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