PARIS 2 IN A NUTSHELL
Paris 2 is the smallest arrondissement in the city. Demarcated by big boulevards, it hosts the Stock Market and some nice historical shops. Paris 2 is a busy arrondissement with a clear commercial character.
Despite its central location, Paris 2 has not many tourist sites. However there are three interesting areas which deserve a little detour:
If you are a food lover don’t miss the emblematic Rue Montorgueil. It is difficult to pronounce, we know, but it has a very cool street life thanks to its outdoor market and endless cafes and bistrots. Among these eating places there are real culinary institutions like l’Escargot Montorgueil (#38) or Le Rocher de Cancale (#78) the latest frequented by artists like Balzac, Dali or Marcel Proust. Also you may want to have a look at Stohrer (#51), the oldest pâtisserie in Paris (since 1730!) and probably also the most sumptuous.
The neighborhood called Sentier was considered in the Middle Ages as the most dangerous place of Paris and even the police did not dare to venture there! Today Sentier is totally safe and a place full of independent retailers and other curiosities. Did you know that the mini skirt of the sixties was created in this neighborhood? Also you may want to check 82 rue de Cléry, the only “plumassier” (feather maker) in Paris which supplies theatres and filmmakers. Place du Caire, Caire Street and Nile Street refer to Napoleon’s expedition to Egypt in 1789.
Architecture lovers will enjoy a walk along rue Réaumur. Pierced in 1895, this street was built after several modifications of the Parisian buildings specifications, which “softened” the previous strict Haussmann specifications. Whereas the buildings had to respect some characteristics like similar height, the architects could experience with new designs and materials creating an interesting laboratory of architectural styles.
These are the most known sights in Paris 2 and no article talking about the 2nd Arrondissement would be complete without them. However Paris 1 is such a powerful magnet that these places are not very touristy so you can still get the feeling of being far from the crowds while visiting beautiful things.
Place des Victoires (1686) one of the “Royal Squares”
Tour Jean Sans Peur (XVth century)
OUR MUST SEE’s (AMAZING OR QUIRKY SIGHTS)
Paris 2 is full of historical curiosities and to write this post we did a real “treasure hunting” to show you the quirkiest side of this district. This is our personal list of things to see to explore Paris 2 Like a Local.
Le Site Richelieu in BNF (Bibliothèque Nationale Française) – one of the closest places to Heaven in Paris
Galerie Vivienne – our favorite Covered Passage
Sentier Metro Station – literally pierced in a residential building
Place du Caire – check the Egyptian side of Paris
Nadar’s photography workshop (35 boulevard des Capucins) – the first Impressionism exhibition was hosted here (1894)
Hotel Scribe (14 boulevard des Capucins) –first public cinema session by Lumière brothers (1895)
Unique collection of ex votos (37.000!) at Notre dame des Victoires (rue Notre Dame des Victoires)
Beautiful clock–mosaic at 61-63 rue de Réaumur
OUR MUST DO’s
Despite being basically a commercial area, Paris 2 is a cool place to explore, especially if you like to go off the beaten path. We recommend visiting Paris 2 on weekends because during the week there are more people and the car traffic is a little bit crazy. This is our little list of things to do to explore Paris 2 Like a Local.
Nice meal (and people watching) at rue Montorgueil
Walk along the most charming Covered Passages
Admire rue Réaumur’s beautiful architecture – don’t miss buildings #61, #69, #97, #116, #118, #121, #124 #132
Fall into temptation and buy a sweet treat at Stohrer’s – baba au rhum is their star product
Quirky photo session at Rue des Degrés – the shortest (and most colorful) street in Paris
Harry’s New York Bar ( 5 Rue Daunou, 75002 Paris) – drink a Bloody Mary in the bar where it was invented
WHERE TO EAT
Check our proposals (by district) 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 this section we propose our top options in each price bracket for the 2nd Arrondissement. You can also check all the hotel options (and last deals) in Paris 2 here
A great location (5 min walk from Opéra Garnier) and beautiful 18th century décor, very Parisian! Apart from the hotel’s comfort and friendly staff La Maison Favart proposes a sauna, fitness room and a small (but very cool) pool to be enjoyed for free on site.
This is a hotel which is always rated as “excellent” by its customers. Their formula of happiness? Excellent location (150m walk to Opéra de Garnier), friendly staff, great breakfast and nice rooms. Great value for money.
An elegant hotel with a central location (walking distance to the Louvre). Hotel Vivienne proposes modern stylish room with all the comfort that you need for your stay in Paris. Some rooms have a nice balcony with views over the typical Parisian roofs.
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