Guide Tour of the 2nd arrondissement of Paris, France

The 2nd arrondissement of Paris, also known as the arrondissement of Bourse, is one of the 20 arrondissements of the capital city of France. The 2nd arrondissement is one of the financial centres of Europe, houses the city’s most dense concentration of business activities. The main buildings are the former headquarters of the Stock Exchange and the National Library of France. Other major activities in the neighbourhood are journalism and fashion. In the fascinating historic sites like pedestrian style market streets, there are shopping arcades, fashion and jewelry showrooms.

The 2nd arrondissement is located in the city center, on the finger bank of the Seine. It is the smallest district of the city. In the 16th century, the city extended to the current level of the Grands Boulevards, then traced from the enclosure of Louis XIII. The 2nd arrondissement is very close to the historic center, there are many interesting streets, quiet, calm and freshness. The 2nd arrondissement is the home of Grand Rex, the largest movie theater in Paris.

The 2nd arrondissement offer a wide array of foodie delights, lots of history, and a side of Paris that many don’t ever see. The 2nd arrondissement with the beautiful ornately decorated covered passages of Paris, Several “Passages”, narrow galleries crossing a block of buildings from side to side and connecting two parallel streets. these passages generally contain shops of all styles but also cafes, hotels or museums.

The 2nd arrondissement is home to the galleries, covered passages lined with shops, which are quite possibly the prototypes of today’s shopping malls. The 2nd arrondissement is also the home of most of Paris’s surviving 19th-century glazed commercial arcades. At the beginning of the 19th century, most of the streets of Paris were dark, muddy, and lacked sidewalks. A few entrepreneurs copied the success of the Passage des Panoramas and its well-lit, dry, and paved pedestrian passageways. By the middle of the 19th century, there were about two dozen of these commercial malls, but most of them disappeared as the Paris authorities paved the main streets and added sidewalks, as well as gas street lighting.

The 2nd arrondissement hosts an important business district. The arrondissement contains the former Paris Bourse (stock exchange) and several banking headquarters, as well as a textile district, known as the Sentier, and the Opéra-Comique’s theatre, the Salle Favart. The French newspaper L’Obs has its head office in the arrondissement. Bourbon has its head office in the arrondissement. All Nippon Airways has its Paris Office in the arrondissement. China Airlines also has its France office in the arrondissement. Aigle Azur’s registered office is in the arrondissement.

While the aforementioned are all daylight activities, the east end of the arrondissement has an entirely different reputation, having been home to Paris’s red-light district since sometime in the early renaissance. The top of rue Saint-Denis, while it still contains sex shops, peep shows and shady clubs, was “cleansed up” during the Sarkozy era.

Administrative quarters
Like every Parisian arrondissement, the 2nd arrondissement is divided into 4 administrative districts: Gaillon district; Vivienne district; Mail district and Bonne-Nouvelle district.

Quartier of Gaillon
The Gaillon district is the 5th administrative district of Paris, it is located in the 2nd arrondissement. It has an area of 18.8 ha and a floor plan roughly in the shape of a triangle. The “most important” Avenue de l’Opéra runs through the middle, because it leads to the Opéra. The district is said to have been named after the goldsmith Euverte Le Gaillon.

Quartier of Vivienne
The Vivienne district is the 6th administrative district of Paris, it is located in the 2nd arrondissement. The district was named after the local Rue Vivienne, which runs through the district from north to south, and which bears the name of Louis Vivienne de Saint-Marc, who was councilor in Paris in 1599. The district is bounded to the west by the rue Sainte-Anne and rue de Gramont (bordering the Gaillon district ), to the north by the boulevards des Italiens and Montmartre (bordering the 9th arrondissement ), to the east by the rue Notre- Dame-des-Victoires and Vide-Gousset (bordering the Mail district ) and to the south by La Feuillade and Petits-Champs streets (bordering the 1st arrondissement ).

Quartier of Mail
The Mail district is the 7th administrative district of Paris, it is located in the 2nd arrondissement. The district was named after the Rue du Mail that runs through it. Mail indicates in French a wide path planted with trees. Place des Victoires is also in this area. It covers 27.8 hectares and is bounded by Rue Étienne-Marcel in the south, Rue de Notre-Dame-des-Victoires in the west, Boulevard Poissonière in the north and Rue Montorgueil, Rue des Petits Carreaux and Rue Poissonière in the east.

Quartier of Bonne-Nouvelle
The Bonne-Nouvelle district is the 8th administrative district of Paris; it is located in the 2nd arrondissement. The district was named after the church of Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle, which was built around 1563 and its name refers to the Annunciation. Its current form dates from 1823 – 1830. It covers 28.2 hectares and is bordered by Rue Étienne-Marcel in the south, Rue Montorgueil, Rue des Petits-Carreaux and Rue Poissonière in the west, Boulevard de Bonne-Nouvelle in the north and Boulevard de Sébastopol in the east.

Main Attractions
As the 2nd is the smallest arrondissement, it is easy to travel many places within it on foot. Discover the 2nd arrondissement by take a walk to different neighborhoods, from the French restaurants, to the market on rue Montorgueil, and the small museum where you can learn about the history of the city…

The Bourse neighborhood, named after the former Paris stock exchange once located in the majestic Palais Brogniart, occupies the 2nd district’s middle swath. This is where you can explore the city’s largest concentration of 19th century historic glass-roofed arcades.

A walking tour of the galleries can easily be accomplished in an hour or so. Prototypical indoor shopping malls, the galleries got their start in 1786 when the Duke of Orleans realized that there was money to be made by renting out his cloistered garden to small shops. With their glass roofs and tiled floors they were a welcome respite to the newly emerging middle-class shopper of the early 19th century, in the days before electric light and sidewalks.

West of Avenue de l’Opéra is the 2nd arrondissement’s most glamorous neighborhood where you’ll find glitzy designer boutiques, upscale restaurants, and 4- and 5-star hotels including the renowned Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme, thanks to the well-heeled crowds drawn to the world-famous jewelry emporiums along Rue de la Paix, the Paris Opera House just steps away.

At the eastern end of the 2nd arrondissement, explore the Sentier neighborhood, Paris’s newest hot destination, still filled with wholesale textile stores and garment manufacturers although they are now losing ground to hip bistros, bars, and upscale hotels.

Rue Sainte-Anne with many popular Asian restaurants offering cheese, wine, and baguettes in the wonderful pedestrian-only Rue Montorgueil market street. Rue de Nil, home to the Chef Grégory Marchand’s renowned Frenchie restaurant and other eateries, bars, and shops featuring locally-sourced produce, meat, fish, and cheese.

Palais Brongniart
The Palais Brongniart housed the historical Paris stock exchange. It is located at the Place de la Bourse, in the II arrondissement, Paris. The Commodities Exchange was housed in the same building until 1889, when it moved to the present Bourse de commerce. Moreover, until about the middle of the 20th century, a parallel market known as “La Coulisse” was in operation. Since 1987, spot share market prices have been managed by computer on the premises of the banks, outside the Palais Brongniart. The latter then hosts, for another twelve years, the futures market for contracts on the CAC 40 index, the Matif, until November 6, 1998. The Brongniart Palace is currently a place for conferences, congresses, seminars, receptions, lunches, dinners, cocktails, galas, trade fairs, exhibitions.

Palais Brongniart is a rectangular neoclassical Roman temple with a giant Corinthian colonnade enclosing a vaulted and arcaded central chamber. From 1901 to 1905, Jean-Baptiste-Frederic Cavel designed the addition of two lateral wings, resulting in a cruciform plan with innumerable columns. The painter Alexandre Denis Abel de Pujol (1785-1861), made the decorations of the ceiling, as well as Charles Meynier (1768-1832), paintings in grisailles representing the different cities of France, completed with a frieze of garlands where the different stock exchanges in Europe. Éloi Labarre (1764-1833) the architect decorated the stockbrokers’ meeting room. The sculptor Louis-Denis Caillouette (1790-168), made the statues of Justice and Europe, Asia bas-reliefs above the doors, as well as Jean-Baptiste Joseph De Bay (1779-1863). The vault in grisaille by Auguste Vinchon(1789-1855), and Merry-Joseph Blondel (1781-1853).

Crédit Lyonnais headquarters
The Crédit Lyonnais headquarters is a Haussmannian style building located in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris. It is on the block formed by the Boulevard des Italiens, the rue de Gramont, the rue du Quatre-Septembre and the rue de Choiseul. Also known as the “Hôtel des Italiens”, the Hall of Securities at the time was designed as a metal framework by Eiffel. Outside, on the Boulevard des Italiens, the central pavilion is inspired by the pavillon de l’Horloge of the Palais du Louvre. The roof is inspired from the pavillon de Flore. The pavilion has a double serlienne, a group of three bays of which the central bay is the highest with a semicircular arch, while the side bays are covered with a lintel. The pediment, carved by Camille Lefèvre, is an allegory of banking activities: it represents the bank distributing loans, surrounded by Trade and Industry, and the rivers Rhone and the Seine. It is supported by four groups of caryatids around a large clock by sculptor Désiré-Maurice Ferrary.

The stone cladding, a traditional symbol of wealth, conceals a metal frame, partially produced by the workshops of Gustave Eiffel. Inside the building, the Hôtel des Italiens is notable for the double helix or double spiral staircase, inspired by that of the Château de Chambord and with the same objective: to allow two populations to take the same staircase without meeting, one flight (with double balustrade) for the management and the other (single balustrade) for employees. The office space is split across several floors, on either sides of a gallery that receives light via a glass partition: the entire offices are visible to the public and the management. At each end of the building is a hall lit by a 21-metre-high (69 ft) window from the workshop of Gustave Eiffel. The windows on the side of the Boulevard des Italiens are more impressive than those on the side of the rue du Quatre-Septembre.

Palais Berlitz
The Palais Berlitz is an office building built in Paris in the 1930s on a block formed by the Boulevard des Italiens, the Rue Louis-le-Grand], the Rue de la Michodière and the rue du Hanovre. The building was renamed the Palais Berlitz after the English language school located in the building. In the 1950s the ground floor and basement of the building were converted into a 1,500-seat cinema called the Berlitz, and the old newsreel theatre was turned into a restaurant. It was one of the most important first-run movie theatres in Paris at that time. The design featured a huge curved lobby with stained glass windows leading to the big auditorium which had club armchairs. However, due to two large columns in the auditorium space, the size of the screen was limited.

Under the name of the Palace of Hanover, it was built as an office building in the 1930s by the French architect Charles Lemaresquier (1870–1972) who conceived other buildings in the same style, such as the headquarters of Félix Potin. On the ground floor were stores and a newsreel theatre that seated 200. In the 1980s Gaumont took over and divided the Berlitz including the restaurant (the former newsreel house) into six small screens. The place lost its original design. In the 1990s the building was entirely rebuilt with only the facade remaining. In the new building, the new six-screen multiplex run by Gaumont has a new design and a total seating capacity of 1,137.

Tower of John the Fearless
The Tour Jean-sans-Peur located in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris, is the last vestige of the Hôtel de Bourgogne, the residence first of the Counts of Artois and then the Dukes of Burgundy. The tower contained bed chambers and the grand stairway of the original residence, which stood next to it. It is one of the best surviving examples of medieval residential architecture in Paris.

It was completed between 1409–1411 by Jean sans Peur. The original hôtel occupied about a hectare of land, the boundaries of which are now marked by the rues Étienne Marcel, Montorgueil, Saint-Sauveur, and Saint-Denis. The tower itself is located at 20 rue Étienne Marcel, in the courtyard of an elementary school. It was in 1866-1868 that the tower was rediscovered. It is then classified as historical monuments by a decree of theSeptember 29, 18841, then restored in 1893. Since 1999, the tower is open to the public and presents changing expositions on life in the Middle Ages.

Basilica of Our Lady of Victories
Located at 6, rue Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris, Notre-Dame-des-Victoires is one of ten minor basilicas located in the Île-de-France region of France. The consecration of the church to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. A large garden and a double-cloister existed at the site until the Revolution. At that time, they were confiscated and fell into disuse. The church was converted into the home of the national lottery and a stock exchange during the Directory, but was returned to the practice of worship under the First Empire. The remnants of the monastery were destroyed in 1858 and a police station as well as an office for the mayor of the arrondissement were constructed in their place.

The south facade, made by Sylvain Cartaud, architect of the Duke of Berry, is in the form of a portal with two superimposed orders, the Ionic below, the Corinthian above. This portal is crowned by a triangular pediment with on the tympanum, an escutcheon with the arms of France surmounted by the royal crown and surrounded by the great cord of the Holy Spirit. On the first level, a bas-relief glory appears above the central door. The sanctuary is graced by several paintings by the French painter Louis-Michel van Loo (1707–1771). Within the choir are exhibited seven monumental canvases by Charles André (Carle) Van Loo, the first of which, in the center, depicts the Vow of Louis XIII during the Siege of La Rochelle of 1627-1628, and of which the six others constitute a series of frescoes on the life of Saint Augustine.

National Library of France
The Bibliothèque nationale de France is the national library of France, located in Paris. Heiress to the royal collections built up since the Middle Ages, it has one of the richest collections in the world. It is the national repository of all that is published in France and also holds extensive historical collections.

Each year, the library receives more than 70,000 books by legal deposit as well as more than 250,000 issues of periodicals and thousands of specialized documents, but it also makes purchases and receives donations. The BnF is also known for its digital library, Gallica, which allows direct consultation of the reproduction of more than 7,600,000 documents in text, image or sound format. The François-Mitterrand site also hosts the Inathèqueof France, responsible for the legal deposit of radio and television and also comprising a film fund.

The Opéra-Comique is a Paris opera company which was founded around 1714 by some of the popular theatres of the Parisian fairs. In 1762 the company was merged with – and for a time took the name of – its chief rival, the Comédie-Italienne at the Hôtel de Bourgogne. It was also called the Théâtre-Italien up to about 1793, when it again became most commonly known as the Opéra-Comique. Today the company’s official name is Théâtre national de l’Opéra-Comique, and its theatre, with a capacity of around 1,248 seats.

Capucines Theatre-Museum
The Théâtre-Musée des Capucines is a private museum dedicated to perfume, and located in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris at 39, boulevard des Capucines, Paris, France. The museum was created in 1993 by the Fragonard perfume company within a former theater, the Théâtre des Capucines, dating to 1889. It exhibits 19th-century copper distilling apparatus, alembics, flasks, pots-pourris, and perfume roasters, as well as the animals and plants that provide raw materials for perfumes. A collection of perfume bottles illustrates 3000 years of perfume making.

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Covered Arcades
Out of the 150 or so covered walkways once lining the city, less than 30 remain and a largest number of them in the 2nd arrondissement. Starting in the late 18th century, covered passages transformed shopping in Paris, the developers who bought these properties sought to maximize their profits by subdividing them and creating passages lined with small businesses and boutiques between the larger buildings.

Prototype of the current shopping malls, the Galleries began to appear in 1786, when the Duke of Orleans at the time realized that there could be money in be done by renting its interior gardens to shopkeepers. With their glass roofs and tiled floors, these galleries were a resounding success with the new bourgeoisie of the early 19th century, well before the arrival of electric light and sidewalks.

At that time, Paris retained much of its medieval character. Going out to shop meant trudging through crowds down narrow muddy lanes, getting splashed with water (and worse things) by passing horses, walking past open sewers, and trying not to choke from the stench permeating the city. So when developers transformed the passages between buildings into arcades covered by glass roofs to let sunlight stream in while keeping out rain, floors paved with tile to keep feet dry, and shops and cafes lining both sides began springing up around the city.

Galerie Vivienne
The Galerie Vivienne is one of the covered passages of Paris, France, located in the 2nd arrondissement. It is 176 metres (577 ft) long and 3 metres (9.8 ft) wide. The gallery has been registered as a historical monument since 7 July 1974. François-Jacques Delannoy conceived the decor in neo-classical Pompeian style covered with an elegant canopy, with mosaics, paintings and sculptures exalting trade.

The restoration work rehabilitated the abundant ornaments around the half-moon windows, and the goddesses and nymphs that adorn the rotunda. The floor mosaics, with a terrazzo background, are by Giandomenico Facchina and Mazzioli. Their sobriety underlined by the repetition of simple geometric shapes is reminiscent of the style of the mosaics of the rue de Rivoli. The large 42 m long gallery is followed by a glazed rotunda with a hemispherical glass dome, the whole being original.

Passage Choiseul
Passage Choiseul is one of the covered passages of Paris, France located in the 2nd arrondissement. It is a registered historic monument in France. It is the continuation of Rue de Choiseul. The passage was built between 1826 and 1827, first to the designs of the architect François Mazois, then Antoine Tavernier. Mazois died before the building was complete, and Tavernier completed the work. The author Louis-Ferdinand Céline lived here as a child in the early 20th century. The Passage Choiseul is mentioned in two of his novels. In 1907 the glass roof was replaced. The passage later fell into disrepair. In the 1970s visitation increased when Kenzo opened a boutique in the passage.

Today, Passage Choiseul is a shopping and food area. It has restaurants, clothing stores, book stores, jewellery shops, art galleries, art supply shops and a hair stylist. The entrance to the Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens is located in the passage. The ground floor is mainly retail and the upper floors are primarily residential. It is the longest covered passage in the city, at 190 meters long and 3.7 meters wide. In 2012, renovations and restoration were begun under Jean Frédéric Grevet.

Passage des Panoramas
The Passage des Panoramas is the oldest of the covered passages of Paris, France located in the 2nd arrondissement between the Montmartre boulevard to the North and Saint-Marc street to the south. It is one of the earliest venues of the Parisian philatelic trade, and it was one of the first covered commercial passageways in Europe. Its name came from an attraction built on the site; two large rotundas where panoramic paintings of Paris, Toulon, Rome, Jerusalem, and other famous cities were displayed.

It was an ancestor of the city gallerias of the 19th century and the covered suburban and city shopping malls of the 20th century. They were a business venture of the American inventor Robert Fulton,. Bazaars and souks in the Orient had roofed commercial passageways centuries earlier but the Passage de Panoramas innovated in having glazed roofing and, later on, in 1817, gas lights for illumination. The doorway of the modern building, of the house, which opened on rue Saint-Marc, facing the rue des Panoramas, was the gateway of the original mansion.

The rotundas were destroyed in 1831. In the 1830s, the architect Jean-Louis Victor Grisart renovated the passage and created three additional galleries inside the block of houses: the Saint-Marc gallery parallel with the passage, the gallery of the Variétés which gives access to the entry of the artists of the Théâtre de Variétés, and the Feydeau galleries and Montmartre. Stern the famous engraver settled there in 1834, then merchants of postcards and postage stamps, and some restaurants moved in. The part of the passage close to the Montmartre boulevard is richly decorated, while the distant part is more modest. The passage, as it was in 1867, is described in chapter VII of Émile Zola’s novel Nana.

Caffè Stern is a traditional catering company founded in Paris in 2014 in the Passage des Panoramas, offering Italian cuisine. The place corresponds to a former seat of the engraver and printer Stern, dating from the beginning of the 19th century, at 47 Passage des Panoramas in Paris. This place has been the subject of several protections as historical monuments. The place is one of the oldest commercial premises in France, in the oldest of the seventeen Parisian covered passages, created in 1799, having survived the works of Baron Haussmann in the middle of the 19th century. This historical monument is made up of several small adjoining rooms and an open kitchen. The period interior is decorated with Cordoue leather, stained glass windows of Swiss origin from the 16th century and old woodwork from the 17th century that belonged to the Hôtel de Rivié. It also includes ornate columns and chimneys as well as a Murano chandelier.

Passage of the Princes
The Passage des Princes is a Parisian covered passage in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris. It was the last covered passage built in Paris in the 19th century. The banker Jules Mirès bought the Grand Hôtel des Princes et de l’Europe, a palace located at 97, rue de Richelieu, as well as a plot for the construction of a passage constituting a shortcut for pedestrians. It was a gallery with a fairly simple decor surmounted by a double-sloped glass roof punctuated at each bay by double metal arches forming arabesques. The passage was inaugurated in 1860, under the name of “passage Mirès”, and was appreciated at the time for its appearance of good taste and its spaciousness.

Between 1879 and 1883 was opened at the corner of the passage, on the boulevard des Italiens side, the gallery of Modern Life, founded by Georges Charpentier where most of the Impressionists exhibited. The passage was destroyed in 1985 for a real estate operation but was rebuilt identically in 1995 by the architects A. Georgel and A. Mrowiec. Nevertheless, the open angle that it originally formed was then straightened to form a right angle, which made it possible to make better use of the premises: shops on the ground floor, offices on the first to fourth floors, dwellings on the fifth and sixth. Various elements of the original decor were then reused, such as a beautiful 1930s dome in colored glass decorated with roses, reinstalled on the portion located near the boulevard des Italiens or the access porch on the sideRichelieu Street.

Passage of the Grand-Cerf
Passage du Grand-Cerf is a covered passage located between 10, rue Dussoubs and 145, rue Saint-Denis, in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris, in the Bonne-Nouvelle district. Passage du Grand-Cerf is home to boutiques selling craftsmen, creators, decorators, fashion designers and communication professionals. The current architecture of the passage dates it back to 1845 rather than 1825. This is actually the year when this passage was covered by a large glass roof. The use of metal structures made it possible to place it at a high height and thus free up large glazed surfaces in height, at the level of the interior facades of the shops.

Public spaces
The 2nd district is very close to the historic center, but away from the tourist and busiest places, it is a quiet place. There are many interesting streets, calm and fresh.

Place des Victoires
The Place des Victoires is a circular place in Paris, located a short distance northeast from the Palais Royal. The area surrounding the Place des Victoires is now an upmarket neighborhood. Fashion designers Kenzo and Cacharel have boutiques there, as have the ready-to-wear chains Maje, and Zadig et Voltaire. The German Forum for Art History (Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte) is on the Place and the French Institut national d’histoire de l’art is in nearby Galerie Colbert.

At the center of the Place des Victoires is an equestrian monument in honor of King Louis XIV, celebrating the Treaties of Nijmegen concluded in 1678-79. The original statue, of Louis XIV crowned by Victory and trampling Cerberus underfoot, in gilt bronze, stood on a high square pedestal with bas-relief panels and effusively flattering inscriptions; dejected bronze figures were seated at the corners. The sculptor was Martin Desjardins, part of the team that was working cooperatively at the Château of Versailles and its gardens.

Rue Montorgueil
The Montorgueil district, named after the Mont-Orgueil hill, whose origins date back to the 15th century, the district has a gourmet and popular history. Montorgueil is one of the oldest districts of the capital. In the heart of the smallest Parisian arrondissement, rue Montorgueil and those that cross it form the largest pedestrian area in the capital.

An essential place for Parisian strolls, with its small pedestrian and cobbled streets, the Montorgueil district represents the charm of Paris. It is now a set of pedestrian streets that revolves around rue Montorgueil. It extends over the administrative districts of Mail and Bonne-Nouvelle. The main artery, rue Montorgueil, brings together both greengrocers and food shops, bars and restaurants as well as trendy clothing boutiques.

Thanks to its food shops and restaurants, in the early morning, delivery trucks and the surrounding bustle reflect the Paris of yesteryear. At noon, bankers and geeks from start-ups who work nearby come to eat there. In the streets parallel to rue Montorgueil, new restaurants, cocktail bars and bohemian shops have opened, notably rue Saint-Sauveur, rue Bachaumont, rue Greneta, rue Mandar and even in the Passage du Grand Cerf.

This lively street in the heart of the district offers one of the most famous permanent markets in the city. It includes a butcher, fishmonger, fruit and vegetable store, cheese dairy, bakery (La Maison Stohrer, one of the best in Paris), a florist… You can find all types of fresh and organic food there.

Rue Montorgueil can Learn about a country’s culture through its food buy the best cuisine like cheeses, charcuterie, wines and baguettes, or a tasty cheese or an excellent wine. Rue Montorgueil the food shops are passed down from generation to generation. At n°38, the Escargot Montorgueil, which was the favorite table of Sacha Guitry, Marcel Proust or even Salvador Dali, has been delighting Parisians since 1832.

This street and the streets surrounding it are lined with wine and cocktail bars, such as REDD and the Experimental Cocktail Club. There’s a lively vibe, especially on summer evenings when the bars open their doors to the street. It’s true that they don’t always offer low prices, but it’s a great place to find a bar and have a good night out in the capital.

Rue du Nil
Picturesque, quaint, and situated just a couple of streets away from one of the most famous shopping streets in Paris, that of rue Montorgueil, rue du Nil is a quaint road featuring many an independent store and produce shop. The road was largely residential and little frequented. All of this changed, however, with the arrival of the chef, Gregory Marchand, when he opened an iconic ‘Frenchie’ restaurant on the road. The dining venue soon became a sought after hotspot and from then on out, more foodie spots popped up on the street. Today, rue du Nil is a must-visit for authentic French food lovers and those wishing to cook back at their accommodation.

Rue Etienne Marcel
Rue Etienne Marcel is very long and has many cool shops. Discover new clothes in the image of Parisian elegance, be delighted by the items sold in the stores on rue Etienne Marcel like Les Temps des Cerises, ba&sh, Comptoir des Cotonniers, Guess, Diesel, Replay, The Kooples…

Sentier neighborhood
The Sentier neighborhood covers the corner of the 2nd arrondissement that lies roughly east of Rue Montmartre and north of Rue Réaumur and is a fascinating mix of Paris’s traditional wholesale fabric and clothing district, tech companies, and foodies. The wholesale shops make for fun window-shopping. In addition to Chef Marchand’s mini-empire, also many other appealing spots for a meal or quick drink.

Green spaces
The urban development policy desired by Haussmann provided for one square per administrative district, that is to say four per arrondissement. The small size of the 2nd arrondissement and the few transformations it underwent did not allow the objective to be achieved. It now contains two squares: Square Louvois and Square Jacques-Bidault. The 2 nd is thus the arrondissement of Paris with the fewest green spaces.

Square Louvois’s center is a very large ornate fountain, Fontaine Louvois, installed in 1844. Near its top are statues created by sculptor Jean-Baptiste-Jules Klagmann to symbolize France’s four major rivers: the Seine, the Saône, the Loire, and the Garonne. In the American TV series Gossip Girl, the fountain appear from the episode where Blair pushes Serena into the water.

Finding a place to eat in the 2nd arrondissement is easy: Rue Montorgueil, Rue Pierre-Lescot, and Rue Etienne-Marcel are lined with restaurants and brasseries that, even if picked at random, are mostly decent, while the surrounding Metro Bourse has several renowned restaurants. If you’re more into street food and market produce, you’re in luck. The neighborhood is dotted with the city’s best bakeries, fruit and vegetable vendors and gourmet caterers.

Rue Etienne-Marce l and Rue Tiquetonne (Metro Etienne Marcel) are lined with designer boutiques, boutiques from established designers like Agnes B and Barbara Bui, and up-and-coming fashion brands. The Espace Kiliwatch concept store offers a variety of new and used yarns and is popular with style-conscious bohemian professionals. The old ornate passages (including Passage de la Cerf near Rue Montorgueil and Rue St Denis and Passage Vivienne near Metro Bourse) for unique and glamorous gifts.

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