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European Heritage Days: Discover Secret Paris

1 September 2017


For the ultimate weekend of culture, enjoy workshops, tours and interactive games across Paris

On 16th and 17th September, as part of the European Heritage Days, some of Paris’ premier venues will swing open their doors and allow unprecedented behind the scenes access. Here you’ll experience free workshops, tours and interactive games.

Our Pick of the Best Heritage Day Events this September

Inside the ‘Ghost’ Underground Station
Porte de Lilas Cinema (16th & 17th September)

Everybody has seen it on the big screen but no member of the public has visited since 1939: the Porte de Lilas cinema is a ‘ghost’ station closed to commuters but prized by film directors. Every day thousands pass through Porte des Lilas without realising that behind closed doors hides another station…a real movie set where an average of 5 films are made per year. This year, as part of European Heritage Days, you are invited you to enter the disused station where there is an original train still sat on the platform. The perfect place to sit and hear about all of the films shot there. 

Élysée Palace: A Private Mansion of Power
Élysée Palace (16th and 17th September)

The Presidential residence is right in central Paris, just off the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. Currently occupied by President Emmanuel Macron, other famous residents have included Madame de Pompadour, Napoleon III, Charles de Gaulle, and Nicolas Sarkozy. This is set to be the Heritage Days most popular attraction, and no wonder! From the Salon Murat, which hosts the Council of Minsters every Wednesday to the ‘golden’ study of the Salon Doré – visitors will be given a behind the scenes glimpse of power.

Music Workshops Hit the Right Note
Philharmonie de Paris (16th and 17th September)

Musical highlights at this all-weekend bash at Philharmonie de Paris: includes mini-concerts, storytelling and participatory workshops. Crammed with more than 7,000 instruments, a visit to Musée de la Musique offers a journey through the history of music, from the clarinet and the cello in baroque Italy, through to family workshops on the body, voices and instruments led by Estelle Wolf. For all ages, this is a weekend of listening, playing and music without limits.

Fun Introduction to the Petit Palais
Petit Palais (16th and 17th September)

The Petit Palais is a great option for art-loving parents looking to combine a weekend in Paris with introducing kids to art. Only a 20-minute walk from Amarante Champs-Elysées, the gallery provides Art Workshops for kids aged 3-6 years. Children aged 7 years onwards can enjoy pastel sessions in the garden. Although there are scheduled events for kids, you can also drop in as a family and enjoy the Art of Pastel exhibition, which offers a playbook.

Discover Musée des Arts et Métiers
Musée des Arts et Métiers (16th and 17th September)

Full of the greatest inventions for inquisitive kids, the Musée des Arts et Métiers has a huge collection (of scientific wonders and experimental devices) displayed in an exciting, interactive and open way. As part of Heritage Days, kids and adults alike can enjoy workshops and guided tours. In Pursuit of Black Treasure will undoubtedly be at the top of the list: you can ogle the museum’s permanent collection and peek at the displays to find clues to solve the mystery. There’s also silk painting for the whole family.

Musée Cernuschi: Tea Ceremonies and Asian Art
Musée Cernuschi (16th and 17th September)

One of the greatest collections of Asian art made by a single man, Henri Cernuschi had been a collector, acquiring works from all periods and everywhere in Japan, China and Korea. There’s ancient bronzes, burial figures, Buddhist sculptures and modern paintings. Set in a leafy district near Parc Monceau, the museum houses his 10,000 works of art. To mark the Heritage Days, the museum offers interactive games and traditional tea parties to inspire kids.

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