Paris is a city with many iconic attractions, in fact from the Eiffel Tower to the Louvre you will find many of the most famous monuments and museums in the world dotted around the city. Every one of them is worth at least one visit, though one visit is rarely enough. Many Paris visitors visit their favourite ones time and time again.
Despite this, Paris is far more than just a collection of buildings. The city has a unique and special atmosphere and basking in it, soaking it up, is as much a part of a visit to the city as are days of sightseeing.
There are twenty “arrondissements”, or neighbourhoods, in Paris and they are all individual with distinctive characters and styles. The first arrondissement is located in the centre of the city and the rest form a clockwise spiral from there. The arrondissements that are most popular with tourists are those numbered one to eight and they contain the majority of the most popular tourist attractions, however there is much for the tourist to discover in the other arrondissements.
The twenty arrondissements are enclosed within the périphériquerique, or ring road, and the regions of Paris that extend beyond the périphériquerique are called the banlieues, or what we would call the Paris suburbs.
The first eight main arrondissements are:
· Arrondissement 1: Louvre includes the Louvre Museum, Forum des Halles, the Royal Palace, and Tuileries gardens.
· Arrondissement 2: Bourse is the business district and includes the Palais de la Bourse, once the stock exchange and several shopping arcades.
· Arrondissement 3: Temple includes the National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts, and the Carnavalet and Picasso Museums
· Arrondissement 4: Hôtel-de-Ville is the oldest part of Paris and includes the Notre-Dame Cathedral and the City Hall.
· Arrondissement 5: Panthéon is the Latin Quarter and includes the Panthéon, the Val-de-Grâce and the Jardin des Plantes.
· Arrondissement 6: Luxembourg is the location of the Jardin du Luxembourg and Saint-Germain des Prés, Paris’ oldest abbey church
· Arrondissement 7: Palais-Bourbon is home to the Eiffel Tower, Musée d’Orsay , several government institutions and the UNESCO HQ.
· Arrondissement 8: Élysée includes the famous boulevard the Champs-Élysées, the Arc de Triomphe and the Place de la Concorde.
A great way to get a feel for the various arrondissements is to get around using the open air hop-on-hop-off travel bus. In fact you can also travel to Paris on the London Paris bus, which is the cheapest way to get there and will take you to all the way to Paris Bercy in the 12th arrondissement.
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This is a guest post by Claire Chat a new Londoner, travel passionate and animal lover. She blogs about Pets and Travelling in Europe.