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What’s new in 2022: Paris

Much has changed over the last two years, including some of our favourite holiday destinations. High Life’s new regular feature checks out what’s new and exciting around the world, starting with the fabulous French capital


Parc Rives de Seine is a Unesco World Heritage Site open only to pedestrians and bikes (Alamy). Opening image: Pont Notre-Dame bridge over the Seine (Alamy)


More breathing space

As part of a green initiative led by Mayor Anne Hidalgo, 180km of new bike lanes will be added to the extensive Paris cycling network. This includes the 52km of temporary coronapistes (corona lanes) becoming permanent. Cycling enthusiasts are already able to enjoy a leisurely ride along the famous Avenue des Champs-Élysées and Rue de Rivoli. Parc Rives de Seine offers ten hectares of cycling routes along the scenic Seine river. With further plans to pedestrianise the historic centre of Paris, City Hall aims to make Paris one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world by 2026. The city has also lowered the speed limit across Paris from 50km to 30km per hour in an effort to cut down on pollution.

Charcoal shortbread with diplomat pudding, grilled quince and orange at Fripon (Ilya Kagan); pork chop with butternut, dried apricot and salted plum condiment at Mâche (Pierre Lucet Penato)


Brand-new bistros

It’s well worth the trip to new, upscale bistro Fripon in the 20th arrondissement, where innovative chef Pauline Séné creates a locally sourced menu. Brass pendant lights, silver candlesticks, and crisp white tablecloths allow her signature plates to take the spotlight.

Along with his young team, 26-year-old chef Michaël Gamet steps away from conventional codes at his restaurant, Mâche, which started welcoming keen customers in November 2021. Inspired by Art Deco and pop art, this new address in the 10th arrondissement offers a five-course tasting menu, with optional wine pairing.

Ten years after the opening of the Silencio club, founder Arnaud Frisch has launched Silencio des Prés, a gastronomic version of the rue Montmartre address, this time in Saint-Germain and helmed by chef Guillaume Sanchez. Prepare for stellar French fare with a side of arthouse cinema.

Deluxe room with a view at the Dandy hotel on rue Saint Denis (Nicolas Anetson)


New inner-city boltholes

Welcome to Hôtel des Académies et des Arts, which has art at its very soul. Even the ceilings in this intimate 20-room boutique hotel feature hand-painted murals, while televisions sit on easels, artworks fill the walls and coffee table books line the breakfast nook. Fittingly, it sits next to the art studio where Henri Matisse often painted in the historic Montparnasse neighbourhood.

At the heart of the bustling Les Halles district, the Dandy hotel provides a bourgeois-bohemian setting eclectically curated by interior designer Michael Malapert. Each of its 36 rooms combines vintage furniture with traditional French design and arty details – a nod to nearby Centre Pompidou. The coffee-shop brasserie includes a terrace for people-watching and an inviting cocktail bar.

Maison Gainsbourg exterior (Alexis Raimbault); abstract composition by Marcelle Cahn in Pioneers exhibition at Musée du Luxembourg (J L Lacroix)


Momentous occasions

Art Capital is presenting a new edition of its contemporary art fair from 16-20 February at the Grand Palais Éphémère. The largest gathering of artists in France, four fairs display the work of painters, sculptors, engravers, visual artists, photographers and architects.

The best of tennis is back with Paris’s top tournament, Roland-Garros, filling the iconic clay courts from 16 May to 5 June. Pick up a few skills from long-time favourites and emerging stars at the celebrated French Open.

Cycling fans can catch a live look at the 109th edition of the world-renowned Tour de France along the Champs-Élysées, as the multinational peloton races towards the finish line on 24 July.

The Tour de France concludes at the glorious Arc de Triomphe (Getty Images)


A wealth of new exhibitions

A never-before-seen Gaudí Retrospective will be unveiled at The Musée d’Orsay from 12 April to 17 July. Enter the world of this architect and Art Nouveau master by visiting his studio and discovering many of his greatest works, including the Sagrada Família.

The Musée du Luxembourg highlights inspiring female artists with its new exhibition: Pioneers. Artists of a new kind in the Paris of the Roaring Twenties, from 2 March to 10 July.

Discover the life of legend Serge Gainsbourg during a visit to the home he shared with his muse Jane Birkin. Opening this spring, museum Maison Gainsbourg offers intimate tours accompanied by an immersive 30-minute audio experience. Pop into neighbouring Le Gainsbarre, a café-restaurant by day and cocktail bar by night, for a post-exhibit tipple.