Paris offers plenty of things to do and to see. In this video we’re going to show you yet another treasure of the city. Today we’re going to explore Les Grands Boulevards, which is a place with both amazing day and night life, with so much to see.
The Grands Boulevards – the big boulevards – start at Place de la République and end at the prestigious Grands Magasins.
Paris Video Tour: Grands Boulevards (5:40)
From Charles the Fifth, in the 14th century,to Napoleon III’s modification of Paris, the Boulevards, famous for their theaters, offers 600 years of Paris’ History. From 1853 to 1870, le Baron Haussmann was obsessed with the culture of straight lines, and so he transformed the old Paris of Charles V to the one you can still see today, the Paris of Napoleon III.
Place de l’Opéra and Place de la Madeleine
The magnificent Opera of Charles Garnier (1875) is a good starting point to explore the Boulevard lifestyle of the 19th century. This piece of architecture, easily spotted by its large dome, is a place to go enjoy a ballet or some lyrical singing. Book a seat to admire the ceiling, painted by Marc Chagall in 1964, during your visit.
Walk down the Boulevard des Capucines and you’ll reach the Madeleine Church. The neo-classical building which is one of Paris’ most famous churches took nearly a century to construct.
Musée Grévin (10 bd Montmartre 75009)
Want to catch a glimpse of world history in an hour? There’s a museum for that: Le Grévin. This living theatre of wax celebrities, which includes the first man on the moon and Brad Pitt, is a must see. At the end stop for a drink at the museum’s brand new café which has dressed-up waiters. If you like you can have your Perrier served by the King himself, Elvis!
These two grandiose archways, at the end of the Grand Boulevards, used to mark the entrance of Louis XIV’s Paris. The Sun King always knew how to deal with his armies and the two triumph arcs are here to remember it forever. La Porte Saint Denis (1672) & La Porte Saint Martin illustrate the victories of the French army.
Faubourg Saint Denis
After the Saint Denis Gate (la Porte Saint Denis) the street turns into a faubourg, or a neighborhood (Faubourg Saint Denis, the 10th arrondissement of Paris). This colorful street is full of fruit and vegetable vendors, wine shops and cool cafés such as Chez Jeanette (47 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis). It’s a great place to buy some food and cook it in your New York Habitat vacation rental. Stop for an aperitif at one of the numerous cafés of the Faubourg Saint Denis and take in the relaxing atmosphere of the 10th arrondissement.
And speaking of vacation rentals, another great thing about staying in an apartment is that if you’re in a group, you’ll all be able to stay together and sleep under the same roof; Much more pleasant and economical than paying for separate hotel rooms. For a differerent and more economic stay in Paris, consider the following apartment rentals in the 10th arrondissement:
For example take a look at this furnished studio apartment rental in Paris (PA-1604), which is located in la République. The apartment is situated on the ground floor of a 6-story building and is furnished with a double bed, a TV with cable and also provides the luxuries of air conditioning and laundry in the apartment.
Or we have this furnished 2 bedroom apartment in Bastille, Paris (PA-2624) which is situated on the 3rd floor of a 4-story elevator building. One bedroom has 3 single beds, while the other has a queen sized bed. There is a queen sized sofa bed in the living room, as well, for additional sleeping arrangements. This rental includes laundry in the apartment, cable TV, a dining area and a fully equipped kitchen including a dishwasher.
Finally, you might consider this furnished 1-bedroom apartment in Republique (PA-4127) which is also located in la République. This rental also includes a dishwasher in the fully equipped kitchen as well as laundry capabilities in the apartment. There is a separate dining area for meals. The bedroom is furnished with a double sized bed and the living room is furnished with a double sized sofa bed, for sleeping accommodations for up to 4 people.
Galeries Lafayette (40 bd Haussmann) and Printemps, just next door, are the fashion malls of Paris. You’ll not only appreciate the huge selection of the hottest brand names in fashion, but you’ll be amazed by the building housing Galeries Lafayette itself.
With tons of brasseries, cafés and restaurants the Grands Boulevards provide an endless supply of culinary pleasures. However, French cuisine isn’t the only reward after a day of exploring; it’s also a nice place for terraces and night clubs. Food fans should also check out the Chocolate Museum on boulevard de Bonne Nouvelle.
A few of my favorites are:
47 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis
8, passage des Panoramas, just off Blvd Montmartre
Le Grand Café
4 Boulevard des Capucines
7, rue du Faubourg Montmartre
Musée du chocolat
28 boulevard de Bonne Nouvelle
If you’re looking for some nightlife excitement, start at De La Ville café, an ancient steam bath of Paris (34 Boulevard de Bonne Nouvelle). Next, head to the mythical Rex Club, which is famous for having the best DJ’s in the world. You’ll find it next to the monumental Rex Movie theater (5 Boulevard Poissonnière).
Well, the Grands Boulevards are so “grand” that we probably weren’t able to capture it all in this video. If you have any other fun spots to share with us, be sure to leave a comment in the comment section below.
Pack your bags, but be sure you leave some room for all the shopping you’ll do on the Grands Boulevards!