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8th Arrondisement


Oh Champs Elysées! There are two things to know about the 8th arrondissement. Bad news first: it is big, and sometimes awkward to navigate. Off the heavily beaten path are top‐flight restaurants, museums frequented by the locals, and shopping to tease the refined palate.

The 8th houses the core of Parisian business and government. Take in the glitzy Hôtel Crillon and stately Place Vendôme. Scooters buzz around the old behemoth Madeleine church and traverse shaded Haussmanian avenues. Now, the good news: the 8th is a hefty slice of art, style, tradition, and glamour, all rolled into a stroll‐able afternoon.

Start from the Madeleine metro station, the nucleus of the 8th. Swivel 360 degrees and take in the venerable Eglise Madeleine, the world renowned Fauchon and Hediard chocolate stores, and the grandfather of French mustard, Maille. Warning: foodies may experience momentary vertigo over the selection of truffles at Maison de la Truffe. Walking just south on Rue Royale leads to macaron legend Ladurée. You can spot it by the patiently queuing Parisians ‐ a sure sign of something special.

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Also on the Place de la Madeleine is the La Pinacothèque de Paris. Called the “little museum that could”, the privately funded art museum was thought to be a fool’s dream when the Pinacothèque opened in 2003. Doubts were erased by provocative exhibits including Jackson Pollock, Edvard Munch, and Roy Lichtenstein.

Continue north on the Boulevard Malesherbes to the Boulevard Haussmann. Turn left onto the Boulevard Haussmann. At  number 116 is a temple to wine called Caves Augé. Stocked cellar to ceiling with handpicked wines since 1850. Check the website for free monthly wine‐tastings (dégustations).

Next, follow the Boulevard Haussmann west.

Look up and notice the classic Haussmannian architecture and “modern” uniform avenues. The urban planner Baron Haussmann launched a massive reorganization in the 1840s. The idea was to give Parisians more “breathing room” and decrease the risk of airborne disease. The plan was successful in one respect ‐ today Haussmann’s green spaces and wide boulevards allow France to boast one of the most efficient transportation systems in the world.

Ten minutes from Caves Augé is the stunning Musée Jacquemart-André. Monsieur André and Madame Jacquemart’s private collection of baroque art is guarded in a sumptuous mansion, often ranked as Parisians’ favorite museum. Do not leave without having lunch at the Café Jacquemart-André. The decor and pastries are the stuff of legend.

From here, there are two pleasantly different routes.

Either, travel north on Rue de Courcelles to stroll the Parc Monceau. Historical trivia: the park was the site of the first silk parachute jump from a hot air balloon, as well as the location of a massacre of Communards by national troops during the Paris Commune in 1871. The Asian art museum, Musée Cernuschi, is situated on the northeast edge of the park and features Chinese art and archeology, plus the great Buddha of Meduro, collected by Henri Cernuschi.

Or, proceed east on the Boulevard Haussmann towards the Arc de Triomphe and the … Champs Elysées! Bright lights. Big city. Big crowds. Great shopping. A diamond in the rough is Le 66 ‐ an uber‐hip fashion warehouse. For true fashionistas, Le 66 rocks the style of Rick Owens, prêt‐à‐porter from Maison Martin Margiela, and showcases emerging designers like… Nicole Ritchie.

Your grey matter needs a pick‐me‐up? Follow your neurons south on the Avenue Franklin D. Roosevelt towards the Palais de la Découverte. Exhibits on chemistry, geosciences, and more are entertaining for science buffs, kids, and their minders alike.

Adjacent to the Palais de la Découverte are the Grand Palais and the Petit Palais. The Big Palace and Little Palace were stars of the 1900 World’s Fair, and flaunt opulent art nouveau interiors and gemlike glass ceilings. Today the Petit Palais shows popular temporary art exhibits while the Grand Palais hosts the Chanel fashion shows. General admission is free to official museums of fine art of the City of Paris.

Seal a luxurious day in the 8th with dinner at a world‐class restaurant. If price is not remotely an object, visit Laurent for a delectable dining experience in a private patio garden setting on the Jardins des Tuileries. For those of similar means and a lavish taste for romance, Pierre Gagnaire is the reigning chef supreme. L’Arôme is run by chefs who trained under Pierre Gagnaire and Guy Savoy. The neo‐bistrot is regarded as a breath of fresh air from tourist traps swallowing the area. Unanimously divine, the cuisine walks between traditional French and forward thinking and the ambiance has a lightly chic feel.

From any view the Champs‐Elysées are an unforgettable sight. In December, the lighted trees stretching to the Arc du Triomphe are truly magnificent. The summer brings waves of tourists who lap at the avenue like the Seine against the Pont Alexandre III bridge. The 8th arrondissement is the gilded lily of Paris, in the best possible sense.


Café Jacquemart-André
158 Boulevard Haussmann
Ph. 01 45 62 11 59
Hours 7/7 11:45am‐5:30pm, Sat & Sun brunch 11am-3pm, Open until 7pm Mon & Sat
Metro: Miromesnil (9)

Called the most beautiful café in the city.

3 Rue Saint‐Philippe du Roule
Ph. 01 42 25 55 98
Hours M‐F 12-1.45pm; 7.30-9.30pm
Metro: Miromesnil (9)

16 Rue Royale
Ph. 01 42 60 21 79
Hours M‐Th 8am‐7:30pm, F‐S 8am‐8pm, Sun 10am‐7pm
Metro: Madeleine (8)

Patiently queuing Parisians is a sure sign of something special at the legendary macaron boutique.

Pierre Gagnaire
6 Rue Balzac
Ph. 01 58 36 12 50
Hours M‐Sat lunch and dinner
Metro: George V (1)

L’Eclaireur Bar
10 Rue Boissy d’Anglas
Ph. 01 53 43 09 99
Hours M-Sat 12pm-2am
Metro: Madeleine (8)

30 Rue de Miromesnil
Ph. 01 41 34 39 70
Hours 9am‐8pm
Metro: Miromesnil (9)


21 Place de la Madeleine
Ph. 01 43 12 88 88
Hours M-Sat 9am-8pm
Metro: Madeleine (8)

Caves Augé
116 Boulevard Haussmann
Ph. 01 45 22 16 97
Hours M-Sat 10am-7.30pm
Metro: St Augustin (9)

Stocked cellar to ceiling with handpicked wines, since 1850. Monthly wine‐tastings (degustations).

6 Place de la Madeleine
Ph. 01 40 15 06 00
Hours M-Sat 10am-7pm
Metro: Madeleine (8)

Maison de la Truffe
19 Place de la Madeleine
Ph. 01 42 65 53 22
Hours M‐Sat 10am‐10pm
Metro: Madeleine (8)

24 Rue du Faubourg Saint‐Honoré
Ph. 01 40 17 46 00
Hours M-Sat 10.30am-6.30pm
Metro: Madeleine (8)

Issey Miyake
11 Rue Royale
Ph. 01 48 87 01 86
Metro: Madeleine (8)

Dalia & Rose
9 Rue du Marché Saint‐Honoré
Ph. 01 40 20 49 58
Hours M 12-7pm, Tues-Sat 11-7pm
Metro: Pyramides (1)

Enviro and fashion‐conscious concept store.


Grand Palais et Petit Palais
Avenue Winston Churchill
Ph. 01 44 13 17 17
Hours M & W‐Sun (closed Tuesday) 10am‐8pm, until 10pm Weds
Metro: Champs‐Elysées‐Clemenceau (1)

Museum of fine arts of the city of Paris.

Salle Pleyel
252 Rue du Faubourg Saint‐Honoré
Ph. 01 42 56 13 13
Hours M‐Sat 12‐7pm
Metro: Ternes (2)

Palais de la Decouverte
Avenue Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Ph. 01 56 43 20 20
Hours T‐Sat 9.30am‐6pm, Sun 10am‐7pm
Metro: Champs‐Elysées‐Clemenceau (1)

Blinded by science! Discover the world of astronomy, geoscience, and chemistry. Entertaining for science buffs, kids, and their minders alike.

Musée Jacquemart-André
158 Boulevard Haussmann
Ph. 01 45 62 11 59
Hours 7/7 10am‐6pm (until 8.30pm M & Sat)
Metro: Miromesnil (9)

Musée Cernuschi
7 Avenue Vélasquez
Ph. 01 53 96 21 50
Hours T‐Sun 10am‐6pm
Metro: Monceau (2)

Espace Pierre Cardin
1 Avenue Gabriel
Ph. 01 42 66 69 20
Hours M-F 10am-1pm, 2pm-6pm
Metro: Concorde (1)

Designer Pierre Cardin’s passion for art, design, jewelry, and above all, couture is referenced in the cultural center located in the bullseye of the Champs Elysées.


Paris Libraries

Image: Matthew Black My world expanded somewhat when I found out about Paris’s libraries. And all for free. There are even specialist Libraries in different arrondissement – 1er Music, 4eme Fine Arts, Graphic Arts, History of… Read more