Best Things To See And Do In The 16th Arrondissement Of Paris

Eiffel Tower from Bir-Hakeim, in blue, white and red | © Yann Caradec/Flickr
Eiffel Tower from Bir-Hakeim, in blue, white and red | © Yann Caradec/Flickr
Photo of Sophie Smith
9 February 2017

From the famous Eiffel Tower to the Museum of Modern Art, the 16th arrondissement is filled with things to see and places to go whether it’s a hot, sunny day or it’s pouring down with that notorious, or romantic, Parisian rain.

Water Lilies (Nymphéas), Musée Marmottan Monet | © Mefusbren69/Wikicommons

Surround Yourself in Monet’s Moments

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Eiffel Tower from Bir-Hakeim, in blue, white and red
Eiffel Tower from Bir-Hakeim, in blue, white and red | © Yann Caradec/Flickr
Situated in a stunning 19th-century mansion, the Musée Marmottan Monet contains more than 100 of the artist’s paintings, which were donated by his son Michel. This museum hosts the world’s largest collection of Monet’s works and is impressive in both size and content, holding some of the most famous pieces Monet ever made, including Nymphéas and Impression: Sunrise. It has also recently incorporated paintings by many of Monet’s distinguished Impressionist friends, such as: Morisot, Sisley, Renoir, Pissarro and Daumier. This place is great if you’re running from a rainy day, a passionate lover of the Impressionist style, or even if you’re just interested in a glimpse of Monet’s life. This museum is easily accessible by the metro station La Muette or the RER Boulainvilliers.

Take in Paris’ Biggest Icon

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Forest of Gunpowder Trees, Palais de Tokyo
Forest of Gunpowder Trees, Palais de Tokyo | © Amy Ross/Flickr
Although the Eiffel Tower is actually situated in the 7th arrondissement, there are plenty of great places in the 16ththat boast stunning views of the city’s mascot. The best viewpoint is Trocadéro, sitting just across the Seine from the tower and boasting impressive water displays at the Fontaine de Varsovie(Warsaw Fountain). Just a kilometer down the road, there is Pont de Bir-Hakeim, an early 20th-century two-level bridge that gives an astonishing view of the tower next to the Seine, especially at night when the tower is lit up. If you prefer a view from your dinner table, you can dine at Hôtel Raphael at “Le 17” on the terrace rooftop garden – leave your shorts at home, as this place is fancy.

Play in a Perspective Playground

Building, Museum, Art Gallery
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Although the Palais de Tokyo only opened in 2002, this contemporary art museum has been widely hailed as a great success. It’s one of the largest contemporary art institutions in Europe and displays some of the most current and innovative exhibitions that exist in the city center, including the global Perspective Playground exhibition and Exit, which ran alongside the COP21 of 2015. It’s also home to The Toyko Eat and Monsieur Blue, two critically acclaimed and new-style restaurants, as well as a great bookshop and garden. This museum is well worth a visit, and an easy stopover from the Trocadéro.

Travel to the Far East

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The Kooples, Paris
The Kooples, Paris | © Patrick Gaudin/Flickr
With five thousand years of Asian art at your feet, there is no way to miss Musée Guimet. The largest Asian art museum in Europe, it contains everything from Greco-Buddhist to Indian art, and even has a special wing (called the Panthéon Bouddhique) that’s dedicated to Japanese and Chinese art (complete with Eastern tea garden). This museum is actually a direct replica of the Musée Guimet de Lyon, which was so successful that Emile Guimet transferred the collections in 1889. Watch out for the striking life-sized replica of the Cambodian temple of Angkor Wat.

Indulge in Parisian Boutique Shopping

Rue de Passy is one of the biggest and busiest shopping streets in the 16th, boasting an array of hot French boutiques, Passy Plaza (a mall comprising 26 shops) and the Franck & Fils department store. Known for its expensive, chic stores (including French mainstays: The Kooples, Zadig et Voltaire, Maje, and a three-story Isabel Marant) this street is brimming with rich Parisians and a smattering of Art Nouveau lovers. If your wallet’s starting to feel a bit worse for wear (and you’re asking yourself why you just paid six euros for a cappuccino), take heart: there are also plenty of reasonable chain stores (Gap and H&M) as well as some lovely cafés if you just fancy enjoying the bubbling atmosphere.

Musée Galliera | © mbzt/WikiCommons

Dive into the History of Fashion

Museum, Building
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For the fashionistas and style lovers, Palais Galliera is a museum of fashion situated in an impressive building inspired by architecture of the Renaissance period. Only displaying contemporary exhibitions and without a permanent collection, this museum is one of the most current in Paris, showcasing both monographic (famous couturiers or figureheads of fashion) to thematic (by the decade or the influences) exhibitions. With costumes from Marie-Antoinette to Audrey Hepburn, accessories from Sophia Loren to Sacha Guitry, and illustrations from Pierre Louchel to Bernard Blossac, this museum boasts a mass of famous names and pieces from all of the best ages.

Visit the Flame of Liberty

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A gift from the USA to France on the 100th anniversary of the publishing of an English newspaper in 1987, this impressive gold-leaf statue is a replica of the NY Statue of Liberty’s flame, and a symbol of lasting the international friendship between the U.S. and France. The monument has become a kind of unofficial memorial for Princess Diana, whose tragic and fatal accident occurred in the Alma bridge tunnel below the statue. Renowned globally for her dedication to charitable and social works for a wide range of organisations, including The Great Ormond Street Hospital and Barnardos, people from all over the world have come to pay their respects to the Princess, laying flowers and poems by the statue in commemoration.

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