Paris

GETTING TO KNOW PARIS: ONE NEIGHBORHOOD AT A TIME

We know that finding your way around a new city can be daunting, especially if you're short on time. We have broken down 20 Paris Arrondissements so that you can make the most of your time.

If travel plans are focused on the City of Lights, plenty of opportunities are available to ramp up your itinerary, but first, it's to your advantage to understand the cities layout. Comprised of 20 districts known as arrondissements, each begins with the numbers 750 followed by the district number 01 through 20. The districts run in a clockwise direction with 75001 at the center looping in a spiral design much like a jellyroll.

When booking a sightseeing tour, knowing where attractions are located means when you book a river cruise, hop on hop off open top bus tour, walking tour, river shuttle ride, or walking tour, you'll know where you're headed and what to expect.

1st Arrondissement - This district is considered the heart of Paris. Step back in time to pomp and elegance at the Palais-Royal and its formal gardens and tree-lined paths. Be mesmerized by the mysterious smile of da Vinci's Mona Lisa at the Louvre Museum and let your imagination wonder as you walk through the park and gardens of Le Jardin des Tuileries.

2nd Arrondissement - The historic National Library is located here along with the Palais de la Bourse and The Grand Rex Theatre. Choose from bistros, bars, and boutiques along the market streets of Rue Montorgueil and a variety of shops along ornate covered passages such as the Galerie Vivenne and Galerie Colbert.

3rd Arrondissement - A small district along the River Seine's right bank, it is home to a portion of the medieval Le Marais district. Points of interest include the Carnavalet Museum, rich in Paris history and the Musee de la Poupee with its vintage doll collection. For a look at the work of a master artist along with his personal collections, plan a visit to the Picasso Museum.

4th Arrondissement - Number four contains part of Le Marais, and Ile de la Cite and Ile St-Louis. The imposing Hotel de Ville and Notre-Dame Cathedral are the centerpiece attractions. Victor Hugo's home is here along with Place des Vosges - the oldest square in Paris. Relax at the garden beside the 16th century Saint-Jacques Tower and peruse the exhibits at the modernistic Centre Georges Pompidou.

5th Arrondissement - Number five is known as the Latin Quarter because students who attended the Sorbonne - the first university in Paris - spoke Latin. Visit the neo-classical Pantheon with its crypt containing some of France's most noted citizens such as Voltaire, Marie Curie and Victor Hugo. Additional vintage architecture is on display at Saint-Etienne-du-Mont and Val-de-Grace churches and the Roman Arenes de Lutece (Arena of Lutetia).

6th Arrondissement - Enjoy the outdoors along the Left Bank with a stroll of the formal gardens of Jardin du Luxembourg. Along the way, see the 11th century Saint-Germain-des-Pres church, 18th century Musee de Luxembourg, and intricate sculptures at Musee Zadkine. Take a break from sightseeing and enjoy a live performance at the Odeon-Theatre de l'Europe or the Theatre du Vieux-Colombier.

7th Arrondissement - The world famous Eiffel Tower presides over 75007 offering panoramic views of Paris. Visit Les Invalides and Napoleon's tomb, Musee Rodin, and the Musee d'Orsay with artwork by the masters including Cezanne, Degas, Renoir, Van Gogh, and more. Some of the best shopping venues from designer fashions to Parisian perfumes are located in the 7th district.

8th Arrondissement - Absorb the sights and sounds of one of the world's busiest boulevards - The Champs-Elysses. Travel the boulevard to the Arc de Triomphe, snap a picture of the Grand Palais, and take a break at Jardins des Champs-Elysees. If upscale boutiques and soaking up French culture at cafes is what you're interested in, this is the district that has it all including exclusive designer fashions, chocolatiers, wine vendors and French pastries.

9th Arrondissement - The Musee du Parfum features collections of all things related to displaying perfume from pomanders to fountains. Like the Folies Bergere music hall with on-going entertainment since 1869, the Casino de Paris with its ornate interior is still going strong with scheduled concerts.

10th Arrondissement - Here you'll find the still active historic Theatre des Bouffes du Nord and the stunning Saint-Vincent-de-Paul church. Cool off with a visit to the Musee de I'Eventail and its collection of decorative fans.

11th Arrondissement - Three points of interest are the July Column located in the Place de la Bastille square, the Place de la Republique square, and Saint-Ambroise church.

12th Arrondissement - Several highlights include taking a leisure stroll along the Promenade Plantee, shopping at Bercy Village, and savoring the flavors at the Marche d'Aligre outdoor market. Save some time to visit the ornate Gare de Lyon train station, visit the Zoo de Vincennes, or row a boat at Bois de Vincennes Park.

13th Arrondissement - Tour the workshops of master tapestry makers, Gobelins, in business since the 1500s. Experience the menus at trendy bistros and bars of Butte aux Cailles, the mysteries of Chinatown, or turn a few historical pages at the glass-towered National Library.

14th Arrondissement - If exploring out of the ordinary places is your desire, 75014 is the place to go. Residing in the district is the Paris Catacombs with the remains of over six million Parisians. Take the tour beneath the city, if you dare.

15th Arrondissement - Catch your breath with some quiet time at the 34-acre Parc Andre Citroen before booking a ride on the giant Generali France hot air balloon. After viewing Paris from above, plant your feet on the walkway of the Pont de Bir-Hakeim Bridge and head to the 16th arrondissement.

16th Arrondissement - If visiting museums is what you enjoy, 75016 will keep you busy with at least eight outstanding locations including favorites such as the Musee Marmottan Monet featuring the artist's work, and the interesting Musee de la Contrefacon dedicated to the world of counterfeiting. From the Jardins du Trocadero and its refreshing fountains, you have a clear view of the Eiffel Tower. Along the banks of the River Seine, the Longchamp Racecourse sees plenty of thoroughbred action.

17th Arrondissement - Quiet and unassuming, 75017 has the beautiful Parc Monceau with its gardens and statuary and the charming Batignolles neighborhood filled with romantic cafes, boutiques, gardens and artist studios. To offset the peace and quiet, nearby Place de Clichy is a busy intersection of food, fun, and entertainment.

18th Arrondissement - The Montmartre district blends history with entertainment. Savor the bohemian atmosphere that was home to artists such as Degas, Renoir, Matisse, Toulouse-Latrec and Picasso. Atop a crest sits the magnificent pristine Sacre-Coeur Basilica. Walk the steep incline or use the funicular for a scenic ride. For entertainment, the Pigalle area is considered the red-light district featuring anything-goes shows, theaters, shops, and the infamous Moulin Rouge cabaret.

19th Arrondissement - The Parc de la Villette is host to one of the largest European science museums - Cite des Sciences et de I'Industrie. The museum has permanent exhibits, a theater and planetarium. For a picnic and hike, the 61-acre Parc des Buttes Chaumont offers views of the city from rocky viewpoints.

20th Arrondissement - The 75020 district contains the most famous cemetery in Paris, Pere-Lachaise, containing thousands of detailed tombs and a beautiful sculpture garden. Explore the cemetery where many well-known artists, actors, actresses, performers, writers and poets reside. Like the other districts, you can satisfy your taste buds at a variety of bistros and cafes.

Exploring Paris is an adventure unto itself. Travel back in time and experience the elegance of royal palaces and landmarks that will forever be a part of history. On the flip side, experience a modern city guaranteed to take your breath away and create memories of a lifetime. We think you're going to want to bookmark this article.

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