There are so many things to do in Paris – the city is awash with world-class attractions from museums, monuments, landmarks and art galleries. Let’s face it; sometimes it’s hard to see and do everything. You’ve read the guidebook and you know what there is to see but finding time for it all is another story…
We’ve tried to think of another way you can enjoy your visit to Paris and make sure you tick everything off your list and to add a twist, we really want you to experience the local Paris. In this challenge we have created itineraries to keep you within one zone for a whole day. Just think of the blisters you’re saving!
In a series of three (watch out for the next two), we will help you plan your trip to Paris by exploring the arrondissements or quartiers of Paris. From the 1e to 3e we will take you to some of the biggest attractions and help you plan your visit that way.
The first quartier within Paris is one of the most central and the first of twenty to divide the city. The 1st arrondissement is situated on the right bank of the Seine, including the West of the Ile de la Cite. It dates back to the Middle Ages and is one of the oldest quarters in Paris. As well as being the oldest, it’s also one of the smallest, measuring only 1.83km². Did you know that in the late 90s it was one of the fourth most prosperous districts in terms of population to jobs?
So what can you see in the 1st arrondissement? Well, a lot…
The Louvre is one of the main attractions on the left bank of the River Seine and quite rightly so. With nearly 400,000 objects on display the Louvre is a must-visit for any culture vulture or art connoisseur. With a host of rooms from Egyptian Antiquities to intricate sculptures and ancient Roman and Greek artefacts, there’s everything from the old to the very old. You might recognise the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo among its most popular pieces and you can even explore the old fort (and original structure) underneath in some of the vaults.
The Grand Palais des Champs Elysees is one of the most fascinating and aesthetically beautiful buildings in Paris, as well as being among the finest example of the Beaux-Arts architectural style. Built for the Universal Exposition of 1900, the building oozes ornate decoration – so is a must-see for any art buff or history fanatic. It’s a picture-perfect Parisian landmark and you can’t visit without a photo or two. It’s such an impressive building, of pillars, statues and glass barrel-vaulted roofs, that even Chanel, the big-dog fashion house, uses the Grand Palais for its shows.
Nestled on the ancient Roman founded island, the Ile de la Cite, the Sainte-Chappelle church is neighbours with Notre Dame and together they are the most picturesque pair in Paris. The west half, home to Sainte-Chappelle, falls within the boundaries of the first arrondisement which means it’s a must-see on a tour of the area. Built in the late 1200s by Louis IX, Saint-Chappelle was once the most important religious symbol in the world as it owned the crown of thorns worn by Jesus Christ. Explore the medieval world of religious symbolism and relics and admire this Gothic masterpiece within Paris’ first quarter.
1e arrondisement isn’t all grey, gothic and galleries, however. If you head back towards the Louvre Museum you’ll be able to take in one of Paris’ most popular urban landscapes, the Tuileries Gardens. Created by Catherine de Medici as her private gardens, the first blades of grass were laid in 1564. Now, built up of landscaped areas with romantic meandering paths, not to mention plenty of open land for summer picnics, the Tuileries Gardens is a Parisian hot-spot.
Don’t miss out with The Paris Pass – get free travel within Paris and skip the lines with Fast Track Entry. Find out more about how you can get the best out of your trip to Paris, here.
September 4, 2019 by Suz Pathmanathan
July 24, 2019 by Suz Pathmanathan
July 17, 2019 by Paris Pass blogger