The 1st arrondissement of Paris

The 1st arrondissement is the historical heart of Paris, since it is the home of the Louvre museum, place du Châtelet and the Île de la Cité. It is by nature the central arrondissement of Paris and is very accessible! While it is very chic in the west, towards place Vendôme and the Ritz, not far from the Opéra Garnier, it is more working-class in the east, with the Halles neighbourhood. Strategic, not to be missed, multi-facetted, it is particularly popular with up-and-coming professionals!

A few figures:

Annual average income: €38,800 (2018)

Population density: 9,697 people/m2

Nurseries, Schools, and High Schools: 24.2 per km2, but no top-achieving general or technical high school

Businesses: 51.4 every 100m

Doctors: X/ 800 people

Average price / m2: €11,766 (September 2018) + 2.9% (annual variation 2018)

 

SAINT GERMAIN L’AUXERROIS

Location:

The neighbourhood of Saint-Germain l’Auxerrois spreads over the southern part of the 1st arrondissement, up to rue de Rivoli. Walk down the western part of the Île de la Cité, separated from the wharves by the large arm of the Seine, that you can cross with one of the adjoining bridges, then follow the Seine, on the right bank up to the Tuileries! This is the ideal tourist area, with the Sainte-Chapelle, the famous museums of the Louvre and the Musée des Arts décoratifs!

Atmosphere:

The Palais du Louvre and the gardens of the Tuileries stand proudly on the right bank, while the old courthouse (Palais de Justice), the Conciergerie and the Sainte-Chapelle are on the Île de la Cité. They take up a huge space! Only the western tip of the Île de la Cité, around place Dauphine, and the quadrangle in the western part of the neighbourhood, delineated by rue de Rivoli, boulevard Sébastopol, quai de la Mégisserie, quai du Louvre and rue de l’Amiral de Coligny are populated. This makes it a small, cosy neighbourhood, comprising narrow streets and small shops, away from the major roads of the 1st arrondissement. Currently, the buildings of the old Samaritaine are still under construction, but the neighbourhood will improve as soon as the renovation is completed, at the initiative of the LVMH group, whose headquarters are facing it.

Everyday life:

For your administrative procedures, the city hall of the 1st arrondissement is located nearby, next to the church of Saint-Germain l’Auxerrois, facing the Cour carrée du Louvre! Another advantage is that the neighbourhood is particularly green, with the square du Vert-Galant in the east and the superb Tuileries Garden in the west. One can admire the flowerbeds and the rows of chestnut trees and the children play (dedicated playgrounds, merry-go-round, trampoline), and small restaurants are an invitation to get comfortable under the trees; but one can also picnic on the grass behind the Musée des Arts décoratifs! Not far from there stands the café Marly, facing the pyramid of the Louvre, and also the famous institution Angelina, which is as full as ever. A few minutes’ walk from there, rue Saint-Honoré offers a genuine neighbourhood life with all sorts of local shops!

School life:

The neighbourhood, although sparsely populated, has the pre-school of Saint-Germain l’Auxerrois and the elementary school of Arbre-Sec. They are therefore reasonably sized, these are small schools, where children can thrive in a smaller group. A nursery welcomes small children at rue de l’Arbre-sec. They all meet at the end of the day and on weekends at the Halles playground or at the Tuileries, which are readily accessible by foot. For those reluctant little legs, the scooter is now an institution on the Parisian cobble stones!

Transport:

This part of the 1st arrondissement is accessible by the underground lines 1, 4, 7 and 11. Line 1 crosses through its length and line 4 crosses it in the north/south axis, on the Châtelet side. Several buses drive across rue de Rivoli, which now goes from east to west. Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, has furthermore reserved the wharves for pedestrians, which is not to the satisfaction of all car drivers, but has delighted families, cyclists and joggers… They can enjoy a peaceful stroll or jog along the water! The sportier ones can continue their circuit to the Tuileries, in order to run on soil and avoid cars!

Real estate:

The buildings comprising this neighbourhood constitute the historical heart of Paris. Prices can then easily rise, even more so near the Seine. As such, towards Pont Neuf, on the Île de la Cité, the prices of apartments on place Dauphine can soar to €21,775 per m2 on average. The average price of the neighbourhood is however €12,869.

LES HALLES

Location:

Turn your back on the Marais and the modern art museum of Beaubourg, towards boulevard Sébastopol and go straight to the Halles neighbourhood, which spreads from rue de Rivoli to rue Etienne Marcel, where the Montorgueil neighbourhood starts, up to the limits of the Palais Royal. It comprises the location of the former Halles de Paris, from which it derives its name, a wholesale market of fresh food products, destroyed in 1970, which became an underground shopping centre. This mostly pedestrian environment hosts the largest urban station in Europe, the Châtelet – Les Halles station, which makes it a major junction.

Atmosphere:

The Halles neighbourhood is known for its cosmopolitan and working-class atmosphere, connected to the suburbs, now known as Greater Paris, through the RER A, B and D! This makes it a central point to go to the airport, since the 2 airports are easily accessible from there! The neighbourhood is currently reinventing itself, as the top port of the forum des Halles has been transformed with the creation of the Canopée that is much more user-friendly and a large garden leading to the old Bourse du Commerce, which is itself under complete renovation and is being turned into a museum by the Fondation Pinault to host its collections. Restaurants are therefore becoming more chic, in the tradition of the famous brewery Le Pied de Cochon, at the doorstep of the imposing Saint-Eustache Church. On rue Etienne Marcel, known for its fashion and designer shops, the old and gigantic Poste du Louvre is under renovation, in order to open its infrastructures to the public. The post office counter will retain its particularity of remaining open until midnight, which is very convenient in cash there is a rush! On the outskirts of the neighbourhood, the small place des Victoires, majestically decorated with Louis XIV, proudly sitting on his horse, remains a small haven of peace. The decorator Sarah Lavoine made no mistake when she opened her café-shop there!

Everyday life:

Everything is within reach at the Halles! The forum des Halles offers an incredible shopping area for whomever wants to venture in its maze (which was renovated and modernised at the time of the work on the Canopée). The advantage of living nearby is to be able to avoid the crowds, for example by going in the morning, including on Sundays, since the shops are now open 7 day a week, a must-do for a tourist area. For food groceries, a massive Monoprix set up shop on the garden side, but the best remains going to rue Montorgueil, on the opposite side, with a vast selection of organic shops, convenience stores, various caterers, vegetable producers, butchers, fishmongers and pastry chefs…! We’ll talk about that again when mentioning the 2nd arrondissement, on the other side of rue Etienne Marcel!

School life:

At the Halles, there is no dedicated school, but a wonderful municipal nursery, boasting terraces looking out on the Nelson Mandela garden, a daycare on rue des Prouvaires, and a brand-new music and dance conservatory, as well as a media library surrounded by light, both renovated together with the Canopée! The schools are nonetheless 5 minutes away in the surrounding neighbourhoods.

Transport:

You get it, the Halles are central for communal transport! Everything is nearby thanks to the 3 RERs servicing it, and the underground lines 1, 3, 4, 11 and 14! A blessing for Parisians who do not want to waste hours in traffic! However, a number of covered parking spots are offered in the square perimeter: the Halles parking lot, the Sébastopol parking lot, the Saint-Eustache parking lot… The website parkingdeparis.com is a gold mine for that! Residents can get a year-round spot for more ease and safety.

Real estate:

This central and easily accessible neighbourhood remains very sought after, even though the price per m2 tends to be lower than in other neighbourhoods, since it’s more working-class. Rue Saint-Denis, although one of the oldest streets of Paris – Saint-Louis used to cross it to go to the Saint-Denis Basilica – records the lowest prices, since it is home to a number of sex shops. These are disappearing one after the other, as the municipality intends to turn this historical street into a second rue Montorgueil… It is time to invest! The average price per m2 is €11,491 (September 2018), ranging from €8,173 to €16,047 per m2.

PALAIS ROYAL

Location:

In addition to the gorgeous garden of the Palais Royal, after which it is named, this neighbourhood spreads over rue Saint-Honoré towards place Vendôme and over rue Croix des Petits Champs towards place du Marché Saint Honoré. Rue Coquillère, which connects the neighbourhood to the Halles was opened at the time of the construction of Philippe Auguste’s rampart in the 12th century; it is the oldest road in the neighbourhood. And that’s appropriate, because it’s a very vibrant street, teeming with small restaurants. You’ll find, among other things, the first take away of the Guinguette d’Angèle, the icon of healthy food, inspired by her student years in San Francisco. Parisians adore her small dishes!

Atmosphere:

The gardens of the Palais Royal are a jewel of refinement and peace! Bordering the Comédie française, with on the one side the Buren columns, where children could play for hours, and on the other side, the garden displaying perfectly aligned linden trees, that are refreshing in the summer! But with the first rays of the sun, the pond and its fountain is the place to be to tan, read, talk and dream! All around, splendid arcades where shops rival each other in ingenuity to represent French-style luxury. At the top of the garden, restaurants and cafés serve all day long, with very prominent terraces on the garden side! At the corner, rue de Richelieu leads to the Japanese quarter, on the 2nd arrondissement side. An enchantment for the taste buds and a guaranteed change of scenery!

Everyday life:

The neighbourhood of Palais Royal is very appreciated for its tranquillity. The Banque de France is very discreetly headquartered there, and the neighbourhood life revolves around rue Coquillère, rue Richelieu and rue Croix des Petits Champs. The latter is home to one of the oldest herbalist shops of Paris, l’Herboristerie du Palais Royal, where all of Paris does its shopping. For groceries, rue Montorgueil is very close, but a large open-air market takes place several times a week around place du Marché Saint-Honoré, where it is most appropriate to have a drink in the day or in the evening.

School life:

The Ecole Notre Dame Saint-Roch, rue Saint-Roch, is the neighbourhood’s private school, also serving the arrondissement. Some parents travel kilometres to bring their children in the morning. Otherwise, the small public schools of rue de la Sourdière (pre-school), right behind, and rue d’Argenteuil (Primary) also have a good reputation. These children have the chance to benefit from the gardens of the Palais Royal and the Tuileries to unwind at the end of the day and on weekends. Families therefore find an ideal quality of life in the heart of Paris.

Transport:

The Halles again, 5 to 10 minutes by foot, allow to travel anywhere in Paris quickly. Otherwise, the lines 1, 7 and 14 cross the neighbourhood. If the narrow streets around the Palais Royal is a maze for car drivers, avenue de l’Opéra improves the traffic and allows to join the main roads quickly. For the bus, line 29 is king. It connects to Saint-Lazare, drives past the department stores Galerie Lafayette and Printemps and in the other direction, connects to the far east of Paris, through the Marais, the Gare de Lyon, etc.

Real estate:

Another historical neighbourhood! The apartments bordering the garden of the Palais Royal are inaccessible. For the most part, they are the property of the Banque de France or of the Ministries, that house their executives. But the old buildings as well as the atmosphere of the neighbourhood are very sought after. The average price per m2 is €12,004 (September 2018), ranging from €8,500 to €18,500.

 

PLACE VENDÔME

 

Location:

The neighbourhood of place Vendôme is the treasure of the 1st arrondissement, only a few streets away from the Madeleine, the department stores, the Opéra Garnier… It follows the garden of the Tuileries, which it accesses by rue de Rivoli. The Haussmann-style buildings comprising it offer breath-taking views!

Atmosphere:

It’s a discrete neighbourhood, mixing accommodations and offices more than anywhere else. We could say that “everything is order and beauty, tranquillity and voluptuousness” to quote Baudelaire! The proximity to luxury hotels like the Ritz, Meurice and Crillon certainly contribute to that. The Costes hotel, which is more accessible, is still trendy! And rue Saint-Honoré takes over rue de Rivoli with its more chic and colourful shops. The famous shop Colette has closed down, but it won’t be long before it’s replaced with other trendy attractions! Several luxury brands have their headquarters there such as Chanel in the famous rue Cambon.

Everyday life:

The neighbourhood is full of prestigious jewellers, which is not your everyday life, unless you work there! Up-and-coming professionals rush there, because you better have a strong purchasing power, and the lifestyle is opulent! The neighbourhood, luxury-clad, in the spirit of the adjoining 8th arrondissement, is very lively and teeming with restaurants, cafés, bars and numerous shops!

School life:

The neighbourhood’s public school is located on rue Cambon. The alternative is the famous private school on rue Saint-Roch, which we already mentioned. For the grown-ups, the Ritz-Escoffier school, in the very heart of the Ritz offers high-level cooking classes, or even the l’Ecole, School of Jewelry Arts, on the initiative of Van Cleef & Arpels, for jewellery.

Transport:

Surrounded by the underground stations of Madeleine, Tuileries and Pyramides, everything is once again close! Huge underground parking lots are available, and buses are never far on the side of avenue de l’Opéra, rue de Rivoli or rue Royale, between Madeleine and Concorde!

Real estate:

Living in a treasure comes at a price! On Place Vendôme, the average price per m2 is €13,652 (September 2018), ranging from €9,000 to €19,000, depending on the quality offered!