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We’re funny (usually), controversial (sometimes) and insightful (always!). Our travel experts share their experiences below in hopes of hearing back from YOU. So read, comment and enjoy!

Posts in ‘Things to do in Paris’

Summer Fun on the Tour de France Racetrack

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The most famous three weeks in cycling are back for the summertime! As the 96th Tour de France kicks off this July, hundreds of thousands of people will flock to this year’s twenty-one race route cities. The race departs Saturday, July 4th in Monaco, and after three weeks of winding around the French countryside (and even a little bit of Switzerland, Italy, and Spain) will finish at the Champs-Élysées on July 26th.

Tour de France 2008 - Lüfkens

Tour de France 2008 - Lüfkens

The New York Times has called the race like “running a marathon several days a week for nearly three weeks,” comparing the climbs of the race to “climbing three [Mount] Everests,” and yet, every year twenty teams line up for the gruelling race. continue reading

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Walking Cities Part 6: Paris

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If you’ve missed the introduction to this series, click here. For part 2, click here. For part 3, click here. For part 4, click here. For part 5, here!
City of Lights, indeed - Serge Melki

City of Lights, indeed - Serge Melki

You know a city is great when it’s hard to write an article about. Paris is packed with such a variety of museums, historical sites, restaurants, clubs, bars, activities and parks that it’s hard (near impossible!) to contain them all within a single article. Sometimes guided tours can be the only way to actually absorb all of the history and information going on around you and sometimes even those can be overwhelming.

No proper French film (er…American film set in France) ends without a scene of its main character strolling through the Champs-Élysées. And this, I suggest, is what you do too. Of course, when I go (which is quite soon, yay!) I’ll be spending plenty of my time in museums, shops, and cafés, but a trip to Paris would hardly be complete without this well-captured stroll along the promenade. How often do you get the chance to wander through a 17th century garden-turned-walkway in the “city of light”? I am still a tourist after all. continue reading

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Visit ancient Egypt at the Louvre

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People planning Paris tours over the next couple of months will be able to visit the city’s iconic Musee du Louvre to explore an exhibition dedicated to ancient Egypt.

The expansive display was launched in the museum’s Napoleon Hall on March 6th and will be open until June 29th.

Entitled The Gates of Heaven: Visions of the World in Ancient Egypt, the exhibition takes its name from a phrase that the people of the ancient culture used to describe a passageway that led to the afterlife.

The Louvre has amassed a collection of some 350 artefacts from various collections across France and Europe for the showcase, offering a representation of ancient Egypt from the culture’s earliest times right up to the Roman period.

As well as displaying a variety of objects that had various uses and meanings in the culture, the exhibition places the items in their social, religious and artistic context to provide an additional insight into life in ancient times.

The Louvre is the world’s most visited museum, boasting a collection that encompasses artworks including the Mona Lisa.

Paris – Enjoy the view from the Eiffel Tower or see the Mona Lisa in the "city of light".ADNFCR-1652-ID-19134042-ADNFCR

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A Walk on the “Wilde” Side Indeed: Hotspots of Literary History

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Oscar Wilde - janetmck and mukund76

Oscar Wilde - janetmck and mukund76

All of this travelling has given us all a little wanderlust (aka the desire to travel our already small savings away). Europe is packed with history than we’ll ever be able to see in just three short months, but with some great tour guides and a little organization, we’re hoping to cram as much of it in as possible! Since we’re here to study literature and culture, and Dublin was just the first stop on the journey, I can’t wait to check out these other top writing-geek destinations soon:

London: Well, this one’s a bit obvious I suppose, I am living in Kensington and heading to the theatre every week to see a play for class, but for those of you not already enrolled in a literary adventure, London’s blue circle plaques make it easy. Placed outside the doors of London sites, the plaques serve as a guide to the more famous happenings within many an ordinary-looking building). London has been home to many of the most famous authors of all time: Charles Dickens, H.G. Wells, Virginia Woolf, Geoffrey Chaucer, John Keats, J.M. Barrie, and of course Shakespeare are just a few of the city’s most recognizable names. I can’t wait to search out the Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens, check out Oscar Wilde’s house in Chelsea, and see Romeo and Juliet at the Globe Theatre…luckily the blue-badge guided Literary London Tour will make it even easier! continue reading

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See the collages of Max Ernst in Paris

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People visiting Paris this summer will be able to visit the Musee d’Orsay to see an exhibition of collages by the great modern artist Max Ernst.

The display will be open for people on Paris tours to visit from June 30th to September 13th.

Ernst was born in 1891 and was greatly influenced by the proliferation of unusual and striking images that appeared in books, magazines, newspapers, advertisements and other media from the second half of the 19th century onwards.

Between 1933 and 1936, the artist used a broad selection of illustrations, graphics, book covers and other pieces to create his own book, which had no text and consisted of a section for every day of the week.

The collection of collages will arrive at Paris’ Musee d’Orsay following a tour that has already taken it to Bruhl, Hamburg and Madrid.

Until July 19th this year, visitors to the famous museum will also be able to see a series of exhibitions inspired by the art and architecture of Italy, exploring subjects including Ernest Hebert’s artistic interest in Italian peasants.

Paris – Enjoy the view from the Eiffel Tower or see the Mona Lisa in the "city of light".ADNFCR-1652-ID-19119443-ADNFCR

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They Aren’t Called French Fries? Trying Out the Local Cuisines

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I was more than a little nervous about giving up the fantastic variety of Californian cuisine for my move to London. Sure I’d be living in a fantastic neighbourhood (Kensington, ever heard of it?), taking fun classes (hi, field trips to Oxford, Parliament, the Globe), working a fun company, meeting tons of new people, and travelling like mad (read my Dublin post anyone?), but all I could think about as I jumped on that United jet was, what about burritos? Cheeseburgers? Pluto’s salads? As delightful as afternoon tea sounds, anyone who’s hopped on the “English cuisine” Wikipedia page can probably understand my hesitation. I’m sorry guys, but chip sandwiches? How does somebody even come up with that?

Chip Butty - Annie Mole

Chip Butty - Annie Mole

Which isn’t to say a chip butty isn’t one of the first things I tried when I got here (add a little ketchup and it’s not bad!), but I certainly wasn’t prepared for the richness of the culinary culture here. continue reading

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Paris presents Pocket Film Festival

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Paris tours could offer the opportunity to discover some new and unusual cultural creations later this year at the Pocket Film Festival.

This event, which is dedicated to showing films created using mobile phones, will come to the French capital’s Forum des Images from June 12th to 14th.

Visitors will be able to attend a number of free screenings and events during the course of the festival and will be given the opportunity to download any films they want to see again to their own phone.

Artists participating in the 2009 Pocket Film Festival include the French underground filmmaker Joseph Morder, theatre director Pippo Delbono and painter Richard Texier.

A series of concerts and debates will feature on the festival programme this year, as well as workshops exploring how mobile phones can be used to create high-quality and convincing films.

Another Paris institution dedicated to contemporary culture is the Centre Pompidou, which is currently hosting exhibitions of work by the artists Wassily Kandinsky, Asger Jorn and Alexander Calder.

Paris – Enjoy the view from the Eiffel Tower or see the Mona Lisa in the "city of light".ADNFCR-1652-ID-19115123-ADNFCR

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See some Parisian antiques on the Rive Gauche

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Holidaymakers will be able to add some style and sophistication to their Paris tours later this year by heading to one of the city’s most prestigious antiques fairs.

Carre Rive Gauche, which is named after the famous district in which it is held, will take over Paris’ seventh arrondissement from June 4th to 7th.

According to the organisers of this highly popular event, the range of antiques on show is so diverse that the fair could only ever be held in Paris.

Some 120 of the city’s finest antiques dealers participate in Carre Rive Gauche, showing off a variety of rare and historically significant items, many of which will be specifically selected by art market professionals.

Visitors to the fair will be able to pick up curios and souvenirs to remember their trip by, browse through far eastern and African art, see furniture dating all the way back to the Renaissance and marvel at intricately crafted silverware.

The Rive Gauche – the southern bank of the river Seine – is known for being one of the most romantic districts in a city famous for its passion, as well as a cultural heritage boasting links with Pablo Picasso, F Scott Fitzgerald, Henri Matisse and others.

Paris – Enjoy the view from the Eiffel Tower or see the Mona Lisa in the "city of light".ADNFCR-1652-ID-19110123-ADNFCR

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Leonard Cohen to play Paris

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Music lovers taking Paris tours this summer may have the opportunity to see one of the industry’s iconic figures live in concert.

Leonard Cohen will bring a tour that is currently taking him across the United States to Europe in July, starting with a show at Berlin’s O2 World on July 2nd.

The legendary singer-songwriter will then head to the Sportpaleis in Antwerp, Belgium on July 4th before playing at the Palais Omnisports de Paris Bercy on July 7th.

With songs such as Hallelujah, Waiting for the Miracle and The Partisan to his name and a career spanning some 40 years, Cohen is one of the most respected figures in the modern music industry.

He recently released Live in London, a collection of 25 songs from a performance he gave at the O2 Arena in 2008.

If one music icon is not enough, visitors to Paris will be able to head to the Bercy on July 9th this year to see a show by Madonna as she brings her Sticky and Sweet tour to Europe.

Paris – Enjoy the view from the Eiffel Tower or see the Mona Lisa in the "city of light".ADNFCR-1652-ID-19107449-ADNFCR

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Louvre ‘world’s most visited museum in 2008′

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The Louvre in Paris was reportedly the world’s most popular museum in 2008, attracting more visitors than any of its counterparts around the world.

Research by the Art Newspaper revealed that 8.5 million people visited the famous cultural institution last year, placing it ahead of London’s British Museum, which welcomed 5.93 million guests.

The Louvre was ranked the top museum for the second year running, while the British Museum moved up from the fourth place that it achieved in 2007.

Another leading London attraction, Tate Modern, was ranked in fourth position in the popularity list for 2008, while the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art completed the top five.

Rome’s Vatican Museums were the sixth most popular institution last year with 4.44 million visitors, while the National Art Centre in Tokyo was the highest ranked museum outside Europe and the US.

The most famous piece of art that people on Paris tours can see in the Louvre’s collection is the Mona Lisa, while the British Museum boasts Egyptian sculptures, the Rosetta Stone and other treasures.

Paris – Enjoy the view from the Eiffel Tower or see the Mona Lisa in the "city of light".ADNFCR-1652-ID-19102253-ADNFCR

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