Best Paris Strolls

Stroll 22: Parc Monceau & Vicinity

Stroll 22 Parc Monceau

Quick Description: Upscale area, beautiful and unusual family park, four museums, outdoor sculptures, food market street.  

Where: Right Bank northwestern Paris. 

Start on Blvd de Courcelles, at the entrance to Parc Monceau, outside Metro station Monceau (#2 line).  End at the southwest corner of Blvd de Courcelles and Avenue de Villiers, across from the carousel plaza, outside Metro station Villiers (#2, #3 lines). 

Duration: 2 hrs walk, including park and neighborhood, museum venues @30-45 min each, total @4-5 hrs.  An abbreviated route is offered that skips the fourth museum venue, Musee Jean-Jacques Henner, reducing the total time by about 60 min.  Two Early Departure Options, one following the park and the first two museums, one immediately after the fourth museum.  

Best Days: Wed – Sat (Sat optimal).

Best Time to Start: 9:30am – 11am  

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Connects: via Metro rides to Stroll 21 (Opera-Haussmann-Saint Lazare), or Stroll 23 (Batignolles), or Stroll 24 (Montmartre), or Stroll 25 (Pigalle aka SOPI), or two standalone sites, the Arc de Triomphe and Cimetiere Pere Lachaise.  

Past and Present: Parc Monceau was created as a private park in the 1770s and acquired by the city in 1860. This beautiful, family-friendly oasis is distinguished by its wild “English” style. its many “follies” (replicas of historic constructions, such as a mini pyramid), and the picturesque 1787 rotunda building at its main entrance that was once part of the city’s customs tax wall.  Surrounding the park is the Plaine de Monceau.  This was a rural district until the late 19th century, when it was developed into an upscale residential neighborhood, attracting the rich and famous of the Belle Epoque.  Today, this part of Paris remains an upper-class enclave; yet, it’s also a great area for visitors, including kids, as it offers, in close proximity, four unique museums set in former mansions, several important outdoor sculptures, a colorful food market street, and good restaurants. 

Attractions (in order):        

  • Parc MonceauMain entry on Blvd de Courcelles.   Beautiful public park distinguished by its natural “English” style and its many “follies” (reproductions of classical and famous structures.)  Other features include an historic customs house at the main entrance, with public toilets, a duck pond, a carousel, children’s pony rides and a retro snack stand (with crepes!).  Open daily during daylight hours, roughly 7am-9pm, free admission.  
  • Musee Nissim de Camondo: #63 Rue de Monceau, adjacent to Parc Monceau.  Luxurious 1911 mansion of financier Moishe de Camondo, preserved as it was when he and his family resided there and showcasing his extensive collection of 18th century art and furnishings.  Nearly all of the rooms, from grand salons to the kitchen, butler’s pantry and bathrooms, are open to visitors, allowing for a true “Upstairs / Downstairs” experience.   Wed-Sun 10am-5:30pm, €12 (includes audio guide), €20 combination ticket with Musee des Arts Decoratifs (visited on Stroll 4).
  • Musee Cernuschi: #7 Avenue Velasquez, in a residential area inside the Parc Monceau gates. This museum, in the former mansion of financier Henri Cernuschi, displays an extensive collection of Asian artworks and also hosts special exhibitions.  Open Tues-Sun 10am-6pm, permanent collection free, special exhibitions €10.   
  • CITECO – Museum of the Economy:  #1 Place du General Catroux. Museum focuses on the history of money and economics and is geared to kids as well as adults.  Exhibits on personal and corporate finance, virtual conversations with famous economists, and more, are presented in the opulent former mansion of Emile Galliard, a 19th century director of the Banque de France. Tues 10am-6pm Wed-Fri 2-6pm, Sat 10am-7pm, €12 adults; €9 (18 to 25); €6 (6 to 17); under 6 free. 
  • Musee Jean-Jacques Henner:  #43 Avenue de Villiers.  Mansion of the 19th century society painter displaying his own works, his collection of other artist’s works, and hosting special exhibitions.  Daily 11am-6pm, €6, €9 combination ticket with Musee Gustave Moreau (visited on Stroll 25).  
  • Outdoor Sculptures Area: The route passes around Place du General Catroux, featuring several outdoor sculptures set in greenspaces. They depict or are dedicated to: actress Saraha Bernhardt, author Alexandre Dumas Sr. (pere), his father, General Thomas Alexandre, and his son, author Alexandre Dumas Jr.(fils). 
  • Rue de Levis Market:  This colorful market street features a variety of food vendors as well as boutiques.  Most establishments are open daily from morning to evening, though some close at 1:30 pm on Sunday and some are closed on Monday.  There are also many restaurants on and near Rue de Levis (see “Dining Suggestions”).      

Dining Suggestions (in order):

  • Le Valois: #1 Place Rio de Janeiro near exit of Parc Monceau.  French cuisine, oyster bar, burgers.  Traditional room, vintage touches, with table and bar seating, plus outdoor seating.  Mon-Fri 7am-11:30pm, Sat 10am-11:30am, Sun 10am-6pm. Average cost @€45.  Next door it features a quick lunch spot with counter seating, offering burgers, moussaka, salads, etc.  Mon-Fri 9am-9pm.  Average cost @€10 per dish.  
  • Le Camondo: #61 bis Rue de Monceau, next door to Musee Nissim de Camondo and affiliated with the museum.  French cuisine.  Modern room mixing elegant and casual aspects, outdoor seating in courtyard garden.  Mon-Sat Noon-Midnight. Appetizers @€10-19, mains @€25-39.   Sunday Brunch July to September. 
  • Di Loretta: #12 Blvd de Courcelles.  Pizza sold by weight, €2.90-3.20 per 100 grams.  Dine in or take out.  A few indoor tables, more outside.  Daily 11am-2:45pm, 6-10:45pm.  
  • Le Café Dumas: #34 Avenue de Villiers, at Rue Legendre and Place du General Catroux.  French cuisine.  Traditional room, outdoor seating. Mon 7am-4pm, Tues-Fri 7am-Midnight, Sat-Sun 9am-Midnight.  Prix fixe lunch @€19.50 2 courses.   
  • Il Paradiso: #30 Rue Legendre, a half block off Rue de Levis.  Italian cuisine, pizza.  Modern room.  Mon-Sat Noon-3pm, 7-11pm (to 11:30pm Fri-Sat), Sun 7-11pm. Antipasti @€11-17, pizzas @€11-17, pasta, meat, fish, risotto mains @€14-30. 
  • Le Tourbillon: #116 Rue des Dames, a half block off Rue de Levis.  French cuisine.  Modern room, some outside tables.  Tues-Sun Noon-2:30pm, 7-10:30pm, prix fixe lunch @€22-26. 

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Stroll Map

Ready to stroll?
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