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Paris sites

Paris is always a good idea.
- Audrey Hepburn

$1 - €0.91
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Photo: Anna Watson Carl

Fondation Louis Vuitton

  • Passy / 16th, Museum, $$$$ $
  • 8 Ave. du Mahatma Gandhi
  • Paris, 75116
  • +33-1-40-69-96-00
  • Website

A Frank Gehry-designed cultural center with expansive gardens and dynamic programming. A great destination for fashion aficionados, as Pallais Galliera and Fondation Yves Saint Laurent are located nearby.

Gallery of Paleontology and Comparative Anatomy

  • Jardin des Plantes / 5th, Museum, $$$$ $
  • 2 Rue Buffon
  • Paris, 75005
  • + 33-1-40-79-56-01
  • Website

Don't ask, "Who'd come to Paris to see skeletons?" until you've made your way to Jardin des Plantes. Ignore the modern displays at Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle and come instead to this old-fashioned display in a soaring Belle Époque gallery. A cavalcade of skeletons of every creature under the sun are lined face forward, as if in a giant procession off Noah's Ark. You walk among them, noting how everything is so similar, rapt by the sheer scientific wonder of it all.

Read more on Fathom: Noah's Ark is Alive (and Dead) in Paris

Le Bal

  • Montmartre / 18th, Gallery, $$$$ $$
  • 6 Impasse de la Defense
  • Paris, 75018
  • +33-1-44-70-75-56
  • Website

This building has seen a lot of action — as a pre-war dance hall, a post-war gambling den, and now an exhibition space devoted to documentary photography, film, and performance. It’s also home to a lovely Brit-influenced cafe. Sunday brunch is a best bet.

Le Jardin du Luxembourg

  • Odéon / 6th, Parks and Gardens
  • Paris, 75006
  • +33-1-42-34-20-00

Created in 1612 by King Henry IV's widow, Marie de' Medici, Jardin du Luxembourg continues to be one of the most beautiful public spaces in the city. Pick up lunch from one of the many shops nearby and head to the lawns, chairs, and topriaries to while the afternoon away. 

Musée des Arts Décoratifs

  • Louvre / 1st, Museum, $$$$ $
  • 107 Rue de Rivoli
  • Paris, 75001
  • +33-1-44-55-57-50
  • Website

The impressive calendar of temporary exhibitions may get more attention, but the permanent collection is a stunner. The thematic and chronological walk through centuries of fine French craftsmanship includes some 150,000 objects: an entire wall of cabinets, Jeanne Lanvin's striking 1920s apartment, and a 15th-century bedchamber. When you're finished, stop by the design-driven museum shop to pick up incredible accessories, books, and home lighting.

Musée des Arts Forain

  • Bercy / 12th, Museum, $$$$ $
  • 53 Avenue des Terroirs de France
  • Paris, 75012
  • +33-1-43-40-16-22
  • Website

An enchanting museum unlike any in the city whose name roughly translates to "Museum of Fairground Arts." Hop on a 19th-century ride (like the classic bicycle merry-go-round, manège de vélocipèdes) or play a game of racing French waiters (yes, really). Note that most tours are in French, but with old-school attractions, century-old games, and Belle Époque flair, who needs to understand every word?

Read more on Fathom: The World’s Greatest Old-Time Funhouse Museum is in Paris

Musée du Louvre

  • Louvre / 1st, Museum, $$$$ $
  • Paris, 75001
  • +33-1-40-20-53-17
  • Website

Don't let the legions of tourists scare you from one of the world's best art collections. But be smart about your visit. Get tickets in advance, either online, at the tabac at Le Carrousel du Louvre shopping center, or at FNAC bookstore. Then use the Passage Richelieu entrance for shorter lines or buy a Museum Pass to skip them altogether. Once inside, prepare to be disappointed by the Mona Lisa (if you can see past the selfie sticks) and stunned by Rembrandt's Bathsheba at Her Bath, Poussin's Four Seasons, the Winged Victory of Samothrace, and the recently renovated the Napoleon III apartments in the Richelieu wing. The Louvre is closed on Tuesday and is otherwise open daily from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday.

Musée Jacquemart-André

  • Quartier de l'Europe / 8th, Museum, $$$$ $
  • 158 Blvd. Haussmann
  • Paris, 75008
  • Website

The former home of banker Édouard André and painter wife Nélie Jacquemart is a time capsule of how the wealthy lived in the mid 1800s. The couple traveled extensively throughout Italy, collecting the collection of art and sculpture (Donatello, Tiepolo, della Robbia, Botticelli) that fills the bijoux museum that's a masterwork of tasteful and thoughtful opulence.

The New Morning

  • Château d'Eau / 10th, Music Venue, $$$$ $$
  • 7 and 9 Rue des Petites Écuries
  • Paris, 75010
  • +33-1-45-23-51-41
  • Website

Open since 1981, the jazz and blues club has hosted some of the best, like Prince and Chet Baker. A great place for funky, no-frills music.


  • Étienne-Marcel / 2nd, Spa, $$$$ $$
  • 22 Rue Dussoubs
  • Paris, 75002
  • +33-1-42-36-94-66
  • Website | Email

A Morocco hamam in the middle of Etienne Marcel, where the four-hour experience includeds extensive soaking, scrubbing, and massage. Of course, a basic hour-long service could be just what a weary traveler needs. Every outing in Paris should be this steamy.

Paris Danse

  • Marais / 4th, School/Class/Workshop, $$$$ $$
  • 41 Rue du Temple
  • Paris, 75004
  • +33-1-42-77-58-19
  • Website | Email

Belly up to the barre in broad daylight for classes ranging from African dance to tap to French-Algerian beats. Drop-ins welcome.

Water Taxi on the Seine

  • Various Locations, Boating, $$$$ $
  • Paris
  • Website

A cheap, fun way to see the city from bottom up. Batobuses run every fifteen minutes at eight different spots, but our favorite route is from Tour Eiffel to Musee D'Orsay.

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