SIDE OF THE SEINE: RIGHT BANK
The lively area of the 9th arrondissement is one of opulence and magnificent architecture. Spend a day indulging in luxury shopping and though your wallet's conscience may be laden, you'll find solace knowing that your day was as grand as the Grands Boulevards.
Still, there is more to do in the 9th than merely shopping and attending the opera. Explore the neighborhood of New Athens, rich in artistic history and a village-like atmosphere, then revel in the night at one of its many bars or clubs, as the 9th is reputed to have quite the bustling nightlife.
Should I stay here?
The 9th would not be my first choice for an apartment or hotel in Paris. Despite the aforementioned lavishness of the 9th, not all areas of the 9th are as lofty as the area where the Galeries Lafayette is located. There are a myriad of cheap hotels in this arrondissement, and you can find well-priced accommodation. Still, I would be careful and strategic when booking accommodation here, as some streets may not be safe to wander, especially at night, and especially alone. As in any city, you might find a hotel in a pleasant area of the 9th, then wander down a few blocks and end up on a street of stark contrast. So as I always emphasize, research your hotel or apartment's location extensively ahead of time.
- Galeries Lafayette: This multi-level department store offers couture and high fashion brands, and even if you only end up browsing, you'll certainly marvel at its palatial architecture and imposing glass dome.
- Opéra de Paris: Spend an evening delighting in an opera or ballet in this magnificent edifice. Exuding opulence, the Opéra de Paris served as the muse for the setting of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera, complete with a grotto beneath.
- Musée de la Vie Romantique: Built by Ary Scheffer in 1830, this villa once welcomed the Romantic era's artists, writers, and composers, including such greats as George Sand (who, if you don't know, was a great female novelist compelled to write under the guise of a male pen name) & Chopin. After acquainting yourself with the works of Sand and Scheffer, stop at the café in the courtyard for a moment of rest in the lovely garden.