The 1st arrondissement of Paris is split into four different individual quarters: Quartier de la Place Vendome, Quartier du Palais Royale, Quartier des Halles and Quartier Saint-Germain l’Auxerrois. If you’re French isn’t too shabby, you’ll know that ‘Palais Royal’ translates to royal palace – that’s right, the first arrondissement contains the former home of the King. It’s for this reason that the architecture there is very regal; it’s often considered one of the most beautiful areas of Paris.
There is something perfectly Parisian about the 1st arrondissement due to its rich history; it contains buildings, monuments and restaurants so antiquated that they have become world-recognized, fashionable symbols of the city. The 1st arrondissement is the perfect place for those Paris photos, being so widely occupied by large monuments that it’s almost impossible not to get at least one of them in your backdrop, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself passing bloggers and celebrities whilst wandering the streets.
Visit The Museums And Take A Selfie With The Building That Houses The Mona Lisa
Everyone has seen the pictures of people trying to mimic holding a sublimely symmetrical glass pyramid in Paris – well, that lies in the 1st arrondissement and is part of the building that houses – among its 70,000 works – some of the most famous art in the world, including the Mona Lisa. To the left of the Louvre (looking from the river), nestled among the gardens, you will find another museum, Musée de l’Orangerie, the home of many impressionist and post-impressionist paintings including eight Water Lilies murals by Claude Monet. If paintings aren’t really your thing, though, don’t be too quick to cross off the 1st arrondissement completely, as in the Western Wing of the Louvre, you will find the Musée Des Arts Décoratifs, which houses temporary exhibitions that are extremely diverse and offer something for the art lover and non-art lover alike.
Stroll In The Gardens And Take A ‘Fashion-Blogger’ Floor-Length Photo
The Gardens in the 1st are frequented by both tourists and Parisians, for their beauty and calm atmosphere. The Tuileries – with its tree-lined avenues and central fountain – will without a doubt bring all the dreams you’ve had about your Parisian experience to life. There are several cafés nestled inside where you can enjoy a coffee while soaking up the views and watching the Parisian runners pass you by. The Palais Royal Gardens just across the road are much smaller, but impressive nevertheless. They are regularly frequented by celebrities and fashion bloggers who seek that ‘Instagram-worthy’ Parisian photo of themselves standing on the black and white pedestals at the entrance while their floor length trench coat flails in the wind.
Feeling peckish after all that culture? Not to worry, as the 1st has you sorted, whatever time of day. As the sun comes up, why not head to one of Paris’ most famous restaurants for a spot of brunch? Angelina has a reputation for sophistication and indulgence, with its silky, rich hot chocolate being on many peoples’ Paris to-do list. Yes, it really is that good. For something a different genre of naughty as the sun goes down, Bar Hemingway – a tribute to American Novelist Ernest Hemingway, located the in the Hotel Ritz – will transport you back to 1920’s Paris, allowing you to celebrate your Parisian adventure in style, with a perfectly mixed retro cocktail (or two) in fabulous, authentic surroundings.
Any Paris adventure wouldn’t be complete without sampling the shops on offer – it is, after all, one of the Fashion capitals. A stroll down Rue St. Honoré is a must, and despite the high price tags and designer labels, you will find yourself filled with desire upon passing every window. For something a little more low-key, Rue Rivoli is lined with more affordable, high street outlets, from well-known Zara to French-brand Promod. Nearing the right of the 1st arrondissement is Les Halles, which, despite being much less glamorous than the other shopping streets, will offer smaller, more independent stores as well as the chance to get your hands on some hipster vintage buys. Whatever your style, a Paris shopping picture complete with arms heavy laden with bags is a must.
Finally, why not fool your followers with a little less well-known backdrop? Place Vendôme is a square with a huge central column, which was built to commemorate the battle of Austerlitz. It’s often left off the list by tourists; however, if put it on your own, it’s sure not to disappoint for its vast size and architectural detail. For those book worms among you, Librairie Galignani sits on Rue de Rivoli and claims to be ‘The First English Bookshop Established on the Continent.’ If you’re after an old French classic translated to English, this is the place to go. Finally, if you’re not all cultured out, La Comédie Française is a state theater with its own troupe of actors who dedicate their acting to Molière. Here, you’ll be able to soak up the lavish, historic surroundings of the beautiful building while letting your imagination get carried away in the theatrics of it all.