Location. LOCATION! LOCATION!!! When planning a trip to Paris, one question to ask yourself is which arrondissement (neighborhood) in which you stay. Hotel or apartment – these are all available in most of Paris’ arrondissements.
The “Old City” of Paris is located in the first arrondissement and on the Rive Droit (Right Bank) of the Seine River. It’s also where I stayed on my very first trip to the city of light. Staying here puts you with a short walking distance of the city’s main attractions – the Louvre Museum, the Jardins des Tuileries (Tuileries Gardens) and the stately Place Vendome. Many of Paris’ famous historic hotels are located here as are several popular restaurants. This is also a very safe area of the city.
You may want to visit the Conciergerie, a former palace turned prison and visit the cell where Marie Antoinette lived before she met her fate at the guillotine. Be sure to visit Ste. Chapelle the Gothic church with its spectacular mosaic tile, elaborate stained glass windows and soaring vaulted ceilings. (NOTE: These museums are closed Tuesdays; please confirm days and times they are open before visiting.)
Shopping is plentiful in the first arrondissment – les Halles with its twenty-something shoppers to Rue Montorgueil where you can find unique boutiques, bakeries and fish market and gourmet food stores. And, don’t miss the shops beneath the Pyramid at the Louvre-they offer book stores and shops featuring art and souvenirs.
Eateries in this neighborhood include Café Moderne with both classic and contemporary French specialities, Cibus and Fellini which both serve up fine Italian food, and La Coupe d’Or which is really a trendy neighborhood bar. And the restaurant at the nearby Hotel Meurice recently earned its third Michelin star and you’ll enjoy the glamorous décor as much as the superb food.
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