What to Do in Paris During the French Open

When you're not watching tennis, spend time at a rooftop bar, a park or an art museum in Paris' 16th arrondissement.

Photo by SheraleeS/iStock

Paris’ 16th arrondissement barely made a blip on the tourist radar five years ago. But, following some attention-grabbing museum, hotel and restaurant openings, this area—also known as le seizième—is having its day. Throw in the city’s second-largest park, and the area around Stade Roland-Garros provides some cool options for visitors and tennis fans.

Illustration by Muti

Qualifiers: May 20 to 24

Final draw: May 26 to June 9

Where: Stade Roland-Garros

Court type: Clay

Neighbourhood: 16th arrondissement

Closest subway station: Porte d’Auteuil

1. Drink at Molitor’s rooftop bar

Photo by Frederic Baron-Morin

Snag a seat at restored art deco hotel Molitor’s rooftop bar. It overlooks the pool complex where the bikini made its fashion-show debut in 1946. Order a cocktail like the La B du 16, featuring Szechwan pepper-infused gin.

2. Explore Bois de Boulogne

Photo by Amelie Dupont

Roughly two-and-a-half times the size of New York City’s Central Park, Bois de Boulogne is said to have been Marie Antoinette’s pleasure garden. Today, it’s an oasis of strolling paths and lakes and also has a botanical garden.

3. Visit the Fondation Louis Vuitton

Photo by Iwan Baan

Visit the Frank Gehry-designed Fondation Louis Vuitton art museum through June 17 to see works from the Courtauld Collection, including paintings by French masters Claude Monet, Paul Gauguin and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

4. Shop for French Open souvenirs

Photo by mustafagull/iStock

Pick up souvenirs at the stadium gift shop. The 2019 player towels are designed with racquets featuring Eiffel Tower handles and there are also sweatshirts with phrases like J’peux pas, je suis à Roland (I can’t, I’m at Roland).

Best vantage point: Frog XVI

A modern microbrewery and sports bar in the 16th, Frog XVI has big-screen viewing and seasonal brews, such as the citrusy favourite, Maison Blanche.

[This story appears in the May 2019 issue of WestJet Magazine]