Cultural things to do in Paris at Hôtel Plaza Athénée
As one of the world’s most celebrated cultural capitals, Paris is awash with award-winning museums, resplendent architecture and a thriving performance and theatre scene, all of which encompass centuries of creativity and pioneering design. Whether you’re looking to take in a timeless opera or spend a day strolling through a jumble of galleries and museums, this two-day itinerary offers unrivalled stimulation for the culturally inclined.
Begin your cultural day in Paris with a visit to the Musée Jacquemart-André, 20 minutes’ walk or a 10-minute taxi ride from the hotel.
An opulent yet eccentric 19th century mansion, the Jacquemart-André Museum houses the extensive art collection of husband and wife Edouard André and Nélie Jacquemart. It is filled with tapestries, frescoes, paintings by European Masters, sculptures, ceramics and much more. Browse the collection or discover the temporary exhibitions.
Continue on to the Musée Maillol, 10 minutes away by taxi.
The Musée Maillol is home to the most important collection of works, from sculptures and tapestries to sketches and drawings, of Aristide Maillol. It also hosts a striking programme of temporary exhibitions, with past highlights including exhibitions of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, Basquiat, Poliakoff, and more. Be sure to take in the stunning 18th century Fontaine des Quatre-Saisons on the museum’s facade during your visit.
From here, hail a taxi for the 10-minute journey to the Palais de Tokyo, or take a 35-minute walk.
Palais de Tokyo
The Palais de Tokyo is housed within a building that looks one-part Parthenon, one-part Bauhaus. Describing itself as an “anti-museum”, the Palais showcases a vast range of cutting-edge contemporary art by both emerging and established French and international artists. Visitors can enjoy temporary exhibitions, in addition to film screenings, workshops and other cultural events.
The next stop is the Musée National des Arts Asiatiques Guimet, a three-minute stroll from the Palais de Tokyo.
Musée National des Arts Asiatiques Guimet
The Musée Guimet houses a wonderfully varied assortment of Asian relics and artworks both historical and contemporary – the largest collection of its kind in Europe, in fact. Exhibits span 5,000 years and range from Samurai armour and Indian textiles to photography of Myanmar and Chinese fine art, in addition to a wide variety of other objects.
Next, take a 10-minute walk to the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées.
Théâtre des Champs-Elysées
Opened in 1913, the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées has long maintained a tradition of exceptional dance, opera and orchestral performances. One of the key theatres in the City of Light, its strikingly opulent interior has hosted acclaimed international companies and performers for over a century, ranging from the London Philharmonic to Cecilia Bartoli.
At the end of the evening, the hotel is just a minute’s walk from the theatre.
Start Day Two at Fondation Louis Vuitton, 15 minutes away from the hotel by taxi.
Fondation Louis Vuitton
This compelling contemporary museum, designed by Frank Gehry, showcases an eclectic mix of art from the worlds of painting, photography, installation, music and more. Completed in 2014, the landmark building is located in the beautiful Bois de Boulogne public park, and has already exhibited works by the likes of Marcel Duchamp and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Then, take a 15-minute taxi ride to the Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac.
Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac
One of the more recent additions to the city’s cultural scene, the Musée du Quai Branly is a destination for those interested in non-Western art. The institution holds a collection of 300,000 art objects – including textiles, sculptures, masks and photographs – hailing from Oceania, Africa, Asia and the Americas, and covering thousands of years of human history.
From the museum, the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain is 15 minutes away by taxi.
Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain
Found in the Montparnasse district, the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain pushes artistic boundaries with a tremendous collection of works by established and up-and-coming contemporary artists. Exhibits span the disciplines, celebrating the fields of design, digital art, painting, fashion and performance. Since 1994, the gallery has been housed in a dazzling light-flooded glass building designed by French architect Jean Nouvel.
A 20-minute taxi ride will then bring you to the Musée National d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris at the Pompidou Centre.
Musée National d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
Instantly recognisable, and certainly befitting the title of Europe’s leading modern art museum, the exterior of the Paris Museum of Modern Art (housed within the Pompidou Centre) is an inside-out masterwork of exposed coloured tubing, air ducts and escalators. Within lies a colossal collection of around 10,000 works of modern and contemporary art from the likes of Matisse, Picasso, Warhol and more.
The final stop of the day is the Cité de la Musique, 25 minutes from the Pompidou Centre by taxi.
Cité de la Musique – Philharmonie de Paris
Featuring spacious concert halls, museum exhibition spaces, numerous educational and rehearsal rooms, and a striking aesthetic that dominates the Parc de la Villette, the Cité de la Musique is a musical institution. At the start of 2015, the Philharmonie unveiled a new building designed by Jean Nouvel, only adding to its cultural clout – and its impressive looks. Book in advance to attend one of the prestigious evening concerts.
The hotel is a 30-minute taxi ride from the Cité de la Musique.
All journey times are approximate and subject to variation.