First unveiled during the Universal Exposition of 1900, the Grand Palais (Great Palace) is technically not a palace at all, but a Belle-Epoque era architectural treasure that has seen a 21st century revival after falling into semi-disuse, following its full restoration from 2001- 2008. Today, crowds gather regularly here to enjoy many of Paris' more exciting fine arts exhibitions at the National Galeries-- with recent retrospectives on the likes of Claude Monet and Georges Braque. Meanwhile, the adjoining Palais de la Découverte (Palace of Discovery) focuses on science and natural history, and can make a great outing with the kids.
Location and Contact Info:
The Grand Palais is situated in Paris' westerly 8th arrondissement (district), close to the historic Avenue des Champs-Elysées.
To access the National Galeries:
3, avenue du Général-Eisenhower
Metro: Champs-Elysées Clémenceau (Lines 1, 13)
Tel : +33 (0)1 44 13 17 17
To access the Palais de la Découverte:
Avenue Franklin D. Roosevelt
Metro: Franklin D. Roosevelt (Lines 1, 9)
Tel: +33 (0)1 56 43 20 21
Visitors with limited mobility: Access to the Grand Palais through the main administrative entrance: Avenue Winston Churchill
Opening Hours and Tickets:
Open: Every day except Tuesday, 10 am to 8 pm.
Tickets: Must be purchased separately for exhibits at the National Galeries and the Palais de la Découverte. Reservations are highly recommended as the Grand Palais' temporary exhibits are highly frequented, and many people book weeks or even months in advance. Ticket prices vary from exhibit to exhibit. Discounts are available for children, students, and seniors.
To reserve tickets online: Online ticket office (in French)
Sights and Attractions Nearby:
More Information on the National Galleries:
Parisians head to the National Galeries in part to say they've taken part in the headlining events that go on here, and roughly a million people visit the temporary exhibits here each year. Recent exhibits that have drawn impossible crowds include retrospectives of Gustav Klimt and the Vienna school, Picasso and his early influences, and exhibits with a broader scope, like the annual International Forum of Contemporary Art (FIAC).
Because the National Galeries have in recent years become wildly popular, reservations are not only recommended-- they can also be necessary.