Picking back up on the series, here’s another instalment of ‘Paris step by step’, where I give you a few tips and suggestions for Paris’ lovely quartiers. Today, we are in the 7th arrondissement.
Historically home to the upper crust of Parisian society, the 7th arrondissement is certainly still one of the most posh and elite areas of Paris today. An afternoon stroll through this neighbourhood will take you past national institutions, foreign embassies, world-class museums, and of course… the Iron Lady herself.
The 7th has some of the most beautiful scenery in all of Paris – be sure to walk down the Rue de l’Université, which takes you behind the Musée d’Orsay, past the Invalides, and ends at the Eiffel tower.
If visiting museums is your activity of choice, the 7th offers a lovely variety of world-renowned collections. Perhaps the most recognizable museum is the golden-domed Musée des Invalides, a military museum with one of the largest collections of military art and history in the world – the tomb of the Emperor Napoléon is located here and in my experience this is a visit that works for all generations, young and old. The Musée d’Orsay houses an astounding collection of painting and sculpture, ranging from the mid-19th century through the early 20th century and includes a vast array of Impressionistic work. If you love sculpture, the Rodin museum (and its famous Penseur) are located just beside the Invalides – the gardens are lovely on a sunny day.
Shopping is a must in the 7th – don’t miss Au Bain Marie (tablescape paradise!) or Le Bon Marché, which offers a classic department store experience. One of my favourite shops in the 7th is the Fragonard perfumerie – pop in to stock up on hostess gifts and to breathe in that heavenly scent! And there’s always clothes shopping on the Boulevard Saint Germain…
There are, of course, endless places to stop and enjoy a pause in Paris, but I especially love Le Café de l’Esplanade. Designed by Jacques Garcia, this charming café is great place for lunch and a wonderful place to sit and have coffee – plus, happy days, they have a voiturier service so you don’t have to waste precious coffee drinking time in parking!
For other options, consider Chez l’Ami Jean – a fast-paced and highly lauded bistro on the Rue Malar, or Le Jules Verne, a hyper chic restaurant famously located on the second level of the Eiffel tower.
When staying in the 7th, you can go high-brow like the residents of old at the Hotel 7 Eiffel, which is situated within easy walking distance from both the Invalides and the Eiffel tower, and boasts a comfortable yet modernly chic interior. For something a little more cosy, check out the boutique charm at the hotel Le Petit Chomel.
Voilà, a brief look at the elegant 7th arrondissement….
I hope that you are enjoying your weekend.
If you missed them, here are my step-by-steps around the other arrondissements so far: