Go to a cemetery? Yes, especially this one on the east side of Paris.
It had a prominent place in the movie, “Paris, Je t’aime” and is also known as the cemetery where ordinary people are buried alongside famous people and they’re not all French. There’s Edith Piaf, Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, and Chopin.
It’s a beautiful place for a walk, with many trees and many cobble lanes, so many lanes, in fact that you can get lost. It is also hilly. The gravesites and memorials vary in size and design. Some are quite ornate.
While the cemetrary a free open space, it is also still an operating cemetery, so one needs to be respectful, particularly when there is a burial going on. Please! No selfies!!!
And forget about kissing the tombstone of the Irish playwright, Oscar Wilde,. Visitors have been known to kiss the tombstone with lipstick; however, since I last visited, a glass barrier has been erected so people can no longer kiss it. The bacteria/lipstick was starting to deteriorate the tombstone.
A couple words of advice:
- If you take the Metro, you can either get off at the “Pere Lachaise” Metro or the Gambetta stop. The Gambetta stop is preferable as you will enter at the top of the cemetery and therefore you will be walking downhill The exact address is: 16 Rue du Repos and it is open weekdays 8-6 pm, Saturday 8:30-6 pm and Sunday 9-6 pm
- Take a photo with your smartphone of the map that is posted near the entrance. No need to buy one. This way, you’ll have the locations of gravesites you want to see and won’t have to wander up and down the lanes.