legrand is a well-stocked wine shop which doubles up as a bar. As well as private bookings, they offer a regular program of wine tasting experiences, such as ‘wines of the Mediterranean basin’, or ‘blind tasting’. They even have a 3-session “Wine School”, for those of us who are not yet experts!

vip wine tasting lunch paris
© Legrand
  • Les Caves du Louvre

Housed in the wine cellars of Hôtel de Trudon, once home to Louis XIV’s sommelier and candlemaker, Les Caves du Louvre are worth visiting for the venue alone. A self-guided tour of the cellars invites you to explore the science of wine, with a room devoted to each of the five senses. The final sense – taste – will have you putting your new-found knowledge to the test at the bar. 

Day trips from Paris

France is not a huge country, and day trips from Paris are a convenient way to visit some of its most famous wine regions.

Here are our suggestions for three wonderful wine day trips from Paris:

  • Champagne region

The high-speed train between Paris and Reims means that your Champagne tour can be underway less than an hour after leaving Paris. You’ll spend the day wandering vineyards and picturesque towns, and visiting wineries bearing world-famous names like Moët & Chandon or Veuve Clicquot.

champagne futs
  • Burgundy

Less than two hours from Paris, the Burgundy region is sprinkled with medieval villages, mustard fields, and vineyards. And did we mention the wine? Unique in France, Burgundy has over 1000 unique climats: vine-plots with their own specific geological conditions and microclimates. Carefully marked out throughout the centuries, a list of Burgundy climats will reveal such famous names as Romanée-Conti, Pommard, and Clos de Vougeot.

  • Loire Valley

Also within an hour’s train ride, a day trip from Paris to the Loire Valley will give you the chance to see beautiful rolling landscapes, explore medieval castles, once home to French royals, and – of course – taste plenty of delicious wine from France’s most diverse wine-growing region. What’s not to love?

loire vineyards

Need help organizing your Paris wine tasting, making wine bar reservations, or organizing day trips from Paris to one of France’s world-famous wine regions?

With the help of our new partner, WSET 4 certified Anne Dumont, we would love to help you create the wine itinerary of your dreams, whether that’s a Champagne tour, trip to Burgundy or the Loire Valley, or a unique wine-tasting event here in Paris.

Contact us today to get started!

Five Places to See Impressionist Art in the Paris Area

The Impressionists weren’t always popular. With their tendency to paint quickly and en plein air (outside) in order to capture the changing light, they shocked and appalled the Paris art scene in the mid-1800s. Nowadays though, we’ve learned to appreciate the visible brushstrokes and vivid sense of movement which characterize Impressionist painting.

Whether you’re a lover of Impressionism already or still need converting, there’s no better place than Paris to moon over Monet or soak up some Cezanne. Here are our suggestions for the best places to see Impressionist art in the Paris region.

  • Musée d’Orsay

Housed in a Beaux-Arts train station opened in 1900, the Musée d’Orsay is worth visiting if only for the building itself. It houses the largest collection of Impressionist art in the world, with all the big names represented. The museum also hosts a large collection of Post-Impressionist works, from artists such as Van Gogh, so you can trace the evolution of art over the 19th Century. For such an important and impressive museum, the Musée d’Orsay is also remarkably manageable (especially when compared to the colossal Louvre, which sits just across the river). Natural light, open space, and tasteful cafés help to ensure “museum legs” have no place in this temple to Impressionism.

  orsay paris

  • Musée de l’Orangerie

The Orangerie Museum contains works from many of the big names in Impressionism: Sisley, Matisse, and more. However, it’s most famous for one particular set of paintings. Claude Monet agreed to donate his Water Lilies series to the French government in 1922, as a testament to peace following the end of the First World War. The eight canvases, each almost two meters high, are hung in two oval-shaped rooms which were redesigned for the purpose under the direction of Monet himself – so when you view the Water Lilies, you’re seeing them exactly as the artist intended.

  • Musée Marmottan Monet

As one of the key players of the Impressionism movement, Claude Monet is well-represented on this list. But for the world’s largest collection of his work, head straight for the Musée Marmottan Monet. Originally housing Napoleonic art and furniture, the museum received a series of large donations (including from Michel Monet’s the artist’s son), which made it what it is today. A lesser-known painting by Monet, Impression, Sunrise, which is thought to have given its name to the Impressionism movement as a whole, forms part of the collection, as do a smattering of pieces by the usual suspects: Manet, Degas, Sisley, and the like. Most notably, the museum also boasts the world’s biggest collection of paintings by Berthe Morisot, Grande Dame of the Impressionist movement.

  • Le Petit Palais

Often overlooked by tourists simply because they don’t know its there, this under-appreciated gem features works from antiquity through to the early 20th century. There’s a wide range to choose from here, but if it’s Impressionism you’re looking for, you’ll find works by Cezanne, Courbet, and of course, our friend Claude Monet, among others. Along with its neighbor, the Grand Palais, the Petit Palais was built for the World Fair of 1900 and is a great example of the Beaux-Arts style. The best part? Since it is a public museum, the permanent collection of the Petit Palais is completely free to visit.

  • Giverny Monet’s house

Though not in Paris, the nearby commune of Giverny is one of the most popular day trips from Paris. It’s a must-do pilgrimage for fans of Impressionism for one simple reason: it was the home of Claude Monet. From 1883 until his death in 1926, Monet worked tirelessly to transform the gardens surrounding his house into a living work of art. He even went so far as to have the nearby River Epte partially diverted to create his water-garden, now immortalized on the walls of museums in the famous Water Lilies series. Not only will you be able to see the very space where the artist worked and lived, a walk through the gardens in Springtime is like stepping straight into one of his paintings.

Monet's garden giverny giverny monet giverny monet

Born out of a frustration with the elitist art world, and once much derided, the Impressionist movement has a well-deserved following around the world today. What better place to see examples of this much-beloved movement than in the place where it was born?

Need some help organizing your Impressionist adventure?

Paris Toujours is an experienced Paris trip planner and can help create a custom itinerary to suit you. Get in touch today to start planning your trip!

Our Quick Guide to Your Girls Trip to Paris

When we think of Paris, we tend to think of romance, but why let the couples have all the fun?

Paris is packed with fascinating museums, sensational shopping and of course, killer cocktails. Why not leave the men (and the kids) at home and rally the ladies for a girls weekend in Paris? You’ve earned it!

We know organizing any trip to Paris can feel overwhelming, so we’ve gathered some tips to help with three of the most important elements of your Paris trip.

Shopping

From world-famous department stores to dingy basement thrift stores (with plenty more in between), the shopping scene in Paris has something for everyone (and every budget).

Our top three neighborhoods for Parisian shopping:

  • For thrift shops and trendy boutiques

A lively, quirky maze of narrow, pre-revolutionary streets, the Marais is the go-to neighborhood for hunting out vintage bargains or browsing hip independent boutiques. Just make sure you leave room in your luggage for the treasures you’re sure to snag.

  • For rubbing shoulders with fashion industry pros

The rue Saint Honoré is where Paris’ fashion editors do their shopping. Think chic parfumeries and concept stores, which give way to major fashion houses (Chanel, Gucci, Saint Laurent…) as you cross from the 1st arrondissement (neighborhood) to the 8th and the road becomes rue du Faubourg St-Honoré.

  • For luxury & designer brands

If you’re ready to drop some serious euros on a few designer pieces, there’s no place better than the Saint-Germain-des-Pres neighborhood, where you’ll find designer stores from Boss to Burberry. Even if you’re on a budget, check out the Hermès store on rue de Sèvres: it’s housed in an old art deco swimming pool.

Le Marais

Museums

While beating back the crowds at the Louvre to catch a glimpse of the Mona Lisa is certainly an experience, Paris is filled with smaller museums which are much more suited to a relaxing girls trip.

Three ideas for smaller museums:

  • Musée de la Vie Romantique

Don’t worry – we’re talking Romance with a capital R here, not cutesy stuff. This small museum is housed in the former home of Romantic painter Ary Scheffer, but the real joy of this hidden gem lies in its garden, and outdoor café.

https://museevieromantique.paris.fr/en 

Romantic Life museum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Musée Rodin

Auguste Rodin is renowned as one of the fathers of modern French sculpture, and this museum houses over 6,000 examples of his work. Like the Musée de la Vie Romantique, though, one of the museum’s highlights is its extensive garden, which is sprinkled with sculpture.

http://www.musee-rodin.fr/en

RODIN the thinkerrodin museum garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Musée Maillol

Celebrated as the master of the female nude, Aristide Maillol has this museum devoted to him thanks to Dina Vierny, the model and muse who was influential in the latter part of his life. It’s just a short walk from the Musée Rodin – so you could even squeeze both into an afternoon!

https://www.museemaillol.com/en/home

Cocktails

Would a girls trip really be a girls trip without cocktails? Well, maybe – but it wouldn’t be nearly as fun. Almost every bar in Paris offers cocktails of some sort, so you’ll never be short of options, but here are some ideas for a cocktail experience that will stand out from the rest.

Two ideas for a cocktail you’ll remember:

  • Drop into a Palace Hotel

Introduced by the Minister of Tourism in 2010, the distinction “Palace” is given only to the very best 5-star hotels in France. Dropping in for a drink can be the perfect way to add a little luxury to your girlfriends getaway. Sure, it’s not going to be cheap, but the opulent lounges and signature cocktails will ensure it’s a drink you’ll remember.

  • Hunt down a speakeasy bar

If you know where to look, there’s no shortage of “secret” bars in Paris: unassuming facades conceal 1920s-esque “speakeasies”, inspired by prohibition-era America. While these days anyone can find them with a quick Google, there’s still something exciting about sneaking through a hidden door in a pizzeria, laundromat or Chinese restaurant and finding yourself immersed in tinkling jazz and Great Gatsby glamour.

 

From cooking classes to perfume-making workshops, spa pampering to picnicking in the park, Paris has plenty more to offer for a fun-filled girls weekend.

If you want to be sure your trip runs smoothly, consider hiring a Paris trip planner. At Paris Toujours we specialize in designing custom itineraries to suit you, so you can leave the worrying to us and focus on enjoying your well-deserved girls trip.

Contact us today to start planning your trip!

Springtime in Paris : the most beautiful gardens

Paris is a wonderful city, full of treasures, and gardens are part of it, especially in the Springtime. Here is a selection of some of the most beautiful gardens of Paris where to watch trees and flowers blossom on your next vacation in Paris.

The must-see : the Tuileries garden 

Designed in its formal French aspect in the 17th century by André Lenôtre, gardener of the Sun King, the Tuileries garden is located right in between Le Louvre and the Concorde square. It is of course a very central place to stroll but also a remarkable place for art lovers: after a private tour or a treasure hunt at Le Louvre museum, you can admire monumental statues and have a visit to l’Orangerie museum to see Monet’s paintings.

paris_tuileries

The romantic and litterary stroll : the Luxembourg garden

Created originally by Marie de Medicis for its palace in the 17th century, now the Senate, the Luxembourg garden is made of  many hidden corners where you will face lovely statues, fountains, and even beehives. The garden is also an ideal place for toddlers that can ride ponys, a vintage carrousel from Garnier (the Paris Opera house architect) or push old wooden boats in the main basin. Take time to stroll hand in hand or read a book on the iconic green chairs to experience the garden like a Parisian.

luxembourg garden

The garden the Parisians would like to keep secret : the Romantic life museum

When you stroll in the south Pigalle (the so-called ‘So-Pi’) district in the 9th arrondissement, there is a private mansion hidden from the street. This property is called « Museum of the Romantic life ». Located rue Chaptal, this museum is the former house of Ary Scheffer, a 19th century Dutch-French painter and art . Delacroix was his neighbor, Chopin also visited him and used to play the piano for the guests. A perfect place for lovers that want to have some intimacy in the heart of a very lively district, and sip a cup of tea at the lovely café heaten by the first sunbeams of the year.

Romantic Life museum

The most colorful and kids-friendly : the Jardin des Plantes

Located in the 5th arrondissement, the Jardin des Plantes is the most exquisite place when Spring is there, and especially the first 2  weeks of April. This is the time of the cherry blossom trees and colorful flowerbeds in this 19th century botanical garden. It is also the perfect place to visit with kids for your next family stay in Paris thanks to its great museums and galleries : the great gallery of evolution showing the evolution of biodiversity with its 7000 lifelike species and the paleontology gallery with dinosaurs’ skeletons.

jardin des plantes

Where to stay in Paris with Kids

Paris is a big city and can be intimidating if you’re planning to come with kids. The offer of hotels and places to stay is massive so we are here to pin point your family’s best options. Paris-Toujours only works with boutique hotels in great locations not far from the major attractions. Yet, we know it is appreciable to have some quiet times, that is why many of our hotel partners are located on a quiet street only a few metres away from the shops, restaurants and cafes. Either next to the Luxembourg Garden where your children could enjoy a horse back ride or on a hidden road in Saint-Germain.

Hotel amenities for families in Paris

Some have indoor pools, gyms and a spa so the entire family can relax after their day out. Breakfast is of course included to get the strength needed before heading out. Depending on the hotel, different combination of rooms are possible. If you come to Paris with toddlers and young children, we recommend spacious Family Suites often with a double bed and 2 twin beds. Some can even accommodate a third child. If your children are a little older and need some privacy, we can recommend many hotels with large intercommunicating rooms enabling everyone to have their own bathroom but still connecting between each other if you wish to spend some quality time together in the salon. Our agency can also propose baby sitting services if you wish to enjoy a nice glass of wine in the evening.

A nice alternative for longer family stays : rent an apartment

Another great option is renting an apartment! Once again, our agency has picked a handful of partners in the city to make your stay memorable. They are equipped with everything you’ll need and have A/C. You’ll be able to make the most of the shared areas. We make sure the apartments are spacious, light and have great linen and beds. The interiors are decorated with good taste and the apartments are located in the best areas of Paris.

Paris-Toujours agency would be happy to help you and your family in choosing a comfortable and luxury place to stay.

2019 exhibitions at Orsay Museum

Orsay Museum is one of the must-sees during your family stay in Paris. Located in the old train station of Orsay the museum is impressive as much by its size than by its architecture. During your visit you will discover an important collection of Western art. If you are fond of Impressionist paintings, this museum is a must. It has the largest collection of Impressionist paintings in the world.

The year 2019 is going to be rich in discoveries. Here is the list of the temporary exhibitions that will surely give you the desire to extend your visit to the museum of Orsay.

– From January 29th to June 2nd, an exhibition showcases the “Talisman” by Paul Serusier, a famous post-impressionist painter.

– From March 26th to July 21st, an exhibition focuses on the representation of black subjects by romantic and impressionist painters such as Henri Matisse, Edouard Manet and Paul Cézanne.

– From June 18th to September 22nd, Berthe Morisot will be the main artist of this exhibition. She is a major figure of the Impressionist movement but remains less known than her colleagues and to the general public.

– From September 24th 2019 to January 19th 2020, the works of Edgar Degas, one of the founders of the Impressionist movement, will be highlighted. This exhibition will put forward his works centered on the Opera.

During your stay in Paris, we can include in your itinerary a private guided tour of Orsay museum. Your expert and passionate guide will take you through all these masterpieces according to your interests. See for example our sample itineraries in which a private tour at Orsay museul can be included. For a family trip, your guide will be able to adapt to adults and children and will be able to organize a interesting and entertaining tour!

Chandeleur : where to eat the best crêpes in Paris ?

Good news for the foodies : the Chandeleur comes soon, on Saturday February 2nd this year, and it will be a great opportunity to relish good crêpes, the famous Breton speciality during your stay in Paris. Here are our best addresses of crêperies in Paris :

1- Ty Breizh

Probably the most authentic address for a Breton crêperie in Paris. Located at the feet of the Montparnasse train station where trains from Brittany arrive, it has been awarded the best crêperie of Paris.

TI BREIZH

52, bd de Vaugirard, 15th arrondissement

 

2- Galette Café

A contemporary crêperie offering Cancal oysters with delicious buckwheat galettes as well as sweet crêpes for dessert.

galette cafe paris

GALETTE CAFE

2, rue de l’Université, 7th arrondissement

 

3- Little Breizh

Little Breizh is a tiny place but of great quality. Do not miss its blue window when walking by in this very lively neighbood near St Germain des Prés !

LITTLE BREIZH

11, rue Grégoire de Tours, 6th arrondissement

 

4- Breizh café

A genuine and modern crêperie serving galettes and crêpes with high-quality ingredients, sourced directly from Brittany. Try for example the smoked
herring galette, with Saint-Malo potatoes that will make you feel traveling to St Malo.

galette breizh cafe

BREIZH CAFE

109, rue Vieille du Temple, 3rd arrondissement

 

5- La Pascade

And last but not least, a unique gourmet alternative to the traditionnal crêperie near the Paris Opéra house.  The 2-star Michelin chef and his team prepares la pascade, inspired from a local specialty of Aveyron in the south of France, with delicious and creative fillings.

pascade paris

PASCADE

14, rue Daunou, 2nd arrondissement

We recommend more good restaurants in our custom made itineraries for your vacations in Paris.  Bon appétit !

Valentine’s Day in Paris : 5 romantic spots

Paris well deserves to be called the city of Love. Lovers from all over the world come to Paris to capture the essence of true romanticism and always find a street, a garden, a bridge or a rooftop where they feel time stands still. Here are some recommendations if you look for the perfect spot to kiss your partner while visiting Paris wether on honeymoon or just on an intimate Paris trip :

1. On the River Seine in front of the Eiffel Tower
Cruising the Seine is usually a must-do in Paris and can sometimes be a tourist trap. But there is an alternative to big boats’ cruises that would melt anyone’s heart. Some companies propose private small boat’s rides where you are the only ones on the deck sharing a glass of Champagne. The skipper can also stop on-demand and plan to be in front of the Eiffel Tower right at the moment when it begins to sparkle. What a better setting for a kiss?

eiffel tower

2. The garden of the Romantic Life Museum
When you stroll in the South Pigalle (the so-called ‘So-Pi’) district in the 9th arrondissement, you will find a private mansion with two artist workshops and a hidden lovely garden. This property is called «Museum of the Romantic life ». Located rue Chaptal, this museum is the former house of Ary Scheffer, a famous French painter. He used to receive there the artistic Parisian elite. From mid-march to mid-October you can have a drink at the garden tea room. A perfect place for lovers in search for intimacy in the heart of a very lively district.

romance museum paris

3. The Terrace of the Raphael hotel
Located avenue Kleber in the elegant 16th arrondissement of Paris, close to the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Elysées, the hotel Raphael was the residence of choice of numerous celebrities, French and international. The Terrace of the hotel is one of the refined and intimate places you wish to stay forever. You can have a cocktail or even a fine dinner on the hotel amazing rooftop with its perched garden, enjoying with your loved one a breathtaking view on Paris’ roofs.

terrasse hotel raphael paris

4. The Pont des Arts (Arts’ bridge)
The Pont des Arts is definitely a ‘must-kiss’ place in Paris and is still known as the lovers’ bridge even if the love locks have now disappeared. It is a pedestrian bridge crossing the river from the French Institute to the Louvre. Many musicians are used to playing on the bridge that create especially at night a ‘Boheme’ atmosphere. Take the time to seat on one of the central wooden benches and let the magic happen.

paris sunset

5. In a cobblestone street away from the crowd
Last but not least, if you feel like exploring the city deeper, you will be able to find many secret courtyards and cobblestones streets in some areas of Paris. Those narrow and peaceful streets can be found for example in the 14th, the 11th, the 18th or the 20th arrondissements. They used to be artists or craftsmen places of residence and keep today a scent of mystery. They are pretty quiet and charming spots, perfect for a stolen kiss !

cours-faubourg-saint-antoine

 

 

Wish to plan your next vacation in Paris with your loved one ? We will be delighted to help you create the ideal and most romantic itinerary. See already our Paris in Love sample itinerary to get inspired and contact us !

Happy New Year !

The Paris-Toujours team wishes you a sensational 2019. Have a happy and inspiring year with travel projects !

Feeling like traveling to Paris and France in a few weeks or months ? Here is an overview of big 2019 events taking place in France to help you plan you next trip to France :

– 130 years ! This is the age of the Eiffel Tower in 2019. This might be THE must-see while in Paris. The old Iron Lady needs to be on your list.

– For those who love Impresionist art, do not miss the exhibitions planned at the Musée d’Orsay in 2019. From March to July 2019, the museum will display ‘Black Models from Géricault to Matisse’ focusing on the relationship between the artist and the model with various works from Théodore Géricault, Edouard Manet, Paul Cezanne… From September 24th, Orsay will highlight the fabulous work of Degas about the Paris Opera in the late 19th century.
paris_musee_orsay

FIFA Women’s World Cup is also one of the key event of the year and will take place from June 7th to July 7th in several French cities, not only Paris. Seats reservation already opened. It will be a great opportunity to travel to other beautiful cities such as Lyon, Lille or Nice.

– This year will also be the 75th D-Day landing and the Battle of Normandy anniversary. If you are a history buff, come and visit the region to watch the numerous WWII commemoration events in Normandy early June.
D-Day cemetary

– Last but not least, the Loire Valley celebrates the 500 years of the Renaissance with the birth of Catherine de Médicis, the death of Léonardo Da Vinci in Amboise and the start of Chambord castle’s construction, one of the most iconic French castles. The Loire Valley is only 1-h away from Paris with the high-speed train so easay to add to your next family stay in Paris.
royal-chateau-of-amboise 2

It is now up to you to make the most of 2019 with culinary adventures, private tours of neighborhoods, monuments and museums with passionate local guides, tastings and unique moments of immersing in the French culture and heritage ! The Paris-Toujours team will be pleased to craft a very personal custom made itinerary for your family trip, couple anniversary or just to help you discover our country in the most authentic way. A bientôt !

Paris under the rain

We like Paris for its romantic strolls, its majestic monuments and its wonderful terraces…but all of this is pleasant when the weather is nice. Nevertheless no worries, Paris is a rich city on the cultural side, and there are plenty of activities to do during your Paris vacations even if there is a rainy weather!

We like Paris for its romantic strolls, its majestic monuments and its wonderful terraces…but all of this is pleasant when the weather is nice. Nevertheless no worries, Paris is a rich city on the cultural side, and there are plenty of activities to do for rainy weather!

Indeed, the City of Lights is full of activities that will fill your rainy week-end. First of all, you could visit the key monuments or museums like Notre-Dame, the Garnier Opéra, the Louvre… Another very nice option is to discover those monuments during a private visit when the doors are closed to the public.

Then, and despite the weather, grant yourself a stroll. Visit the numerous Parisian covered passages starting from the Palais Royal, passing by the Vivienne Gallery and the Passage of the Panoramas. Those passages, typical of the Parisian architecture of the 19th century, form a rich itinerary and less known from the public than the traditional touristy sites. You will find various luxury shops, tea rooms, restaurants and even theaters. Moreover there are some other nice alternatives like the Parisians covered food markets and delicatessen. Indeed, Paris has numerous food markets, like for instance the “Marché des Enfants Rouges” or the “Grande Epicerie” that will amaze you with the richness of their products from all over the world. Come and feast on those quality products during your Paris vacations!

We often hear that a rainy weather is the perfect time to go to watch a movie. In this respect, Paris has mythical places, starting with the Grand Rex and its screen of 280m². A visit of the Louxor that shows old films in an atmosphere of the “Belle Epoque”, or the “Pagode” that receive you in an old theater surrounded by a Japanese garden for auteur cinema projections, are originals ideas to fill your rainy Paris vacations!

Paris is a rich city that will amaze you whatever the weather thanks to its cultural heritage. But if you have to face the rain to go from one visit to the other, and you’d better have an umbrella. Thus, go to the Passage de l’Ancre where you will find the best Parisians umbrellas!

Christmas in Paris

Paris lust have been called the ‘City of Light’ during the winter holidays period. Every Paris’ lively streets are adorned with colorful string lights. Stores are decorated with Christmas trees and sparkling garlands. And this year, the Champs-Elysees will be enlightened as traditionnally from late November to early January 2019. This is also the time of the year when the Boulevard Haussmann’s department stores like Le Printemps or Les Galeries Lafayette set up their beautiful season’s windows.

This is therefore a pretty good time to visit Paris whether for the first time or to explore the city a little further in a different way. Even if the weather is not ideal, the city’s ights make it an absolute must-see. So why not try a private tour in one of the lively neighbourhoods to taste macarons, fine chocolate or have a VIP wine or champagne tasting in a prestigious cellar from the 19th century ? It is time to book your Paris itinerary to enjoy a tailor made program while staying at a lovely and cosy hotel.

The Magic of the Garnier Opera

When Charles Garnier, young architect of 35 years old shows the plans of the Opera to the Empress Eugenia, she yelled:”What an ugly duckling, this is not style, it’s neither greek nor roman”. To this offense, Charles Garnier answered with repartee:”It is Napoleon III style !”

Ordered by the first french president himself, Napoléon III, after an attack aimed him at Le Peletier Opera’s, the foundations of the Opera Garnier were set down in 1862. It is the talented young architect Charles Garnier that was chosen to design it after winning a contest against 171 others architects. The construction was achieved in 1875, but Napoléon III never saw it as he died two years before.

The Opera Garnier is one of the most important monument of Paris. But it’s reputation is not as wide as the ones of the Louvre, Notre-Dame or the Eiffel Tower for instance, and some may miss the opportunity to admire one the biggest architectural prowess of Paris. It’s frontage is impressive with it’s columns, it’s big terrace and the gold decorations. The inside is modelled on the exterior, splendid and luxurious, the staircase in marble, the ballet room, the reception rooms, everything was made to impress the spectator. Moreover, Chagall brought a piece of modernity with its painting of the ceiling of the auditorium.

Today, the tombstone of the gost of the Opera, is an important place of the parisian culture. Ballets staged by famous dance directors are succeeding each other on the programm of the Opera. So, why don’t you dive in the magic of this fabulous place during your next Paris visit ? We organize private tours with our expert guides for you to understand the history of the opera house and learn some stories about the audience and ballet dancers.

www.operadeparis.fr

 

Visit of the Holy Chapel

Away from the crowd, located in the actual law court, the Holy-Chapel is a monument which is worth a visit for its rich architecture and history. A detour through this architectural jewel is a must during your Paris vacations.

Located on the Ile de la Cité, the Holy-Chapel is an architectural prowess, both technical and esthetical. Built in only 7 years and achieved in 1248, it was ordered by Saint-Louis himself in order to be a shrine (place which contained holy relics). Saint-Louis bought respectively in 1239 and 1241, a piece of the Christ crown of thorns and a piece of the holy cross. He decided to build the Holy Chapel in the middle of the Palace of the Cité –old Royal Palace- in order to have the holy relics close to the throne. It is the first of the holy chapels. Nevertheless, today the relics are not visible any more during your visit.

In 1630 and 1777, the Holy-Chapel was victim of two important fires but resisted. But unfortunately, it was damaged by the French Revolution and was deprived of its holy relics.
Moreover, as mentioned earlier, the Holy Chapel is esthetically rich. Indeed, it’s an edifice almost completely glazed, 600m² of stained-glass windows, 15m high. Those windows talk about the history of the world until the arrival of the relics in Paris. This majestic place is a jewel of the gothic architecture. A chapel thought and conceived to let the sun light come in and reveal all the details of this magical building.

Some visits and privates visits of the Holy Chapel are organized in order to make you discover in precision the history of this important monument of the french history.

Take advantage of a stroll on the Ile de la Cité to make a visit of this architectural marvel. Your visit will be even better on a sunny day but you can also attend a classical concert at the Sainte Chapelle in order to avoid queuing !

http://www.sainte-chapelle.fr/en/

Visit of Notre-Dame

Located on the Ile de la Cité, “birth place of Paris”, the famous cathedral is open to the public every day between 8am and 6:45pm. Notre-Dame welcomes more than 20 million visitors each year, which makes it the most visited monument of Paris and Europe.

Its construction was ordered by Maurice de Sully – bishop of Paris at the time and started in 1163 (it celebrates its 850th birthday in 2013) and last for 2 centuries until the second half of the 14th century.

The most famous architect who worked on it was Violet le Duc. He was behind the creation of the famous gargoyles and chimera. The gargoyles are statues of little creatures destined to evacuate the water far from the wall in order not to damage them, whereas the chimera are there simply to recreate the atmosphere of the Middle-Age according to Violet le Duc. A statue of the architect is visible on the left side of the façade of the cathedral.

As for the square in front of the cathedral, also called the Jean-Paul II square, it is the point zero ou kilometer zero of all the French roads.

Notre-Dame was also the theatre of various events of the French history such as the coronation of Napoleon 1st in 1804 or the ceremony in honor to the General de Gaulle in November 1970.

Notre-Dame is also a backdrop for many stories. Everyone indeed has heard about the story of Notre-Dame de Paris written by Victor Hugo in 1831 with the famous hunchback. The Walt Disney studios made a famous cartoon of it.

A visit of Notre-Dame is a mandatory step during your stay in Paris. You can also have a memorable experience accessing the mythical towers of the cathedral with a skip-the-line access. During this privileged visit, an expert guide will reveal to you all the secrets of this legendary cathedral and you will have a 360° breathtaking view over Paris.

http://www.notredamedeparis.fr/en/

Montmartre Walk

Montmartre is a symbol of Paris. High point of the City of Lights (130.63meters above the ground), it is also one of the most touristic area of Paris. But you will discover during your vacations in Paris that there is also a hidden and secret part of it.

Montmartre was initially a calm and bucolic village, independent of Paris. In 1860 it was connected to Paris and became a very popular area of the City of Lights. The name of La Butte, has an older origin. Indeed, it seems that Montmartre was previously called the “Mont Martyrs” – meaning the martyr mount -, where Saint-Denis (bishop of Paris at the time) was beheaded after the Christian persecutions. The legend says that he picked up his head and walked to the point of the current basilica. By the way, one of the street that goes up to Montmartre is called the “rue des Martyrs”.

Today, Montmartre is one of the most touristic area of Paris and is surrounded by tourists from all around the world. The Sacré-Coeur, the Moulin Rouge or the place du Tertre (famous for its accordionists and its caricaturists) are internationally famous. This area of Montmartre deserves its reputation, but there is also a much more intimate area that has nothing to envy to its touristic twin. Indeed, when you access to the opposite side of La Butte, you discover another aspect of Montmartre. The Dalida’s square, the vineyard of Montmartre, or the Villa Leandre (one of the most beautiful hidden cobblestones streets of Paris), are to be visited. The Lapin Agile is also an address you should not miss : great artists such as Picasso, Brassens (a famous French singer) or Apollinaire spent time there.

Whether it be the touristic area or the hidden area, Montmartre is a must see during your vacations in Paris. A private guided tour would help you understand the rich history of the area and avoid the crowds !

Orsay Museum and the Impressionists

“One day, one of us was missing black painting, he used blue instead: Impressionism was born“, once said Auguste Renoir (1841-1919). An almost childish description by one of the most renowned name of Impressionism; a picture that reflects perfectly the Orsay museum.

Located in the 7th arrondissement of Paris along the Seine, the worldwide famous Musée d’Orsay was formerly a train station. It was built in only 2 years (1898-1900) for the universal exhibition of Paris in 1900 in order to receive the visitors from the South-West of France. Since 1939, it has become obsolete, electrifying of the railways made the platforms too smalls for the new trains. The museum was inaugurated in 1986, after the renovation of the old train station.

The “Temple of Impressionism” as we could call it has the largest collection of impressionist art works in the world. Indeed, it displays 440 impressionist paintings and more than 900 of the postimpressionist period. The museum counts various famous paintings such as “The Lunche on the grass” of Manet, “The Artist’s studio” of Courbet or the famous self-portrait of Van Gogh, and those are only samples of the rich collection of the museum. It also shows art works of famous artists such as Renoir or Monet. But the Orsay museum is not only the pantheon of all the major Impressionists’ paintings, it is also a collection of occidental art works of all kinds between 1848 and 1914.

In 2010, the museum of the Orangerie, located in the Tuileries’ garden was attached to the Orsay public establishment. After some long renovation works, the museum re-opened its entire space to the public at the end of 2011.

So, why don’t you take the opportunity of a stroll on the Seine’s embankment and enter this old train station to dive into an Impressionist world ?

www.musee-orsay.fr

www.musee-orangerie.fr

 

Food tours for foodies

Paris is certainly the capital of Gastronomy with its traditionnal markets, bakeries, creative chocolate and pastry makers and of course its various places to eat from the Bistro to the Michelin-starred restaurants. Paris-Toujours has selected for you the best of Paris culinary workshops and tastings for to experience the finest food and learn about the French food culture.

So why not having a gourmet parisian tailor-made vacation including for example a visit to a chocolate maker, to a traditional cheese cellar or a market visit and cooking class with a Chef ?

Museum Jacquemart André

The museum Jacquemart André, located “Boulevard Haussmann” in the 8th arrondissement, is a fabulous illustration of the “hotels particuliers” in Paris. This big house which was transformed into a museum, succeeded to keep its decoration of the XIXth century which makes it a unique place in Paris. With prestigious art collections, the Jacquemart André museum is now worthy of the most famous museums.

It was ordered in 1868 by Edouard André, inheritor of one of the biggest fortune in France in the late XVIIIth century. It was achieved in 1875. In the meantime, the proprietary, passionate about Art, bought the magazine “La Gazette des Beaux-Arts” and became director of a famous Art institution. From that moment on, Edouard André initiates a wide and prestigious collection of arts objects of the XVIIIth century. He met a young painter, Nélie Jacquemart, that he married in 1881 and joined him in his project. They will build their life around their “Hotel Particulier” and Art. At the death of Edouard André in 1894, his wife continued the work until her death in 1912. She accepted short before her death to cede the museum to the state on condition that they open it to the public. The museum was inaugurated in 1913 by Raymond Poincaré.
Today, we can find collections of prestigious painter like Boticelli, Rembrandt, Donatello, Van Dick…
At the moment, an exhibition on Caravaggio’s roman period is to be seen by the 28th of January.

So, why don’t you come and admire all those exeptionnals collections and dive in the romantic atmosphere of the place?

https://www.musee-jacquemart-andre.com/en/home

Rodin museum

Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), French artist, is considered a father of the modern sculpture. The Hotel de Biron that became the Rodin Museum in 1919, is in charge of the conservation of the collection of his art works. Take advantage of your Paris vacations to make a detour by this museum which will reveal you the privacy of the famous sculptor.

The Rodin museum is located in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, 79 rue de Varenne. It is one of the most visited museum in France with 700 000 visitors per year.
The museum of the famous sculptor is sheltered in the old Hotel de Biron, built in 1727 by Jean Aubert (architect of the Palais Bourbon). The Hotel de Biron was a temporary accommodation for various artists, indeed it received the longs visits like Jean Cocteau, Henri Matisse and obviously Auguste Rodin.

The latter –founding member of the Beaux-Arts- spent there a big part of his life, he transformed the Hotel de Biron into its personal apartments and workshops, both are accessible during the visit. “The kiss”, one of its major’s artworks was created there on demand of the French state for the universal exhibition of 1889. Another of its famous creation was done at the Hotel de Biron, “The bourgeois of Calais” which he made with another famous French artist, Camille Claudel who was his student. Currently 6600 sculptures, 8000 drawings, 8000 photos and 7000 art objects are displayed at the Rodin museum, you can especially discover his most famous sculpture, “The Thinker”.

So, come and have a stroll in the heart of Paris to discover the prestigious museum that will take you into the privacy of one of the most famous French sculptors

http://www.musee-rodin.fr/en

the kiss rodin RODIN the thinkerRodin museum

The Eiffel Tower

15 years, this is the duration announced for the revival of the most famous monument in Paris. With the approach of the Olympic Games 2024, reinforcement in terms of security and the 20th re-painting campaign … the tower will be loaded with engineers, painters and electricians.

Indeed, a wall of 3 meters high will provide a better security. The end of the works for this wall is scheduled for May 2018. But the wall is not the only work to be done this year … From the end of 2018, the 20th campaign to paint the Eiffel Tower will begin. It has been repainted approximately every 7 years since its construction in 1889. For the first time in its history, large-scale stripping will take place. Don’t be mistaken, all these works won’t prevent visitors from climbing or even contemplating the Eiffel Tower. And if some scaffolding seems to block the illuminations, you can still acquire a Diamond of Light, the authentic bulbs of the Eiffel Tower to give a little magic to your interiors.

Don’t hesitate to contact our agency if you wish to discover more about the Eiffel Tower thanks to our expert guides during your luxury vacation in Paris.

Pompidou with your family

In order to share a moment of creativity with your family, the Pompidou Center offers many activities to develop your imagination. This family excursion is full of exhibitions and workshops for all tastes in French or English.

The Pompidou center is a multicultural complex of modern art built by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers situated in the 4th arrondissement of Paris.

To develop and push creativity, the Children’s Gallery offers different ways to experiment and observe. In a fun way children can discover different universes by putting themselves in the shoes of an architect, musician, dancer and many others. Parents are of course invited to manipulate and create with them.

The Pompidou Center does not put teenagers aside as they will be able to share and create at Studio 13/16. They can attend workshops to develop a script and make a video montage of the museum whilst guided by artists.

During your tailored itinerary why not follow a specialized guide to take you and your family on a private walking tour in the Marais after visiting the Pompidou center?

https://www.centrepompidou.fr/en/lib/Jeune-public#

Middle-age in Paris

The Latin Quarter is located in the heart of Paris in the 5th and the 6th arrondissements of Paris. It is a very touristy area but has also been for centuries the historic University district. The Latin Quarter has a rich heritage which goes back to the Romans period. In 52 B.C. the Gallic occupied the Ile de la Cite when the Romans were based on the Sainte-Genevieve hill, hence the presence of monuments such as the Thermae or the Lutece Arenas. But when the city grows rapidly in the 12th century, the diocese of Paris moved on the left bank of the Seine which led to the creation of the first university in France. Paris is a city of art, culture, history but is also a student city.

The Latin Quarter is the birthplace of this Parisian student life. Its name is by the way related to the student life as the use of the Latin language was common in the schools and universities of the area. We can find for example the ‘Ecole Normale Supérieure’ – famous French Science school -, the famous ‘Sorbonne’ university and the national school of the ‘Beaux-Arts’. There is also the historic Medical School now a University that was initially founded in the middle-age. They makes the area lively and prestigious at the same time. But the Latin Quarter has many other undeniable assets. Beyond those prestigious universities, numerous monuments are located in this area. The Pantheon located on the “Sainte-Geneviève” hill, the national museum of the Middle Age (Cluny Museum), the Luxembourg garden with the Medicis Palace or the Lutetia Arenas are also good reasons to stroll in the Latin Quarter.

The Latin Quarter is a must-see during your trip in Paris. Immerge yourself in the student atmosphere and enjoy a unique place in Paris on your own or with a guide for a memorable walking tour.

Galliera and the fashion

Paris is like Milan, London and New York, part of the « Big 4 », one of the most influent cities in the world of fashion, and the Galliera museum gives a good overview of it. It could be an interesting step of your Paris Tour.

The fashion museum of Paris is located in the 16th arrondissement of Paris at the 10, avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie.
Maria Brignole Sale de Ferrari alias the duchess of Galliera inherited at the death of her husband in 1876 of a huge fortune. She decided to spend it in charities, buying particularly a lot of art works and decided in 1878 to build a palace to stock its huge art collection.
The construction began the 28th of May 1879. The architect Léon Ginain was in charge of the building site. He was a famous architect in Paris, he built the church “Notre Dame Des Champs” and also the Hospital Tarnier in the 6th arrondissement of Paris. Besides, the structure of the building is in metal, and was realized by the the Compagnie of the Eiffel establishments.
The museum was inaugurated in 1977. Currently it has more than 90000 pieces, absolute attic gathering fashion objects of the XVIIIth century to nowadays, pieces of great couturier, hats, canes…accessible during the visit.
But the Galliera museum could not be open duting your paris vacations as it is only accessible to the public twice a year during temporary exhibitions that last around 4 months each. Nevertheless, giving the length of the exhibitions, it offers you a wide opportunity to organize your visit during your Paris vacations.

The museum is also a very popular place for publicists for the direction of artistic and commercial video clips and is also appreciated by fashion brands for photo shootings. Moreover, during your visit you may notice that the museum has served for various film, especially “Inception” for the scene where the two protagonists met.

So come and discover during your Paris vacations this prestigious place where you will dive, the time of the visit into the fashion universe of the greatest designers !

A stroll in the Marais

Today we would like to make you discover the Marais, a famous Parisian district located in the 3rd and 4th arrondissement. This district is renowned for its atmosphere and for its exceptional architecture.

Paris-Toujours can plan for your family trip a private guided tour in the small streets of the Marais. Your guide will tell you about the history of the district and will walk with you in front of magnificent mansions, courtyards and gardens off the beaten tracks.At the end of your private tour, keep exploring the Marais by yourself. Here are some recommendations from Paris-Toujours. Regarding museums: We suggest you going to the “Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature” or to Picasso Museum. Both of these museums are fascinating both for children and for adults.For a “goûter” (French snack), you could go to the Sweden Cultural Center. Located in a private mansion, you can enjoy the garden and discover the architecture of this listed building. Another option is to go to the “Loir in la théière” to have a tea with pastries. The atmosphere is warm and the decoration unusual!

To finish your day, we advise you to make a detour to see the majestic “Place des Vosges” before ending either at the Pompidou center or in one of the BHV cafes to admire the view of Paris!

Four Parisian workshops

Paris has so much to show but also to hide! Sometimes it is necessary to surround yourself with experts to discover its hidden pearls. During your tailored-made trip, you can discover workshops turned into museums little-known from Parisian crowds enabling you to discover even more about the artists lives.

The Zadkine Museum, located between the Monnaie de Paris and the famous Jardin du Luxembourg, is full of life. It’s the old workshop of the Russian sculptor Ossip Zadkine and his wife Valentine Prax. Reconverted into a museum, this place is dedicated to his memory and seduces visitors with its atmosphere.

The workshop of Antoine Bourdelle, sculptor from Montauban is also accessible to the public. It is close to the Montparnasse Tower. You will be able to stroll around and free your imagination walking through this old workshop dating from the nineteenth century.

Founder of the department store the Samaritaine, Ernest Cognacq perpetuates his works by bequeathing to the city of Paris his collections as his wife Marie-Louise Jay. They are visible to the public at the Hotel Donon in Cognacq-Jay museum in the heart of the Marais. Visiting this place leaves a real impression of walking in the footsteps of the artists.

Purchased by his parents when he was younger, this museum workshop designed by Gustave Moreau himself has 4 floors housing more than 1300 paintings and watercolors as well as 5000 drawings. The museum located in the New Athens in the 9th arrondissement allows us to discover plenty of the artists’ techniques.

The Parisian Belle Epoque

The end of the 19th century and the beginning of WW I in 1914 is a very prosperous period for Europe and especially for France. “The Belle Epoque” as we call it is the time of social progress, innovation but also of all pleasures and Paris is the perfect example of it. Today, various visits of Paris are organized around the Belle Epoque.

The public works of the Baron Haussmann changed almost completely Paris. He totally reworked the architectural aspect of Paris, giving priority to large majestic avenues over small streets. As the public works were finished in 1870, Paris was renovated and clean. We can consider this as the beginning of the “Belle Epoque” in Paris. The district of the Opéra Garnier is the most representative of the work of the Baron Haussmann, particularly appreciated of the tourists during their Paris vacations.

During this period the Universal Exhibitions of 1889 and 1900 enabled Paris to build its spectacular and luxurious image. The Eiffel Tower and some other important monuments like the “Grand Palais” or the “Pont Alexandre III” were built during this period. In the same time several parks were created in the French capital city, Monceau’s park on the western side, the Montsouris’s park on the southern side and the Buttes-Chaumont on the northern side. Vincennes and Boulogne woods were also reorganized.

Even if the Eiffel Tower built for the universal exhibition of 1889, the Parisian Belle Epoque reaches its apogee at the exhibition of 1900 that welcomed 52 millions of visitors and had for main focus “Electricity”. The event was supposed to summarize 19th century science progress. The first metro line was inaugurated in 1900, and 14 years later there were 6 lines (it facilitated the life of the visitors during their Paris vacations). At the same time the “Bateaux-Mouches”, the famous Seine river cruise boats – which organize visit of Paris by the Seine -, were created.
Buses appeared in 1906.

Paris also became at that time the city of all pleasures, from the most aristocratic to the most popular, a lifestyle symbol. The theater became a place for public relations, many cafés-concerts were opened everywhere in Paris and the funfair became an important distraction for the popular classes. And the Belle Epoque left a legacy on the artistic side as well, contrasting with the classic art. It is the apparition of Art Nouveau, which distinguised with its original architectural design, the metro stations designed by Hector Guimard are typical “Art Nouveau”. Artists like Toulouse Lautrec or the impressionist Auguste Renoir are famous painter of this time.

 

Girlfriends getaway in Paris

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and you are desperate to show off your summers dress to your friends or daughter.

Paris is undoubtedly one of the most fashionable capitals. Whether it is big fashion houses or new designers, Paris offers a catalogue capable of seducing all the requirements. Paris-Toujours has selected the best of Parisian shops and activities for you to experience your ideal girls only day outing.

What about starting your day with a private guided shopping tour in Parisian luxury fashion stores with an expert before heading out on a small boat for a picnic cruise whilst sipping Champagne and admiring the most famous monuments of Paris. After your chic picnic cruise, you would be heading to a Parisian showroom where you will have access to a wide selection of the latest famous designer’s collections to choose your perfect outfit. As a final touch you will also have a make-up session. Once glammed up and ready to go, your private chauffeur will drive you to a fancy restaurant with a stunning view!

If you like the sound of this Parisian day, Paris-Toujours agency can help you organize your perfect girlfriends getaway.

Yves Saint-Laurent Museum

Fashion addict? Paris is the perfect destination for your trip with your family, as a couple or with friends. The Paris-Toujours team recommends you having a guided tour to Yves Saint-Laurent museum. Recently opened, this museum is housed in a Second Empire mansion, which is also the last workspace of this famous creator of the 20th century. Throughout your visit you will discover dresses, accessories and costume sketches made by Yves Saint-Laurent himself. You will even enter his office. Some films are also shown, which will allow you to learn more about the life of this talented artist.

If fashion is a passion, Paris-Toujours can include in your Paris itinerary, a fashion shopping tour with a professional. You will have privileged access in luxury stores and your personal guide will take you to the trendiest places to do shopping. She will also advise you to make your purchases. A personalized and VIP service!

During your trip to Paris, Paris-Toujours can also recommend the best spots to go shopping as well as other museums dedicated to French fashion.

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Our expert travel advisor team create your custom made itinerary in France to provide you with an authentic and tailored to your need travel experience. Our local partners in France such as boutique hotels and apartments, luxury bed and breakfasts, private licensed guides and drivers will welcome you warmly in every French region you visit. Enjoy a unique travel experience in France thanks to our selection of exclusive activities like a scavenger hunt at Le Louvre museum, a private cruise on the Seine River, a private winery tour, a bike ride in Versailles castle estate or a hot air balloon flight over the Loire Valley castles. Based in Paris, we offer a local assistance for you to enjoy a seamless and luxury travel experience in France.

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