Paris: The Second Arrondissement You're nearly there - Paris, the fabulous city of lights! You can hardly wait to arrive . You've gotten your Paris flights, now you're trying to decide on some wonderful sounding deals on a number of Paris hotels . What arrondissement you are staying in is always an important consideration for luxury or cheap accommodation in Paris, France even if you are looking at hotels in Paris city centre. Here's a guide to Paris's Second arrondissement so you can learn more about whether this area of Paris is where you want to be! It's not likely that you'll spend much time in the 2nd arrondissement as a tourist, but if you choose a hotel in this district, you will be in the pulsing heart of Paris's financial center. Home to Paris's Bourse (stock exchange) and the CAC 40 - France's top listed companies, the second arrondissement is also widely known for its thriving fashion and journalism industries, as well as its general atmosphere of business. What To Expect If You Are Staying In The Second Arrondissement : Here's The Pros : You'll hardly spot tourists here, so that the people-watching will be authentic: Parisian business men going to lunch, stressed traders dashing to work, journalists meeting sources over drinks for the next big breaking news. You will also be close to the lovely 19th "galleries," a tradition when the Duke of Orleans decided to rent out his garden to shops in the late 18th . These "galleries," similiar to early shopping malls, have glass windows and tiled floors, are still working today. Visit for a nostalgic and enchanting look at Paris's nineteenth-century past. Why You Don't Want To Stay : This isn't an especially trendy part of Paris by any means, and while there are many places for lunch in the neighborhood, geared toward those with an expense account, nightlife just isn't here . However, with the Marais in the 4th arrondissement only a short distance away, there's not much to be concerned about. Also, near the eastern end of the arrondissement , you may run into a few prostitutes looking to ply their trade, but don't be too alarmed - it's safe, if seedy, and nevertheless you're likely to encounter far fewer than in similar areas like Rue St. Denis or the Pigalle area. What To Visit: If you're a financial type, pay a visit to the Bourse, or Stock Exchange, for a look at France's economic heart. Or check out the Galleries - the Gallerie Vivienne is considered the best-preserved, with authentic and beautiful 19th decor, an awesome mosaic floor, and elegantly high end shops. In contrast, the Passage Choiseul is more "authentic," catering to business folks on their way to work, and selling magazines and newspapers and offering services like shoe-shining to frantically busy traders at the nearby Bourse. Eating Places : Cafe Etienne Marcel, on Rue Etienne Marcel, is a stylish Costes brothers place - less expensive than most of their others - with a menu to match. Or have a drink or two at Harry's New York Bar on Rue Danou, reputed to be the birthplace of the Bloody Mary, and a hangout of Hemmingway. While Harry's not cheap by any means, it's nevertheless a great hangout for those who want the elegance and decadence of Art Deco bohemian expatriate life. And, of course, a bloody Mary mixed to perfection. Where To Shop : Brentano's, on Avenue de L'Opera has an excellent selection of English-language and art books. And, of course, the Galleries are filled with fascinating stores. Wander in and out of a few of the delightful galleries, looking at the many wonderful shops on offer, and consider buying boutique clothes and far more at all of them.
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