As the long-time world capital of fashion, you can never claim to have “seen” Paris because it is never the same two days running. We visit contemporary museums, galleries and some highly original shops. Duration: 4 or 5 hours.
The Palais de Tokyo, temple of contemporary creativity, is the ideal starting-point for everyone interested in art and the avant-garde. This interdisciplinary centre showcases art and design, fashion and films, literature and city culture and attracts artists from all over Europe. As the works on show sometimes require some explanation, “mediators” are on hand to help you make sense of them. Work by a variety of artists is also on display in the museum’s trendy restaurant, Tokyo-eat, which serves dishes from all around the world. The bookshop is a gold mine for lovers of art books.
Now you need to take the metro to Saint-Paul station where our journey continues in the historical Marais, one of the most attractive and surprising parts of Paris, which partly covers two Arr. (3th - 4th). The walk begins at the splendid Hôtel de Sully, a renaissance-style building which is now home to the state organization for the preservation of monuments. Contemporary art exhibitions are also mounted here. The garden of the Hôtel de Sully leads to the stunning Place des Vosges, a square with pink facades, rows of arches and a park in the middle.
Cross over the square and turn left into the Rue des Francs-Bourgeois for a little retail therapy. On the right you see the Hôtel Carnavelet, the former home of Madame de Sévigné is now a historical museum. On the left at the corner with Rue Pavée is the Hôtel de Lamoignon, further along the street you can admire more beautiful buildings.
Now you find yourself in the Rue Vieille-du-Temple. Awash with restaurants, cafés, boutiques and bookshops, this is one of the liveliest streets in the area.
Follow the Rue Vieille-du-Temple northwards, you are now int ‘le haut Marais’. On the right you see the park of the Hôtel Salé, now the Picasso museum where you absolutely must go and see the rich collection of works by the Spanish master.
The most prestigious galleries are near by (Yvon Lambert - Emmanuel Perrotin - Thaddaeus Ropac - Dominique Fiat). To plan your visit pop into one of the galleries and ask for a free map of all the exhibition centres and monthly programme.
Shopping in the Rue Charlot is a real experience ! You’ve probably never seen so many orgininal shops in one place ( design, bookshops, shoe design, gourmet.) The covered Marché des Enfants Rouges is a paradise for gourmet shopping.