6 walks in Paris on the locations of shoots for TV series
Are you a fan of series? Paris can boast beeing the backdrop for many film shoots.
What do the beautiful girls of New York’s Upper East Side (Gossip Girl), a formidable assassin (Killing Eve), a rich heiress (Dynasty), a couple in search of the good place (The Good Place), a very modern family (Modern Family) and eight sensates (Sense8) all have in common? Paris, of course! Over a summer, a few weeks or a few days, your favourite series characters have been in Paris during filming. Wander the streets of their favourite neighbourhoods, and discover the shops, museums, monuments, cafes and Seine riverbanks they frequented. Set off on the trail of your favourite series in the capital!
1 / Gossip Girl
Are you more Left Bank like Serena Van Der Woodsen (Blake Lively) or Right Bank like Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester)? In the end it does not really matter because although they each have their favourite side of the Seine, Blair and Serena agree on one point: Paris is a party, and to be enjoyed.
First stop in the Marais district, at café Louis-Philippe and bistro Chez Julien, places where the two friends like to meet up for a drink or brunch before going off separately to stroll around Paris.
When she is not on a shopping spree in Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, on Boulevard Haussmann, or reading Colette in the Palais-Royal garden whilst eating her favourite Pierre Hermé macarons, Orsay Museum is where Blair likes to go each day. Moreover, it is in front of the painting ‘Déjeuner sur l’herbe’ by Edouard Manet (1832-1883) that she meets Prince Louis Grimaldi (Hugo Becker).
Before returning to the Right Bank, check out Rue de la Huchette where Blair declares having found the best fast food in the capital, and which she likes to eat while walking across Pont des Arts.
You can pick up the trail of these Manhattan girls in the most luxurious places in Paris, starting with Harry Winston, a jewellery shop specializing in diamonds, at 29 avenue Montaigne, then the Baccarat gallery-museum, at 11 place des Etats-Unis in the 16th arrondissement. It is in the magnificent Cristal Room restaurant that Blair and Serena have dinner with the prince and his chauffeur.
Take a walk too along Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré and pause at Saint Roch church or turn into the pretty Passage Saint-Roch and walk down the side of the church. Further on, you’ll come to Avenue de l'Opéra and the charming Passage Sainte-Anne, before arriving at Square Louvois, a tiny public garden. It was in the fountain in the centre of the garden that Blair pushed Serena after their dinner at the Cristal Room.
In quite another setting, it is in the south of Paris in the 12th arrondissement that Chuck Bass turns up. The small cafe where he is seen serving his customers is none other than the bar Le Baron Rouge, right next to the Beauvau covered market and the Aligre flea market. It is also in this neighbourhood, at the crossroads of Rue de Charenton and Rue Traversière, that Blair and Chuck meet for the first time.
Finally, it is at the Gare du Nord, at the Eurostar access level that one of the most emblematic scenes of Gossip Girl in Paris was filmed. On a footbridge over the railway lines, Blair, dressed in her iconic Oscar de la Renta ball gown, manages to intercept Chuck to ask him to return to New York.
More information on l'une des nombreuses balades à découvrir dans le 12ème arrondissement
2 / Killing Eve
It is in the Saint-Germain-les-Prés district, in between two Machiavellian missions that we meet Villanelle (Jodie Comer). From the opening minutes of the series, we become acquainted with the young assassin against the backdrop of the streets of the 6th arrondissement of Paris. Like her, stroll around Saint-Germain, notably Rue de Seine and Rue de l’Echaudé. Continue as far as the nearby Monnaie district. Le Balto, a typically Parisian bistro, seen in the first episode, is situated at the crossroads of Rue Mazarine and Rue Guénégaud. From here, you can also catch sight of the dome of the Institut de France, a gem of Parisian architecture and the former Collège des Quatre-Nations founded between 1662 and 1688. Today, it houses prestigious academies, including the Académie Française.
Although Villanelle's apartment is on the Left Bank, the building itself is on the other side of the Seine. Go to 16 rue de Lancry in the 10th arrondissement. As the courtyard is closed to the public, you will need to be patient to maybe get a chance to see it when residents come and go. Linger a few streets further on, at the cite du Wauxhall. It is in this tiny, cobbled street that Villenelle is spotted at the beginning of season 2, a few moments after her bloody exchange with Eve (Sandra Oh).
Continue on to Canal Saint-Martin where you will find many works of street art, as well as many restaurants and cafes. Take a seat on a café terrace or cross over the locks before continuing your journey along Quai de Valmy to the Gare de l’Est train station.
In the first episode of season 2, we find Eve getting ready to go to London by Eurostar. Although the action takes place in Gare du Nord, the series was filmed in the nearby Gare de l’Est train station. You’ll see the station forecourt, and station concourse situated under a lovely glass roof with an impressive fresco titled ‘Departure of the Infantrymen, August 1914’, painted by American artist Albert Herter (1871-1950).
To complete your tour of Paris on the trail of Killing Eve, go to the iconic Place Vendôme in the 1st arrondissement. It is here that Villanelle is spotted dressed in her iconic pink dressed, by Molly Goddard. Finally, finish your walk in the gardens of the Palais-Royal where Villanelle and Sebastian share an ice cream next to the fountain. This is an opportunity to discover the Buren Columns, situated at the entrance to the gardens.
More information on une balade le long de la Seine
3 / Dynasty
The Carrington family possess one of the biggest fortunes in the United States, so it is appropriate that this trail starts in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, on the famous Champs-Elysées.
Set off from the Arc de Triomphe, then go down the most beautiful avenue in the world to the rond point des Champs-Elysées, where several avenues converge including the chic avenue Montaigne.
The Hôtel d'Espeyran, also known as the Hôtel Marcel Dassault, is located at number 7, a mansion that served as the exterior for the American Embassy in the series. The actual embassy is a little further down, next to Place de la Concorde, on Avenue Gabriel.
The Franklin D. Roosevelt metro station, which Steven Carrington (James McKay) and George Emerson (Sam Underwood) are seen rushing into, is just across the street from the Hôtel d'Espeyran.
Continue walking until you reach 244 Rue de Rivoli. It is in this private building that the Carrington family owns a charming Parisian pied-à-terre which affords a privileged view of the Tuileries Gardens, the Jeu de Paume and the Eiffel Tower. The inner courtyard is also private, but can be seen when, by chance, the doors open as people go in and out.
Take a gourmet break at the nearby Angelina tearooms, or a little farther on at Café Marly to have a glass of wine together like Fallon (Elizabeth Gillies) and Sammy Jo (Rafael de la Fuente). Situated in the Cour Napoléon, it has a ringside seat of the Pyramide du Louvre.
Continue on your way to Port de Montebello which runs parallel with the Seine between Quai de l’Archevêché and Pont de la Tournelle. Watch the boats navigate along the Seine, enjoy the view of Notre-Dame, or let yourself be tempted by the stalls of the ‘bouquiniste’ booksellers, on the embankment, for a souvenir book or postcard.
Impossible to talk about the Carringtons' stay in Paris without mentioning two unusual places that served as filming locations for the Dynasty series. Firstly, the cloister of Port-Royal Abbey. Founded in 1626, it is now part of the Hospital Cochin. Although closed to the public, this small garden sometimes opens exceptionally to visitors during European Heritage Days; an opportunity to discover this charming spot.
Finally, the Château de Villette, at Condécourt in the Val d’Oise, is where Fallon, wearing a sumptuous green dress by Alexis Mabille, joins her cousin Juliette (Mathilde Warnier) for an evening full of twists and turns. Built between 1663 and 1669 by the architects François Mansart and Jules Hardouin-Mansart, the Château de Villette is rarely open to the public but hosts receptions all year round (weddings, seminars, and private events, etc.).
More information une balade dans le quartier latin
4 / Modern Family
Whether you are in Paris for a family holiday, a romantic weekend getaway or a prestigious (and fictitious) Expo Internationale du Closet awards ceremony, the City of Light offers many possibilities for all tastes and ages.
The Crowne Plaza Hotel on Place de la République in the 10th arrondissement of Paris is the starting point for the Pritchett family's stay. Explore the lively and dynamic area full of bars, restaurants, cafes, and shops, then stroll through the nearby Temple and Marais districts.
Just like Blair and Serena in Gossip Girl, Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) sits down to enjoy a typical French meal in the belle époque decor of the listed Chez Julien bistro on the pretty little rue des Barres.
A few streets further on is the 17th-century baroque Saint-Paul Saint-Louis church. This is one of the key monuments in the Marais and recognizable notably by its architecture and huge red door. It is also in this district that you will find an unusual place visited by Claire and Phil Dunphy (Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell) during their stay in Paris: the Musée de la Magie - Musée des Automates. This museum of magic is a unique place where visitors are invited to discover numerous magical objects in an original setting. A wonderful place for adults and kids!
Next, cross over the Pont Louis Philippe or the Pont Marie to the Île Saint-Louis and stop for a break on the terrace of the Brasserie de l’Isle Saint-Louis, the place where Claire and Guy (Arnaud Binard) met thirty years earlier.
The Quai de la Tournelle awaits you on the other riverbank for a riverside walk with a stunning view of Notre-Dame de Paris. Continue along the Seine to the Hôtel National des Invalides where Gloria, Manny and Jay (Sofia Vergara, Rico Rodriguez et Ed O'Neill) stopped paused and which now houses the Musée de l’Armée as well as the Dome church and the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte.
The Pritchett family finish their stay at L’Oiseau Blanc restaurant, at the The Peninsula Paris palace. The restaurant has recently been awarded a star by the Michelin Guide. Claire and Phil share a glass of champagne with Guy on the balcony of one of the hotel's suites and later the whole family get together under the glass roof of the incredible rooftop with its panoramic view of the whole of Paris and in particular a stunning view of the Eiffel Tower, to fully enjoy the best that Paris has to offer: its gastronomy.
More information on the le Quartier des Champs-Élysées
5 / The Good Place
Contrary to Chidi Anagonye (William Jackson Harper) and Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell), there is no doubt about it, you are in The Good Place!
Start your walk on the trail of The Good Place at Les Deux Magots, a legendary Saint-Germain-des-Prés cafe and restaurant. It is there on the outdoor terrace that Chidi explains to Eleanor that he has sat at every table in the establishment to ensure having at least once occupied the place of the writers, philosophers and intellectuals who have inspired him and for whom the cafe was a popular rendezvous point. Among them, Jean Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Richard Wright, Brecht, and James Baldwin!
Make your way back to the Seine and cross over the famous Pont des Arts, to the exact spot where (in a highly-charged emotional scene), Chidi announces to Eleanor that he is ready to leave, then head to the Louvre Museum and the Tuileries Gardens for a walk among the pathways lined with flowerbeds, statues and fountains.
Next stop, the 18th arrondissement and Montmartre, Chidi’s favourite spot. It is on Place du Tertre, a square full of street artists and typical Parisian cafés, and in Rue de l'Abreuvoir that he can be seen nostalgically wandering around. Like him, immerse yourself in the spirit of artists who frequented the place. A few streets further on, for example, you can see the former house of Dalida on Rue d'Orchamp, or Picasso's studio on Rue Gabrielle.
Finally, it is at the foot of the Sacré Cœur basilica that the walk comes to an end. Although the perfect weather described by Chidi for exploring Paris is ‘cloudy and greyish’, it is when the sun is shining that you will truly appreciate the breathtaking view of the capital from the Sacré-Coeur viewpoint at the top of the Butte Montmartre.
More information on the quartier de Montmartre
6 / Sense 8
Like The Good Place, the Parisian scenes for Sense8 where shot mainly in the Butte Montmartre district of the capital.
Go along to number 4 Rue Androuet, a tiny colourful and lively street at the corner of which you’ll find the Marché de la Butte, and a local convenience store made famous by the film Amelie of Montmartre. The apartment in which the sensates met up in Paris is in this street.
Wander along to the Abbesses metro station, around which many scenes were filmed. Take a look at the cafes surrounding Place des Abbesses, and the merry-go-round, open daily and hugely popular with kids. Also, just a few steps away is the Square Jehan Rictus, a little public garden where you will find the I Love You Wall with the words ‘I love you’ written more than 1,000 times in more than 250 languages. It is the perfect place to immortalize your stay in Paris with your loved one.
Take metro line 11 to the Arts et Métiers metro station to see one of the most unique metro stations in Paris. This is where Will and a mysterious stranger had a fight on the platform; the station walls, covered in copper and decorated with small portholes, gave the strange impression of being in a submarine. Peek into the portholes to admire some of the items put inside for the bicentenary of the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers in 1994.
Next, explore the Marais. A notable building is the Hôtel de Ville (Paris City Hall) and its large square, a popular spot. Then, continue your walk on the other side of the Seine as far as the Institut du Monde Arabe. Founded in 1987 in the 5th arrondissement, the building was imagined and designed by the architect Jean Nouvel. Admire the facade made up of mashrabiyas that reflect the light and fill the place with a thousand lights. It is this original facade that can be seen when Riley (Tuppence Middleton) meets River El-Saadawi (Amira Ghazalla).
The final episode of Sense8 finishes in style on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower for the celebration of a wedding. Spoiler alert! It is the wedding of Nomi (Jamie Clayton) and Amanita (Freema Agyeman). The two young women say yes at the Eiffel Tower, surrounded by close friends and family, before watching a dazzling fireworks exhibition visible from Trocadéro. If getting married there is not an option, you can instead climb the 347 steps to the first floor and admire the panoramic view of Paris from the city’s most famous monument.
More information on the Trocadéro et Passy