If you’re feeling like planning a trip to Paris is so overwhelming that you can’t even wrap your head around pronouncing arrondissements, allow us to take over from here. While Paris is divided up into 20 quarters, called arrondissements (pronounced aron-deez-mon), don’t feel like you absolutely have to visit all of them. In fact, there are many you can really skip altogether, since they are not really tourist oriented, and if it’s your first time in the city, are definitely not must-sees. Here are the best Paris arrondissements to visit if it’s your first time in the city.
Le 1st arrondissement – Louvre
What better than to start with the 1st arrondissement? This is the quarter with the most tourist attractions, so it is typically one of the most visited quarters in Paris. It is home to the famous Louvre museum, Rivoli street, Place Vendôme, and the Palais-Royal quarter. Just walking around here is an activity in itself, and you can spend the entire day taking in all of the beautiful sights.
The 7th arrondissement – Palais Bourbon
The 7th is yet another frequently visited quarter owing to the fact that this is where you’ll find the Iron Lady of France herself, the Eiffel Tower. After you visit the symbol of Paris itself, you can also visit the Orsay museum, Quai Branly museum, and stroll on the banks of the Seine.
The 8th arrondissement – L’Elysée
Another must-visit quarter is the 8th, where you will be able to stroll up and down the gorgeous boulevard of the Champs-Elysées, home to countless designer shops. You can then visit the Arc de Triomphe and continue the long and enjoyable walk to the Place de la Concorde. Don’t forgot to walk across the Alexandre III bridge too.
The 4th arrondissement – L’Hôtel-Ville
In the 4th quarter of Paris, you’ll find that it is one of the most visited areas of the city as it is here that you will be able to see the Notre Dame cathedral. Though it is still being renovated following the fire that caused it great damage, you can see marvel at the incredible structure from the outside. It is also here that you will be able to visit Île de la Cité, the Île de Saint-Louis and the Centre Pompidou.
The 3rd arrondissement – Temple
While this is the least touristy arrondissement on the list, the 3rd quarter features many museums that are worth visiting but since they are not as well known, you won’t have to deal with huge lines. There are a lot of contemporary art galleries here, so if you’re more into that than antiquities, it’s the perfect place to visit. Across the 3rd and 4th arrondissements you can visit Le Marais, a lively neighborhood that is full of local shops, delicious food, and is quite enjoyable to walk around in.