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Ten must-visit movie scene locations in Paris
The Inception Bridge also featured in Parks and Recreation. Photo: Deedle-Dee Productions

Ten must-visit movie scene locations in Paris

The Local · 22 Jun 2015, 14:29

Published: 22 Jun 2015 14:29 GMT+02:00
Updated: 22 Jun 2015 14:29 GMT+02:00

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1. The church steps from Midnight in Paris 
This is currently the one film that is inspiring people to come to Paris as it perfectly shows off the beauty of the city. In the film, Gil (Owen Wilson) sits on steps, waiting for the vintage Peugeot to whisk him back to the lost generation of writers' era.
(Photo: Sony Pictures)
Everyone hunting down the steps ends up looking all over Montmartre in northern Paris, because as everyone knows the second rule of physics states that Paris + Steps = Montmartre.
But, they're actually located on the other side of the city in the 5th arrondissement just behind the Pantheon, on the left-side of Eglise Saint-Etienne-du-mont. Once you've taken a good look at the wonderful facade of the church, where all the students from the prestigious Henri IV high school eat their lunch, just walk down and take the time to recreate the most magical moment of the movie.

(Photo: GoogleMaps)

(A map showing all ten locations/GoogleMaps)

2: Amélie's cafe

The quirky Amélie Poulain (Audrey Tautou) is the darling of Paris cinema and the movie proved to be a huge hit abroad. She calls Montmartre her home and this film showcases how the area, though part of Paris, has a village-like feel to it. 


(Photo: UFD)
To really enter the movie atmosphere, stop and have a drink where Amélie worked at the exact café that the production took over for filming. It's called the Café des Deux Moulins at 15 Rue Lepic.
To bring the magical ambiance of the movie to your trip, remember to see the world like it's crazy talented director Jean-Pierre Jeunet does - forget slow table service and just sit and appreciate the raw beauty of life.

(Photo: Chris Goldberg/Flickr)
3: Have a kiss on the (former) love lock bridge
Ah yes, the love lock bridge. Most Hollywood movies set in Paris feature a bridge over the Seine at some point, but a favourite is always the Pont des Arts, also known as Lover's Bridge. 

(Photo: HBO)
This is the scene of that kiss between Big and Carrie from Sex and the City (see above), but if that's not your thing, it was also the scene where Mark Ruffalo and French actress Mélanie Laurent lock away one more secret in Now You See Me. 
In fact, Now You See Me is one of the only films to acknowledge the love lock phenomenon. And while the locks have now all been removed and the bridge isn't quite the same, it's still one of our favourite places to follow in the footsteps of the stars. 
Paris begins removal of a million love locks
(Photo: AFP)
4. Buy a book at Shakespeare and Co 
Before Sunset is one of the major reasons that people started flocking in droves to this quaint English-language bookstore on Paris's Rive Gauche. In fact, on weekends it's not unusual to see a long line of people waiting just to get in.

(Photo: Warner Bros France)
In the film, Ethan Hawke plays an author giving a book signing here. In real life, authors do the same - so be sure to check out the store's upcoming events and you might be able to catch someone you've always wanted to meet. 
Or if you're really lucky, you might spot a celebrity. Owen Wilson is a regular customer when he's in Paris, and still browses the books long after he was there for a scene in Midnight in Paris. 

(Photo: Hannah Swithinbank/Flickr)

5: Twist reality at the 'Inception Bridge'

The Pont Bir Hakeim bridge is often simply referred to as the Inception bridge. It was in this movie that director Christopher Nolan used the column features to striking effect. 

(Photo: Warner Bros)

He created mirror images to give the impression that the bridge went on for eternity, a link to the  dream sequences that saw the characters bend the realms of reality. It's also the setting for the opening scene in Last Tango in Paris. 

Why not do what the gang from Parks and Recreation did and visit it for yourself?

(Photo: Deedle-Dee Productions)

6. Crack the Da Vinci Code

Church Saint Sulpice is the second largest church in Paris (behind Notre Dame) and it's tucked away on a quiet street in Saint Germain, south of the river. 

(Photo: Lawrence OP/Flickr)
But it wasn't until the smash hit The Da Vinci Code that the church was brought into its rightful status as a "must-see" location.
The church and Da Vinci Code didn't quite see eye-to-eye on the filming plans, which ruled out filming inside the church. But you'd never know as the church's interiors were painstakingly recreated in a studio so they look exactly like the real thing.

(Photo: Warner Bros)

7. Follow Audrey's Hepburn's footsteps 
Charade, a 1963 film starring Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant, immortalised Paris on the big screen - especially the Quai de Montebello riverside walk. As the pair leisurely stroll along the river banks, right in the shadow of Notre Dame, they talk about how they're following in the footsteps of Leslie Caron and Gene Kelly, who danced at this same location in 1951's An American in Paris. 
Story continues below…

(Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)
However, An American in Paris was all done in studio but the recreation was so faithfully done, you'd be forgiven for not knowing. Audrey and Cary enjoy the famous Berthillion's ice-cream which you can taste on Isle-St-Louis just around the corner.

(Photo: Edgardo W. Olivera/Flickr)

8. Follow the rats...

The Gusteau's restaurant in Ratatouille is based on La Tour d'Argent in Paris. It's known as one of the most expensive restaurants in the city, so be careful what you order if you're going in. 
The restaurant in the hugely popular Pixar movie is based on a mix of some of the best Paris restaurants, but it's closest to this one. Indeed, the only real difference is that the real one doesn't have the flashy neon sign, nor the pretty little fountain and square that made the film version so charming. 

pretty animated GIF

9. Ditch your phone... (or at least pretend to)

The Devil Wears Prada is largely set in New York, though as the movie is all about the fashion world, a trip to Paris was always going to be on the cards. If you like fashion, stroll down the nearby Avenue Montaigne just as Andy (Anne Hathaway) does in the film.

(Photo: 20th Century Fox)

It is right in the heart of Paris at Place de la Concorde that Andy decides that the cut-throat industry is not for her, and she symbolically throws her phone into one of the stunning Tritan and Water Nymph fountains here.

We do not recommend doing the same, though the area is well worth a visit. 

(Photo: Trawets1/Flickr)

10. The blockbuster view

Lastly, it's a bit of fun - and we recommend that you do not try this one. Rush Hour 3 takes you on a high-octane journey around Paris, climaxing with a huge fight scene at the Eiffel Tower, notably the Jules Verne restaurant. Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan escape by grabbing hold of a huge French flag and using it to parachute into the water basin across the bridge. See the clip below.

The basin with fountains is part of the Trocodero, and well worth a visit. Head up to the Plantard de Trocodero and you'll get an amazing view of the Eiffel Tower.

(Photo: Todd Martin/Flickr)

And that ends the tour. If you want to know a whole lot more, visit the friendly team at Set in Paris Movie Tours, which offers daily walking tours at 10am and 3pm, as well as private and group tours.
Happy walking!
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