Paris chic

Beyond the heights of Chaillot lie the fashionable streets of Passy and La Muette, gentility rhymes with luxury

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.

1 Musée Baccarat

Musée Baccarat, Paris © OTCP - Marc Bertrand

This famous house specializing in crystal, offers a unique collection in its genre, which brings together some of the most prestigious pieces to have been produced in its workshops. A fairytale visit to a museum dedicated to this famous brand, with a very confidential atmosphere.

2 Musée Marmottan-Monet

Musée Marmottan, Paris © © OTCP - Bridgeman Giraudon Presse

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.

3 Rue de Passy

Quartier de Passy, Paris © OTCP - Marc Bertrand

A good place to browse for a fashionable new wardrobe. For something to eat, stop off at place de Passy, with its covered market leading on to rue de l’Annonciation and the church past delicatessens, greengrocers …

4 Musée du vin

Musée du vin, Paris © OTCP - Marc Bertrand

Former wine cellars in rue des Eaux are a delightful place to find out more about the history of wine, wine regions, and utensils. Oenology courses and tasting sessions are also offered as an option. Wine tasting and wine appreciation classes are also offered.

5 Maison de Balzac

Maison de Balzac, Paris © OTCP - Christophe Fouin

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.

6 Maison de Radio France

Maison de Radio France - Vue Extérieure, Paris © Christophe Abramowitz

Lieu parisien emblématique, la Maison de la radio est un bâtiment dont l’image et la notoriété sont très fortes. Située en bordure de Seine dans le 16e arrondissement à proximité immédiate de la tour Eiffel, la Maison de la radio, surnommée maison ronde est un bâtiment chargé d'histoire conçu par l’architecte Henry Bernard en 1963.

7 Fondation Le Corbusier

Fondation Le Corbusier, Paris © OTCP - Amélie Dupont

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.

8 Jardin des serres d’Auteuil

Jardin des serres d'Auteuil, Paris © OTCP - Amélie Dupont

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.

9 Behind the scenes at the Parc des Princes

Visite du Parc des Princes & Experience Paris Saint-Germain, vue aérienne, Paris © OTCP - DR

Take a tour of the home of the capital’s football club and discover the stadium, changing rooms, etc.

10 Stade Roland-Garros

Stade Roland Garros | © OTCP - DR

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!

11 Auteuil racecourse

Horse race at Auteuil racecourse, Paris © OTCP - Amélie Dupont

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.

12 Bois de Boulogne

Paris, Bois de Boulogne, balade en barque © OTCP - Amélie Dupont

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.

13 Longchamp racecourse

Horse race at Longchamp racecourse, Paris © OTCP - Marc Bertrand

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.

14 Parc de Bagatelle

Parc Bagatelle, Paris © OTCP - David Lefeuvre

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...

15 Fondation Louis Vuitton, innovation in motion

Fondation Louis Vuitton, vue panoramique 3, Paris © Iwan Baan Eberle for Fondation Louis Vuitton - 2014

In the 16th arrondissement, in the heart of the Bois de Boulogne, the Fondation Louis Vuitton is a singular, unique and daring building. Designed by Frank Gehry, this art foundation, a 40- metre-high glass steel vessel, in the Jardin d'Acclimatation, houses the collection of artworks of Bernard Arnault. Known worldwide for having designed the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, this eminent architect has created an architectural masterpiece. Is it an iceberg? A ship? A meteorite? In fact, the Fondation Louis Vuitton changes according to the eye of the beholder; some people see a cloud, others a boat ... And you, what do you see?