24 Hours in Paris: The 1st Arrondissement

Take an in-depth tour of one of the city's coolest quarters.

If you visit Paris long enough to see diverse parts of the city that are not touristy, you’ll discover that each arrondissement (or neighborhood) has its own unique identity. While we all have a good mental image of what a Parisian girl looks like, her style can drastically change depending on what part of town she’s from. So, we came up with the idea of bringing you a travel guide to all of Paris’ 20 arrondissements – and what do do in each one if you only had 24 hours, plus what to wear to blend in like a local.

We end our tour of 24 Hours In Paris guide at the heart of the city, the 1st arrondissement. With its compact size, it is nonetheless full of iconic landmarks and attractions, and is one of the most visited neighborhoods in Paris. From world-famous art galleries to first-class fashion, you can easily spend the whole day and night here. Just make sure to pack light, because there is a lot of shopping to be done. 

Morning


Image: The-atlantic-pacific.com

Get energized at Téléscope, a small, trendy cafe that was among the first to revolutionize the coffee scene in Paris. While the menu isn't extensive, the star attraction really is the coffee: they work with some of the best roasters. Space is limited, so get there early to snatch a seat and enjoy your morning cup in comfort. Afterwards, head to the iconic Palais Royal, the palace of Louis XIV before he moved to Versailles. Famous for its asymmetric garden, this unusual outdoor space has served as a backdrop for international fashion blogs countless times. Notably, the Colonnes de Buren, the black and white marble columns designed by conceptual artist Daniel Buren, add a whimsical touch to the elegant surroundings. Nearby is the Comédie Française, a national theater that showcases the work of Molière and Racine. First opened in 1680, it is considered the oldest active theater in the world. Just around the corner is the colorful entrance to the Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre metro station. The chrome frame with bubble-like spheres was created by artist Jean-Michel Othoniel in 2000 and is known as the Kiosk of the Night-Walkers. It is definitely the most unique metro entrance in the city and perfectly suited to the district, which is full of art museums. 

Afternoon


Image: Marinacarlson.wordpress.com

Paris is known as the fashion capital of the world and many of its home-grown designers have become iconic names in the global industry. If you're looking to browse the shelves of the most renowned French labels, the 1st arrondissement is the ideal place to shop. To the west of the neighborhood there are many notable addresses to visit: the Rue Saint Honoré, a street lined with luxury brands from the leather goods artisan Goyard and the flagship and atelier of Balenciaga, the recently opened Louis Vuitton store at Place Vendôme and the original Chanel boutique at 31 Rue Cambon. Stop by the highly influential multi-brand fashion and lifestyle hub Colette while you can: the "trendiest store in the world" is set to shut its doors after 20 years of avant-garde collections and exclusive collabs in December 2017. The site will be taken over by Saint Laurent the following year. Running parallel to the river is Rue de Rivoli, which is lined with high street brands including Zara and H&M. Turn off and make your way to the Forum les Halles, an enormous underground shopping mall with a pleasant park at ground-level, for a contrasting experience to the other end of the district. If you want to rest your feet and take a break, grab a sandwich to-go and head to the Jardin des Tuileries, the iconic garden in front of the Lourve where locals and tourists alike enjoy spending sunny afternoons relaxing on the green chairs by the magnificent ponds and fountains. Once you've recharged, take in some of the city's best contemporary art at the Jeu de Paume, or opt for l'Orangerie to contemplate Monet's waterlilies, both are situated at the far end of the park. 

Night


Image: Ritzparis.com

Begin your night at one of the world's most famous museums. The Louvre is not open all night (though, with its extensive collections, we're sure many visitors wish it was), but it doesn't close its regal doors until 9:45pm on Wednesdays and Fridays. Take a selfie with Mona Lisa and visit the Napoloen room that is as decadent as Versailles itself. We suggest you decide ahead of time which sections you want to cover because of the museum's sheer volume. Afterwards, enjoy tasty Japanese dinner on Rue Saint Anne, where you will find some of the best ramen to bubble tea in Paris. If you are looking for a drink after dinner, mingle with the movers and shakers at the Hemingway Bar at the recently re-opened Ritz. While the steep prices could scare some off, there is a very big chance you will run into some famous faces. End your evening on the dance floor of the Bar Ballroom du Beef Club, a speakeasy underneath the Beef Club run by the Experimental Group known for their creative cocktail menu, DJ sets and live concerts on Tuesdays and weekends. 

Check out our selection of pieces inspired by the 1st arrondissement's luxurious, high-fashion style to add to your closet for that local look: 
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Sonia Rykiel Striped cotton-poplin midi dress - $1,200
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Topshop Boulce Cocoon Coat - $140
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Stone Cold Fox Vaughn Lace Dress - $420
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Eloquii Pleated Velvet Midi Skirt with Color Block Detail - $90
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Chanel Round Winter With Gold Frame and 18 Karat Gold Mirrored Lens - $650
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Premme Paperbag Pleat Skirt - $72
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Topshop Check Belted Asymmetric Midi Skirt - $100
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Brixton Audrey Beret - $48
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Violeta by Mango Turtleneck Sweater - $40
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Elvi Lace Cream Victorian Blouse -$40
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Joseph Howard woven wide-leg pants - $745
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&Other Stories Captain Coat -$215
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Elvi Black Chiffon Frill Skirt - $60
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Mango Faux-fur Handle Box Bag - $80
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Sister Jane Domino Tweed Skirt - $78
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Cover image: Worldeventlistings.com