Five of the Best: Paris Cultural Hotspots

Fashion Week fatigue? Soothe your soul with a culture fix

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Posted by Kasia Hastings

Words by Bakul Patki

Le Royal Monceau Raffles 

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Ok so it's not your average cultural institiution,  but The Royal Monceau Raffles knows that culture is a huge part of travel.

They have a dedicated Art Concierge, they publish a weekly ‘Art For Breakfast’ blog and run their own gallery in Paris, ‘Art District’, showcasing both established and emerging artists, including one of my favourites, Kate MccGwire.

The RM also has a pretty impressive art collection of its own on show in the bedrooms, which were designed around the concept of an artist’s studio.

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Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris, 
37 Avenue Hoche, Paris, France 33 1 42 99 88 00, raffles.com.

Musee Quai Branly

Designed by award-winning architect Jean Nouvel, the Musée du Quai Branly’s striking home sits in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. Focussing on art from non-Western cultures, the museum is a change from all the European art and history on offer in the city.

The beautiful gardens are another draw – especially if you want to escape the relentless buzz of  Fashion Week -  as is the rooftop restaurant L’Ombres, which has fantastic  birds-eye city views.

Musee Quai Branly, 37 Quai Branly, 75007 Paris, France33 1 56 61 70 00, quaibranly.fr/en/

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Palais de Tokyo

Although the Palais de Tokyo isn’t exactly off the beaten track, there’s a good chance that even Paris regulars aren’t familiar with this cultural gem. It’s one of my favourite places for its impressive programme, its unorthodox architecture, its two brilliant restaurants, Tokyo Eat and the newer Monsieur Blue and cafe SMACK.

I love a good old browse through the Palais shop’s brilliant selection of international books and magazines. Backing onto the Seine with a great view of the Eiffel Tower, the Palais de Tokyo’s got everything going for it, including its midnight closing time – so not just a cultural institution, but a social one too.

(Palais de Tokyo, 13 Avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris, France, 33 1 81 97 35 88, palaisdetokyo.com/en/

Gaïté Lyrique  

ELLEs Five of the Best Paris Cultural Hotspots Gaïté Lyrique Theatre

Offenbach’s former Belle Époque Gaïté Lyrique theatre has been turned into Paris’s first ever digital cultural centre - a seven-storey, multi-disciplinary concert hall-come-gallery full of digital art, music, graphics, film, fashion, design and video games.

And if you’re not entirely off-duty, Gaïté Lyrique’s delicious food and drink, inspiring atmosphere and – most  important -excellent Wifi, makes it a good spot for quick blog updates or between-show catch-ups.  

Gaïté Lyrique, 3 bis rue Papin, 3e, Paris, France, gaite-lyrique.net/en

Le Musée Rodin

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I fell in love with Le Musee Rodin  on a school trip and it’s remained an all time favourite ever since.

The museum’s impressive building , ‘L’hôtel Biron’ used  to house upscale artists-in-residence such as Jean Cocteau, Henri Matisse and dancer Isadora Duncan, until Rodin took it over in 1911. Since then his work has filled  the rooms and the gorgeous gardens.

Look out for  ‘La Jeune Sculpture’, the current exhibition of new sculptures by duo Daniel Dewar and Gregory Gicquel, but for me, the real gem is the beautiful collection by Camille Claudel – Rodin’s put-upon wife, who many believe was responsible for his most-celebrated pieces, including ‘The Kiss’. 

Le Musée Rodin, 79 Rue de Varenne, 75007 Paris, +33 1 44 18 61 10, musee-rodin.fr/en

 

Bakul Patki is co-founder and editor of online cultural travel guide Leading Culture Destinations

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