A year ago today I was in Paris just after la rentrée. I don’t normally travel to Paris in September, but experiencing the city at this new time of year gave me the opportunity to see the city in a new light (literally). I also got to experience Heritage Days for the very first time. Heritage Days is a European Event held on one weekend in September that allows access into buildings, museums, and homes that are otherwise closed to the public. If you are not in Paris right now, don’t fret. Some other cities outside Europe host a similar event. The Chicago even it called Open House Chicago and is held in October.
I mentioned my interest in attending Heritage Days to my Paris family and they shared my excitement in checking it out. Luxembourg Palace was at the very top of my list. There are so many places to visit and a limited amount of time so we had to prioritize and we made sure to arrive early. Note that this event is very popular with locals and tourists alike, so you should make a plan as to your priorities and start the morning with the building that is number one on your list. I also recommend mapping out your list by location — some of the venues are grouped together so you can hit more than one in a day if you map them out and make a plan.
The Luxembourg Palace lived up to every expectation I had. I will say, we should have eaten before starting or packed snacks because there were so many buildings and rooms to explore that I was exhausted and hungry by the time we finished walking through! But it was an amazing experience and I am so happy we did it.
We went to lunch at the famous Relais Comptoir and sat outside. I love L’Avant Comptoir next door, and that is my more typical stop. However, L’Avant Comptoir does not have any seats and after all the walking and standing, my feet needed a break and a chair. For more of my favorite places to eat in Paris you can check out this post.
I explored two more buildings on Sunday including Hôtel de Ville. The views from the inside were spectacular. I almost missed Hôtel de Ville and snuck in just before closing. I made the most of the short time that I had inside.
I was invited to explore Hôtel de Tallyrand on Sunday. The rain had just cleared up with beautiful morning light on Rue de Rivioli.
I hope these photographs make you feel like you are experiencing the joy of exploring these typically inaccessible buildings yourself. If you are lucky enough to be in Europe for Heritage Days, I highly recommend making it a priority.