An architecturally and politically important building, the Hôtel de Ville in Paris has housed various government bodies since the 14th century; it’s currently home to Paris’ mayor and city council. The landmark is famed for its decorative facade and well-appointed interiors, and it also hosts exhibitions and events throughout the year.
Hôtel de Ville—the Paris City Hall—dates to 1357. Initially housed in Maison aux Piliers, the landmark was rebuilt and expanded between 1533 and 1628. Considered a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture, that building was burned to the ground by the Paris Commune government. Following a period of renovation that lasted from 1873 to 1892, its facade was reconstructed and its interiors redesigned.
Today, the monument is home to some of the city’s most important government offices, including Paris city council and the mayor of Paris. It can be seen on hop-on hop-off bus tours, as well as on bike and walking tours. Given its location on the Seine, Hôtel de Ville can also be admired on river cruises.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Individual visits to the monument are currently suspended, though tour groups can file an application, preferably two months in advance.
- The building is outfitted with elevators, disabled bathrooms, and other features that make it accessible to visitors with limited mobility.
- Though much of the landmark is closed to individual visitors, Hôtel de Ville opens its doors during European Heritage Days, held each September.
How to Get There
Located in the Fourth Arrondissement, the Hôtel de Ville Métro station—served by lines 1 and 11—is just steps away from the monument, while the Châtelet – Les Halles station (served by lines 1, 4, 7, 11, and 14, as well as the RER A, B, and D), is less than a 10-minute walk away. Alternatively, take bus lines 38, 47, 67, 69, 70, 72, 74, 75, 76, 85, or 96.
When to Get There
The Hôtel de Ville is currently best seen from the outside, as only planned group tours can enter. The interior is open to these groups every day except Sundays and bank holidays. It often hosts free Paris–themed temporary exhibitions and comes alive during the festive season with its annual outdoor Christmas market.
The Hôtel de Ville’s Interior
Although the landmark is only open to planned group tours, the interior is worth seeing as it’s filled with elegant murals painted by prominent 19th-century artists. The landmark is also famed for its extravagant function room, designed to resemble Versailles’ Hall of Mirrors.