The ninth arrondissement is where the Parisians used to go for their big department store shopping on Boulevard Haussmann; here there is Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, which are still well worth a visit although today they are largely catering for a tourist clientele searching for luxury brands.
If you are tempted to shop in the big stores, which I totally understand, and you want to stop for lunch, then don’t leave the building!! Head for the Coupole Brasserie, set under the domed glass roof of the Printemps store. Totally redecorated by Didier Gomez, stylish, fun and a great place to people watch.
Once you have shopped to your heart’s content, then wander down the Bvd Haussman to the Opera Garnier. Paris’s big Opera House, first opened in 1865; its imposing architecture is still magnificent. You can visit alone or with a guide, it is definitely worthwhile. Of course if you come back in the evening for an opera or ballet performance then you get the added thrill of being part of chic Parisian nightlife.
Although there is the Musee Grevin, the wax museum in this arrondissement, you’d probably get more pleasure from visiting the little Musee de la vie Romantique – a sort of time capsule created in the former home of artist Ary Scheffer and George Sand. It is also a lovely place for tea in the afternoon, in the flower filled courtyard, away from the buzz of the city.
Stay in this quarter, called New Athens, and wander around admiring the quiet streets and huge bourgeois homes, built in the early 19th century. This part of Paris was loved by Monet who painted here.
Next stop is the Gustave Moreau musuem, home to an interesting art collection and a charming building to visit.
If you still have the energy, then make time to walk to the Eglise de la Saite Trinité. This is a lively place of worship, but also an architectural monument that can be visited
If you prefer to drool over treasure and art work that can be purchased, head over to the Paris auction house Drouot. I love visiting here, even if I don’t buy. You can walk in to the main entrance and enquire about sales and viewings for the day. Many of the auctionneers speak english and are happy to answer questions in the viewing rooms.
For accommodation in this arrondissement, then check out the Hotel de Nell, which is also incidentally a great place for lunch.
Another good lunch address is Le Bouillon, contemporary clean decor and good french food.
Voila! A whirlwind tour, a few addresses to note down, and hopefully some good ideas for your next visit.
Have a lovely weekend!