These legendary bars in Paris’ 1st arrondissement are a must-visit

Paris’ 1st arrondissement is home to some the most important monuments in France but it is also where some of the city’s legendary bars are located. These spaces offer a unique experience for both Parisians and visitors — provided you can get a spot. Some of these names below accept only a small group of guests on any given evening. From historic institutions to chic and trendy cocktail bars, here are the top bars to visit in Paris’ 1st arrondissement.

Bar Hemingway
Bar Hemingway Located at the iconic Ritz Paris, Bar Hemingway is a legendary establishment that owes its name to the famous journalist and writer, Ernest Hemingway, who was a regular patron for many years. As you step into this exclusive bar, you’ll be transported back in time with its tufted leather armchairs, library, photos, and an old-fashioned typewriter that adorn its interiors. With just 25 seats and no music to intrude, Bar Hemingway feels like an exclusive members’ club and a place of pilgrimage for cocktail aficionados. 15 Pl. Vendôme, 75001 Paris.

See also: What to eat around the Louvre Museum

Le Nemours
Ideally located between the Louvre and the Palais-Royal Gardens, Le Nemours is a Parisian institution that has been serving locals and visitors since 1820. This historic café boasts a magical terrace under the columns of Place Colette, offering a prime spot for people-watching and taking in the beauty of the surroundings. Its continuous service makes it a perfect spot for a leisurely drink or a casual meal. Recently renovated under the direction of Michael Malapert, the café now features a clear, elegant, and warm decoration that retains its classic coffee house spirit. 2 à 7 Galerie de Nemours, 2 Place Colette, 75001 Paris.

Bar 228
Nestled in the luxurious Hôtel Le Meurice, Bar 228 is a hidden gem that has become one of the most sought-after meeting places in the heart of Paris. This intimate and elegant bar offers a respite from the busy streets of the city, with its sophisticated ambiance and top-notch cocktails. Every bartender is a master of their craft, able to mix and shake a new creation just for you. From signature cocktails like the Meurice Millennium with Cointreau and champagne to their twist on a classic Bellini, the menu is designed to tempt your taste buds. Fine wines and rare Cognacs also make up the menu, inviting you to linger long into the night. 228 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris.

See also: This exhibition traces Paris’ role as the capital of gastronomy

Isadora Cocktail Bar
Transport yourself to the roaring 20s at Bar Isadora, a chic and cheerful cocktail bar in the heart of Paris. This spot is known for its creative and well-crafted cocktails so expect to sip on their unique drinks like the Mata Hari, made with gin, Chartreuse, and pandan syrup, or try their spin on a classic fine à l’eau. The bar staff at Isadora are known for their impeccable service, and their small kitchen serves fresh daily menu items that are organic and homemade. 60 Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 75001 Paris.

Willi’s Wine Bar
Once upon a time, wine bars were unheard of in Paris, and Rhône wines were considered unfashionable. But Mark Williamson decided to change that. In 1980, he opened Willi’s Wine Bar in the heart of Paris, and ever since, this establishment has been going strong, serving frequently interesting, sometimes obscure, but invariably gorgeous wines. Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or just looking to enjoy a glass of vino, this spot offers a relaxed and convivial atmosphere to indulge in the pleasures of wine. 13 Rue des Petits Champs, 75001 Paris.

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