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The Palais Royal, a place of charm and culture

This is one of the most charming places in Paris that you absolutely must not ignore during your stay in Paris. When you leave the hotel, you can turn left and go up Rue Saint-Honoré again.  The Palais Royal is 500 meters away.Historic places, archways, theaters, old shops, French gardens, historic cafés, French gastronomy, works of art ... everything is in there!

Kings, revolutionaries, and theater people


Le Palais-Royal at the end of the 17th century
The construction of the Palais Royal was ordered by Richelieu in 1628. It was then bequeathed to Louis XIV, where he resided during his childhood. The palace was then passed on to Philippe d'Orléans, King Louis XVI's  cousin, who believed it wise to adopt the name Philippe Egalité during the revolution. He voted for the King's death sentence in 1793. This would not prevent him from being guillotined a few months later.

During the revolution, it was at the Palais Royal that Camille Desmoulins invited the people to revolt on July 12, 1789.
Camille Desmoulins at the Palais Royal on July 12, 1789

Since 1871, the Palais Royal has been the seat of several prestigious administrations: the Council of State, the Constitutional Council, and a section of the Ministry of Culture.
The Palais Royal and the theater go hand in hand:
  • In 1660, Molière used the theater hall constructed in the right wing of the Palais. There, Lully organized the Opera, which burned down in 1781,
  • The Comédie-Française was set up in 1799 in the opposite wing. It still remains in there. The website was rather poorly made and in french only but by visiting, you can get information on the translation of the shows. Note that the Richelieu Hall has just been renovated. It is necessary to also know that the Comédie-Française cannot be visited other than during pre-scheduled tours in French only.
  • The Théâtre du Palais Royal (french only) whose arrangement is rather oriented towards boulevard theater

The Tour

The Cour d'Honneur, the Buren Columns, and the French Garden

You can go by the cour d'honneur and its famous Buren Columns during your tour. The work was commissioned by Jack Lang, who was then the Minister of Culture, in 1985. It has an area of 3000 m² and is made up of 260 columns of marble. You may or may not like it, but the work never leaves anybody indifferent. The project was completed in 1986 and has led to many controversies.

The Buren Columns

You can then continue your walk along the beautiful alleys lined with lime trees and choose to rest on a bench or a chair near the pond. Tranquility guaranteed.

Schedule of the Cour d'Honneur and the Gardens:

Every day: 

  • October 1 - March 31: 7:30 am to 8:30 pm
  • April 1 - May 31: 7:00 am to 10:15 pm
  • June 1 - August 31: 7:00 am to 11:00 pm
  • September 1 - September 30: 7:00 am to 9:30 pm

 The galleries remain always open. 

Very chic galleries

The galleries extend on three sides of the palace and enclose it. Many shops and art galleries, cafes, and restaurants are housed therein. It is quaint and charming, chic and expensive.

For example:

  • Le Grand Véfour: Restaurant and legendary place of gastronomy as well as political and literary life for more than 200 years. Exceptional decor and fair price. Charges €100 per dish.
  • Le Restaurant du Palais Royal: More contemporary and more affordable, this restaurant has just won its first Michelin star. Lunch at around €55

Galleries of the Palais Royal

Restaurant du Palais Royal 

Le Grand Véfour

Find out more about the Palais Royal's tours and lectures on : http://palais-royal.monuments-nationaux.fr/

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