Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre at a Glance
Sights Within 1 Kilometer:
Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel-350m
Palais Royal: Unfortunately you cannot get into the Palais Royal, but you can enjoy the interesting courtyards. Each courtyard has its own style. Of course there is the typical garden, but there is also an artsy, playful courtyard with varying heights of black and white striped stumps rising from the ground. If the weather is not pleasant during your visit, take shelter under the arcades filled with restaurants and shops.
Galerie Colbert: This is not a shopping passage like many in the neighborhood, but an art and history institute instead. You will need to pass through security to go in, but walking under the rotunda and glass ceilings is worth a peek, especially if it is raining.
Galerie Vivienne: This is probably one of the more extravagant passages. The stores are high-end and they are encased in a passage full of tile floors and a glass ceiling that gives a sense of a different time. Passages are found all over the city, and they can be a great refuge from the rain. Although I’ve only shared two passages within a kilometer of the metro, there are several passages worth visiting nearby. If your feet can handle a little more walking, you might want to check them out. If you’d like more information about a great walk in this neighborhood, view this blog post.
E. Dehillerin: This is the coolest cooking store I have ever been to. If you walk in, you might mistake it for a hardware store or a garage. The shop has occupied this space for a long time and was a favorite of Julia Child. The prices are reasonable and the quality is lasting. They even have a unique way of purchasing your items. To learn more about how the store works, check out this blog post.
Les Halles: The famous market where Parisians would get their produce for home and restaurants is no longer here, but a shopping center has taken its place. Even if you aren’t up for going to the mall, there are still many other activities you can engage in while in this area. Inside the mall you can find a cinema. There are great stores outside of the mall to browse, and a typical market street just steps away.
Saint-Eustache Church: Located in the Les Halles area, this church is a beautiful example of Gothic architecture. You’ve probably seen the flying buttresses from other areas in the city. Step in for a concert or walk around and imagine the funeral of Mozart’s mother or the baptism of Molière.
Pont Neuf: The bridge is not ornate, but it is known as the oldest bridge crossing the Seine in Paris.
Rue Montorgueil: Rue Cler and Rue Mouffetard get the most hype when it comes to market streets, but Rue Montorgueil is in the same caliber. Branching off from Les Halles you can find a wide selection of fromageries, boulangeries, boucheries, and every other unique food shops. This is a great place to find the perfect spot outside at a café to watch people go by as you enjoy your lunch.
Seine/Quais: If you walk south, you will eventually run into the Seine. Find a good spot on a bridge and watch the ebb and flow of people travel down the river. The quays along the Seine are perfect for strolling or a picnic. During the summer, they have different entertainment along the quays. Art, restaurants, and other fun, creative elements can be found here. Life is good watching the world go by on water.
Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel: Not the Arc de Triomphe we are all familiar with, but a version about half the size. This arch was built to celebrate Napoleon’s military victories.
Louvre Museum: Inside the palace walls are the big names of art. You’ll find Mona, Venus, Napoleon, Cupid, and Psyche along with miles of other paintings. There are entire books dedicated to this museum. To actually get into the museum, I recommend entering down by the Carrousel, and having a museum pass will make it even easier. Everyone seems to wait outside by the pyramid, this is not the only place to get in. Keep that in mind.
Tuileries: The palace gardens extend from the Louvre. There are a variety of activities that visitors can participate in on any given day. During the summer, the carnival is open with the giant Ferris Wheel. Even finding a reclined green chair near a pond makes for a great energizer. If you look around, you may even see someone famous sitting next to you at the café. Gabriel Byrne from Little Women and Stigmata was enjoying a café on our right one day at the park. If you have a little energy left in you, go to the end where you’ll find l’Orangerie and Place de la Concorde.
Angelina: The restaurant is best known for its pricey hot chocolate. I’ve heard it said that the chocolate will take you over and never let you forget it. Don’t eat a big meal before going because the thick chocolate can be filling.
Place Vendôme: The square plays an optical allusion on your eyes as you gaze at a rectangular place that appears to be more octagonal.
Musée D’Orsay: This house of impressionism is located inside an old train station. If light and capturing a moment is your flavor of art, this museum will amaze you. Van Gogh, Monet, Manet, Renoir, and many more famous impressionists are located within the walls. Just as a heads up, no photos are allowed.
This is one of my favorite walks in this area. It is not your typical tourist walk, but you get to see what comes to mind when you think of Paris. You don’t necessarily have to start at Palais Royal, but if you do, you are treated to a nice shopping street until you get to the cooking store.
This can be a very long walk if you go in both the Louvre and d’Orsay. If you are just searching for fresh air and a nice view, then this is perfect. Warning: many other people may be searching for the same thing in this area.
Galleries Viviene Paris
This was definitely my favorite shot of the day. I love visiting places when no one else is there :).