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Not the Louvre: An Alternative Guide to Paris’ Museums

One can only bear the mob encircling the Mona Lisa so many times.

In my four months living in Paris, I must have visited Mona and her Louvre museum on half a dozen occasions, mostly while touring visiting friends and family around the city’s landmark attractions. You can’t argue that the Louvre is not fabulous, but one long spin around the place is enough to hold you over for a while. Luckily, during my last stint in Paris I had time to make the rounds of Paris’ smaller, more captivating museums and am happy to share these lesser-known finds with you now.

Dig sculpture? Need a spot for a sunny afternoon picnic? The Musée Rodin is dedicated to the works of Parisian and Western art’s greatest sculptor, Auguste Rodin. The museum, located just east of Hôtel des Invalides and within view of the Eiffel Tower, consists of an indoor display in what used to be the Hôtel Biron and a sculpture garden featuring a sculpture garden, luscious green lawn, pond and an area designated for lazying on lounge chairs and taking in the day—as Parisians so commonly do. See Rodin’s most famous pieces, such as The Thinker, Balzac, and The Kiss, and be sure to pack that picnic lunch.

Musée Rodin, 79, rue de Varenne, 75007 Paris. Closed Mondays.

Monet at the Musée de l’Orangerie (Benoit Deniaud)

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Posted in Arts, Events, Parisian Living | 16 Comments »

August in Paris: Summer Happenings

Marisa Morrison, blogger, francophile, and addict of all things hip and Parisian, fills us in on Paris must-do’s this month. PS: Be sure to check out her gorgeous blog, the Neon Tea Party!

Paris-August-Swings-Fair-Slide-TuileriesStefan

To most, August in Paris means one thing: les vacances! Each summer, following Bastille Day (July 14), Parisians ditch their usual city dwellings and head to country homes and seaside escapes for the remainder of the summer. This, however, does not result in Paris as a complete ghost town. Quite the contrary! August in Paris is a time for festivals and cultural events of all sorts, keeping tourists and remaining locals entertained and full of summer spirit. Whether you are interested in a high-energy music festival or a relaxing evening in the park, the City of Light has got you covered.

Fun and Games

Paris PlageParis Plage – (e)Spry

Who said you have to ditch Paris for the South to soak up some rays on France’s best shores? From July 20 through August 20, the banks of Paris’ own Seine River and Bassin de la Villette will transform into veritable sandy beaches in this year’s 9th annual Paris Plages. Lie out on one of Paris Plage’s 800 lounge chairs under a real palm tree or partake in some beach-side activities, such as boating, badminton, pétanque, Tai Chi and dance classes. In association with Paris Plages, Fnac’s music festival, FnacIndétendances, hosted outside the Hôtel de Ville will feature over 30 free concerts on Friday and Saturday evenings beginning at 5 p.m. from July 23rd through August 14th. The line-up includes Arno, Arpad Flynn, Beat Assailant, Lafayette, and Acid Washed. Click here to check out the full line up. For more information on Paris Plage’s plethora of activities and events, check out the official web page here.

What would summer be without a good old-fashioned carnival? Spanning June 26th to August 22nd, the Fête Foraine des Tuileries has all the classics: a carousel, Ferris wheel, games, sugary treats, and so much more. The best part? It all takes place right in the center of Paris in the city’s most renowned garden! The festival is open from 11 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. Sunday – Thursday and 11 a.m. to 12:45 a.m. Friday, Saturday and holidays. Entrance is free and attractions cost 2-10 € each per person.

Music

Paris Summer Music FestivalsIndétendances Music Festival by Hotel de Ville – Flickr.Whisker

Every summer since 2003, Paris has played host to three-day music festival Rock en Seine at the Domaine National de Saint-Cloud. This year, Rock en Seine will take place on August 27, 28 and 29, and has a line-up that includes both rock-and-roll heavy hitters such as Blink 182 and Queens of the Stone Age, and cult-followed indie rockers like Beirut and LCD Soundsystem. Tickets are available through Rock en Seine’s official website and cost 99 euros for all three days or 45 euros for each individual day. Coming with kids? Continue Reading »

Posted in Arts, Events, Parisian Living | 5 Comments »