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20 Arrondissements in 30 Days

Paris - May 27, 2012 - 1 Comments

The wonderful city has 20 neighborhoods, better known as arrondissements. Starting with #1 at the city’s center, each neighborhood spirals out in a clockwise direction. The 20 areas are bound within a perimeter. Here’s a quick synopsis of each:

Arrondissement #1, or Louvre as it’s called, is the most sparsely populated because it holds most of the city’s historical sights – the Louvre, The Royal Palace, Tuileries Gardens and Vendôme Square.

Arrondissement #2, or Bourse, is mostly business. The former stock exchange and the historic National Library are in this area . . . the smallest of all neighborhoods. Lots of shopping arcades here.

Arrondissement #3, often called Temple, is also small. The National Conservatory of Arts & Crafts plus the Picasso Museum are also located here.

Arrondissement #4, or Hôtel-de-Ville, holds the Notre Dame Cathedral, City Hall, and the modern Centre Pompidou.

Arrondissement #5, named Panthéon, but most often referred to as the Latin Quarter, holds the Sorbonne University and the Boulevard St-Michel.

Arrondissement #6, or Luxembourg, is home to one of the world’s greatest parks, the Jardin du Luxembourg. The oldest abbey in Paris also rests in the 6th.

Arrondissement #7, the exclusive Palais-Bourbon, holds the Eiffel Tower, Napoleon’s Tomb and several museums including the Musée d’Orsay. Thousands of tourists, needless to say.

Arrondissement #8, or Élysées, is loaded with tourist attractions. The Champs-Élysées (probably the world’s most famous boulevard), the Arc de Triomphe and Grand Palais.

Arrondissement #9, or Opéra, is known for its spicy red-light district, Pigalle and the Moulin Rouge.

Arrondissement #10, or Enclos-St-Laurent, holds both of Paris main railway stations, the Gare de l’Est and Gare du Nord.

Arrondissement #11, or Popincourt, is mostly residential so it’s very low profile.

Arrondissement #12, or Reuilly, is Paris’ largest neighborhood. Largely residential, this arrondissement holds the 2400+ acre park, the Bois de Vincennes.

Arrondissement #13, or Gobelins, is also mostly residential. Paris’ largest Chinatown is located in this arrondissement.

Arrondissement #14, or Observatoire, is a lively neighborhood historically linked to great artists and writers like Hemingway and Jean-Paul Sartre. The cemetery where many famous French citizens are buried, Montparnasse, is located here. The Catacombs can be accessed from here – at the Denfert-Rochereau Square.

Arrondissement #15, or Vaugirard, is the largest of the 20, both in size and population. Paris’ tallest skyscraper, Tour Maine Montparnasse, is here.

Arrondissement #16, or Passy, is considered the richest. It borders the Boulogne, an enormous park.

Arrondissement #17, or Batignolles-Monceau, is the one deemed ‘diverse.’ It borders the infamous Pigalle ‘hood to the north and houses a large convention center in the west.

Arrondissement #18. Then there’s Butte-Montmartre, which surrounds the Sacré-Coeur basilica. In this neighborhood is also the Place du Tertre plus it borders the 9th’s Moulin Rouge.

Arrondissement #19. Next is the Buttes-Chaumont with two great parks, the Parc de las Villete and Paris’ most interesting, the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont.

Arrondissement #20. And finally, the Ménilmontant. Mostly residential, cosmopolitan, and quiet. Paris’ most famous cemetery, Cimetière du Père-Lachaise.

For those of you who followed my walks through Manhattan, you know that I look for the unusual. There is plenty written about the tourist attractions so I look forward to finding the ‘real life’ in Paris. If you know of any such places, events or other info, please leave me notes below in the comment box. Merci!

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