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Districts of Paris- A Description of Each District

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      The geographical center of Paris, showcasing the Louvre, the world's finest museum. Walk in the Tuileries Gardens, opposite the Pyramid. Place Vendôme is home to Paris' jewelers Van Cleef & Arpels and Boucheron. Haute couture designers such as Yves St-Laurent and Christian Dior can be found on rue Saint-Honoré. For more affordable prices, go to the Forum des Halles, inner Paris' largest shopping mall.    
       
West from Rue de Richelieu is the "theatre district": a dozen or more can be found in this arrondissement. The 2nd district, is also a great place to sample typical Parisian atmosphere: little passageways and arcades full of shops and small cafés, border Boulevard Montmartre and Rue Croix-des-petits-champs. The Paris Stock Market (the Bourse) is also here    
       
Along with the 4th arrondissement, this neighborhood makes up the Marais, the oldest neighborhood in Paris. Many 18th century mansions that once housed the most noble families of Paris remain , such as the Hotel de Rohan. The historical museum, the Carnavalet, is also situated here.    
       
The 4th is a wonderful place to stroll. Fashionable bars, shops and restaurants line the streets. Rue des Rosiers is the centerpiece of Jewish lifestyle. The two islands of Paris, l'Ile de la Cité (where Notre-Dame is located) and l'Ile St-Louis were the center of Paris in the Middle Ages. Here you will find the lovely Square Place des Voges, built by Henry IV, where its most famous resident, Victor Hugo wrote Les Miserables. The main focus for contemporary art in France is also in this part of town, at the Beaubourg/Pompidou Centre.    
       
Known together with the 6th district as the Latin Quarter, this neighborhood takes its name from the Sorbonne, the University of Paris, where Latin was the common tongue for all students from the Middle Ages. The neighborhood has the feel of a small village and students mix freely with professionals in its winding streets. Rue Mouffetard is a primary artery where shops, restaurants, bars and cafés are found. All the most prestigious high schools and schools attached to the University are centered around the Panthéon. Visit the Jardin des Plantes and its zoo and the amphitheatre of Lutetia, a vestige of Roman times. The Museum of the Middle Ages is in the Square de Cluny, and the riverside walkways (quais) host hundreds of second-hand books sellers.    
       
St. Germain, once the gathering place for bohemians and intellectuals, now boasts upscale boutiques, art galleries and restaurants. The Rues de Buci, de Seine, Dauphine and Mazarine, and the area between Boulevard St-Germain and the Seine provide perfect examples of Parisian charm: you can find shops and cafés, busy pubs and jazz clubs. For a quieter atmosphere, wander through the Luxembourg Gardens, or for more shopping, visit Rue de Rennes and Paris' first department store "Le Bon Marche" (1848).    
       
Generally called "the ministries district", it also hosts some of Paris' most famous monuments: the Invalides (Napoleon's Tomb), the Eiffel Tower, the Champ de Mars and L'Ecole Militaire. Between Quai Voltaire and Rue de l'Université, hundreds of antique dealers will welcome you in Carré Rive Gauche. The Musée d'Orsay, famous home of the Impressionists, is located along the quai in the renovated train station Gare d'Orsay (1848).    
       
A visit here should begin with the Champs-Elysées, which starts at the Etoile Plaza (Arc de Triomphe) and ends on the Place de la Concorde, where Louis XVI lost his head during the Revolution (1793). . Also to be seen are the Madeleine Church and the Parc Monceau. Shopping for all things musical should be done on Rue de Rome and for culture, do not miss the Jacquemart-André Museum, the Grand and Petit Palais, and the Musée de la Découverte, Paris' science museum.    
       
A diverse residential area popular with the artistic crowd. The famous Opéra Garnier is located here, and further north is the famous Moulin Rouge. Most of all, this district is renowned for its department stores on Boulevard Haussmann: Printemps and the Galeries Lafayette. (Don't forget to bring your 10% discount card offered by France Vacations.)    
       
Along the Canal St-Martin are the Quai de Valmy and Jemmapes and a stroll here makes one of the most picturesque walks in Paris. Two train stations are here, the Gare de l'Est and the Gare du Nord, where one can catch the famous Eurostar "chunnel" train to London. This multi-cultural neighborhood also contains a bohemian element.    
       
Primarily a residential district, Place de la Bastille and the New Opera House are found here. This district also has some of the finest Parisian nightspots: Rue Oberkampf , Rues de la Roquette and de Lappe are popular spots.    
       
Paris' Marina is here, spreading from the River Seine to the Place de la Bastille and its fabulous Opera theatre. The Palais Omnisport Paris-Bercy hosts many spectacular events including concerts and sporting events. East of the city is the Bois de Vincennes, a large park with a lake.    
       
The eastern part of this district is often called "Chinatown": it houses an incredible quantity of Chinese and Asian restaurants and shops, and even massive Oriental super stores. Paris' brand new library is by the river, on the Quai de la Gare. In the western part, stroll in the charming village of La Butte-aux-Cailles, a Parisian gem, and on Place d'Italie, where you will find Europe's largest cinema screen. This is the area where the famous Gobelins tapestries which hang in Versailles were made.    
       
Rue d'Alésia is the perfect place for clothes shopping, retail temptation stretches from one end of the street to the other. The parc Montsouris is a lovely park opposite the International University Residence, which deserves a visit for its medley of international architectural styles. From around the world, people come to enjoy the unique atmosphere of the brasseries along Boulevard Montparnasse, "le Select", "le Dome", "la Coupole", where people watching is a timeless pleasure.    
       
By the river you can find the very beautiful Citroen gardens (parc André Citroen), named after the car manufacturer who had his first factory here. North but still facing the Seine are Paris' skyscrapers, dominating the Statue of Liberty, a smaller version of the one given to the US by France, which sits in New York harbor.    
       
A large, wealthy residential area, the Trocadero offers a lovely view of the city as well as housing two museums (Marine Museum and Museum of Mankind). Avenue Foch is impressive, as is the Parc des Princes (Paris Stadium). West from the ring road, stretches the Bois de Boulogne.    
       
This diverse district is made up of many small neighborhoods. Market streets and local crafts are found on every corner. It borders the Arc de Triomphe and is easily accessible to the Champs Elysees.    
       
Montmartre., a hilltop neighborhood with a small village feel. Dominating the hill is the Sacré-Coeur basilica. It is incredibly charming and has a wonderful view of the city from the stairs of the basilica. Also famous is the Pigalle area at the base of the stairs (Boulevards de Clichy and de Rochechouart) for its nightlife: bars and clubs.    

 


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