info on Paris arrondisements

Old Jul 29th, 2002, 04:25 PM
  #1  
francesca
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info on Paris arrondisements

OK, so I should have just posted it. Here it is!!!!

NB: I have not tried to list where every famous site or monument is (a map can tell you that), but rather describe the arrondisement itself. Also, some of the monuments/quarters mentioned may be on the cusp of two arrondisements or may spill over from one to the other Paris is not an exact science! Enjoy your trip!


1rst Old Paris, the center: the Louvre, the Palais Royale, les Tuileries. Les Halles, a horrible, 70s-style underground shopping mall is to be avoided at all costs (grimy, ugly and not so safe at night). rue de Rivoli is packed with people and stores, some interesting (old dept stores like Le BHV, La Samaritaine), though most are boring chain stores.

2nd Also old and interesting, but has some more business-y districts, like around la Bourse (stock exchange). Also has the funky place des Victoires and Etienne Marcel-area shopping districts.

3rd This area is famous for the Sentier, the Parisian garment district. Some of the famed Marais is here, but most of the famous parts are in the 4th

4th These are some of the most beautiful areas of town: the Marais and the Isle St Louis. The area right around rue st croix de la bretonerie and rue vielle du temple is the closest thing Paris has to a gay neighborhood. In general, the 4th is beautiful and full of charm and has a lot of nice shops, especially the less touristy part between blvd St Antoine and the river.

5th The Latin Quarter: the Sorbonne, the Pantheon, the Cluny museum, the Institut du Monde Arabe, all lovely. The overcrowded, touristy rue Mouffetard, rue de la Huchette and blvd St Michel, somewhat less lovely. Rue Mouffetard is worth a walk down, but it s probably better to avoid eating there.

6th St Germain des Pres. Lots of crumbly, old buildings and tiny streets. A wonderful, romantic place to walk around aimlessly night or day. Great boutiques and restaurants. The Jardin de Luxembourg is a highlight.

7th Largely a rich, residential area with lots of embassies and government buildings where nothing much happens *except* for the rue Cler and St Dominique neighbourhoods which are full of life. There is also the Eiffel Tower and the Invalides, the Ecole Militaire, the Champs de Mars and Bon Marche, the most Parisian department store.

8th Business-y, where a lot of the high-end shopping is (Avenue Montaigne ). Not much else going on for visitors aside from the Arc de Triomphe, one of the most lovely monuments in the city. The Champs Elysees is just a big boulevard with lots of chain stores and airline offices: not such a big deal. You do get a great view of the Arc, though.

9th The people s downtown: big department stores (yawn), European chain stores, cinemas and chain restaurants on blvds des Italiens, des Capucines and de l Opera, hordes of people, kind of bland. There are some nice things to visit: the old covered shopping galleries (also in the 2nd), the Garnier Opera the area around place St Georges is nice to explore if you already know Paris well.

10th Has two of the main train stations. Lots of cheap stores, not much to visit. The rue St Denis is the red light district- not so nice. The Canal St Martin is lots of fun to walk along (runs between 10th and 19th) if you have already been to Paris several times and want to see something new.
 
Old Jul 29th, 2002, 04:26 PM
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francesca
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11th Includes the Bastille area (used to be the closest thing to Soho in Paris), a nice place for young people (ie. under 25) to hang out and place de la Republique, also lively. Lots of fun bars, some with character. Rue de Charonne is a nice street to walk along at night and wine-bar hop.

12th The Viaduc des Arts is interesting to walk along on a weekend afternoon, lots of artisans showing/selling their crafts, the old elevated train tracks have been turned into a unique strip park there s the Gare de Lyon not much else. The Bois de Vincennes borders the 12th and is a lovely huge park, good for rollerblading or biking.

13th Has one of the two Chinatowns in Paris, lots of concrete skyscrapers (well, tall buildings anyway), and new construction. There are many Chinese restaurants, but if you come from Hong Kong, Toronto or NYC you won t be impressed. Not much for visitors to see except Les Gobelins (a tapestry-making museum) and the brand-new Grande Biblioteque.

14th The old Montparnasse is nice, with many cute little restaurants; the best area is around the rue Daguerre and between blvds Raspail and de Montparnasse. The new Montparnasse, surrounding the tower of the same name, is not so special (lots of chains, traffic, neon signs, you could be anywhere )

15th Completely residential. A nice place to live ; ) but you wouldn t necessarily want to visit there! The Parc Andre Citroen is very interesting, if you have already been to Paris many times and want to see a new park.

16th Also very residential, though much richer than the 15th. Leafy, like a suburb. Not much for visitors to do here, except go to place du Trocadero for a great view of the Eiffel Tower. Rue de Passy is a nice shopping street. The Bois de Boulogne, a huge park and one of the most beautiful green areas in Paris, is part of the 16th.

17th There is a good 17th (west of the train tracks) and a not-so-nice 17th (east of the tracks, the place de Clichy area). Not much for visitors to see, mainly residential with some charming neighbourhoods, like the rue de Levis street market and the Parc Monceau. Place Maillot is a boring and rather ugly business district.

18th Yes, Montmartre is touristy but it is really worth a visit. Wander around, avoiding the place de Tertre, and see the old Montmartre, especially the avenue Junot. The Barbes and Pigalle areas have bad reputations but are mainly just not very interesting for visitors.

19th Largely down-market residential area, not much reason to visit, certainly not for first-timers. For people who have been to Paris several times already, the La Villette complex has a music museum, a science museum and great outdoor movies in the summer. And the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is beautiful and different.

20th The new Soho is Menilmontant, it s along rue Oberkampf and blvd de Menilmontant. Belleville (it used to the Jewish quarter, then the Arab quarter, now sort of a general Asian quarter ) is there, too. There are many, many Asian restaurants, though how many of them are good is anyone s guess (see the 13th ). Pere Lachaise cemetery is worth a look, it s very beautiful and there are many famous people buried there.
 
Old Jul 29th, 2002, 04:51 PM
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Paris
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You forgot to mention that the 8th has the most beautiful hotels in the city and some lovely streets to walk, especially those in the golden triangle area.
 
Old Jul 29th, 2002, 04:52 PM
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ttt
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ttt
sending to the top of the pile...
 
Old Jul 29th, 2002, 04:53 PM
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BTilke
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Sorry, I have to disagree with the assessment about "not much to do" in the 16th. We spend a lot of time in the 16th on our trips and love it. The 16th is home to two excellent museums, the Guimet (Asian arts) and the Marmottan. The Ave. Victor Hugo is a wonderful shopping street, with some great cafes. The Place J. Lorrain, by the Michel-Ange Auteuil, is the spot for a great food market Wed. and Saturdays that puts the rue Cler to shame.
Re, the 15th. It should be noted that the Parc Andre Citroen is one of the best places to go in Paris if you want to kick back and relax on the grass, have a picnic, etc. Also take a fantastic hot air balloon ride (NO lines!) for a terrific view over Paris. And the Ave. Suffren, on the 15th side of the Champ de Mars, is as beautiful as any of the avenues over in the 7th, with a fraction of the tourists.
 
Old Jul 29th, 2002, 04:53 PM
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xxx
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Having just returned from several days in the 6th, I would like to add that it is a bit seedy also. Homeless and drunk or drugged people sitting and sleeping on the sidewalks of Rue de Buci, Rue Dauphine and Rue de Seine. Beggars, seedy and not seedy looking(which was a surprise), old and young would come up and ask for money. Some of the area seemed a bit run down and the hotel we stayed in wasn't quite what it looks like on the internet. We enjoyed it, but next time I would choose a different area or a different hotel in a nearby location which, by the way was handy to everything.
 
Old Jul 29th, 2002, 04:54 PM
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Gail
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Just wanted to add to info on the 14eme-
in this area you will find the Catacombs, creepy underground tunnels filled with millions of bones. Very cool tour, very interesting story. Also, the Cimetiere Montparnasse is in this arrondissement. JP Sartre and S de Beavoir are buried there. Certainly a worthy area to visit- also a more boring part of Paris, less tourists, which means you may find a wonderful little inexpensive restaurant with great food that is filled with Parisians only, eating their lunch. One of my best days in Paris was spent in the 14eme...
 
Old Jul 29th, 2002, 04:54 PM
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Beth
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Thanks for the information Francesca.
 
Old Jul 30th, 2002, 05:39 AM
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BenJ
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Very useful info. Thanks.
 
Old Jul 30th, 2002, 05:49 AM
  #10  
Tom
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Thanks Francesca. Now that is some useful information.
 
Old Aug 5th, 2002, 04:03 PM
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topper
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topping
 
Old Aug 6th, 2002, 05:36 AM
  #12  
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to the top of the list
 
Old Aug 6th, 2002, 05:55 AM
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clairobscur
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Great post, Francesca. But I noticed that in the 13th, you didn't mention the "Butte aux cailles", one of the most peculiar area in Paris, with a strong "provincial town" touch..
 
Old Aug 6th, 2002, 09:37 AM
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