Paris is divided into twenty numbered areas known as arrondissements. They are laid out in a clockwise spiral pattern that begins in the city centre, on the Right Bank.
The fifth arrondissement is one of the most central, and is located on the Left Bank, bordering arrondissements 4, 6, 13 and the Seine River.
It features such attractions as the Jardin des Plantes, a 28 hectare public garden, aquarium and zoo. The Jardin is also home to the National Museum of Natural History.
Also found here is the Panthéon, originally a church built on a model of the Pantheon in Rome, and now the burial place of France's famous natives.
Another site of interest is the Ecole Polytechnique, the famed engineering institute, which at one time was the cradle of government ministers and officers.
Another central arrondissement located on the Left Bank, bordering the 5th, 7th, 13th, and 14th arrondissements as well as the Seine.
It is generally regarded as a very chic district, rich in intellectual pursuits, and with a long history of being home to writers, artists, and other creative residents.
The Church of St. Germain-des-Prés is the oldest abbey in Paris, having been built circa 543 A.D. On the corner across from the church are two cafes revered as literary and artistic shrines, having hosted Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and Picasso at various times.
L'Ecole des Beaux-Arts can be found on Rue Napoléon. The Emperor himself founded the school on a street where he lived as a young man.
Bordered on the north by the Seine River, and located on the Left Bank, this is inarguably one of the most elegant residential areas in Paris, having acquired its reputation in the 1800s as a result of housing the National Assembly and numerous foreign embassies.
The addition of the Eiffel Tower was the frosting on its cake. Because of the "upper echelon" ambiance, nothing is cheap here, either in housing, dining, or shopping.