One of the more popular and touristic districts of Paris is the 9th arrondissement, which boasts several grand department stores, one of Paris’ grandest opera houses, and a number of historic covered passages. Here’s your insider’s guide to the best things to do in the 9th arrondissement, as well as travel tips and what to know before you go.
- Where is the 9th arrondissement?
- Best things to do in the 9th arrondissement
- Where to eat and drink in the 9th arrondissement
Where is the 9th arrondissement?
The 9th arrondissement is located in the centre of the city, to the North of the river Seine (otherwise known as the right bank or ‘rive droite’ in French). Sandwiched between the 2nd, 8th, 18th, and 10th arrondissements, it’s home a number of iconic sights, as well as plenty of delicious restaurants, and wonderful places to stay.
Best things to do in the 9th arrondissement
Palais Garnier Opera House
Nicknamed the ‘wedding cake’ on account of its elaborate and ornate architecture, the Palais Garnier Opera House is one of Paris’ two opera houses and is one of the most visited monuments that the French capital has to offer.
If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience of Paris at night, then there is perhaps no better way to do this than by heading for a show at the iconic landmark. Those looking to visit the opera house on a bit more of a budget will be happy to know that you can purchase tickets like these ones to view the interior.
Passage des Panoramas
One of the main things to know about the 9th arrondissement is that this is where the biggest prevalence of covered passages is to be found. These covered pedestrian walkways are lined with shops, restaurants, and boutiques and were the
One of my all time favourites when it comes to the covered passages of the city is Passage des Panoramas, a delightful arcade that’s predominantly dedicated to stamp collecting shops, as well as a number of bespoke and unique restaurants.
Yet another covered passage in the 9th is that of Passage Jouffroy, which is directly opposite from Passage des Panoramas. Somewhere along Grands Boulevards, between the wax museum and the Hard Rock café, Passage Jouffroy is all tile flooring, wrought iron detailing, and open-glass ceiling.
Constructed in the 1840s and completed in 1846, Passage Jouffroy is one of the most popular covered arcades in Paris thanks to its sheer beauty and ease of access along Grands Boulevards.
A must-see for anyone looking to purchase an antique or two while in the city, Passage Verdeau is the place to go. Built in 1847 and characterised by its mosaic tiled flooring, high glass ceiling, and wooden storefronts, the passage is also home to several stamp collecting shops.
There are also vintage postcard vendors, and even some camera sellers. Passage Verdeau leads directly on from Passage Joufrroy and Passage des Panoramas, making a stroll through the passages the perfect rainy day activity in Paris.
Seek out quirky architecture
One of the most delightful aspects of Paris is the sheer number of unique and interesting architectural features to be found hiding within each district, including the 9th district. This includes plenty of art nouveau architecture.
A personal favourite when it comes to art nouveau in the 9eme is that of 14 rue d’Abbeville. Built at the turn of the 20th-century in the Art Nouveau fashion, No. 14 is easily the most beautiful and fascinating building of the street.
Covered in a green nature-focused foliate glazed stoneware that’s applied directly onto the brick façade of the front of the building, crane your neck towards the 4th floor, and there are even squirrels and owls forever gazing upon the passersby below.
Go shopping at Galeries Lafayette and Printemps
There are five main department stores in Paris, two of which are located on Boulevard Haussmann, just behind the Palais Garnier Opera house. These are Galerlies Lafayette and Printemps. Both department stores are multi-faceted affairs selling everything from luxury handbags to homewares and even gourmet foodstuffs.
What’s more is that, if you happen to be visiting Paris at Christmas, then you’ll soon discover that all of the department stores are decorated for the festive season, including a giant Christmas tree in the iconic Galeries Lafayette cupola.
Enjoy the view from the Galeries Lafayette rooftop terrace
Open on a daily basis, weather permitting, the 7th-floor Galeries Lafayette rooftop terrace of the flagship store is free to visit and offers one of the best panoramic views of Paris.
If you’re lucky enough to visit in the Autumn, Spring or Winter, you may even be fortunate enough to see the sunset over the rooftops of Paris and beyond (in the summer months, the terrace closes too early to enjoy the golden hour).
Musée de la Vie Romantique
Yet another gorgeous museum that should be on your radar should you opt to visit Montmartre and its surrounds is the Musée de la Vie Romantique (Museum of Romantic Life). A pretty villa, covered in vines and at the base of Montmartre Hill, the cute residence was once the home of Ary Scheffer.
The Dutch-born painter was a close friend of King Louis-Philippe, George Sand and was even a neighbour of famous composer Frédéric François Chopin. The museum is open daily. (Apart from a Monday, when it’s closed!)
Rue des Martyrs
Rue des Martyrs runs through the 9th and 18th arrondissements and is located in an area named South Pigalle, which is often fondly abbreviated to SoPi by locals. What was once a gritty area has since been gentrified and is now known for its independent stores, top coffee stores, and regular French brocantes throughout the year.
Where to eat and drink in the 9th arrondissement
Situated in the ever so trendy SoPi (South Pigalle), KB CaféShop is an über cool venue that’s perfect for both hanging out with friends as well as catching up on a spot of work, or even simply hanging out and watching the world go by.
Serving a variety of speciality coffees at reasonable prices, there are also cakes and homemade juices and smoothies on the menu. In the summer months, the Parisian café is particularly pleasant owing to its sprawling outdoor terrace spaces, with plenty of lovely places to sit.
One of the newest venues to eat, dine, and enjoy time with friends (or alternatively co-work and even hold business meetings) is at Le Shack Paris, which is a former book printer’s and is housed in a building that was designed by Gustave Eiffel.
Hot and cold snacks and drinks are available throughout the day. As well as a fairly pricey select menu of main dishes such as risottos, seafood salads, and the like, there are a wide array of desserts on offer such as panna cotta or fruit salad.
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