It is finally Spring here in Paris and the rainy season seems to have come and gone. However, rain always seems to be just around the corner, so here are some suggestions for what to do when the weather is not cooperating.
Get cultured in Museums
Paris has one of the largest and most beautiful collections of art. You cannot come here without paying a visit to at least one of the many museums. Of course, there is the Louvre, the world’s biggest art museum and a defining monument in the city. However, there’s so much more than just the Louvre. Almost right across the river, you’ll find Musée d’Orsay, a former train station turned modern art museum on the Left Bank of the River Seine, and Musée Rodin, which houses an impressive collection of sculptures by the famous French sculptor Auguste Rodin. Musée de l’Orangerie, which is at the entrance of Jardin de Tuileries, is perfect for lovers of impressionist paintings and Centre Pompidou has the most interesting architecture of all. Don’t forget the Grand and Petit Palais, which hold regular exhibitions and events, such as catwalks from the Paris Fashion Week. They sit opposite each other, conveniently in Champs-Élysées and close to the famous bridge, Pont Alexandre III.
Get fuelled in Cafes
The image of Parisians with coffee in one hand and a cigarette in another is not unusual. While smoking is not encouraged, visiting a café in Paris is a must. There are so many places that serve a perfect brew and buttery pastries to go with it. Café Kitsune is well-loved not only amongst the social media influencers but also amongst the locals. While PAUL may be a chain, I would highly recommend it still. They are easy to find, plus, they serve amazing pastries and one of the best hot chocolate in town, for only an affordable 3,40euros. There is also a high concentration of wonderful cafes in the 2nd arrondissement, near Jardin des Tuileries and Palais Royal area. You can also find streets of cafes in Bastille, which is a vibrant neighbourhood in the 12th arrondissement.
Get sacred in Churches
Religious or not, one cannot possibly leave Paris without visiting their magnificent churches. It goes without saying that Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. Not only was it once the tallest building in Paris, but it also inspired the famous novel by Victor Hugo, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Not too far from it sits Sainte-Chapelle, a stunning chapel surrounded by purple tinted stained glass windows. Slightly further away is the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, a beautiful white building that sits calmly on the top of the always crowded hill of Montmartre. From there you can also get a panoramic view of the city, a perfect lookout point. La Madeleine undoubtedly has the most unusual design for a church. Surrounded by 52 Corinthian columns, it resembles more of an ancient town hall than a religious architecture.
Get lost in an Opera
Unlike in the past when visiting the Opera was reserved for members of the high society, nowadays, it is an activity accessible to all. Here in Paris, you will find two Opera houses, each with their own uniqueness. Palais Garnier used to be the Opéra house until Opéra Bastille opened. While the former adopted the classic Italian design, the latter has a modern touch to it. Both opera houses show ballet and opera performances, while Opéra Bastille also does symphony concerts. If you’re not a huge fan of operas or performing arts but nonetheless wish to see a show, I’d suggest going to Palais Garnier for its extraordinary stages and auditoriums. It is also where the story of Phantom of the Opera takes place.