paris step by step – the 8th arrondissement

by Sharon Santoni

view over champs elysees from arc de triomphe

Spring is fast approaching and many of you are planning a visit to Paris.   So picking up from my tour of the city’s arrondissements, today I grab your hand and guide you around the 8th.

Many Parisians go to work in the 8th arrondissement.  Avenues like Hoche, Friedland, Haussmann are home to national and international companies, their spacious offices tucked away safely inside the tall imposing Haussmannian buildings.

Before I was married I worked for several years on the avenue Hoche, and remember clearly the sweeping staircase and sky-high ceilings of our elegant offices.  The bonus at lunch time was being just next door to Parc Monceau, filled with pink blossom in the spring, and an ideal place to sit with a book and a sandwich on my lunch break.

 grand palais in paris

To the visitor however, the 8th is often an obligatory port of call.   The Champs Elysees, at the heart of the so called golden triangle,  leads from the Arc de Triomphe, down to the Place de la Concorde, passing by the Grand and Petit Palais art museums.

If you are looking for a more charming museum then visit the Jaquemart André, an imposing building, dating from 1875, when it was a private home.  Today it’s an art museum but still within the original home, and the trip back in time to late 19th century Paris is fascinating.

  jacquemart andré museum

This arrondissement has to have the highest density of prestigious palace hotels: the George V; the Crillon that will re-open 2016 after renovation; the Royal Monceau; the Plaza Athenée;   and the Hotel Bristol are all within walking distance of the Champs Elysees .

dining room at plaza atheneeIf you don’t need palace service and you like a smaller hotel, then you’ll probably enjoy the Francois 1er, where the service is excellent and the rooms very chic.

But the 8th is much more than just the Champs Elysees and I’d encourage you to stay off the main avenue, and instead get involved in a more authentic side to this city hub.

First of all, dining.  If rubbing  shoulders with celebrities and politicians is your thing, then head for Le Fouquets.  Personally I prefer the charm of the very Parisian little bistro, chez André , where tables are packed in side by side, service is rapid and sometimes brusque, but where you really know you are in Paris.

typical bistrot seating at chez andré in paris

And if you want something a little more chic, and upmarket, then head for Le Chiberta and taste the cuisine of the famous chef Guy Savoy, or to the legendary Boeuf sur le Toit, for good food and jazz music.

For a taste of chic french patisserie and a choice of perfect gifts to take home with you in the plane, head down to Fauchon on the place Madeleine.   While you are there, be sure to visit the huge imposing la Madeleine church in the centre of the square.  Besides being a place of worship, it is  also a magnificent  venue for concerts which take place several times each week.

The fashionistas among you will love the rue St Honoré where they can shop until they drop, and if you are clever enough to know anyone who is a member of the Club Interallié, then be sure to get yourself invited for tea – one of the most divine havens in the city centre, and a lo-o-ong waiting list for club membership.

club interallié seen from the gardens

Voilà for today, I’ll see you soon in the 9th!

map paris arrondissements

If you missed them, here are my step-by-steps around the other arrondissements so far:

1st arrondissement2nd arrondissement; 3rd arrondissement;   4th  arrondissement;            5th arrondissement6th arrondissement 7th arrondissement


Karena March 13, 2015 - 2:59 pm

Sharon I love learning about the different arrondissements of Paris from you!
Enjoy the beautiful weekend!
The Arts by Karena

Jeanne McKay Hartmann March 13, 2015 - 3:39 pm

Sharon, This is getting me so excited for our upcoming trip and I’m wishing I could have booked a few more days in Paris… I’ve been trying to tick off at least one new, smaller museum on each visit. This year it may just have to be the Jaquemart André. We typically stay in the 6th, but I love to wander through the 8th! Thanks for all the tips for making the most of a visit to that neighborhood. Can’t wait! XOXO

Bungalow Hostess March 13, 2015 - 4:09 pm

I will be visiting Paris this Spring !
I am enjoying your step by step series on the arrondissements. While one can never see everything in a few weeks it will be wonderful to actually wander the esplanades and avenues and see the magnificent architecture, churches and museums….oh and perhaps a wee bit of shopping!

cynthia woodyard March 13, 2015 - 4:25 pm

Thank you for this valuable and delightfully presented tour! Great memories in the 8th, and am looking forward to the 9th! Lovely spring day to you!

Zanna from Zona March 13, 2015 - 5:12 pm

Oh, darling girl. Now you have my attention. My Husband took my on a 17 day Hooneymoon back in 1987 to England, Kenya and Paris. We stayed in the 8th Arrondissement at the Lord Byron Hotel there just off the Champs Elysees. That hotel has such history as all of Paris has. I don’t know if it is even still there now. We had such a wonderful time going to the restaurants only the locals knew. You see my husband had lived in Paris for 10 years between 1960 and 1970. So we had Morrocan food one day and authentic Chinese the next. Of course, one must see Notra Dome and the Louver etc. but my favorite places were Brasseries and Parks with fountains. And of course, I will never forget Gerlain Fragrances where he bought me my first bottle of real perfume, Shalimar as I remember. Oh, the memories we make in such a magical place. I’ll be with you all in spirit this Spring as you visit this Golden city. You must see it in the earlymorninglight. The whole city looks golden in color. Stunningly beautiful.

Colleen Taylor March 13, 2015 - 5:23 pm

So much to see & do Sharon, thank you for sharing these wonderful places!

Lisa Kirakossian March 13, 2015 - 7:35 pm

Sharon, I just have to say, your posts MAKE MY DAY! Thank you for doing what you do and doing it so beautifully. I can hardly wait for my trip to France next year and your posts are proving to be the guiding force I needed, to assure a most memorable and authentic French experience.

Miss Diane March 13, 2015 - 8:18 pm

Very good article!

Aussi dans le VIII, il ne faut pas rater le Nissim de Camondo, magnifique musée dans un hôtel particulier du début 20e siècle.

Caroline Lacroix March 14, 2015 - 12:38 pm

Je suis entièrement d’accord avec vous, c’est LE petit musée par excellence, à mon avis plus intéressant que Jacquemart André (sympa pour son restaurant). L’histoire de la famille Camondo est tragique et la visite n’en est que plus émouvante.

Peggy Braswell March 13, 2015 - 8:30 pm

so kind of you to introduce us to the 8th + what a glorious city.

Elizabeth (Eiffel Tells) March 13, 2015 - 8:42 pm

I always eagerly look forward to the next instalment in this series. Seeing Paris and France through your eyes feeds my French obsession when I’m half a world away. It also give me hope and courage when facing the continuing disappointments and disasters of ma maison secondaire in the east of France. Amicalement.

stacey snacks March 13, 2015 - 9:14 pm

Though not my favorite arrondissement, I am getting to like and know it better.

Will try Chez Andre next time! I didn’t know about this one!


Katherine March 13, 2015 - 9:17 pm


I have collected all of the installments you’ve written about each area in Paris so that I can use them for my next trip. Wonderful information.

stacey snacks March 13, 2015 - 9:22 pm

PS the Musee Jacquesmart Andre is one of our favorite little museums, and we love to have lunch in their beautiful dining room. I always recommend it. 🙂

Esther George March 13, 2015 - 10:36 pm

Good Morning Sharon, now that was a dreamy walk and I’m ready for another cup of coffee. Thank you for sharing beauty. Have a wonderful weekend. Till next time regards Esther from Sydney. PS my husband tells me honey when we win the Lotto Paris is the first place on the list….sure would be nice.

Marlene Stephenson March 13, 2015 - 11:39 pm

Thank you so much have enjoyed each and everyone,Have a lovely weekend Sharon.

Penelope Ann March 14, 2015 - 12:12 am

Excellent recommendations! I have been twice to the Jacquemart Andre museum and highly recommend it as well and so happy to read of your inclusion! The first time my husband and I went without advance tickets. The second time, I took three girlfriends, and I purchased our tickets in advance. Your readers could also enjoy lunch there in their lovely resturant! This is one of the most beautiful areas of Paris! Thank you for your information!

Gail March 14, 2015 - 1:14 am

What is the last photo–with the swimming pool and the building on top and the statue in the foreground??

Sharon Santoni March 14, 2015 - 10:38 am

Hi Gail

that is a shot taken from the end of the garden at the Club Interallié, as you look back towards the main buildng, you see the pool built into the cellar


Gail March 20, 2015 - 3:58 pm


Barbara Warren March 14, 2015 - 11:12 pm

You and your posts are so.. . . .informative and truly delightful.

Elizabeth March 16, 2015 - 5:14 pm

I love these posts! I have been to Paris many times over the last 30 plus years and it never gets old and I always learn something new and wonderful each time I am there!


Leave a Comment