The centrepiece of Paris’ revered Champs-Elysees, The Beaux-Arts Grand Palais has a name as regal as its design.
Despite the calibre of exhibitions held here, the architecture continues to be the talking point of this wonderful destination. Originally built for the Universal Exhibition in 1900, the enormous steel-framed Art Nouveau glass roof is the largest in Europe, and weighs more than the Eiffel Tower at almost 9000 tonnes.
This magnificent roof allows in an incredible amount of natural light, making it one of Paris’ biggest and best exhibition spaces. All sorts of cultural events are held here at the Grand Palais, from fashion shows, to Paris’ famous annual contemporary art fair, the Art Paris Art Fair – the possibilities are endless due to malleability of this opulent building.
A mixture of glorious architecture, highly sought after exhibitions, and rich décor means this one of the most popular destinations in Paris, that is also worthy of its title. We highly recommend buying tickets in advance to avoid queues and disappointment.
The Grand Palais restaurant and bar, Minipalais, is an elegant mix of rustic and modern, in both décor and food. The hardwood floors and neutral colour scheme is elevated with a sumptuous ambience, and a fabulous terrace with mosaic tile floors and grand columns. For this reason, we recommend you sit outside, particularly in the summer months. Dishes are inspired by the seasons, and often feature classic French items, such as escargot and foie gras, but updated with cherry tomatoes and almond butter, and duck fillet and truffle sauce respectively. The biggest issue with dining at the Minipalais will be trying to choose a single dish.
The Grand Palais gift shop is run by the Réunion des musées nationaux, which also controls the products at a variety of other French museums, including the Louvre, and the Musée Eugène Delacroix. You can therefore expect a great, well organised selection of publications relating to the collection, and art history, as well as a litany of other typical museum accessories, keepsakes, and gifts. Don’t worry if you become overwhelmed, their online shop is extensive.
00 33 (0)1 44 13 17 17
Monday – 10.00 – 20.00
Wednesday – Sunday – 10.00 – 20.00
Free, except for special exhibitions
Metro: Franklin-D.-Roosevelt (M1, M9), Champs-Elysées-Clemenceau (M1, M13).