Le Palais Royal is one of Paris’s most famous landmarks and an iconic symbol of the city’s rich history and cultural heritage. Situated in the heart of the city, this magnificent palace has been the centre of political power, cultural activity, and artistic expression for centuries. From its stunning architecture to its fascinating history, Le Palais Royal is a must-see for anyone visiting Paris. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the rich history of this magnificent palace and explore its many attractions, from the beautiful gardens to the world-renowned shopping arcades. Whether you are a first-time visitor or a seasoned Parisian, this guide will help you discover Le Palais Royal’s majesty and experience all it has to offer.
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Le Palais Royal in Paris: a short history
Le Palais Royal, also known as the Royal Palace, was originally built in 1633 for Cardinal Richelieu, the Chief Minister of King Louis XIII. After his death, the palace was passed on to Louis XIV, who transformed it into the centre of political power and cultural activity in Paris. Le Palais Royal was home to many important events throughout the centuries, including the signing of the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, which marked the end of the Thirty Years War, and the establishment of the French Republic in 1792.
In the 18th century, Le Palais Royal was transformed into a centre of fashion and cultural activity, attracting artists, writers, and intellectuals worldwide. The famous gardens, designed by André Le Nôtre, the landscape architect of Versailles, became a popular gathering place for the city’s high society.
In the 19th century, the palace gained a shopping arcade, and its popularity only continued to grow. Today, Le Palais Royal is one of Paris’s most iconic landmarks. It is home to various shops, museums, and galleries, making it a must-visit for anyone travelling to the city.
What are the highlights of the Palais Royal in Paris?
- The Gardens: The stunning gardens of Le Palais Royal are a true oasis in the heart of Paris. Designed by André Le Nôtre, the famous landscape architect of Versailles, these gardens are a perfect place to relax and enjoy the beauty of the city.
- The Shopping Arcades: Le Palais Royal is famous for its shopping arcades, which offer an unparalleled shopping experience. From designer boutiques to art galleries, there is something for everyone at this iconic Parisian landmark.
- The Columns of Buren: A modern art installation by Daniel Buren, the Columns of Buren is a must-see for anyone interested in contemporary art. The colourful columns are a unique contrast to the classical architecture of Le Palais Royal.
- The Musée de la Daumess: The Musée de la Daumess is dedicated to the works of one of France’s most famous sculptors, Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux. With its stunning collection of sculptures, this museum is a true treasure trove of artistic masterpieces.
- The Galerie de Valois: The Galerie de Valois is a beautiful glass-covered arcade that runs along the perimeter of the gardens. With its stunning architecture and elegant atmosphere, this arcade is the perfect place to enjoy a coffee or a bite to eat.
These are just a few highlights of Le Palais Royal in Paris. Whether you are interested in history, art, or simply soaking up the beauty of the city, this iconic landmark is a must-visit for anyone travelling to Paris.
Contemporary Art exhibitions in Le Palais Royal
Le Palais Royal is not only known for its rich history, but it is also a prominent venue for contemporary art exhibitions. Some of the contemporary art exhibitions that can be found at Le Palais Royal include:
- Columns of Buren: This modern art installation by Daniel Buren is a series of striped columns that are spread throughout the courtyard of Le Palais Royal. The colourful columns add a unique and contemporary touch to the classical architecture of the palace.
- Site-Specific Installations: Le Palais Royal regularly features site-specific installations by some of the world’s leading contemporary artists. These installations are designed to interact with the palace’s architecture and the surrounding gardens, creating a unique and immersive experience for visitors.
- Temporary Art Exhibitions: In addition to its permanent installations, Le Palais Royal hosts temporary art exhibitions by some of the world’s most famous artists. These exhibitions showcase a variety of contemporary art styles, from painting and sculpture to video and performance art.
Visitors can enjoy these contemporary art exhibitions throughout the year and experience the beauty and diversity of modern art in the heart of Paris. Le Palais Royal is a unique and inspiring venue for contemporary art and a must-visit for anyone interested in the art world.
Can you visit Le Palais Royal in Paris?
Yes, Le Palais Royal is open to visitors and is one of Paris’s most popular tourist attractions. The palace is located in the heart of the city, just a few steps from the Louvre Museum and the Jardin des Tuileries. Visitors can stroll through the palace’s beautiful gardens, admire the historic architecture, and take in the contemporary art exhibitions on display.
Visitors can freely access the palace’s courtyards, gardens, and heritage arcades. However, access to the palace’s galleries and exhibitions may require an admission fee. It is recommended to check the palace’s website or contact their visitor information centre for the latest information on admission fees and opening hours.
How to get to Le Palais Royal in Paris
Le Palais Royal is located in the heart of Paris, making it easily accessible by public transportation. Here are the steps to get to Le Palais Royal by public transport:
- Take the metro: The closest metro stations to Le Palais Royal are Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre (lines 1 and 7) and Pyramides (line 14). Once you arrive at the station, follow the signs to the palace.
- Take the bus: Several bus lines stop near Le Palais Royal, including lines 21, 27, 39, 48, 67, and 69. Check the RATP (Parisian public transportation) website for information on the latest bus routes and schedules.
- Take the RER train: The RER B train stops at Châtelet – Les Halles, which is just a few minutes walk from Le Palais Royal. From there, follow the signs to the palace.
It is recommended to check the RATP website for the latest information on public transportation schedules and routes, as they may change periodically.
Best places to stay near Le Palais Royal in Paris
Le Palais Royal is located in the heart of Paris, making it an ideal destination for travellers looking to stay near one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Here are some of the best hotels near Le Palais Royal:
- Hôtel Molière: This charming hotel is located just a few steps from Le Palais Royal, making it the perfect place to stay for travellers looking to experience the majesty of this historic palace. Hôtel Molière offers comfortable and well-appointed rooms, a central location, and a friendly and helpful staff. Book today.
- Nolinski Paris: This luxurious hotel is just a few minutes from Le Palais Royal, making it an ideal destination for travellers looking for a more upscale experience. Nolinski Paris offers spacious and elegantly appointed rooms, a stunning rooftop terrace, and a range of world-class amenities and services. Check price and availability.
- Hotel Ducs de Bourgogne: This charming hotel is located just a few blocks from Le Palais Royal, making it a convenient and affordable option for travellers looking to stay near the palace. Hotel Ducs de Bourgogne offers comfortable and well-appointed rooms, a central location, and friendly and helpful staff. Book a room now.
- Hôtel Le Relais des Halles: This charming hotel is just a few minutes from Le Palais Royal, making it a convenient and affordable option for travellers staying near the palace. Hôtel Le Relais des Halles offers comfortable and well-appointed rooms, a central location, and a friendly and helpful staff. Check out the rooms.
- Château Voltaire: This historic hotel is just a few minutes from Le Palais Royal, making it a unique and affordable option for travellers looking to stay near the palace. Château Voltaire offers comfortable and well-appointed rooms, a central location, and friendly and helpful staff. Get the best price today.
Best things to do near Le Palais Royal
Le Palais Royal is located in the heart of Paris, making it an ideal destination for travellers exploring the city’s many sights and attractions. Here are some of the best things to do near Le Palais Royal:
- Musée du Louvre: The Louvre Museum is one of the most famous museums in the world and is located just a few steps from Le Palais Royal. Visitors can see thousands of works of art and artefacts worldwide, including the iconic Mona Lisa.
- Jardin des Tuileries: The Tuileries Garden is a beautiful park just a few minutes from Le Palais Royal. Visitors can stroll through the park, relax on the lawn, or take a picnic to enjoy the shade of the trees.
- Place Vendôme: Place Vendôme is a beautiful square located just a few minutes from Le Palais Royal. Visitors can admire the stunning architecture of the buildings surrounding the square, including the famous Hôtel Ritz Paris.
- Notre-Dame Cathedral: The Notre-Dame Cathedral is one of Paris’s most famous landmarks and is just a few minutes from Le Palais Royal.
- Shopping on the Champs-Élysées: The Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous shopping streets in the world and is located just a few minutes from Le Palais Royal. Visitors can browse the many high-end shops and boutiques that line the street and treat themselves to a luxurious shopping experience.
Lieze Neven is a globetrotting travel writer and expat currently based in Nepal. With a passion for exploration, she has lived in Dubai, the UK, and Belgium, alongside her international teacher husband. Her parents live in France and she tries to visit Paris at least once a year. Together, they travel the world looking for the best hotels, experiences and food locations have to offer!