Where to Stay in Paris: Advice from a local expat and travel blogger about the best neighborhoods to stay in Paris,France! (Plus 33 hotel suggestions in different Paris neighborhoods).
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As Thomas Jefferson once said, “A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of Life.”
While that may be true, it can also be…overwhelming. The fact is, Paris is massive. Broken into many different areas and neighborhoods, it’s hard to know where to start, and where is the best place to stay in Paris on your vacation.
Enter Celina Tolbert, an American expat, writer and the blogger behind Quirking it Out. Celina is originally from New York, but is currently living and working in Paris, getting to know the city of lights as a local. We asked her to help us create this Paris neighborhood guide because we wanted a local’s expertise and insight in understanding the best areas to stay in Paris, and needed help outlining in the unique character and vibe of each neighborhood.
If you’re planning a Parisian sojourn, we hope our Where to Stay in Paris guide will be a great start to your Paris trip planning process! Start here for a quick summary, and use the links to find the best area to stay in Paris for your trip.
Wondering which area to stay in Paris? If you’re looking for a quick answer and summary of the best area to stay in Paris, start here →
- Where to Stay in Paris by Neighborhood: An Overview of The Best Areas to Stay in Paris
- Paris 1 – One of the oldest, most upscale, and most central parts of the city, the 1st is a great area to stay in Paris if you’re short on time, want to maximize your sightseeing time, and aren’t limited by an extreme budget. The Louvre is in the 1st, and Musée d’Orsay and Notre Dame are walkable from here.
- Paris 16 – Safe and quiet, the top half of the 16th is within walking distance of the Eiffel Tower and the Champs-Élysées. An upscale residential area, the 16th is a great place to stay in Paris for living like Parisians do, and is best for couples, mature adults, and families looking for somewhere that blends quiet and convenience. Musée Marmottan-Monet and the Trocadéro gardens are in the 16th, and the Eiffel tower is just beyond the eastern edge of this area.
- Paris 9 – The 9th is home to the Opera House and 2 Grands Magasins: Galleries Lafayette and Printemps. Known as an area for high-end shops, fashion and dining, this is an upscale area to stay in Paris. From Galleries Lafayette, it will take you about 20 minutes to Notre Dame and 30 minutes to the Eiffel Tower by Metro.
- Paris 6 (Saint-Germain-des-Prés) – A lively area filled with shopping, cafés, bars and restaurants, it’s well-located for visiting the Louvre and Notre Dame in about 10 minutes by foot. If you want peace and quiet, be sure to read the reviews before booking. If you want to be in the thick of things, this is a great area to stay in Paris.
- Paris 5 (The Latin Quarter) – Next to Saint Germain, the Latin Quarter is equally vibrant and convenient, and is a favorite of Paris’ many students, being home to multiple universities and the iconic Sorbonne building. Stay in Saint Germain or the Latin Quarter for a super convenient and lively base from which you can easily reach anything and everything.
- Paris 3 & 4 (Le Marais) – Traditionally a Jewish neighborhood, Le Marais is also one of Paris’ most LGBTQI friendly neighborhoods, creating a mix of awesome Jewish bakeries and great gay nightclubs. It’s also an artsy district with loads of creatives. Depending on where you stay, you can walk to Notre Dame in 10 minutes, and across to the Latin Quarter and Saint Germain in another 10.
- Paris 18 (Montmartre) – Long known as a bohemian village within the city, Montmartre has gorgeous views and a lively vibe. These days, some areas are a bit seedier too: stay in and around Abbesses Metro for an areas that’s safe and fun.
- Paris 11 (République) – In and around Place de la République, you’ll find a cool hipsterish scene with loads of young urban creative types. An area filled with cafés and cool spots for a drink, this is off the beaten path of classic Paris spots, but still very convenient if you want to do some sightseeing.
- Paris Travel Tips & FAQs
- An Introduction to Paris’ Arrondissements: Layout and Map
- So…Where Should You Stay in Paris? A Summary of Paris’s Best Neighborhoods
- Using Paris’s Public Transportation
- More Where to Stay Guides
- A note about the hotel recommendations in this Where to Stay in Paris Guide
- Thanks to Celina, Our Paris Expert
Paris Neighborhood Overview: Choosing the Best Area to Stay in Paris
Where to Stay in Paris: The First Arrondissement is Central & Convenient
Great area for: ✓ Eiffel Tower & Notre Dame ✓ The Louvre and Musée d’Orsay ✓ Upscale & Central ✓ Walkability
The First Arrondissement is considered the centre of Paris, and is one of the oldest parts of the city. Lining the right bank of the Seine, it’s connected to the Left Bank via some of Paris’ most famous bridges, including Pont Neuf and Point des Arts.
The first contains the Louvre museum and pyramid, Palais Royal, and Les Halles, as well as the western end of Île de la Cité. It’s very central, and provides easy access to many of the other central neighborhoods and attractions, including Notre Dame and Musée d’Orsay.
The first is an area full of shopping, culture, and high-end everything: a wonderful area to stay in Paris if you want to be right in the centre of the city, and aren’t on a budget. This is also a great area to stay in Paris if you’re only visiting for a few nights, as you’ll be in one of the most convenient parts of the city!
Popular Attractions in the 1st include the Louvre Museum and Pont Neuf.
Hotel Moliere — Recently renovated, this hotel mixes modern colors and design with quirky takes on classic artwork, unexpected décor, and a few traditional touches. With an upscale, cozy and tranquil feeling throughout, past guests mention the thoughtful and fresh design, top-notch comfort, and staff friendliness. The hotel has an onsite sauna and fitness facility, and a lounge/bar. Just a 2-minute walk to the Louvre, 10 minutes from Musée d´Orsay, and 30 minutes on foot to Notre Dame.
Hôtel Crayon Rouge
Hôtel Crayon Rouge by Elegancia — This quirky and colorful small boutique exudes a playful and unique ambience throughout. Each of the 10 rooms are unique, with all offering comfy furnishings and nice bathrooms. On-site amenities include a wine bar and shared lounge space, and past guests seem to love the quirky, romantic atmosphere and proximity to bistros, bakeries, and cafes. A 7-minute walk to the Louvre and 25 minutes to Notre Dame, one thing is certain: there is nothing boring about this hotel.
Snob Hotel by Elegancia — A sister hotel to Crayon Rouge, the Snob is a friendly and unpretentious place, despite the name! With rich colors and decor that manages to blend art deco, Dutch masters and Asian-inspired florals all in one, past guests appreciate the service, comfort, decor, and the data-included mobile phones provided for guest use. Located about equal distance between the Louvre and Notre Dame: about 20 minutes on foot to either.
Hôtel de La Tamise – Esprit de France
Hôtel de La Tamise – Esprit de France — With muted contemporary colors and simple, elegant design touches, this is a sophisticated 4-star tucked down a quiet side street. Past guests love the high-quality linens, towels and robes; great service; and comfort, and describe the hotel with words like ‘perfect,’ ‘impeccable’ and ‘romantic.’ Just a 12-minute walk to the Louvre.
Hotel Opera Richepanse
Hotel Opera Richepanse — A beautiful and recently renovated boutique hotel with 39 rooms, this is a stylish, sophisticated and welcoming hotel in a great location. Amenities include a walk-in shower or bath and in-room Nespresso machines, and past guests appreciate the staff, comfort and location (although some mention small rooms). About 20 minutes on foot to the Louvre.
Hôtel Le Relais des Halles
Hôtel Le Relais des Halles — A charming 3-star with comfortable rooms and colorful touches, the secret is out about this hotel, so be sure to book well in advance. Located in a quiet location in central Paris, expect comfortable rooms, large bathrooms and helpful staff at this place. About 15 minutes on foot to the Louvre.
Where to Stay in Paris: The 16th is Great for the Eiffel Tower and Quiet Streets
Great area for: ✓ Eiffel Tower & Arc de Triomphe ✓ Families & Adults ✓ Upscale Boutiques ✓ Local Living
Safe and clean with plenty of quiet pockets, the 16th district is a beautiful place to stay in Paris, especially as a couple or family interested in experiencing how Parisians live. The top half of the 16th is right next to the Eiffel Tower and the Champs-Élysées, and you can often walk from this part of the 16th to these attractions in less than 20 minutes.
There are also many boutique hotels and affordable holiday apartments in the area. The further away from the Eiffel Tower/Champs-Élysées you go, the more residential it is, and if you really want some local living, check out Queen’s Hotel in the historic urban village of Auteuil.
Popular Attractions in the 16th include the Musée Marmottan-Monet and the Trocadéro gardens. While the Eiffel Tower is not technically in the 16th, it is just beyond the eastern edge of this area.
Shangri-La Hotel Paris — Located in a former Bonaparte family residence and a historically listed building, this property lives up to the Shangri-La’s 5-star brand. With 3 onsite restaurants (2 of which are Michelin starred), a cocktail bar, an indoor pool in the former royal stables, and a spa/hammam, there’d be little reason to leave the hotel…if you weren’t in Paris. Past guests appreciate the old-world and classic Parisian elegance. This is the only hotel in Paris to offer a view of the entire Eiffel Tower (in some rooms).
La Clef Tour Eiffel — Set within a lovely 19th-century building , the rooms and common spaces combine Parisian elegance with modern features and striking artwork. Reviews from prior guests describe rooms as spacious, comfy, and beautiful. Another consistently mentioned highlight is a staff that goes out of the way to provide personal touches for a special occasion or holiday. Just 15 minutes’ walk from the Eiffel Tower, this looks like a contemporary and beautiful option in Paris.
Hotel Eiffel Trocadero — Located just a few minutes walk from the Eiffel Tower, the highlight of this small eco hotel has to be a partial view of the tower from some rooms. With fresh decor, clean and comfortable furnishings and bathrooms, and a small on-site bar, past guests seem to appreciate the large windows and natural light, friendly staff, and great location. Overall, this looks like a charming mid-range option near one of Paris’ most famous sights.
Hotel The Peninsula Paris
Hotel The Peninsula Paris — A luxurious 5 star from start to finish, The Peninsula has some of the most opulent rooms in the city. Beyond ultra-luxurious suites with best-in-class amenities, The Peninsula has an on-site spa, indoor pool, and rooftop restaurant with panoramic views. Spectacular, elegant, luxurious, and personal are all ways past guests have described their stays: expect 5-star comfort, food, service and elegance. Just an 8-minute walk from L’Arc de Triomphe.
Saint James Paris (Relais et Châteaux)
Saint James Paris (Relais et Châteaux) — A luxury hotel located in a stunning late-19th century chateaux, the magnificent building, surrounding gardens, and onsite spa and dining are all great reasons to stay here. With decor that blends ‘French aristocracy’ with contemporary touches, this hotel offers an elegant retreat within 20-minutes’ walk from the Champs Elysées. Past guests love the service and ambience, and the whole thing screams ‘Parisian elegance.’
Hotel Residence Foch
Hotel Residence Foch — A small boutique hotel located on a quiet residential street, rooms are bright and airy with upscale decor and punches of colour. Previous guests mention spotless rooms and helpful staff, who are on-site 24 hours a day. Just a 15-minute walk to the Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysees, and Fondation Louis Vuitton, and less than 10 minutes to a metro, this property offers a mid-range boutique experience on a quiet street. 30 minutes walk to the Eiffel Tower.
Le Singulier — A small boutique hotel with only 8 rooms, each features its own unique décor, including some that are only suited to singles and couples (due to privacy). The common area is quirky and beautiful, with an intimate on-site bar and a lovely terrace area, and past guests mention the friendly staff, comfortable beds, and location in a truly local neighborhood. A 5-minute walk to a metro, and 20 minutes on foot to the Eiffel Tower.
Nicolo — A clean and comfortable value option, Nicolo offers spacious rooms with unique art and interesting decorative details. There is an interior courtyard on-site with casual seating, and past guests consistently praise the location, staff and comfort. Just a 10-minute walk to Trocadero Gardens, and another 10 to the Eiffel Tower, this hotel’s location and proximity to cafes, restaurants, and a metro station are all some nice pros!
Queen’s Hotel — Situated in the upscale urban village of Auteuil, this area of Paris used to be home to French playwright Molière, US Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, and a frequent haunt of Benjamin Franklin. Tucked away from tourist attractions, this hotel is a 30-minute walk to the Eiffel Tower, but only 2 minutes to a metro. Rooms are clean and comfortable, and this property offers excellent value in a Parisian neighborhood.
Where to Stay in Paris: The 9th is a Shoppers Paradise
Great area for: ✓ Sightseeing ✓ Fashion & Shopping ✓ Upscale Paris
The 9th district holds the breathtaking Opera house, as well as two huge places to shop: Galleries Lafayette and Printemps. If you’re in Paris at Christmas, a trip past these Grand Magasins is a must-do to check out the jaw-dropping window designs. And regardless of when you’re in Paris, be sure to head up to the rooftop terrace of Galleries Lafayette or Printemps (or both) for a meal, a drink, or just to gawk at the gorgeous views.
The 9th is generally known as an area filled with shopping and dining, and is a good spot for the fashionista or shopaholic traveller. However, there’s also a bit of a hipper restaurant and bar scene south of Pigalle metro station.
Popular tourist attractions in the 9th include the Opera, Galeries Lafayette, and Printemps.
1er Etage Opera
1er Etage Opera — Just a 4-minute walk from Printemps and Galeries Lafayette, this boutique features trendy, minimalist interior design that doesn’t sacrifice comfort. Mixing tranquil monochrome with intriguing pops of color throughout, past guests have commented on the personal approach to service, awesome rain showers, outstanding service, and comfort. A lovely, upscale experience.
Hotel de Seze
Hotel de Seze — Bright and cheerful with expressive artwork and contemporary furniture throughout, the super stylish interior mirrors the fashionable neighborhood outside its doors. On-site hammam and fitness centre, in-room Nespresso machines, and upscale toiletries are a plus. Past guests mention quiet rooms, chic design and great amenities. Less than 10 minutes’ walk from Galeries Lafayette, and 20 minutes to the Louvre.
Hotel HELUSSI — A great value option, this hotel offers sleek, nicely renovated rooms that are small, but adequate. Just 2 minutes from a metro, and 15 minutes to Galeries Lafayette, where this property really shines is the service, which is consistently mentioned by past guests who were made to feel at home. An affordable option with great reviews in central Paris.
Where to Stay in Paris: Saint-Germain-des-Prés (the 6th) is Lively & Convenient
Great area for: ✓ Nightlife & Dining ✓ Shopping ✓ Young & Young-at-Heart ✓ Notre Dame
Saint Germain is a lively quarter of Paris that’s full of shopping, cafés, and cute bars and restaurants. Known as a hotspot for writers and intellectuals in the past, Saint Germain still retains a cool, bohemian air to it.
Not just for nightlife and dining, this district also has the Jardin du Luxembourg and is close to Notre Dame, and is just across the river from Rue de Rivoli (for shopping) and the Louvre.
Be sure to check out either (or both) Cafe de Flore or Les Deux Magots while in the area, both of which have amazing hot chocolate and a history of famous clientele such as Sartre, de Beauvoir, Hemingway, and Picasso, among many others, who hung out here as well as Montparnasse.
Tourist attractions in the 6th include the Luxembourg Gardens, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, and Place Saint-Michel (which belongs more to the Latin Quarter). The 6th is very close to Notre Dame as well.
Hôtel D’Aubusson — An upscale boutique in a 17th century mansion, this property offers contemporary rooms and suites contrasted with lavish dining and lounge areas. In an excellent location perfect for exploring both Saint Germain and the Latin Quarter, rooms have Nespresso machines to keep you caffeinated all day long. Past guests mention the great onsite café, Café Laurent, as a jazz spot with plenty of atmosphere. A 10-minute walk to the Louvre or Notre Dame.
Millesime Hotel — With lovely and tranquil boutique rooms featuring large windows and sleek furniture, this hotel has a calm and relaxing ambience — a haven amongst the cafes and restaurants of busy Saint Germain. The hotel’s outdoor patio is small, but lovely, and past guests mention the great staff and romantic ambience. A surpising and affordable retreat!
La Perle — Full of traditional Parisian character and charm, La Perle channels the ambience of a French countryside inn in the heart of Saint Germain. Rooms are decorated in traditional florals and toile, with wooden furniture and upgraded bathrooms. An on-site courtyard garden and a bar make great spots to unwind. Past guests have mentioned the level of comfort and sophistication in the rooms to be above expectation for a 3-star hotel.
Where to Stay in Paris: The Latin Quarter (the 5th) is Vibrant & Lively
Great area for: ✓ Eating & Drinking ✓ Filled with Students ✓ Central & Convenient ✓ Lively
Another district with bohemian beginnings, the Latin Quarter today is a student favorite, with those from the nearby universities filling the bistros, cafés and dive bars in the neighborhood.
Filled with cozy bistros and restaurants of all kinds offering 3 course meals for 12 euro, this area is a great bet no matter what your daily budget. Right next to Notre Dame and Saint Germain, it is also convenient to numerous metros, and walkable to many of Paris’ best monuments: from the Sorbonne to Notre Dame, it’s about a 10-minute walk, for example.
If you find yourself in the Latin Quarter in search of a local favorite, stop into Nuage Café, which is popular for working, studying, or simply meeting up with friends. Rather than pay for your food and drink, you pay by the hour, and get unlimited snacks and drinks while you’re there!
Hotel Monge — Open for less than a year, Hotel Monge seems to be doing something right, and at the time of writing, was ranked #2 out of more than 1,700 hotels in Paris as per TripAdvisor. Sophisticated and elegant, this small boutique features creative spaces and tranquil rooms with high marks for comfort. Past guests consistently mention friendliness of the staff at Hotel Monge as the reason for their great stay. And on-site wellness area and steam room are a bonus, as is the location: 2-minute walk to the Metro, and about 15 minutes to Notre Dame.
Le Lapin Blanc
Le Lapin Blanc — Soft and refined, the interiors at Le Lapin Blanc are designed to sooth. From the furniture to the color scheme, there are no sharp edges or bold statements, just an understated elegance that draws guests down the rabbit hole of this discreetly-themed Alice in Wonderland hotel. Past guests note the delicious fresh pastries and breads available, and the calm and romantic ambience in a lively part of the city.
Victoire & Germain
Victoire & Germain — Mixing Scandinavian inspired furniture and decor with bold splashes of color, past guests describe this boutique as calm and peaceful. Clutter-free everywhere you look, rooms are spacious by Paris standards, with high standards of comfort and cozy! Reviews consistently mention the fantastic location for dinner, drinks, and nightlife. Just a 4-minute walk to Odéon metro, and 13 minutes to Notre Dame.
Where to Stay in Paris: Le Marais (3rd and 4th) is Lively, Creative & LBGTQI Friendly
Great area for: ✓ LGBTQI Friendly ✓ Young & Young-at-Heart ✓ Lively Nightlife ✓ Local Living
Le Marais is an area known for its Jewish residents and the gay scene in Paris. Filled with both Jewish bakeries and gay nightclubs, this neighborhood has amazing falafel and isn’t far from Notre Dame.
Be sure to stop in at Candeleria, a tiny tapas place with a secret; a bar hidden in the back! The menu is packed with flavor and the margaritas are strong: a perfect combination after a long day of exploring.
Le 1er Étage Marais
Le 1er Étage Marais — Le 1er Etage Marais brings together throwback décor from the 50s and contemporary design alongside a mini hotel concept with 5 rooms and a common ‘living/lounge’ space. The result is well received by past guests, with reviews pointing to comfortable rooms, awesome showers, and boutique atmosphere in a fabulous location, just 10 minutes’ walk to Notre Dame and 4 minutes from Centre Georges Pompidou.
Hôtel Jules & Jim
Hôtel Jules & Jim — Employing a naturally-inspired minimalism, this hip boutique has a fresh and modern flair. A charming back patio, nice on-site bar, small but lovely rooms, and delightful staff round out this boutique option. It’s in a wonderful location in an artsy and creative part of Paris, a mere 8-minute walk from Centre Georges Pompidou and 20 minutes to Notre Dame. Great for a city break, romantic trip, or for anyone who wants to explore this part of Paris.
La Chambre du Marais
La Chambre du Marais — Intimate and elegant, the fresh and airy rooms are contrasted with the deep colors and woods of the common areas and champagne bar. Previous guests appreciate the quietness of the hotel, as well as the small, personal feel, with reviews suggesting an attention to detail that makes guests feel right at home. The classic rooms are airy and light, while the hotel bar and restaurant provide a sophisticated atmosphere for a drink.
Where to Stay in Paris: Montmartre (the 18th) Offers Jaw-Dropping Views
Great area for: ✓ Lively & Bohemian ✓ Café Culture ✓ Great Views of Paris ✓ Popular with Tourists ✓ Moulin Rouge
Made famous as a bohemian haunt of artists, intellectuals and writers in the late 19th century, Montmartre today retains its feeling as a unique urban village filled with cobblestone passageways, hidden city steps, and rolling hills dotted with picturesque Parisian buildings.
Abbesses metro is the heart of Montmartre, and is a great area to stay in Paris as it is safe, and offers spectacular views from the top floors of buildings. There are plenty of cafes and hidden areas to explore, and it’s lively in the evenings, with the famous Moulin Rouge is just a stairway or two below. To the north and west of Abbesses is also good.
When choosing where to stay in Paris in the 18th, do be a bit careful, however, as there are some seedier areas as well: best to stick near Abbesses to avoid the seedier areas!
Popular attractions in the 18th include Sacré Cœur Basilica and Moulin Rouge
Terrass Hotel by MH
Terrass” Hotel by MH — A hip design hotel with bold geometric patterns and bright pops of colour, highlights of this property include a rooftop terrace with stunning views over the city (some rooms have great views, too), on-site spa, in-room Nespresso machines, and lux bathrooms. Past guests have appreciated the service, and staff are more than willing to help you find the best restaurants, bars, and sights in the area. A 6-minute walk to Abbesses.
Hôtel des Arts
Hôtel des Arts — A 3-star value deal in the heart of Montmarte, this property has been a hotel since 1901. With charming rooms (yes – some of them are quite small), with a few that offer views over the Eiffel Tower, and very friendly staff, this hotel is highly rated as a value deal. You can expect clean, comfortable and cozy rooms, as well as very friendly staff, in this 3-star. A great location just a 5-minute walk from Abbesses.
Le Relais Montmartre
Le Relais Montmartre — With a traditional, romantic appeal, this hotel has a classic Parisian look with a cozy ambience from lobby to room. Each of the 26 rooms have cheerful floral patterns and bold colors, and past guests describe the rooms as soft and stylish. Be warned rooms overlooking the street can be noisy at night. The staff get consistently high ratings for this hotel, and people seem to appreciate the value for money offered. A 6-minute walk to Abbesses.
Where to Stay in Paris: Republique (the 11th) is Filled with Young Creatives
Great area for: ✓ Young & Young-at-Heart ✓ Nightlife and Dining ✓ Urban Creatives ✓ Local Living
Filled with hipster cafés, urban creatives, and plenty of jaunty bars, this area is definitely for the young and young-at-heart.
For those traveling on a budget, there are plenty of hostels here, but there are also some really cool-looking design hotels perfect for an off-the-beaten path Paris city break. And while none of Paris’ most well-known tourist attractions can be found in the 11th, it’s easy enough to jump on a metro and get anywhere in the city – it’s about 40 minutes on the metro to the Eiffel Tower, for example.
Republique is filled with places to drink and dance, and if you come to this area, be sure to find the hidden bar, Le Comptoir General. There’s no sign and your only clue you found it will be a long line of people seemingly waiting to walk down an alleyway. Once you’re inside, you’ll see this quirky bar has part of a pirate ship inside.
Hôtel Fabric — Housed in a former textile factory, this property is lively yet sophisticated, interesting but not cluttered, and cool without being pretentious. Reviews from past guests highlight the warm welcome upon arrival and the overall friendliness of staff, as well as appreciation of comfort, amenities (including a hammam) and location. Well located for enjoying Republique and its neighbor, Le Marais, just a few minutes walk from Oberkampf metro.
Le Général Hôtel
Le Général Hôtel — An urban design hotel with loads of attitude, the stark white background is the canvas for this bright and interesting hotel concept. Interiors pay homage to minimal and functional design; each room is equipped with an “honesty bar” and Nespresso machine; and there’s an on-site fitness and sauna center. As with Hôtel Fabric, this is well-located for exploring both the 11th and Le Marais, offering a window into trendy Paris.
Hotel Exquis by Elegancia
Hotel Exquis by Elegancia — Bold, playful and colorful, this is a modern and young-at-heart boutique with great reviews from past guests. Closer to Place de la Bastille (10 minutes) than Place République (30 minutes on foot), this is an off-the-beaten path part of Paris with pretty streets and loads of cafés and nightlife to choose from. Guests are provided with a smartphone for use during their stay, making it easy to stay connected while exploring Paris!
Where to Stay in Paris: The 20 Arrondissements of Paris
Paris is split into 20 different areas, or arrondissements (a-rawn-dees-mahn).
The center of Paris is the 1st, and the districts go in a clockwise spiral from there. Just as some of the central districts can be quite secluded, so can some of the outer districts have huge tourist attractions. Part of the 16th is right in front of the Eiffel Tower (and a beautiful place to stay!), and the 20th holds the popular Pere Lachaise cemetery.
Each of the arrondissements has its own character. Certain districts are residential, like the 16th and 17th; some are full of students and cheap eats, like the 5th (Latin Quarter); and some are best avoided by tourists at night, like the top of the 18th and 20th districts. Certain districts, like the 13th and 19th, are actually really far from the main tourist areas of Paris, and aren’t worth considering as a convenient place to stay in Paris.
Paris’s arrondissements also range in size; I live in the 16th, the only district to have 2 area codes, as it is the largest district in Paris. The more central districts, 1 to 6, are a bit smaller, whereas those on the outskirts of the radius are much bigger.
So…Where Should You Stay in Paris?
If you’re only in Paris for a short stay and it’s you’re first visit to the city, I would recommend you stay in one of the inner districts closest to the Eiffel Tower or Louvre: Paris 1 or the top of Paris 16, for example. These areas are close to the most popular attractions in Paris, and will be very convenient!
If you’re visiting Paris on a shopping trip, or are interested in staying in an upscale area, consider staying in the 9th. This is home to Galleries Lafayette and Printemps, as well as many other high-end shops, this area is also filled with dining options, and is a convenient hub on the right bank.
Montmartre is another popular area to stay in Paris, and for good reason: the city views are amazing. If I had friends or family coming, and they didn’t want to stay in the 1st or 16th, I’d suggest Montmartre.
Now for the more lively areas of Paris! If you’re interested in lively nightlife and café culture, as well as a bit of traditional sightseeing, Saint Germain, the Latin Quarter, or Le Marais are all great areas to consider staying in Paris. Saint Germain and the Latin Quarter are on the Left Bank of the Seine, a smaller area of Paris historically associated with intellectuals and artists, ad Le Marais is on the right bank, and also very convenient.
For backpackers or those looking for a bit of a hipster scene, I would recommend the Republique area.
Paris is, of course, an amazing city, and answering the question of where to stay in Paris really depends on what you want to do while in the city – you can’t do it all, so it’s best to pick and choose, and enjoy your time.
Using the Paris Metro
The metro system in Paris is reliable and simple, and is the best way to get around Paris, other than on your own two feet. The metro and buses in Paris are more reliable and cleaner than those of my previous home, New York City.
There is an app, RATP, that I recommend you download onto your smartphone, and free maps are available at stations.
The lines I use the most are the 9, 10, and the 1. The 1 has stops for the Louvre and the Marais area, among others. The 9 has stops at (across from) the Eiffel Tower, the Opera area, and Republique. The 10 leads you from the 16th through Saint Germain and the Latin Quarter, a great tour of the Left Bank. The line 13 train is said to be the busiest, so it is best to avoid it if possible.
I would not suggest staying somewhere only accessible by an RER unless you want to live like a true Parisian suburbanite. The RER is dependable, but can stop earlier in the evening than the metro system. Plus, I cannot vouch for the safety of any of the suburbs, except Neuilly sur Seine/the La Defense area, which are both accessible by metro.
More Where to Stay Guides
A Note About Our Hotel Recommendations In This Paris Neighbourhood Guide
Our hope with this Where to Stay in Paris Guide (and our Where to Stay in Rome, Where to Stay in Lisbon, Where to Stay in Madrid Guides…you get the idea) is that our local expert (in this case, Celina) can take the pain out of deciding the best area to stay in Paris, regardless of the style of trip you have planned, and your travel budget. That’s why we hired Celina to help, as she has gotten to know these different neighborhoods well since moving to Paris.
That said, locals don’t live in hotels. And (as disappointing as this is to me), we can’t afford to personally stay in every single hotel in a city, despite drooling over them online.
In the past, I’ve simply outlined neighborhoods in a city, and have left hotel choices and research up to readers. But then we started getting email after email from people hoping for hotel ideas, so we knew we could do better.
We decided the best thing to do is do a tonne of research, and then create a hotel listing for each neighborhood that only lists hotels that — based on our research — we would personally love to stay in, or we’d feel comfortable recommending to a friend, an aunt, or a colleague.
We haven’t personally been to these hotels, but we have scoured the reviews, and asked ourselves things like: Would I personally book this hotel with confidence? Are past guest reviews mostly fantastic? Does it seem to located in a safe and awesome part of the city? If it ticks those boxes, then we add it to our listing.
Our hope is that we help you have a fantastic vacation in Paris, and in Europe more broadly. Hopefully we’ve managed to achieve this goal, but at the end of the day, we don’t take responsibility if things don’t work out. This is all for informational/entertainment purposes, and we expect it will form ONE part of your trip planning research, and that you’ll do your own research too! At the end of the day, we expect you’ll check the most recent reviews and specific conditions in Paris (and every other city!), using our listings as a starting point and framework, and choosing then choosing the best hotel and area to stay in Paris for your own very unique (and hopefully wonderful) trip!
Meet Our Paris Expert: Celina!
I moved to Paris in 2016, naive of anything about the city that wasn’t berets and baguettes. I had never been out of the USA and I didn’t speak anything more than “Bonjour.” Now I’m proud to call myself a real “faux Parisienne.”
As I’m an au pair (an international nanny), I live in the ritzy but quite boring 16eme arrondissement, or 16th district of Paris. As I have gotten to know many Parisians and expats alike, however, I have gotten to know many of the other beautiful neighborhoods of Paris (where I dream of living).
As my mother almost made the mistake of booking a hotel galaxies away from Paris when she came to visit, I’m thrilled to be about to share the best – and the not-so-best – places to stay in Paris, so you don’t do the same!
From this faux Parisienne to you, bienvenue à Paris!