We love the streets, the shops, and the parks of the 16h Arrondissement, located across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower in the southwest corner of Paris. This large Paris arrondissement is filled with pleasant residential neighborhoods like Passy and Auteuil and Trocadero. The 16th sprawls from the Bois de Boulogne right up to the base of the Arc de Triomphe, where it meets up with the 8th and the 17th arrondissements.
A feeling of luxury, or at least comfort, maintains and, if you want to see how well-off Parisians live, it's worth a Metro ride to Passy. You'll be rewarded with an enclave of narrow streets with some of the best luxury food shopping in Paris. It is one of the largest arrondissements in Paris, since it also takes in the many hectares of the Bois de Boulogne. There are a lot of things like here — it was difficult to keep our list down to fourteen!
We've said it before, but it's worth repeating — the best place to view the Eiffel Tower is from across the river, in the 16th Arrondissement, from the plaza at Trocadero. From here the Tower seems to float on the horizon. The best time to go is early in the morning, before the crowds arrive, as the sun rises behind the tower.
Starting from here it's a very nice approach to the Eiffel Tower. Walk down the broad staircases past the Trocadero's gardens and fountains, and cross the Seine on Pont d'Iena to take you right to the base of the tower. (Soon, by the way, the bridge will be permanently closed to traffic and there will be gardens from the Trocadero right to the base of the Tower.)
The Trocadero is more than just a pretty viewing platform. In the two curved wings stretching out from the central plaza are some interesting museums. By the way, although we familiarly refer to the complex as "The Trocadero", the buildings are actually called Palais de Chaillot, named after the hill the complex is located atop. (And which accounts for the great view across the river.)
Musée de la Marine, the national naval museum, is the place for those who are curious about the history of French seafaring. There are lots of models and historic paintings but what we found most fascinating was the actual coronation barge used by Napoleon III.
The name of this museum is a mouthful and part of the museum is, in fact, a repository for architectural details rescued from buildings that were being demolished. So, there are a lot of marble columns and reliefs and that kind of thing, out of context since the buildings they adorned are long gone. These things are the "Patrimoine" part of the museum.
What we like about this museum (or "Cité", as they have it) are the special exhibitions found on the second floor. This is the "Architecture" section and we've discovered so many fascinating special architectural exhibits here that it's always worth a visit. Another bonus is the magnificent view of the Eiffel Tower from the very tall second-story windows.
The architectural bookstore is one of our very favorites and we enjoy spending time (and money!) there. Off and on, there's been a small refreshment area on the main floor where it's been nice to stop for a drink and to take in the Tower views from the terrace. It's a shame their website is so lame!
Who would have thought of this concept? Cinema plus an aquarium — together at last. This modern-idea of a fish tank is located in the gardens of the Trocadero and we found it interesting for both children and adults. The place is huge — 3,500 square meters, all located underground, with over 500 species of marine life.
There are activities, fish petting tanks, a large projection theatre, one of those glass tunnels with water all around you, and tons and tons of fish.
A Day in the Champagne Region, with Hotel Pick-up & Lunch
Champagne Tour from Paris: Moet & Chandon, Hautvillers, and the House of Mumm
Get a real feeling for the 16th Arrondissement on this Paris Insiders Guide Promenade. Start out by admiring the morning view from the Trocadero, across to the Eiffel Tower. Find Rue Benjamin Franklin and head southwest to Place de Costa Rica, where you can admire the small place with its pedestal clock.
Cross the place and take Rue Raynouard, but look out for a doorway on your left called Rue des Eaux. Go through and take the steps down to Rue Charles Dickens. It's a fascinating narrow stairway/alley. At the bottom, if you have time, turn left and walk a few steps to Place Charles Dickens where you can visit the Musée du Vin. Otherwise, turn right on Rue Charles Dickens and pass into Parc de Passy and the pleasant housing development that surrounds it. Turn around for a moment to take in the view of the Eiffel Tower, sit down on a bench and rest for a moment.
Take the wide stairway on your right up to Avenue Marcel Proust, turn left and head southeast to find the narrow passageway called Rue Berton. This cobblestone alley takes you to Maison Balzac, the house of the famous writer, and a plaque indicating the border of the former town of Passy.
You'll find a stairway on your right (pictured above) that takes you up to Rue Raynouard again. Go right along Raynouard to Rue de l'Annonciation and turn left. Follow this to the end where it becomes a pedestrian market street. Turn right on Rue Duban, the left on Rue de Passy and walk west to La Muette, the attractive shopping area of Passy. If you started your walk at 10:00 AM, you can now have lunch at restaurant La Gare, formerly the train station serving the quartier.
What's not to like about a museum dedicated to wine? Especially one created by the organization dedicated to the promotion and protection of French wine around the world — Le Conseil des Echansons de France. The museum is housed in the former wine cellars of the Passy Abbey, built into the high banks — sort of a cliff, really — beneath Rue Raynouard.
Filled with historical items relating to wine growing and production, we found the museum fascinating. What we liked best, though, was the flight of wine tastings we did at the end of our visit. Musée du Vin also includes a restaurant, a gift shop, and meeting facilities.
This 845-hectare wooded park is known as one of the "lungs" of Paris, because of the oxygen its forests breathe into the city. (The other "lung" is on the opposite end of Paris, Bois de Vincennes.) The bois is what's left of an ancient oak forest that was the hunting ground of French kings going back to the 7th century and Dagobert, the king of the Franks .
The current Bois de Boulogne dates to the 19th-century reign of Emperor Napoleon III, who donated the land to the city of Paris. Under Napoleon III and his urban planner, Haussmann, islands and waterfalls were created as well as tree-lined boulevards and meandering alleys.
Today, the large parkland is home to two equestrian race tracks, horse riding trials, ponds, waterfalls, hiking trials, row boats for hire, and the Roland Garros tennis complex.
This 160-year-old park still retains much of the feeling of a 19th-century children's amusement park. We like the arcade area with old-fashioned fishing games, archery range, a miniature train, and a good playground. There's still a small petting zoo and, all-in-all, it's a fun afternoon outing with the kids.
In more recent decades the park has been somewhat updated. There are fairground rides, a water playground, even zip lining. A children's science museum has been added as well as the modernistic building for the Louis Vuitton Foundation, designed by Frank Gehry. Jardin d'Acclimatation is at the very north end of the Bois de Boulogne, abutting the city of Neuilly-sur-Seine.
Best of Versailles. Skip the Line, with Transportation & Lunch
Skip-the-Line Guided Tour to Versailles, with Transportation
One of our most memorable dining experiences in Paris was in the Bois de Boulogne, at a restaurant that was formerly the hunting lodge of Napoleon III. La Grande Cascade is named for the waterfall it sits next to. Presiding over the kitchen of this Michelin-starred restaurant is master chef Frederic Robert — talented, distinguished, thoughtful, immaculate.
This is one of the Paris restaurants we include as "Worth a Splurge". The room is 19th-century spectacular and the veranda in the summer months is the place to be.
Here's another 16th Arrondissement restaurant we like, but located closer to Place Victor Hugo in the center of the quartier. This one also has a Michelin star and it is run by the clever Chef Jean-Louis Nomicos. (There was a clue in the restaurant's name.) Nomicos is famous for having invented the world's most expensive macaroni — macaroni, truffles noires, foie gras de canard, céleri, jus de veau, parmesan gratinés. That's right, pasta stuffed with black truffles and foie gras. While many other Parisian restaurants have now copied this dish, his is still the best by far. Incidentally, Nomicos is also the s=chef who won the Michelin star for La Grande Cascade, before leaving to start his own restaurant.
Located on a pleasant stretch of street in a mostly residential area, Nomicos has one of the most amazing kitchens we've ever seen. Located in the basement, there are distinct work and prep areas for every aspect of restaurant cooking — vegetables, fish, neat, baking, etc.
Palais de Tokyo is a grand limestone building constructed for the International Exhibition of Arts and Technology of 1937. It's now home to a couple of modern art spaces. (Appropriately, the building was initially named Palais des Musées d'Art Moderne.)
One side of the palais is given over to an experimental art space called Le Pavillon. (Today, when most people mention "Palais de Tokyo" they're referring to this space.) There are no permanent exhibits, just artist work space and special shows curated by various art people. There's always something to see there, but it can be a bit… puzzling. Now that we've shown that we're philistines, we'll tell you about the other half of the building, which we do like.
Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris is, as you can guess, the modern art museum of the city of Paris. There is some great stuff to be seen in here, and the museum is free. You can see Modigliani's The Woman With Blue Eyes, Robert Delaunay's wonderful La Ville de Paris, and other works by giants of modern art like Picasso, Braque, Calder, Keith Haring, Pierre Bonnard.
What you won't see are Picasso's Le Pigeon Aux Petits Pois , Modigliani's Woman with a Fan, or Fernand Leger's Still Life with Candlestick. That's because these are three of the five paintings that were stolen on May 20, 2010. Given the value of these paintings (well over €100 million) it's been called the "heist of the century". As soon as the theft was discovered the museum reacted in calm, rational way — it closed its doors for years. Luckily, it's now open again and better than ever… hopefully with an improved alarm system.
The Arc de Triomphe sits on the spot where the 16th, 17th, and 8th Arrondissements meet, so at least a bit of it is in the 16th Arrondissement. See that corner of the Arc nearest to you in the photo? That's the 16th.
The Guimet Museum (as it is otherwise known) boasts an unrivaled collection from Asian civilizations with over 20,000 objects covering seven millennia of art. The Himalayan collection is a highlight but there are also collections covering China, Japan, India, Korea, Afghanistan, Southeast Asia, and Central Asia.
We've saved one of our favorite Paris museums for last. It's our favorite because we're fans of Monet and Impressionism, and this museum contains good representations from his life's work. It was Claude Monet's son, Michel, who donated his father's collection to Musée Marmottan in 1966. Up until then the museum contained mostly pieces from the time of Napoleon, so today the museum is a mixture of the two distinct, opposing collections.
In 1985 there was a dramatic art theft from Musée Marmottan featuring five masked and armed robbers. One of the paintings stolen was Monet's uber-famous Impression: Sunrise, the work that gave the name to the entire Impressionist movement. A daring police operation that involved French thugs and Japanese heroin traffickers resulted in a round-up of the thieves and the return of all the art.
Musée Marmottan-Monet faces on to the lovely Jardin du Ranelagh, a kind of small version of Luxembourg. There are 2 or 3 intriguing special exhibitions each year. We saw a great one once on the Japanese prints collected by Monet himself.
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The 16th spreads out from the Arc de Triomphe right down to the farthest southwest corner of Paris. That's a lot of territory and a lot of room for hotels. The two poles of the hotel world of the 16th are near the Arc, right up with the 8th Arrondissement's luxe accommodations, and in the residential area around Passy/La Muette. Of course there are other hotels scattered in between.
Up there in the stratosphere of luxury hotels is the Shangri-La Paris, one of the Palace hotels of France. This high-end hotel has everything, including views of the Eiffel Tower and 37 rooms with private terraces. Located in the luxe area near the 8th, the service here is exceptional. In fact, everything is exceptional! Find out what we say in our review.
This was formerly the Hotel Majestic when it was the hotel of choice for celebrities of the Jazz Age from 1908 into the 1930s. After a complete luxury makeover in 2014, the place re-opened as the Peninsula Paris, to rave reviews. The renovation took almost six years and now everything is brand-spanking new yet with careful attention to historic detail.
Here we present our curated list of the twenty most highly-rated hotels in the 16th Arrondissement of Paris. These are the places that visitors have loved staying at and that have received our highest rankings — from "Highly Rated" right up to the top rating of "Superb-Plus".
• Heart of Paris: 1st & 2nd…
• The Marais: 3rd & 4th…
• The Islands…
• The Latin Quarter: The 5th…
• Saint-Germain: The 6th…
• Eiffel Tower: The 7th…
• 8th: Champs Elysées…
• 9th: Opera…
• The 10th Arrondissement…
• Canal Saint-Martin: The 11th…
• The 12th Arrondissement…
• The 13th Arrondissement…
• The 14th Arrondissement…
• The 15th Arrondissement…
• The 16th Arrondissement…
• The 17th Arrondissement…
• Montmartre: The 18th…
• The 19th Arrondissement…
• The 20th Arrondissement…
• La Défense…
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