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Sightseeing in Paris

The sightseer can choose their own Paris - the nostalgic should wander around the mansions of the Marais district, the Musee Carnavalet, 23 rue de Sevigne, 3rd, Hotel de Sully, 62 rue St-Antoine 4th, up to the Place des Vosges, home to the Maison de Victor Hugo. Monet's Water Lillies can be glimpsed at the Musee de l'Orangerie when it re-opens in autumn 2001 and changing exhibitions of modern art at the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, both in the Tuileries garden. Those interested in modern design should opt for the Centre Georges Pompidou, corner of rue Beaubourg and rue Rambuteau, 4th, Jean Nouvel's Institut du Monde Arabe, 1 rue des Fosses-St-Bernard, 5th, or the Grande Arche de la Defense - its high-speed glass lift offers a spectacular view of Paris. The Grande Arche, which lies along the same historic axis as Napoleon's Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Elysees, was built a century and a half later. This incongruity - where the modern city is juxtaposed with the old - is part of the charm of Paris.

Paris is overrun with museums, ranging from the vast collections of the Louvre to the small and quirky - such as the Musee des Arts Forains, 53 avenue des-Terroires-de-France, 12th, a shrine to fairground art. Those who have not been to Paris for a few years, will be surprised at the number of new additions. The Musee d'Art et d'Histoire du Judaïsme (Museum of Jewish Art and History) is one example, in a lovely town house in the Marais, Hotel de St-Aignan, 71 rue du Temple, 3rd. Also now well-established are the Musee de la Musique, Cite de la Musique, 221 avenue Jean-Jaurès, 19th, and the Musee de la Mode et du Textile (Fashion and Textile Museum), 107 rue de Rivoli, Palais du Louvre, 1st. The Musee de la Publicite (Museum of Advertising) opened in 1999, at the Palais du Louvre, 107 rue de Rivoli, 1st.

Tourist Information

Central Tourist Office (Convention & Visitors Bureau)
L'Office de Tourisme et des Congrès de Paris
127 avenue des Champs-Elysees, 8th
Tel: (01) 08 36 68 31 12. Fax: (01) 4952 5300.
Website: www.paris-touristoffice.com
E-mail: info@paris-touristoffice.com
Opening hours: Summer daily 0900-2000; winter Mon-Sat 0900-2000 and Sun 1100-1800.

Tourist offices are also located at the Gare de Lyon (Mon-Sat 0800-2000) and Eiffel Tower (May to Sep daily 1100-1800).

Passes
The Carte Musees et Monuments pass allows free admission to 70 museums and monuments in the Paris region. The pass is for sale (FFr80 for one day, FFr160 for three days, FFr240 for five days) from the Central Tourist Office, the regional tourist office (Carrousel du Louvre), in participating museums and monuments, the main metro stations and FNAC stores. The pass allows visitors to bypass queues but does not provide free admission to special exhibitions.



 
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