While the left bank of Paris is wonderful with the Latin Quarter and St. Germaine de Pres, some of the best things to do in Paris are in the 1st and 3rd arrondissements located on the right bank of Paris.
Smile at Mona Lisa at the Louvre Museum and walk along the Siene River. Admire the breathtaking statutes of Joan of Arc statute and Louis XVI and visit where Victor Hugo lived, the famed author of "Les Misérables."
An impression to last a lifetime
Don't visit Paris without strolling through the Jardin des Tuileries in the the 1st arrondissement bordering the Louvre Museum and the Place de la Concorde. Established in 1564 by Catherine de Medici, the park was opened to the public in 1664.
Admire Monet's famous water lilies
After exploring the Jardin des Tuileries, head towards the Place de la Concorde to the Musée de l'Orangerie, which houses impressionist and post-impressionist paintings. Inside are the eight water lilies murals by Claude Monet, the famous French impressionist painter. Known as Monet's Nymphéas, these paintings will take your breath away. The Musée de l'Orangerie has a wide selection of other paintings from Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and more.
Fun fact: Stand up close to admire the broken color technique and then step back to see the colors merge into the impression and then the true meaning of this exciting movement of artwork will reveal itself. The vast array of lilies and iris flowers blossom is intoxicating!
Smile at Mona Lisa
All travel plans to Paris will include descending under the glass pyramid at the Louvre Museum and experiencing the incredible treasures from within one of the largest museums on earth. With 7,500 paintings alone, you can literally spend days roaming through the eight curatorial departments within the Louvre. From portraits of Egyptian queens, busts of Roman emperors to Renaissance paintings by Michelangelo, Raphael and Caravaggio, the museum has so much more to see than you can imagine or have time for! Yet the most important thing to do is smile at the famous Mona Lisa from any angle in the room and she will smile back at you.
Stroll along along the rue de Rivoli
One of our favorite sections of the Louvre Museum is the Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Museum of Decorative Arts). Walk from the main entrance of the Louvre along the rue de Rivoli in the 1st arrondissement to the the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. The museum has a diverse collection of French furniture and the finest of Lalique's original glass collection. If you have an extra hour, the permanent exhibition of advertising and graphic art is also very interesting.
Enjoy ballet and theater in Paris
The perfect compliment to Paris' museums is to enjoy music and theater in Paris. What better way to spend an evening than at the Théâtre du Palais-Royal. Regularly hosting performances by comedians and theatrical productions, the Théâtre du Palais-Royal has an opulent interior with red velvet seats and gold adornments that line the balconies.
The child saint who led France's military
Burned at the stake by the English in 1431, Joan of Arc is the patron saint and iconic hero of France. Leading France in battles against England, she was fearless in her patriotic endeavors. This statute was unveiled in 1874 and placed outside the Regina Hotel near the Louvre Museum. An essential photo opportunity!
A pilgrimage for writers
The 3rd arrondissement has been home to poets, writers, and painters for centuries. World famous author Victor Hugo resided in the 3rd arrondissement in the 1800s and his novels Les Misérables (1862) and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (1831) are international classics. Walk the streets that inspired Les Misérables, which has become one of the longest running theater productions of the modern era.
Jewels in the Jewish quarter
Head for the the Jewish quarter on the eastern side of the 3rd arrondissement and admire architecture from the 13th-century! There is the lesser known yet incredible Musée des Archives Nationales which houses thousands of historic photographs and documents. See the only known sketch of Joan of Arc, Louis XVI's will, and facsimiles of Marie Antoinette's farewell letter composed just before her execution.
A Baroque gem of Latvia
Before you leave the 3rd arrondissement, a must see is the Carnavalet Museum dedicated to the history of Paris. See street view drawings, plaster models and monuments of Paris from the sixteenth to the twentieth century. You can also view personal belongings of Marie-Antoinette, Napoleon, and other famous French dignitaries.