World In Paris
Like a Local Most Popular Posts

Paris 1 Like a Local – Top Sights and Our Must See’s & Do’s

PARIS 1 IN A NUTSHELL

Paris 1 Like a Local

From the Place Vendome to the Ile de la Cité, the 1st arrondissement is one of the oldest districts of Paris and also the district of the great Kings of France. The royal palace, the Tuileries, the Louvre and the Palais de la Cité are where the royal power and its court were established for centuries, making the area one of the most sumptuous in the capital.

In this area, the Louvre Museum is the star. The former Palais Royal with its glass pyramid commissioned by François Mitterand attracts art lovers and novices alike. The neighboring streets are mainly devoted to retail and sometimes luxury, particularly in the direction of Place Vendôme.

Related:  Louvre Museum Survival Guide : best tips, artwork and much more

It is also in Paris 1 where we can find most of the “Royal Squares”. These squares were originally peaceful places of walk designed to admire the statue of the sovereign. Place Dauphine (1614), Place des Victoires (1686), and Place Vendôme (1699) are the Royal Squares in the 1st arrondissement.

Nestled between the Palais Royal and Île Saint-Louis, Les Halles was the traditional central market of Paris. In 1183, King Philippe II Auguste enlarged this marketplace and built a shelter for the merchants, who came from all over to sell their wares at “the Belly of Paris” Today the underground Forum des Halles replaces that old market and its new spectacular architecture deserves a little visit, even if you don’t want to shop. When night falls, the bars are packed and artists invade Place des Halles to take part in shows.

 

TOP SIGHTS 

No surprises here: you can find all these places on all the guidebooks about Paris so no article talking about the 1st Arrondissement would be complete without them. If you are visiting Paris for the first time you will like to visit some of them, they are very touristy but beautiful !

Jardin des Tuileries

Jardin du Palais Royal

Place Vendôme (and its stylish stores)

Sainte-Chapelle

Musée du Louvre

Musée de l’Orangerie

La Conciergerie

Les Bouquinistes (book sellers along Seine’s docks)

 X

OUR MUST SEE’s (AMAZING OR QUIRKY SIGHTS)

Some of them are part of touristy sights, some of them are hidden gems. This is our personal list of things to see to explore Paris 1 Like a Local.

Salle d’Armes de la Conciergerie – quintessence Medieval Architecture

Cour Napoléon at Louvre – admire Pei’s Glass Pyramid. It is especially beautiful at night when it is lit up

Saint Germain L’Auxerrois Church (XII-XVth century) – one of our favorite churches in Paris

Main Nave at Musée des Arts Décoratifs – Monumental Architecture, beautiful mosaics

Sainte Chapelle’s Higher Chapel – stunning stained glass windows 15m high

Buren’s columns – they are funny!

The oldest public Clock in Paris – this clock has been giving time to Parisians since 1371!

Bourse de Commerce (Commodities Exchange) Main Hall – built in the XVIIIth century it was originally used for the storage and sale of wheat

Restaurant Le Grand Véfour (inside) – Jewel of the 18th century “art décoratif”, a place stuck in time

Forum Les Halles’ new architecture – beautiful contemporary architecture in our humble opinion !

 

X

OUR MUST DO’s

Despite being one of the most touristy districts of Paris we like to visit the 1st Arrondissement of Paris from time to time, especially when the weather is nice. This is a little list of things to do to explore Paris 1 Like a Local.

Coffee at one of  Place Dauphine’s cafes on a sunny day – just a little break in one of the most beautiful squares in Paris

Check how Parisians set their watches in the XVIII th century – learn the story of quirky Petit Canon

Quirky photo session at Buren’s columns – funny for kids and adults, with great photo opportunities

A picnic on the banks of the Seine – a locals’ must. Vin, fromage & baguette, Paris’ beautiful architecture, Bateaux Mouches . . . quintessential Paris as its best

Improvised concert under the Louvre’s archways – street musicians playing their most beautiful scores

Maillol Hunting Statues (Jardin des Tuileries) – More than 20 sculptures scattered all over the gardens! Discover the feminine forms so dear to the artist

Coffee, crêpe at Café Diane (Jardin des Tuileries) – the perfect place for people watching on a sunny day

Paris Plage in summer time – for kids and not that kids : -)

Fall into temptation and buy a little box of Ladurée’s macarons – (Ladurée Macarons 14 rue de Castiglione 75001 Paris)

Explore quirky 59 Rue de Rivoli – the quirkiest (urban) art workshops in Paris 1

Walk, bike or cruise along the Seine at night – just magical

 

X

WHERE TO EAT

Check our proposals (by arrondissement) on Yummy Paris. This is a living page which we are continuously “feeding” with our Parisian friends’ suggestions so we recommend you to come back from time to time to check the newest additions.

  

WHERE TO SLEEP

On Where to Sleep section we always try to give 3 top options in each price brackets. However in this “royal area” in the heart of Paris it is really difficult to find quality budget hotels (-100€ /night). These are our proposals for the 1st Arrondissement. You can check all the hotel options for the 1st Arrondissement here

X

Paris Like a Local

RITZ PARIS – LUXURY STAY (200€+ PER NIGHT)

Ranked among the most luxurious hotels in the world and recently renovated, Ritz is all about location, (Place Vendôme), history and glamour. Featured in many notable works of fiction, the Ritz hosted people like Chanel, Hemingway and Princess Diana of Wales.

Check the hotel’s latest offers


Paris Like a Local

NORMANDY HOTEL – MID RANGE STAY (100-200€ PER NIGHT)

Good location (5 min walk to Louvre or Tuileries) and a beautiful building with the charm of Parisian Belle Époque. Rooms have an exclusive atmosphere, all decorated with that French style that you are looking for. The hotel’s Bar is a real institution in Paris.

Check the hotel’s latest offers


Paris Like a Local

HOTEL LOUVRE RICHELIEU – MID RANGE STAY (100-200€ PER NIGHT)

If you are looking for a more contemporary style, this is the hotel for you. Good location (facing Palais Royal) and an ancient building from the outside but pleasantly modern inside. The ensuite rooms are cozy and big for Paris standards.

Check the hotel’s latest offers


Related:  Paris 2 Like a Local – Top Sights and Our Must See's & Do's

 Get the most out of Paris

Pin it now & read it later

 Paris Like a Local    Paris Like a Local

Disclaimer: this post includes affiliate links, meaning we get a small commission if you make a purchase through our links. It costs you nothing more (in fact, if anything, you’ll get a nice discount) but helps us to go on telling Paris stories (and eventually keep up stocked in French wine). We trust all products promoted here and would never recommend a product that isn’t of value. 

You Might Also Like...

36 Comments

  • Reply
    Nic
    04/09/2017 at 3:40 pm

    Awesome guide, it’s been a long time since I’ve been to Paris which means it’s about time we visited again! There are so many things on here that I missed the first time and that’s just in such a small area!

    • Reply
      WorldInParis
      04/10/2017 at 6:39 pm

      Glad you enjoyed this mini list of suggestions, Nic! And cool that you want to come back, Paris is always a good idea 😉

  • Reply
    Nisha
    04/05/2017 at 7:03 pm

    That’s a lovely guide to Paris. When we went we spent just about 3 days and enjoyed every bit of it. Travelling by “metropolitain” was so much fun and it got us to any place we wanted to go . As I read your post , images from my travels flipped in mind’s eye. Thanks/

    • Reply
      WorldInParis
      04/05/2017 at 7:39 pm

      Good that my post brought you nice souvenirs about Paris 🙂

  • Reply
    Veronika Tomanova
    04/05/2017 at 7:35 am

    I visited Paris some years ago and the city did not really take my breath away- it seemed so big and crowded. I tried to see it in just 3 days and I think you really need more. Your post makes me feel like I want to revisit it again! I would like to come back with my boyfriend for at least a week and stay in one of the hotels you recommend.

    • Reply
      WorldInParis
      04/05/2017 at 7:40 pm

      So you will give Paris another chance! That’s nice 🙂

  • Reply
    Jes
    04/05/2017 at 2:09 am

    I have to say we loved staying right by the Eiffel Tower, but my kids favourite museum was D’Orsay. There is just something about it, that we didn’t really find in any of the other big museums. Having said that, we have not seen all of the places that you mentioned, so you’ve given us yet another reason to return… 🙂

    • Reply
      WorldInParis
      04/05/2017 at 10:22 pm

      You know Jes, Paris is always a good idea 😉

  • Reply
    Trisha Velarmino
    04/04/2017 at 8:15 pm

    It looks quite easy to live like a local in the City of Love! After all, what I find the best thing to do here is to watch and observe people! Xx

    • Reply
      WorldInParis
      04/05/2017 at 10:22 pm

      I like people watching a lot! Especially on a sunny day 🙂

  • Reply
    Lara Dunning
    04/04/2017 at 6:58 pm

    Top on my list is seeing some of Monet’s paintings. Love his work. I’m always up for quirky sights and I’ve made note of your list Great tips on the hotels, and I like that you’ve included the prices.

    • Reply
      WorldInParis
      04/05/2017 at 7:41 pm

      More Monet’s stuff coming soon! 🙂

  • Reply
    Jetsetter Jenn
    04/04/2017 at 5:20 pm

    I just love the City of Lights and this is a fabulous guide! I will definitely share it with friends. Happy travels 🙂

    • Reply
      WorldInParis
      04/04/2017 at 5:24 pm

      Oh thank YOU! We LOVE to be social 🙂

  • Reply
    Greg
    04/03/2017 at 5:08 pm

    I had no idea Paris was divided up like that!

    • Reply
      WorldInParis
      04/04/2017 at 4:48 pm

      Ooohh! So you learn something new today 😉

  • Reply
    Castaway with Crystal
    04/03/2017 at 1:11 pm

    Such great information in there and I love your ideas on what to do! Thanks for this 🙂

    • Reply
      WorldInParis
      04/04/2017 at 4:48 pm

      You are welcome, Crystal. Glad that you liked my ideas!

  • Reply
    Rosemary
    04/03/2017 at 3:55 am

    Love Paris and this post takes me back to the time when I lived in the city of lights. Indeed, great recommendations of things to do with Jardin des Tuileries being a favorite. Great post and looking forward to your other ones about the different arrondisements 🙂 I lived in the 12th. Can’t wait to read what you’ll highlight!

    • Reply
      WorldInParis
      04/04/2017 at 4:49 pm

      Thanks Rosemary. I did not know that you were once a Parisian! Cool things to see & do in the 12th but you must know better than me 😉

  • Reply
    Debra M Schroeder
    04/02/2017 at 6:02 pm

    There’s so much to see and do in Paris, especially the gardens. I was there last June but didn’t get a chance to see many of the places you’ve listed. Have bookmarked this post for when I’m able to visit again.

    • Reply
      WorldInParis
      04/04/2017 at 4:50 pm

      Thanks Debra! Hopefully you will come back to Paris soon 🙂

  • Reply
    Drew
    04/02/2017 at 3:14 pm

    Hard to not fall for Paris! I personally love Sainte Chapelle. It is one of my favorite sites in the city, and always head back there when I’m in Paris. Of course, just walking along the Seine and talking in the atmosphere is always nice as well!

    • Reply
      WorldInParis
      04/04/2017 at 4:51 pm

      Nice picks! I am always frustrated with Sainte Chapelle, cannot get its real beauty on my pictures :-/

  • Reply
    Raksha Nagaraj
    04/02/2017 at 12:46 pm

    It’s so nice to read and realise that Paris has many more things to offer than just the Effile Tower. All the places quoted here looks so interesting.

    • Reply
      WorldInParis
      04/04/2017 at 4:52 pm

      Thanks Raksha. Well, all this blog is about these “many ore things Paris has to offer” 😉

  • Reply
    Jing
    04/02/2017 at 8:45 am

    Paris is a very famous destination and what I love about your site is that you provide off-the-beaten sights from a local’s perspective.

    • Reply
      WorldInParis
      04/04/2017 at 4:52 pm

      Thanks for your nice comment, Jing! 🙂

  • Reply
    Lois Alter Mark
    04/02/2017 at 4:38 am

    Paris is one of my favorite cities, and these are all great tips. Just seeing those macarons makes me want to plan another trip right now!

    • Reply
      WorldInParis
      04/04/2017 at 4:53 pm

      He heee, I totally can understand you 🙂 🙂

  • Reply
    kenzie
    04/01/2017 at 10:33 pm

    I love your photos! I’ll be sure to check out more of the sights on my next trip 🙂 i also wrote a post for Paris check it out 🙂
    http://kenziekashmiri.com/parisrestaurants/

    • Reply
      WorldInParis
      04/04/2017 at 4:54 pm

      Thanks for the link, Kenzie! Feel free to post it on our FB page, we love to read other bloggers’ posts about Paris 😉

  • Reply
    Lauren Craving Sunshine
    04/01/2017 at 10:01 pm

    What an incredible guide! I’ve never been to Paris but it’s on my list! This guide gives me everything i need to plan an awesome trip.

    • Reply
      WorldInParis
      04/05/2017 at 10:23 pm

      Hey, wait! There are some other 19 arrondissements here in Paris, lol

  • Reply
    Chrysoula
    04/01/2017 at 2:52 pm

    The first time I visited Paris I wasn’t that impressed, from your list of things to do I have only been to the Louvre. I think I left the real Paris out. So I am saving this post and planning a new trip there. maybe this time I will fell in love with it!

    • Reply
      WorldInParis
      04/05/2017 at 10:24 pm

      Who knows, Chrysoula! 🙂

    Leave a Reply