Among the oldest city neighborhoods, the 1st & 2nd Arrondissements are the very center of Paris on the Right Bank. Here is where you'll find the the Jardin des Tuileries, Rue de Rivoli and Place Vendôme, to name a few historic sites. Reasons to stay here are many — easy access to the Louvre, shopping on Rue St Honoré, visiting Place de la Concorde and the gardens of Palais Royal. Let's explore our top-rated things to do and the best places to stay in the heart of Paris.
1. Louvre Masterpieces Skip-the-Line Tour… See Mona & her friends the easy way
2. Chocolate Walking Tour… Visit the best chocolatiers on the Right Bank
3. Hotel du Louvre… Stay at the first 5-star hotel in France
4. Le Burgundy Hotel… Peaceful classic in the Heart of Paris
Found in the 1st Arrondissement, the Louvre is an absolute must-see. But with millions of visitors every year, strategy and planning are vital. Our top tip is to book a skip-the-line guided tour that gets you into the museum and directly to the famous works of art, without waiting in the long ticket lineup. Be sure to arrange a tour in advance, before you leave home. Our guide to the Louvre Museum makes it easy to do.
Take your sweet tooth on a 2-hour guided promenade in the heart of Paris to five of the best chocolate shops in the city. Along the way, you'll walk through Place de la Concorde, along Rue St-Honoré, pass by the Louvre, and even get to view Palais Garnier. Of course, they'll be lots of sampling! And it's a small group, so there'll be plenty for you!
Located in the center of Paris, Hotel Louvre is perfectly sited between the Louvre and the Palais Royal. Walk in any direction and you'll come upon a famous monument of Paris — the Louvre (naturally), Palais Garnier, the theatre Comédie Française, the Jardin des Tuileries. This historic hotel is high on our list of the best places to stay in Paris.
VIP Dinner Cruise with Bateaux Parisiens
Dinner Cruise by Maxim's of Paris
The Tuileries was created as a garden playground of the royal court of France, and the splendor can still be seen today. There are fountains, playgrounds, gardens, flowers, places to sit, and a choice of outdoor cafes. Place de la Concorde is the end of the Tuileries and of the 1st Arrondissement. Famous for its obelisk, grand statues, and lovely fountains, we highly recommend spending a few hours relaxing at the jardin and the place.
Hotel de Crillon, a Louis-XV-era jewel, is located in the epicenter of Paris on the Place de la Concorde. It was originally designed by the architect Ange-Jacques Gabriel, already famous for the estate of Versailles's Petit Trianon. Not to name drop, but Marie Antoinette studied piano here on the first-floor salon that now bears her name. The Crillon holds the high-level hotel rating in France, called simply Palace.
The Louvre's Greatest Masterpieces
Louvre Skip-the-Line Tour
Fountain in the gardens of Palais Royal
Just across from the Louvre, but hidden behind walls and colonnades, is the garden of the Palais Royal. Once home to royalty, today the garden is a peaceful place with lime trees, a central fountain, and benches to relax on. The courtyard next to the garden has been given over to a fascinating modern art installation.
Located on a tiny one-way street that runs between the high-end fashion district of Rue Saint-Honoré and Place de la Madeleine, Le Burgundy is surprisingly peaceful despite being in the centre of things. The 7-minute walking circle includes Place Vendôme, Église de la Madeleine, Palais Garnier, Jardin des Tuileries, and Place de la Concorde.
Versailles with Priority Access + Gardens
Half-Day, Skip-the-Line Tour of Versailles
Speaking of lovely things in Paris, you want to make sure to take in this small museum. It houses a fascinating collection of art, but is far more famous for being the home of Monet's large-scale water lily paintings. Located in the Jardin des Tuileries at Place de la Concorde.
Located on extra-luxe Rue Saint-Honoré (one of Paris' most prestigious shopping streets), the Mandarin is flanked by designer boutiques, the Louvre Museum, Tuileries Garden, Musée d'Orsay, and Place de la Concorde. The modern Art Deco hotel overlooks a central courtyard, plus there's a sensational rooftop garden with magnificent views of the Paris skyline.
Following in a Parisian tradition of laid-back church building, the church of Saint Eustache took about a century to complete, finally finished in 1632. The flying buttresses and especially the south face are incredible examples of the art of Gothic architecture. The interior seems to soar to the sky.
Eiffel Priority-Access Tours
Eiffel Tower Tour to Level 2 or 3
Preparing for the market along Rue Montorgueil, photo by Mark Craft
Another good reason to visit Saint-Eustace is this food-lover's market street just around the corner. Rue Montorgueil is lined with all the bounty of France — poissonniers (fish stores), fromageries (cheese shops), boulangeries and patisseries,including the legendary Maison Stohrer. It runs north-south between Saint-Eustache and Rue Réaumur in the 2nd Arrondissement.
Housed in a wing of the Louvre palace, but arrived at through a separate entrance along Rue de Rivoli, is this smaller but extensive museum that boasts 150,000 objects describing the French art of living. Not to be missed.
Discover the Food & Wine of the Marais
Musée de la Mode et du Textile, photo from the museum
A section of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Musée de la Mode et du Textile is a fashion space where you will find temporary exhibits from its extensive collection of historic costumes and fashion accouterments.
Kiosque des noctambules, photo Wikimedia by Ninara
The front corner of Palais Royal complex houses Comédie Française Richelieu and just in front of that, at Place Colette, is an entrance to Metro Station Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre. This glass and metal fantasy was completed by artist Jean-Michel Othoniel in 2000. He called it Kiosque des noctambules.
Jeu de Paume, photo Mark Craft
If, like us, you're interested in the work of the world's best photographers, then you'll want to pay a visit the the Orangerie's sister museum, just a few steps across the jardin. There are new exhibitions four times a year.
Today the aristocratic Place Vendôme is most famous for being the home of the Ritz Hotel (and for some people, the home of very high-end jewelers.) But the place was built by Louis XIV in the late 17th century to celebrate his (future) conquests; in fact, it was first named Place des Conquêtes. However, when things didn't turn out quite as gloriously as Louis had anticipated, he renamed it Place Louis le Grand.
Returning to a military theme, Napoleon erected a column in the place in 1810 to celebrate his victory at Austerlitz, and the bronze plating covering the column was made from cannons actually captured during that battle. Although the column was famously pulled down during the Paris Commune of 1871 it was rebuilt in 1874, and the original bronze plates reinstalled.
Check the complete list of Paris hotels to find current sale prices on rooms in every arrondissement. Save 10%, 20%… or even more!
Save on hotels in every arrondissement of Paris – the Latin Quarter, Saint Germain, the Right Bank, the Marais, near the Eiffel Tower. Save 10%, 20%… or even more!
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Arrondissement map, from Wikimedia by Eric Gaba, modified by Mark Craft
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