Paris consists of twenty regions, called " arrondissements ," each having its characteristics and attractions. They are numbered from 1 to 20, from the center out. At the same time, each arrondissement comprises four districts.
This arrondissement is actually at the geographical center of Paris and the most visited arrondissement. It is one of the oldest areas of Paris, still retaining its old charm as the center of French royalty. The area abounds in important historical sites,such as the Louvre Museum and the Tuileries Garden.
Louvre is one of the most important art museums in the world. It lays in the heart of the French capital. Glass pyramid (designed by IeohMing Pei in 1917) in the courtyard of the palace is marking its entrance.
The Museum possesses a collection of more than 1 million objects (many of them are masterpieces) from antiquities to European paintings of the 15th to 19th centuries.
It is impossible to take a tour around the whole museum all in one visit, but you can focus on a particular gallery. The most famous piece is the Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa or La Gioconda (or La Jocondein French) painted in 1503-1505, Michelangelo’s “ Dying Slave ” and the ancient Greek sculpture, “ Venus of Milo.”Other exceptional works are the enormous Wedding Feast at Cana painting by Veronese (1563), and Botticelli 's frescoes. Also, a must-see is the extravagant apartments of Napoleon III , the ancient Code of Hammurabi , Egyptian antiquities and paintings by masters like Rembrandt and Rubens.
Access through the Metro at the station Palais-Royal, Batobusto the EscaleLouvre.
Tuileries Garden is the largest and oldest garden in Paris that has a rich history (Created by Catherine de Medici, Queen of France) and it extends between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde. (Actually, it is the art museum that controls the park, since the Tuileries Garden does not belong to the Government of Paris). Apart from being the best place in Paris to see people pass by, this green space offers countless options: collection of sculptures that you can appreciate under the open sky, funfair Fête des Tuileries with Ferris wheel and other attractions; small remote-controlled boats, and the Orangerie Museum holding masterpieces of impressionism and post-impressionism artists such as Monet and Matisse.
Art enthusiasts will be thrilled to see other unofficial landmarks of the park: Rodin 's classic sculptures ( Le Baiser, La Méditation, L'Ombre, Eve ) and other contemporary pieces (" Microbe vu à travers un tempérament ," Grande Femme II , Le Bel Costumé , Reclining Figure ).
2nd arrondissement is the business center of the city, with Palais de la Bourse (the former Stock Exchange) as its most remarkable landmark in the arrondissement. Also, this is the place with the most outdoor markets held in Paris.
Palais de la Bourse
Bourse de Paris, known as Euronext Paris from 2000 onwards, is the historical Paris stock exchange built in the early 19th century to the designs of architect Alexandre- ThéodoreBrongniart and finished by Éloi Labarre.
Also known as the " Temple " because of the medieval fortress built by the KnightsTemplar, which once dominated this area, now this arrondissement is home to shopping centers and residential neighborhoods.
The 4th arrondissement houses many historical buildings, dominated by the Notre Dame Cathedral. However, the district stands out with its modern atmosphere, with the Pompidou Centre and trendy stores, with restaurants and cafes animated by noisy students.
Notre Dame Cathedral
The Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, built in the Middle Ages, between the 12th and 14th centuries, is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture and the most visited monument in France. The cathedral damaged Badly during the French Revolution,and architect Viollet-le-Duc restored it in the 19th century.
Centre Pompidou, designed in the style of high-tech architecture, is an art and cultural center. It houses a vast public library. The main attraction of the Centre is the MuséeNational d’Art Moderne(National Museum of Modern Art) which is the largest museum for contemporary art in Europe. The museum displays an extensive collection of artists belonging to artistic movements such as Post-Impressionism ("Fauves" and "Les Nabis" movements), Cubism, Expressionism, Constructivism, Dadaism and Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Informal Art, New Realism and Pop Art.
The center has a bookshop and souvenir store as well as a movie theater, a panoramic terrace, a casual café, and a sleek contemporary-style restaurant.The library holds the first three floors of the building, while the museum’s permanent collection resides on levels 4 and 5. The first and top floor hosts large expositions.
The name of the center comes from Georges Pompidou, the President of France from 1969 to 1974 who commissioned the building.
In this arrondissement, you will find the Latin Quarter , the intellectual center of the city, with the renowned Sorbonne University and the Pantheon.
The neo-classical style Pantheon serves as the burial place of the famous French citizens. Modeled after the Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome and Saint Paul's Cathedral in London, it was initially a church devoted to St. Genevieve, the protector saint of Paris, and her remains. In 1756, King Louis XV commissioned the architect Jacques- Germain Soufflot(1713-80) to build a new church on the site of the ruined abbey. Construction of the church completed in 1790. It was transformed into a mausoleum during the French Revolution to honor revolutionary martyrs. Famous people buried here include Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, Emile Zola, Voltaire, André Malraux, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Marie Curie.
Colonnaded balcony at the Panthéon'sdome provides an impressive view of the city's landmarks. Panoramas extend from the Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Louvre in the foreground to the Eiffel Tower in the distance.
Address : 19 Place du Panthéon, 75005 Paris ( Métro: Luxembourg station)
The 6th arrondissement used to be the mid-20th-century writers’ preferred area, but it has now become a chic neighborhood, with upscale boutiques and restaurants, art galleries, antique furniture, and art dealers.
The highlight of this arrondissement is the Eiffel Tower. It is a favorite area for tourists, and therefore very expensive with regards to accommodation and restaurants.
The author of this iron structure is Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, who constructed the monument for the 1889 World Exposition, marking the anniversary of the French Revolution. It's hard to believe that initially the structure was dismissed as a monstrosity.
The tower consists of thousands of firm iron sections, and its height reaches 324 meters. The tower is the world's tallest building after the Empire State Building.
Once you reach the base of the monument, it is possible to visit the three levels. There is an elevator of 276 meters to take you to each level, but the higher you go, the more it costs. Visiting the high level is one of the most thrilling things to do in Paris.
This arrondissement is located near Paris city center, being primarily a business area. It is also a popular leisure destination with sites like the Champs-Elysées and the Arc de Triomphe.
Avenue des Champs-Élysées
The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is the most famous street in Paris and one of the most beautiful avenues in the world. This three lined, over a mile long boulevard connects the Arc de Triompheand the Place de la Concorde. The street is full of restaurants, upscale boutiques, museums, and nightclubs.
Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphewas constructed in 1806 by the commission of Napoleon Bonaparte to dedicate to the French army soldiers who fought in the famous Napoleonic wars.
It is known for the fabulous shopping centers such as Galeries Lafayette , in Belle-Époque style, but also for the theatres and the residential areas.
The 10th arrondissement is not very popular among tourists, probably because it does not have that many sights. The picturesque Canal St. Martin sands out here:Here you will find Gare du Nord and Gare de l’Est , as well as Porte Saint-Denise and Porte Saint-Martin.
This is one of the most densely populated arrondissements in Paris, as well as a
fun and diverse area, with trendy clubs and bars for the nightlife lovers.
The 12th arrondissement is not well known by tourists. It houses the historical Gare de Lyon and the Bois de Vincennes.
The 13th arrondissement is a modern district, hosting Paris’ central Chinatown , originated from Chinese immigration in the 1970-80s. The community is full of Chinese pastries shops and restaurants. Chinese New year attracts both the locals and tourists.
This arrondissement is best known for the famous Montparnasse district , home to1920s’ art and literature.
Located on the Left Bank, in the south-west of the city, this arrondissement is aquiet and elegant residential area dominated by the fabulous Montparnasse Tower.Here it can be found a water park and the largest convention center in the city.
The 16th arrondissement is truly elegant, housing important museums, the charming Passy neighborhood and the incredible Bois de Boulogne park, which covers an area of 8.459 km².
17th Arrondissement is in the north-west part of the city, and it is less popular among tourists. In this arrondissement, there is the Batignollesneighborhood, frequented in the past by the 19th-century artists, such as Manetand Zola.
It is a densely populated area with narrow and labyrinthine streets, always lively,and also with the famous Montmartre and the Goutted'Or districts (the latter is a North African immigrants neighborhood).
The 19th arrondissement, crossed by the Canal d'Ourg, is in the north-east of Paris. It has parks, cinemas, a science and industry museum.
This is a quiet arrondissement, where Paris’ working class mainly lives, the place where many immigrants have settled. Here you will find the Gambetta district and Bagnolet(the birthplace of Edith Piaf) and the famous La Flèched'Or nightclub La Défense.