In a charming and somewhat upscale atmosphere, the tranquil Parisian neighborhood of Village d'Auteuil inspires many strollers. Its natural corners, flower-lined alleys, private villas sometimes hidden in small courtyards, and surprising Art Nouveau architecture surprise and charm in equal measure.
The Headquarters of the Parisian Elite
Bounded by the area between Porte de Saint-Cloud and Jasmin metro station, the Village d'Auteuil covers a large part of the southern 16th arrondissement. This little countryside corner quickly attracted artists in search of inspiration and intellectuals who enjoyed debating and contributing greatly to its reputation. In the 16th century, Molière and his friend Boileau would meet here to exchange ideas, write, and debate. Racine, La Fontaine, Lully, La Bruyère, and many others would gather at Molière's residence and dine at the Mouton Blanc inn, located at 40 rue d'Auteuil, whose doors are still open today. In the 17th century, wealthy property owners decided to settle here, such as Cardinal de Richelieu, who purchased the Coq castle and later offered it to the king. Louis XV turned it into his "country house," lavishly adorned with tapestries and embroideries. In the following century, Madame Helvétius' literary salon welcomed the greatest minds of the time: Diderot, d'Alembert, Condillac, Malesherbes, Turgot... It was the heyday of the Enlightenment, and it was grandly nicknamed the "Circle of Auteuil."
Auteuil, a Place for Retreat
It was during Napoleon III's reign in the 19th century that the Village d'Auteuil gradually changed its appearance, under the zeal of Baron Haussmann, who aimed to incorporate these small villages surrounding the capital into Paris: Chaillot, Passy, Auteuil... all were targeted by the annexation policy so dear to the baron. Over time, the large estates disappeared, but the rural atmosphere, the luxurious private mansions, the charming villas, the small houses with provincial style, and the private lanes survived the urban redevelopment that affected Paris. And with them, the feeling of living in a somewhat separate world, protected from the neighboring city, remained intact. The rustic beauty of Auteuil remains highly sought after today, and the wealthiest Parisians continue to establish their "country houses" there.
If you are a fan of browsing flea markets, head to Avenue de Versailles where a delightful market takes place every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. To admire some architectural wonders in the Art Nouveau style, stroll along Rue Boileau. You will discover the first curiosity at number 62, which houses a very unique building: the Embassy of Vietnam. A few steps further, at number 40, you will find the Hôtel Danois, a building that harmoniously blends Art Nouveau and Oriental architecture and houses the Embassy of Algeria. Take a look to the left of the embassy to catch a glimpse of the Hameau Boileau, a splendid private property unfortunately closed to the public.
Near the Porte d'Auteuil, sports enthusiasts can enjoy the Parc des Princes, the official stadium of the Paris Saint-Germain football club, as well as the Roland Garros tennis courts, where the famous tournament takes place between the last week of May and the first week of June.
The Jardin des Serres d'Auteuil
Just a two-minute walk from Porte d'Auteuil metro station, you will find the Jardin des Serres d'Auteuil, a public botanical garden. Covering an area of 7 hectares and organized around a vast French-style parterre, these romantically-styled greenhouses opened in 1895 to grow plants destined to adorn parks, squares, and other public spaces in Paris.
Today, the garden boasts a magnificent collection of rare plants and trees, as well as a palm house and a beautiful aviary. The tropical pavilion is filled with palm trees, birds, and Japanese koi fish. Completely exotic, the Jardin des Serres d'Auteuil captivates visitors by combining the grace of a French garden, the elegance of late 19th-century architecture, and the exoticism of tropical plants from distant horizons.
The must-see attractions in Paris
For groups of 10 or more
Cruises with meals or private evenings