The 8th arrondissement: The most elegant part of Paris

The eighth arrondissement is exceptionally elegant. From the exquisite Pont Alexandre III bridge leading into it from the south, along the famed Champs-Élysées avenue, all the way to the magnificent Parc Monceau, this is one of the finest parts of Paris. 

Here’s what we found over the course of a jam-packed day, as part of our Paris Countdown series.

The interactive map

First, here’s an interactive map of everything we are about to recommend, to help you find it all easily.

Trip map created with Wanderlog, the best trip planner app on iOS and Android

The Earful Tower podcast episode

This podcast episode on the 8th district of Paris includes an interview with Gabriel from the excellent hole-in-the-wall cafe Iwi – and also with Nat Katz, the canon from the American Cathedral of Paris. At the end we reveal our final ranking on the district out of 100. 

Video guide to the 8th arrondissement

Here’s our visit, in video format, via our YouTube channel. We’ll be making one of these travel vlogs every week, so be sure to subscribe (you can do it in one click via this link). 

The Earful Tower’s guide to the 8th arrondissement

Terrific things to find in the 8th arrondissement

Avenue des Champs-Élysées: If it’s your first visit to Paris or you really like high-end shopping, then yes, visit this famous avenue (and see the Arc de Triomphe at the far end). But otherwise, there are many far more interesting and more exquisite treasures in this district. (Oh yes, and our PO Box is on this avenue. Send mail to “The Earful Tower/34 ave des Champs-Elysées, 75008, Paris, France).

Galeries Lafayette: One of the only shops we visited on the Champs-Elysées, but it covers a lot. It’s like a big concept store, imagine the cool little sister of the bigger Lafayette department store in the ninth arrondissement. @galerieslafayette Address: 60 Av. des Champs-Élysées, 75008

Musée Nissim de Camondo: This museum is one of the best in Paris. A house full of stunning decorative art that will take your breath away. It featured as the bad guy’s home in the recent Netflix series Lupin. The museum has a tragic history, the previous owners were taken and killed in Nazi extermination camps during the Second World War. For way more beautiful pictures from our visit, and much more information on the museum, here’s our full blog post. Address: 63 Rue de Monceau, 75008.

Note: Another exceptional home-turned-museum is just down the road at Musée Jacquemart-André: Address: 158 Bd Haussmann, 75008

Pagoda of Paris: While this Asian art centre is mostly closed to the public, our visit to the district coincided with a rare opening day. If you don’t get a chance to see the fantastic Asian history inside, you can always admire the bamboozling site of an Asian pagoda nestled among Haussmannian Paris apartment blocks from the street. Address: 48 Rue de Courcelles, 75008

Parc Monceau: Perhaps the most lovely park in Paris. No trip to the French capital is complete without half an hour in here. If you’ve never been before, don’t leave without finding the picturesque pond and classic colonnade alongside it. Address: 35 Bd de Courcelles, 75008

Petit Palais: A true wonder of Paris, maybe one of the wonders of Europe! This palace has free entrance to the permanent art exhibition, which is incredible enough (and features famed artists like Monet and Delacroix)… but just the building itself is a show stopper. Those mosaic tiles, that entrance, those staircases… @petitpalais_musee Address: Av. Winston Churchill, 75008

Pont Alexandre III: A most glamorous entry to the district, this bridge is a favourite for couples to stage their wedding photos. Excellent views of the river, the Eiffel tower, and the domed rooftop of the Invalides.

American Cathedral: Also free to visit, no matter if you’re American or religious. The building is lovely, the Vesper jazz sessions are great, and the canon Nat Katz is charming (that’s him below, showing us into the crypt for the YouTube video – hear him on the podcast episode too!) @amcathparis Address: 23 Av. George V, 75008

Église Saint-Philippe-du-Roule: This is the church I raved about on the podcast. It’s not famous, not even remotely. In fact I bet most Parisians have never heard of it. But it’s a great example of a brilliant church interior that would be the main attraction in most towns in the world. Address: 9 Rue de Courcelles, 75008

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An excellent place to eat in the 8th arrondissement

Maxim’s: This is the art-nouveau, fancy restaurant we talked about at length in the podcast episode. It’s a place where you will be paying for the experience and the story, perhaps just as much as the food. We thought the meal was great, but I was much more impressed by the building and its colourful history as a hotspot for celebrities (especially American celebrities) throughout the decades. Address: 3 Rue Royale, 75008

Top bars in the 8th arrondissement

Buddha Bar: A very happening bar that features a mammoth Buddha statue right in the middle. They say there’s a secret speakeasy on the inside, but we didn’t find it this time…  @buddhabarparis  Address: 8-12 Rue Boissy d’Anglas, 75008

Bugsy’s: A good contrast to some of the other places on this list, Bugsy’s is perfect for an afterwork drink at a busy bar that’ll make you think you’re in London rather than Paris. @bugsysbarparis  Address: 15 Rue Montalivet, 75008

Coffee in the 8th arrondissement

Cafe in the Petit Palais: Typically very quiet and absurdly picturesque, this cafe is for those who want their coffee experience to be all about the location and the vibe rather than the quality or price of what they order. Address: Av. Winston Churchill, 75008

Iwi Coffee: If you’re after a friendlier spot with much better coffee, head to Iwi and say hello to Gabriel who also featured on this week’s podcast. Note: “Iwi” means tribe in Te Reo Maori, the French owner spent a few years in Auckland. @iwicoffee Address: 6 Rue la Boétie, 75008

That will do for now! I hope you enjoyed episode fourteen of this season. Next week we’ll be taking you to the 7th arrondissement. A big thanks to Augusta Sagnelli for the photos and Charlotte Pleasants for the additional reporting.

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3 thoughts on “The 8th arrondissement: The most elegant part of Paris

  1. I’ve just enjoyed this wonderful content and will now listen to the podcast with a coffee in a much warmer room! Sadly my visit to the Petit Palais was cut short as I felt ‘poorly’ and they kindly gave me water as I sat in the garden to recover, so not a lot of sight seeing that day. Love your Jacket too Lina and wee Otis is growing fast! Thanks again for yet another entertaining and informative view of Paris.

  2. There was a wonderful collection of Art Nouveau furniture and decorative items owned by Pierre Cardin upstairs at Maxims. You could do a private tour, not sure if it’s still there. But it was a great way to take a sneak peek at the whole building. Loved the podcast and video!

  3. We had a Maxims in Chicago from 1963-1982. It was patterned after the one in Paris. Also very high end and expensive for the time. I dined there on on 21st birthday and again later before they closed. There is talk now about reviving it as a private club. Don’t know how that will go with dining so casual now.

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