Paris Off The Beaten Path Tips by CALSF Top 5 Page for this destination
Paris Off The Beaten Path: 1,839 reviews and 3,540 photos
Institut de France
The Institut de France oversees the French arts, literature, language, and sciences: the Academie Francaise, the Academie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, the Académie des Sciences, the Académie des Beaux-Arts et de Sculpture /Académie d'Architecture, and the Academie des Sciences.
It's a huge, attractive building that you will walk by along the Seine near the Pont des Arts. Unfortunately the public cannot visit inside except the courtyard.
Musee du Luxembourg
I learned before arriving in Paris that the Musee du Luxembourg was hosting an art exhibition, The Phillips Collection, until March 26th. Since I'd be in Paris during the final week of this exhibit, I decided I should see it. The museum is not always open unless there are exhibits so it was a good opportunity to visit.
The Phillips Collection consists of artwork that a wealthy American, Duncan Phillips, acquired in his lifetime and is displayed in his former home in Washington, DC. There were works by many artists from the impressionists to the modernists. My favorite section was the Impressionists. There were beautiful paintings by Degas, Manet, Monet, and Renoir whose painting "Le Dejeuner des Canotiers" is my favorite Impressionist painting. To see it displayed prominiently in person was like a dream come true. I never travelled to DC so have not seen these paintings. Unbelievably "Le Dejeuner des Canotiers" has been on tour for four years and will return home to DC in April where it will be exhibited until July.
74 rue du Cardinal Lemoine
In the thick of the Latin Quarter in an unassuming street one will find Ernest Hemingway's former apartment that he occupied in 1922. In those days the apartment had no private toilet nor hot water. Hopefully it's improved alot since then.
Xmas trees on the Champs Elysees
During the Xmas holiday season, Paris has a different perspective: wintry scenes. On the Champs Elysees beginning from the Pont Alexandre III area on both corners for a few blocks of the Champs Elysees are banks of Xmas trees. They are flocked with fake snow. Also the ground has fake snow.
Of course, this causes huge crowds and bottle necks when the tourists want to pose with the Xmas trees. It really does make Paris seem like a different place for a time. Especially on this busy avenue.
You know that Paris is filled with centuries old history. That is true of many of its restaurants. So many of them retain the old-world style of centuries ago: gilt, mirrors, and plaster.
A few restaurants and cafes that I've visited should be appreciated for their belle epoque styles:
Vagenende in the 6th district (St. Germain des Pres)
Le Bistrot de Paris in the 7th district
Le Grand Cafe des Capucines in the 9th district
Angelina in the 1st district
Laduree in the 8th district
Rue Galande from "Before Sunset"
I viewed both "Before Sunset" and it's prequel "Before Sunrise" as have many here I'm sure. Both movies tell the tale of French Celine and American Jesse finding each other by chance on a train ("Before Sunrise") and again in a Paris bookstore ("Before Sunset"). These two films are a couple of my favorite all-time movies.
One of the joys of watching "Before Sunset" is getting to see Paris again and again! There are lots of landmarks in the film and some that are ordinary yet you know that you probably have walked the same streets and seen the same sights before as the two characters have done.
Celine and Jesse took a walk from the Shakespeare & Co. bookstore to the rue Galande nearby. It's a short curved medieval street that's in the Latin Qtr.
A half-timbered Marais building
If you have the opportunity do walk through the ancient Marais district. It used to be a swamp land in ancient times hence its name. There still exists a few buildings dating from the medieval period, the 1300's or so. They are the types of building styles you would encounter in Alsace for example: half-timbered. Today the Marais is a very happening area, but it's interesting to take note of its humble beginnings.
Mini model of the Musee d' Orsay
If you need the bathrooms at the Musee d' Orsay, they are located in the basement of the museum. Before you get to the bathroom area, there is a miniature model of the Musee d' Orsay. It's very accurate and inticately made.
Rue du Pot de Fer
If you approach Rue Mouffetard from rue L' Hommond you will cut across the 17th century old rue du Pot de Fer. It's got a very memorable name meaning "iron pot". It's a small street that still has cobblestones. Nothing interesting occurred on this street, I just thought it looks so quaint, medieval although both sides of the street are lined with restaurants.
Phone: Photo: www.pagesjaunes.fr
The Musee Rodin's garden is pretty expansive with a huge lawn and trees. There are some benches that are dotted in strategic locations across from various sculptures. If you want to spend a little quiet, contemplative time here is a nice place to do so. You can also sit and admire the sculptures too. One favorite spot is the bench across from "Le Penseur".
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