Paris 1st Arrondissement: The Center of Paris
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Paris’ 1st arrondissement is located along the Right Bank of the River Seine (it extends onto the western section of the Île de la Cité in the middle of the river). It is home to famous sites like the Louvre, the Jardins des Tuileries, and the Palais-Royal, as well as popular shopping venues like Les Halles.
What to do in Paris 1st Arrondissement
Take in the extensive art and artifact collection at a must see Paris attraction, Le Louvre (Métro: Palais Royal/Louvre). The museum is open daily except Tuesdays and certain public holidays. The permanent collections are open from 9 am to 6 pm (Wed and Fri until 10 pm.) The shopping area under the pyramid is open 9 am to 10 pm.
When you’re done with your visit to Le Louvre, head west to le Jardin des Tuileries, (Métro: Tuileries.) These impeccably landscaped gardens attract Parisians, picnickers, and art lovers. Enjoy the modern sculptures throughout and be sure to stop by the nearby Orangerie (open daily, except Tuesdays, Christmas Day and May 1st; 12.30pm-7pm, until 9pm Thursday) to see some Impressionist masterpieces, including installations of Monet’s Water Lilies.
Architecture and history buffs will enjoy visiting Église Saint-Eustache (Métro: Châtelet- Les Halles), located near Les Halles and the Bourse de Commerce. This large church is an excellent example of early Gothic architecture. The famous Paris site Sainte Chapelle, 4 blvd du Palais (Métro: Cité) is located nearby and is also known for its Gothic style. The church’s soaring vaulted ceilings, intricate stained glass windows and colorful tile mosaics on the floor are sure to impress. Next door is the Conciergerie, a former palace turned prison. Here you can visit the cell where Marie Antoinette was imprisoned before she was beheaded. You can purchase a double ticket for both the Conciergerie and the magnificent Sainte Chapelle.
Where to shop in Paris’ 1st Arrondissement
One of the largest shopping centers in Paris is Forum les Halles, (Métro: Les Halles). Open daily from 9am to 7pm, it is built on the site of Paris’ former farmer’s market (that closed in the 1960s). Filled mostly with clothing, electronics and accessories shops, movies and fast-food restaurants, les Halles attracts a younger crowd (teens and twenty-somethings.) The interesting layout (underground) and interior is worth a visit.
Located to the northwest of Les Halles is Rue Montorgueil (Métro: Les Halles or Etienne-Marcel), a charming pedestrian street filled with eclectic boutiques, specialty foods shops, bakers, and a fish market.
There are a variety of interesting arts, book and souvenir shops underneath the Pyramid at the Louvre (called Le Carrousel du Louvre). Open daily including Sundays (10am-10pm).
Note on La Samaritaine: Perhaps you’ve heard of La Samaritaine, one of the oldest and most established shopping centers in Paris. It closed its doors in 2005 due to economic hardship and problems with the building. Though it has been said that renovation/re-opening plans are in the works, many Parisians remain skeptical.
Where to Stay in Paris’ 1st Arrondissement
The first Arrondissement is in the very heart of the city. It is walking distance to most tourist sites and therefore is more expensive. Some fabulous hotels are located here; but we have found a few less expensive gems as well.
Luxury and 4-Star Hotels in Paris 1st Arrondissement
Renaissance Paris Vendome 5-Star
We consider this a 5-star property with 4-star prices. The ambiance is classic elegance; it is impeccable in cleanliness and in service. The fitness center’s swimming pool, steam room, and sauna are made with black slate and exotic woods, and provide a separate relaxation area and fitness room. The rooms provide luxurious amenities and great comfort. We love the location and believe you will love the experience of this great central Paris hotel.
4 Rue Du Mont Thabor
Hotel Mayfair 4-Star
Located in the heart of Paris, between Place de la Concorde and Place Vendôme, the Hotel Mayfair is a calm, luxurious property providing traditional French hospitality, courtesy, professionalism, and attention. Both non-smoking & smoking rooms are available. Each room has direct dial telephone, cable TV, high-speed internet access, WiFi – Wireless Internet on request, mini bar, breakfast, room service, hairdryer, air conditioning, and individual in-room safe. The English speaking staff in this central Paris hotel will do everything to make your stay comfortable.
3 Rue Rouget De Lisle
Metro: Concorde, Tuileries
Regina Hotel 4-Star
Located in the heart of Paris, and facing the Louvre, the Regina is the grand dame of Paris hotels. This charming, central hotel in Paris features all the amenities you’d expect from a 4-star hotel, including a fabulous concierge to help you get the most of Paris.
2 Place Des Pyramides
Hotel Royal Saint-Honore
The Royal Hotel Saint-Honore is decorated in the Louis XVI style, with air conditioning and sound-proof rooms, marble bathrooms and exquisite modern conveniences. This central Paris hotel offers Wi-Fi internet connections and a reception desk that is open 24 hours a day. It is located within walking distance of the Opera and the Louvre Museum.
221 Rue Saint Honore
3-Star Hotels in Paris 1st Arrondissement
Hotel Louvre Montana
This small, charming 3 star Paris hotel has many modern amenities. All rooms have been newly renovated and include air conditioning. Located near the Louvre, the Tuileries gardens, Rivoli street and the Orsay Museum.
12 rue Saint Roch
Hotel Louvre Sainte Anne Opera
The Louvre Sainte Anne Opera, a fully air conditioned 3 star Paris hotel is located in the heart of Paris, just a few steps from the Louvre and a few minutes from the Opera Garnier. Offering excellent service and many amenities, this central Paris hotel offers 20 recently renovated, soundproofed rooms with cable TV, direct dial phones, hairdryers, individually controlled air conditioning, internet plug, mini bars, a safety box and Wi-Fi Internet connection.
32 Rue Sainte Anne
Metro:Pyramides , Palais Royal and Opéra
Located in the heart of the historical center of Paris, the Hotel Britannique offers an authentic Paris experience. The Metro is just around the corner, but you will be withing walking distance of the Louvre, Notre Dame and the Pont Neuf. The 39 soundproofed bedrooms are equipped with air conditioning, bathtub with shower head or shower only, direct-dial phone, Internet access, minibar, Flat Screen TV with international reception, safe, hair dryer, broadband internet & WIFI.
20 Avenue Victoria
Hotel Therese is just a great bargain with a perfect location, set near the Louvre, the Palais Royal, rue St Honoré and the Opéra Garnier. Decorated in a warm, classically contemporary style, the hotel has all the amenities you want and need: air-conditioning, minibar, cable television, personal safe and wi-fi access. You might think you are staying in a four-star hotel, but luckily for you you are paying 3-star prices.
5/7, rue Thérèse
Budget Hotels in Paris 1st Arrondissement
Hotel Prince Albert Opera 2-star 30 rooms
A fine budget hotel, the Hotel Prince Albert is located near the Louvre, Opera, Concorde, and Place Vendome offers soundproof rooms, each equipped with a bath or shower, hairdryer, direct access telephone, and satellite TV.
5 rue Saint Hyacinthe
Metro: les Halles
Written by Jen Westmoreland Bouchard for EuropeUpClose.com