The 1st : "Iconic, Eternal, Reborn"
Louvre - Palais Royal - Tuileries - Place Vendôme - Les Halles
There are many prestigious neighborhoods in Paris, but in the very heart and center of Paris, there is the one and only: the 1st arrondissement. This is the center from which the shape of Paris spirals out into its current 20 arrondissements. Home to the Louvre, the Tuileries Gardens, the Palais Royal, the rue du Rivoli, and the Place de la Concorde, the 1st arrondissement has gained even more attention and value in recent years as a result of several extraordinary renovations, in particular the Samaritaine, the Pinault Collection (in what used to be the Bourse de Commerce), and La Poste du Louvre. These iconic buildings with a long history, have perhaps never been as splendid as they are today.
Another major renovation is the Forum des Halles, which blighted the center of Paris over many decades. The shopping center is now an architectural prowess, costing taxpayers twice as much as they bargained for, but with an elegant result as far as concerns the massive glass structure called "La Canopé". While this is shopping for the ordinary consumer, the opposite side of the 1st boasts the elitist Place Vendôme, where all the jewelers have their storefronts. The famous rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré is the place to be for fashion victims with deep pockets.
The 1st district is not only monumental and prestigious but does also offer its share of neighborhood cafés and shops, adding requisite charm to its grandeur. The swarming Rue Montorgeuil pedestrian zone begins in the 1st and crosses over into the 2nd. Likewise, the Palais Royal borders the 2nd, with rue des Petits-Champs and the Rue Sainte-Anne now the center for Japanese cuisine. The Place du Marché de Saint-Honoré offers a plentiful selection of restaurants and cafés, along with its outdoor market.
Last but not least, there are the banks of the Seine stretching the length of the Louvre and Tuileries, and also including the romantic Pont-Neuf ( the oldest bridge in Paris), Place Dauphine, the Square du Vert Galant, and the narrow tip of Ile de la Cité with its weeping willow under which countless lovers have spoken sweet words.
Recommended Cafés & Restaurants
Rather: where to pay a high price to sit and sip in an iconic location you'll always remember
Le Cheval Blanc (Le Tout-Paris) - 8 Quai du Louvre (on the top of the Samaritaine)
Le Fumoir - 6 Rue de l'Amiral de Coligny
La Plume - 43 Rue Étienne Marcel
Le Nemours - 2 Place Colette
Le Caveau du Palais - 17 place Dauphine
Le Café Marly - 93 Rue de Rivoli
Ippudo - 74-76 Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau (for a worthy and reasonably-priced ramen)
Le Pain Quotidien - 5 Rue des Petits Champs (for an inexpensive view of the Palais Royal)