The 16eme arrondissement in Paris has long been the neighborhood of elegance and discretion. With its large familial apartments, it is not the most bustling district in Paris, but it is the one that has always attracted the rich and famous.
With both the Eiffel Tower and the Champs Elysées in the 8th arrondissement right next door, this is the neighborhood you will want to stay in if you would like a view of the “Iron Lady” from your hotel room.
In addition, there are actually quite a few hidden and not-so-hidden gems in this area to go exploring, dining, and nightlife. So let’s see what there is to do in the 16th arrondissement, shall we? Allons-y!
What to see: Top Attractions
1. Bois de Boulogne
The 16th arrondissement connects to a large forest on the west of Paris, known as the Bois de Boulogne, which has within in Jardin d’Acclimatation, and the Fondation Louis Vuitton.
With ornamental lakes, a small horse riding club, and restaurant, the forest is a lovely place to wander for a walk, right next to a bustling city.
2. Fondation Louis Vuitton
Located in the Bois de Boulogne park on the edge of Paris, is the Louis Vuitton foundation. It is a private not-for-profit art museum that is run by LVMH, the luxury clothing brand.
It is sponsored by Bernard Arnault, one of the richest and most famous men in France who runs LVMH with luxury brands as Christian Dior, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, Loro Piana, Kenzo, Celine, and Bulgari.
Inside a building designed by architect Frank Gehry, the museum holds a vast collection of works owned by LVMH and Arnault, featuring modern artists like Ellsworth Kelly, Olafur Eliasson, and Janet Cardiff. The museum is open everyday and costs around €16 for an adult.
3. Jardin d’Acclimatation
If you want to visit a theme park but don’t want to invest the full day at Disneyland Paris or Parc Asterix, you can head out to Jardin d’Acclimatation in the 16th arrondissement, which is right on the metro line 1.
The park has over 40 rides, as well as a small aviary and jungle gyms. Set in the Bois de Boulogne, the Jardin is next to the Louis Vuitton Foundation art museum, if you would like to combine the two on the same day.
A lot of the rides are for the toddler crowd, compared to Disney and Parc Asterix which are for older children. You can read more about visiting the Jardin d’Acclimatation here.
4. Piscine Molitor
Piscine Molitor, a hotel and outdoor swimming pool complex built in 1929 with an art deco flair.
It is a designated historic monument and today holds a 4-star hotel, including swimming pools, spa services, babysitting services and more. You can reserve a stay at Piscine Molitor here.
5. Village of Passy
Passy and this portion of historically affluent 16th arrondissement is a practically a suburb, with its large apartments and quiet streets. In 1860, the village of Paris was annexed and incorporated into Paris, alongside many other areas like La Villette in the 19th arrondissement.
Passy retains its small village charm, with its narrow cobblestone streets that hold many artisan shops.
One of the Founding Fathers Benjamin Franklin lived here when he was ambassador to France. The young Jacqueline Kennedy (née Bouvier) also lived just footsteps away at 78 avenue Mozart, when she was studying French in Paris. A plaque is located outside their former residences.
6. Aquarium de Paris
About 500 meters (1/3 mile) from the foot of the Eiffel tower, in the 16eme arrondissement is the Aquarium de Paris. The entrance is slightly hidden because the aquarium itself is underground, but if you ask someone, you should easily be able to find it.
Built underground, the aquarium was constructed at the same time as the Eiffel Tower in 1867. After a massive 21-year renovation in 2006, the Aquarium covers an area of 3.5km and houses over 10,000 different species of fish.
Giant shark tanks, alien-like octopuses, little seahorses, there are a wide variety of sea creatures to look in awe at. And if your little ones like getting their hands wet, there is even a touch pool.
There are also drawing and art workshops for children, although those will be organized in French. You read more about visiting the Aquarium de Paris and buy your skip-the-line tickets here.
7. Roland-Garros Stadium
The 16th also hosts Roland-Garros Stadium where the French Open of Tennis is played. The sport of tennis has a long history in France. The ancestor of all racket sports, the Jeu de Paume was first officialized by French King François I in 1527.
If you happen to be visiting Paris in late May to early June, you can try to get tickets to the French Open and catch some of the tennis greats in action.
8. Parc des Princes
Right next to Roland Garros is another stadium called the Parc des Princes. It is a football (soccer) stadium and concert venue, which is the official home of the Paris Saint-Germain football team.
If you are visiting between October and May, you may want to take in a game or take a tour of their stadium.
9. Maison de Balzac
French writer Honoré de Balzac is most well known for his opus La Comédie Humaine. While he wrote plenty of other novels and plays, it is his observation of the human condition in la Comédie Humaine that really put him on the map.
It is the intrigue of the various aspects of life in France that makes for interesting reading, with Balzac tackling even topics considered “unsuitable” to provide real insights. The stories cover a broad range of topics from money, power, women, and society, set in the period after the French Revolution.
Balzac became so famous, his home in the 16th arrondissement was transformed into a museum. Located near Passy and the Bois de Boulogne, it is open daily except Mondays and holidays. Entry to the house is free, but a fee is charged for its temporary exhibitions.
10. Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris (Modern art)
Located in the 16th arrondissement, the Paris Museum of Modern Art (known as “MAM”) gives the eminent Centre Pompidou a run for its money.
It is in the East wing of the Palais de Tokyo near the Eiffel Tower and has a collection of more than 15000 objects from artists like Picasso, Matisse, Jean Metzinger, Amedeo Modigliani, and more.
Entrance is free, however you may need a reservation ticket during the busy months. You can find more free museums in Paris here.
In terms of shopping in Paris, there are plenty of luxury boutiques closer to the 8th arrondissement and the Champs Elysées, but the 16th does have a mall called the Centre Commercial des Belles Feuilles.
It isn’t the largest mall in Paris, with only around 30 shops, but it is there if you would like to visit. But if you are a serious shopper, I would suggest heading to the Grand Magasins in the 9th arrondissement, or the nearby Champs Elysées.
Marché President Wilson
If you are looking for outdoor farmers’ markets, head over to Marché President Wilson on avenue du Président Wilson in the 16th arrondissement.
Named after the American President Woodrow Wilson who supported France during WWI, the Marché President Wilson is is footsteps away from the Eiffel tower and on the edge of the luxurious 7th and 16th arrondissements.
From varieties of foie gras and escargot, to seafood and champagnes, this gourmet market has a wonderful selection of artisanal and fine epicerie food products.
You can also get cooked dishes like boeuf bourguignon, quiches, and roasted chickens. The market is open Saturdays and Wednesdays from 7am – 1:30pm.
What to eat: Restaurants, Brasseries, and Bistros
Some of the finest chefs in France have restaurants in the 16th arrondissement, so you will want to déguster with pleasure. Some local favorites are:
- Alain Ducasse – on the Seine, 19 Port Debilly, 75116 Paris
- Girafe – 1 place du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre, 75016 Paris
- Substance – 18 rue de Chaillot, Paris 16ème
You can find more ideas and ways of spending an evening in Paris here.
Bars and Nightlife
With dress code adhered to, head out to these local favorites for bars and nightlife in the 16eme arrondissement:
- Terrasse de l’hôtel Raphael (rooftop bar only open in summer) – 17 avenue Kléber 75116 Paris
- Duplex (bar, restaurant, and nightclub at Charles de Gaulle Etoile) – 2 bis Avenue Foch, 75116 Paris
- Yoyo Palais de Tokyo (large nightclub, usually with techno music) – 13 Avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris
- L’Arc Paris (upscale) – 12 Rue de Presbourg, 75016 Paris
- River King (party on a boat) –108 avenue du Président Kennedy, 75016 Paris
You can find more bars and nightlife options around Paris here.
Where to stay: Hotels and other accommodation
The elegant and refined 16eme arrondissement is a great area to base yourself in if you are looking for luxury. Some recommended hotels in the area are:
- €€€ – Hôtel de Sévigné
- €€€€ – Hôtel Keppler
- €€€€ – Hotel Molitor (with swimming pool)
- €€€€€ – Shangri-La Paris (with swimming pool)
You can find more accommodation options for the 16th arrondissement here.
If you enjoyed that article, you may like to read more about the nearby 8th, 15th and 17th arrondissements. A bientôt!