- January 31, 2019
- All things Paris
- Rupert Comer
When it comes to Sundays Paris can be slightly on the traditional side, with some supermarkets and shops closing for the day. However, there is no need to stay indoors and rest as you still have a wealth of activities and events at your fingertips. From shows and museums, to markets and parks, we’ve put together a list of our favourite Sunday activities in the City of Lights.
Sundays in Paris - See a Show
An excellent way to pass a Sunday in Paris is to see a show in one of the city’s many historic theatres. What’s more, shows are increasingly being made accessible to English-speaking audiences thanks to the use of English surtitles. You can now enjoy a truly Parisian evening of culture without having to worry about the language barrier.
Théâtre Ranelagh is a playhouse in the heart of Paris’ swanky 16th arrondissement and used to be the theatre of a château before the latter was absorbed by the expanding city. The Ranelagh is the place to go for French classic plays such as Cyrano de Bergerac, international classics like The Picture of Dorian Gray, and works by the Shakespeare of France himself, Molière. Enjoy a French cultural gem, conveniently accompanied by English subtitles. Tickets can be found here.
Chicago the Musical at Theatre Mogador
While Broadway and the West End may be considered the big centres of musical theatre, Paris has its own competitor in the form of the Théâtre Mogador. In the bustling 9th arrondissement, right next to the iconic department store Galeries Lafayette, Mogador puts on a range of musicals in its grand and striking auditorium. In the past, shows such as Chicago and Grease have been a hit with Parisians and internationals alike. Grab your tickets here.
Sundays in Paris - Visit a Museum
Most museums in Paris are open throughout the weekend and instead close on Mondays, so a Sunday afternoon is the perfect time for a cultural visit. On top of this, a great number of galleries and museums offer free admission on the first Sunday of the month! Here’s a selection of our favourite...
Palais de Tokyo
While it doesn’t have its own permanent collection, Palais de Tokyo is easily one of the best places in Paris to catch contemporary art exhibitions. As well as celebrating emerging French and international talent, the gallery has in the past also hosted exhibitions from big stars in the art world such as France’s JR and New York’s Guerilla Girls. The building itself features impressive Neoclassical architecture, and the court at the back has a trendy bar with views of the seine and the Eiffel Tower.
Protruding out of the scenic Bois de Boulogne like a sort of futuristic giant glass sail, the Fondation Louis Vuitton is a striking piece of modern architecture. Designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry (best known for his titanium-clad Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao), it is worth a visit just to see the building even if you don’t venture inside to take a look at the art. The gallery tends to focus on artists from the 20th century, and past exhibitions include a deep look into the artistic scene of South Africa.
MahJ: “Museum of Jewish Art and History”
In the heart of Paris’ historic Jewish quarter, Le Marais, The Museum of Jewish Art and History (often shortened to MahJ) offers an alternative museum experience within the impressive-looking Hôtel de Saint-Aignan. Celebrating both well-known and under-appreciated Jewish artists, thinkers and cultural figures, the museum organises exhibitions, talks and film screenings. Past exhibitions have looked at artist Marc Chagall, and intellectual Sigmund Freud, for example.
Sundays in Paris - Browse a Market
Up and running during the time of the revolution, Marché d’Aligre is one of Paris oldest markets and continues to provide fruit and veg, second hand clothes and bric-a-brac today. Located in the 12th arrondissement, the Marché d’Aligre is well placed next to the covered Beauveau market with many a butcher and fishmonger inside. Moreover, there are plenty of North African and Middle Eastern épiceries and boulangeries in the area, giving you plenty of choice.
Les Puces de Saint-Ouen
If you’re looking for antiques rather than food then Saint-Ouen’s flea market (or Les Puces de Saint-Ouen) is the place to go. Located just to the north of the city limits, Les Puces are a network of covered and uncovered antique and flea markets, ranging from swanky furniture and silverware sellers to vintage clothing stores. The perfect place to browse on a Sunday afternoon.
Paris on a Sunday - Stroll through a Park
The Coulée Verte is a park thats runs along a former railway line in the 12th arrondissement, mixing gardens and wildlife with beautiful elevated views of the city’s architecture. Beginning near Place de Bastille, the park stretches 4.5km and ends in Bois de Vincennes, Paris’ largest green space. Much like New York’s “High Line”, the Coulée Verte is an excellent way to experience the city with the park being truly integrated into the urban space.
Jardin du Luxembourg
As well as being one of Paris’ most impressive-looking gardens, the Jardin du Luxembourg is also one of its most vibrant. From concerts in the bandstand to puppet shows and chess and tennis games, there is always something going on. Located in the 6th arrondissement, right next to the historic Latin Quarter, the garden also impresses with its collection of statues, and its fountains (look out in particular for the Medici Fountain).
Built on top of a former quarry in the 19th century, Parc des Buttes Chaumont is steep and hilly, offering stunning views of the city. The park’s most famous attraction is the ‘Temple de la Sibylle’, a picturesque temple perched on top of a cliff which rises above the park’s lake. The temple can be reached by a suspension bridge, or admired from the benches next to the water.