To say that there are an unlimited number of fun things to do in Paris is quite the understatement. But for most people who visit, you only have a limited time and you want to see as much as possible. With limited time and for most of us, limited budgets, you have to make sure you get the biggest bang for your buck.
On most everyone’s list, you have to see the Eiffel Tower, The Arc de Triomph, Notre Dame and all the major sites that are listed in your guidebooks. Let’s face it, Paris would not be Paris without these attractions, but in addition to the major sites, there are any number of smaller destinations in the city that are worth the time to visit and will fit into just about any travel budget.
One of my absolute favourites is the Musée de Cluny which houses the Musée Nationale du Moyen Age (The National Museum of the Middle Ages). This place is one of the jewels of the city. The 15th century hotel (it served as a residence for the abbot and visiting dignitaries who would come and visit the Cluniac monastery which sadly is no longer there) was built on the former Gallo-Roman baths which date to the 3-4th centuries. Some of the remains can be seen from Rue St Germain, while the remaining parts are housed inside the museum.
Its permanent holdings are a stunning collection of some fantastic pieces of medieval art. Its centrepiece is the Unicorn tapestries. One day, I will have to do a blog post just on the tapestries, but trust me they are worth the price of admission alone.
Also, it hosts temporary exhibitions. Currently, the exhibition is a collection of Swabian (a region from western Germany) sculptures from the 15th and 16th centuries.
When one talks about old world craftsmanship, this is what they are talking about.
So if you are looking for something a little different, just a little off the beaten path (not too far, cross the street and you’re in the Latin Quarter, just a few minutes away from Notre Dame) check out the Musée Nationale du Moyen Age and treat yourself to a different side of Paris. And at 8-9€, your vacation will be the richer for it.
You can visit their website at: http://www.musee-moyenage.fr/
And as with all museums in Paris, it is free on the first Sunday of the month.