Paris Off The Beaten Path Tips by Dabs
Paris Off The Beaten Path: 2,000 reviews and 4,198 photos
Fouquet's jewelry store
2nd visit June 2013
The Musee Carnavalet is a free museum about the development of the city of Paris from prehistoric times to the present housed in two adjoining mansions. Much of the museum is only in French but it is still an interesting place to have a look around as much of it is displays and art that don't require much reading.
My favorite spot is the Fouquet jewelry shop, an Art Nouveau beauty designed by Alphose Mucha. Unfortunately we arrived right at lunchtime, it was closed from 1pm-2:30pm! There are many other rooms inside the museum decorated to look like different periods in French history but Fouquet's is by far the stunner of the group.
The collections are in 2 separate mansions, lined by a walkway. The Hotel Carnavalet section covers up to 1789 when the French Revolution occured and the Hotel Le-Peletier-St-Fargeau section continues from the Revolution to present.
Closed on Monday.
Closest metro stations are Chemin Vert or Saint Paul
View of Notre-Dame
As with most of our other visits to Paris, we got a Museum Pass for our stay in Paris and the Institut du Monde Arabe (Institute of the Arab World) was one of the museums that we hadn't visited that was included on the pass. I think the museum was undergoing renovation and part of the collection was off display because there really wasn't much here, some decorative arts, some examples of calligraphy, some photography but the whole visit was less than a 1/2 hour. But if you have a Museum Pass, you might still want to visit for the view from the top floor's open air deck, you can get a nice view of Notre-Dame, Sacre Coeur and the Place de Bastille
Located at 1, rue des Fossés Saint-Bernard. Open Tues-Sun 10am-6pm . Closest metro: Jussieu, Cardinal Lemoine, Sully-Morland
On a recent trip to London, they handed out a brochure for Paris Walks so we decided to take one while on our December 2003 trip to Paris.
We selected the tour of Montmartre on New Year's Eve day, it was very well attended (maybe 40-50 people) but it seemed like this was an unusually large crowd.
Our guide was a young American who had been living in Paris for around 7 years, she was quite enthusiastic and showed us some spots in Montmartre that don't show up in the guidebooks. It was an enjoyable 2 hour tour of the area and I would not hesitate to go on another should (or should I say when?) we return to Paris.
For more on our tour of Montmartre, see my travelogue
Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette
The interior of the Basilica is filled with tombs and monuments to French royalty, it is the burial site of virtually all French monarchs since Clovis I (465-511) up through Louis XVIII (1755-1824).
Picture 1 is the most photographed of the monuments, it is of Louis XVI and Marie Antoniette who were the reigning king and queen at the time of the French Revolution. They were not originally buried in the basilica but moved there later on.
Picture 2 is the tomb of Louis VXIII, the last king to be buried at St. Denis.
Picture 3 is the tomb of three generations-Louis, duc d'Orleans (father of Charles duc d'Orleans), Charles, duc d'Orleans (father of Louis XII), Valentine Visconti, duchesse d'Orleans (Louis duc d'Orleans' wife) and Philippe, comte de Vertus (son of Louis and Valentine).
Basilica St. Denis
My VT friend yooperprof mentioned that I should make the long metro ride out to St. Denis to see the Basilica and I'm glad that he did.
The Basilica can be reached by taking the metro to the St. Denis basilica metro stop, I didn't actually time the journey from central Paris but I imagine it was around a 30-40 minute trip.
Entry to main part of the Basilica is free, entry to the crypts and tombs was included on the museum pass .
The sewers by boat-old photo
This is really off the beaten path and not top on my list of things to visit in Paris, I imagine it would have been much cooler to visit back in the days when you could take a boat ride through the sewers (look for the attached picture in the exhibits) but it was interesting to see. There are quite a few miles of sewers beneath Paris, the section you get to see is just a very small part of it.
Unfortunately we were not there when there was an English tour being conducted so we wandered through on our own, I think it would have been much more interesting if we knew some of the history and what we were looking at.
The guidebooks all say that it is smelly, perhaps this is so during the summer months but I don't think it was that bad in the winter. And you don't get dirty while down there either :-)
Interior-Musee Nissim de Camando
Since this was my 4th trip to Paris, I was looking for some new places to explore and chose this museum (thanks to fellow VTer ExParisGuy's tip, check out his pages, excellent stuff)
This gem, overlooking Parc Monceau, is full of beautiful furniture and art, a time capsule of life in the early 1900s.
The property was inherited in 1910 by Compte Moise de Camondo from his father Nissim, a Sephardic Jew who settled in Paris along with his brother Abraham who owned the adjoining mansion. Nissim and Abraham had founded one of the largest banks in the Ottoman Empire. Moise demolished the old house and built the current mansion, designed to look like the Petit Trianon at Versailles.
When Moise died in 1935 he gifted the property to France (Union Centrale des Arts Decoratifs) with the stipulations that the furniture and art were to remain in their original locations and the museum be named for his son Nissim who was killed fighting for France in WWI. Tragically and ironically, after his death, Moise's only other child and her family (daughter Beatrice, her husband and 2 children) were transported to Auschwitz during WWII and died there before the end of the war.
Located: 63 rue de Monceau
Metro: Villiers or Monceau
Closed: Monday and Tuesday
Open hours: 10am-5pm
Included on museum pass
Phone: 01 53 89 06 50
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