Amélie was filmed mostly in Montmartre in Paris. Two métro stations feature: Barbès-Rochechouart and Abbesses, as does the Gare du Nord train station. There is a scene in the gardens which lead up to Sacré Coeur - there are great views there - and the bar where Amélie worked is on the right of a street which leads down from Rue Lepic towards Pigalle, where the sex shop is situated. The grocer's shop is recognisable and is also on Rue Lepic, but is now a gift shop. Amélie was skimming stones on the Canal St Martin, very near the Gare du Nord. The whole lot would make an enjoyable two-hour walk.
Montmartre, Abbesses, Gare du Nord, Canal St Martin, Barbes-Rochechouart
For lovers of vintage film posters and stills going back to the early days of cinema, Cinedoc is the place to head to. Drawers of amazing french vintage film posters vie for your attention competing with scene stills and photographs of the stars of all nationalities. The shop is crammed from floor to ceiling - a treasure trove. Cinedoc is in the Passage Jouffroy, a wonderful almost secret network of covered glazed shopping arcades dating from the nineteenth century. Each of the 30 passages has its own architectural style - some like the Galerie Vero-Dodat are very grand with black marble columns and painted shopfronts. Others such as the Passage des Panoramas are a little run down but contain delightful bric-a-brac shops and stamp dealers. The Passages of Paris are hidden gems well worth discovering away from the traffic clogged boulevards.
45-53 Passage Jouffroy
T: 01 48 24 71 36
Located off Boulevard Montmartre
Metro: Grandes Boulevards
Before entering the cemetery I strongly recommend either buying a guide, or photographing the map in the entrance (assuming your camera has a good LCD screen with zoom), because the layout sometimes defies logic, and you'll struggle to find such folk as Jim Morrison.
Whilst there, females looking to get pregnant might want to track down the tomb of Victor Noir (Yvan Salman), and rub his protruding trousers (just make sure you're not spotted by the authorities), or apply lipstick and kiss the already plastered tomb of Oscar Wilde.
Les Tuileries is the most central park in Paris. It stretches its 'à la Française' alleys and lawns along the Seine river from the Louvre museum to the Concorde square. There is a large round central fountain where an ancient Parisian hires out beautiful yachts made by himself - the boats sail across the fountain and the kids are armed with long canes to push them into another direction. We grabbed a coffee and sat around the fountain watching Paris go by and the kids were entertained by the boats for an hour - what more could you ask for 15 euros!
Use les tuileries metro station on line 1
Who’d have thought that a graveyard could be so much fun. But one of the best free shows in Paris is to be had at the Père Lachaise cemetery. All the stars are here in this A-list of the deceased: from painters to poets, from Yves Montand to Marcel Marceau (who was interred here in 2007). It is yet to be seen whether admirers of the late mime artist will establish a tradition of holding a ‘two minutes noise’ at his graveside by way of tribute but a number of the cemetery’s more distinguished denizens already attract appropriate acts of homage from their disciples. Whether it be romantics of the Left placing their red roses on the grim Mur des Fédédés, where the heroic resistance of the Paris Commune came to its final bloody end; or the scarlet lipstick kisses, lovingly planted by gay pilgrims, that smother Epstein’s monument to Oscar Wilde. Whether it be the grungy little knots of Scandinavian teenagers, self-consciously puffing at their spliffs around the tomb of rock legend Jim Morrison; or the fans, of all ages, who make for the mighty marble slab that marks the last resting place of Edith Piaf – the Little Sparrow. I once threatened the French All-Comers record for the high jump when, standing at this spot in quiet contemplation, I was startled by a young woman behind me bursting into a full-throated rendition of ‘Je ne regrette rien’. At Marcel Proust’s grave it is customary to leave an apt votive offering: having no madeleine to hand I left a Jaffa Cake.
But a personal favourite is a memorial to a now, largely forgotten figure. Félix Faure was President of the Republic in the 1890s. Of course politicians back then suffered much less scrutiny of their private lives and Faure was very much a man of his time. Indeed he could be seen as an embodiment of fin de siècle hedonism making the most of what Paris had to offer the wealthy and the powerful (think can-can, think Toulouse-Lautrec).
But a dark shadow was cast over the latter days of his presidency by the bitterly divisive Dreyfus Affair. In an effort, perhaps, to take his mind off matters of state at this tense time Faure was wont to ‘entertain’ young women in the presidential chambers. Tragedy struck when, in the midst of one of these amorous encounters, the statesman’s heart, weakened by years of self-indulgence, gave way. Officials were alerted by the horrified screams of his companion and rushed in to find the stricken President stark naked on the carpet, the suddenness of his demise reflected in the rictus grin that illuminated his features and in – well – certain other physiological phenomena.
It was, so they say, three weeks before they could nail the coffin lid down.
Take Metro 11 (brown) to Porte des Lilas, walk down Rue Belleville using the Metro stations as your guide. Pass through neighbourhoods such as Jourdain, Pyrenees, Belleville and, passing canal St Martin, finish in Republique, the venue of many a Parisian Riot.
Alternatively, at Pyrenees, turn right on to Avenue Simon Bolivar and head for the surreal, landscaped Parc des Buttes Chaumont (19th Arr), complete with its own mountain, waterfall, temple and an incredible view of the Sacre Couer.
To finish the day, head to restaurant Au Pied du Sacre Couer, for fine yet inexpensive French cooking (metro Lamarck-calaincourt, 18th Arr).
Take a leisurely stroll along the left bank of the Seine, past Notre Dame and go into the Shakespeare and Company bookshop. Climb the narrow wooden stairs, pick out a dusty old tome, take a seat on a worn but comfy sofa in the corner next to the contented sleepy black cat and peruse it at your leisure.
Make sure you visit the Parc de Citroen. Built on what used to be wasteland, it's a shining example of garden design in that it fuses the surrounding buildings into the planting and landscaping. Whatever the season, it's so worth a stroll - calming yet impressive.
Take a break from the hustle of Paris streets and walk along the canals. A beautiful stretch of canals can be found not far from the Gare du Nord.
Watch as huge barges and pleasure boats negotiate the network of locks. See Paris from a different angle and work up a thirst for a café pit stop.
Formerly a railway track linking the Bastille Square to Saint Maur, the "Promenade Plantée" is a hidden oasis of Paris.
Climb the concrete steps from the bustling rue de Lyon, and stumble upon an enchanting winding path filled with an explosion of marigolds, pink roses and trailing vines.
Over the course of about 3km you will be able to gaze over the rooftops of Paris and discover a plethora of small gardens, ageing viaducts and strolling lovers, young and old, arm in arm.
The path finishes at the golden gate and the Vincennes park to the east of the city.
Take a stroll through the Ile Saint Louis.
No matter what time of day you visit, it is always a quiet oasis, especially compared with the busy Ile de la Cite (where Notre Dame can be found).
There are some beautiful little shops, selling everything from beautiful clothes to handmade children's toys, and some lovely little cafes. Its almost village-like in its ambience and you won't find the usual tourist trappings that you find in a lot of areas of the city.
An unusual walk in Paris: The Promenade Plantee (metro Bastille).
This is a disused viaduct that has been converted to a lovely elevated walkway, with wonderful views and beautiful planting.
You can then descend to ground level and walk back, browsing in the crafts workshops that are housed in the arches of the viaduct.
Louvre blues? The antidote is Musee Jacquemart-Andre (B Haussmann, west of Gare St Lazare).
Climb the lightest of monumental staircases to a wonderful private art collection in a sumptuous Second Empire mansion. Splendid audioguide.
And when exhilarated rather than exhausted make for the tearoom, or walk back along Boulevard Haussmann for celebratory lunch at Brasserie Mollard.
The No69 bus is ideal for when the legs are too tired for walking. This bus journey travels across Paris taking in some of the most wonderful views of the city along the way with plenty of places to jump off for a bite, cafe or kir!
If you arrive in Paris Nord and have time before taking one of the new TGV Est lines out of Gare de l'Est then dump your luggage at the station and walk for five minute east to the Canal St Martin and grab coffee or lunch at one of the restaurants springing up on the Quai de Valmy, in this increasingly improving area.
The canal is also great for a walk if you've time.
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