Visit stunning palaces and superb museums, pass long afternoons in lush gardens and view incredible artwork from Monet, Michelangelo and da Vinci, all within the bounds of Paris’s 1st Arrondissement.
In the heart of Paris on the northern banks of the Seine River, the 1st Arrondissement is easy and enjoyable to explore on foot. Most sites are within a short walk of each other. Stroll through sprawling gardens and scenic narrow streets.
Escape the crowds of busy Châtelet metro station and walk for 10 minutes northwest to the Louvre Museum. Inside a lavish 12th-century palace, the collection consists of approximately 35,000 pieces. You won’t see it all in a day, so do advance planning to be sure you locate your favorites. Find masters by Rembrandt, Michelangelo and of course the Mona Lisa by da Vinci. The gallery is open every day except Tuesday. Enter through the 69-foot-tall (21-meter) glass pyramid.
Follow a morning inside with a walk enjoying the fresh, fragrant air of Jardin des Tuileries that neighbors the Louvre. As well as beautiful arrangements of tulips and roses, see sculptures here by Rodin and Giacometti. Continue on to reach the Musée de l’Orangerie. The highlight of this old gallery is a set of water lily paintings by Claude Monet. A funfair comes to the park during the Fête des Tuileries in July and August each year. Race on bumper cars and play games of skill.
Positioned in the center of the 1st Arrondissement, Le Palais Royal is another grand site. Home to Louis XIV in his youth, this 17th-century neoclassical palace conceals an internal garden of bright flowers and shimmering fountains.
Enjoy an excellent choice of cuisine here whether you shop at the diverse fresh food stalls at Rue Montorgueil or indulge in one of the many fine-dining restaurants. In spite of the prime position of the 1st Arrondissement, you can expect to find a range of hotels perfect for all budgets.