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Les Borgia et leur temps

Amid all the internecine slaughter and incestuous sex, the Borgias occasionally took time out to commission some art. Given that chroniclers of the family, from Victor Hugo to Tom Fontana (creator of the hit Canal+ show 'Borgia'), tend to hone in on their less salubrious pursuits, it's easy to forget that the Renaissance statesmen patronised some

  1. Musée Maillol 61 rue de Grenelle, 7e
  2. Wed Sep 17 - Sat Feb 14
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La Terrasse

  • Free

The western suburb of Nanterre is known for its banks, insurance agencies and fast food outlets, but hardly for its art scene. Yet despite (or because of?) the local dearth of cultural hotspots, this is precisely the site that the team behind the Villa des Tourelles gallery has picked for its new venture. An isolated patch of lawn situated

  1. 57 boulevard de Pesaro, 92000
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Avec et sans peinture

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

Over the course of the last century, photography and cinema dealt painting a blow without quite managing to kill it off. Now, at a time when the likes of Gerhard Richter model paintings on photos and Bill Viola effectively builds canvases from video, there's a strong case to be made for the renaissance of painting – albeit as one element in a

  1. MAC/VAL Place de la Libération, 94404
  2. Until Mon Jan 5
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Scènes d'été 2014

  • Free

For better or worse, there's so much going on in the Parc de la Villette that it's often hard to know where to start exploring. The buzz of activity continues throughout the summer with a bumper programme of estival events every weekend. As in previous years, the Scènes d'été place an emphasis on world cultures: each weekend is themed around a

  1. Parc de la Villette Avenue Corentin Cariou, 19e
  2. Until Sun Aug 24
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La plage du Batofar

Bask in the sun by the Seine every day until late September Summer in Paris can be a real bitch. But it can also be a beach (albeit not a real one), thanks to the concerted efforts of a few riverside venues. Every year, the Batofar installs a 'pop-up beach' (a hipster extravagance if ever we heard one) along its stretch of the quay; the


  • Price band: 1/4

In business since either 1938 or the 19th century (nobody's quite sure), this patisserie-cum-chocolate shop in any case has an old-fashioned rustic charm to it. No concessions to fashion or contemporary food trends (lovers of organic need not apply); at Tholoniat, the action happens in the kitchen, whence impossibly crisp baguettes and

  1. 47 rue du Château d'Eau, 10e
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Alter Paname

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

It's official: the party is moving to the banlieue. With central Paris afflicted by increasingly draconian sound regulations, ravers have been staging a steady exodus to the suburbs, where there's a whole lot more space and far fewer sleep-deprived neighbours to complain about the noise. The movement's been spearheaded by the likes of the 6B, as

  1. 97 rue de Paris, 93000
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La Chesnaie du Roy

Le Chesnaie du Roy (which translates quaintly as 'The King's Oak Grove') is an event space tucked away deep inside the Bois de Vincennes. Its remote wooded setting and vast garden lend themselves well to gigs and raves, and indeed La Chesnaie has proved popular with the city's electro collectives. Cocobeach in particular has been known to put on

  1. À 500 m du Château de Vincennes, Route de la Pyramide – Bois de Vincennes, 12e
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Parc de Bagatelle

Situated in the heart of the Bois de Boulogne, the Parc de Bagatelle is one of the city's most enchanting botanical gardens. It offers everything you need for a picturesque afternoon stroll: a splendid little castle (designed in one frenzied night by its architect François-Joseph Bélanger), an orangery, a vegetable garden and no less than

  1. Route de Sèvres à Neuilly, 16e
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Les Saintes Chéries

  • Price band: 2/4

Since 2010, this toyshop-cum-interior deco boutique has been steadily building a loyal  fanbase from its trending corner of the 10th arrondissement. The dominant style is one of subdued pastel hues and ever so slightly off-kilter designs: think paper lanterns, origami models and colourful kimonos (€48) arranged alongside board games and leather

  1. 29 rue Bouchardon, 10e
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We met meme megastar Domo at the Japan Expo

This year's convention on all things Japanese pop culture was a memorable affair – not least thanks to the participation of a furry friend…

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Buy the Paris for Visitors guide, the perfect partner for a weekend break