The Avenue des Champs-Elysées, with the towering Arc de Triomphe at its tip, remains to this day the most famous street in Paris. You may be tempted to spend the day shopping or dining in one of the avenue’s famously overpriced bistros. But just west of this famous passageway – arguably one of the most expensive in real estate in the world – is another upscale neighborhood that won’t make your head spin. In the neighboring 7th and 16th arrondissements, you’ll find all the glitz of the Champs-Elysées, minus the manic, tourist-ridden energy.
Sure, you’ve seen the Eiffel Tower. But have you seen the Eiffel Tower from here? This view, from the other side of the Champs de Mars (the lawn extending out from the tower) is simply spectacular. An average walk along the sidewalk becomes extraordinary, as the iconic tower peeks out from behind impressive apartment buildings and museums, offering some of the best picture-taking spots in the city. Around the Trocadéro square, there are a wealth of cafes and restaurants to visit, although the operative word here is wealth – these seats don’t come cheap. Le Malakoff is the least expensive of the options, and still offers a great look out towards the Eiffel Tower. Also make sure to save a picture or two for the gardens here, which have been sculpted to perfection.
6 rue du Trocadéro
Tel: 01 45 53 75 27
Palais de Tokyo and the Museum of Modern Art
Not far down the way from Trocadéro is this pair of top museums, well worth an afternoon visit. The eastern wing hosts the Museum of Modern Art, featuring well-designed temporary exhibitions by world-class contemporary artists. Just next door on the western wing is the sweeping Palais de Tokyo, with exhibits ranging from obscure to extremely obscure. There’s also a fabulous art bookstore, an American-style café and the trendy Monsieur Bleu restaurant on the rooftop. Check out their website for special events in the evenings, with views of the Seine and the Eiffel Tower.
Métro: Iéna or Alma-Marceau
Palais de Tokyo
13 Ave. du Président Wilson
Museum of Modern Art
11 Ave. du Président Wilson
Musée Guimet and Musée du Quai Branly
While you’re in the area, you really shouldn’t miss Musée Guimet, which holds one of the most vast collections of Asian art outside Asia. Towering buddhas, Tibetan scrolls and jade figurines await you here, as well as temporary exhibitions by visiting artists. Meanwhile, the Musée du Quai Branly is the museum to visit for African and Oceanic art, with handcrafted paintings, sculpture, jewelry and clothing on display.
6 Place d’Iéna
Musée du Quai Branly
37 Quai Branly
Just southeast of the Eiffel Tower is this sprawling complex of military schools – known as Ecole Militaire. Founded in 1750, the Ecole de guerre (War school) and Institute of Advanced Studies in National Defense can be found here. Napoleon Bonaparte graduated from this institution in 1784, in just one year instead of two (his tomb can be found at the nearby Invalides). There’s also an equestrian center with 80 horses within the campus, as well as a massive library containing around 100,000 books.
Métro: Ecole Militaire
21 Place Joffre