Paris 2nd Arrondissement: Looking Beyond the Louvre

Paris 2nd arrondissement travel guide | shopping & Other Stories French girl cool | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: & Other Stories

If you’ve never been to Paris, the Louvre Museum will most likely be on your top 5 must-see list. Spend half the day at the crown jewel of the Paris 2nd arrondissement and then head out to do some shopping. Some of the best clothing and specialty food shops live within the perimeter. Use this handy guide to plot your course and soak up the art and culture at your leisure.

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Photo courtesy: Gina Speed

Paris 2nd Arrondissement Shopping

We started at Paris Ground Zero and are making our way out of the city center via the metro. For the easiest route and a good day of shopping in the Paris 2nd arrondissement take the metro to Sentier. Navigate to Cafe Noir and start the morning with your favorite toasty beverage. Continue down Rue Montmartre to one of our most favorite boutiques, & Other Stories. A brand under the H&M Group, the store is hosts three separate design ateliers that live side-by-side. If you’re looking for a little French girl cool at the very source, this is a one-stop-shop!

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Photo courtesy: & Other Stories
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Église Saint-Eustache

At the end of Rue Montmartre is a beautiful Gothic church and plaza just north of the Louvre. The Église Saint-Eustache is worth stopping in when walking through the Paris 2nd arrondissement. They host regular concerts, which would be worth coming back later in the evening for. (Be sure to purchase tickets in advance!) Just outside of the church is the heavy Ecoute (Listen) sculpture by Henri Miller. Miller created the abstract sculpture in 1986 and it weighs seventy tons. Ouf.

Paris 2nd arrondissement | Ecoute The Listener sculpture Henri Miller graffiti Saint-Eustache Cathedral | Girlfriend is Better
Ecoute (The Listener) by Henri Miller | Photo courtesy: Gina Speed

Louvre Museum

If you’re going to hit up museums in Paris, it’s worth purchasing a Paris Museum Pass in advance. The Louvre is the most famous museum in the Paris 2nd arrondissement and does not disappoint! You could spend days wandering the halls of the Louvre viewing art and archaeology finds. If you’ve never been to the museum, be sure to grab a map and plan in advance. Leave your coats, scarves, and shopping bags in their free security lockers and make note of the number and code you use. Then you can wander about the museum totally unencumbered. If you feel the urge to take pictures, use your photo editor to write a quick note about the art for later reference. That makes it much easier to appreciate after the fact.

Paris 2nd arrondissement | Louvre Museum art | La Grande Baigneuse (The  Valpinçon Bather) by  Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres | Girlfriend is Better
La Grande Baigneuse (The Valpinçon Bather) by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres | Photo courtesy: Gina Speed

Rue de Montorgueil

One can take only so much art before you go into sensory overload. Save the rest of your time in the Paris 2nd arrondissement to wander up and around Rue Montorgueil. Take a look at this fabulous list of 10 Things to Bring Back from Your Trip to Paris by David Lebovitz. You can purchase lentilles de Puy and Valrhona cacao powder from G. Detou, just around the corner. We are addicted to milk steamers with a spoonful of the rich creamy cacao and nothing else!

Paris 2nd arrondissement | Rue Montorgueil cobblestone streets shopping | Girlfriend is Better
Rue Montorgueil | Photo courtesy: Gina Speed

Patisserie Stohrer

Head back onto the cobblestone street Rue Montorgueil and get ready to stand in line for a few minutes. Patisserie Stohrer lives on rue Montorgueil in the Paris 2nd arrondissement and is France’s oldest pastry shop. Known for their croissants, chocolate eclairs, and macarons, it will be worth the wait! Stohrer is also on Lebovitz’s hit list and the window displays alone will have your mouth watering in no time. FYI, the gilded ceiling was painted by Paul Baudry, who also decorated the Paris Garnier Opera House. (More on that later.)

Paris 2nd arrondissement | Patisserie Stohrer Rue Montorgueil macarons pastries | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: L’Express Styles

Market Street

Rue Montorgueil is dotted with restaurants and street markets galore. The Paris 2nd arrondissement is a haven of window shopping and foodie dreams-come-true. Shops are tucked beneath centuries-old architecture and twinkle with lights at night. The street itself is fairly short, so take your time and stop in at any place that strikes your fancy. This is what Paris is all about!

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Rue Montorgueil | Photo courtesy: Gina Speed

“Bonjour Madame”

A final little tip is to greet the shop owner when you enter. As you navigate in and out of shops and stalls in the Paris 2nd arrondissement, be sure to say “bonjour madame (or monsieur)”. (If it’s evening say “Bonsoir”.) When leaving, add an “au revoir madame (or monsieur)” and your politeness will be appreciated. A little French goes a long way!

One thought on “Paris 2nd Arrondissement: Looking Beyond the Louvre

  1. “half the day” at the Louvre??? Maybe half the month! Then a week at the Musée d’Orsay, and each of the other great museums there. Wear your eyes out!

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