My ultimate guide to Paris
The French capital is changing fast, becoming greener and bolder as it prepares for the Olympic Games in 2024. If you haven’t visited for a while, you will feel a new energy and be rewarded by new wonders mixing the old and the new. Most of them are not opened yet but will be from June/July.
You want to soak up art, food and style? Well, you won’t be disappointed this year. Paris doesn’t rest on its laurels. There will be new architectural wonders, legendary museum reopening’s and lots of exciting exhibitions. It’s impossible to list them all, but here is why you should visit Paris in 2020!
NOTRE-DAME DE PARIS Let’s start with a true miracle and the most wonderful news of Notre-Dame. Despite the extensive damage on its roof one year ago, most of the priceless artefacts of the beloved cathedral remains intact. You should get to see them on a site nearby at the end of this year as well as Notre-Dame’s crypt (2,000 years of the story of the city revealed through various archaeological layers). Last but not least, part of the plaza was expected to reopen before Easter but due to the recent develpments it has been delayed.
THE NEW SAMARITAINE The 1870 iconic building situated in the heart of Paris has been exquisitely restored thanks to LVMH and master artisans. Returned to their stunning original radiance, the historical decors and façades have been restored. The exuberance of Art Nouveau and the linear geometry of Art Deco meld with the innovative architecture of the Japanese Sanaa agency. Overlooking the river and the Pont Neuf, the Cheval Blanc palace will offer amazing views, as well as the biggest swimming pool and suite in Paris! Want to know more? i will keep you posted soon!
Airelles CHATEAU DE VERSAILLES – Le Grand Contrôle is one of the most anticipated openings this year (September). It will be the first hotel to have a home within the perimeters of the castle grounds. Although few details have been released, I can tell you that it is made up of 14 exceptional rooms and suites filled with restored period furniture. Even better, there will be a spa and an indoor pool as well as a Alain Ducasse gastronomic restaurant. Guests will enjoy exclusive access and experiences at the Chateau de Versailles including Marie-Antoinette’s Petit Trianon. If you are interested, contact me for more details..
BOURSE DU COMMERCE – PINAULT COLLECTION will be dedicated to Contemporary Art. From September2020, it will host some of the art collection of François Pinault (the Palazzo Grassi and the Punta della Dogana in Venice). 3.000 sq.m have been restored and designed by the Japanese architect Tadao Ando. Built in the late 18th century, it was originally used as a place to negotiate the trade of grain and other commodities. Last but not least, the top floor will present a new points of view on the Saint-Eustache church, the Halles Canopée and the Centre Pompidou.
THE HOTEL DE LA MARINE Since 1774, the beautiful neo-classical façade has looked onto Paris’ Place de la Concorde. After its renovations the magnificent mansion’s heritage should reopen in July 2020. It’s a Parisian landmark, a ceremonial building with a sumptuous scenography marrying technology and heritage. Its loggia has born witness to history with the execution of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinettein on the square in 1793. After the French Revolution, the Navy Minister installed his office in the building that was once used for royal furniture storage.
THE MUSEE CARNAVALET is a wonderful museum dedicated to the history of the city of Paris. It should reopen before the Summer after years of intensive renovation. It was first opened in 1880 in 2 private Renaissance mansions, one of the oldest in the Marais. It displays Gallo-Roman and Medieval archaeological background, memories of the French Revolution, furniture, paintings, sculptures, wonderful old street signs, all in a splendid architectural setting. No doubt the long awaited renaissance of the Musée Carnavalet and its colossal collection will be on your list this year!
THE WORLD LARGEST ROOFTOP URBAN FARM Welcome to the future of farming in Paris! From Summer 2020, this urban oasis will span 14,000 square metres with the aim to growing more than 30 different plant species. It will produce around 1,000kg of fruit and vegetables every day in high season, tended by gardeners using entirely organic methods. Located on the top of the exhibition complex of Porte de Versailles, the farm will have its own restaurant and bar, offering panoramic views over the city and the Eiffel Tower.
VICTOR HUGO HOUSE You loved the ‘Les Misérables’ and “Notre Dame de Paris” books or movies? From next summer you will be able to enter the house where the famous French writer lived (from 1832 to 1848). Situated in the very heart of the Marais, on Place des Vosges, this is where he wrote most of his book ‘Les Misérables’. From his bedroom, you will access the hidden courtyard downstairs and the terrace of the café, underneath the 150-years old chesnut trees. The house is being completely renovated and should reopen in June
PALAIS GALLIERA The Paris Fashion Museum is undergoing a major refurbishment that will double its size by utilising the vaulted basement. Built in the 19th century, it was once a private mansion. The collections, including some 100,000 pieces of clothing and accessories, are among the richest in the world. They reflect the fashion trends and habits of France from the 18th century until modern day. The site has a library and resource centre that is accessible by appointment only. It should have reopen March 31st but for obvious reasons it should be delayed until later.
THE ARC DE TRIOMPHE WRAPPED by famous artist Christo is sure to be a temporary artwork that will turn heads. Harnessing 25,000 square meters of silvery-blue recyclable fabric tied up with red rope (Sept 19-Oct 4). It’s a collaboration with the Centre Pompidou which will host the exhibition Christo et Jean Claude. Paris! (March 18-Jun 15). The Pompidou exhibition will also include drawings, documentation and more related to another of their famous works, “The Pont-Neuf Wrapped, Project for Paris, 1975-85.”
Please note that the GRAND PALAIS will close in December 2020 for renovation and upgrade. It will reopen for the Olympic Games in 2024. Meanwhile, it will temporarily relocate to the base of the Eiffel Tower at the beginning of 2021.
This is only the tip of the iceberg, do not hesitate to contact me with any question you may have regarding your trip. I am happy to answer.
ATELIER DES LUMIERES launches its new immersive experience from Feb 28 ” Monet, Renoir, Chagall journeys around Mediterranean. The Paris digital art museum opened in 2018 in an old foundry site, brings artwork to people in a new panoramic format: every surface around you is filled with moving projections of artworks, all set to carefully choreographed music. The museum has been hugely successful since its opening and my recommendation is to buy your tickets online for a time slot BEFORE your trip, it’s often sold out and there are long queues on site .
Photos credit Airelles-Château de Versailles, Atelier des Lumières, la Samaritaine, Bourse du Commerce-Pinault Collection, Tadao Ando, Hôtel de la Marine, Musée Carnavalet, Maison de Victor Hugo, Palais Galliera, Centre Pompidou, Christo, Personal Paris Copyright 2020