Musement takes a look at the different arrondissements, and what to see and where to visit in each.
Every corner of Paris is worth a visit, and so you don’t miss a turn in the French capital, here’s a brief overview of what to see and visit during a stay in the City of Light.
1. Center and North-West / Stroll through the magic of Paris
Stretching on the 3rd and 4th arrondissement, the Marais is a very pleasant area to stroll. The centuries have shaped its alleys and facades that make for quintessential Parisian charm. Today the trendy neighborhood is filled with shops, lovely restaurants the Picasso Museum and the apartment where Victor Hugo lived, now a museum. Not far from here, is the famous Pompidou Museum, devoted to contemporary art as well as the Halles de Châtelet, currently undergoing a drastic renovation. Walk south and pass Hôtel de Ville and visit the Île de la Cité, where the majestic Notre Dame Cathedral.
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Northwest Paris is chic and calm. Explore the small villages of Batignolles and Epinettes, discover the Cité des Fleurs or filmmakers’ cinemas. Further south, shop till you drop at the department stores of Saint Lazare, and don’t miss the lovely Madeleine church and spectacular Opéra Garnier, both of which are nearby. The latter’s facade will seduce you with its history and ornate decor that includes a ceiling painted by Marc Chagall.
Northeast / Trend and Nature
Hip, popular and vibrant, northeast Paris boasts a number of ways to discover the city. In the 19th arrondissement, discover La Villette, a vast cultural area with the Philharmonie, the Cité des Sciences, the Cité de la Musique and a pleasant park where you can picnic on sunny days.
Cosmopolitan neighborhoods, Belleville and Ménilmontant offer a multicultural, authentic and artistic face that deserves to be lost in its cobbled alleys, hidden courtyards and international shops. Belleville Park and the Edith Piaf museum are also worth a visit.
The tenth and eleventh arrondissements are the favorite among the young Parisians, the bars and bistros around Oberkampf and Republic are always abuzz. A walk along the Canal Saint Martin is always pleasant, and leads to the peaceful and relaxing Bassin de la Villette. Finally, farther east is the famous Père Lachaise cemetery with its astonishing sculptures and famous tombs, home to Jim Morrison’s grave, a site just as popular as the Eiffel Tower. The surrounding neighborhood feels like a countryside in the heart of a big city with its amazing Parisian pavilions.
Southwest / The capital of arts
The Eiffel Tower is a timeless symbol of Paris, offering a majestic view of the City of Light from its 325-meter high observatory. Admire the Seine and Trocadero on one side, and Champs de Mars on the other, a popular Parisian picnic destination. The fascinating museums nearby include Quai Branly, devoted to the world’s first arts; Musée d’Orsay and its Impressionist treasures; and the pleasant Rodin Museum, home to works by the iconic sculptor.
Stroll the chic Saint Germain des Prés neighborhood and drop by Invalides, the military museum where Napoleon is buried.
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On the other side of the river, walk along the most beautiful avenue in the world, the Champs Elysees, which connects the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde. Following the same route, discover the iconic Louvre Museum, one of the world’s biggest and most fascinating museums, an absolute must-see during a stay in Paris. Admire the museum’s masterpieces: Mona Lisa, the Victory of Samothrace, Venus de Milo, the crouching scribe and hundreds of other wonders.
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Southeast / Between today and tomorrow
The new face of the capital takes shape in the cultural and modern districts around the Bibliothèque François Mitterrand characterized by four towers in the shape of open books overlooking the Seine. Cinemas, artist workshops, fashion and design characterize southeast Paris as well as the verdant paths of Bois de Vincennes, the city’s largest public park. The thirteenth arrondissement is also known as the Asian district, with many Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants. Above, the chic district of the fifth arrondissement invites you to discover the Panthéon, the Jardin des Plantes or the famous Sorbonne University.
On the right bank, discover the Bercy Village – Cour Saint Emilion quarter. Stroll through the old nineteenth-century cellars that have been transformed into cafes, shops and restaurants. The Fairground Art Museum is also worth a visit! Enjoy Parc de Bercy as well as one of the world’s most fascinating cinematographic centers, La Cinémathèque Française. Further north, discover the historical Bastille district. An emblem of the revolution, Bastille today is a typical animated Parisian neighborhood. Take a stroll to the port of the Arsenal or Opéra Bastille.