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A LOCAL'S ESSENTIAL GUIDE
With Montmartre to the North, the Arc de Triomphe to the West and the Louvre / Notre Dame to the East, 52 Clichy is in the centre of this triangle.
But let’s start walking in my area.
Take the 2nd right from 52 Clichy and you can be at the Moulin Rouge in less than 5 minutes.
Pop up the hill and visit the Sacré Coeur Basilica, modern architecture by French standards as the construction of this magnificent white structure started in 1875. Even though not finished, in 1885 the doors were opened and since then there has always been someone leading prayers or singing. There is never a queue to walk in (unlike the 1hr wait for Notre Dame) and if you are fit why not walk up the 300 steps inside the tower for a spectacular 360° view of Paris.
Have your portrait drawn or painted in the Artist’s square, beside Sacré Coeur. There are many artistic styles, choose carefully for your momento.
Around Sacré Coeur is the area of Montmartre with its amazing number of restaurants, cafés and unique shopping opportunities (all the shops on rue d’Orsel sell only curtain/dress materials).
Pop down the road to 2 of the most famous luxury department stores in France; Galeries Lafayette and Printemps. Go into Galeries Lafayette if only to see the amazing 6 storey glass-domed roof.
At the Opéra, just a few steps further than your shopping experience, take advantage of the guided tours in English on Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday at 11.30 & 14.30 which are not to be missed.
2 smaller, more ‘manageable’ museums are the Musée de la Vie Romantique, just go for the adorable outdoor café in beautiful gardens or the Jacquemart André house / museum, both minutes away.
You can walk almost everywhere. But you don’t have to.
Take metro line 2 from Place de Clichy westwards across the top of Paris to the Champs Elysées / Arc de Triomphe or you could jump on the n° 30 bus there too which takes you on to Trocadéro (the best way to arrive at the Eiffel Tower).
Eastwards with metro line 2 you can go to the famous Père Lachaise cemetery and wander round the tombs of Jim Morrison, Chopin, Oscar Wilde etc.
If you don’t want a 30 minute walk then jump on the n° 95 bus or the metro line 12 from Trinité at the bottom of the hill and, in only 5 minutes / 3 metro stops you will be at the Tuileries Gardens, the Louvre, l’Orangerie museum & the Musée d’Orsay. A little further is the calm of the Luxembourg gardens.
Metro line 13 from Liège will take you directly to the Champs Elysées, Invalides (with its famous gold domed roof and Napolean’s Tomb) and the wonderful sculptures in the Rodin gardens. On the weekend travel northwards to the amazing ‘flea market’ of St Ouen / Clignancourt.
If you want to stay above ground take the n° 74 bus to the Louvre, Palais Royal, Notre Dame and the islands of Ile de la Cité / Ile Saint Louis from where you can also wander through the St Germain / Latin quarter.
If that wasn’t enough the St Lazare train / bus / metro station is a 4 minute walk away :
5 metro stations run under this train station including metro line 14 which is the only wheelchair – friendly metro line in Paris with elevators to each platform from ground level and which diagonally crosses Paris via the Palais Royal / Louvre, the Pompidou Centre and the Gare de Lyon train station (peep into the ‘Train Bleu’ restaurant, a classified monument or book weeks in advance for a meal).
Shuttle trains leave every 15 minutes to Versailles (Rive Droite). Use this route for the Chateau if you have mobility issues as the alternative route (using the RER C train to Versailles Chateau) includes lots of stairs. Our route also offers you the option of walking to the Porte Saint Antoine entrance of the Chateau which gives you direct access via Marie Antoinette’s farm and avoids the huge crowds.
Direct trains from St Lazare also take you to Vernon (Giverny) for Monet’s gardens and to the Normandy Landing Beaches.
And there is a large bus station in front of the building, with buses going everywhere!