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Table of Contents
- Introducing the 8th Arrondissement of Paris
- From the Tuileries Gardens to the Champs Elysées
- The District of the Champs Elysées
- Top Sights in Paris 8th Arrondissement
- Unique Things to Do in the 8th District of Paris
- Best Restaurants in the 8th Arrondissement Paris
- 8th Arrondissement Hotels
- Paris Eighth Arrondissement Directory
- Want to Explore Beyond Paris 8?
Introducing the 8th Arrondissement of Paris
After wandering around the Eiffel Tower, let’s cross the Seine River to the Right Bank to explore one of the most elegant Arrondissements of Paris.
Chic stores, haute couture houses, and large art galleries at la Madeleine. Shopping and glamour along the Champs-Elysées, relaxation in the green enclosure of Parc Monceau. Welcome to the beautiful (and expensive!) 8th Arrondissement of Paris.
This elegant district delimited by the Seine River in the south, and also by Paris 16, Paris 17, Paris 9, and Paris 1, is the district of the Champs Elysées, Place de la Concorde, and Arc de Triomphe but of course, there is much more!
The 8th Arrondissement is divided into 4 neighborhoods: Champs-Élysées, Faubourg-du-Roule, Madeleine, and Europe.
From the Tuileries Gardens to the Champs Elysées
For many centuries, the current 8th Arrondissement was covered by the waters of the Seine River, a river much wider than today. Then it became a marsh, and not much happened in this area which was sanitized and cultivated to provide Paris with fresh produce.
Everything started to change in the 17th century when the Queen Regent Marie de Médicis decided to build a long alley lined with trees, the Cours de la Reine. This alley was built on the axis that the first Capetian Kings took on horseback to go hunting in the forest from the Louvre Palace.
Later in 1667, King Louis XIV decided to open a path to facilitate the passage of the coaches going from the Tuileries Palace to the royal domain of Saint-Germain-en-Laye and the Palace of Versailles (at that time under construction). This new alley, inaugurated with the name Grand Cours (to distinguish it from Cours de la Reine), was designed by the landscape gardener André Le Nôtre and it corresponds to the current Champs Elysées.
The current Place de la Concorde was arranged in the 18th century to host an equestrian statue of King Louis XV that celebrated his recovery from a very bad illness. The square was inaugurated in 1772 with the name Place Louis XV and it was later an important stage of the French Revolution.
The Faubourg Saint-Honoré became aristocratic with the construction of many private mansions: the Hôtel d’Evreux (now the Elysée Palace), the Hôtel de Beauvau, the Hôtel de Béthune-Charost, the Hôtel de La Vaupalière, etc. Begun during the 1st Empire, the Arc de Triomphe de l’Etoile was completed in 1836.
With the arrangement of Place de la Concorde and the Champs Elysées, the west of Paris became in the 19th century a place of real estate speculation. Rich bankers, upper bourgeoisie, and politicians built magnificent private mansions around the Parc Monceau. Some of the mansions are today beautiful museums (Musée Nissim de Camondo, Musée Cernuschi, Musée Jacquemart-André).
Today the 8th arrondissement of Paris is both a tourist hotspot and one of the districts where the upper-middle class resides. It hosts many fancy shops, lesser-known covered passages, and grand hotels, but also many financial institutions and company headquarters. It is also a place of power, home to the Élysée Palace (the residence of the French President) and the Ministry of the Interior, as well as seven embassies from G20 countries.
The District of the Champs Elysées
The 8th Arrondissement of Paris is also the district of the avenue des Champs-Élysées. This elegant avenue designates both one of the most visited tourist areas and (for some) the most beautiful avenue of the capital.
The immense avenue des Champs-Élysées is the historic axis of the west of Paris, offering a long perspective born from the Louvre Palace, in which are aligned the equestrian statue of Louis XIV in the Napoleon courtyard of the Louvre, the Triumphal Arch of the Carrousel, the Tuileries Garden, the Luxor Obelisk, the Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile, and further west, (outside Paris) the Arche de la Défense.
The avenue inspired the creation of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) in 1917 and Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City (Mexico) in 1860.
Without any further ado, let’s check the most interesting things to see and do in the chic 8th Arrondissement of Paris.
Top Sights in Paris 8th Arrondissement
1- The Champs Elysées – Large sidewalks and gardens run alongside Paris’ most famous avenue, one of the main sights of Paris 8. Stroll down this Parisian avenue in a cosmopolitan atmosphere and enjoy its jovial, romantic ambiance.
2- Climb to the top of Arc de Triomphe – Climb up to the top of Arc de Triomphe for a unique panorama of the Champs Élysées. Commissioned in 1806 by Napoleon I to honor those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, this triumphal arch 55m high is inspired by the arches of Roman times. It also houses the tomb of the unknown soldier whose flame is rekindled every evening.
3- Relax at Parc Monceau – this is a pleasant and elegant garden surrounded by beautiful private mansions, perfect for reading a book or a picnic in the grass.
4- Admire the Grand Architecture of Grand Palais and Petit Palais – These magnificent palaces were built for the World Fair of 1900 and they host today temporary exhibitions. The Petit Palais (which is not that petit), belongs to the City of Paris and their permanent exhibitions are always for free.
5- Visit the peaceful Chapelle Expiatoire – this small chapel in Neoclassic style, was built during the Restoration in France to honor the memory of the Royal Family (King Luis XVI and Queen Marie-Antoinette) who lost their lives under the guillotine.
6- Explore the Golden Triangle, Haute Couture’s Home in Paris – The golden triangle corresponds to the area delimited by avenues Montaigne, Champs-Élysées, and George-V, and it is home to wealthy families, businesses, grand hotels, and haute couture shops. The list of French haute couture boutiques in this area includes Hermès, Chanel, Dior, Saint Laurent, or Louis Vuitton. Round off your shopping day with a top-notch cocktail at the Plaza Athénée, one of the most lavish luxury hotels in Paris.
7- Walk along the elegant Pont Alexandre iii – This elegant bridge was also inaugurated on the occasion of the 1900 World Fair to connect the Invalides on the Left Bank to the Grand Palais and Petit Palais on the Right Bank. From the bridge, enjoy awesome views of these buildings and also one of the best views of the Eiffel Tower, with the Seine River in the foreground.
Unique Things to Do in the 8th District of Paris
In our Paris Arrondissement Guides, we like to encourage people to beat the crowds and explore Paris beyond its main sights. Despite being one of the most touristy districts of Paris, there are many unique things to see and do beyond the classic stroll along the Champs Elysées.
Below, the list of unique things to do in the 8th Arrondissement of Paris we believe you shouldn’t miss:
8- A night of Music and Bubbles at Lido or Crazy Horse Cabarets – a night in a Parisian cabaret is one of the most iconic things to do in Paris and the 8th Arrondissement is home to two of the most popular cabarets – the Lido Cabaret and the Crazy Horse – proposing two different kinds of shows with more or fewer feathers 😉 Lido or Crazy Horse? This Parisian Cabarets quick guide will help you decide.
9- Immerse yourself in the Belle Époque at Maxim’s – the famous restaurant Maxim’s, at 3 rue Royale, is one of the symbols of the 1900s and the Belle Epoque in Paris. Enjoy exceptional dishes served in the sumptuous Belle Epoque atmosphere.
10- A selfie with the Giant Tulips – Particularly moved by the testimonies of support and friendship expressed by American citizens towards Parisians following the attacks of November 2015, the United States Ambassador to France, asked the artist Jeff Koons to design a work of art for the City of Paris. This bouquet of tulips located in the garden behind the Petit Palais is imagined as a “symbol of remembrance, optimism, and recovery” and makes a colorful background for a selfie in Paris.
11- Look for the Parisian Piece of the Berlin Wall – Few Parisians know that the city has a piece of the Berlin Wall, not far from Paris’ most famous avenue. This memorial located at Square de Berlin consists of a piece of the original Berlin Wall, a fountain, and a vegetal composition featuring a bear, the symbol of Berlin. The Square de Berlin was inaugurated in the year 2000, with the presence of the majors of Paris and Berlin.
12- Look for the masonic pyramid of Parc Monceau – This quirky pyramid half-hidden in the Parc Monceau is the result of the work of a Masonic lodge. Indeed, Philippe d´Orléans, sponsor of the creation and arrangement of Parc Monceau, was Grand Master of the mason order Grand Orient de France. The room at its base once contained a statue of the goddess Isis. It was an Egyptian tomb!
13- Admire the historic boutique of Guerlain Boutique, on the Champs Elysées – Nope, our favorite building in the Champs Elysées is definitely not Ladurée but the boutique Guerlain, on the opposite side. Guerlain is one of Paris’ oldest parfumiers and its historic boutique is running at 68 avenue des Champs Elysées since 1914! The brand’s flagship store is one of the most beautiful Belle Epoque buildings in Paris, a listed historical monument. Step inside to admire a setting as precious as its legendary fragrances, the staff is always very kind!
14- Vintage Shopping at Marché aux Timbres – Vintage stamps and postcards aficionados will find their paradise on earth at Avenue Marigny, near the Champs Elysées. Le Marché aux Timbres takes place on Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and public holidays from 9 am to 7 pm.
Best Restaurants in the 8th Arrondissement Paris
Most of the restaurants in the 8th Arrondissement of Paris are upscale restaurants proposing French gourmet cuisine. The grand hotels of the 8th Arrondissement have on-site restaurants too, and some of them are run by Michelin starred chefs.
Don’t you know where to find the best restaurants in the 8th Arrondissement? Here, some of the best restaurants in Paris 8 proposing good French cuisine.
» Le 114 Faubourg, Le Bristol Paris – 114 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 75008 Paris. Le 114 Faubourg is the restaurant at Le Bristol Paris but you don’t need to sleep in the hotel to taste the excellent cuisine of this unique (yet affordable) brasserie. Le 114 Faubourg proposes traditional French cuisine (1 Michelin star). If you love pâtés, and the tartare de boeuf (one of the best in Paris!), this is THE place to go.
» Restaurant De Sers – 41 avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie 75008 Paris. This beautiful and always well-rated address not far from avenue Georges V proposes French savory cuisine made with fresh produce, and a staff always attentive. The dishes are always beautifully presented, the restaurant’s spaces are stylish and there’s also a quiet and charming patio to eat during the beautiful days.
» La Table de Lucie – 29 rue d’Edimbourg 75008 Paris. This simple but cute address not far from Gare Saint-Lazare or Parc Monceau is perfect for a lunch break during your explorations in the 8th Arrondissement. The homemade cuisine is simple but delicious and they also have good wines.
Click here for more restaurants in Paris 8
8th Arrondissement Hotels
The 8th Arrondissement concentrates some of the most beautiful historic hotels in Paris, such as hotel Plaza Athénee, Hotel de Crillon, or Hotel Georges V.
Generally speaking, the hotels in the 8th Arrondissement tend to be more expensive than in other areas of Paris and it’s hard to find budget hotels (-100€ /night) in the 8th District of Paris.
A ROOM WITH EIFFEL TOWER VIEW
If you are traveling to Paris for a few days and you can afford it, why not treating yourself with a hotel with Eiffel Tower views? Some of the best hotels in Paris 8 propose just that! If you prefer a home from home, there are also cute apartments with view of Eiffel Tower in Paris 8.
Booking.com is the best site for booking hotels in Paris. They have good rates and a huge selection of hotels of all kinds plus it is possible to cancel for free if, in the end, you cannot make it to Paris.Booking.com
HOTEL PLAZA ATHENEE; Paris 8, $$$$
Located in Avenue Montaigne, the hotel palace Plaza Athénée is one of the most beautiful hotels in Paris. Active since 1913, this legendary hotel has welcomed royalty, celebrities, and politicians in their visit to the City of Lights, and it is considered one of the best hotels in Paris. Apart from its lavish rooms, some with Eiffel Tower view, it has a Dior spa, 5 restaurants, a cocktail bar, and a seasonal ice skating rink.
PLEY HOTEL: Paris 8, $$$
Conveniently located at rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, this recently renovated hotel offers comfortable rooms, a lounge area, and a buffet breakfast. We love the contemporary design and colors of the rooms and common spaces
HOTEL MASSENA: Paris 8, $$$
This cozy hotel is ideally located between the Opéra Garnier and La Madelaine. It offers contemporary rooms with comfortable beds and some of them come with original wooden beams.
SHORT TERM RENTALS IN PARIS 8
Hotels are still the most popular option in Paris but if you dream of living the Parisian lifestyle, then an apartment is the best way to get a feel for the local atmosphere. Enjoy Paris in the comfort of your own Paris furnished apartment, regardless of the length of your stay.
Paris Eighth Arrondissement Directory
The Champs Elysées: avenue des Champs Elysées, 75008 Paris
Arc de Triomphe: Place Charles de Gaulle, 75008 Paris
Parc Monceau: 35 boulevard de Courcelles, 75008 Paris
Petit Palais and Grand Palais: avenue Winston Churchill, 75008 Paris
Chapelle Expiatoire: 29 rue Pasquier, 75008 Paris
The Golden Triangle: avenues Montaigne, Champs-Élysées, and George-V, 75008 Paris
Pont Alexandre iii: Pont Alexandre iii, 75008 Paris
Lido and Crazy Horse cabarets: 116 av, des Champs Elysées (Lido) and 12 avenue Georges V, 75008 Paris
Maxim’s: 7 rue Royale, 75008 Paris
Bouquet of Tulips: behind the Petit Palais, 75008 Paris
Berlin Wall: Berlin Square 75008 Paris
Historic Boutique Guerlain: 68 avenue des Champs Elysées, 75008 Paris.
Marché aux Timbres: avenue Marigny, 75008 Paris.
Want to Explore Beyond Paris 8?
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