Hello Monsieur le Maire !
It looks much older than it really is : built between 1874 and 1882 the present townhouse (Hotel de Ville) replaces the former one burnt in 1871 during the "Commune" unrests.
It is a copy (about four times bigger) from the old one wich was progressively formed first during the medieval period (around 1300-1350) and later rebuilt a first time during the Renaissance (under Francois 1er, circa 1500-1550) because it was too small (and, or so i heard, not very well maintained).
The place where the townhouse stands is now called 'place de l'hotel de Ville' but, until 1553 it was called 'Place de Greve' (Greve meaning here shore and not strike ; the place was used to disembark goods carried by boat along the Seine).
Visits of the private reception rooms and the reception halls are possible during the temporary exhibitions (generally about the city of Paris itself). Better check before coming if something is running at a given date (else, no visit is possible). It's a good example of the offical french official/administrative/diplomatic style (reds, golds, carvings and so on...).
NB : the queues are long for those (free) exhibits.
But, to get a taste, check this site for a marvelous virtual visit
Le Jardin du Carrousel (Louvre Museum, Part I)
The Louvre Museum, like the Eiffel Tower, is another one of those Paris must-see attractions, and no matter how often people have told you it is big and no matter how big you're picturing it, it's even bigger than that!
The history of the building itself goes back to 1190, when King Philippe Auguste ordered that a fortress be built to protect Paris from Viking attacks. About three centuries later, King Francois 1er transfomed the fortress into a magnificient Renaissance castle and since then, countless additions have been made over the years by the kings of France. It was finally turned into a museum in 1793 and thanks to donations from all over the world, it has since become one of the biggest art museums in the world.
The visit of the Louvre can actually start on the outside, where you can walk through the "Jardin du Carrousel" and admire over 20 scuptures by Aristide Maillol, as well as the "Arc de triomphe du Carrousel", which was built to commemorate Napoleon III's victories of 1805.
The Louvre's latest addition was not ordered by a king but by Francois Mitterand, then President of France. The museum was expanded under the "Grand Louvre" project, which lasted from 1981 to 1999. Of course, one of the most noticeable additions is I.M. Pei's glass pyramid, or La Pyramide du Louvre, which sits at the center of the Cour Napoleon. The addition of the modern-looking pyramid definitely stirred up some controversy, but somehow I thought it looked really good!
Enjoyed my Visit to Paris
Hotel Francois 1er is a lovely hotel 2 minutes from the George V metro stop and the Champs-Elysees. The staff is very friendly and helpful, room was small but tidy and breakfast was nice. They have a small staff that remembers the guests and provides recommendations for meals, sightseeing and other touristy information. The only issue was the spotty high-speed internet connection. I was only able to connect the first day, after that I could not get a connection in spite of help from the service provider. This is a small complaint from an otherwise wonderful stay in Paris.
Parisian Elegance in a romantic setting
Spent our 3rd wedding anniversary in Paris this past weekend and was delighted with the Francois 1er. Loved the hotel - the room was fabulous, staff were exceptionally friendly and everything about the hotel from the location, to the decor to the service were 100% perfect. Highly recommended!!!! And have dinner around the corner at Pershing Hall - sublime!
Beautiful, Clean, Quiet & Secure Hotel
My husband and I stayed in this hotel in early Jan. 2007 for 6 nights -- our first trip to Paris -- and booked the flight and hotel through GoTravel.com the previous August on one of their package travel deals. This hotel was a "Superior Hotel" upgrade from the bottom line hotel offered in the package deals. I did not want our first visit to Paris to be tainted by a less than nice hotel, so I decided to splurge on the accommodations a bit. I confirmed our reservation through email directly with the hotel before we arrived and got a prompt and friendly affirmative reply.
We arrived late morning we were greeted warmly and given a Standard room (as we expected) within 10 minutes, although we arrived before check-in time (I had warned them about this in my email). We were also offered a coupon for a free glass of champagne in the bar and told about the breakfast buffet, etc. The web site photos make the hotel appear much larger than it really is, but still, it is beautifully decorated and very clean. Our standard room (#307) looked very similar to the photo on the hotel's website [--], but I suspect we got the smallest standard room they had because there was no room for an upholstered chair along side the bed and we certainly did not have fresh flowers in our room. The room faced a small open-air courtyard flanked by office buildings; in other words there was no view. Eh, we knew we wouldn't spend that much time in the room anyway and were not in a mood to complain about such an inconsequential detail. And everything else was very nice anyway. The tub was enormous and kept spotlessly clean, thank goodness. This is the first hotel I have ever stayed in where I felt comfortable taking a hot bath (to ease my tired and weary feet and legs from so much walking). Beautiful marble tile and carpentry details made it a pleasure to be in this room, all of which looked clean and well-maintained.
Since we were staying in January, we did not use the air conditioning, but there was a thermostat in our room. It tended to get a little stuffy, so we opened the window a bit for cool sleeping. Nice.
We were following Rick Steve's "Guide to Paris" for almost all of our sightseeing and restaurant choices, but on a couple of occasions, we asked the front desk for their restaurant recommendations for a simple, quiet restaurant with plain good food. Both times, we were disappointed with their recommendations, mainly because they only recommended Champs-Elysees restaurants and the area is quite expensive. We quickly discovered that our taste (and buget) was geared more toward cafes -- for both lunch and dinner. We tend to feel uncomfortable in fancy, pretentious places anyway, although we like nice hotels. So we usually ended up taking the Metro out of the Champs-Elysees area to go to dinner. Next time, we may just find a nice hotel in one of the "cafe" areas, since we usually come back to our hotel before dinner anyway.
(We came to the conclusion that perhaps the hotel's usual clientele are business people with an expense account, and that perhaps the hotel is now trying to market themselves more to tourists by participating in travel packages. Just a guess.)
The breakfast buffet was included with our room and it was such a great way to start our day. Served from 7 to 11, the buffet had everything you'd want and more. From a basket of fresh croisants and bagettes on your table, to the fresh fruit, cold cereal, fruit juices, sliced meats and vegetables, a broad selection of cheeses, scrambled eggs, Vienna sausages (yum), fruit tortes and tarts, and a tower of fresh oranges and apples, that you can take for a snack later. Wow - c'est incroyable! Very pleasant waitstaff as well. Some of the business people staying in the hotel held breakfast "meetings" in the breakfast area and unfortunately, everyone is subjected to their conversations. On a couple of occasions, a few cosmetic surgeons (and reps) were discussing breast augmentation and botox injections. Wish they had waited until lunch for that....
We give the Francois 1er Hotel an excellent rating because they are good at what they are: a clean, quiet, secure and beautiful boutique hotel (albeit a little pricey) located in one of the most upscale and lovely areas of Paris. We would recommend the hotel, but on our next visit we will likely stay in an area with more choices for dinner (cafes).
Fab hotel and excellent service
We (husband and I) stayed at the hotel from 18th to 22nd Feb and loved it. Although not large, the hotel is beautifully appointed, service was excellent and it was in a great location for shopping and restaurants just off the Champs Elysees. Our room was very quiet. Additionally my father stayed one night and also enjoyed it. Highly recommended.
The best small hotel off the Champs Elysees
We stayed for three nights last week and, from the moment we stepped through the door, we were greeted by friendly staff. We were taken to an excellent room with well appointed bathroom. We were given English newspapers. The bed was turned down at night and a card left with tomorrow's weather forecast on it ( and two sweets). The breakfast next morning was amazing with a wide choice of things to eat and drink. Because it was my wife's birthday we were given a card for a free glass of champagne.
We could not have had a better stay in Paris! The hotel is just off Avenue George V which itself is just off the Champs Elysees. A perfect location!
Hard to find but worth it
This hotel had nicely appointed rooms, was spacious (as European hotels go), and was conveniently located -- although hard to find. Even taxi drivers were not sure where it was or how to get there, but we had them drop us off on the Champs and we could walk to the hotel in less than two minutes. Next to the hotel there was a good yoga studio, and practically anything else that we wanted was nearby. Breakfast was good, and the staff was quite helpful, with the exception of one bad call wherein we were sent to a dull nightclub.
Usual mess at the airport
because there was a strike just the day we had to leave. We arrived there on
time (luckily because the trafic was awful and thanks to Paolo that knows the
town we were able to arrive on time avoiding the freeway. Our flight was
cancelled but a woman that was able to work in a air company said that we were
booked on the Air France flight departing in 30 minutes or so. The lady at
the Air France desk was a dumb fat with less will to work than ....me (
???????) and didn't even want to let us leave. I said that we were booked
on that flight and she still was saying that Alitalia cannot send people here
and there...we needed a signature, the gates were closed...finally, as we were
not the only ones waiting for that flight, another lady came and made things
I really would like to apply -
the only person in the world - the art. 18 of our law on that woman at the
airport...she was letting us missing the flight! (that was even empty!).
We used the metro to arrive to
the hotel. No taxi!!! I saved! Hotel St. Petersburg, it was nice, convenient,
nice room and breakfast, walking distance from the Opera. As soon as we
refreshed ourselves a bit we walked straight to the Galerie
Lafayette , Opera , and we walked along Bvld Des Italiennes where are the
restaurants are. At least the one I like to go because I remember that from the
other time I was there with Carolina and because for me that's the Rue des
Restaurants. We had dinner at TGI Friday (not to miss the american feeling). And
the price was the half of London...., then we walked to Place Vendome (Charvet,
the place for ties and male dressing, is there but at the end it was always
close when Amo wanted to buy something! We also walked to Rue Goudot de Mounoy
to pick up the free vouchers for the Bateaux Mouches and the famous evening on
the Eiffel Tower.
We woke up at 8 am. Breakfast
in hotel. Still the hotel in Friburg remains the best breakfast' place in the
world. Quantity...you really cannot imagine how huge was the buffett! We walked
to Place Vèndome, Rue st. Honorè ( a nice little shops for things for the
house, like knives and fake silver stuff....no fake, sorry...silver plated.)
They had small knives for all the foods.
We passed by Louvre but we
decided not to go inside. I had been there and Paolo was not in the mood. We
passed the bridge and instead, as it was raining quite hard, we decided for
Museè d'Orsay. That was the place
I wanted to see most in Paris. Unluckily we could have done just a glance to the
salon de fètes that was closed for some filming but believe me that inside
sounded amazing, with this huge table all garnished for a big soireè and dinner.
The art niveau part had inside some furniture that really impressed me because
they give this sense of non-breathing...so huge...filling...all wood...I
liked the statue of Cornelia and the Gracchi and the section with studies on
sick people and effects on the skin and body. They were probably wa statues but
so real, fascinating even if...rude, probably. The paintings that I liked are
all photographed by me and put online in my pictures' section. (probably it was
there that I discharged the camera!!!)
Then walked to Place de la
Concorde and along Champs Elyseè, then Rue Francois 1er where Paolo headed
straight to his favourite shop: PINK.
Then we took the Metro and
arrived at Fauburg St. Honorè where Hermes is and also all the fashion shops.
Visited the Magdalen, a huge
church that is really dark inside and that scares me even from the outside. Is
not joyful...marble, dark...; then we walked up to the Opèra and we had
passed close to the famous Olympia. (where some concerts are held).
Lovely place..Maison du
We did the tour on Bateaux Mouches. It was raining but at least this ferry was not
empty and it was possible to go out to shot photos. Not like the Parisienne of
the 7th, we were stuck like in a crowded bus. The tour was even more complete,
going up to the liberty statue, Radio France palais ...academie of beau arts,
eglise americain, Ponte de l'Alma, Samaritaine , Notre Dame, Ile st. Louis...
we took in the afternoon the bus # 95, driving through Louvre and we are heading
to Montmatre...pity that we took the wrong way and we headed to Rue de Rennes ,
St . Germain des Pres...(nice church) and shops in Rue de Rennes.
Taking the right bus we arrived
close to the famous Moulin Rouge...(but why I hadn't seen Ewan McGregor?) we
climbed up in Rue Lepic , seen the Moulin de la Galette, Montmatre, Sacre Coeur...
taken some photos and then jumped down the hill. Pigalle again...metro stop
Anvers. Then we took the metro to Arc de Triomph and we climbed up to the top. I
was really dead after a while. The weather didn't help the view but is certainly
worth. We had the card to enter in all the museums and attraction in town
that lasted 5 days and that was really useful. No qeue, no coins to pay fees...
Tea at La Brioche Dore' for a tea and a juice due
to the lack of sugars after 284 steps on the Arc de Triomph. Then we
walked along the Champs Elyseèwhere we stopped at
the Mercedes' shop where I tried the C class. Cool! :) Place de la Concorde
Rue de Rivoli (with WHSmith)
Dinner at Le Bistrot Romain but
it was not great at all. Carpaccio all-you-can-eat but I suspect that if you ask
more than 2 dishes they can kill you. We had at the left table a couple and I am
sure that she was the mistress. He ordered for her and he wore a ring. She was
younger...my fancy for gossiping was great.
3rd day Conciergerie
and Sainte Chapelle, walked to Notre Dame .
We didn't climbed up to see the famous Gargoyles. Hotel de
la Ville , and then walked along Beauburg and Les
Halles , with the Pompidou fountain that I liked..also the squares with
all the X-mas markets around there. Church of St.
Eustachio, Colonna di st. Jacques, The Bourse of Commerce and the gardens
over there that I suppose are really nice in the springtime. Then we went to see
SAMARITAINE, just because I was curious but in that stores is so warm inside...my
Walked back along the Seine,
walked in the Tuileries , Rue de L'Opera. Then LaFayette again, and dinner,
finally at the restaurant french- portoguese in from the hotel that turned out
to be the best we had found in Paris. Cataplana de marisco...huge pot with
lobster, jumbo shrimps, potatoes, spicy sausages...whao!!!
4th day Les
Invalides. METRO La Tour- Mauburg .First of all we walked along the gardens and
we headed into the Musee de L'Arme' that Paolo wanted to see certainly better
than Musee D'Orsay (visited the second day...I don't know why I didn't said that
before in my journal). So..almost 3 hours in the musee...with the horse of
Napoleon, his dog, his camp tent (blue tent with a silk bed) . Le Dome with the
tomb of Napoleon. (with the golden roof). Had lunch in a brasserie. Crepe! Metro
till Hotel de la Ville. Visited BHV specialized in Bricolage. Ile St. Louis...and
I remember it with Carolina and the shops that I liked for teas called L'Epicerie
now sells just oil and jams.
I finally tasted a macaroon
that I fancied in the shops for days.
We took the train up to the
Tour Eiffel, and then walked along the walk on the Seine ( I remember that the
other time it was really full of artists and places where they were selling
prints and where are they gone now?) . I am really scared of a building like the
it reminds me a huge political building of a comunist country. Huge, big, marble...It's
really the most ugly thing they have in Paris. It was so cold that we decided to
wait for a bus and we had a look at the bus stops. The best route was the one of
the # 72 up to the Louvre. I suggest to everybody a walk on the Tueleires
gardens, it's relaxing.
The big worry in that trip was
the charge of the batteries of the digital camera as really the first ones that
the company put in the package lasted more than the ones that we bought so we
decided to buy the rechargable' ones. It took so long that we were scared to
remain without the camera.
Dinner at the Buffalo Grill in
Blvd des Italiennes. I had a tartare..i know...it's row and I knew it. Usually I
like carpaccio but eating a whole portion of it, even if mixed and seasoned with
herbs it was hard and filling.
5th day We
finally used the free tour on the Seine with the dinner at Altitude 95 on the
Eiffel Tower. The most famous tourist trap in the world. The food there is not
good at all, view...uhm, so & so, I had to qeue like people wanting to go up
the tower, chilly as hell in the restaurant, the cruise was packed up with
people and was almost impossible to take picures with that glass all dirty that
covered the boat! No...the company ...Parisienne doesn't appeal to me. It didn't
all the tour with Cityrama, I knew it in advance it was not worth but they gave
it to us...
6th day I
liked Lancel bags...95..to Rue de Rennes, visited the Luxembourg. There was the
Senate'palace, the gardens are the most beautiful in Paris, flowers, statues,
the fountain...that's the best spot in Paris. While it was Ile st. Louis in the
other trip we had done.The Pantheon (gee, how sad this place can be!) Sergio
& Giusi came to visit us in Paris!!!!
Hotel Francois 1er Questions
I found this hotel doing some hotel research and it looks to be in walking distance to Champs-Élysées?
Has anyone stayed here?
I hope it is a safe neighborhood?
It looks like a very quaint and charming hotel. The price was around $400 a night.
Will be in Paris in November.
Re: Hotel Francois 1er Questions
This is a four-star hotel, according its web site, which looks quite impressive.
The neighborhood is very safe, as is all of central Paris. It IS within walking distance to Champs-Élysées. For reaching other sights in Paris, the Métro stop George V is nearby.
The Métro is great, getting you to all parts of town easily, quickly and inexpensively.
Enjoy your visit to the City of Light; your hotel choice looks like a winner.
Re: Hotel Francois 1er Questions
As von.otter said, this is a safe and vey central area. Have a look at the reviews on Trip Advisor http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g187147-d197530-Reviews-Hotel_Francois_1er-Paris_Ile_de_France.html . It is very highly rated. Looks lovely. You will know all the main things to see, but look at the travel guides on this site for some different ideas. I have some tips on my Paris page you may be interested in http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/1103b9/18308/ . Have a really good time in Paris, it is a wonderful city. Bruce
Re: Hotel Francois 1er Questions
The neighborhood is lovely - it's very close to my old neighborhood! It's ona quiet street and is convenient to the metro at George V. My husband's company used to use the Francois 1er when people came in from out of town. I have had drinks there a number of times - you won't be disappointed!