To all who have celebrated, and will be celebrating, happy holidays from the EUtouring Team. We wish everyone a good time and to stay safe and well during this season.
Wherever you may chose to go on holiday there is always the issue of security and safety and as much as most places can be, and are safe, there is always the issue of someone getting pick pocketed and thieves, especially during specific times such as summer where many tourists can be found in many major cities.
And even if you take the precautions to being safe while on holiday in Paris, or any other city throughout Europe, the unforeseen can always happen, where being able to easily access and use the Emergency number can always provide help of any kind.
But even if you are not the one in immediate danger, some quick thinking to make a call can save someone’s life when it’s needed most, and for this reason it is why the number is being implemented in not only France but the European Union and even more countries around the world.
112 – The number to remember.
The number is now the emergency number throughout all of Europe, accessible from any mobile, payphone or landline.
The emergency number 112, will get you through to any service you need, such as the fire brigade, police, ambulance etc. But there are also protocols in place to be able to deal with numerous different languages so you do not have to worry if you are in a foreign country about any language barriers or concerns.
Additionally you can still access the emergency services if you are out of credit or the phone is blocked, meaning when needed, you can still get help.
Although the 112 number is recognised within the European Union not many people realise it is currently in use, yet has been active and working since the start of the 1990’s, and having many updates and additions since to help out, such as in 2002 and in 2009. And some phones when purchased now have the number stored automatically instead of only the country-purchased emergency number, which a couple examples of that would be 911 for the United States or 999 for United Kingdom.
And the majority of countries within the European Union allow you to also dial the number from a landline or pay phone, but additionally from 2012 any hand held phones will automatically receive a text when entering another country, informing them of the emergency number to use.
Over the years many campaigns have been run and held to get the word out about the number and to raise awareness, even if many do not remember it or even knew it existed. But as always, it is good to do your best to remember the number as it is a great access to any help within any country of the EU while you are on holiday or just passing through.
Also as from 2009, just some of the improvements made include being able to track where the phone calls are coming from, so that they can easily find where you are in an emergency and get help or assistance to you as soon as possible, along with additional improvements to those with disabilities such as for those who are hearing impaired.
The idea of the emergency number 112 was to make it universal worldwide so that no matter what type of issue that arises and you need help, if you are a tourist or resident, that help can be accessed by one all purpose phone number. And although it is not yet implemented everywhere there are some places which either use or recognise it.
As said some countries even outside of the EU have adopted the number such as Switzerland and South Africa, and some countries within the EU now use the number as the default emergency number throughout the country such as Sweden, Denmark, Portugal, Romania and the Netherlands.
Although for some countries there still exists the normal emergency number as the default number to call, with the 112 being a secondary number, like the United Kingdom still uses 999.
In fact if you were to dial 112 while in the United States, Canada, Hong Kong and many other places it will still be understood, and then be transferred to the country’s main emergency number.
Although as always it is always worth checking what emergency number is being used in a country before you visit it for a holiday and not to just rely on the 112 number, as some countries have different numbers on top of 112. Such as 110 for the fire brigade in Norway and 166 for any type of medical assistance while in Greece.
So even if this number is not already on your phone or one you knew of, make a note of it before your holiday, as even if it is not you that needs the emergency services, you may well help someone else or even save a life, as it also works for lifeguards, mountain rescue and much more.
Driving through France can be a fantastic experience which you can never forget, and as always the rules and regulations between countries can differ, which is where we’ve composed a small list to help keep on the right side of the law and to help keep you safe!
Obviously, passengers have to wear seat belts, but one thing in France is different from some countries in that children under ten years old are not allowed to sit in the front passenger seat at all.
Another is, even if you have acquired your driving licence before you are 18 in any other country, you still are not able to drive in France until you are 18, as the law forbids it. Also, you must always carry your driving license with you.
If you have a provisional license, you again, are not allowed to drive in France. If you have also been driving less than two years you must always follow the weather condition speed limits that can be found on motor ways and dual carriage ways.
For example, motorways hold the speed limit of 130km per hour, but in bad conditions that is reduced to 110km per hour. A dual carriageway is at 110km/h but reduced to 90km/h, again this also applies to other roads such as the periphery around Paris and some motorways.
Additionally when driving you need to make sure you have the correct documents with you at all times. This means for every person travelling you need a valid passport, as well as carrying an EHIC card. As for pets most places you try to visit while on holiday in Paris or anywhere else in France require your pet to be up to date with all of its injections but also produce an anti-rabies certificate, but also they need their own passport.
For the car you must carry the V5 log book, the MOT certificate if applicable, and a valid certificate of your motor insurance, although it can be noted that sometimes car insurances do not always cover travelling into Europe at first and it is always best to check and if needed, upgrade your cover.
If you are from the UK you will need to make sure you have either a GB sticker, or if you are from another foreign country a sticker with your relevant country’s letters if it is not already on your number plate.
Again, if you are from the UK or have a right hand drive vehicle you will need to place deflectors on your lights so that they point to the right direction when driving on the other side of the road, and to make sure they do not dazzle other motorists.
Among those there are other things you must keep in your car which are a legal requirement when driving on the French roads.
– An Emergency triangle, although more than one may be needed in some countries.
– A reflective safety jacket for each seat the car has.
– Fire extinguisher
– First aid kit which also includes needles
– Two breathalysers
– Spare wheel
– Replacement bulbs
– Replacement fuses
– If towing any type of caravan or trailer, extended mirrors are also needed
The idea of having a radar detector fitted to your vehicle is illegal, as the French Government publish information to where speed traps are found. This also includes any sat navs which have the ability turned on, and if found with it on, it can grant you an unwanted fine, and if you cannot pay you can have your car confiscated!
In bad weather, including rain, fog and similar circumstances, when going through a tunnel or when towing even if it is during the day it is compulsory to turn the lights on. Although when on a motorway you will find that it is normal practise for others to quickly flash their lights if they are coming up fast so do not be alarmed as it is normally a way of them saying to be warned.
The alcohol limit while in France is lower than you will find in the UK for comparison, which supports the idea of not drinking and driving at all, and it much more advised, as the penalties for being found over the limit while behind the wheel can be very severe, and the police can do random spot checks.
When you are driving in France, if you were to be the first to arrive on a scene of any type of road accident then you are required to stop and give assistance to whoever may be in trouble, whether it be first aid or putting out a small fire. It is also required that you call the police or standard emergency services number who can in turn notify the ambulance or fire brigade services if need be.
If you are to have the unfortunate luck of ever breaking down while driving through France you will need to place a warning triangle on the road at least 30 metres from the car, and another if possible is recommended.
Although if you are to break down on a motorway and need a tow truck you will need to contact the police as no breakdown service vehicle will enter any type of motorway system without having gained police authority first.
But if you want to drive through France to see some of the fantastic monuments or the scenery, you can take precautions to ensure it will be an easy, safe and enjoyable trip.
Lastly, it’d be wise to add, that all information can change at any moment, so it can always be best to check before going on a holiday abroad so you are able to enjoy your time away to its fullest.
The Pompidou Centre, or the official name of Centre Georges Pompidou, or the other name of Beaubourg due to where it is constructed, or if you prefer its nickname of “the inside out building” due to how the building techniques which were used to provide much space, has much to offer for all of the family.
Although the history of the Pompidou Centre shares some light onto why it is here. With the initiative of French President Georges Pompidou who longed for a free public library to gain information but also a multi-cultural centre that would become home to Musee d’Art Moderne and more.
The opinion of the Pompidou centre can vary from being hideous to some and for others being an interesting tourist attractions in Paris, which has picked up popularity over the years. With millions of visitors from around the globe who visit the Modern Art Museum and the Pompidou itself, it has become one of the top places to visit while on holiday in Paris, suitable for all ages.
Within the middle you can find Biblioteque Publique d’Information, or for short, BPI, and it is a free to use informational library which provides many documents – both visual and audio, materials and much more which are up to date. On the same floor you can also find the Mezzanine cafe.
In the centre also there is the Musee d’Art Moderne museum which showcases many different arts which over the years have accumulated to over 60,000 different pieces of work to make it the largest collection in Europe which covers both the 20th and 21st century.
Obviously as you can imagine the building is very large, but even so it cannot display all of the artworks at once so there are different exhibitions over the year. With another part of the museum found on level 4 dedicated to contemporary art and a modern art section one level higher on level 5.
This tourist attraction has an unusual construction as we mentioned it is known as the inside out building and it makes the construction of the Pompidou centre rather unique due to having all ducting, escalators etc on the outside. But in addition to the museum and library, there are also two cinemas found at the Pompidou Centre, where one is on the 1st floor and the other is in the basement level where you can go and watch a film of your choice.
Also there is an area made for children for ages twelve and below, known as the Galerie des Enfents where workshops are available. As well at the 13/16 Studio which is designed specifically for teenagers with interactive workshops and it is available for free.
In other nearby areas you can find other sections including a graphic design studio, graphic arts galleries and other sections dedicated to media and film as well as a bookshop, cafe and much more.
Centre Georges Pompidou also has a visitors lounge and various information areas for the Musee d’Art Moderne, which generally translates to the Museum of Modern Art, as well as terraces on the 5th floor and not forgetting the restaurant named Le Georges on the 6th floor which proves fantastic views across Paris.
The centre is open every day except for Tuesdays and on the 1st May. From 11am it opens through to 10pm, although on a Thursday it stayed open an hour longer for exhibitions on the 6th floor.
The Musee d’Art Moderne is open from 11am to 9pm and has the same day closings as the Pompidou centre, whereas the BPI is open from midday to 10pm on weekdays and 11am until 10pm at weekends.
The centre is also accessible for those with disabilities with the entrance for them being on Rue du Renard is needed to be used, instead of the main entrance the piazza on Place Georges Pompidou.
Although there are also themed visits which are held here throughout the year in accordance to the different temporary exhibitions which are on display at the time as well as different workshops available.
Additionally there are also documentaries and films about the artists available in the lounge of the Museum of Modern Art on the fourth floor.
Also if you wish for an audio guide you can get one at the stand beside the bookshop in either English, French, German, Spanish or Italian.
Access to the centre for all the exhibitions and museums is valid for a whole day as well as giving you access to the panoramic views of the 6th floor. And for under 18s the permanent exhibitions of them museum are free, as well as being free for everyone on the first Sunday of every month.
There is also a panorama ticket you can buy if you are more interested in the view which can be seen, although for people under 18 it is free and those under the age of 26 who are a resident of the EU are also free, and only being €3 for those who do not fall into those categories make for a great way to see out over the rooftops of Paris and possible see some of the tourist attractions in Paris.
So if you are visiting for a holiday in Paris the Pompidou Centre is a great place to visit with just one of the many museums in Paris and other tourist attractions in Paris for you to visit, great for any age.
The Tour Montparnasse is more of a modern tourist attraction in Paris which has attracted both love and hate being a sky scraper in Paris, people seeking it out for the fabulous views it provides across the city and others for disliking the idea of having a skyscraper across the height of Paris.
In fact the tower is also known as Tour Maine-Montparnasse, but more commonly called the Tour Montparnasse, or Montparnasse Tower, and stands as the only skyscraper in Paris at a height of over 200 metres.
The Montparnasse Tower was built above the Metro and various underground lines meaning it had to be reinforced much more. With 56 concrete reinforced concrete pillars which go down in the ground for over 60 meters to help for this very reason.
Another impressive feat is that the Tour Montparnasse weighs 150,000 tons, and has a total of 59 floors including 6 underground floors, with a facade of 40,000 metres it can also measure in at an even more impressive amount of windows, which is at 7,200 glass windows.
There are also 5 freight lifts and another 25 lifts within the buildings to take you between floors. And one of the lifts is one of the fastest lifts in the world, taking you up to the 56th floor in only 38 seconds and manages to reach speeds of 60km per hour while it is climbing up.
The 56th floor, known as the Panoramic floor is accessible to tourists from everywhere, giving you an amazing view over the city of Paris of the many monuments in Paris.
The floor is protected from the elements such as wind and rain and gives you a comfortable place to obverse the city and have a 360 degree view all around while staying warm with heating during winter and cool with air conditioning in the summer months.
On the floor there is additionally a Visitor Centre with a permanent exhibition of 185 photos archived of Paris being displayed gallery type style along the walls. Not forgetting the interactive panels where you can learn more about some of the famous landmarks in Paris which you can see while looking out towards them.
On top of that there are also interactive quizzes and markers in various languages which provide details and more on the different tourist attractions in Paris and places you can visit, even on the bridges over the River Seine and other more famous monuments.
If you wish to go some steps higher you can take the stairs to the 59th floor where you can have a look around on the outside platform which is perfect on a nice day to allow you to see all around Paris with an incredible view, which is the highest platform in Paris.
Back to the 56th floor there is a souvenir shop where you can find and buy many books, mementos and more while you are on holiday in Paris. Or if you wish for a quick bite to eat you can visit the cafe in Paris, called the 360 Cafe where they serve all kinds of snacks and drinks for you to relax.
Or if you are one to enjoy more fine dining than a quick snack you can book a table to enjoy some French cuisine in Paris at Ciel de Paris at Tour Montparnasse. This restaurant in Paris is the highest restaurant in Europe which supplies gourmet French cuisine and with fantastic panoramic views you can enjoy your meal even more, especially during the evening when the city is lit up with amazing lights.
Also throughout the tower there are different orientation tables so you can find and view different tourist attractions in Paris no matter where you are, such as to the west the Eiffel Tower is best seen from the 2nd and 3rd floors.
To the north you can find Les Invalides which features three different museums within it and the Tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte I, or further ahead you have the Sacre Coeur Basilica and on a good day you can even see the Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport in the distance.
Access to the 56th floor for tourists is open every day of the year from 9:30am to 10:30pm, and for an extra hours from between April and September until 11:30pm, allowing you to take advantage of a splendid day and the night time look at the fantastic lights that cover the tourist attractions in Paris.
With very affordable costs the panoramic view is one not to be missed. Whether you go with some family or friends or pre-book to take advantage of a guided visit, you are sure to enjoy your time while on holiday in Paris.
The Lido is a cabaret venue in Paris which provides entertainment dinner shows, an ice rink, pool, amazing scenes, the famous Bluebell Girls, water features and much more to enjoy any type of evening.
One of the revues hosted at The Lido is the Revue Bonhour which is more than just the ordinary show, allowing you to see many different scenes and emotions sure to keep you entertained during an evening.
And from one extreme to the other The Lido has it, with many special effects to hand, 23 different sets to utilise including a 5 metre tall Indian temple, 90 different spotlights for the acts, 80 thousand litres of water for the pool and the amazing amount of electricity they use for other such lighting which can amount to over 20,000 watts of usage!
For the Revue Bonhour alone there are over 70 different artists which go on stage, where The Lido also called for assistance from some of the best costume designers and best names in haute couture. Featuring many amazing amounts of luxury with over 600 costumes and over 500 pairs of custom made shoes. Additionally with an even more amazing need of over 150,000 pearls, 60,000 crystals, 150,000 sequins just for the stage jewellery!
From 7pm to 11pm you can have an amazing evening with a meal which has an orchestra playing or dancers on stage while you eat before 9pm where the lights dim ready for the show, which has become one of the most popular places for entertainment in Paris.
They allow two different options for the dinner, with one with a fixed menu and a slight increase in cost for those to have an option between courses which is a three course meal along with a half bottle of champagne or whine.
Some of the French cuisine served varies from smoked salmon, wasabi, green cabbage followed by roast pumpkin and grapes, fried duckling fillet and desserts consisting of hazelnut eclairs with caramel shards. Although if you are wishing for a more extravagant choice and menu for a bit more you can take a look at options such as lobster broth with tarragon and whipped cream, next with roasted veal, mashed vitelotte, spinach and crispy potato chips, then for dessert you can have the house speciality.
Although if you want more of the Ultimate evening at The Lido you can take the Service Premier which gives you a personalised welcome, a free cloakroom pass and have an aperitif served at the bar or table. As well as having one of the best tables within this cabaret venue in Paris to enjoy the show with the best views, but that’s not all, you can also get privileged service, water, coffee and champagne, a programme as well as a splendid five course meal.
Although another option at this tourist attractions in Paris is to take a visit to The Lido on a Tuesday or Sunday at lunch to take advantage of the revue which starts at 1pm with a show at 3pm.
Of course if you wish to visit the cabaret without having a meal you can choose to watch the show and enjoy the atmosphere with just a champagne and programme, or if you prefer, just have a drink or nothing at all, which is more suitable for those with a budget.
Although if you want something completely different you can take advantage of a guided tour of The Lido, which lasts 90 minutes and it even takes you around backstage to finish with a dinner revue.
The guided tour is every Friday at 4pm and takes you around to the various rooms and scenes so you can learn more about The Lidos history, be amazed at the fantastic work put into the sets, stage management and technical teams as well dressing assistants and more.
After the tour you can opt in for a champagne and revue or perhaps a whole dinner show experience depending on what you want. Although they do have to be booked in advance.
Although to gain access to the venue, which is located on the famous Avenue des Champs Elysees, you will have to make sure you are in formal wear and such things as shorts or sports clothing will not allow you access, but even so a jacket and tie is not needed but is appreciated and children over the age of four are welcome.
Also taking any kind of photos or filming or similar things are strictly prohibited, but you can purchase a programme so you can remember your experience.
But no matter if you choose to go for a full dinner or just want to visit this tourist attraction in Paris you are sure to enjoy yourself and the amazing show and food they supply while on holiday in Paris.
Les Invalides is a fascinating tourist attraction in Paris with many museums, fantastic architecture, amazing history and others to keep you entertained but one of the things you can also visit is the famous Tomb of Napoleon.
A bit of history on the well known emperor can help give an insight to the past history and what happened before we move onto the crypt or the tomb of Napoleon.
Napoleon Bonaparte I was from the island, Corsica, born in 1769 he was educated in military school and soon made his way through the ranks until he was commander of the French army in Italy, where he forced Austria and their allies to make peace.
Some years later a new threat loomed when Russia and Austria allied with Britain and Bonaparte returned to Paris as the government were in a crisis.
The year 1800 Napoleon Bonaparte I defeated the Austrians and negotiated a peace treaty, making France have the controlling power over Europe.. Thanks to that victory he was made a Consul for life and saw the making of the Bank of France, centralisation of the government and re-instatement of the Catholic religion.
But in only 1803 Britain had continued war against France, in 1804 Napoleon was made Emperor and rather than attempting to invade England after a defeat at Trafalgar in 1805 he focused on Russia and Austria and became victorious after the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805, which again gained control of Europe.
After that same victory is when he decided that a triumphal arch should be created so that his armies could march on their way home to Paris. Said arch is now the well known Arc de Triomphe and is now found at the Place Charles-de-Gaulle , which is one of the squares in Paris that was originally known as the Place Etoile. Yet he also had the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel constructed, which is located by the Tuileries Gardens of the Musee du Louvre.
The Holy Roman Empire dissolved and over the course of the next few years Napoleon placed family members and loyalists as leaders of other countries such as Spain, Holland and Italy. Yet when the Peninsular War began in 1808 it had a massive impact on France, draining their resources rather dramatically.
In 1814 Paris itself fell and Bonaparte went into exile on an Island in the Mediterranean. Although he did manage to escape, he quickly marched on Paris, the Battle of Waterloo ended his second but short reign and he became imprisoned on an Atlantic island by the British.
But it was on this remote island, St Helena, that he died in 1821, May 5th, and was buried a few days later on the estate of Mr Richard Torbett close to a spring. And even if his request to be buried along the river banks of the River Seine to be amongst his people, this never happened.
In fact it was almost over twenty years and it took seven years of negotiations from King Louis Philippe and the British government in order to bring Napoleons remains back so he could eventually rest in peace.
In 1840 King Louis Philippe chose Louis Visconti, an Italian born French architect to create a tomb that would accommodate the remains and be placed within the Eglise du Dome in Les Invalides.
It took just under six months for the full trip to be taken and for the coffin to be returned to Paris, but shortly after on the 15th December the state funeral was held in Paris. During the procession, Napoleons coffin briefly rested under the Arc de Triomphe, which is another tourist attractions in Paris but was ordered to be built by him, even though he never saw it completed.
From there the coffin and procession headed down the famous Champs Elysees Avenue, across the River Seine and eventually to the park to Les Invalides.
The Tomb of Napoleon itself is found within a circular crypt in the Eglise du Dome which had to go under major reconstructions and transformations for it to seem fit for the visions of the architect Cisconti. With a gallery which surrounds the tomb, depicting Napoleons civil achievements which were all created by the sculptor Pierre-Charles Simart.
The body of the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte rests within five coffins, which are made of tin, mahogany, lead, another lead and finally ebony all held within a sarcophagus which is found in the middle of the crypt.
The sarcophagus is made from red quartzite from Russia and is placed on a green granite base that came from the Alsace region of France in the Vosges mountains, circled by laurels and inscriptions.
There are also various sculptures to show the military victories of Napoleon places around the tomb of Napoleon which were made by Jean-Jacques Pradier as well as inscriptions on the polychrome marble floor to state eight famous victories.
At the side of the crypt there is a small chamber with a statue of Napoleon in his coronation robes and beneath that statue lays the remains of Napoleon II, who was his only legitimate son and was also known as The Eaglet.
For this reason a visit to Les Invalides is a great experience to see and appreciate the incredible architecture and history behind the Tomb of Napoleon but also the other things within Les Invalides which includes three museums in Paris such as the impressive Musee de l’Armee and much more while you are on holiday in Paris.
The Hotel National des Invalides is perhaps more well known as simply Les Invalides, and is just one of the many great monuments in Paris which you can find around. Originally thought of in 1670 by King Louis XIV for a place to hold war veterans which were no longer able to fight for the country.
This place is a fantastic place to go to if you are interested in history, and especially military history in particular, with a very rich history of Les Invalides but also having the Tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte I as well.
To expand on the Tomb of Napoleon, as most people know who Napoleon is, and was, a major part of history and still is, being taught throughout schools of his influence throughout French military history. And some twenty years after the man’s death his remains were brought upstream along the River Seine to Paris.
Once his remains were there he had a state funeral which ventured through Paris and paused briefly at the Arc de Triomphe which was built to the commands of himself, from there it went down the Champs Elysees avenue and eventually to the Hotel des Invalides, where he now rests within the military building and the Eglise du Dome church.
But incredible architecture, church and Tomb of Napoleon is not all that this tourist attractions in Paris has to offer.
In fact it can boast that it has the largest single collection and complex in comparison to any other monument throughout the capital city, most well known for the military exhibitions but also an amazing three different museums you can visit, as well as the unique collections held at the Hotel National des Invalides.
Incredibly there are only 100 of these models in existence now and with some of them held at the Beau-Arts Museum in the region Nord Pas de Calais, yet most of them are held at Les Invalides since the 1700’s when they were moved from the Louvre Museum.
The large scale models on display have become a great insight for architectural history to see how it was in the past to how things have changed since then, some of the model plans dating back to 1668, making for a very intriguing collection.
Another museum, the Musee de l’Ordre de la Liberation is a French museum in Paris dedicated to those who came together during World War II at the core of the Resistance movement.
Musee de l’Ordre de la Liberation focuses on many different documents, letters, postcards, souvenirs, personal letters, artefacts and even uniforms which were used during the war. The museum is split down into three sections; Free France gallery, Resistance and Hall of Honour which is dedicated to General de Gaulle. Making this museum another interesting yet intriguing place to visit to understand the war and what those times were like.
The third museum is no other than the well known Musee de l’Armee which is one of the more conclusive and amazing military history museums in the world with exhibitions featuring everything right back to the Middle Ages.
Holding various types of armour, arms, uniforms and much more, anyone with a slight interest should have the Musee de l’Armee army museum as one on their list to visit. But not forgetting the cannons from the French artillery, hunting weapons, firearms, knives and much more to be impressed with when you visit while on holiday in Paris.
But even if the museum holds the third largest collection of antique armour in the world it is still very interactive with touch screens to hand and a whole section with commentaries related to Charles de Gaulle.
In addition to all of that there is also a theatre at Les Invalides which projects a whole century, starting from the Edwardian period through to the pop years which include many famous and loved people including that of Charlie Chaplin. As well as having audio guides in eight different languages.
The Hotel National des Invalides is open every day except for the first Monday in a month and the interactive area with Charles de Gaulle is also closed each Monday, as well as obviously being closed for national French holidays. Les Invalides opens from 10am through to 5pm, and during the summer months of April to the end of September it has an extra hour until 6pm.
The ticket office being found near the south entrance near the Eglise du Dome and the Tomb of Napoleon as well as at the north entrance near Cour d’Honneur which is also noticeable by the cannons.
A ticket allows you to see everything as said above as well as the chance to visit the gift shop, a book shop with many various books to chose from, a cafeteria if you want a break and the free audio guide provided for the interactive section when you visit this monument in Paris and its museums while on holiday in Paris, making a very informational yet interesting tourist attraction to visit.
The Palais Garnier, also known as the Opera Garnier is the 13th theatre to house the Paris Opera since it was founded in the late 1660’s by King Louis XIV, and this particular opera house was built by the orders of Napoleon III to be part of the great Parisian reconstruction project, the building being named after the architect Charles Garnier.
The Palais Garnier was inaugurated in 1875 on 5th January after taking a full 15 years to complete. Today now it is known by various different names from the Opera National de Paris, the Palais Garnier and finally, Opera Garnier. Nowadays the main focus is ballet performances as other operas are performed in the newer Paris Opera House of the Opera Bastille.
The Opera Garnier was renovated in 2000, making the main facade impressive to look at just as if it was from the 19th century again with its many rich colours and golden statue work.
Yet one of the most well known features of this tourist attraction has to be the Grand Staircase, that was made in various colours of marble and features two bronze statues at the bottom, and if you look up you can see four differing sections of the beautiful painted ceiling.
The staircase is an impressive 30 metres and leads to different areas such as the different levels of the auditorium, the foyers and to the Rotonde de l’Empereur which has a library within and the Musee de l’Opera museum. But because the Palais Garnier was never finished before the Empire fell and Napoleon died you can still find the Rotonde de l’Empereur was never completed and you can see the dressed blocks of stone which are original from the 1870’s!
In addition you also have the large and amazingly decorated foyers which give the audience areas to walk in during performance breaks and the vault of the Avant foyer is incredibly covered with numerous mosaics on a gold background to bring out the vivid colours, not forgetting the view of the Grand Staircase either.
Charles Garnier aimed for the Grand Foyer to look like the gallery of a typical classic chateau, which makes this impressive tourist attractions in Paris feature a large grand foyer size of 18 meters high, 54 meters long and 13 meters wide. As well as being fully restored in 2004 with its windows and mirrors and amazing ceiling paints done by the artist Paul Jacques-Aime Baudry, it creates a very unique and impressive atmosphere.
Also there is a sculpture made by Carpeaux of Charles Garnier’s bust that stands in the centre of the foyer towards one of the windows which faces the Avenue de l’Opéra and the incredible Musee du Louvre museum.
One room, The Salon du Glacier, has a very 1900s feel to it with a remarkable ceiling painting made by Georges Jules-Victor Clairin and tapestries showing different drinks such as tea, coffee through to hunting and fishing.
The theatre itself, or auditorium if you prefer, is vastly decorated with reds and golds in a typical Italian-style horse shoe shape. Featuring over 1,900 red velvet seats and lit by an incredible chandelier which weighs in at 8 tonnes!
The stage is an amazing size, with a total of 60 meters high, which includes 15 meters under-stage area as well as a 45 meter fly tower!
Since 2011 there has also been a restaurant here, named L’Opera, which was constructed behind glass and between columns to not damage any of the original architecture of the Opera Garnier.
The Opera Garnier is obvious still a functioning and running theatre, allowing you to book tickets for shows aimed more at children on their website but you can also find that some of the tours in Paris offer package deals to this opera house in Paris.
Although if you are not so interested in seeing a performance you can always take a tour around the opera house. On normal days you can visit from 10am through to 5pm, allowing you to take a look at some of the amazing architecture from the Grand Staircase, auditorium, elegant ceiling paints, Grand Foyer and much more.
But you can also see the Opera Museum known as the Bibliotheque-Musee de L’Opera National de Paris where you can find all kinds of history of this opera in Paris as well as old costumes, stage sets and much more. The cost of a ticket to visit is €9 or for under 25s €6 and is free to those under the age of 10.
There is also a chance of taking a guided tour around the Opera theatre in either French or English which lasts around 90 minutes, giving you a visit for the theatre and the history of the Palais Garnier, the architecture and more.
Although you can also gain access to Musee Gustave Moreau and the Musee d’Orsay at a reduced rate if you keep your ticket on hand and present this at the ticket sales counter, for one of these other two very interesting museums in Paris.
This makes the Palais Garnier a very interesting and fascinating Opera house and theatre to visit while on holiday in Paris, whether you want to simply admire the building, paintings and elegance or watch a performance, it can all be done with ease.
The Moulin Rouge is another famous and well known icon within Paris where many will know of it from being the origin of the French Cancan in this cabaret venue, where over 100 years it is still visited from tourists from all around the world wishing to visit and have an experience.
The history of this spectacular tourist attractions in Paris in itself is interesting in how it has played host to many famous celebrities including that of Elton John, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and more, but also helped with the introducing of the French Cancan as well as helping upcoming artists reach popularity.
Additionally the Moulin Rouge has also featured as a title of a book by Pierre La Mure, which was later made into a film in 1952 named Moulin Rouge, staring Zsa-Zsa Gabor and Jose Ferrer, yet in 2001 there was another movie made, this time with the name of Moulin Rouge! which included the actors Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor. There have also been many drawings, paintings and posters made by the famous artist Toulouse-Lautrec who was seen frequently at this cabaret.
The cabaret in Paris isn’t hard to miss, featuring a large red windmill outside which used to be a prominent feature within the Montmarte area that used to be filled with many mills, yet today only a couple remain in existence.
Although the outside may look a little towards the old side with the windmill, when you walk in you can take a look at some of the Belle Epoque era art which covers the walls from mural paintings, original posters, Morris columns and more. And each small table is equipped with a soft red lamp that helps create a very warm and inviting atmosphere.
The revues, also known as shows, are still as breathtaking as they were years ago, with perfected choreography and acts, which all begin with the letter F which was a superstition back from the 1960’s where the Revue must begin with this letter, which is another amazing fact from the history of the Moulin Rouge.
This tourist attraction has stayed popular for over a century thanks to the variety it offers from dance to music, including acts from mime, singers and right through to acrobats, it is something for a completely unusual evening while on holiday in Paris.
And yet the cabaret venue still keeps true to its roots, with a dinner show which was firstly envisioned in the mid 1950’s and is still run by Dalloyou even today.
The last revue was held in 2012 and called Feerie, having a list of 80 artists as well as international acts, world known juggler and 60 girls, as well as everything being performed to original music made by 80 musicians and 60 chorus singers.
And yet that is not all, the costumes also play a major roll. With over 1000 different costumes featuring everything from rhinestones and sequins to feathers which were produced by the top Paris workshops as well as incredible sets which were made by Italian artists.
On top of all of that, the newest revues have recently gained the famous aquarium as well, which was the original idea of Jacki Clerico who had it constructed back in the 1950’s again.
One great thing is that even if this show in Paris is primarily in French it doesn’t take away from the breathtaking performance even if you cannot understand any of the songs, they can still sound amazing.
To see the revue you can go and see the show just by itself at either 9pm of 11pm at 95€ per person, and for another ten Euros you can also enjoy a glass of champagne or another choice of drink.
There is additionally a dinner show option where you can enjoy a three course meal at 7pm which is followed by the show at the 9pm showing. And obviously there are different meal options to pick from including a vegetarian and vegan. Which is either €175 or €200 depending which you chose, as well as half a bottle of champagne as of 2012.
Children under the age of 6 are not allowed but any under the age of 12 are allowed in for €50, and for a dinner cost with a soft drink at either €120 or €145
On top of those options the Moulin Rouge cabaret venue in Paris offers matinees on specific dates to watching the Show Feerie which starts at 2:45pm which includes half a bottle of champagne for €105. Or if you prefer you can have a set three course meal which begins at 1pm until 4:45pm at a cost of €145 as of 2012.
Of course not forgetting they also have special menus for certain times of the year such as for Christmas and more, but booking and checking pricing is always advised as it can vary greatly.
For this reason it makes the Moulin Rouge a fantastic tourist attraction in Paris to visit and enjoy a meal with a whole array of acts and performances in a great setting to enjoy while on holiday in Paris.