Click for the home page of ThereArePlacesClick for our Travel Planning Articles to learn what you need to know before you go     France   

  

    Best Places to Visit
Other Countries
 

 

Central Paris

Official flag of France

Best Places To Visit in Paris

 

 

 

  

Best Places To Visit in Paris

Custom Search

Central Paris

An ancient Obelisk from Luxor, Egypt graces the Place de la Concorde



Central Paris - a Mix of Attractions and Shopping

Place de la Concorde

(1st. arrondissement) (R) -

The Place de la Concorde separates the Tuileries Gardens on the east from the Avenue des Champs Elysées to the west. The Place de la Concorde is not an end destination but a waypoint on a visit to the Tuileries, Louvre or Central Paris

The Obelisk at the center of this square came from the Egyptian temple at Luxor and was installed in the center of the Place de la Concorde in the 19th century. The obelisk and nearby fountains have come to be landmarks of Paris. It was in the Place de la Concorde that Marie Antoinette, Louis XVI, Robespierre and many others associated with the French royalty were guillotined in the center of the square at the end of the 18th century.

       The Place de la Concorde can hold huge crowds and is close to many major attractions

The Place del la Concorde has been renamed many times (it was once called Place Louis XV and, then, Place de la Revolution) and has always been a popular gathering place and often used to host civic celebrations, such as soccer championship celebrations. On weekend and in summer you will find street entertainers offering zany skits.

At the head of the square, (on the corner of Rue Boissy) is the stately Hôtel de Crillon, one of the most luxurious places to stay in Paris.

If you admire the oblelisk at Place de la Concorde, you might want to know what the Egyptian received in return for this impressive gift. We don't want to ruin the story, but it is still regarded by the Egyptians as a bad deal.  You can read about the controversy in our guide to  Salah al-Din's Citadel in Cairo, Egypt.

Rue Saint-Honoré

(1st arrondissement) (R)

Street sign announcing your arrival at a paradise for shoppers interested in luxury goodsFollow Rue Royale north towards the Place de La Madeline and the first intersection you come to will be Rue Saint-Honoré, which runs west to the Place Vendome (described below). Along Rue Saint-Honoré you will find Saint Laurent, Prada, Cartier, Prada, Lanvin and many stores offering luxury goods.  Continue along Rue Royale north and you will pass Gucci, Dior and Ralph Lauren and arrive at the Place de la Madeleine.

Place de la Madeleine

(1st arrondissement) (R) -

The church La Madeleine is built in the Classical style and a beautiful interiorThe Place de la Madeleine is  an area known for its gourmet  food shops. While on Rue Royale, keep and eye out for Ladurée Royale, a tea salon famous for its pastries at number 16.

While in this area,  you may want to take a look at its namesake church known as La Madeleine (19th century).  It was originally designed as  a memorial to the army of Napoleon, but was eventually commissioned as a Catholic church, with a temple-like design.  The interior is quite attractive and worth a quick glance.  The view of the city from the top of the steps is quite pleasant.

Passages Couverts (shopping)

To the northeast of this area you will find a number of covered shopping arcades known as "passages couverts", which were the 19th century precursor to modern shopping malls.  Many are luxurious, most have interesting architecture and all invite shopping. See the official websites of Galerie Vivienne, the Passage du Grand Cerf or the Passage des Panoramas to determine if this is the shopping experience for you.  If so, you may enjoy the Passage Jouffroy (across Boulevard Montmartre (north side) between Rue Vivienne and Rue Montmartre) or the Galerie Vero-Dodat at 19 Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Place Vendome and the Colonne de la Grande Armée

(1st arrondissement) (R) -

The impressive  Column (Colonne) at the Place VendomeThe Place Vendome is one of the best squares in Paris from an architectural point of view.  The site is notable for many reasons, but is particularly associated with its lovely arcaded buildings.   This square houses many upscale stores and is the location of the "original" Ritz Hotel.

The Column (the Colonne) of the Grand Army that is located in the center of the Place Vendome was commissioned by Napoleon (whose statue once adorned the top of the column).   The column's exterior is faced with plates made from enemy cannons captured at the battle of Austerlitz in1805.  The battle was one of Napoleon's most celebrated victories and led to the end of Holy Roman Empire.  If the column looks familiar to you, it was based on the design for Trajan's Column in Rome, that was also used to commemorate an important battle, but one that was over a thousand years earlier.

The shopping at the Place Vendome features jewelry from Cartier, Chaumet and other providers of luxury goods, such as  Charvet (one the world's best known custom shirt tailors).

Opéra Garnier

(9th arrondissement) (R) -

The Paris Opera, Opera Garnier, is a masterpiece of architectureThe Paris Opera is a richly decorated music hall built for Napoleon III by the well-regarded architect Charles Garnier. The Opera has recently been refurbished and the major roof statuary re-gilded to magnificent effect. The Opera, which has a stunning interior, is not an end destination for most visitors,  but a walk-by on your way to local shopping along the Grand Boulevards. Visit the official website  for more information.

Phantom of the Opera buffs should know that  a deep lake was discovered during the construction of the Opera and that this was one of the inspirations for Gaston Leroux's  original novel titled "Phantom of the Opera."

Shopping at the Grand Magasins

Paris has a number of wide avenues called the "Grand Boulevards", which were designed by Georges Haussmann, the planner responsible for the look of much of central Paris, during the last half of the nineteenth century.  The Grand Magasins (the great department stores) were attracted to the Grand Boulevards.  If you have a chance, visit the two Grand Magasins on Boulevard Haussmann: Galeries Lafayette (#40) and Printemps (#64).   Note that the main shopping area along Boulevard Haussmann is to the east near Rue de Rome .

Printemps is an impressive department store that has a delightful restaurant (Printemps de la Mode - Level 6) sitting beneath the store's stunning stained glass, "Art Nouveau Cupola" that dates from the "Twenties".  You can find a Ladurée Patisserie here, as well as the Café Be, which is managed by the famous chef Alain Ducasse.

        The interior and dome of the famous Paris department store Galleries Lafayette


Galeries Lafayette's is another of the Grand Magasins and is an impressive and large store.  On its 6th floor you will find the largest shop for Paris souvenirs in the city. On the same floor is the Lafayette Café, which offers good food and an outdoor terrace with views of the city. See their official website for more information.

For those of you interested in the Grand Magasins, La Samaritaine, a Paris landmark on the Left Bank and one of the City's most celebrated department stores, closed in June, 2005 due to "environmental" issues.  For some time, it was thought that the store would reopen in 2015, but more recent news indicates that the La Samartaine building, when it does reopen, will host a hotel, apartments and other uses, but not one of the grand department stores.

Next - explore our menu on the right  to find other types of sightseeing in Paris.

Or - if you want to find out about a specific attraction and know its name, look for it in our Index of the Best Places To Visit In Paris.

If you need information about another travel destination, try our Destination Guide Index  or Googling ThereArePlaces.

 
Custom Search

  AddThis Social Bookmark Button

 

 

 

 

 

 

Places On This Page 

Place de la Concorde
Rue Saint-Honoré
Place de La Madeleine
Shopping Arcades
Place Vendome
Opéra Garnier
Shopping The Grand Magasins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paris Tourism

Best Places To Visit In Paris

Notre Dame
Eiffel Tower
Champs Elysées
The Louvre
The Latin Quarter
Invalides
The Marais
Montmartre
Père Lachaise

Daytrips
Versailles
Fontainebleau
Giverny
Chantilly
Farther Afield

Paris Travel Tips

Index of Places To Visit in Paris

Best Places to Visit in France




 

 

 

If you are searching for a particular attraction in Paris, try looking in our Index.  

 

 

 

 Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 
Paris Shopping Tour: Beauty Products

From Viator Tours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paris Tourism

Best Places To Visit In Paris

Notre Dame
Eiffel Tower
Champs Elysées
The Louvre
The Latin Quarter
Invalides
The Marais
Montmartre
Père Lachaise

Daytrips
Versailles
Fontainebleau
Giverny
Chantilly
Farther Afield

Paris Travel Tips

Index of Places To Visit in Paris

Best Places to Visit in France

For hotels in Central Paris near the Opera

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
Best Places to Visit in France     Other Countries     Top of Page  
About ThereArePlaces       Contact Us       Legal   Privacy Policy    Site Map     Media Center  
Click here to return to ThereArePlaces homepage Click here for information on our copyright.  
ThereArePlaces Home     Destination Guides    Travel Planning Guides