Arrondissements of Paris
The city of Paris is divided into twenty arrondissements. The first one is in the center, the following ones spiral outwards in a clock-wise direction. Most of the famous tourist attractions can be found in one of the central eight arrondissements.
The arrondissements are encircled by the périphérique, a ring highway. Outside the périphérique are the banlieues, the suburbs of Paris.
Below a concise overview of all the arrondissements and their most important sights and attractions.
|Arrondissement 1 - Louvre|
|Arrondissement 2 - Bourse|
Primarily a business district, with the Palais de la Bourse - the former stock exchange - as its most notable landmark. Another important building in the smallest of Paris's arrondissements is the historic National Library. A modern expansion of the library is located in the 13th arrondissement. The second arrondissement is also home to a number of historic shopping arcades
|Arrondissement 3 - Temple|
Another small arrondissement; it contains the northern part of the historic Marais district. The Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (with the Museum of Arts and Crafts
, a technology museum), the Picasso Museum and the Carnavalet Museum
- devoted to the history of Paris - are located here.
|Arrondissement 4 - Hôtel-de-Ville|
|Arrondissement 5 - Panthéon|
The Latin Quarter, with the renowned Sorbonne university, is situated in this arrondissement. The area's popular avenue, the Boulevard St-Michel, marks the border with the 6th arrondissement. The most famous sight in the 5th arrondissement is the Panthéon
, but there are many other noteworthy sights such as the magnificent Val-de-Grâce church, the intriguing St-Etienne-du-Mont church
, the Cluny Museum
, the roman-era Arènes de Lutèce
and the Jardin des Plantes
, the city's botanical garden which is home to the Natural History Museum
|Arrondissement 6 - Luxembourg|
One of the world's greatest parks, the Jardin du Luxembourg
, makes this arrondissement popular with locals and visitors alike. The 6th arrondissement also contains a number of landmarks like the Odéon Theatre and the Saint Sulpice church
, which sports two towers with a different design. Another important church in this arrondissement is the 11th century Saint-Germain des Prés
, the oldest abbey church in Paris. The church is at the heart of the namesake neighborhood, which is one of the most popular areas to stay in
for visitors to Paris.
|Arrondissement 7 - Palais-Bourbon|
Government institutions and major landmarks dominate this upscale arrondissement. The most famous of these landmarks is the Eiffel Tower
, drawing millions of visitors each year. Other important tourist draws are the Invalides
- with its museums
and Napoleon's tomb
- and three more museums: the Musée d'Orsay
, the Musée Rodin
and the Musée du Quai Branly
, which is dedicated to non-European cultures. The Palais Bourbon
(National Assembly), École Militaire (Military School) and the UNESCO headquarters can also be found in the 7th arrondissement.
|Arrondissement 8 - Élysée|
A multifaceted arrondissement, with prestigious boulevards in the south and the not so prestigious Pigalle area - a red light district - in the north. Pigalle does attract its share of tourists though thanks to the nearby Moulin Rouge
(18th arr). Just as famous, but located in the south part of the 9th arrondissement, is the former Opéra Garnier
, a magnificent opera house. Nearby is the Galeries Lafayette
, a well-known department store. The majestic Sainte-Trinité church is also located in this arrondissement.
|Arrondissement 10 - Enclos-St-Laurent|
Two of Paris's main railway stations - the Gare de l'Est and Gare du Nord
- can be found here. This is a down to earth arrondissement with the Canal Saint-Martin
and the neoclassical Saint-Vincent-de-Paul church as some its most interesting sights.
|Arrondissement 11 - Popincourt|
A very low profile arrondissement, mostly residential. The Oberkampf district in the north is better known for its nightlife than its landmarks, but it does contain the Cirque d'Hiver (winter circus)
and the St. Ambroise church.
|Arrondissement 12 - Reuilly|
The large Bastille Opera can be found in this mostly residential area, as well as the Bercy Stadium and the nearby modern Bercy Park
. The arrondissement is bordered by the expansive Vincennes park on the east.
|Arrondissement 13 - Gobelins|
A largely residential neighborhood with the modern National Library
as its most significant landmark. Another interesting complex is the Hôpital de la Pitié-Salpêtrière
, an expansive hospital complex with an imposing chapel. The 13th arrondissement is also home to the city's largest Chinatown.
|Arrondissement 14 - Observatoire|
A lively arrondissement, especially around the Montparnasse Boulevard, where the Tour Maine Montparnasse
(located in the adjacent 15th arrondissement) dominates the skyline. Not far from this skyscraper is the Montparnasse Cemetery
, where many famous French citizens are buried. A popular tourist attraction in this arrondissement are the catacombs, which can be accessed from the Denfert-Rochereau square. The observatory of Paris nearby gave the 14th arrondissement its name.
|Arrondissement 15 - Vaugirard|
This is the largest of the twenty arrondissements in Paris, both in size and population. The tallest skyscraper in the center of Paris - Tour Maine Montparnasse
- is located here. The Parc André Citroën
in the west is one of Paris's most interesting modern parks.
|Arrondissement 16 - Passy|
Even if the 7th arrondissement may be even more exclusive, the 16th arrondissement has the reputation of being the richest, and only the better-off are able to pay the high rents here. The arrondissement is bordered by the enormous Boulogne park to the west. A big draw is the Palais de Chaillot
, from where you can have a great view of the Eiffel Tower
. The Palais de Chaillot
is also home to several museums and a theater. The Musée Guimet, a museum with a collection of Asian art and the Palais de Tokyo
, home to modern art, can be found nearby. Another notable museum is the Musée Marmottan, with a collection of impressionist art.
|Arrondissement 17 - Batignolles-Monceau|
This is a diverse arrondissement, bordering the grand boulevards in the south and the lowly Pigalle neighborhood in the north. The Palais des Congrès, a large convention center, is located at the western tip of the arrondissement.
|Arrondissement 18 - Butte-Montmartre|Montmartre
, the once bohemian and still village-like district is often inundated with tourists. The Sacré-Coeur
basilica and the Place du Tertre are the biggest tourist draws. Another famous sight here is the Moulin Rouge
, located near the border of the 9th arrondissement.
|Arrondissement 19 - Buttes-Chaumont|
|Arrondissement 20 - Ménilmontant|
This mostly residential, cosmopolitan arrondissement has no real attractions but it still gets its fair share of tourists thanks to the Cimetière du Père-Lachaise
, the most famous cemetery in Paris.