Walkable Paris: A Day Based around Musee Rodin.
Updated: Aug 24, 2022
Trail-Stop One: Coutume Cafe.
The place to start a morning with Rodin or any day in Paris is at Coutume Cafe. The coffee sculpted here will knock you to the floor with genius similar to that which Rodin will later use to smack you around his gardens.
After the sucker punch of espresso or half white or iced latte expect a left hook of pancakes with fruit. Don't worry the floor is a lovely and sunlit place to faint.
Ask for a to-go cup because walking in the Parisian sun is fun when that coffee stuffs a big fat mug into the mouths of people who say Paris isn't the greatest in the world at coffee.
From coutume cafe go west a few steps on Rue de Babylon and then a right on Boulevard des Invalides and then about ten minutes later (give or take stopping at Napoleon's tomb for a photo-op), Auguste Rodin is waiting for you at the corner of Rue de Varennes.
Trail-Stop Two : Musee Rodin.
This is where to get the Paris Museum Pass, sometimes referred to as the don't be a sucker
and stand in lines instead of enjoying Paris pass, to the layman. The line is never that long and even if it is you can cut the time in half because you're in line for the Museum Pass and Musee Rodin. So two lines at once. Sometimes you gotta fight genius with genius.
Start the Museum Rodin in the Hotel Biron. It's the trust-fall part of the adventure day here, where you will learn to trust Rodin with your soul in a collection of his smaller works placed lovingly indoors where he worked and created.
Out of Hotel Biron head for the gates of hell, a scene from Dante's Inferno. It's a good thing you've developed a trust for Rodin because otherwise you wouldn't trust the man to take your soul down the layers of Hell without knowing he was going to bring it back up.
Start a clockwise trip around the garden. Many of the sculptures are enlarged versions of what is depicted in The Gates of Hell, blown up to life size for your viewing and conversation pleasure.
If you're still standing by the time you've reached the back of the gardens, lounge chairs are there for you to think about what why.
Then there's a cafe that sells a half-bottle of rose which is perfect and does all the work for you so that you don't have to miss any of Rodin or Paris outside with silly things like measuring or buying too much rosé.
Now you're ready for Rodin's most famous sculpture called The Thinker. Feel free to relive the scene from Midnight in Paris where the pedantic gentleman gets in the argument with the tour guide. I do every time.
Trail-Stop Three: Lunch at Au Pied de Fouet.
From Musee Rodin head east on Rue de Varenne, a right on Rue Barbet de Jouy, and a left on Rue de Babylon for the red-doored coziness of Au Pied de Fouet. This is where Lumiere from Beaty and the Beast would have gone to lunch before once daily and twice on Saturday performances of Be Our Guest at the master's chateau. This place is the reason you came not just to Paris but to France.
I go there for the bottles of wine with no label. There's nothing cooler than drinking wine from bottles with no label.
The staff is lovely and last time I was there they educated me on what the cool kids of Paris were drinking at the moment and they argued about it among the staff and offered samples and then I knew what to order for the rest of my trip to be in high Parisian fashion at cafes.
Trial-Stop Four: The bridge Pont Alexandre the III
From Au Pied de Fouet head west on rue de babylone and then a right down Boulevard des Invalides and continue on past the park in front of Napoleon's tomb.
Where this park meets the river is Pont Alexandre III. Gill from Midnight in Paris met the girl in the end here. Though, ironically, the views between the lamp posts of the bridge of Paris and of the Eiffel Tower and of the Seine make a compelling case that Paris is not the most beautiful in the rain.
Cross the bridge and where it meets the Right Bank is the selfie opportunity you've been waiting for in Paris, if that's your thing.
Trail-Stop Five: La Petit Palais.
Across the street from the bridge Pont Alexandre the III is La Petit Palais.
It's a museum that is uncrowded and circulates visitors and air conditioning and delight through a survey of the history of art in Paris.
The courtyard of this museum is a great place to get a sparkling water and cool off if it's summer and decide what to do with the rest of your Parisian day because you're in the middle of it all.
Upstairs in the museum cafe there is also a place to charge your phone or iPad or anything else that you can stick into the plugs beneath the couches.