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Silver Screen Holiday: Paris


Reading + Entertainment

  • professional film camera focusing on Notre Dame in the distance

Jessica, Preston | September 1, 2020

Last year I took a “Silver Screen Holiday” by watching movies filmed on location and set in New Orleans, which was a great way to prepare for my actual trip to New Orleans. But a silver screen holiday isn’t just for trip planning; it’s a great way to escape to another place from the comfort of your living room.

If you’re stuck without a destination vacation on the horizon, this is the perfect time to take another Silver Screen Holiday. Check out our recommendations for the ultimate Parisian movie marathon:

Before Sunset

You don’t have to have seen “Before Sunrise” to enjoy “Before Sunset,” its romantic, dreamy sequel, filmed entirely on location in Paris. Join Jesse and Celine, two ex-lovers taking a walk and catching up after nine years apart. They meander through the streets of Paris, giving viewers an excellent sense of the city. Sights include famous bookshop Shakespeare & Company, Notre Dame Cathedral, and a beautiful view of the city from a tourist barge on the Seine.


AmelieIf you want to see the beautiful historic district of Montmartre, there’s no better movie than “Amélie.” It follows a shy, quirky waitress named Amélie Poulain who sets out to improve the lives of those around her. Amélie works at the Café des Deux Moulins, which has itself become a tourist attraction after being featured in this film. Other sites include Sacré-Cœur Basilica (where she places the blue arrows for her mystery man), Lamarck-Caulaincourt metro station (where she helps the old blind man), and the Canal St Martin (where she skips stones).

Midnight in ParisMidnight in Paris” follows Gil, an American screenwriter visiting Paris, who keeps going back in time to the jazz age every night, meeting famous figures like Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Gertude Stein. The film offers gorgeous shots of Paris’s streets at night. During the day, Gil stays with his fiancé at the ritzy Hotel le Bristol and visits sites like the Musée Rodin, the Musée de l'Orangerie, and the Palace of Versailles (which is just outside of Paris).


AnastasiaIn this classic animated feature, young Russian orphan Anya travels to Paris with a couple of con artists who want to swindle the Dowager Empress out of the reward money for finding her lost granddaughter, the Grand Duchess Anastasia … but Anya might be Anastasia after all! While it is a cartoon, “Anastasia” manages to provide an excellent overview of Paris in one musical sequence: “Paris Holds the Key (to Your Heart).” Landmarks include the Alexander III bridge, the Paris Opera House, the Eiffel Tower, and the Moulin Rouge.


CharadeIn thriller/comedy classic “Charade,” Audrey Hepburn plays a widow on the run after her husband steals a fortune from three criminals and is promptly murdered. This movie was largely filmed on location in Paris, so keep your eyes peeled for landmarks. Notable filming locations include the Pont au Double (near Notre Dame), Palais Royale Station, Champs Elysées, and the garden of the Palais Royale.


Have you ever taken a Silver Screen Holiday? Tell us about it in the comments below!