Situated in the heart of Paris’s Right Bank, the 1st arrondissement is one of the oldest parts of the city; in fact, it occupies the western half of the Île de la Cité, formerly Lutetia, which was conquered by the Romans in 52 BC. Today, this central district is best known for the Louvre and the Tuileries Garden. The Basics
Though it’s one of Paris’ least-populated areas, there’s plenty to do in the 1st arrondissement. The Louvre and the Tuileries Garden are naturally the biggest attractions, but the area is also home to a number of beautiful old churches, including Gothic 13th-century Sainte-Chapelle, known for its stained-glass windows. Most visitors to Paris end up in this area at some point during their visit, and most general city tours stop here.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The 1st arrondissement is a must-visit for art lovers; after all, the Louvre is here.
- Make sure to wear comfortable shoes as this area is made for walking.
- Note that while the neighborhood is generally wheelchair-accessible, overall accessibility in Paris is poor, and only line 14 of the metro is fully accessible.
How to Get There
Right in the heart of the city, the 1st arrondissement is situated on the Right Bank of the River Seine and also includes half of the Île de la Cité. It's directly across from the Orsay Museum, and a number of pedestrian-friendly bridges connect the two banks. The most useful metro stop here is Châtelet, which serves lines 1, 4, 7, 11, and 14 of the Paris Metro and RER lines A, B, and D. When to Get There
Like all of Paris, the 1st arrondissement is truly a year-round attraction, with different times of year offering different charms. Sunset is a good time to visit, particularly if you want to join the masses of picnickers who descend upon the Pont des Arts. Note that the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays.
The Louvre Pyramids
One of the best-known architectural features in the 1st arrondissement, the Louvre pyramid is a giant metal-and-glass pyramid surrounded by three smaller pyramids; it made headlines in 2019 when Airbnb and the Louvre partnered to run a contest in which one winner could sleep inside the structure for a night. There's also another pyramid, this one upside down, inside the nearby Carrousel du Louvre shopping mall.