World's Greatest Places 2021
July 20, 2021 6:33 AM EDT

The City of Light may be in the midst of a 21st century infrastructural renaissance—including new bicycle lanes and a car-free city center—but its tourism offerings maintain their ties to the region’s rich past. In May, the Bourse de Commerce–Pinault Collection, a contemporary art gallery in France’s former commodities exchange, opened. Designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando, it hosts the vast art collection of luxury-goods tycoon François Pinault, joining the ranks of collections from Fondation Louis Vuitton (by Frank Gehry) and Fondation Cartier (by Jean Nouvel) in Paris art spaces. Not far from the capital, the new Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle, a 14-bedroom hotel in a 17th century mansion designed by Louis XIV’s favorite architect, Jules Hardouin-Mansart, has debuted amid the famed palace’s formal gardens. With a signature Alain Ducasse restaurant, a wellness center and an indoor swimming pool, guests can live—if briefly—like modern kings. —Dana Thomas

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