Paris is a magnificent city full of light, romance & charm. Its city plan is divided into twenty sections called arrondissements. These sections amount to districts or neighborhoods within the city that spiral from the center out.
The arrondissements are encircled by the périphérique, a ring highway. All the arrondissements have their own beauty & charm, but most major tourist attractions can be found within the central eight arrondissements.
Outside the périphérique highways are the banlieues, the suburbs of Paris.
So lets start in Paris proper and explore the main eight arrondissements spiraling our way thru the Parisian city of Romance. After that we can explore further out.
Arrondissement 1 – Louvre
The first arrondissement starts in the geographical center of Paris – The Louvre – and spirals out from there in a clockwise direction. This is where most historic sites are. The Royal Palace, Tuileries gardens, Forum des Halles, Bourse du Commerce and the upscale Vendôme Square are all located here.
Arrondissement 2 – Bourse
This arrondissement is mainly a business district, with the Palais de la Bourse – the former stock exchange – as its most notable landmark. It also has the historic National Library & many historic shopping arcades.
Arrondissement 3 – Temple
This is a small arrondissement; it contains the northern part of the historic Marais district. The Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts), the Picasso Museum and the Carnavalet Museum.
Arrondissement 4 – Hôtel-de-Ville
This arrondissement contains the southern part of the medieval Marais district. It is very popular thanks to attractions such as the Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Place des Vosges, the city hall and the Gothic Tour St-Jacques. Contrasting with all the historic buildings is the modern Centre Pompidou.
Arrondissement 5 – Panthéon
The Latin Quarter, with the renowned Sorbonne university, is situated in this arrondissement. So is the famous Panthéon, the magnificent Val-de-Grâce church, the intriguing St-Etienne-du-Mont church, the Cluny Museum, the roman-era Arènes de Lutèce and the city’s botanic garden, the Jardin des Plantes.
Arrondissement 6 – Luxembourg
One of the world’s greatest parks, the Jardin du Luxembourg, gives this arrondissements its name. Within this district, you will find the Odéon Theatre, the Saint Sulpice church, and the 11th century Saint-Germain des Prés, which is the oldest abbey church in Paris.
Arrondissement 7 – Palais-Bourbon
This is one of the most upscale & most dominant arrondissements in Paris. Here you will find government institutions and major landmarks – the most famous of which is the Eiffel Tower . Climb to the top & you will be on top of the world!
Arrondissement 8 – Élysée
The Champs-Élysées – the world’s most famous boulevard – cuts right through this arrondissement. It runs from the Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe. Bordering the Champs-Élysées are the magnificent Grand Palais and Petit Palais, as well as the Élysée, the presidential Palace.
Let the Scavenger Hunt Begin!
In each arrondissements I have highlighted in BOLD, the name of a famous landmark.
Which one of those landmark houses this famous staircase?
This building was completed in 1836. It has many reliefs & engravings with the names of generals who commanded troops during Napoleon’s regime. The best known relief is commonly known as – the Marseillaise.
From its observation deck – If you’re adventurous enough to climb the 234 steps – you will have great views of La Defense, the Champs-Elysées and the Sacré-Coeur.