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.
Located on the Right Bank. One of the features of the area is the large commercial shopping centre known as Les Halles. The original, central marketplace was torn down in 1971, and replaced with a shopping district that is actually constructed below ground level. Its open-air section has a pit-like appearance.
Beneath the shopping centre is the Châtelet-les-Halles, the hub of the Paris metro system. The showpiece of the first arrondissement is the Louvre Museum.
Also located on the Right Bank. It is considered a business/commercial district, with moderate tourism, and can be divided into three basic areas: the pedestrian district of Montorgueil at the east end, which is known for shopping, typical French cafes, and housing in some of Paris' fine older buildings; the financial district which centres around Paris' stock exchange, the Bourse; and the opera district, which with its converging roads, is busy day and night.
3rd and 4th Arrondissements
These are located in the Marais, the once swampy area drained in the 13th century, to enlarge the city of Paris, on the Right Bank.
The Marais is known as a trendy district, rich in nightlife, and historically an area populated by gays and Jewish people. Because of this, it was the first area to be raided by German troops during the Second World War.
An older district of Paris, the Marais contains many of its art museums, galleries, and the famous Place des Vosges, a square of red brick houses built in the early 1600s, with an arcade that runs around the entire square at ground level.