This elegant district grew from two small villages – Passy and Auteuil. Fine houses line the quiet avenues, concerts are regularly given by the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra, horse riders trot along the sandy pathways, the hamlets are shrouded in foliage, and birds chirp above the tennis courts.
In the past, people came here to enjoy the thermal springs and pleasures of the countryside away from Paris. Boileau, La Fontaine, Molière, Racine and Ninon de Lenclos were regular visitors to the Auberge du Mouton Blanc, rue d’Auteuil. Formerly the parade ground for carriages and fine clothes, people now come to the “Bois” on Sunday to enjoy the open air jog, or row on the lake. Several mansion houses were built here, along with some rather crazy-looking villas.
Today, the district makes for surprising architectural tours. Looking for Guimard, one comes across the Studio Building de Sauvage, rue d’Agar, and the sandstone building of the Perret brothers, rue Franklin. Visiting Le Corbusier, square du Docteur-Blanche, one discovers the nearby light and cubic Cité Mallet-Stevens, built in the 1920s … Chic, simple, and peaceful.
Fondation Pierre-Bergé – Yves Saint LaurentTop of page
Musée BaccaratTop of page
Musée Dapper (don't miss)Top of page
Musée Marmottan-Monet (don't miss)Top of page
A former hunting lodge devoted to several passions. From the Middle Ages, there are illuminated manuscripts, while under the Third Republic, the art historian Paul Marmottan reconstituted the grandeur of the First Empire with a bronze and mahogany bed belonging to Napoléon, a backgammon table and pieces of Sèvres biscuit porcelain. Also over a hundred Impressionist paintings by Degas, Manet, Berthe Morisot, Pissarro, Renoir, Sisley and especially Monet. The Nymphéas (Water Lilies) are here, as well as the Cathédrale de Rouen, and the Pont Japonais.
Rue de PassyTop of page
Musée du vinTop of page
Maison de BalzacTop of page
Located in a former 'folie' built at the end of the 18th century, and then on the outskirts of Paris, the Balzac Museum, the writer’s only residence to survive to the present day, offers a showcase for his personal mementoes, manuscripts and objects. Don’t hesitate to visit this fascinating museum where you’ll discover the author’s secrets and - if only for an hour or two - the capital’s distant rural past.
Fondation Le CorbusierTop of page
The foundation which houses the work of the Swiss-born, French-naturalized architect, designer and painter, occupies the Jeanneret and La Roche maisons (houses), built in 1924. The latter is open to visitors and applies the 'five points of modern architecture' defined by Le Corbusier: free-standing pillars, roof garden, free façade, an open plan, and long windows. White dominates, light floods in, and the configuration is astonishing.
Auteuil racecourse (don't miss)Top of page
Do you have a preference for steeplechases or flat racing? If you prefer steeplechases, then go to Auteuil Racecourse with its 18 hectares of track and hedges, on the eastern side of the Bois de Boulogne. And there is plenty to do around the track and stands: panoramic restaurant, brasserie, picnic areas, free play areas for children, games and ponies, and behind-the-scenes visits.
Longchamp racecourse (don't miss)Top of page
To cheer on jockeys and thoroughbred horses, the place to go is Longchamp Racecourse (57 hectares), on the west side of the Bois de Boulogne. At the two racecourses, you don’t have to be a racing fanatic, or wear a feather hat and cocktail outfit to have a good day out! There is plenty to do around the track and stands: panoramic restaurant, brasserie, picnic areas, free play areas for children, games and ponies, and behind-the-scenes visits.
Bois de Boulogne (don't miss)Top of page
A part of the forest that once surrounded ancient Paris, the Bois (Wood), a place of debauchery in the 18th century, became a fashionable promenade in the Belle Époque period thanks to the wide lane linking it to Paris, the creation of lakes and little rivers, the Pré-Catelan in 1855, along with racecourses in 1857 and 1873. A green 845 hectare ‘lung’, whose paths are a favourite place for joggers, horses and cyclists; the great waterfall attracts photographers, while rowing boat fans enjoy the lake, and children have fun in the play areas.
Parc de Bagatelle (don't miss)Top of page
The result of a bet wagered between Marie-Antoinette and the Comte d’Artois, this Anglo-Chinese bagatelle nestling in the Bois de Boulogne was created in just 64 days! Here you’ll discover a rose garden, peacocks, little bridges, water lilies, pagoda, waterfalls, a salon de thé, classical concerts, and exhibitions in the Trianon and the Orangerie...
Stade Roland-GarrosTop of page
Borg, Connors, McEnroe, Noah … What tennis champion has not played on the centre court or No 1 court? The stadium was built in 1928 to create a venue worthy of defending the Davis Cup (won on American soil). Since then, Roland-Garros has staged the International Tennis Championships each year welcoming 500 players and 400,000 spectators!
TenniseumTop of page
Roland Garros is also about the Tenniseum, a multimedia tennis museum that uses the latest technology to present sports through the ages. A professional guide conducts tours visiting the stadium 'wings', as well as other usually-inaccessible facilities, such as the space set aside for the players, or the famous red-clay Philippe Chatrier court!
Jardin des serres d’AuteuilTop of page
This garden is a world of surprises: classic and regular, but also winding with little hills and vales in the English style; Japanese here, Mediterranean there, rich in art with its Dalou fountain and Rodin mascarons, and in botany, with its 230 varieties of trees and flowers. And so exotic too, in the tropics of the 19th-century hothouses! Palm trees, birds in an aviary, banana trees, hibiscus, carps and passionflowers thrive in the turquoise reflections of the metal framework.