2nd arrondissement of Paris: What to see, eat, and do

Explore the 2nd arrondissement of Paris, including the guide to its top attractions, bars, restaurants, accommodation, and more.
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One of the smallest of districts in Paris, the 2eme arrondissement used to be organized around the ancien Palais de la Bourse, or Palace of the Stock Market.   Just footsteps away from the Louvre in the 1st arrondissement, this small neighborhood on the Right Bank is in the heart of the action.

2nd arrondissement on a map of Paris
Map of Paris with the 2nd arrondissement highlighted

There are not a lot of museums in the 2nd arrondissement, but there is plenty of shopping, upscale dining and nightlife. So let’s see what there is to do in the 3rd arrondissement, shall we? Allons-y!

What to see: Top Attractions

Palais Brongniart in Place de la Bourse

Palais Brongniart was previously called Palais de la Bourse, it was actually never a palace. It was constructed in 1807 just a few years after the French Revolution by the architect Alexandre-Théodore Brongniart, under the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Bourse

English translation: Stock market

In addition, it was always intended to house the French stock market, and was never a royal residence. It officially opened in 1826, including all sorts of financial activity such as the construction of railway lines, steelmaking and major industrial adventures.

It operated until 1998, when the stock exchange closed and activities moved online. These days the Palais de la Bourse holds events such as exhibitions and private cocktail parties.

Bourse de Commerce at night
Bourse de Commerce at night

Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection

About 10 minutes away by foot from the Palais de la Bourse is the Bourse de Commerce. Compared to the Palais, this building was actually the site of hotel particulier (personal residence) for royalty.

Known as Hôtel de Soissons, the site was originally ceded to Saint King Louis in 1232, who offered it to his mother, Blanche de Castille. The property passed through many royal hands, before it came to Catherine de Medici.

Queen Catherine de Medici was the consort wife of King Henri II and the mother to 3 Kings and 2 Queens, who all died leaving her no heirs. (It would be her daughter’s husband Henri IV who would take the throne.)

The hotel particulier on this site was built between 1574 and 1584 towards the end of her life, as she died in 1589. The building was subsequently sold and renovated until the commodities portion of the stock market moved here in 1887 until it too was moved its activities online in 1998.

In 2016, the site was leased by the Townhall of Paris to French billionaire François Pinault for a 50-year lease, to become an exhibition space for contemporary art. (It is meant to compete with the Fondation Louis Vuitton in the 16th arrondissement which was constructed by his contemporary, French billionaire Bernard Arnault.)

The Bourse de Commerce is open to visitors and includes pieces from his private collection of more than 3,500 works valued at around €1.25 billion. It is open everyday except Tuesdays and tickets cost around €14/adult.

Shopping

Passages Couverts: Galerie Vivienne

If you are looking for some charm and a few hidden gems, as well as a bit of shopping, you may want to have a stroll through Paris’s Passages Couverts.

There are several across Paris and in the 2nd arrondissement such as Galerie Vivienne, which used to be the original covered malls in the city.

Galerie Vivienne in Paris
Galerie Vivienne

Today Galerie Vivienne houses several charming little shops, cafés, and bookstores.  Another covered passage, one of the oldest in Paris, is the Passage des Panoramas which dates back to 1799.

The passages are not easy to find, so equip yourself with a good GPS, or you can take a guided tour. With allocated time for shopping of course.

Rue Montorgueil

Rue Montorgueil in the heart of Paris is not not exactly a market, but a street featuring several types of food shops and restaurants. It is located near Chatelet-Les-Halles and traverses both the 1st and 2nd arrondissement.

The road is fully pedestrianized, allowing local shopkeepers to put their stands on the street, giving it that market-feel.

market selling variety of food items in glass jars in Paris

If you are looking for interesting cheeses and wines, varieties of seafood, foie gras, and other more uncommon varieties that are not so easy to find at regular outdoor markets, this is the place to be.

In addition, unlike the other outdoor markets that are temporarily set up in the mornings on market day, rue Montorgueil is open all day long, and you can visit when you wish. (Certain shops are likely closed on Sundays.)

What to eat: Restaurants, Brasseries, and Bistros

For a small arrondissement, the 2nd arro. has its fair share of restaurants, with quite a variety. Some local favorites are:

You can find more ideas and ways of spending an evening in Paris here.

Bars and Nightlife

With plenty of Irish pubs and classic French bars in the area, there is something for every taste. There are a lot of small restaurants in this area around Rue du Faubourg du Montmartre, so wander around and see what catches your eye.

Pubs and Bars

  • The Shed – a cocktail bar on the roof of L’Hotel des Grand Boulevards at 17 Boulevard Poissonnière, Paris 75002
  • Bal Rock – large sports bar at 161 Rue Montmartre, 75002 Paris
  • O’Sullivans – grand classic Irish pub with dance floor at 1 Boulevard Montmartre, 75002 Paris

Nightclubs

  • Rex Club – grand classic nightclub at 5 Boulevard Poissonnière, 75002 Paris
  • Club Vendome – 9 Rue Daunou, 75002 Paris
  • Sacré – 142 Rue Montmartre, 75002 Paris

You can find more bars and nightlife options around Paris here.

Where to stay: Hotels and other accommodation

Within walking distance to many of the historical sights of Paris, the 2eme arrondissement is a wonderful place to stay. Some recommended hotels in the area are:

You can find more accommodation options for the 2nd arrondissement here.

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If you enjoyed that article, you may like to read more about the nearby 1st, 3rd and 4th arrondissements. A bientôt!

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