The Grand Palais is a Belle-Epoque treasure that is much loved by Parisians and tourists alike. Attend one of its regular events ranging in theme from sports to fashion to art.
The Grand Palais was constructed at the beginning of the 20th century and was part of city-wide preparations for the Universal Exposition of 1900. Over the decades that followed, it hosted many art exhibits and served as a military hospital during World War I and a site for Nazi propaganda exhibitions during World War II, but was frequently plagued by construction issues. In 1993, the building was closed for restoration; it reopened in 2007.
Before heading inside, admire the façade of this grand structure. Look for the elaborate Art Nouveau ironwork and the distinctive glass barreled roof, which sits atop the classical stone façade.
Visit the Palais de la découverte, a family-friendly science museum in the west wing of the palace. Make your way through the permanent exhibits, which are devoted to various branches of science including physics, astronomy, biology and chemistry. Enjoy the hands-on interactive experiments staged at various times during the day or watch a show in the planetarium.
Elsewhere in its various exhibition spaces, the Grand Palais hosts an eclectic and ever-changing series of events, with programs that frequently include dance, theater, cinema, art and even sports.
Check upcoming schedules in the National Galleries before you visit and purchase tickets well in advance. Major international exhibits are held here and the demand for tickets is high. Past events have included Edward Hopper and Robert Mapplethorpe retrospectives. After exploring a show, have a meal at the on-site Le Mini Palais restaurant.
The Palais de la découverte is open from Tuesday through Sunday. There is an admission fee. Separate tickets are needed to enter the National Galleries. Prices and opening times for the Grand Palais vary, depending on the exhibit showing. Use entrance three on Avenue du Général Eisenhower to access the National Galleries and take the entrance on Avenue Franklin Delano Roosevelt for Palais de la découverte.