Things to do nearby

La Géode

Located in La Villette Park, behind La Cité des Sciences, La Géode was established in 1985. Designed in the form of a mirror-finished sphere, measuring 36 metres in diameter, it is composed of 6433 polished stainless steel equilateral triangles. It houses a cinema, equipped with a giant, 1000-m² hemispherical screen and an Omnimax projector, able to produce an image 10 times larger than that of an ordinary cinema projector.

La Cité de la Musique

Established in 1995, this music-themed venue features a 1000-seat concert hall, an amphitheatre, a museum displaying classical music instruments, etc. Workshops are also held on its premises.

Science and Technology Museum

Built in 1980 on the initiative of President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, it stands right where the slaughterhouses of La Vilette, closed in 1974, were once set. The Cité was inaugurated by François Mitterrand on 13 March 1986, as Halley's Comet passed overhead.
Its mission is to share scientific and technical knowledge with a wider and a younger audience, and to promote public interest in science, research and industry.

Madeleine Church

Located on the Madeleine Square, it is built in neo-classical style, with an ancient temple-shaped façade, surrounded by Corinthian columns. It was Napoleon I who ordered its design and construction in 1806, originally intending the building to be a temple to the glory of his army. Works were discontinued due to political turmoil in France of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, while discussions were ongoing as to what purpose the eventual building might serve. As a result, the construction time stretched to 85 years. In 1837, the structure was about to be turned into a train station, first in Paris. It was not until 1842 that it finally became a church opened for worship.

Garnier Opera House

On 14 January 1858, Napoléon III survived in an assassination attempt, plotted by Orsini, next to the then Opera House, located Rue le Peletier. The imperial couple was miraculously safe, yet 8 people were killed and 150 others injured. The emperor decided then to build a new Opera House which could bring together the Parisian social elite. The project was declared of public utility on 29 September 1860.
A contest was organized, for which 171 candidates (including Viollet Le Duc) submitted their projects. The construction was assigned to Charles Garnier, a young little-known architect, prize-winner of grand Prix de Rome in 1848.
Yet his building plan was met with surprise, empress Eugénie wondering why the architectural style he chose was not Greek or Louis XV-inspired. To which Garnier responded: “That’s Napoleon III style, Madam!”
Garnier worked together with 73 sculptors and 14 painters. The corner stone was laid on 21 July 1862. The main frontage was inaugurated during the World’s Fair of 1867. But it was not until 1875 (after the war of 1870, the fall of the Empire and some economic difficulties) that the President Mac Mahon officially opened the new building, exuding baroque splendour and eclectic charm.
An utter representation of the Second Empire’s official art, l’Opéra Garnier is a symbol of Parisian epicureanism and luxury.
The biggest theatre in Europe, it measures 172 metres long, 124 metres wide and 79 metres high, and can seat over 2000 persons.

 

Big Department Stores

Galeries Lafayette and Printemps department stores offer fashion and beauty, home interior and décor products and so much more.

Museum of Romantics

At the foot of the Montmartre Hill, it is set in a cluster of similar-style buildings, built between 1820 and 1850, where many writers, actors, musicians and painters, forming the then Parisian romanticist elite, used to live.
A romanticists’ hot-spot during 1830’s, once home to Ary Scheffer, a prominent romantic painter, who taught drawing to Duke d’Orléans’ children since 1822, the property is now open to public. The museum’s collection pays tribute to the artist, and a friend and neighbour of his, the French novelist Georges Sand.

Address: 16 rue Chaptal – 75009

Museum of Eroticism

Spread over 4 floors, the museum features an extensive collection from around the world, including fun sex toys, modern art objects and much more.

Address: 72 boulevard de Clichy – 75018

Le Moulin Rouge

As Jane Avril said, “all it ever ground was the customer's money”. Opened in 1889, Moulin Rouge was propelled to success by Toulouse-Lautrec, who was commissioned to create posters for it. It was originally composed of a cabaret, located on the ground floor, (where La Goulue and Valentin le Désossé performed), and a dance hall in the basement. Destroyed in a fire then rebuilt in 1924, Moulin Rouge is the cradle of the French can-can revue tradition.
The nearby Cité Véron, located to the right from Moulin Rouge, was once home to Prévert and Vian.

Address: 82 boulevard de Clichy – 75018

Espace Salvador Dali

A tribute to the maestro of surrealism, this permanent exhibition, the only in France, offers an insight into the artist’s phantasmagorical world, that can be seen through his majestic sculptures and original engravings.

Address: 11 rue Poulbot – 75018

Streets of Montmartre

Following the footsteps of yesterday’s and today’s artists, here are some worth-visiting places in the area. At the corner of la Rue Saint-Vincent and la Rue des Saules stands the famous Cabaret du Lapin Agile, where some once unknown writers, poets, musicians, actors, painters and sculptors rubbed shoulders. Among these “unknown” artists were Picasso, Utrillo, Braque, Modigliani, Renoir, Guillaume Apollinaire, Max Jacob, Charles Dullin, Toulouse-Lautrec and so many others...
At the street intersection, before you stroll down la Rue de l’Abreuvoir, take a look at the Maison Rose, having once inspired the famous painter Maurice Utrillo. Walk to the Dalida Square, featuring a bronze bust in her memory, then follow la Rue Girardon. Check out the Marcel Aymé Square with its quirky figure walking through the wall, Jean Marais’s brainchild, inspired by “Passe-Muraille” (“The Walker-Through-Walls”), a short story by Marcel Aymé. You may also want to visit le Moulin de la Galette (last remnant of the 30 Montmarte mills, closed around 1860), having once hosted the famous bal musette. Walking further on, you will discover the house where Dalida lived, located at Rue d’Orchamp, and the Emile Goudeau Square where Bateau Lavoir is set. Having once housed Picasso’s studio, that’s where the artist painted “Demoiselles d'Avignon”, one of his best-known works. Walk down la Rue Ravignan, listening to the sounds of organ-grinder, flute and accordion, until you reach the Abbesses Square with its sleek Art Nouveau glass canopy at Metro’s entrance.

Montmarte Vineyards

At the end of the 18th century, over 4000 litres of red and white, high-quality wine originating from the Montmartre Abbey’s vineyards, are offered to the French monarch annually. The then vintages are named Goutte d'Or, la Sacalie and la Sauvageonne. However, intense competition, quarrying activities and demographic upsurge in the area bring about the decline of the Montmartre vineyards. At the beginning of the 20th century, there is only one vine stock left in Montmartre.
It was not until 1930s that Montmartre’s wine-growing traditions were brought back to life thanks to Francisque Poulbot, a French cartoonist and illustrator. In 1934, the first modern times’ grape harvest took place under the sponsorship of Fernandel and Mistinguett. Owned by the City of Paris, Montmartre vineyards, Le Clos de Montmartre, are located between la Rue des Saules and la Rue Saint-Vincent. The wine that they produce is vinified in the Town Hall’s cellars.

Sacré-Cœur Basilica

Its construction was ordered by a law passed by the National Assembly in 1873, after France’s defeat in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871, to “expiate the crimes of the Parisian Commune” and to commemorate the lives of French citizens lost in the war. The construction project was assigned to the architect Paul Abadie.
The corner stone was laid on 16 June 1875. The construction works were conducted with direct participation of the Third Republic government, wishing to celebrate the new regime, the new constitutional laws having been voted the same year. However, it was not until 1914 that the construction was complete. The cathedral was consecrated in 1919, after the First World War was over, France’s victory being largely – and ironically – seen as revenge for the Franco-Prussian War.
With its Greek cross shape, the basilica features four domes; the central dome, measuring 80 metres high, is topped by a lantern supported by piers. The basilica’s architecture is an eclectic mix of Roman and Byzantine styles, greatly influenced by Saint-Front de Périgueux Cathedral, which left its architectural imprint on many other religious buildings of the 20th century, such as Sainte-Thérèse de Lisieux Basilica, for instance.

 

Montmartre Hill and Place du Tertre

A village within Paris… A sacred hill, remaining a political, cultural and artistic hot-spot through centuries, it is the cradle of major 19th- and 20th-century painting movements (impressionism, cubism, fauvism, futurism, surrealism).
Take the funicular at Pigalle and enjoy Montmartre in the most romantic and unusual way!

Saint-Martin Canal

A 4.5-km waterway running underground for 2 km, Canal St-Martin connects Bassin de la Villette to the Seine, the height difference between its highest and its lowest point being of 25 metres. Dug in 1825 on the initiative of Napoleon, wishing to provide Paris with drinking water, it became an extension of the Ourcq Canal. Featured in the film Hôtel du Nord by Marcel Carné, the then working-class neighbourhood was mostly made of tanneries, paper mills and faience factories. In early 1970’s, a project intending to cover the whole canal over by a motorway was developed. Fortunately, joint efforts of locals and André Malraux’s intervention could prevent it from coming to life. With its charming arched walkways, its swing bridges (rue Dieu) and its 9 locks, where péniches coming from Port de l'Arsenal and la Villette flock to, the canal, lined with century-old chestnut and plane trees, attracts bunches of hiking and cycling lovers, especially on Sundays.