Musée du Louvre, Jardin des Tuileries, Palais Royal
ABOUT THE NEIGHBORHOOD . . .
The first arrondissement sits at the heart of Paris’ historic center. It includes part of the Île de la Cité, the island the Celtic Parisii tribe settled more than 2300 years ago. The Louvre and the Palais Royal are reminders that this area was a favorite hangout of French royalty. All this history generates vast tourist crowds year-round and a casual jeans-and-sneaker atmosphere. But real Parisians live and work in the 1st as well. You’ll see a lot of people in suits and ties from the many offices and the boutique hotels and sophisticated restaurant and cocktail bars. There are important theaters around the Place du Châtelet as well as popular cafés with the sprawling terraces essential to the French custom of outdoor consumption of food, tobacco and alcohol and perfect for unabashed people watching. The First offers plenty of shopping opportunities. Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré features every brand-name designer and luxury-goods brand you can imagine. Les Halles, once the food distribution center of the city, remains home to many food and cookware shops offering utensils you never knew you needed. For a true Parisian experience, stroll down the ancient Rue Montorgueil, an open-air cobble-stoned market street lined with cheese, fruit, meat, seafood and pastry shops and cafés or browse the bouquiniste shops selling old books, cards and posters along the Seine.