2nd Arondissement - Bourse

The second arrondissement is the smallest of the "fab four" that make up the central core of Paris. On a walk from Montmartre in the North to centre ville, something you can easily do in 1 hour, it will take you barely 10 minutes to cross the 2nd, partly because it is very narrow even at its widest point, partly because there is nothing much to distract you or slow you down.

Unless you take your walk at a particular time of day, that is, and cross the narrow maze of streets that make up the Sentier just before its textile shops open their doors. Then the streets of this area, the hub of the Parisian textile trade since the 18th century, are buzzing with activity: clothes and bundles of cloth are piled high in the streets, thrown on top of large trolleys and hastily ferried from one building (where they have been manufactured) to the other (where they will be sold).

You would not expect it, but the area around Bourse, the Parisian stock exchange, can be surprisingly lively on weekends: some of the city's best nightclubs are located here – such as the Social Club on 142 Rue Montmartre and Le Truskel on 12 Rue Feydeau.

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