Paris is divided into 20 arrondissements ( = districts). The first one is in the center. The following ones spiral out in a clock-wise direction.
With the zip code of an address, you can easily find out what arrondissement it’s in : all Parisian zip codes begin with 750 and the last two digits are the arrondissement the address is in. For instance : 75016 is the 16th arrondissement, 75001 is the 1st arrondissement.
Resume of a few Paris’neighborhoods : ( this list doesn’t include all of Paris)
Each of the Paris neighborhoods has its own special character.
1 – The Paris’ Islands (Ile Saint Louis (part of the 4th arrondissement) and Ile de la Cité (part of the 1st arrondissement): These tow islands are located in the middle of the Seine, at the heart of the city.
La Cité Island : the cradle of Paris, where Romans set up camp in 52 B.C. . Where Notre Dame, the Sainte Chapelle, and the Conciergerie are located.
Saint Louis Island : A quiet and charming neighborhood. And one of Paris’ most expensive area too. Strolling along the river is really charming. Beautiful facades in front of the river, 17th mansion houses, the Berthillon shop for among the best ice cream (or the best) of the city, and a very quiet area with only a few cars. Standing in the middle of Paris, you get some of the most breathtaking views over the city.
2 – Le Marais (4th arrondissement and part of the 3d ardt) : one of the city’s oldest areas. Shopping, cobblestoned streets, restaurants and bars. It is a stylish and lively neighborhood with hip art galleries, boutiques and cafés, narrow street, great architecture, the Place des Vosges, museums (Picasso museum). Known for being a historically Jewish neighborhood, and also known for being Paris’s gay neighborhood.
3 – The Latin Quarter (5th arrondissement) : It is located on the left bank of the Seine (from Saint Michel square to Odeon Metro stop). The student’s part of Paris, the place for among the largest stationary and book shops (“Gibert Jeune” and “Joseph Gibert”), “Shakespeare and Company“ ( the historic and famous English bookshop), the quaint Mouffetard street (with its grocery shops, its cheese shops, its wine cellars, its bakeries), the Panthéon, most of the Paris Universities and school which are there, the IMA (Institut du Monde Arabe) with the magnificent view over northern Paris from its rooftop. Walk the streets of the Latin Quarter with Ann Jeanne in Paris.
4 – Saint Germain des Prés (mainly 6th and 7th arrondissements) : the intellectual heart of Paris. In the 50s and 60s, Saint Germain des Prés was used to be known as the place for artists and intellectuals. Now : one of the most fashionable and expensive areas in Paris, with Antic shops, Art Galleries, among the best pastries (Hermé, Laduré…), and the most iconic Paris cafés (Le Flore, Les 2 Magots, La Palette), the favorite hangout for lots of writer and artists. . Also high-price boutiques like Louis Vuitton and Armani among others. Walk the streets of Saint Germain des Prés with Ann Jeanne in Paris.
5 – Montparnasse (part of the 14th the 15th and the 6th arrondissements) : known for its famous cafes ( La Closerie des Lilas, La Coupole, La Rotonde, Le Select, L’Atelier, Le Dome…). The neighborhood of the Lost Generation and the roaring 20’s : the gathering area for numerous artists at the beginning during the 20th century (Hemingway, Man Ray…). An area with a lot of shops. And also the controversial Montparnasse tower. But also the Luxembourg garden. Walk the streets in Montparnasse with Ann Jeanne in Paris
6 – Montmartre (18th arrondissement) : At the top of Montmartre hill, the Sacré Coeur Basilica and a view all over Paris. A village atmosphere with winding cobblestone streets, stairways… and at the bottom of the hill, the famous cabaret bars Moulin Rouge and Folies Bergère. The area where Amelie (the movie) was located. Walk the streets of Montmartre with Ann Jeanne in Paris
7 – Daguerre – Montsouris : The Montsouris Park, a beautiful park (one of the 4 largest Paris’parks, nearby, flowery pprhouses and cobblestone streets, the feel of a real neighborhood. Walk the streets of Montsouris neighborhood with Ann Jeanne in Paris
8 – Les Halles and Montorgueil (part of the 1st, the 2d, the 3rd and the 4th arrondissements) : the location of the former central marketplace. With its shopping mail the Forum des Halles, its busy pedestrian streets, its sidewalk cafes… , the Pompidou center ( = Beaubourg) and its open square.
9 – The Tuileries (1st Arrondissement) : Le Louvre and the Pyramide, the Tuileries Garden, then Place de la Concorde (where the Crilloon and the 1st assembly room are located), and the rue de Rivoli whith its old arched walkways where are lined with souvenir shops and small luxury boutiques.
10 – The Opéra District (2d and 9th arrondissements) : Between the Louvre and the Grands Boulevards. In this area : the Opera Garnier (a gorgeous monument which is worth a visit), its cafés, its luxury boutiques, theaters and restaurants, the Place Vendome known for tis fine jewelry boutiques and the Ritz Hotel, the Boulevard Haussmann where are located 2 of the largest Paris department stores (Printemps and Galeries Lafayettes).
11 – The Champs -Elysées (8th Arrondissement) : running from Place de la Concorde to the Place de l’Etoile (home to the iconic Arc de Thriomphe)
14 – Bastille (11ème and 12ème arrondissement) : Place de la bastille is a busy neighborhood known for tis hip bars and clubs. Here also the beautiful Arsenal marina and the “Coulée verte” (a landscaped walkway built on the old railroad tracks)
A larger map of Paris and its arrondissements :
Rive droite or Rive gauche ?
(= RIGHT BANK or LEFT BANK ?)
Parisian often say that they feel more “Rive Gauche” of more “Rive Droite”. Try to say if you feel more “Left side” or “Right side” !
Rive droite (Right Bank) refers to the northern part of the river Seine, while Left Bank refers to the southern part of the river.
A bit of History :
Before 1860 : Paris was divided into 12 arrondissements
After 1860, Napoleon III extended the city and Paris was reorganized into 20 arrondissements.