Perhaps the most culturally compelling country in all of Europe, France brings together natural beauty, culture, and some of the most notable museums and art attractions in the world. Louis XIV wished to create a “place (Paris) dedicated to leisure” and we believe his dreams have been fulfilled! We feel Paris is the most romantic and aesthetically pleasing city on the planet. Its overall cultural-artistic environment is magical. The quality of Paris museums is unmatched: The Louvre, The Palace of Versailles, Orsay, the Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis, and more.
We think Owen Wilson’s character in the Woody Allen film, Midnight in Paris, gives a perfect summation of Paris:
“How’s anyone ever going to come up with a book or a painting or a symphony or a sculpture that can compete with a great city [Paris]? You can’t. When you look around, every street, every boulevard is its own special art form.”
Pont Alexandre III
Many consider the 19th-century Pont Alexandre III Bridge to be the most beautiful in all of Paris and we heartily agree! Aligned with the Esplanade des Invalides, the Pont Alexandre connects the Grand and Petit Palais on the Right Bank with The Hotel des Invalides on the Left Bank (8th and 7th Arrondissements respectively). The bridge is lavishly decorated with lamp posts and sculptures of nymphs and cherubs. On each end of Pont Alexandre are large gilded statues on 56-foot-high granite pillars. Each of the ornaments on the bridge was created by a different artist. Although the construction of the bridge only started in May 1897, the first stone was laid by Russian Tsar Nicholas II in October 1896, symbolizing the Russian-French friendship (it’s named after his father, Tsar Alexandre III).
Created in 1900 for the Universal Exhibition, the Petit Palais seamlessly blends modern and traditional French architecture. Composed of four wings around a semi-circular garden bordered by a decorative peristyle or row of columns, the building opens onto the Champs-Elysees gardens and inner courtyard. Albert Bernard painted four decorative murals between 1903 – 1910 in the Symbolist style, and Cormon and Roll painted 15-meter-long galleries telling stories from Paris’ rich history, from the Battle of Lutetia to the French Revolution. The building additionally includes paintings by Ferdinand Humbert, Paul Baudoüin, Maurice Denis, wrought ironwork by Charles Girault, mosaics from Facchina, and stained glass created in the Champignuelle’s workshop. Petit Palais holds hundreds of paintings, sculptures, and other forms of art acquired by the City of Paris since 1870, considered the major pole of its collection. The second pole consists of pre-modern art bestowed by the brothers Auguste and Eugène Dutuit, who both shared a passion for European history and the culture of other civilizations. The collection includes ancient Greek and Roman works, Flemish and Dutch paintings from the 17th-century, manuscripts and books from the 15th to 17th-centuries, and art from the Middles Ages and Renaissance. Since then, countless priceless items have been added to the museum’s collection.
Named after the tile factories which once stood at the site where Queen Catherine de Medici built the Palais des Tuileries in 1564, the Tuileries Garden was meticulously re-landscaped by André Le Nôtre, the famed gardener of King Louis XIV, in 1664.
Hôtel Mathis Bar
This is a tiny and highly exclusive bar close to the Champs-Elysees.
View from the Pont de la Concorde
Completed in 1791 during the days of the French Revolution, the Pont de la Concorde Bridge offers a great sunset view of both the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Eiffel Tower.
Joëlle Ciocco Paris – High Touch Epidermologist
For our clients looking to treat themselves to a luxurious beauty treatment experience, we highly recommend Joëlle Ciocco in Paris. Ciocco is a Paris-based biochemist that has spent over thirty years in the business and is responsible for the glow behind famous faces like that of Natalie Portman, Juliette Binoche, Catherine Deneuve, and Carla Bruni. She has her own top-selling product line lauded by skincare gurus. Her approach to skincare is well-rounded, taking into consideration dermatology, science, physical health, and psychology. A visit here will definitely leave one refreshed and relaxed.
Le Bon Georges Bistro
Benoît Duval-Arnould worked for the French branch of the Campbell’s Soup company before deciding to follow his dreams in 2013 by opening Le Bon Georges, a post-card-pretty, traditional-style bistro in the 9th Arrondissement. “I wanted to take traditional bistro cooking to a new level by using the best produce available,” explained Mr. Duval-Arnould, “My beef comes from Blonde d’Aquitaine cattle raised in Lorraine. The grain of this meat is very fine and it has a delicious mineral-rich taste. In season, most of my vegetables come from a farm just outside of Paris.” The menu at the very popular Le Bon Georges changes almost daily but often features homey, carefully cooked dishes such as rabbit stewed with prunes, roasted rack of lamb, and butter-braised yellow pollock with roasted baby leeks. The côte du boeuf Polmard (rib-steak for two) has to be reserved in advanced.
Canal Saint-Martin Walk (between the 10th & 19th Arrondissements)
The 10th Arrondissement spreads onwards from two train stations: Gare du Nord and Gare de l’Est. The tranquil (and chic) 2.8-mile-long St. Martin Canal, inaugurated in 1825, is a wonderful place for a nice stroll or cycle, taking you past nine locks, metal bridges, and various colorful neighborhoods. It’s not as crowded with tourists as other areas of Paris and the southern stretch is an ideal spot for café lounging, summer picnics, and late night drinks. The 10th Arrondissement is known as one of the city’s true melting points, with North African markets of Barbés, the Pakistani Quarter of Gare du Nord, and areas of Turks and Kurds.
For more Paris Arrondissement information, see our other blog posts:
5th, 6th & 7th Arrondissements