paris step by step – the 9th arrondissement

by Sharon Santoni

inside opera garnier paris

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.

 comfortable seating in brasserie restaurant paris

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.

 staircase inside paris opera

 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.

staircase in gustave moreau museum paris

 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

tall church facade, st trinité, paris

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.

tables and chairs in the restaurant le regalade at hotel nell paris

Another good lunch address is Le Bouillon, contemporary clean decor and good french food.

tables set for lunch at le bouillon paris

Voila!  A whirlwind tour, a few addresses to note down, and hopefully some good ideas for your next visit.

Have a lovely weekend!


Florence Brown March 28, 2015 - 6:40 pm

Can’t wait to come. Have started a French language course and by summer could probably order a meal. Also hoping to go to Corsica where my future son-in-law has a home. I definitely will need my French then Your photos are lovely.

Barbara Warren March 28, 2015 - 6:49 pm

Love all the information and photographs. Education with punch!

mimi taylor March 28, 2015 - 7:00 pm

your photos are a pleasure

Christine March 28, 2015 - 7:02 pm

Thank you for the insider information.
I will certainly use it on our next trip to Paris!

Mercedes March 28, 2015 - 7:09 pm

Wonderful. You are so well informed. Thank you for sharing.

Vicky from Athens March 28, 2015 - 7:13 pm

Wonderful! I’m keeping all of your “step by step” guides for my next visit to Paris.

Jack Nesbit March 28, 2015 - 7:17 pm

Thank you for the breakdowns of the Arrondissements of Paris. I was there last year and had inquired with you, previously. As it happens, I will be going back this year in August with my fiancé to be married in Juille de Sevres. Then, Paris again afterward . So excited!

Colleen Taylor March 28, 2015 - 7:27 pm

How absolutely fabulous Sharon! What a wonderful gem of a post & all this shopping which makes me think I have to move there, a wishful thought anyway!

Caroline Lacroix March 28, 2015 - 7:44 pm

Sharon, vos suggestions sont parfaites. Le musée Gustave Moreau est superbe, c’est vraiment un endroit magique. Le thé au musée de la Vie Romantique est également un must. Quant au musée Grévin… je pense que c’est un passage obligé mais bon… La réception de notre mariage s’est déroulé dans un hôtel particulier de la Nouvelle Athènes, il y a 25 ans. Vivement vos idées pour le Xème arrondissement, que je ne connais pas vraiment.

Kerry March 28, 2015 - 8:01 pm

The Opera House is probably one of my favourite places in Paris! So much history and beauty…thanks for the tour.

Elizabeth (Eiffel Tells) March 28, 2015 - 8:34 pm

There is always something knew which I learn about in your Paris guides. Thank you

Elizabeth (Eiffel Tells) March 28, 2015 - 8:36 pm

Oops ” NEW” not “knew……..apologies

jane March 28, 2015 - 9:42 pm

I have been to Paris 17 times and had vowed to give it a rest for a few years, but this post has inspired me to return. You’ve shown four or five places I’ve never been that look amazing.
Now I just need to drop some heavy hints to my husband…..

Karen Breau March 28, 2015 - 10:25 pm

We have a family trip planned to Paris and Normandy in late Sept, your informative and colourful tips are greatly appreciated as we develop our itinerary….thank you


Lesley March 29, 2015 - 3:07 am

Oh my! That staircase in the fifth photo is just beautiful!

Cheryl March 31, 2015 - 8:27 am

I have to agree with you, that Art Nouveau spiral staircase is in a class of its own. I’ve never seen one like it before. It really is so elegant

Deb March 29, 2015 - 3:09 am

I’ve read in various books written by expats who have lived in Paris that there are some small hidden parks, gardens where the public can come and sit quietly that are behind gates that most people would not think of opening, yet alone walk through.

karena March 29, 2015 - 4:46 pm

Sharon I appreciate so much the information on the different arrondissements of Paris. I cannot wait for the day that I can travel to France.

The Arts by Karena

Leslie in Oregon March 29, 2015 - 9:53 pm

I always learn a great deal from your posts about Paris. (From all your posts, actually.)
Please identify the location of the first photograph in this post. Thank you!

Ann Sutherland March 30, 2015 - 2:55 pm

I agree that Galeries Lafayette, while stunning visually, is like most American high-end department stores: mini-boutiques for top designers. Can you recommend a neighborhood for reasonable boutiques? I will be in Paris again in September – an unexpected invitation from a cousin who loves to shop.

Hildegard Homewood March 31, 2015 - 9:44 am

Oh how you whet my appetite. Such beautiful buildings. One day!
Hildegard Cape Town

franki March 31, 2015 - 11:49 pm

Ooooh, la, la!!! franki

John Sullivan April 1, 2015 - 1:14 am

Please add me to your e-mail list.

Christina April 20, 2015 - 2:36 pm

Thanks for such beautiful photos and wonderful travel tips- am adding these to my “must see next time” list- My husband and I are so fond of Paris and although we prefer finding the more out of the way destinations- last trip we did visit the Galleries Lafayette (to look, Not shop) and we enjoyed popping up to rooftop terrace for a surprisingly lovely view of the city. We were hoping to do the tour of the opera house but time didn’t allow it.


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