Fodor's Expert Review Hôtel de Ville

The Marais Government Building
Free

Overlooking the Seine, City Hall contains the residence and offices of the mayor. The original Renaissance structure was built by François I in 1535–51 and added to by both Henry IV and Louis XIII in the early 17th century. In 1871 it was sacked and burned during the final days of the Paris Commune. Rebuilt in an almost exact replica of the original in 1874, it is one of Paris's most stunning buildings, made all the more dramatic by elaborate nighttime lighting. The adjoining public library stages frequent free exhibits celebrating famous photographers like Doisneau or Atget and their notable subjects, often the city itself. (The entrance is on the side across from the department store BHV.) Alas, the impressive interior of the main administrative building, with its lavish reception halls and staircases, is open only for independent visits during Patrimony Weekend in September. If your French is good, however, free guided tours are given biweekly in summer, weekly in other seasons... READ MORE

Overlooking the Seine, City Hall contains the residence and offices of the mayor. The original Renaissance structure was built by François I in 1535–51 and added to by both Henry IV and Louis XIII in the early 17th century. In 1871 it was sacked and burned during the final days of the Paris Commune. Rebuilt in an almost exact replica of the original in 1874, it is one of Paris's most stunning buildings, made all the more dramatic by elaborate nighttime lighting. The adjoining public library stages frequent free exhibits celebrating famous photographers like Doisneau or Atget and their notable subjects, often the city itself. (The entrance is on the side across from the department store BHV.) Alas, the impressive interior of the main administrative building, with its lavish reception halls and staircases, is open only for independent visits during Patrimony Weekend in September. If your French is good, however, free guided tours are given biweekly in summer, weekly in other seasons (call two months ahead for information and reservations). The grand public square out front is always lively, playing host to events and temporary exhibitions. There's a carousel and a beach volleyball court (or similar) in summer, and an ice-skating rink (with skate rental available) in winter.

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Government Building Free

Quick Facts

Pl. de l'Hôtel-de-Ville
Paris, Île-de-France  75004, France

- 01–42–76–43–43 - tours

www.paris.fr

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: Free, Access for visits at 29 rue de Rivoli, Closed weekends

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