The sights of Paris are so iconic that they have not gone unnoticed by Hollywood productions. In this list, we gathered 9 of those places that went straight from real life to the big screen, giving an extra charm to the productions. Are we going to meet them?
Paris sights that went on the big screen
Midnight in Paris (2011)
“I can never decide if Paris is more beautiful by day or night …”, says Adriana (Marion Cotillard), while she and Gil (Owen Wilson) walk along the banks of the Seine, in Midnight in Paris (2011). The film, of course, shows various locations in the French capital. One of them, in particular, is the Musée Rodin, a beautiful 18th century mansion dedicated to the life and works of the French sculptor Auguste Rodin.
In the feature, the museum can be seen in the scene where the main characters are wandering around some outdoor sculptures while learning about the history of the people portrayed. Located on the left bank of Paris, in the 7th arrondissement – an area famous for beautiful gardens -, the gallery is one of the most peaceful in the city, which means that you will not have to face long lines to enter.
The Origin (2010)
If you are a fan of Christopher Nolan, Paris is a perfect destination for you. Some points in the city, for example, appear in A Origin (2010). The best known of them is the Bir-Hakeim bridge, which is presented at the very beginning of the film, when Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) teaches Ariadne (Ellen Page) to create dreams.
The bridge’s two-story steel structure makes it one of the most “photographable” sights of Paris. As it is located south of the Eiffel Tower, the views from the bridge are impressive. In fact, Parisian bridges appear quite often on the big screen. The Alexandre III Bridge, relatively close to Bir-Hakeim, was also used at Midnight in Paris. In addition to it, you will probably also recognize Pont des Arts in the Sex and the City (2008) film.
The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
The Concorde Square is one of the main tourist spots in Paris. Located in the 1st district, it is the largest square in the entire city and usually hosts several types of events. There, a ferris wheel is also mounted, which allows a good view of much of the French capital.
Returning to the films… As much as it is set in much of New York, The Devil Wears Prada (2006) had some scenes recorded in Paris. In the film, Andy (Anne Hathaway) walks down Avenue Montaigne, which is not far from there and, a few scenes later, throws his cell phone at the fountain in the square, called Fontaine des Mers.
Saint Sulpice Church
The Da Vinci Code (2006)
In The Da Vinci Code, Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) passes through several countries, especially in Europe, and ends up showing several sights in Paris and London, for example. In the French capital, the production recorded several scenes at the Louvre Museum and also at the Church of Saint Sulpice, the second largest in Paris.
In the film, it is said that the temple was built on ancient ruins, which is not hard to believe, since the building dates from the 12th century. Nowadays it is a good alternative for those who do not like many crowds, since it receives much less visitors than Notre-Dame Cathedral.
L’hôtel de Soubise
Marie Antoinette (2006)
Marie Antoinette’s legacy is spread throughout France – from her tomb in Saint Denis to the Turkish boudoir at Château de Fontainebleau. With such a strong presence, a film about the queen’s life was inevitable. Much of Sofia Coppola’s feature was shot at the Palace of Versailles itself, except for the scene in which Louis XVI’s wife arrives at the oval office.
This scene was recorded at the Hôtel de Soubise, considered one of the most faithful replicas of Versailles. The “hotel” was originally built in 1375, but today it houses the Museum of French History. Both the interior and the gardens on the exterior of the building are exceptionally beautiful and it is easy to see why he was nominated to represent the residence of French monarchs.
Le Café des deux Moulins
The Fabulous Fate of Amélie Poulain (2001)
One of the most famous and acclaimed French films, Amélie Poulain’s Fabulous Destination (2001) shows the main character working at Café des 2 Moulins. What many people may not know is that the place exists in real life and is located in the Montmartre district in the French capital.
The cafe kept some details from the film: there are pictures of Amélie all over the space and a salad with the character’s name on the menu. In addition, employees contribute to the setting, acting in a peculiar way and thus attracting customers and fans of the film.
Bistrot La Renaissance
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
This is for Tarantino fans! Another beautiful Parisian cafe, Bistrot La Renaissance was used as a backdrop in Bastards Inglorious (2009). As the production takes place in the 1930s, the location was perfect to reflect the whole look of that time.
The bistrot looks good at the meeting between the 18th and 17th arrondissement. Unfortunately, he definitely had to close the doors for some time. Fans of the film, however, still visit the space and peer out the windows, where you can see the bar and furniture used in the recording of the feature.
Shakespeare and Company Bookstore
Before Sunset (2004)
The Shakespeare and Company Bookstore is a very traditional tourist spot in Paris – it didn’t even need to appear in Before Sunset (2004) to be worth a visit. In the film, Ethan Hawke’s character has an autograph session on site, a common situation in space – that you can participate in real life if you get the schedule right.
The bookstore was opened in 1919 and has since sold new and used books. There you will find a mural dedicated to Shakespeare himself, as a kind of ode to his contribution to the literary world. The bookshop is on the banks of the Seine, right in the heart of Paris. Usually, it is full of people, including tourists and locals, but if you go at a more advanced time (it closes at 10 pm), you can find the most empty place.
Le Caveau de la Huchette
La La Land (2016)
The last of the Paris sights on our list is a small jazz club in the Latin Quarter of the French capital. Le Caveau de Huchette makes a brief appearance in the musical La La Land (2016). He was not well known before the film, but he saw his popularity grow quite a bit as more and more people recognized him in the cinema.
The space is similar to an old jazz bar from the 1920s. The Latin Quarter, in general, is one of the best areas to enjoy the Parisian night. That’s because the streets are full of jazz bars and clubs, like Le Caveau himself.