If you’re planning a trip to France in 2014 (or beyond), you’ll be happy to know there are some new and exciting things to look forward to this year.
Here’s a list of some of the things you might want to add to your travel plans. And if you’re heading to Italy, don’t miss the round up for what’s new in Italy.
Paris (and nearby)
> After a restoration that took five years and went severely over-budget, the Musée Picasso, located in the Hôtel Salé in the Marais will be reopening in June. The garden has been redesigned and they have added a cafe.
> The Musée National Gustave Moreau in the 9th arrondissement reopened in January after a renovation. The museum combines the painters small private apartment with a gallery of his paintings.
> The Eiffel Tower won’t be the only popular attraction with an online reservation system in Paris. The Louvre will join the club when it introduces its own online booking system this year. In addition, the area under the famous Louvre Pyramid will introduce a newly reorganized welcome center.
> The Musée de Montmartre will complete its renovation this year and the addition of the newly created Suzanne Valadon studio, will open to the public.
> On April 14th, Parc Zoologique de Paris, part of the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle, will reopen after a huge renovation project that lasted six years. A perfect spot for the kids!
> It seems Château de Versailles always has improvements being made. This year the gorgeous ceiling in the Abundance Salon, was restored. Also, French architect Dominique Perrault is renovating the Pavilion Dufour and the old wing of the château, which will create new public reception centers, a 200-seat auditorium and a restaurant. All are all scheduled to open in fall 2014.
> Within walking distance of Château de Versailles is a new spot for both garden and perfume lovers. The Cour du Senteurs, ‘courtyard of fragrances’ combines fragrant boutiques like Diptyque, Guerlain and Lenôtre with elegant gardens. The best part – it’s free.
> The beautiful neo-classical château where Madame de Pompadour reportedly once stayed has reopened after a seven-year and sixty-million-euro renovation. Dubbed ‘Little Versailles’, Châteaux du Champs du Marne is located about 9 miles east of Paris, making it an easy day trip.
South of France
> In Marseille, the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisation, or the MuCEM opened in the Vieux Port (old port) area. More of a destination than just a museum – it includes a children’s area, two restaurants, a garden and will host cooking demonstration, concerts and other fun events.
> Van Gogh fans will love this new spot in Arles slated to open in April. The Fondation Vincent Van Gogh will be located in the Hôtel Léautaud de Donines and rumor has it, a few original paintings will be on display.
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