How to find your way around Paris

Getting your bearings in a city that you don't already know is crucial in a number of ways: organise your trips from one attraction to another, choose the most suitable neighbourhood to stay in, choose where to go out at night and organise everything according to your tastes. In this section dedicated to the districts, you will discover the most famous neighbourhoods and learn to orientate yourself within them, leaving nothing to chance.

"La rive gauche" and "La rive droite"

To find your way around the city, we talk mainly about the most historic distinction in Paris: la rive gauche and la rive droite, i.e. the left and right banks of the Seine. In the heart of the city, embraced by the Seine, two small islands are born: île de la Cité and île St-Louis. The history of Paris began precisely on these islands and in particular on the small île de la Cité, where the majestic Cathedral of Notre Dame rises. Subsequently, for strategic and commercial reasons, the rive droite was occupied, i.e. the right bank of the Seine, which became the fulcrum of the Parisian bourgeoisie and aristocracy. In fact, precisely in this area are the great luxury avenues such as the Champs Elysées and the Avenue Montagne, as well as the markets of Les Halls and the Stock Exchange. Around the 13th century the first students began to settle on the left bank of the Seine and the Latin Quarter was born, since the language spoken in this area was predominantly the language of the students, Latin. On the left side, between 800 and 900, Montparnasse, known as the Artists' Quarter, was born. Today the situation has changed, since the distinction is less tangible, but we can say that to the west the richest area grows and in the east the poorest. In short, the first great distinction to take into account of Paris is: to the right of the Seine we will find the areas of luxury and we can visit the Champs Elysées, the Louvre Museum, Place de la Concorde, the Centre Pompidou and much more: to the left we find the areas of greater cultural and artistic development such as: the Latin Quarter, the Musée d'Orsay, the Luxembourg Gardens, the Montparnasse Quarter and much more.

Paris arrondisment map
Paris arrondisment map

Neighbourhoods (Les Arrondissements)

Paris is divided into twenty neighbourhoods or districts, in French arrondissement, which develop in a clockwise direction creating a kind of spiral that starts from the historic centre. The first neighborhoods revolve around the Seine and are the centre of Paris and therefore the most touristic area visited by tourists. Just to get an idea of the area, in the 1st arrondissement, you will find the Louvre Museum and in the 2nd the famous Place de la Concorde. In fact, in the 3rd and 4th arrondissement, there is the Marais Quarter where there are many great sights, but we should mention the very famous Centre Pompidou. Then we find the 5th and 6th arrondissement in which spreads the Latin Quarter. In the 7th and 8th arrondissement, you can visit in order: the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysées. The 9th arrondissement is more an area where you can spend the night, but there is nothing really touristic to visit. Continuing along the 10th and 11th arrondissement, you will find the Saint Martin Canal area, the Oberkampf area and the Bastille area. The key word of these arrondissements is fun, here you can have fun between the different neighbourhoods and trendy fashion shops open until late at night. The 12th, like the 9th is an area where you can look for cheap accommodation. Then the 13th is famous for being the small China Town of Paris, while the 14th is the neighbourhood of Montparnasse, the artists' neighbourhood, where you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the city. The 15th, 16th and 17th arrondissement are luxurious neighborhoods without particular tourist attractions and therefore also fall into the category of neighborhoods in which to stay, although somewhat distant from the centre. On the other hand, the 18th must be visited, as it is home to the famous Quartier Pigalle (the red-light district), Montmatre and the Quartier de la Gotte d'or. If you feel like relaxing in green spaces, then the 19th arrondissement will be for you, with the parks "Villette" and "Buttes Chaumont". Finally, the 20th is a district to visit at least to make a stop at the famous cemetery of Père Lachaise,where you can visit the graves of famous poets, singers and writers.

Le Marais Paris

Le Marais Paris

Paris is divided into special neighbourhoods, called arrondissement in French, each with its own peculiarities that give it

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