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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’

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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Get under the skin in Paris

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Travellers should be sure to fit a visit to Espace 12 Madeleine into their tours of Paris over the coming weeks as the venue hosts an exhibition dedicated to the wonder of the human body.

Our Body – A corps ouvert will be open at this new cultural institution on Boulevard de la Madeleine until May 10th.

The exhibition, which features real human bodies and organs, is described as "both artistic and educational".

Showing for the first time in Paris, Our Body is designed to give visitors a better knowledge of the human anatomy and more awareness of their state of physical health.

People with an interest in these subjects can also see the Body Worlds exhibition, a touring show that is currently open in London, San Diego, Tampa, Sevilla and Heidelberg.

Later this year, Body Worlds will open in Berlin, Zurich and Haifa.

Visitors to Paris can head to La Cite des Sciences at de l’Industrie in the French capital to learn about all sorts of other scientific subjects.

Paris – Enjoy the view from the Eiffel Tower or see the Mona Lisa in the "city of light".ADNFCR-1652-ID-19098258-ADNFCR

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Kandinsky exhibition to open in Paris

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Paris tours could be the ideal option for people with a passion for modern art this year as the French capital hosts an exhibition dedicated to the great Russian abstract painter Wassily Kandinsky.

The retrospective will come to the city’s Centre Pompidou from April 8th until August 10th.

Both the Stadtische Galerie in Munich and the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum in New York have donated works to the exhibition, which will feature more than 100 finished paintings in total.

Kandinsky lived in Europe in the early 20th century, meaning his work was associated with both the Blue Rider and Bauhaus movements, both of which had a major impact on the development of modern art.

As well as providing a retrospective of his work, the Centre Pompidou exhibition offers an update on some of the recent additions to the Kandinsky collection, including watercolours from his ‘Russian’ period from 1914 to 1917.

Travellers on Paris tours can also visit the Centre Pompidou before May 11th this year to see an exhibition of work by Asger Jorn, one of the co-founders of the Cobra art movement.

Paris – Enjoy the view from the Eiffel Tower or see the Mona Lisa in the "city of light".ADNFCR-1652-ID-19080982-ADNFCR

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Tennis fans to head to Paris

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Tennis fans will be booking their Paris tours soon to ensure that they are in the city when the French Open comes to town.

This world-famous event, which is one of the four Grand Slam tournaments on the international tennis circuit, will once again be held at the Stade Roland Garros from May 24th to June 7th.

With a fairly slow clay surface and five-set men’s singles matches, the French Open is one of the world’s most physically demanding tennis tournaments.

Rafael Nadal has shown his ability by winning the event every year since 2005 and will be looking for his second Grand Slam victory of the season having already triumphed at the Australian Open.

Serbian star Ana Ivanovic is the reigning women’s champion and will likely be returning this year to defend her title.

Once the French Open reaches its conclusion, tennis fans can look forward to visiting London and New York later in the year to see the third and fourth Grand Slam events of the season – Wimbledon and the US Open.

Paris – Enjoy the view from the Eiffel Tower or see the Mona Lisa in the "city of light".ADNFCR-1652-ID-19067132-ADNFCR

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Paris exhibition looks at surrealist master

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People taking Paris tours over the coming months will have the opportunity to visit an art exhibition that will transport them to a world defined by the surreal and supernatural.

The Musee d’Art Moderne display at the Palais de Tokyo, which visitors will be able to see until May 24th, focuses on the early surrealist painter Giorgio de Chirico.

De Chirico was one of the most influential figures in the growth and success of the surrealist movement, providing inspiration for the likes of Salvador Dali, Max Ernst, Rene Magritte and Giorgio Morandi.

The exhibition in Paris represents the first time in more than 25 years that there has been a display exclusively dedicated to De Chirico in the French capital.

People on Paris tours will be taken on an absorbing and thorough journey through the artist’s body of work at the exhibition, which features some 170 paintings, sculptures and pieces of graphic art.

Arguably the most famous art institution of all in Paris is the Centre Pompidou, which this year will devote an exhibition to the great painter Wassily Kandinsky.

Paris – Enjoy the view from the Eiffel Tower or see the Mona Lisa in the "city of light".ADNFCR-1652-ID-19059740-ADNFCR

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There is more than the Louvre – other 20 Paris museums

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Paris is a world capital of culture and history so it’s normal to find a wealth of museums there. But if you think Paris museum, you’ll immediately think Louvre. True. What an amazing place: unmissable. But for once, let’s spread the word about everything else. If you have time for a second museum, you’re facing a very tough choice.

We have shortlisted here 20 other Paris museums that we believe are worth checking out (there are actually more than 100 museums in Paris). Many Paris museums are named after their founder or after the street where they are located, so you can’t just guess from the name…

Note: the Paris Sightseeing Pass grants free access to many Paris museums, and it grants “skip the line” privilege.

ART AND HISTORY MUSEUMS

Orangerie museum – Located in the Louvre gardens, this Paris museum exposes masterpieces from Renoir, Cezanne, Picasso, Monet and Matisse.  A modern display area was opened in 2006 to illuminate the paintings with natural light (yet indoor).

Musée d’Orsay – Mostly focused on 19th century, this Paris museum hosts impressionist painting and photography. The building itself (a former train station) is an immense glass hall worth the visit.

Centre Pompidou – probably the 2nd most recognizable building in Paris after the Eiffel tower, this museum of modern and contemporary arts is an artwork in itself. Boasts the largest modern art collection in Europe, with (as we write) 62229 works from Kandinsky, Giacometti, Man Ray, Chagall, Matisse, Picasso and 5528 other artists.

Picasso museum – Dedicated to the Spanish master, this Paris museum displays a large collection of paintings, sculptures and other forms of creativity from all periods of Picasso’s life.

Musée Rodin- This Paris museum is entirely focused on the life and work of Auguste Rodin, a French sculptor mostly known abroad for “The Thinker” and “The Kiss” statues. The museum has one of the most romantic gardens where the sculptures are displayed.

Palais de Tokyo- Nothing to do with Japan a part the name, this is a creative art lab for contemporary artists finding new ways of expression while mixing gendres and techniques. Always different artists on display, as well as special events and an uber-cool bar and restaurant.

Carnavalet museum – This Paris museum displays furniture from the Renaissance and other key periods of Paris’s history. Not to miss: the keys of the Bastille fortress symbol of the French Revolution of 1789.

Cité de la Musique – Extensive display of anything that has ever been built to produce music and sound, this is an interactive exhibition often enriched by concerts, musical shows for children and live workshops.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY MUSEUMS

Arts et Métiers museum- Literally, “the museum of arts and works” is an amazing collection of scientific and industrial discoveries. From early airplanes and cars, to the very own tools used by the first chemist (Lavoisier and all), to the first personal computer and memories, the first Baudot telegraph, Bell’s telephone, watches, photography, raw materials… all hosted in a magnificent monastery from the 11th century. This Paris museum is dubbed “the Louvre of science”.

Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle – This place is so well known in Paris that it’s just nicknamed “The Museum”. Its roots date back to 350 years ago when monks started collecting and studying plants and animals of all species. Today, thousands of stuffed specimen are assembled in a majestic display telling the story of animal evolution. Unknown to most tourists, the world’s oldest animal park – or zoo – is still in operation here, ask for the “Ménagerie”.

Palais de la Decouverte – More than a museum this is an interactive exhibition center focused on scientific education. New themes and topics are continuously addressed through conferences and real scientific experiences being run on site.

WORLD CULTURE MUSEUMS

Musée du Quai Branly – The name doesn’t mean anything else than its address, but this is the latest addition to the “big” Paris museums. Opened in 2006, it is dedicated to ancestral arts from Oceania, Africa, Asia and Americas. Next door to the Eiffel Tower.

Institut du Monde Arabe -Also known as “IMA”, this organization is dedicated to Arabian cultures and has been setup in cooperation between France and 22 Arabian countries. Around a museum spanning history from pre-islamic to arabian-muslim civilizations, there are temporary exhibition, movies, language centers, and an immense library.

Musée Guimet – The museum of Asian arts, displays artworks from south-east Asia, China, Korea, Japan and India.

SPECIAL INTEREST MUSEUMS

Opera Museum- Not well known, located within the Opera Garnier, this Paris museum displays sceneries, costumes, booklets and jewelry used in opera performances, same dating back to 300 years ago.

Cinematheque- This movie library is home to 40000 movies and a nice collections of memorabilia costumes and sceneries. But the highlight is the building itself – a Gehry new-classical-cubist building reworked to fit 4 movie theaters.

Immigration museum – Quite an unusual idea, this museum is a place made to remember the life of immigrants across centuries. It is a showcase of hope, dream, courage, creativity and sorrow.

Galerie des Gobelins – Formerly the manufacturer of France’s royal tapestries, it has now turned into a museum displaying antique tapestries and furnitures. A must if you’re into tapestries.

Musée du fumeur- The smokers’s museum… a surprising Paris museum where you can find, unsurprisingly, cigarettes, cigars, pipes and other smoking gadgets.

Musée Galliera -The fashion museum, displaying haute couture and accessories from the most famous French fashion designers. The themes and collections change very often to prevent fabrics deterioration.

As mentioned, there are so many other museums in Paris. Which ones do you suggest as worth mentioning in our future post for the next 20 museums?

Daniele

[This post has been syndicated from the isango! Travel Blog]

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Romantic Valentine’s Day Adventures: Paris

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Valentine’s day is coming, and romance is in the air! (Or rather, the High Street shop windows are full of red, heart-shaped trinkets and pink, flowery whatnots, and you have succumbed to the pressures of consumer culture…).

Either way, you—the love-struck shopper—have one thing on your mind: what in the $%#! am I gong to get him/her? continue reading

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Paris gets the boeuf at the Fat Cow Parade

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One of the more silly, but undeniably entertaining, things to do in Paris while sightseeing is to take in the annual Fat Cow Parade.

This year’s event will be held on February 22nd and will be just as colourful and fun as ever.

The parade sees thousands of Parisians dress up in a selection of weird and wonderful bovine costumes and make their way through the city streets, from the start at Porte de Bagnolet and ending up at the town hall.

History often plays a key part in this sort of bonkers tradition and the ‘Promenade du Boeuf Gras’ is no different as the marching of the cows date back over 500 years of local history.

It seems, however, that over time people have forgotten about the actual reason behind the celebrations and concentrated on the business of enjoying it regardless… and frankly, who can blame them when it involves hoards of people dressed as cows?ADNFCR-1652-ID-18977834-ADNFCR

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France’s Six Nations campaign kicks off in Paris

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On February 14th France will continue their bid to regain the Six Nations Championship against Scotland at the iconic Stade de France in Paris.

France have been a powerful force in European rugby for years and they emerged triumphant from the Six Nations campaign in both 2006 and 2007, giving them a total of four championship wins since the tournament was expanded from five nations with the addition of Italy in 2000.

Les Bleus will be hoping to overcome the favourites Wales, who are hungry to retain the title following last year’s magnificent victory, not to mention an England side which could find form just at the right time under Martin Johnson following some poor results in last autumn.

Fans on Paris tours should take time out from their sightseeing and soak up some of the atmosphere of this occasion as the particular carnival atmosphere is something not found anywhere in the world.

Why not book the Hop on, Hop off Paris sights (ODP/TDP) tour before you travel?ADNFCR-1652-ID-18975343-ADNFCR

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Top tennis stars to compete in Paris

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The Open Gaz de France, a highlight on the WTA World Tour, will see many of world’s top women professional tennis players in competition once again this year at the famous Stade Pierre de Coubertin in Paris from February 7th.

There’s no doubt that defending champion, Russia’s Anna Chakvetadze will be looking to continue her rise to the top of the game which saw her record a superb run of seven wins in seven tournament finals by the time she defeated Agnes Szavay in last year’s event.

Elsewhere the draw will include top names such as US superstar and two-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams, Polish prodigy 19-year-old Agnieszka Radwanska and perennial home favourite Amelie Mauresmo.

Visitors on Paris tours should look to secure tickets to this prestigious event because it will no doubt see some fierce competition as the world’s finest look to get into gear as the season progresses.

Why not book the Eiffel Tower Visit Cruise Illuminations in advance?ADNFCR-1652-ID-18973267-ADNFCR

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