My series began with a link to The 72 Best Luxury Hotels in Paris. You will find the great majority of these fabulous hotels are in the 8th arrondissement. Next, to help you plan your trip to Paris, you need an easy-to-read, vest pocket, laminated map. I like the Paris map from Red Maps.
You will see that the River Seine divides Paris into the right and left banks. At the center of the 20 arrondissements is the 1st, with each of the others spiraling outwards in escargot-like fashion. Only six arrondissements are on the left bank (5/6/7/13/14/15), and the remaining 14 are on the right bank. Most of the well-known tourist attractions are located in arrondissements 1 through 8. We know arrondissements 1 through 9 and 16 pretty well. To date, we have not found much reason to venture far into the others. Arrondissements 1 through 4 are clustered one after the other along the Seine. It is here that you find L’Opera, Vendome Square, Jardin des Tuileries, Sainte-Chapelle, Notre Dame Cathedral, Musee Carnavalet (devoted to the history of Paris), and the Louvre. No trip to Paris is complete without a heavy-duty walking tour of the area. It’s absolutely the best way to experience Paris, which means: Make sure you have comfortable shoes! Actually let me amend that: Make sure you have at least two pair of comfortable shoes. Flying, walking, eating can do funky things to feet.
On your first trip to Paris, Debbie and I advise you to book in the St. Germain-des-Pres in the 6th. All of the famous literary bistros are nearby. If your preference is the high-end palace hotels, without question you will find yourself in the magnificent 8th arrondissement. Nightly hotel tabs of $1000 are the norm. And $600/two Michelin starred restaurant tabs accompany dining in these palace hotels. Do you receive value for such staggering prices? If you do your homework, the answer is yes. We have stayed a number of times at Hotel Le Bristol and will do so again. We have also eaten a number of times at Taillevent and will return.
In the next post in my Paris 2013 series, I will begin a detailed discussion of the 6th arrondissement and why Debbie and I stay there most often and why we recommend that you begin your Paris adventure in the 6th.