Living in Auteuil, Paris

The south of the 16th district of Paris comprises the old village of Auteuil, the district of La Muette, Mozart and the Bois de Boulogne. It is a predominantly middle class area, especially around Auteuil due to its historical heritage. Broadly speaking, it is mostly residential and therefore is not one of the more popular neighbourhoods of Paris. The district extends south from the border with Boulogne-Billancourt and Saint-Cloud and extends along the Bois de Boulogne, which gives the borough its large size. To the north, continues as far as la Porte de la Muette. Beyond the border, lie the neighborhoods of Chaillot, Trocadero and Passy.

Auteuil was formerly a village and joined the Paris Commune in 1860 under Napoleon III. The village consisted of houses of noblemen and vineyards where wine was produced by monks. The citizens settled there due to its quiet ambience and its proximity to Paris. The districts of Auteuil and its surrounding areas are neighbourhoods that have a strong influence with its middle-class residents and businesses, but also differ from other districts of Paris by the presence of a strong cultural influence by being home to many artists. In Auteuil near the Bois de Boulogne is the Roland Garros Center where the tennis Grand Slam event is held every year. Many other sports facilities have made their home here such as the le Stade Fran├žais, as well as municipal stadiums which are open to everyone for sporting endeavours.

Community

The southern part of the 16th District consists of two radically different types of neighbourhood in terms of ethnic mix and social class. The residents of Auteuil and La Muette up the Avenue Mozart are well-to-do residents from high-class stock; many are elderly and so these neighbourhoods are extremely safe. Predictably, living in Auteuil and La Muette can be a relatively quiet experience during weekends and in the evenings, if that's your thing. The presence of very few bars and nightclubs means very few young Parisians choose to settle here. Auteuil is essentially the quintessential symbol of bourgeois Paris. In contrast, the areas to the south as far as Porte de Saint Cloud are much less developed, with a far greater diversity of inhabitants. People here are less well off and you're much more likely to find more "everyday" Parisians in these areas.

Accommodation

The buildings in the 16th District of Paris are predominantly 19th century Haussmann-style and have many mansions and past traces of its history. Apartment rents are quite high: around €850/month for a studio flat with one room, in the €1100/month range for two rooms and at around €1800/month for a three bedroom flat. Despite the high cost, these are the most beautiful buildings in Paris, where you're sure to find apartments worthy of the Haussmann era, complete with parquet floors and high ceilings with moldings.

Shopping

The south of the sixteenth arrondissement of Paris is not renowned for its shopping and so there isn't a particularly wide range of shops; instead, the selection is rather specialised. Auteuil is known for its numerous antique dealers and collectors of antique furniture. These stores are located around metro stops Exelmans, Porte d'Auteuil and Molitor. You can find jewellery and especially old furniture dating from various periods up to the French Revolution. These antique dealers are professionals and offer wonderful quality goods that are centuries old - at a price. There are also many bookstores throughout the Avenue Mozart area (metro stops Jasmine, Ranelagh). These booksellers offer both contemporary works but also of rare editions and old that will delight collectors.

Eating Out

The restaurants in Auteuil and La Muette are known for their French haute cuisine. Many restaurants offer a traditional menu of French dishes. These areas are ideal places to experience authentic dishes that represent the heritage of French cuisine. Some restaurants are very stylish and are frequented by the Parisian bourgeoisie such as Le Relais d'Auteuil. Similarly, it is a delight to those who enjoy their pubs and breweries, as there are a good range of places ranging from 19th-century style to contemporary. Another restaurant that offers an experience out of the ordinary is the Zebra Square. Located across from Maison de Radio France, and belonging to a five star restaurant, this bar offers a modern and unique menu.

Nightlife

The southern part of the 16th district of Paris offers very little in the way of bars and clubs to go out due to it being predominantly residential. A notable mention is "Tse", located at Porte d'Auteuil. which offers its customers an atmosphere reminiscent of the exoticism of the Far East. The bar/lounge is known for its fruity cocktails served up with colourful exotic flowers which makes it a great escape from the bourgeois surroundings of the district.

Another restaurant/bar that offers a different outlook is La Gare. Located at la Porte de la Muette, the old train station has been renovated and converted into a restaurant in the basement and bar on the ground floor. This establishment has managed to mix an antique and modern decor and create an atmosphere that gives it real authenticity. The bar offers a very friendly atmosphere and a varied menu at fair prices.

Safety

Auteuil and La Muette are relatively peaceful and safe neighborhoods that attract few tourists and are not too noisy on weekends. These neighborhoods are utopian for those seeking peace and quiet without wanting to be too far from the centre of the capital. The tranquil village of Auteuil has hardly changed a bit from as it was at the turn of the 19th century. One notable mention regarding safety concerns the southern area of Porte de Saint Cloud. It is best avoided on evenings when Paris Saint Germain play at home (at the Parc des Princes stadium located on the border) because clashes between police and supporters are common and can be dangerous if you somehow manage to get mixed up in it.

Antoine Victor