Our tour of the arrondissements continues, and this week we’re heading back across the Seine to talk about the 8e arrondissement. This beautiful district is one of the least populated in the city; home to less than 2% of the population of Paris. That being said, it is also one of the busiest business districts in the city, thanks to its world famous shopping districts and historic monuments. If you’re visiting Paris, you’ll probably find yourself in the 8e before long, so let’s dive in.
The Most Beautiful Avenue in the World
The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous city streets in the world. And for good reason. The Champs-Élysées runs nearly 2km through the heart of the 8e, and it is bordered by the Arc de Triomphe on the west and Place de la Concorde on the east. Its tree-lined sidewalks are an iconic sight in Paris, and thousands of people go shopping along this avenue every day. The Champs-Élysées has also been the location of military parades and marches for decades, including the annual Bastille Day celebrations. And every July, the Tour de France concludes with a ride down this famed thoroughfare. While some people complain that this avenue has lost its lustre of late, taking a stroll down the Champs-Élysées remains a classically Parisian experience.
The Golden Triangle
The Golden Triangle is, perhaps unsurprisingly, a triangle in the 8e arrondissement that is formed by the Champs-Élysées, Avenue George V, and Avenue Montaigne. And if you are a fan of luxury, this is the triangle for you. From the haute couture fashion boutiques along Avenue Montaigne to the world renowned Hôtel Plaza Athénée, the Golden Triangle is a haven of luxury, high end shopping, and gorgeous architecture. Personally, I have never shopped in the Golden Triangle. My bank account is far too insufficient for that. But I love walking through the area and taking in the sights, not to mention the stunning views of the Eiffel Tower.
A Shopper’s Paradise
The Champs-Élysées may be one of the most famous shopping districts in the world, but it should be noted that many of the high end fashion houses no longer reside directly on this street. Instead, they have moved to the Avenue Montaigne and/or Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Together, these three locations are home to many of the flagship stores of luxury French brands, including Chanel, Dior, Hermès, Louis Vitton, and Lanvin. Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in particular is home to nearly every major fashion label in the world, making it one of the most sought after destinations for luxury shopping. Again, I’ve never actually purchased anything along this street. But I have spent many an hour taking in the fashion on display. Both in the windows and walking down the street.
Iconic Sites Galore
The 8e arrondissement is no stranger to iconic sites in Paris. This is where you will find the aforementioned Arc de Triomphe and Place de la Concorde, in addition to the Élysées Palace, home of the French President, the Grand and Petit Palais, home to beautiful museums and exhibitions, and the Église de la Madeleine, home of stunning Neo-Classical architecture. The 8e arrondissement is also the centre of the Haussmannian architecture that is now synonymous with Paris. The 7e may have the Eiffel Tower, but the 8e is classically Parisian through and through.
Parc Monceau – A beautiful public park on the north side of the 8e that is bordered by some of my favourite museums.
Musée Cernuschi and Musée Nissim de Camondo – Two of said favourite museums. The Musée Cernuschi features Asian art and history, and the Musée Nissim de Camondo is an almost perfectly preserved turn of the century private mansion. Both are incredible museums.
Chapelle Expiatoire – An off the beaten track chapel dedicated to King Louis XVI and his wife, Marie Antoinette.
Hôtel de la Marine – A recently opened (and stunningly beautiful) historic building located at Place de la Concorde.
Hôtel Grand Powers – The 8e is home to world renowned hotels such as the Hôtel Plaza Athénée and the Four Seasons Hotel George V. However, I once had the opportunity to stay at this gorgeous, family-run, 5 star boutique hotel, and it was the best staycation I’ve ever had. Highly recommend!
Want to read more about the arrondissements of Paris? Click HERE.
Laura Moore is a professional storyteller who loves history and the many stories that make Paris one of the most fascinating cities in the world. Join one of her signature tours to learn the story of a city.