Hi Frugalistas! Yes, I’m talking about Paris again. Because I know you like reading about Paris, and because I’m planning a trip to Paris. For my next trip to Paris I’m looking at staying somewhere different, in a completely different neighbourhood. But it got me thinking about the best area to stay in Paris, and which is the best arrondissement to stay in Paris? While where to stay in Paris is very much a personal decision for you, I’ve compiled a Paris arrondissement guide to what I think are the best arrondissements to stay in Paris, and what you can expect if you choose to stay there.
A word about Airbnb in Paris: members of my France Travel Planning Facebook group (you can join by clicking here) report mixed experiences with Airbnb in Paris. The local Paris authorities periodically clamp down on unauthorised Airbnb properties, resulting in bookings being cancelled by the owner at short notice. While many members have had excellent experiences booking Airbnb in Paris, my recommendation for those wanting to book Airbnb in Paris is to always book with a superhost, confirm that the property is appropriately registered with city authorities, and to book a fully cancellable hotel room as a backstop. As an alternative to Airbnb in Paris, try VRBO by clicking here, or for special properties you won’t find anywhere else, try Plum Guide by clicking here.
The 1st and 2nd arrondissements
The 1st and 2nd arrondissements are the dead centre of Paris. Home to the Louvre, the Tuileries Gardens and a number of key Metro stations, the 1st and 2nd arrondissements of Paris are about as central as it gets in ANY city ANYWHERE in the world. Oh, and by the way, it’s also the home of some pretty sumptuous hotels….like the Meurice, the Crillon and of course, the Ritz.
Pros of staying in the 1st & 2nd arrondissements
You are literally in the centre of Paris (distances are measured from the 1st). The vicinity to a number of key tourist sites makes it the best place to stay in Paris for first time visitors – in addition to the Louvre and the Tuileries, the Musée d’Orsay, Orangerie, Champs Elysées, the grand magasins of Boulevard Haussemann and the Opera, are all within walking distance.
Cons of staying in the 1st & 2nd arrondissements
Hotels can be quite expensive. I stayed in the first on my last visit to Paris, and while I was able to find a great deal on booking.com for a reasonably priced hotel, I know I spent more on eating out – restaurants are pricy in this neck of the woods.
Stay in the 1st & 2nd arrondissements for……
It’s all about location, location, location………
Check out 2nd arrondissement hotels
The 3rd and 4th arrondissements (the Marais)
I like the Marais. It has great Medieval architecture, cute boutiques and interesting eating options. It’s also very trendy and just a little bit bohemian.
Pros of staying in the 3rd & 4th arrondissements
The Marais is another best location to stay in Paris for first time visitors due to its central location (and the very large Les Halles and Chatelet Metro stations nearby for handy connections). It is also close by the Louvre, St Germain and Notre Dame. The Marais is also the spiritual home of Paris’ Jewish population – complete with fab eating options at a good price.
Cons of staying in the 3rd & 4th arrondissements
Hotels in the Marais can be small and old – it’s an historic neighbourhood after all. I say, if you want to stay in the Marais, go for it. While its handy location is a winner for first time visitors, its hipness may be a bit off putting and impenetrable.stay in Paris
Stay in the 3rd & 4th arrondissements for……
Lovely old architecture that you won’t get anywhere else in Paris. Channel your inner bobo (a French bohemian) in great bars, and very individual boutiques.
The 5th arrondissement (the Latin Quarter)
I’m sure it was once somewhere fab when staying in Paris, but these days I honestly think the Latin Quarter is a bit past it. Trading on its old reputation I find it tired and a bit tacky in parts. Apart from the Cluny Museum. And Shakespeare and Co. Yes, they are good.
Pros of staying in the 5th arrondissement
The rue Mouffetard market is fun. Plenty of cheap hotel and eating options.
Cons of staying in the 5th arrondissement
It’s tired, and cheap, and yes, I’ll say it again…..tacky in parts.
Stay in the 5th arrondissement for……
A budget option for your hotel in Paris. This is the best area to stay in Paris for the fast food addict.
Look for Latin Quarter accommodation here
The 6th and 7th arrondissements
The 7th arrondissement is my go to area when I’m staying in Paris. The Hotel Muguet in the 7th is my go to hotel in Paris. Both the 6th and 7th are smart residential and shopping neighbourhoods. Looking for a hotel with Eiffel Tower views? The seventh is your go to place.
Pros of staying in the 6th & 7th arrondissements
Because they are residential areas this is one of the best areas to stay in Paris à la Parisienne. The unexpected views of the Eiffel Tower when you turn down a street. Le Bon Marché – one of the best (and upmarket) department stores in Paris. Plenty of little parks and gardens in unexpected places – fantastic for children.
Cons of staying in the 6th & 7th arrondissements
The Metro line is not quite so convenient – most trips require a change of lines. Genuine budget hotel options are few and far between.
Stay in the 6th & 7th arrondissements for……
Real Paris life, that is still welcoming of tourists. The opportunity to stay in one of the priciest parts of town.
Check out hotels in the 7th now
The 8th arrondissement
Because the numbering of the Paris arrondissements works in a circular pattern, the 8th arrondissement is actually next to the 1st. Home to the Champs Elysées, the Arc de Triomphe and the fabulously expensive Avenue Montaigne, the 8th arrondissement is a luxe residential area, with a dash (well, okay, more than a dash) of tourist interest.
Pros of staying in the 8th arrondissement
Its proximity to so many of the places you’ll want to visit.
Cons of staying in the 8th arrondissement
Apart from the ultra touristy places on the Champs Elysées, eating options are not cheap. Other tourists.
Stay in the 8th arrondissement for……
Cocktails at the Georges V (come on, you know you want to).
Check out availability in the 8th now
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The 10th and 11th arrondissements
You know how it works in big cities don’t you? An area becomes so trendy and so desirable that no one can afford to live or open a business there so the adjacent area suddenly becomes the new hot spot. Enter the 10th and 11th arrondissements a stone’s throw from the achingly hip and expensive Marais. With cocktail bars and hip restaurants, the 10th and 11th are definitely one of those “on the up” areas in Paris.
Pros of staying in the 10th & 11th arrondissements
If you want to stay in the latest hot spot, the 10th and 11th arrondissements are a good location to stay in Paris. Sunday brunch is big here. It is also the best area in Paris to channel your inner hipster.
Cons of staying in the 10th & 11th arrondissements
It’s not the Marais (yet). There are some parts (particularly around the Avenue Daumesnil) that looked a bit dodgy the last time I was there.
Stay in the 10th & 11th arrondissements for……
A Marais experience on a budget. That air of superiority that only comes from being in on the latest place before everyone else. Get ahead of the game for the 10th arrondissement – it’s a bonus chapter in my Ultimate Marais Address Book. You can purchase your copy here >>
The 12th arrondissement
The 12th arrondissement is another up and coming area of Paris. I’m attracted to it by its reputation for not being on the tourist trail and its good Metro links.
Pros of staying in the 12th arrondissement
Off the normal tourist routes, but still a vibrant and very Parisian neighbourhood with plenty of restaurants. The best district to stay in Paris for those with morning trains from the Gare de Lyon.
Cons of staying in the 12th arrondissement
Perhaps not the best part of Paris to stay for those on their first trip to Paris. The need to take the Metro to all tourist locations.
Stay in the 12th arrondissement for……
It’s the best arrondissement in Paris for a little slice of Paris life.
The 15th arrondissement
The northern parts of the 15th arrondissement are adjacent to the 7th. Largely residential, it is a good quality residential area that is a great place to look for a hotel with an Eiffel Tower view.
Pros of staying in the 15th arrondissement
The northern part of the quartier is like the 7th, but without the price. Easy to walk to the Eiffel Tower from the northern parts.
Cons of staying in the 15th arrondissement
The area around the Gare Montparnasse is truly awful – just so busy. Avoid the area around the Porte de Versailles and other areas around the Péripherique, the Paris ring round. It is cheaper, but can be quite unsavoury in parts.
The 16th arrondissement
The 16th arrondissement is largely residential – and the home of many Embassies. I like it for its stunning honey coloured architecture that you know is just so expensive. It’s also well located for the Eiffel Tower and its Metro links.
Pros of staying in the 16th arrondissement
The quiet, leafy green streets are one of the areas of Paris that (discretely) scream “old money”. The shops, that scream tasteful Parisian style. This is one of the best neighborhoods to stay in Paris if you want to pretend you are just a little bit rich.
Cons of staying in the 16th arrondissement
Hotels in the 16th arrondisement can be quite pricy. There are no bargain restaurants either – but then you wouldn’t expect there to be, would you?
Stay in the 16 arrondissement for……
An opportunity to live among the rich and famous (Nicolas and Carla Sarkozy among others).
The 18th arrondissement (Montmartre)
Montmartre is an area of Paris that most people think of when they picture in their minds what Paris looks like. Romantic images of Paris often picture the steeped staired walkways of Montmartre. While for me it’s not one of the best areas to stay inParis, I know there are others who wouldn’t stay anywhere else.
Pros of staying in the 18th arrondissement
Quintessential Paris streets, with pretty walkways and lovely architecture. The great views out over the rest of Paris. It is undoubtably one of the most romantic parts of Paris.
Cons of staying in the 18th arrondissement
The tourists – horrendous hordes descend on Montmartre, especially on a Sunday. Tourist restaurants are everywhere. Montmartre is not central so taking the Metro anywhere you want to go to is essential. Some parts can be a bit dodgy, so do be careful when booking your hotel in Montmartre.
Stay in the 18th arrondissement for……
The quaint architecture and its village feel. Oh, and of course, those views out over the rest of Paris.
Find Montmartre accommodation here
Now, the maths brains among you will have noticed I haven’t covered all 20 arrondissements of central Paris. This is because I’ve stuck to the arrondissements that are more central and where there are more hotels. They are also quartiers I think you would like to consider, or should consider. At the end of the day which arrondissement to stay in Paris is a very personal decision, and you should book a hotel in Paris based on what is important to you.
Search central Paris hotels now
Research Paris neighbourhoods:
THE ULTIMATE PARIS ADDRESS BOOK is your insider address book to Paris with 100 pages and almost 500 listings of places to sleep, eat, shop and see. Listed by arrondissement, and with a section at the back for your own special finds, The Ultimate Paris Address Book is the perfect accompaniment to a traditional guide book to plan your trip to Paris. From where to find a charming country lane in the middle of Paris to the latest hip eatery in a fashionable arrondissement. CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE
Find Paris apartments on VRBO by clicking here >>
Find Paris apartments on Plum Guide by clicking here >>
Deb Davey says
An excellent and insightful guide to the neighbourhoods of Paris so that we can all understand if we have never been there and want to go. A perfect overview.
Thanks so much Deb – I’m pleased it meets with your approval and hope you find it helpful for your next trip
Love your take on where to stay, great to have the pros and cons. But you haven’t persuaded me to give up the 18th 🙂
I know Lyn – people who love the 18th definitely wouldn’t stay anywhere else…….but those who don’t love it – there’s a whole city to be had!
Janelle Gould says
Thanks for such an informative post Jo. Like you, we love the 6th and 7th arrondissements – the majority of our stays have seen us there. We also like the 9th for times when we’d like a taste of Montmartre without all the crowds. And interestingly, we stayed in an apartment in the 15th last year which was virtually crowd free and extremely residential. Not great for anyone on their first visit to Paris as it was too far from all the main attractions but certainly fun for anyone wanting to pretend they were actually living in Paris!!
Hi Janelle – I am sooo pleased someone has written about the 15th. It was an area I had in the back of my mind, but didn’t include because I just don’t know it well enough. I’m interested in your comments about the 9th. I personally don’t like the 9th – but then I’m not a fan of Montmartre either…….
I have to admit Lyn when I was in Lisbon in June almost everyone was in shorts……… it’s an old post and I think the world has moved on…..
Natasha Welch says
I’m visiting Paris for the second time this December, super excited! My first time I stayed literally 5 minutes from the Louvre in a youth hostel that was pretty cheap, I loved it.
If that’s the youth hostel I’m thinking of Natasha, it’s in a fab spot. Enjoy your trip!
I still adore the 5th! It was the first area I stayed in on my first trip to Paris….a very long time ago….and I still love it now! Sure there are tacky parts but that could certainly be said about the 18th. My favorite fromagerie is near by and it is so close and convenient for getting around. Yep, I’ll keep the 5th! The 6th is also one of my faves.
We stayed in the 14th and it was so authentic with local bars and eateries, as well as convenient metro that took us everywhere.
Misty Cheshier says
Thank you Jo for these awesome tips! I’m going to Paris after visiting Germany, Austria & Switzerland in September and wondered what areas were best to stay for our first visit to Paris.
Thanks Misty, I’m glad you found the post helpful
Yes, Suzanne, it’s not an area I know well, but I think for someone has been before the 14th is another good option for those looking for more of an immersion into Parisian life.
Lorri, yes, there are some parts of the 5th that are still quite nice – and those like you who know them wouldn’t stay anywhere else, I know. But for inexperienced visitors I think the 5th is very hit and miss.
Patricia Mejia says
Thank you so much for your input on each area! I’m going to Paris this summer and I’m booking by place via Airbnb and it lets me filter places by arrondissement. I finally know where to look for places!
Sandie Fox says
Would you please tell me something about the 9th, Opera district. I have been reading posts about Paris but haven’t seen anything about this area. We are planning our first visit and are thinking of staying at the Hilton, using our points. I would appreciate your opinion.
I’m glad you found it helpful Patricia. If you haven’t been before or aren’t experienced in the city, the 20 arrondisements can be a bit overwhelming!
As a general principle I prefer to avoid the areas around the big railway stations in Paris as they aren’t always the best – and the St Lazare, where that Hilton is would be no exception. The area around the Opera and Boulevarde Haussmann is a good retail area, with plenty of restaurants. It is where the big department stores, Galeries Lafayettes and Au Printemps are. Looking at the Hilton website, the Hilton Opera (even though it is closer to St Lazare than the Opera) is a better choice location wise than La Defense, which is a business district. I must say, the hotel does look very nice, and quite French, and because you are using points, I would seriously consider it even though it is near the station. St Lazare is the station you use to go to Giverny, so if you are planning a visit there, you have it easy.
What about the 17th thats where were booked but you dont mention it at all???
Hi Kathy, I didn’t include the 17th as it is not an area I know particularly well. Having said that, whenever I’ve visited I have found it to be a clean, safe residential area. There is also a good local street market that is very pretty and fun to walk around. It’s a safe, non touristy part of Paris. I hope you enjoy your stay.
Hello! Budget-wise, I am not yet quite up to affording hotels, and I will be a first-time traveler to Europe for three months this summer. Do you know of any nice hostels you might recommend? The above commenter mentioned one near the Louvre? I can’t wait to explore neighborhoods! Close to Metro will be key for me as well. My travel style is clean, safe, inexpensive accomodations to rest for the next full day of adventures. Thank you so much for this post. Love the way you laid everything out.
I’m not an expert on hostels Janice, but I understand there is an excellent one in the Marais, not far from the river. Great location.
claudia cerrato says
I grew up in Paris (in the 8th) and while I love some of the more touristy neighborhoods like the Marais, Saint Germain des Pres, etc…my absolute favorite place to stay is the 9th. It really is a true Paris neighborhood that is less touristy. Rue des Martyrs is an amazing street complete with bistros, boulangeries, shopping, etc…. and the area is also walking distance to Montmarte as well as many other more touristy areas. There is actually a great book about this neighborhood called The Only Street in Paris by Elaine Sciolino.
Spring Pham says
Such a great post <3 Hope that one day I could have a chance to visit Paris and others destination in France. I love this country because of its various culture and delicious food. I also have some French friends, they are very nice and friendly. I`m sure that my experience there will be one of the most memorable moments in my life. Thank you
Thanks, that’s very kind of you
Yes, I’ve read that book – I think the 9th is definitely an arrondissement on the way up
vanessa zamora says
Hello Jo, just love to read your blog.
we are planning a trip to Paris this December 28 till January 2nd.
unfortunately didn’t read this blog before….we are staying at Puteaux. …not so close location…i near la Defense.
what is pretty confusing for me is the tickets that we need to buy for the metro or buses…I dont understand about the orange card etc. and the 2 different routes and lines that we need to take.
our kids are 9 and 11 and they are very active and sporty but after long days walking around the city I am not sure if taking uber rides o taxi will be cheaper and faster (during not traffic hours, mostly late nights when come back to sleep) for the 4 of us that buying metro tickets.
i will appreciate your advise.
Hi Vanessa, I’ve replied directly to you by email, so I can help you better.