Ten top things to do in Paris in 2015
From bargains buys to cutting-edge culture, find out about the top 10 things to do during a trip to Paris in 2015
1. VISIT THE NEW CONCERT HALL
The Philharmonie de Paris concert hall in the Parc de Villette opens in January 2015. The centrepiece of French architect Jean Nouvel’s elaborate, metal-encased building is a 2,400-seat concert hall that will be the Orchestre de Paris’s new home. As well as concerts, the centre hosts exhibitions and shows throughout the year. Its debut exhibition will be devoted to pop and style icon David Bowie opening on 3 March.
Tel: (Fr) 1 44 84 44 84
2. STAY IN HOTEL HEAVEN
After a huge renovation, the five-star Intercontinental Le Grand Hotel Paris stirred a flurry of approving ooohs and ahhhs when it reopened in summer 2014, to offer top-notch amenities and impeccable service across its 470 bedrooms, spa and legendary Café de la Paix. The trend for luxury Paris stays continues with two more legendary boltholes, the Ritz and Hôtel de Crillon, both scheduled to reopen in 2015 after extensive renovations.
3. VISIT THE MOREAU MUSEUM
The Musée Moreau in the 9th arrondissement is scheduled to reopen in its entirety on 14 January after more than a year of renovation work, The expanded and revamped ground- and lower-floor rooms will showcase a range of works by the 19th-century artist, a leader of the Symbolist movement who was known for his religious and mythological paintings.
Tel: (Fr) 1 48 74 38 50
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4. SET YOUR SIGHTS ON FASHION
Followers of modern art, fashion and design will enjoy visiting the new Fondation Louis Vuitton in the Bois de Boulogne on the western fringe of the capital. Designed by star Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry, the stunning façade contains 3,600 glass panes, which enclose 11 galleries devoted to contemporary art. The opening exhibition is devoted to Gehry’s work and runs until 3 March 2015.
Tel: 1 40 69 96 00
5. PICK UP A BARGAIN
Achieve Paris chic on the cheap during the state-regulated winter sales that last from 7 January to 10 February. Start the day early to find the best bargains and avoid the midday frenzy as shopaholics battle over discounted designer rails in department stores and independent boutiques. Avoid the Champs-Élysées and head to a more intimate shopping quartier such as the Marais. For more on shopping in Paris, see our guide to Paris department stores.
6. PERUSE THE PICASSO MUSEUM
A must-do for art lovers this year is to visit the recently reopened Musée Picasso, where around 5,000 of the artist’s works fill the five-floor Hôtel Salé, one of the finest 17th-century mansions in the Marais district of Paris. The five-year refurbishment has almost tripled the exhibition space, as well as improved access so more people can visit at any one time.
Tel: (Fr) 1 42 71 25 21
7. BOOK IN FOR A SHOW
Head to the Lido nightspot in Paris to see its spectacular new show, directed by Franco Dragone, who has worked with the Cirque du Soleil and Canadian singer Céline Dion. The show, which opens in April, is inspired by the magic of Paris and contains dazzling stage design and the dancing Bluebell Girls. It replaces Bonheur, which closed in December after more than 7,000 performances.
Tel: (Fr) 1 40 76 56 10
8. JOIN AN ARTY CRUISE
From the cliffs at Étretat to the port of Honfleur, Normandy has long been an inspiration for artists. Channel your inner Monet on an AmaWaterways luxury cruise along the River Seine, leaving Paris on 13 August, 2015. Guests can take part in onboard art classes led by experts who will help them to capture the passing vistas. Art-themed excursions include visits to Claude Monet’s gardens at Giverny and Vincent van Gogh’s home in Auvers-sur-Oise. The week-long painting cruise costs from £2,181.
Tel: 0808 223 5009
9. INDULGE IN LOCAL FLAVOUR
If you’re the kind of sightseer who spends most of the time drooling over pastry-shop windows, why not learn how to make your own French delicacies while in the capital? Cookery school Cook’n with Class is holding regular baking classes for small groups during 2015, covering all sorts of tasty French treats including choux pastry classes and macaron making. These two workshops last for three hours and cost €130.
Tel: (Fr) 1 42 57 22 84
10.SIGHTSEE ON A SHOESTRING
If visiting Paris on a budget, you can still benefit from an insider’s knowledge on a free New Paris tour, led by English-speaking guides keen to share the best of their home city. The twice-daily tours last around three hours and include a walk along the River Seine and through the royal gardens and squares, passing such landmarks as the Louvre and the Cathédrale Notre-Dame. Tours start at Place Saint-Michel on the Left Bank at 11am and 1pm.