The 2nd Arrondissement is Paris’ financial center, where the stock exchange and high-end shopping galleries welcome the affluent. Banking headquarters, textile centers and a concert hall are among the zone’s treasures. Browse upscale boutiques in one of the area’s traditional malls.
The shopping galleries, with glass ceilings and tiled floors, date back to the 18th century. Spend afternoons walking through these malls for a sense of local culture. Visit La Galerie Vivienne, which has been preserved with its centuries-old layout and colors. Admire its spectacular mosaic floor as you browse fashionable shops selling antique books, wine and other classy treats.
Enter the galleries of the Passage des Panoramas, the Passage du Grand-Cerf and the Passage Choiseul, leading to the stock exchange. Known as Euronext Paris, it is housed in the magnificent Brongniart Palace. Marvel at its neoclassical Roman façade with huge columns and an arcaded central chamber.
Aside from business and shopping, the 2nd Arrondissement showcases the arts in the form of the Opéra Comique. Attend a dramatic performance at this majestic hall of music. The preferred genre involves spoken prose intercut with song. Admire the mosaics and frescoes that decorate the lavish interior.
Take an underground train north to reach the artistic region of Montmartre. Peruse the works by talented street artists and people-watch at a quaint café. Visit the iconic Sacré Coeur Basilica standing atop the hill.
The zone of the 2nd Arrondissement is just north of the Seine River that runs through the heart of Paris. It is in the northern part of the city, not far from Canal Saint Martin, the Musée du Louvre and the Grévin Museum. Ride the metro to one of the area’s stations, which include Bourse and Sentier on Line 3 and Bonne Nouvelle and Grands Boulevards on Lines 8 and 9.
Cultured and sophisticated, the 2nd Arrondissement is the economic machine that helps Paris thrive.