“What’s new, Paris ?” is my new rubric 🙂 Every now and then I’ll pick up a few new things in Paris and will give you a few details about them… and my feedback !
Today : the new newspaper kiosks, the “new Catacombs”, and “Le Grand Musée du Parfum“
1 – NEW NEWSPAPER KIOSKS
When ? Since Monday March 13d 2017
Where ? the first new kiosk: Place d’Alésia – Paris 14 – Metro stop : Alésia
What’s the Parisian newspaper kiosks ?
A new-look newspaper kiosk has appeared on a Paris street Monday March 13d 2017.
This is the first of hundreds that will replace the iconic domed structures which were in the city since the 1860s.
The aim was to help news vendors compete with online alternatives and to improve their working conditions. The vendors benefit from more space and a heated place to warm them in the winter. And the customers can come inside and browse. The Parisian newsstand will also offer a new set of services fit for the digital age : online ticketing sales, charging ports for smartphones and digital screens.
The old model : 150 years of history
There is 360 emblematic and historic kiosks : they date back to Baron Haussmann. They were made to match the dark green benches and drinking fountains (Wallace fountains) on Baron Haussmann’s wide tree-lined boulevards. However, 40 years ago, Paris remade all these kioks to the identical (historical design) These kiosks distribute over 40% of all printed media sold each day in Paris. Since 2011, they obtained approval to sell postcards, candy, drinks, and some tourist gadgets too
The new model is very controversial : many people are saying it makes the city ugly and that it looks like “impersonal sardine cans”, or “recycling bins” ! … But Anne Hidalgo said that the “60 old kiosks were going to have to be replaced and she doesn’t want the ones plagiarized from Haussmann.
My feedback : Surely more confortable and practical for the vendors. It must be a tough job to stay stand all day long and even more in winter as the old kiosk are not heated. And probably more practical for everyone.But the old kiosk are much nicer… and emblematic of Paris. Let’s hope the City of Paris will improve the aesthetic of the next new kiosks (Up to now, that’s what’s planned … !)
One of the way to ensure the survival of Paris newspaper kiosks is to buy your newspapers and magazines from them and the small tourist gifts will be cheaper than in a traditional store.
2 – The Catacombs : NEW EXIT, NEW RULES
When ? Since the 1st of April
Where ? Access : Place Denfert Rochereau – Paris 14 – New exit :21 bis avenue René Coty – Paris 14
What’s the Catacombes : The Catacombs of Paris are an ossuary covering 11 000 m2 of underground space. Six million bones from various Parisian cemeteries in 1,7 km labyrinth of tunnels. These tunnels are situated in the city’s ancient carries. A small portion (2 kms) of these tunnels is open to the public. The site attracts thousands of visitors (more than 400 000 visitors per year). Up to recently, the visitors had to stand in line for hours to buy the tickets and there were no way to book the tickets in advance.
What changes ?: (since the 1st of April)
Why ? To improve the visitor experience, the Catacombes are now open an additional 3 hours a day ( 10 am- 8 pm instead of 5 pm) and offer more services
- A new exit : A contemporary style exit – Located 21 bis avenue René Coty – Paris 14 (instead of rue Remy Dumoncel)
- Shorter queues (Now you can purchase your tickets online and it opens an additional 3 hours a day)
- Toilets (there were no toilets before)
- A boutique located in the exit area with gifts, cards and books mostly related to the Catacombs
- The tour has be shorten : 45 minutes instead of 1 hour
My feedback :
- You won’t have to wait as long as before (the Catacombs were known for their very long waiting line – Often 2 hours waiting or much more… ) It seems to have improve since the changes of organization (new opening time, possibility to book the tickets on line);
- Make sure to book your tickets online in advance and arrive before your designated time. or to come during the week of or one to two hours before closing time
Practical information :
- Catacombs’ website : www.catacombes.paris.fr/fr/home
- Opening hours : Tuesday till Sunday from 10 am till 8.30 pm – Last admission : 7.30 pm
- Access Place Denfert Rochereau – Paris 14 – Metro stop : Denfert Rochereau (line 4, line 6 or RER B)
- New exit : 21 bis avenue René Coty – Paris 14
- Booking online price : 27 euros (the audioguide is included) – http://b12-gat.apps.paris.fr/accueil.aspx
- Ticket bought on the spot : 12 euros (audioguide non included) – Please check the Catacombs website for more details : www.catacombes.paris.fr/fr/home
- Take a cardigan or 2 and good shoes (!) : 130 steps to go down and 83 steps back up to street level – Temperature 14°C
3 – A new museum : “Le GRAND MUSEE DU PARFUM”
When ? open since December 22d 2016
Where ? 73 rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré – 75008 (nearby the Champs Elysées)
What’s this museum ?Le Grand Musée du Parfum is located in an 18th-century mansion, in the 8th arrondissement, nearby the Champs Elysées.
This museum This new museum is dedicated to perfumes invites you to discover the history and culture of perfumery. It offers you to explore the art and science of fragrance, to help you understand the world of perfume, to create your own personal notebook of your favorite smells and get to know everything about the art of the perfumer
My feedback : Last weekend (23d of April 2017) I have visited this new museum . A nice building, a nice setting, but I must say that I was quite disappointed. A visit of about 1 hour. Three floors and not much to see or to experience. You got to smell some different elements of perfume which doesn’t really smell (!), some things didn’t work. Three floors with poor exposition (bottles of parfum, books, history) with a rather interesting part dedicated to tests of different aromas but…not enough information/explanation. There is no guide, around TV screens and testers. At the end of the visit, there is a kind of sales area. Finally I don’t think I really learned much… 🙁
- 73 rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré – 75008
- Metro: Champs Elysees-Clemenceau, Franklin Roosevelt
- Open Tuesday to Sunday 10:30AM to 7PM, Thursday until 10PM
- Admission: 14.50€
Experience Paris,with Ann Jeanne in Paris, native Parisian :
“Ann Jeanne in Paris” tours are not traditional guided tours.
My walking tours are private walking tours with you only or you and the person you choose. No lectures : it’s more an encounter, a meeting, a cross-cultural experience. My tours are personal, friendly and welcoming and we walk at your pace. I give you all my attention, I accompany you, I discuss with you and share my Paris with you. The tours are focused on your interests and wishes.