A roundabout tour of Paris

© J. Lebar

Even if you haven’t yet visited Paris, you can immediately think of at least three sights that you would like to visit at some point. Mademoiselle Lili knows other worthwhile alternatives.

This year, Auguste Rodin, France’smost famous sculptor, was a cultural highlight. On the 100th anniversary of his death, the museums outdid eachother with their centennial exhibitions. Museum Rodin in the 7th arrondissementis a vital item on the list of many visitors to Paris. What scarcely anyone knows: outsidethe gates of the city, in Meudon, there is a charming little brother museum.Two years ago, La Biosthétique presented its autumn/winter look in thesculpture studio. Even for passionate museum-goers this is still a blind spoton their cultural map. Musée Rodin in Meudon is situated high on a mountain.Secluded, steep stairs take you through old grapevines and allotments. Itoffers a beautifully expansive view of nearby Paris. This is where Rodin lived and worked.The garden was the sculptor’s final resting place. Only a few tourists arewandering through this little gem that shows you more about the man behind thiswell-known artist: After all, you can visit his private house here, theresidence of his private secretary, Bohemian-Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke.From the murals in the bathroom to the furniture and dishes, almost everythingis an original.

© J. de Calan

A boat trip along the Seine is another essential tourist activity. Justifiably so. After all, the most well-known sights, such as the Eiffel Tower, Louvre or Notre Dame, look particularly photogenic when viewed from the water. If you want to avoid the crowds, you can take a trip through the city’s canals to get to know its less familiar areas. We set off at Port de l’Arsenal near the Bastille or at Bassin de la Villette in the north-east of the city. The route takes us through locks and underground tunnels to the trendy area of Canal Saint Martin or the futuristic Parc de la Villette. Even Parisians get to know their city from a brand-new perspective.

Not Montmartre again? Of course, the district above the sails of the Moulin Rouge is really quite charming. The Butte-aux-Cailles in the south of the city, near Place d’Italie, is as rural as it is charming, but just a lot quieter. There were once windmills on the 63-metre high hill too. They are no longer there, but instead there are many stairs and narrow, traffic-free alleyways that invite you to stroll and explore, good restaurants without jacked up tourist prices, a picturesque art deco indoor swimming pool, lots of street art and small boutiques. In the Cinq Diamants Theatre, on the street of the same name, the Folies Bergères dancers used to perform their rehearsals. On your walk you should try to get a look inside the many garden residences, known as villas, to see the beautiful lifestyle there.


© D. Lefranc

Of course, there’s also an alternative to the Eiffel tower: Montparnasse Tower. The 210-metre high black colossus is of course not as a pretty as its more delicate, world-famous brother, but it offers both sublime views and short waiting times. The other advantage: there is nowhere else where you can take a more accurate picture of the full length of Paris’ famous trademark.