Museum Pass

If you’re planning on visiting more than one museum in a few days you might want to get the Museum Pass (Carte Musée et Monuments), which not only offers a discount, but let’s you avoid the invariably long queues outside the major museums. It’s good at 70 different museums and monuments.

The cost depends upon how many days you need.
1 day = €13
3 day = €25.20
5 day = €39

The pass doesn’t include special exhibitions, which have an extra charge.

Tickets can be purchased at:
participating museums and monuments
major metro stations
Paris Tourist Bureau
FNAC tickets counters
Or when you buy a railpass in your home country

More info at:

Eiffel Tower

Perhaps the best loved monument in the world, the Eiffel Tower attracts millions of visitor each year. Built for the 1889 World’s Fair, at 320 meters it towers above Paris and offers stunning views of the city below. For 40 years it was the world’s tallest structure until New York’s Chrysler building topped it in 1930.

Visitors can stop at any of three observation levels, 57 meters (€3.70), 115 meters (€6.90) and the big view at 276 meters (€9.90). The view at the top is worth every Euro, too.

On each platform are displays about the design, construction and history of the tower including Gustave Eiffel’s office on the top platform. You can walk around 360 degrees to take in the view. Obviously it’s best on nice, sunny days, but the views of sunset are awesome.

There’s a cafe on the 1st level, and the Altitude 95 bar & restaurant for a more involved meal, but the real treat is the Jules Verne restaurant with it’s own elevator to the 2nd level. Reservations are essential to dine in splendor there.

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Espace Dalí

On the top of the “Butte” of Montmartre right around the corner from the Place Du Tertre, is the Espace Dalí. Here reside 300 original art works by the master of surrealism, Salvador Dalí, including sculptures, prints, paintings, book illustrations, furniture and more.

The dimly lit halls echo with trance enducing music as subtly changing lighting reveals new perspectives on Dalí’s show. Most of the works were new to me, even though I’ve followed Dalí for decades and seen most of his famous pieces.

Fascinating book illustrations for such tomes as Alice in Wonderland and Don Quixote allowed Dalí to add his surrealist touches to well known fictional characters. A series of large, bright, colorful prints from the 60s done in a sort of Warhol style depict all sorts of sexual delights, perversions and frustrations. That and the outrageous collection of sculptures and his tripped out furniture steal the show.

For those who relish delving into Dalí’s mind and symbolism, there’s English and French descriptions that explain those existential symbols so central to all Dalí’s art. With these keys you can then unlock a deeper understanding of his work and his life. Dismissed as an egotist by some, hailed as the greatest master of surrealism by others, visit this exhibit and you can judge for yourself.

I thought the 7 Euro admission was a bit steep seeing how the Louvre and the Musee D’Orsay charge about the same. But where else can you see such a collection in one place, other than perhaps Dalí’s castle in Spain. It’s a great place to dive into should the weather turn as it did when we we were visiting Sacre Coeur.

The gift shop has some interesting items including books, ties, puzzles, prints and for those with deep pockets you can even purchase some original pieces including some of the furniture and sculptures on display!

Location: 11 Rue Poulbot
75018 Paris
Metro: Anvers – Abbesses
Bus: 54, 80 Montmatrobus
Funicular from Anvers
Le Petit Train de Montmartre
Phone: 01 42 64 40 10
Fax: 01 42 64 93 17
Open: 10:00am – 6:30pm (summer til 9pm)

Naturalism Symbolism and Art Nouveau

After visiting the fabulous Musee d”Orsay recently and studying the interpretive materials therein I came to a fuller understanding of the history of art in Paris.

From the early 1500’s Paris was a hub of fashion, literature and art of all sorts. In the seventeenth century the pace picked up, and naturalism as a movement was born.

Naturalism is a period of art, and a philosophical movement which considered “nature” as being the origins of everything in the universe – rather than God. A rather shocking concept at the time indeed! France was truly scandalized!!!

Naturalist artists created faithful imitations of nature as an expression of reality, not for religious purposes, or uses. Painters began to paint for public profit rather than dispensations from the Church.

Portrait of Emile Zola by Claude Manet.

Emile Zola burst onto this “naturalist” scene with the publication of 20 novels between the years 1871 and 1893. The books follow the story of one family during the Second French Empire. (The Second French Empire and it’s architectural style is named after the reign of Napoleon III’s Second Empire in the third quarter of the 19th century.)

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