Ten of the most beautiful doors in Paris to walk through

For a city swathed in shades of grey, there sure are a lot of gorgeous and colourful doors in Paris. Here are ten of the most unique and beautiful doors to walk through, or at least to feast your eyes on.

Ten of the most beautiful doors in Paris to walk through
Photo: seth m/Flickr

Photo: seth m/Flickr

This intricate Art Nouveau masterpiece was constructed in 1901 by architect Jules Lavirotte. At the time it was considered so exotic and lavish that it won a facade award, an honor that it certainly still merits in our day and age. Find it at 29 Avenue Rapp in the 7th arrondissement.

Photo: Steve Cadman/Flickr

Another gorgeous entryway by architect Lavirotte, this door just might've been his favorite as he lived in the building with his family. It's just a stone's throw from its more famous counterpart, at 3 square Rapp in the 7th arrondissement. 

Photo: Claudius Dorenrof/Flickr

Another Art Nouveau stunner, this porte was designed by Hector Guimard. It's the entrance to the Castel Béranger building at 14 rue la Fontaine in the ritzy 16th arrondissement of western Paris.

Photo: daryl_mitchell/Flickr

The golden doors of the Petit Palais in the 8th arrondissement look built for a king (and in Paris, you never know — they could've been) but the design was actually the winner of a 1894 architecture competition for a permanent fine arts museum, which it still is today.


Photo: Mark Fischer/Flickr 

This one's for the street art lovers. This colourful door might seem a bit out of place on the opulent rue de Rivoli, but it makes sense when you know that it's home to an artist collective.

Photo: Francisco Martins/Flickr

These twin doors belong to the famous Notre Dame de Paris cathedral on the Île de la Cité, a small island in the middle of the River Seine. The view of this amazingly detailed entryway is beat only by the view inside the church once you walk through it. 

Photo: Steve Cadman/Flickr

This doorway of the Hotel de Marsilly in the 6th arrondissement was completed in 1738. If you'd like to be transported back to the 1700s, head on over to 18 rue du Cherche-Midi and give yourself at least a few minutes to stare at this gorgeous door.

Photo: John Kroll/Flickr

This artsy door in Montmartre is a reminder that before tourists took over the northern neighborhood, it was once an offbeat, bohemian district that inspired artists such as Van Gogh and Matisse. 

Photo: mjfagioli/Flickr

You might recognize this picturesque purple porte from the Woody Allen film Midnight in Paris. It's where Owen Wilson's character is whisked away to 1920s Paris. Check out its time-traveling capabilities for yourself in the 5th arrondissement — the name of the church is Eglise Saint-Etienne-du-Mont.


A photo posted by JUSTINE (@_justinerivera_) on May 7, 2016 at 12:55pm PDT

Can you imagine coming home every evening through this extravagant door? If you want to go play pretend, you can find it at 6 Rue Marbeuf in the 8th arrondissement. 


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‘Painful’ – is Paris Charles de Gaulle airport really that bad?

Following a survey that said Paris Charles de Gaulle airport was the best in Europe, we asked Local readers what they thought...

'Painful' - is Paris Charles de Gaulle airport really that bad?

Recently, Paris Charles de Gaulle was voted the best airport in Europe by passengers.

The 2022 World Airport Awards, based on customer satisfaction surveys between September 2021 and May 2022, listed the best airport on the planet as Doha, while Paris’s main airport came in at number 6 – the highest entry for a European airport – one place above Munich. 

READ ALSO Paris Charles de Gaulle voted best airport in Europe by passengers

Given CDG’s long-standing reputation doesn’t quite match what the World Airport Awards survey said – in 2009 it was rated the second-worst airport in the world, while in 2011 US site CNN judged it “the most hated airport in the world” – we wondered how accurate the survey could be.

So we asked readers of The Local for their opinion on their experience of Europe’s ‘best’ airport. 

Contrary to the World Airport Awards study, users erred towards the negative about the airport. A total 30.8 percent of Local readers – who had travelled through the airport in recent months – thought it was ‘terrible’, while another 33.3 percent agreed that it was ‘not great’ and had ‘some problems’.

But in total 12.8 percent of those who responded to our survey thought the airport was ‘brilliant’, and another 23.1 percent thought it ‘fine’, with ‘no major problems’.

So what are the problems with it?


One respondent asked a simple – and obvious – question: “Why are there so many terminal twos?”

Barney Lehrer added: “They should change the terminal number system.”

In fact, signage and directions – not to mention the sheer size of the place – were common complaints, as were onward travel options. 

Christine Charaudeau told us: “The signage is terrible. I’ve often followed signs that led to nowhere. Thankfully, I speak French and am familiar with the airport but for first time travellers … yikes!”

Edwin Walley added that it was, “impossible to get from point A to point B,”  as he described the logistics at the airport as the “worst in the world”.

And James Patterson had a piece of advice taken from another airport. “The signage could be better – they could take a cue from Heathrow in that regard.”

Anthony Schofield said: “Arriving by car/taxi is painful due to congestion and the walk from the skytrain to baggage claim seems interminable.”

Border control

Border control, too, was a cause for complaint. “The wait at the frontière is shameful,” Linda, who preferred to use just her first name, told us. “I waited one and a half hours standing, with a lot of old people.”

Sharon Dubble agreed. She wrote: “The wait time to navigate passport control and customs is abysmal!”

Deborah Mur, too, bemoaned the issue of, “the long, long wait to pass border control in Terminal E, especially at 6am after an overnight flight.”

Beth Van Hulst, meanwhile, pulled no punches with her estimation of border staff and the airport in general. “[It] takes forever to go through immigration, and staff deserve their grumpy reputation. Also, queuing is very unclear and people get blocked because the airport layout is not well designed.”

Jeff VanderWolk highlighted the, “inadequate staffing of immigration counters and security checkpoints”, while Karel Prinsloo had no time for the brusque attitudes among security and border personnel. “Officers at customs are so rude. I once confronted the commander about their terrible behaviour.  His response said it all: ‘We are not here to be nice’. Also the security personnel.”


One of the most-complained-about aspects is one that is not actually within the airport’s control – public transport connections.  

Mahesh Chaturvedula was just one of those to wonder about integrated travel systems in France, noting problems with the reliability of onward RER rail services, and access to the RER network from the terminal.

The airport is connected to the city via RER B, one of the capital’s notoriously slow and crowded suburban trains. Although there are plans to create a new high-speed service to the airport, this now won’t begin until after the 2024 Olympics.

Sekhar also called for, “more frequent trains from SNCF to different cities across France with respect to the international flight schedules.”

The good news

But it wasn’t all bad news for the airport, 35 percent of survey respondents said the airport had more positives than negatives, while a Twitter poll of local readers came out in favour of Charles de Gaulle.

Conceding that the airport is “too spread out”, Jim Lockard said it, “generally operates well; [and has] decent amenities for food and shopping”.

Declan Murphy was one of a number of respondents to praise the, “good services and hotels in terminals”, while Dean Millar – who last passed through Charles de Gaulle in October – said the, “signage is very good. [It is] easy to find my way around”.

He added: “Considering the size (very large) [of the airport] it is very well done.  So no complaints at all.”