Just walking through the streets of Paris is already a real wonder and you can spend some wonderful days in the city of the Seine just walking.
Today we are going to talk about those neighborhoods in Paris that are worth getting lost in and enjoying their buildings, specifically Le Marais, Ile de la Cité and Ile de Saint Louis, La Defense and Montmartre.
Each of them has its own charm and hallmark of identity and you will like some more than others, but they are all spectacular.
Ile de la Cité and Ile de Saint Louis, the origin of Paris
These are two islands formed by the Seine River as it passes through Paris and it is the place where the city originated.
Ancient Lutetia began to form on the Ile de la Cité around 250 BC thanks to a Gallic tribe called the Parisii.
But it was not until 52 BC that Lutetia was founded by the Romans, although in 360 it was renamed Paris in reference to the Parisii.
A walk along the Ile de la Cité is an unforgettable experience as the buildings that form it are very beautiful. Thus, we can find the Cathedral of Notre Dame, the Conciergerie or Sainte Chapelle although they are not the only ones, since the Palace of Justice, the Hotel Dieu or the Police Prefecture are also worth admiring.
And to admire, the Flower Market where you can buy all kinds of plants that turn into birds on Sundays. At one end of the island is the oldest bridge in the city, the Pont Neuf. From it you have very nice views of the Seine River.
At the other end we have the Saint Louis Bridge thanks to which we reach the other island, the Ile de St. Louis, which, unlike the previous one, is very quiet and where you can walk very pleasantly.
There are numerous shops, restaurants and hotels located in historic buildings that you will not stop admiring. Among the mansions and palaces we must highlight the Hotel Lambert, the Church of Saint-Louis in I’llé or the Hotel Lauzun.
Le Marais, the most popular in Paris
Le Marais is the neighborhood that has gained the most popularity in recent years, becoming one of the most cosmopolitan in the city and a symbol of the gay community.
This neighborhood was formerly a swampy area, with marshes, and hence its name.
One of the most interesting places in the neighborhood is the Place des Vosgues, from the 16th century, where the Parisian nobility settled, giving rise to beautiful mansions and stately homes throughout the neighborhood.
Among them we can highlight the Hotel de Sens, the Hotel de Sully, the Hotel de Beauvais, the Hotel de Soubise and the Hotel Carnavalet. But above all, there is the Hotel de Ville, the building that has housed the Paris City Hall since 1357.
In the Place des Vosgues, notable for its red brick arcades and the central garden, are the houses of Victor Hugo or Cardinal Richelieu.
Later, the nobility moved to other neighborhoods and the Jews settled. That is why we can currently admire a synagogue.
In addition, the Jews, large merchants, turned the neighborhood into a large commercial area, a characteristic that is still maintained today with more modern stores and the most important franchises.
In addition, there are also numerous restaurants and nightclubs that mix with the different museums of Le Marais such as the Picasso Museum or the Carnavalet Museum.
Montmartre, the bohemian neighborhood of Paris
On a hill crowned by the spectacular Sacre Coeur Basilica is the Montmartre district.
It is one of the most peculiar neighborhoods in the city and in which the 19th century became the cradle of the great impressionist and bohemian artists who sought their inspiration there.
In this way the neighborhood was filled with cabarets and brothels that gave the neighborhood a bad image.
But today it is a neighborhood of great contrasts where we can find numerous sex-shops and cabarets, including the Moulin Rouge, the best-known red windmill in the world.
Next to the Basilica of Sacre Coeur there is also another very important church, the Church of Saint Pierre. Next door is the heart of Montmartre, the Place du Tertre, where, alternating with the bohemian restaurants, we will find numerous street artists.
Among the alleys of the Montmartre district we can also find other interesting places such as the Moulin de la Galette, the Espace Dalí or the famous Montmartre Cemetery, with tombs of important figures.
La Defense, the most modern
Far from the history and the majestic mansions of the previous neighborhoods, today we must highlight the neighborhood of La Defense.
La Defense has become a modern financial center rivaling the City of London in importance.
Here skyscrapers and office buildings dominate, joined by a large pedestrian esplanade, among which its hanging gardens and the different works of art in a large open-air museum stand out, a total of 60.
Among all the skyscrapers of La Defense, there is one that stands out and that is the symbol of the neighborhood, the Arco de la Defense.
It is a hollow cube inaugurated in 1989, which reaches 110 meters in height. This majestic building of marble and granite and covered with glass is also known as the Great Arch of Fraternity.
If you want to get spectacular views of La Defense, and especially of its Arch, we recommend you climb the Arc de Triomphe.