Pere Lachaise cemetery is a beautiful place to spend a few hours exploring. Final resting place of Edith Piaf, Gertrude Stein, Alice B Toklas, Oscar Wilde (see main picture), Marcel Proust, Colette, Isadora Duncan and many, many more, it’s the largest cemetery in Paris and one of the most famous in the world (many say it’s also the most beautiful). Opened in 1804, probably its best known resident nowadays is Jim Morrison, still attracting guitar playing fans from around to world who come to pay homage at his grave.
Situated in the 20th arrondissement, on the east side of the city, it covers 48 hectares (almost 120 acres), and is beautiful and tranquil at any time of the year. I was last there in late October as the trees were turning gold, one of the prettiest times to visit in my opinion. Not only can you find every style of tombstone imaginable, but also a huge variety of trees – over 5000 in fact from 50 different species. Wear comfortable shoes and be ready to walk up and down a few hills, download their online map or pick one up at the entrance, and enjoy a few hours away from the noise and bustle of the city.
The cemetery is open daily from 8:00 to 18:00 (it opens at 8.30 on Saturday and 9:00 on Sunday).
Cimetière du Père Lachaise, 16 rue du Repos, 75020 Paris. métro: Gambetta or Père Lachaise