The 1st arrondissement is one of Paris’s 20 administrative districts (arrondissements). It is touristy, posh, crowded, vivacious, arty and expensive – and no wonder, as it is also the home of many of Paris’s most popular attractions. It is divided into four quarters: Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois, Les Halles, Palais-Royal, Place Vendôme.
The French capital city is divided into 20 arrondissements, or administrative districts. They are arranged in the form of a clockwise spiral, with the 1st arrondissement located in the centre. Each arrondissement is further divided into four quarters.
The 1st arrondissement is crowded with both locals who work and relax here and countless tourists who visit to admire its many showplaces. It has a lively, vital feel, and is no short of things to occupy your time: from the Louvre to Jardin de Tuileries, from fancy eateries to even fancier shops – be sure to engage your full-blown sightseeing mode.
The arrondissement comprises the west end of the Île de la Cité and is located on the right bank of the River Seine. With its area of only 1,83 square kilometres and the population of around 17,000, it is small and scarcely populated, albeit it hosts almost four times as many jobs as it has inhabitants.
The 1st arrondissement is one of the oldest in Paris, as the Île de la Cité was the centre of the ancient Roman city of Lutetia. Some non-insular parts of the district date back to the Middle Ages.
Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois is the first quarter of the 1st arrondissement. It is a must-see for every visitor to Paris, as it houses both the Louvre and Jardin des Tuileries. It owes its name to the Church of Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois, which is located there, too.
The second quarter of the 1st arrondissement, Des Halles derives its name from the former wholesale market which used to supply Paris with produce. (The market was replaced with Forum des Halles – a shopping centre.) It also houses the largest railway station in Europe: Châtelet – Les Halles.
Palais-Royal is the third quarter of the 1st arrondissement. Located there are the Théâtre du Palais-Royal, the Comédie-Française, the famous shop Fauré Le Page, and the French Ministry of Culture. Its oldest street in rue Coquillière, which dates back to the 12th century.
Place-Vendôme is the fourth quarter of the 1st arrondissement. Small though it might be, Place-Vendôme is bustling with locals and tourists alike, be they visiting the Department of Justice or simply admiring the Vendôme Column at the centre of the eponymous square.