Take a walk with our No Worries Paris guide. Get inspired, get with it.
To mark the centenary of his death, the Musée Rodin and Réunion des musées nationaux Grand Palais are joining forces to celebrate Auguste Rodin (1840-1917). The exhibition reveals Rodin’s creative universe, his relationship with his audience and the way in which sculptors have appropriated his style.
Featuring over 200 of Rodin’s works, it also includes sculptures and drawings by Bourdelle, Brancusi, Picasso, Matisse, Giacometti, Beuys, Baselitz and Gormley, shedding new light on this giant of sculpture.
Where: Grand Palais, Paris, France
Metro: Champs-Elysées Clémenceau (Lines 1, 13)
Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays from 10 am to 8 pm / Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 am to 10 pm / Closed on Tuesdays
And if you’re looking for things to do after the show consult your No Worries Paris guide.
“I literally read it cover to cover, which should be an indicator of its goodness. I really like this guide– it is detailed enough to provide weeks of new and exciting things to see, even for an extended stay.” – J. A. Phillipi
No Worries Paris, a photographic walking guide brings the city to life. A look inside:
“So many memorable walks at our own pace. Good maps, directions, and the accompanying text is concise enough to read while on the walk.”
“A great help for me to plan my trip. I’m glad I’m prepared for what’s in store in the next two weeks.”
“We had four full days to spend in Paris in September. We had never been there and wanted to make the most of our time. We decided to use the No Worries Paris guide, and it was a very good decision.”
“Everything was beyond amazing!! I will never travel to Paris without using this guide again. Especially loved walking tours through the neighborhoods of the Marais and Latin Quarter.”
“The experience, sights and information provided by our NWP was first class. I would happily recommend reading it cover to cover before your stay.”
Illustrated by hundreds of color photographs, NO WORRIES PARIS takes readers on a visually luscious journey along the city’s striking monuments, as well as into crannies of its villages and the full-on glamour of the fashion districts. Virtually all of Paris is covered in 10 Walking Tours, each with its own map. Walks take from a half-day to a day to complete, starting at one Metro stop and ending at another. The tours are complemented by 10 Walk Arounds, which are shorter in length, taking in the sights of a single attraction more on the fringes of the city’s arrondissements.
Practical travel tips and get-around information is included. Newcomers will most likely want to begin with monumental strolls. Francophiles may choose something more edgy and out-of-the-way. The common thread is that each walk is along a visually aesthetic pathway that has a story of its own to tell. Readers who want to get to know Paris by seeing it on foot—pausing occasionally for a gourmet taste, park bench timeout or perfumed sniff along the way— have found the right book.
No Worries Paris is available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Powell’s Books, directly through the publishers (signed + discount) at Trailblazer Travel Books as well as your friendly independent bookstores nationwide.
With the arrival of spring in Paris, a rush of rousing museum events burst forth and this year is no exception. I’ll start with a show that is off-the-beaten track and very worth your time.
March 2-July 23
Musée Maillol will be hosting an exhibition bearing the same title as Anne Sinclair’s autobiography, 21 rue La Boétie (published in 2012). In the book, the well-known journalist describes the life of her grandfather Paul Rosenberg, one of the most influential art dealers of the 20th century. The book inspired this exhibition of around 60 masterpieces by great artists such as Picasso, Braque, Matisse, Léger and Marie Laurencin.
59-61 rue de Grenelle – 75007 Paris
March 14-June 25
Second on my hotlist is the Musée d’Orsay’s nature-themed exhibition with a mystical focus: Au-delà des étoiles. Le paysage mystique de Monet à Kandinsky (Beyond the Stars. The Mystical Landscape from Monet to Kandinsky). It gives visitors an introduction to depictions of nature in paintings by Gauguin, Denis, Hodler, Klimt, Munch and Van Gogh, and Canadian painters like Tom Thomson and Emily Carr.
“Connecting with an order beyond physical appearances, going deeper than material realities to come closer to the mysteries of existence, experimenting with losing oneself in perfect unity with the cosmos: these quests are all characteristic of mysticism, the spiritual phenomenon that exists alongside all religions, in all continents. Why not, then, acknowledge its presence in Western Symbolist painting, which, at the close of the 19th century, precisely sought to elevate art to the medium of the ineffable, and the artist to the rank of initiate?”
1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris
After taking in an exhibit or two you will want to take a refreshing walk. Consult your No Worries Paris for ideas in the neighborhood. Happy spring!
Answer: they all lived here at Place Vosges, in my opinion, the prettiest square in Paris. It is ringed with 36 redbrick-and-stone houses—nine on each side, a salute to early urban planning. To love it is to know it’s history. Definitely a place to bring your sandwich (it’s okay to sit on the lawn), take in the sunshine and feel very far away from the traffic on nearby rue de Rivoli.
Four centuries ago this was the site of the Palais des Tournelles, home to King Henry II and Queen Catherine de Medici. The couple staged regular jousting tournaments, and Henry was fatally lanced in the eye during one of them in 1559. Catherine fled to the Louvre, abandoning her palace and ordered it destroyed. In 1612 the square became Place Royale on the occasion of Louis XIII’s engagement to Anne of Austria. Napoléon renamed it Place des Vosges to honor the northeast region of Vosges, the first in the country to pony up taxes to the Revolutionary government.
Place des Vosges is structured around two pavilions, that of the Queen at the north part of the square, and that of the King at the south part both built deliberately higher. They are not open to the public; however, you can still visit the house of Victor Hugo, author of “Les Misérables”, which is now a municipal museum. It is free and open daily from 9am to 6pm every day except Monday. To preserve this unity, the place has been protected since the 1960s by the “plan for the preservation and enhancement of the Marais” and no intervention, especially on the façades, can be made without the architect’s agreement.
Chic restaurants, boutiques and art galleries fill the arcade surrounding the park. A small private door, open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., will give you access to the garden of the stately Hotel de Sully, headquarters of the Center for National Monuments. Be sure to visit their well stocked bookstore. Unfortunately they don’t carry No Worries Paris, but you, of course, hopefully already purchased it before your trip to Paris. Place Vosges and all there is to do and see in the area starts on page 93 and is marked on the walking map.
Hungry? Here are some recommended restaurants
Au Bourguignon Du Marais, 52 Rue François Miron, 75004. Regional dishes from Burgundy.
La Tartine, 24 Rue de Rivoli, 75004
Chez Janou, 2 Rue Roger Verlomme, 75003
Les Cotelettes, Cafe Martini, Cafe Hugo
Paris’s “Winter Sales” began on January 11 and continue through February 21. It’s not just department stores that are having them. The big fashion houses are also in on the discount extravaganza and there are bargains to be had.
The discounts are deep, 50 to 70% on selected items. Get there when the doors open, when everything is neatly piled and lines less long at the cash register. Some designers have to limit the number of shoppers in their department store boutiques. You’ll always see a queue of just-off-the-jetters who go for the big brand names.
Values are waiting in the triangle d’or (Avenue Montaigne, Ave George V, and Rue Francois 1er), where the finest Haute Couture shops in the world are located. The prestigious houses include: Dior, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Ferragamo, Dolce e Gabbana, Max Mara, Christian LaCroix, Valentino, Prada, Ungaro, Joseph, Bonpoint, Jean Louis Scherrer, Gucci, Pucci, Loewe, Krizia, Bulgari, Calvin Klein, Nina Ricci, Ines de la Fressange, Donna Karan, Celine, Yves Saint Laurent (headquarters), Bulgari, S.F. Dupont, Porthault Linens, Caron, Hermes, Gianfranco Ferré, Givenchy, Kenzo. Rochas, Courreges, and Balmain. Be prepared to have your purse searched before entering.
Tired just reading the list? The Georges V (31, avenue George V) to the rescue with a time-out drink at Le Bar or light meal in the L’Orangerie restaurant. The staff are always gracious and welcoming; the flower arrangements will take your breath away. Sidenote: If you’re a guest, free flower arranging classes are offered by their world-renowned flower magician ($200 for non-guests); the staff offer guests a special morning hour-long jog at 7:30 along the Seine, through the Tuileries (free, once a week), room rates start at $800 a night.
At 50-70%, even the couture prices may well be beyond your means. Depot-vente (secondhand boutiques) present another choice. Dive into the piles for some amazing bargains all year round:
Didier Ludot, 24 Galerie Montpensier – Jardin du Palais Royal 75001 http://www.didierludot.fr
Kiliwatch, 64 Rue Tiquetonne, 75002 http://www.kiliwatch.fr
A park where I take a timeout with a warm croissant/jambon sandwich from the bakery nearby. Nestled in the Marais, you might spot Tai Chi or small yoga classes on delegated green spaces, or someone asleep occupying an entire bench. The scene is everchanging.
The site of the commandry of the knights of the Order of the Temple in the 13th century, the square became the scene of bloody repressions when the Templars were considered heretics.
It’s a much more peaceful place today. An English garden embellished with numerous exotic trees: American honey locust, goldenrain tree, Ginkgo Biloba, Turkish hazel, and a tall Japanese pagoda specimen embellish the landscape. This is an EcoJardin. It has been awarded the official French stamp of approval which recognizes ecological management guiding gardeners and managers of green spaces towards good practices (only certain sprays can be used, etc).
The wildlife in this large garden has never been so vibrant. Many different species of birds come to refresh themselves near the ornamental pool and waterfall constructed of rocks from the forest of Fontainebleau.
Complete directions to get here are in the No Worries Paris guidebook.
Square du Temple
64 rue de Bretagne – 75003 Paris
Taking time to chill with a little (hastily put together) slide show. Join me for a petite tour along the Seine and rue Rivoli. Warning, it’s super slow.
No one wants to look like a dweeb, unstylish, unhip, touristy. Just what are they wearing in Paris? What’s trendy? If you do your research on the internet you’ll come up with hundreds of opinions. Pinterest has all sorts of looks to sort through. Fashion houses, magazines, blogs featuring beautiful models in eyecatching yet unpractical ensemble are misleading. There is no ONE answer, it’s all about you and the confidence you have with what suits you. At the end of the day, after walking all over the city, one factor comes to mind: comfort. So start with that, just don’t look sloppy.
A good rule of thumb is to sit in a cafe on a hip street like Rue Montorgueil and watch the passerbys. You’ll end up with load of ideas that you can immediately take to Galeries Lafayette, Bon Marche, Zara, H&M or cool little boutiques in the Marais. The right purse, scarf, shoes all add up to one great “feel good” look just for you.
Some links that will serve you well:
Confusing? Understandable. Just start with the basics, go light, come back chic/cool.
The No Worries Paris guide, that is. The stock market is plummeting, the political candidate news is disturbing, cheap oil is affecting world markets, there’s trouble in the Middle East, and there are epic storms predicted for the East Coast, but there is still Paris.
A few random pages from the book (or ebook) to inspire your walks are below. There’s no shortage of maps, photos or street by street directions. Have a look:
In a nutshell, No Worries Paris takes readers on a visually luscious journey to the city’s striking monuments, as well as into the cobblestone crannies of its villages and along the glamorous fashion boulevards.
Virtually all of Paris is covered in 10 Walking Tours, each with its own map. Walks take from a half-day to a day to complete, starting at one Metro stop and ending at another. The tours are complemented by 10 Promenades, which are shorter in length, taking in the sights around a single attraction, mainly on the fringes of city’s arrondissiments. No Worries Paris is sure to meet expectations the famous sights s of Paris but it is also full of surprises at out-of-the way places.
The time is now. Gather up all the acorns you’ve saved over the years, raid the stash under your matrress or max out your credit card. Air fares have never been better.
“Getting around the City of Light should be a cinch. And it is on paper. Then reality gets in the way. There is so much to see, so much to eat. What to do? Jerry and Janine Sprout have made it trouble-free for visitors to Paris by dividing the city into walking tours that take a half to a full day, depending on your pace, and cover anywhere from a few miles to a maximum of six. The promenades in the book are shorter, taking about half a day. Each tour starts and ends at a Metro stop, and there is plenty of time set aside for detours, stops and just wandering. All the famous spots (Trocadero, Eiffel Tower, Champs-Elysees, Notre Dame, Latin Quarter, Montmartre) and neighborhoods are here.” —-Chicago Tribune