Île-de-France Things to Do

  • Louvre Museum, Paris, France
    Louvre Museum, Paris, France
    by Parisforless
  • La Conciergerie
    La Conciergerie
    by Nemorino
  • Jardin des Plantes
    Jardin des Plantes
    by Nemorino

Île-de-France Things to Do

  • Montmartre - Sacré Coeur

    Paris Things to Do

    Vandalization of the Sacré Cœur. This very morning (19/03/2014) - anniversary of the "Commune" - the front of the Basilique du Sacré Cœur de Montmartre has been vandalized with insulting inscriptions in red paint! The way this act showing anti-Christian feelings inside the "République Française" has been reported by the French press shows the deep...

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  • Gardens

    Versailles Things to Do

    After visiting the interior of the Palace, you exit into the gardens of Versailles. The gardens were designed between 1661 and 1700 under the reign of Louis XIV and covers 90 hectares, the garden and park together are 800 hectares (source Wikipedia). The gardens are formal with manicured lawns, meticulously planted flower gardens, over 400 statues...

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  • Eiffel Tower

    Paris Things to Do

    Many people will tell you when you are off on your first visit to Paris not to bother with going to the top of the Eiffel Tower because you will wait for hours and pay a hefty entrance fee and so on and so forth...... These warnings are of course perfectly true and when I balked about going to the top on my first visit to Paris (mainly because I...

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  • The Hall of Mirrors ( La Galerie des...

    Versailles Things to Do

    .. one of the things I remember is the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles. That is not surprising because this is the most famous part of the palace, built in 1678 as part of the renovation/addition to Versailles by the Sun King, Louis XIV. The Hall is dazzling and immense, 220 feet long, with one wall covered in mirrors, 357 in all. At that time,...

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  • Louvre

    Paris Things to Do

    NEW: A second Mona Lisa?! Since an amateur of art found a painting showing the alleged upper part of the body of the model painted by Courbet for his famous (scandalous according to some) "L'Origine du Monde" (ref my tip Scandalous Nudes at Orsay ) a foundation pretending that there is an earlier version of Leonardo da Vinci’s most celebrated...

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  • The Palace of Versailles

    Versailles Things to Do

    One way to deal with the enormity of the Versailles Palace is to think of it as a gigantic psychogram of Louis XIV. On the one hand, he was a Renaissance man with a keen interest in Greek and Roman mythology, as is clear from the art works on display throughout the palace. At the same time, he was a devout Catholic who went to mass in his private...

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  • Notre Dame de Paris

    Paris Things to Do

    Most recent visit April 2014, the bell tower is currently not open but we did get to go to the top of the south tower Although many of the figures that you can see from street level on the lower part of the cathedral are true gargoyles, decorative waterspouts used to preserve the building by diverting the rain water away from it, the more...

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  • Basins, fountains and statues

    Versailles Things to Do

    Are you still thinking what I mentioned earlier? Yes, the Sun King was green with ENVY at one point in his life and it was one of those things that led to the creation of Versailles... The King had just attended the mother of all house-warming parties thrown by his Finance minister, Nicholas Fouquet and it left him with a rotten mood. Not only...

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  • Arc de Triomphe

    Paris Things to Do

    The Arc de Triomphe was commissioned by the Emperor Napoléon I in 1806 to celebrate the triumph of his armies over the rest of Europe in the early nineteenth century, particularly his triumph over the Russian and Austrian Empires at the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805. In recent decades, however, the Arch has merely served to demonstrate the triumph...

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  • Grand Trianon castle

    Versailles Things to Do

    As much the Castle is imposing, as much the Grand Trianon is a gem of architectural elegance. The choice of this retreat at the end of the Park of Versailles by Louis XIV and the choice of the architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart for its erection in 1687-1688 in Italian style was a great success so that the Grand Dauphin, the Queen Marie Leszczinska,...

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  • Musée d'Orsay

    Paris Things to Do

    MUSEE D'ORSAY - PRACTICAL INFO. OPEN daily, except Mondays, from 09.30 to 18.00 h. Late night on Thursdays until 21.45 h. Last tickets sold at 17.00 h (21.00 h Thursdays) CLOSED on MONDAYS, on 1 January, 1 May and 25 December. Tickets price (2014): 11 €, reduced 8,50 €. Free on first Sunday of the month. AVOIDING THE LINES. It's never amusing...

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  • Petit Trianon castle

    Versailles Things to Do

    The comparison between the relatively modest room of the queen at the Petit Trianon and the royal apartments of the Palace of Versailles is striking. The small dimensions of the bed of the queen in her room at the Petit Trianon show well that here she lived as a single woman away off her royal husband. It is known that Marie-Antoinette in her...

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  • Latin Quarter

    Paris Things to Do

    "Rive gauche", the left bank, is slightly different from the other side, dominated by students and cultural activities. Of course, shopping is the "cultural activity" for many people (no, I'm not talking about Fernanda) and the avenues of Saint Germain are filled with "cultural centers". Another "cultural activity" recommended to this area is...

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  • Hameau de la reine

    Versailles Things to Do

    The Hameau of Marie Antoinette is nice, secluded simple, country, and spent many many times walking around it, just looking at its history. The history very much better explained is here officially http://en.chateauversailles.fr/marie-antoinettes-estate I will tell you about the Balcon de la Reine or the balcony of the Queen, this is where she...

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  • Jardins du Luxembourg

    Paris Things to Do

    in FRench but the dates and hours can be read i think, from the Senate site official jardin du luxembourg, as I worked off montparnasse go there everymonth now. You will be able to see the closing FERMETURE hours year long as well as opening hours OUVERTURE http://www.senat.fr/visite/jardin/horaires.html the original statue of liberty done by...

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  • Grands Appartements du Roi et de la...

    Versailles Things to Do

    By the time I reached the Queen’s bedroom I was distinctly ODed on seventeenth century magnificence, so I decided to call it quits for the day, stop taking photos and come back some other year for the rest of the palace. Actually “ODed” is not the proper term to use in such aristocratic surroundings. I suppose I should have said I was surfeited –...

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  • Centre Georges Pompidou

    Paris Things to Do

    This is mainly an art centre with emphasis on modern art. The architecture is what makes the museum unique. The design was to maximise movement by freeing up internal space. This was done by building the ducts and conveyance systems (stairs, elevators etc.) on the outside. Those ducts are colour-coded i.e. blue for air; green for fluids; yellow...

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  • Saint-Louis cathedral

    Versailles Things to Do

    This was the Cathedral that was not, and the king wanted. Name after Saint Louis ,king Louis IX. Another church jewel of France,and very near the Potager du roi, on an old part of Versailles, district of Saint Louis, facing the castle to your left. Great to walk around here. If you need more ask. the official site of the...

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  • Disneyland Paris

    Paris Things to Do

    Much has been said about Disneyland Paris mostly along the lines of "it's not as good as California or Florida". If you are visiting Paris with children of any age or if you are just a big kid yourself, go and see it anyway. We had heard all of the knockers over and over again but decided that a 2 year old and a 3 year old were not going to be...

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  • Galeries de l'Histoire de France

    Versailles Things to Do

    The HALL of BATTLES is the largest room of the palace with 120 m of length and 13 m width. Under Louis XIV this South wing consisted of princely apartments on the first floor and apartments for members of the Royal court on the second floor. In 1837 Louis-Philippe had this wing arranged in the form of gallery devoted to the military history of...

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  • Champs Elysées

    Paris Things to Do

    Champs Elysées (Elysian Fields ) is one of the most famous avenues in the world. It starts from Arc de Triomphe at "Charles de Gaulle-Etoile" and ends down after 2.2km at Place de la Concorde which is the largest square of Paris. Along the avenue you can find some extra expensive stores (Louis Vuiton, Prada, Cartier etc) full of luxury products...

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  • Galeries du XVIIe siècle

    Versailles Things to Do

    It is by the entrance of the "Cour Royale" to the northern wing that the traditional visit of the castle of Versailles begins. The 17th c. galleries are the part of the Palace circuit coloured in blue on the Versailles castle map. The visit starts at the ground floor with a succession of decorated rooms and continues on the first floor. On crowded...

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  • Sainte-Chapelle

    Paris Things to Do

    Not very common in most churches, in this one the nobles and the people were separated in two different levels. We enter through the low level (people's level) and thought the beauty is also present, it will not announce the striking light and colours of nobles' level.

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  • Catacombes

    Paris Things to Do

    On a Saturday cloudy morning I decided to visit the Catacombes de Paris, it was my 4th time in Paris so I decided to do it even though I knew I may had to wait on a long line. The entrance is just opposite Denfert-Rochereau metro station but the line was already round the small park. Believe it or not we had to wait for almost 2 hours to get in...

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  • Tour Montparnasse

    Paris Things to Do

    Here's a view from the top of the Montparnasse Tower, looking northwest towards the competition. I'm not a big fan of standing in lines, so for aerial views I much prefer paying EUR 8.70 (whoops, it has just gone up another 30 cents to 9.00 Euros) and taking the 38-second elevator up to the 56th floor of the Montparnasse Tower, and then walking up...

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  • Bateaux Mouches

    Paris Things to Do

    I have been on submarines, nuclear and not, battle ships, aircraft carriers, ferries, harbor cruises and even sail boats, but none of these was as exciting nor offered the beautiful scenery as my trip down La Seine on a Bateaux Mouches! When visiting Paris you absolutely must take a cruise down the "Grande Rue" of Paris, La Seine! This is a...

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  • Place de la Concorde

    Paris Things to Do

    a wonderful square that has transpassed frontiers and its the focal point of all visitors to Paris. It is not as calm and nice as it seems. It was called place Louis XV, when the Kings roams in France, then a revolution came its way and it was change to the place de la revolution, then in 1826 Place Louis XVI, then Place de la Charte in 1830, and...

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  • Dômes - Hôtel des Invalides

    Paris Things to Do

    The main attraction of the Dôme des Invalides is the Tomb of l'Emperrrreurrrrr, as I have called it in one of my reviews, namely the tomb of the emperor Napoléon Bonaparte (1769–1821). But nearby, in one of the side niches, is a monument to another remarkable man, Sebastian le Prestre de Vauban (1633-1707), a French military engineer and adviser...

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  • La Défense

    Paris Things to Do

    It is big, it is modern, it is nice. Better than that, it is several kilometers far from the historic Paris. Good. La Defense is a wise solution to build an impressive modern quarter without spoiling the image of the city. Though out of central circuit, the common tourist tickets include it as an exception - the many commercial structures need...

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  • Jardin des Tuileries

    Paris Things to Do

    Reading about the history of France I often came onto the "Palais des Tuileries" a royal residence for many French sovereigns: Henri IV, Louis XIV, Louis XVI, Louis XVIII, Napoleon I and Napoleon III. At first I was not able to situate exactly that palace destroyed by fire in 1871 and whose ruins were finally removed in 1882. I found an engraving...

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  • Opéra Garnier

    Paris Things to Do

    In terms of the number of seats that they can actually put on sale for any given evening, around 1,750, this is only the third largest opera house in Paris. But when you consider the amount of stunningly high-quality space that is available for these 1,750 people to walk around in, for instance the entrance hall, the Grand Staircase, the...

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  • Versailles

    Paris Things to Do

    It is by entrance of the "Cour Royale" to the northern wing with the 17th c. galleries that the traditional visit of the castle of Versailles starts. The visit begins at the ground floor with a succession of decorated rooms and continues on the first floor. On crowded days (4 million visitors/year) the visit is rather chaotic because the thousands...

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  • Conciergerie

    Paris Things to Do

    As there was a queue at the Sainte Chapelle at 50 m from here I entered the Conciergerie where there was nearly nobody. I could admire in all tranquillity the medieval halls. Surprising is the fact that the floor of these halls from the 14th century is well below street level. In the 19th century the embankments of the nearby Seine were raised as...

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  • Walking

    Paris Things to Do

    When you walk through Luxembourg Garden, just in front of the fountain where you can hire and play with boats, there is a magnificent building guarded by men in uniform: This is the Senate of France. The Senate is the upper house of the France Parliament, but this monument was actually built by Marie de Medicis who wanted to be close to her son,...

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  • Moulin Rouge

    Paris Things to Do

    Is a world-famous cabaret theater, it opened their doors in 1889 and symbolizes the decadence of those years The cabaret restaurant and a theater was famous for their shows, entrance are not cheap but I'm sure you will enjoy for the price you pay The post-impressionist painter Toulouse-Lautrec immortalized the nightlife at the Moulin Rouge on his...

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  • Panthéon

    Paris Things to Do

    Le Pantheon (every god in greek) is a beautiful structure in early neoclassical style modeled after the Pantheon in Rome. It was under renovation in march 2014 so we just went there during the evening for some night shots. It’s open daily 10.00-18.00 and the entrance fee is 7e It was originally built as a church after King Louis XV demand...

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  • Musée du Moyen Age (Middle Ages) - Musée...

    Paris Things to Do

    The National Museum of the Middle Ages is reputed for its magnificent collection of tapestries. The so called "Mille fleurs" thousand flowers tapestries are typical of the 15th c. and owe their name to the multitude of flowers and blooming branches spread over them. This is a background on which persons and animals are represented. The most...

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  • La Madeleine

    Paris Things to Do

    When he died in December 1791 at age 35, the composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was still working on his last composition, his Requiem Mass in D Minor (K. 626). The Requiem had been commissioned by a mysterious messenger with wads of money who wouldn't say who he was working for. This has led to countless speculative stories over the years,...

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  • Trocadero

    Paris Things to Do

    Usually referred to as simply "the Trocadero" this renowned square was built on the hill of Chaillot which once was a village situated on the outskirts of Paris in the 16 eme. The huge sprawling builing which dominates the square is the Palais de Chaillot (mark 2). The original Palais which was built for the World's Fair in the latter part of the...

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  • Musée Rodin

    Paris Things to Do

    Rodin ... without being a specialist in art (arts) or just because I do not know much about it, I can say that I do not like Rodin's sculptures. Too big, too dark, too heavy... I was trying to feel their fluidity, their sensibility... nothing. Rodin's bodies are twisted, stressed, I could almost feel the pain in the contortioned bones and...

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  • Museum Passes

    Paris Things to Do

    The Paris Museum Pass is interesting if you are staying at least 2 days in Paris and want to visit several museums. It gives free entry and direct access to 60 museums and monuments in and around Paris (e.g. Versailles). The number of visits is unlimited and you can buy the pass before the day you are going to use him. The prices of the Museum...

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  • La Seine

    Paris Things to Do

    Walk along the River Seine to enjoy the atmosphere, to see some beautiful bridges (most famous are the Pont Alexandre III, Pont des Arts, and Pont Neuf) and admire some monuments along the way like Tour Eiffel, Musee du Louvre, and Notre-Dame. It can take you hours but trust me... you will love it! We preferred to split the tour in different...

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  • Place de la Bastille

    Paris Things to Do

    In September 2011 I paid all of five Euros and got the next-to-last standing room ticket for the premiere of the opera Salomé by Richard Strauss (1864-1949). This was the first performance of the 2011-2012 opera season. The standing room tickets are not sold in advance, but go on sale an hour and a half before show time. I arrived twenty minutes...

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  • Palais Royal

    Paris Things to Do

    If you understand French, you should have no trouble finding a guided walking tour of one of the districts of Paris on any day of the year. These are listed, for example, in a section called VISITES CONFÉRENCES near the back of the weekly guide Pariscope. On weekdays you might find half a dozen tours to choose from, on weekends a dozen or more. In...

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  • Natural History Museum

    Paris Things to Do

    For many years this was just called the Zoology Building, but in 1994 they did a complete re-launch and changed the name to La Grande Galerie de l’Évolution, which is appropriate because it really is a grand museum. It helps to have a reading knowledge of French, however, because only a few of the explanations have been translated into other...

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Île-de-France Things to Do

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