These magnificent buildings faces the Champs Elysees between
the metro stops Georges Clemenceau and Franklin D Roosevelt. The buildings
is striking with its double stairway entrance and glass domed roof and
cupola. Especially elegant is the entrance to the Petit Palace with gold
covered doors reminding one of a 18th century chateaux. Built for the 1900
World’s Fair at the same time as the Alexandre III Bridge, the stone
buildings with much Art Nouveau ironwork as well as a, Quad Riga (four
horsed chariot) bronze flying horses and chariots, houses special temporary
art exhibits. The exhibits are protected by a major police station in the
basement of the Grand.. While it might take a while to gain entry because of
the crowds, the exhibits are usually worth seeing. Our recent visit to the
Petit Palace offered easy access and a wonderful private collection
including some of the great masters.
enjoyed the Cezanne, the Renoir and the Modigliani works. Before you enter
the Petit Palace, on the corner facing the Seine there is a monumental
statue of Sir Winston Churchill commanding the corner. Opposite on the other
side of the river is George Clemenceau, a hero of an earlier time.
Both museums are spacious and easy to visit. Their
offerings change periodically so check before you go. This is good advice
for any museum in Paris.
Petit Palace Entrance
Rodin The Kiss
A wait in line can take up to two hours. Once you are
inside, we recommend at least one and a half hours plus lunch and a visit to
the souvenir shop.
The Grand Palace is basic and i not the best place for an
art tour but groups can walk around on their own with audio guides.
Sir Winston Churchill outside le Petit Palais
|I’ve seen exhibits of Matisse, Picasso and Klimt
at different times. They are always first class. Its for the art,
not the buildings that I go there but you will admire the Petit
Palace entrance. It’s one of the most spectacular buildings in
There are cloakrooms, modern
toilets, a souvenir shop and cafeteria. The building is spacious but
still crowded because of the popularity of the collections.
Le Petit Palace is magnificently arranged around a
pretty garden, which is a wonderful place to rest for lunch.
The Grand is not very spectacular with light blue
wooden walls that show the paintings well. The descriptions are
white on light blue and very difficult to read from far.
The façade is gray but impressive. The grounds are
not especially pleasing as the entrance is roped off for omni-present
lines of people. The setting is nice on the broad boulevard of the
Champs Elysees landscaped with splendid trees. There always seems to
be work in progress which can deter from its beauty.
Purchase your tickets in advance. Even if you have an
appropriated time, you may have to wait outside, especially at the Grand. It
can be hot, raining or very cold. Those without tickets line up in a
different line and may wait twice as long to enter. Once inside you may be
jostled by the crowds or have trouble seeing the exhibits over the crowds.
There are many guards around to assist you but limited space to rest.
Cameras with flash are not permitted.
For art lovers in Paris you’ll get your money’s worth ..
The problem is the time it takes to see the exhibit with the crowds. The
rooms are drab and uninteresting but that’s not why you go. We found viewing
difficult at times but the exhibits and descriptions first class. Even with
the long waits, the experience is worth it. Minimize your wait by purchasing
your tickets in advance. This year we just entered the Petit Palace without
tickets. It wasn’t crowded and I must say that of the two buildings, I like
the smaller one best.
These artists shown all lived around the turn of the 20th
century. There was greatness in all of them but the subject matter did
change as some devoted their style from French or Germanic traditions.
Best Time to Go:
For me it’s always crowded even though the exhibits last
for four months or longer. First thing in the morning when it opens might be
best or at the end of the day but leave ample time to see the exhibits.
Wednesday evening may be good for the Grand only.
Open daily at 10 AM. Last entrance is 45 minutes before
The best way is by Metro. It is a short walk from the
Champs Elysees stops at Clemenceau or Franklin D Roosevelt.
The Grand is at 3, av. Eisenhower open Thurs.-Mon
The Petit Palace is on Ave Winston Churchill across the
street open Tues.-Sun.
Paris 70008. There are admission charges at each.
Phone: 01 44 13 17 17 or 01 42 56 42 42 (Petit)
You can Contact Professor Arnie Greenberg at:
Over the past few years, Professor
Greenberg has traveled with groups to France, Italy, Spain, Greece,
Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg, Prague and both Sorrento and the Bay of
Naples plus most of Sicily. His tours traveled to the far reaches of the
globe including Italy and most of
China (Beijing -Hong Kong) and to Russia where his group cruised the waters
from St.Petersburg to Moscow.
"He took a group to Greece and another to northern
Russia. In Nov 07 he took a tour group to much of India and ended his tour
groups by revisiting France. He now travels with his wife and friends. They
winter in Argentina or San Miguel Mexico. His newly found spare time
is taken up with his painting and writing. "I must write every day." His
current work is a cautionary manual for would-be tour leaders.. "So
You Want To Be A Tour Leader."
Arnie now travels with friends. He continues writing
Travel articles about unusual places but often concentrates on novel
writing. Two books based on French Art will be published this year.
Keep reading his web for travel ideas. His next
novel HELLSTORM'S Folly,
will be available this fall. He now
lives in British Columbia.
www.top-travel-ideas.com or contact him directly at
(More about the writer.)