Best Paris Strolls

Stroll 18: Avenue Wilson Museum Mile

Stroll 18 Palais de Tokyo

Quick Description:  Upscale area with many different museums, ending in Eiffel Tower view.

Where: Right Bank, from Place de l’Alma to Place du Trocadero. 

Start at Place de l’Alma, outside Metro station Alma-Marceau (#9 line).  End at Place du Trocadero, outside Metro station Trocadero (#6 and #9 lines).

Duration: 45 min walk, museum visits @30-90 min each, with all venues @5-6 hrs.  Early Departure Option at midpoint.   

Best Days: Wed – Sun.

Best Time to Start: 10am – 11am

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Connects: by foot to Stroll 19 (Passy), or Stroll 20 (Eiffel Tower & Vicinity), as each of those strolls begins where this one ends, at Place du Trocadero.  Also connects by Metro rides to Stroll 30 (Montparnasse), and to two standalone sites, the Arc de Triomphe and Musee Jacquemart-Andre. 

Past and Present:  The hillside between Place de l’Alma and Place du Trocadero, connected by Avenue du President Wilson, was, until the 1600s, a rural area known as Chaillot.  It was then developed with estates, and renamed the Faubourg (suburb) de la Conference.  After being incorporated into Paris in 1860, grand avenues and mansions were built here. Avenue du President Wilson was named for US President Woodrow Wilson in 1918, in appreciation of America’s assistance in WWI.  Between WWI and WWII, the avenue and Place du Trocadero at the hilltop became the sites of two new, huge Art Deco style exhibition halls – the Palais de Tokyo and the Palais de Chaillot.  Today they, as well as three older buildings in the area, house a total of eight significant museums.  The subjects include Western Modern Art, New Art, Asian Art, Fashion History (two), Maritime History, Human Evolution, and French Architectural Heritage.  There is also a stunning Art Deco cultural center on the avenue that can be toured.  In short, this is a true “museum mile.”  In addition, the massive terrace at the Palais de Chaillot, known as the Esplanade du Trocadero, has a world-famous view of the Eiffel Tower across the river. And, if you wish to extend this stroll, the south side of Place du Trocadero is the site of the Monument Aux Morts wall sculpture celebrating WWI combatants, and a block further south is the entrance to Cimetiere de Passy, with tombs of many famous person.  As for dining, the neighborhood around the length of Avenue du President Wilson has a variety of good lunch spots and the avenue itself is the scene of a large outdoor food market twice a week, featuring fresh and prepared food vendors, where you can easily put together a meal.

Attractions (in order):

  • Musee Yves Saint Laurent:  #5 Avenue Marceau.  Devoted to the work of the famous 20th  century haute couture designer.  Tues-Sun 11am-6pm, adults €10, persons 10-18 €7, admission free for persons under 10 or of any age who are art history or fashion students, accredited journalists, or disabled persons (plus companion).
  • Palais Galliera (Musee de la Mode de la Ville de Paris) #10 Avenue Pierre 1er du Serbie.  Museum of fashion history, with changing exhibitions, housed in a 19th century palace.   Tues-Sun 10am-6pm (Thurs to 9pm), €15,  €13 for persons 18 to 26 and art history students, free for persons under 18.
  • Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris: #11 Avenue du President Wilson. Museum of 20th and 21st century art, housed in the north (left) wing of the 1930s Palais de Tokyo.  Tues-Sun 10am-6pm, free admission, except special exhibitions €5-12.  
  • Palais de Tokyo (Site du Creation Contemporaine): #13 Avenue du President Wilson.  Housed in the south (right) wing of the 1930s Palais de Tokyo, the organization is popularly known by the name of the building, but officially it is called Site de Creation Contemporaine. It presents changing exhibitions of new art.  Wed-Mon Noon-Midnight, €12, but €9 for persons under 26 or over 60 and free for persons under 18 (plus many other discounted or free admission categories).  The location also has two restaurant venues, Les Grand Verres and Monsieur Bleu, with independent entries, and a dance club, Yoyo.
  • Musee Guimet: #6 Place d’Iena.  World’s largest collection of Asian art, including works from China, Japan, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East, housed in late 19th century buildings constructed for the museum and inspired by classical architecture.  Wed-Mon 10am-6pm, adults €11.50, free to persons under 18 and EU citizens 18-25. 
  • Palais de Iena#9 Avenue d’Iena.  Celebrated Art Deco style building now housing a government agency and a cultural center.  It has an extraordinary interior public space, created in 1939 according to the design of the famous architect Auguste Perret.  Free guided group tours for 10 or more persons, Mon-Fri 9am-5pm except 7/14-8/31 and 12/25-1/1.  Individuals can be incorporated into tour groups at the site.   Reserve tour place online.  There is also a restaurant and a food kiosk on site.   
  • Palais de Chaillot Museums: Place du Trocadero.  The three museums are: 
    • Cite de l’Architecture et du Partimoine#1 Place du Trocadero, in the Palais’s north pavilion (i.e., the end closest to where Avenue Wilson enters Place du Trocadero).  Museum focused on heritage architecture of France, with a permanent collection including façade reproductions of churches and palaces, plus regular special exhibitions, and archives.  Wed-Sun 11am-7pm (Thurs till 9pm), €8 museum, €12 museum and current special exhibition.  Museum free to persons under 18 and EU citizens 18-25, special exhibitions free to persons under 12 and many other categories.      
    • Musee de l’Homme#17 Place du Trocadero, in the Palais’s south pavilion.  Museum presenting changing exhibitions related to human evolution.  Wed-Sun 10am-6pm, €10, free to EU citizens under 26 and many other categories.
    • Musee de la Marine: #17 Place du Trocadero, in the Palais’s south pavilion.  Maritime museum, with collection of paintings, ship models and seafaring artifacts.  Check status as this venue has been under renovation. 
  • Esplanade du Trocadero: Accessed via the walkway between the two buildings of the Palais de Chaillot.  Large plaza affording a spectacular and iconic view over the Jardins du Trocadero and across the Seine to the Eiffel Tower and the Champ de Mars.  Open daily 24 hours, free. 
  • Monument aux Morts de la Grande Guerre: Place du Trocadero, south side.  An optional extension of the stroll route.  This large wall sculpture created in 1954 honors the WWI combatants of France and its colonies. The sculptor was Paul Landowski (1875-1961), creator of many monumental works in Paris, but most famous for his “Christ the Redeemer” statue overlooking Rio de Janeiro.
  • Cimetiere de Passy: Entry at #2 Rue du Commandant Schloesing, a block south of Place du Trocadero.  An optional extension of the stroll route.  Small, exclusive cemetery with many beautiful and unusual tombs, and the resting place of quite a few famous persons.  Also featuring a heated reception area, public toilets, and Eiffel Tower views.  Open Daily, year-round, Mon-Fri 8am-6pm, Sat. 8:30am-6pm, Sun 9am-6pm (in winter closes at 5:30pm), free entry.

Dining Suggestions (in order):

  • Chez Francis: #7 Place de l’Alma.  French cuisine, broad ranging brasserie menu. Traditional room, outdoor seating, Eiffel Tower views.  Mon-Thurs 8am-11:30pm, Fri-Sun 8am-Midnight.  Lunch prix fixe @€28-36.
  • Shirvan Café Metisse: #5 Place de l’Alma.  French / Azerbaijiani cuisine.  Elegant modern room.  Daily Noon-2:30pm, 7-10:30pm.  Lunch prix fixe @€36-40. 
  • Restaurant Balilli: #15 Rue Goethe at Rue Freycinet, near Palais Galliera.  Italian cuisine, pizza, dine in or take-out.  Casual, country style room, outdoor seating.  Mon-Sat Noon-2:30pm, 7-11pm.  Average cost @€22-44.
  • Marche President Wilson: Large open air food market also featuring prepared food vendors held on Avenue du President Wilson in front of the Palais de Tokyo, first half of route.  Wed 7am-1:30pm, Sat 7am-2:30pm.  
  • Les Marches: #5 Rue de la Manutention, near the Palais de Tokyo, down a flight of stairs from Avenue du President Wilson.  French cuisine standards.  Traditional, homey room.  Daily Noon-2:30pm, 7-10:30pm.  Average cost @€30-40 2 courses.
  • Waknine: #9 Rue Pierre 1er de Serbie, a block off Avenue du President Wilson.  French cuisine, afternoon tea service.  Eclectically decorated room, outdoor seating.  Mon-Fri Noon-2:30pm, 7-10:30pm. Average cost @€50 a la carte 3 courses. 
  • Carette: #4 Place du Trocadero. Patisserie, tea salon, café, with pastries, sandwiches, salads, mains, dine in or take-out.  Traditional room, outdoor seating.  Mon-Fri 7am-11:30pm, Sat-Sun 7:30am-11:30pm.  Average cost @€10-30.  

Ready to stroll?
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Stroll Map

Ready to stroll?
Open this page vertically on your mobile phone and click VIEW DIRECTIONS.