Paris Travel Guide

Paris Sights

Hôtel de Ville

  • Government Building

Published 10/20/2016

Fodor's Review

Overlooking the Seine, City Hall contains the residence and offices of the mayor. Reconstructed in 1873 after an attack by rioting crowds, it is one of Paris's most stunning buildings, made all the more dramatic by elaborate nighttime lighting. The adjoining public library stages frequent free exhibits celebrating famous photographers like Doisneau or Atget and their notable subjects, often the city herself (the entrance is on the side across from the department store BHV). Alas, the impressive interior of the main administrative building, with its lavish reception halls and staircases, is only open for independent visits during Patrimony Weekend in September. If your French is good, however, free guided tours are given biweekly in summer, weekly in other seasons: call two months ahead for further information and reservations. The grand public square out front is always lively, playing host to events and temporary exhibitions. There's a carousel and a beach volleyball court (or similar) in summer, and an ice-skating rink (with skate rental available) in winter.

Sight Information


Pl. de l'Hôtel-de-Ville, Paris, Île-de-France, 75004, France


/01–42–76–43–43 -for tours


Sight Details:

  • Free
  • Closed weekends
  • Access for visits at 29 rue de Rivoli

Published 10/20/2016


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