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The Right Bank of Paris

 

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The ‘Rive Droite’ or Right Bank is where the Paris visitor has to go to in order to see the biggest historical buildings and the grandest of boulevards. It is also home to the major museums of Paris.

Geographically the area is actually on the north side of the River Seine, but that detail does not bother the French. On this side of Paris are the Arc de Triomphe and the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, the Musée du Louvre, the Sacré Coeur Basilica and Montmartre, the Centre Georges Pompidou and the Marais neighborhood and all are must-sees. The Place de la Concorde is particularly impressive for its size and, under its previous name Place du Guillotine, it was impressive for other reasons, as many a nobleman found out. On the right bank is also found The Élysée palace, the official residence of the President of the French Republic.

It is the area of business and shopping, unlike the more bohemian Left Bank, and yet many fashionable Parisians are now making the Right Bank their home and the new bars, restaurants and clubs reflect this.

Every visitor has to see the The Arc de Triomphe which is recognised as a symbol of Paris almost as much as the Eiffel Tower. It was built by the Emperor Napoleon in 1806 to commemorate France's victories and stands at the west end of the equally famous Champs-Élysées, the city's grandest avenue.

You must walk down the Champs Élysees, just to to say you have. Start at the eastern end and stroll down beautiful tree-lined streets towards the Arc de Triomphe at the far end. It’s a walk that will also offer you plenty in shopping, eating and entertainment too and in the side streets the crowds fall away and you can feel Paris is private to you.

The Musée du Louvre is of course another must see, packed as it is with such fine art treasures. Enter through the remarkable glass pyramid but do allow at least half a day to see it all, if not a whole day. The Mona Lisa can be found in the 13th-15th century Italian paintings section on the first floor.