Is your child a fan of Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir? Given that it screens in more than 120 countries and is regularly the top program for children aged 4 to 11, it would unusual if they had not at least heard of it. If you are visiting Paris with kids, why not take a tour of Ladybug’s Paris?
Our list includes well-known sights from the animated series that you will want to see anyway, as well as some key lesser-known places. Not only will you see some unusual sights in Paris, but for your Miraculous fan, the tour will be extra special.
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- What is Miraculous?
- Why should you tour Ladybug’s Paris?
- A Tour of the Miraculous sights in Paris
- Take a tour of the Miraculous sights in Paris
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What is Miraculous?
Are you familiar with Miraculous? It’s an animated television series aimed at younger viewers (though it has an active teen fan base, too).
It stars Marinette Dupain-Cheng is a regular teenage school girl of French-Chinese descent who aspires to be a fashion designer. After helping Master Fu, she is gifted a pair of earrings that look like ladybugs. These are the “Ladybug Miraculous” and the kwami (magical entity) associated with the Miraculous gives her the ability to transform into her superhero alter-ego Ladybug.
Together with Cat Noir, Ladybug protects Paris from the villain Hawk Moth, who keeps gifting troubled teens an akuma. This has the opposite effect of a miraculous, turning the teenagers into super baddies, who need to be stopped.
The series is set in Paris, fusing a number of fictional locations in with real sites that you can visit o your tour of the Miraculous sights in Paris. Marinette and her family live above the fictional family bakery at 12 rue Gotlib in the (fictional) 21st arrondissement.
I don’t mind Miss M watching Miraculous. Marinette is a strong and fun female lead, who is authentic, kind, strong and inventive both as Marinette and as Ladybug. I don’t know about you, but I’m all for a strong female lead who is a positive role model, especially in the way she treats others!
Why should you tour Ladybug’s Paris?
In a nutshell, with few exceptions, Ladybug’s Paris is everyone else’s Paris. By going on a tour of the Miraculous sights in Paris you will be touring the city of love, just viewed through red and black spotted glasses.
And your Miraculous fan will love it. Even if they can’t quote the series verbatim, a tour of Ladybug’s Paris will give the city more context for them. Miss M loves it when she has a context and is much more engaged. One of her highlights of our trip to Paris was seeing where Marinette lives, even though she knows that Marinette is fictitious.
A Tour of the Miraculous sights in Paris
These are in no particular order. You could make a day out of seeing them all, see a few each day or just mention that somewhere is a part of Ladybug’s Paris when you are visiting it anyway.
1. The Eiffel Tower
Perhaps the most famous symbol of Paris and even of France, the Eiffel Tower features heavily in Miraculous. In fact, it appears in almost every episode and is often the location of battles between Ladybug and Cat Noir and whatever person has been akumatised and turned into a villain. It is a must-see in Paris on any tour and at 324 metres tall, it is really hard to miss.
When we were visiting Paris, the Eiffel Tower was closed presumably to prepare for the fireworks display for Bastille Day. It did not matter as Miss M was quite happy to see it from up close and did not have to go up the top. We have been before, but Miss M was too young to remember it.
If you are planning on going up the Eiffel Tower, book your tickets in advance. I’ve done both and don’t see the point anymore of going all the way up to the top. If this is likely to be your only trip to Paris, by all means, go straight to the top. Take the lifts, not the stairs – it will cost more but you will be doing enough walking and stairs in Paris.
To visit after 30 September 2021, anyone aged 12 or older will need to show proof of full COVID vaccination or a health pass. Antigen tests can be taken at the Tower site.
Across the river looking over the Eiffel Tower is Trocadéro. It boasts gardens, ponds and the Museum of Humanity (Musée de l’Homme). When she’s not fighting the baddies and catching their akumas, Marinette likes meeting up with her friends at “Troca”. The views are lovely, too.
Miss M enjoyed eating a crepe while watching the view.
3. The Louvre
Another site that is on almost everyone’s must-see list when visiting Paris for the first time is the Louvre. The 243,000 m2 museum displays around 35,000 works and has many more stored in the basements. In 2019 it was the most visited museum in the world (over 9.5 million visitors).
With its signature glass pyramids, it is not just the scene of a murder in the DaVinci Code. Ladybug and Cat Noir fought the Pharoah, the Mime and Volpina there. It should naturally also form part of any tour of the Miraculous sights in Paris.
We visited the Louvre and its famed glass pyramids while we were in Paris. Miss M was a little distracted by her slush and a little blasé about the sight. To be fair, she had seen them before and we had seen the minute Mona Lisa, as well.
Book tickets and a time slot online in advance. Masks must be worn while visiting the museum. As with the Eiffel Tower and the Palace of Versailles, proof of vaccination or a health pass is required.
4. Jardins des Tuileries
In front of the Louvre is the Jardins des Tuileries. It’s the site of a memorable chase through the tree-lined alleys between Ladybug and Cat Noir and Backwarder (he made up for lost time by stealing it from Parisians).
Miss M had fun gliding through the garden like a Microraptor, chasing kwamis. Until she had to have a rest.
5. The Luxor Obelisk
At the other end of the Jardin des Tuileries is Place de la Concorde, with the Luxor Obelisk. It was gifted to France in 1829 by Muhammad Ali of Egypt as thanks for the work done by French philologist, Jean-François Champollion on deciphering hieroglyphics.
The obelisk is 23 metres high, weighs 222 tonnes and is actually the oldest historical monument in Paris. It used to stand together with its twin at the Luxor Temple during the reign of Ramasses II. This didn’t stop Ladybug from chopping off the top to use in battle. Fortunately, the fictitious damage is quickly dealt with after Paris has been saved.
6. Arc de Triomphe
In one episode (Season 1, Episode 20), Ladybug and Cat Noir have to stop Numeric, who is terrorising the ChampsÉlysées. This makes it the perfect addition to Ladybug’s Paris tour. We didn’t get to the Arc de Triomphe this trip (we spent too much time with the dinosaurs in Paris to complete the tour of the Miraculous sights in Paris).
The Arc de Triomphe is the centre of one of the busiest roundabouts in the world (12 avenues radiate from the Place Charles-de-Gaulle, so make sure you use one of the underpasses to reach it). Napoleon commissioned it as a tribute to his soldiers who fought and won at the Battle of Austerlitz. He had visions of the soldiers returning home triumphantly through the arches of triumph. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is in the base.
If you have not had enough of climbing things by this time, you can visit the viewing platform at the top of the Arc de Triomphe. There is a lift to the attic, which has a small museum about its construction. Forty more steps take you to the terrace. Book tickets online.
7. Tour Montparnasse
While the Tour Maine-Montparnasse may only be the third tallest building in Paris, it has some of the best views, including of the Eiffel Tower.
I know this, even though we did not take in the views from the Tower on this trip. In my former life, I was lucky enough to attend some client meetings in the upper levels of the Tower. Effectively, I was paid to admire the views.
Take the lift up 200 metres above Paris to the Montparnasse Tower Panoramic Observation Deck in just 38 seconds and admire the view. You can view the locations on Ladybug’s Paris from above, including the sight of battles against Gorizilla and Optigami.
The Tower is at rue de l’Arrivée (15th Arrondissement) and you can book tickets online.
8. Hôtel de Ville
This is one stop on our Tour of the Miraculous sights in Paris that we were not planning to see, but ended up having to walk right past in order to reach the Louvre.
As any Miraculous fan will know, Marinette’s classmate and nemesis, Chloe Bourgeois, is the daughter of the mayor of Paris. The Hôtel de Ville, or town hall, features in numerous Miraculous scenes involving Chloe. Various battles have been fought there too, including against Rogercop, Darkblade, Reflekta, and Silencer.
The town hall is the largest municipal building in Europe. Around 230 sculptors were commissioned to produce more than 300 statues of famous Parisians on each facade, Perhaps the most famous sculptor was Auguste Rodin, who sculpted the figure of mathematician Jean le Rond d’Alembert (left side, first floor).
9. Lycée Carnot
While we’re talking about school, why not visit Marinette’s school while on a tour of Ladybug’s Paris?
The real school does not exist, but the Lycée Carnot (17th Arrondissement) served as a model for Marinette and Adrien’s school. It has a large courtyard and a glass and metal roof designed by Gustave Eiffel.
We didn’t go to the school during our visit: school holidays were about to start and COVID has imposed rules about persons allowed around school grounds. Still, you can find it at 145 boulevard Malherbes.
10. Place des Vosges
The Place des Vosges serves as inspiration for the park near Marinette’s house. Of course, don’t expect to find the statue of Ladybug and Cat Noir in the real Place des Vosges.
The real square is the oldest one in Paris. It was built in 1605 on the site of a royal palace (Palais des Tournelles). It is surrounded by 34 identical buildings and two that are higher – the King’s at the southern end and his Queen’s in the north.
11. Boris Lumé Boulangerie
One of Miss M’s highlights of our whole Paris trip – and our tour of the Miraculous sights in Paris – was our trip to Boris Lumé Boulangerie. This was despite the fact that they started their annual holidays on the day we visited and were closed.
Boris Lumé’s bakery inspired the bakery owned by Marinette’s parents. If you are familiar with the series, you will note that the bakery has been lovingly reproduced – the shape, the pillars, the colours, the writing and embellishments. And it is not difficult to see why, even when it’s closed. It is so well done, you will feel like you have been beamed directly into Ladybug’s Paris.
Fortunately, we found another delicious bakery in the same street and then strolled along the streets of Montmartre.
You can find the bakery at 49 rue Caulaincourt (just a short walk from the metro Lamarck-Caulaincourt, Line 12, which appears in the film Amelie). If you want to see some of the delicious delicacies the bakery has to offer, check out their Facebook page.
Take a tour of the Miraculous sights in Paris
If you’re visiting Paris with a Miraculous fan, don’t just see Paris, take a tour of Ladybug’s Paris. In many cases, you will be seeing everything you would have seen anyway, but the whole experience will be much more exciting for your child.