What to See and Do in the 17th Arrondissement of Paris?
For most travelers, a visit to Paris’ 17th arrondissement – located in the northwestern corner of the city – is not an obvious choice. However, this unassuming neighborhood’s subtle charm is still worth checking out. Unlike some of the city’s neighborhoods, which scream “tourism,” the 17th is a place where real Parisians live – some of the city’s wealthiest at that. Sidewalks are calm, boulevards are grandiose and it is one of the best places in the city to admire Haussmannian architecture.
The arrondissement is split into four administrative districts. On the southwestern end are the upper-class Ternes and Monceau areas. Here, you’ll find the Parc Monceau, an expansive park with impressive statues, flower gardens and plenty of space to lie in the sun. The park, which was painted by Monet several times, also contains scaled down replicas of a Dutch windmill, an Egyptian pyramid and a Chinese fort.
Moving inwards towards the center of the 17th is Batignolles, which was an independent village until it was annexed to the capital in 1860. Definitely worth noting is the Marché des Batignolles (Rue Lemercier and Rue des Moines), a covered market open Tuesday to Saturday, with organic produce, plus fish and meat. The town hall for the arrondissement can also be found in the Batignolles district. It is supposedly the only town hall in Paris to be housed in a modern building.
Up in the northeastern corner of the arrondissement is the Epinettes district. An agricultural district until the middle of the 19th century, Epinettes eventually turned into an industrial zone holding several factories. It always had strong links to the impressionist movement, and painter Alfred Sisley and writer Emile Zola were regulars in the neighborhood cafes. These days, the district is increasingly gentrified, with a strong middle class and calm residential areas.
Move onto the southeastern edge of the 17th and you’ll hit Place de Clichy, a bustling roundabout with dozens of restaurants, cafes and shops, plus a much frequented cinema complex. It is one of only a handful of arrondissements in Paris that touches four arrondissements at once and the sense of chaos that this could garner can easily be felt here – Place de Clichy is a place of constant activity.
Out on the western tip of the neighborhood is the Palais des Congres – a massive structure that acts as a convention center, concert hall and shopping mall. It also holds two ampitheatres and a TV studio, and has played host to the Cesar Awards and the Eurovision contest.
Whichever district you choose to begin your tour of the 17th arrondissement, be sure to stop in to local businesses and cafés along the way. It’s the best way to experience this highly residential neighborhood like the locals do.
Just a hop, skip and a jump away from the 17th arrondissement is the famous Eiffel Tower. Haven’t seen it yet or looking to go to the top once again? Come check it out with our Skip the Line tour.
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