Article for L'Officiel Arabia, September 2022, print issue.
Paris' Right Bank comprises the northern neighbourhoods of the Seine River. This is a glorious side of the city of lights, and it’s well worth knowing intimately. Exploring the Rive Droite is a must for new visitors and those that know their way amongst the city’s pebbled streets alike. Some consider it to be more representative of contemporary Paris at some point: it's more ethnically and economically diverse than the left bank.
The Avenue des Champs-Elysees, Montmartre and Grand Palais are ones of many landmarks that make Nothern Paris unique. This is a short but thoughtful guide to Paris Rive Droite. There’s no doubt you’ll find at least one more reason to visit Paris in the following recommendations, just in case you needed one.
Edwardian chic at Hotel Edouard 7
Not far from the iconic Paris Opera House, Hotel Edouard 7 is a wonderful four-star hotel with sixty-nine stylish rooms and suites inspired by the city’s Haute Couture. Edward VII was known for his refined taste, love of luxury and Paris! In 1877 he chose this hotel as his home in the French capital. Today, guests of the Hotel Edouard 7 are invited to experience Edwardian living.
The hotel’s l’E7 restaurant is iconic; it invites you to taste inventive and sophisticated cuisine in a modern style, dedicated to Edward 7. The menu, designed by chef David Brideau, changes with the season, but will always delight you with the exquisite taste of dishes.
Their breakfast is also pretty attractive — enjoy it in your room if you don’t feel like going down to the restaurant. Hotel Edouard is known for its excellent service and unbeatable location.
Walk the Tuileries gardens
Once home to French monarchs, the Tuileries Palace is larger than life. Get lost in the palace’s manicured gardens and stroll around its ponds. After enjoying the fresh air, walk the Musée de l’Orangerie and admire the masterpieces behind its walls. If that’s still not enough to satisfy your thirst for inspiration, the Louvre is right next to the the gardens.
Travel in time with the Louvre Museum
With absolutely no doubt, Louvre is the jewel of the right bank. The base of the museum is the royal collection of paintings, which Francis I began to acquire. These are masterpeieces of Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael, art of Flemish, Dutch and Italian painters. The kings of France have always appreciated works of art and made a great contribution to the construction of the museum.
The Louvre has several theme routes that help visitors better get around the museum. The "Da Vinci Code" road is one of them. You can transform into the heroes of Dan Brown's book and look through their eyes at the treasures of the Louvre.
Feel Small at the Place de la Concorde
The Place de la Concorde is a significant public square in Paris, the largest in the city. To find it, walk the Champs-Élysées towards Luxor Obelisk, an authentic Egyptian monument with over three thousand years of history. The square has a dark but fascinating past, though; it is here where so many were guillotined during the French Revolution, including Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette.
Be Amazed in The Palais Royal
The Palais Royal was the original home of the King and Queen, and it’s a gem in the 1st arrondissement, across the street from the Louvre and the Tuileries gardens. This is still a governmental building, home to the Ministry of Culture and other offices, but it’s a museum in its own right. Enjoy architecture from the 1600s and contemporary sculptures, all in one place.
Treat Yourself in Café de La Paix
If you’re spending the day in Paris Rive Gauche, you’ll eventually need to stop for a proper French meal. The Café de la Paix, on the Place de l’Opera, is a historical coffee house and restaurant going back to 1862; it’s an institution and a must-visit for everyone staying in Paris.
The café is newly renovated, and it returned to its former glorious Napoleon III style. Parisians and visitors alike have made Café de La Paix a home away from home for comfort food that just tastes like Paris in case you were looking for authentic onion soup or beef tartare. Seafood is a feature at Café de la Paix, and their selection includes everything from freshly shucked oysters and caviar to roasted scallops and sole. Your favourite French staples are well represented, too, including the famous frogs’ legs and escargot. And don’t get me started on the desserts!
Get inspired by Beaux arts architecture at Opera Garnier.
For a splurge-worthy night-out, get your tickets to a performance at iconic Opera Garnier, which inspired The Phantom of the Opera. The interiors alone deserve a visit. The gilded, opulent interior will make you feel as if you are in a royal palace, rather than an opera house.
But the most fascinating part for me is the ceiling by Chagall: a dazzling concert of colors. A Russian artist, singer of a dreamlike and fairytale universe, populated by visionary poetry, enveloping light effects, references to Jewish culture, animals and magical characters. He made an Opera Garnier a perfect example where traditional style of academy meets an exciting new world.
The Rive Droite is the Heart of the Paris
You’ll find something extraordinary to see and do in every arrondissement in Paris. Still, the Rive Droite is dotted with distinctive landmarks, one after another like a pearl necklace. If one had to choose between staying on one side of the Seine, I’m pretty sure you know what I’d choose.
All images are taken by Oleg Tarasenko