After Class Activities

Our program allows you plenty of time to discover your new country, culture, traditions and everyday life after your class is over.

Examples of typical cultural opportunities: Tour Eiffel, Notre-Dame, Musee du Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, Basilique du Sacre-Coeur, Numerous Parks and Gardens, Concert Halls, Chateau de Versailles, Cathedrale de Chartres.

Top Highlights: See What Paris is Famous For

Eiffel Tower:

The Eiffel Tower towers over the Champ de Mars in the seventh arrondissement. The top floor offers a sweeping panorama of Paris. From directly underneath there is a fascinating view of the delicate ironwork of Gustave Eiffel, commissioned to build the tower for the Exposition Universelle in 1889.

Cathedrale de Notre-Dame:

The stocky Notre-Dame Cathedral, on the Ile-de-la-Cite, like the Eiffel Tower is an amazing marvel to behold. Bishop Maurice de Sully began construction in 1163 to outshine the new abbey at St-Denis; work was completed in 1345. The result is a Gothic masterpiece, with three stunning rose windows.

Chateau de Versailles:

No sooner had Louis XIV set eyes on his finance minister’s chateau at Vaux-le-Victomte, he decided to build one bigger and better. The result is one of the three most visited monuments in France. Construction began in 1664 and continued until Louis XIV’s death in 1715. Much of the palace can only be visited with a guide, with the notable exception of the 73-metre (240-ft) Galerie des Glaces (Hall of Mirrors) where the Treaty of Versailles was signed, that ended World War I.

It is worth queuing for a guided tour, if only to recapture the ritualistic atmosphere of the reign of the Sun King, whose actions were considered as miraculous as the movements of the sun itself. The honoured elite among the 20,000 courtiers and royal ministers were obliged to relocate to the palace and observed these banal rituals with awe. The chateau is set in the landscaped park designed by Le Notre, open daily from dawn until dusk and free.

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Main Sights: Get to Know Paris

Arc de Triomphe:

The largest triumphal arch in the world. Commissioned by Napoleon in honor of his Grande Army and its 128 victorious battles.

 

Musee National du Louvre:

The Louvre first opened to the public in 1793 following the Revolution, a showcase of the art treasures of the kings of France. The museum is organized into three wings on four floors: Richelieu (along rue Rivoli), Sully (around cour Carree) and Denon (along the Seine).

The vast permanent collection includes Greek, Etruscan, Roman, Egyptian and Oriental antiquities, French, Spanish, Italian and northern European sculpture and 19th-century objets d’art. The painting collection is the strongest, with French, Italian, Dutch, German, Flemish and Spanish masterpieces from the mid-13th to the mid-19th centuries.

Most famed French works include David’s Coronation of Napoleon, Ingres’ The Turkish Bath, Gericault’s depiction of disaster, The Raft of the Medusa and Delacroix’s ode to revolution, Liberty Leading the People. The Mona Lisa, in a bulletproof case, will be given its own room

Champs-de-Elysees:

The avenue runs for 2 kilometers (1.25 miles) through the 8th arrondissement in northwestern Paris, from the Place de la Concorde in the east, with the Obelisk of Luxor, to the Place Charles de Gaulle (formerly the Place de l Étoile) in the west, location of the Arc de Triomphe. The Champs-Élysées forms part of the Axe historique.

One of the principal tourist destinations in Paris, the lower part of the Champs-Élysées is bordered by trees and by buildings such as the Théâtre Marigny and the Grand Palais (containing the Palais de la Découverte). The Élysée Palace is slightly to the north, but not on the avenue itself. Further to the west, the avenue is lined with cinemas, cafés and restaurants and luxury specialty shops. The Champs-Élysées ends at the Arc de Triomphe, built by Napoleon Bonaparte to honour his victories.

 

Le Moulin Rouge:

The Moulin Rouge is best known as the birthplace of the "can-can" dance. Originally introduced as a seductive dance by the courtesans who operated from the site, the can-can dance revue evolved into a form of entertainment of its own and led to the introduction of cabarets across Europe. Today the Moulin Rouge is a tourist destination, offering musical dance entertainment for visitors from around the world. Much of the romance of turn-of-the-century France is still present in the club's decor.

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Excursions: Explore More of The Region

Chateau de Versailles:No sooner had Louis XIV set eyes on his finance minister s chateau at Vaux-le-Victomte, than he decided to build one bigger and better. The result is one of the three most visited monuments in France. Construction began in 1664 and continued until Louis XIV s death in 1715. Much of the palace can only be visited with a guide, with the notable exception of the 73-metre (240-ft) Galerie des Glaces (Hall of Mirrors) where the Treaty of Versailles was signed, bringing World War I to an end. It is worth queuing for a guided tour, if only to recapture the ritualistic atmosphere of the reign of the Sun King, whose actions were considered as miraculous as the movements of the sun itself. The honoured elite among the 20,000 courtiers and royal ministers were obliged to relocate to the palace and observed these banal rituals with awe. The chateau is set in the landscaped park designed by Le Notre, open daily from dawn until dusk and free.

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Architecture: Discover Unique Styles & Structures

 

Eiffel Tower:

The Eiffel Tower literally towers over the Champ de Mars in the smart seventh arrondissement. The top (third) floor offers a sweeping panorama of Paris. From directly underneath there is a fascinating view of the delicate ironwork of Gustave Eiffel, commissioned to build the tower for the Exposition Universelle in 1889, the Revolution’s centenary.

 

Arc de Triomphe:

The largest triumphal arch in the world. Commissioned by Napoleon in honor of his Grande Army and its 128 victorious battles.

 

Sacre-Coeur:

A long, wide series of steps lead to the snowy white domed Sacre-Coeur that dominates Montmartre. A mishmash of styles, the Catholic church was built between 1870-1919 to atone for the ’sins’ of the Commune. The interior is bright with neo-Byzantine mosaics and the domed tower offers a spectacular view over Paris.

 

Centre Georges Pompidou:

Commonly known as the Beaubourg, this distinctive building was commissioned in 1968 by the then President Georges Pompidou, and opened in 1977. Most Parisians were initially shocked by its unconventional inside out architectural style; air conditioning, escalators and lifts are all on the outside, giving the interior unparalleled freedom. Extensively refurbished in the late 1990s, the centre is home to the Musee National d Art Moderne and the Bibliothèque Publique d Information (BPI) as well as temporary exhibitions, cinemas, and other attractions

 

Cathedrale de Notre-Dame:

The stocky Notre-Dame Cathedral, on the Ile-de-la-Cita, could not be more different from the filigree Eiffel Tower. Bishop Maurice de Sully began construction in 1163 to outshine the new abbey at St-Denis; work was completed in 1345. The result is a Gothic masterpiece, with three stunning rose windows.

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Museums: Experience The History of Past Generations & Cultures

 

Museum National du Louvre:

The Louvre first opened to the public in 1793 following the Revolution, a showcase of the art treasures of the kings of France. The museum is organized into three wings on four floors: Richelieu (along rue Rivoli), Sully and Denon (along the Seine). The vast permanent collection includes Greek, Etruscan, Roman, Egyptian and Oriental antiquities, French, Spanish, Italian and northern European sculpture and 19th-century objets d art. The painting collection is the strongest, with French, Italian, Dutch, German, Flemish and Spanish masterpieces from the mid-13th to the mid-19th centuries. Most famed French works include David's Coronation of Napoleon, Ingres The Turkish Bath, the depiction of disaster, The Raft of the Medusa and Delacroix s ode to revolution, Liberty Leading the People. The Mona Lisa, in a bulletproof case, will be given its own room by December 2002. Until then, it is temporarily on display in room 13 on the first floor of the Denon wing.

 

Museum National Picasso:

Paris-based Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) owned most of this collection, the largest worldwide, housed in a 17th-century mansion in the Marais. All phases of his art are represented, with preparatory sketches and paintings covering the Blue Period, Rose Period, Cubism, Classicism, Surrealism and sculptures ranging from a huge plaster head to a small cat. Memorable works include the Blue Period self-portrait Paolo as Harlequin, the surreal Nude in an Armchair and poignant paintings of Marie-Therese. Photographs are displayed alongside the works they inspired and African masks with Picasso s primitive wood carvings. There is also a glimpse of the artist s personal taste in paintings, with his Matisse and Cafezanne paintings displayed.

 

Giverny:

Monet lived in countrified Giverny, 80km (50 miles) northwest of Paris, from 1883 until his death in 1926. The house, in which he painted his last, vast water lily canvas, is open to the public as Museum Claude Monet. Although the house retains much of its charm, the artist s studio is now a large and over-commercialised gift shop - Monet is, after all, big business. Although many of the original paintings are now at the Museum d Orsay, the inspiration behind them remains here: the famed water lily pond and Japanese footbridges.

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Shopping: Don t Forget Your Souvenirs

The Parisian ideal is elegant rather than funky. Trends may come and go but Paris is always at the forefront and there are few cities where you can find so many top-quality designers. The exclusive designer shops are in the 8th, enclosed in the golden triangle formed by the avenue des Champs-Elyse, avenue Montaigne andrue Franois and along the rue de Faubourg St-Honora. A less rarefied but typically Parisian shopping experience is to be had at the main department stores on the boulevard Haussmann, 8th - Les Galeries Lafayette with its huge coloured dome and Au Printemps.

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Nightlife: Let s Get The Party Started

When planning an evening out in Paris, it is more important to decide where to go than what to do. The Champs-Elyses and Trocadro areas are full of tourists and overpriced nightspots, but if wishing to impress, may be worth considering. Pigalle is the seedy sex centre of Paris but home to some good music venues and the Moulin Rouge cabaret. Bastille is buzzing with bars and clubs but is a bit too hectic for some. The best area for an evening's cafe-hopping is the Marais district, (also the centre of the gay scene), closely followed by the increasingly fashionable Oberkampf, which suits a younger crowd. Most cafes in Paris are considered bars as well - by virtue of their long opening hours and the fact that the same place you might have a coffee, you could also have a beer.

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