The best arrondissements to stay in Paris. Which are the coolest neighborhoods for first time visitors which are the best areas for choosing a hotel? The center of Paris consists of 20 arrondissements, each with their own pleasant neighbourhoods. Or as the Parisians call it ‘Quartiers’. Are you looking for an overnight stay in Paris for your next city trip? Then it is useful to know what the best neighborhoods are in Paris. It is also interesting to stay and spend the night near a number of top 10 tourist attractions in Paris, museums or shops.
Which are the best arrondissements for tourists and families to stay in Paris? Which hip neighborhood should you choose and what is the best area for booking a hotel in Paris? We take you to the 5 neighborhoods of Paris with hotel tips for a great stay. The best arrondissements and areas to stay in the center of Paris.
Also read our frequently asked questions about the best arrondissements and neighborhoods for tourists in Paris. Discover the emerging districts, unsafe neighbourhoods, the Jewish quarter in Paris and student district. And a map of the arrondissements and neighborhoods in Paris. But first we tell you our favorite neighborhood in Paris! Tip: book your hotel in Paris sufficiently in advance as the prices are usually cheaper then.
1. Saint-Germain-des-Prés: one of the best areas to stay in Paris (6th arrondissement)
Saint-Germain-des-Prés, located in the 6th arrondissement, is for us personally the best areas in Paris to stay in and for choosing a hotel. A pleasant neighborhood with many nice terraces, bookshops, art galleries and antique shops. Discover the Paris of Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre, Boris Vian or Ernest Hemingway. Saint-Germain-des-Prés was home to many intellectuals, philosophers, painters and writers in the 20th century. This atmosphere can still be felt.
Be sure to visit the Église Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the oldest church in Paris. The Église Saint-Sulpice is also worth a visit. In this district you can also shop with a lot of French brands. Just outside Saint-Germain-des-Prés is the oldest department store in Paris, Le Bon Marché. A must visit! Tired of walking or shopping? Time for a coffee at the iconic Café de Flore or Les Deux Magots. All well-known brasseries in Paris to discover.
2. Le Marais district: get lost in this hip neighborhood (3rd & 4th arrondissement)
The hip Le Marais neighborhood in Paris can be found on the right bank of the Seine, in the 3rd and 4th arrondissements. Also one of the oldest districts of Paris. A nice, popular neighborhood with cozy restaurants, coffee bars, boutiques and concept stores such as Merci. The Marais district is therefore without a doubt one of the hippest districts in Paris. Le Marais district is definitely also one of the best arrondissements to stay in paris for first time visitors. Tourists and families will appreciate this district in Paris.
Tips to do in Le Marais? A visit to perhaps the most beautiful square in Paris, Place des Vosges, is a must. In Le Marais there are also interesting museums such as the Musée Picasso or the recently renovated Musée Carnavalet. You can shop in the shopping streets Rue des Francs-Bourgeois and Rue du Vieille du Temple. Just get lost in the many nice streets and around every corner there is something new to discover. Oh, don’t miss the best falafel in Paris at L’As du Fallafel, on the famous Rue des Rosiers.
Discover also: 6x the best boutique hotels in Le Marais Paris →
3. Montmartre: cozy neighborhood in the center of Paris (18th arrondissement)
Montmartre is a cozy neighborhood in one of the best arrondissements in Paris and definitely worth a visit. It was once a village outside Paris, but has been part of Paris since 1860. Many famous painters such as Vincent van Gogh and Picasso have lived and worked here. Montmartre is touristy, but skip the Sacré-Cœur (if you haven’t visited it yet) and stroll through the small streets. You will get to know the real Montmartre.
The lively Montmartre district in Paris has many attractions such as Place du Tertre, Moulin Rouge, Cimetière de Montmartre or Musée de Montmartre, which is worth a visit for its beautiful garden with terrace alone. There is even a vineyard in Montmartre. Tip? The annual wine harvest festival, Fête des Vendanges de Montmartre, takes place in October. An absolute must if you are just then in the area.
Discover also: 5x the best hotels in Montmartre Paris →
4. Latin Quarter: stay in the intellectual heart of Paris (5th arrondissemen)
Quartier Latin is located in the 5th arrondissement and is the old student district of Paris. The famous university Sorbonne is located in this district. Quartier Latin is also a very nice neighborhood with a lot of affordable hotels, restaurants and cafes.
The main attractions are the Sorbonne, the Panthéon, Jardin des Plantes and Muséum national d’histoire naturelle. The neighborhood is also known for its bookshops, such as the iconic Shakespeare & Company bookshop. Afterwards, enjoy a nice coffee in the Shakespeare and Company Café, just next to the bookshop.
5. Montparnasse: staying in an artistic atmosphere (14th arrondissement)
Montparnasse is a neighborhood in Paris located in the 14th arrondissement. The district used to be very popular with artists and workers. For artists, this district was an alternative to the Montmartre district. Today it is one of the nicest neighborhoods with famous bistros such as La Rotonde, La Coupole and Le Dôme, where the artistic and culinary heart of the district beats.
Must-sees in the Montparnasse district include the Tour Montparnasse, Cimetière du Montparnasse and the Paris Catacombs. Montparnasse may be a less touristy and hip area than Le Marais or Montmartre, but for us one of the best areas and arrondissements to stay in Paris.
The best hotels in the center of Paris? Have a look at booking.com.
The best areas and neighborhoods for tourists or first time visitors to Paris? Our favorite neighborhood is Saint-Germain-des-Prés. But the Le Marais and Montmartre districts are also highly recommended. The hippest area to stay in Paris and spend the night in a hotel is without a doubt Le Marais. Time to choose your favorite arrondissement to stay in Paris!
FAQ about areas, neighborhoods, districts and arrondissements in Paris
The best areas to stay in Paris are Saint-Germain-des-Prés (6th), Le Marais (3rd & 4th), Latin Quarter (5th) and Montmartre (18th). Especially if you are visiting Paris for the first time. First choose your neighborhood, depending on what you want to see and do, and then a nice hotel. Tip: choose a hotel near a metro station.
Le Marais (3rd & 4th) is the hippest neighborhood in Paris and can be found on the right bank of the Seine, in the 3rd and 4th arrondissements. But the SoPi - South Pigalle (9th) and Belleville (20th) neighborhoods are also currently emerging neighborhoods in Paris.
The best arrondissements in Paris for choosing a hotel are the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 18th. The most beautiful sights of Paris are also located in the 1st to the 9th arrondissements. So it is useful to choose a hotel in the center of Paris, depending on what you want to visit in the city of lights.
The best neighborhoods in Paris are Saint-Germain-des-Prés (6th), Le Marais (3rd & 4th), Quartier Latin (5th) and Montmartre (18th). But Bastille (12th) and Montparnasse (14th) are also nice neighborhoods to discover.
- best neighborhood when visiting Paris: Louvre - Tuileries (1st arrondissement)
- best neighborhood in Paris for foodies: Les Halles (1st and 2nd arrondissements)
- best neighborhood in Paris for fashionistas: Champs Élysées - Golden Triangle (8th arrondissement)
- best neighborhood in Paris for hotels and families with children: Saint Germain des Prés (6th arrondissement)
- where to stay to experience a village feel in Paris: Montmartre (18th arrondissement)
- best place to stay in Paris for shopping, nice bistros & bars and nightlife: Le Marais (3rd and 4th arrondissements)
- best neighborhood in central Paris for budget travelers: Latin Quarter (5th arrondissement)
- where to stay near the Eiffel Tower: 7th arrondissement
Quartier Latin (5th) is the student district of Paris. A very nice neighborhood with many affordable hotels, restaurants and cafes. Given the central location of the Latin Quarter, just next to the Seine, you are within walking distance of most of Paris' top attractions. But there are also many metro stations that take you easily to Montmartre (18th), for example, located on the other side of Paris.
Located in the 3rd and 4th arrondissements, Le Marais is originally a Jewish quarter. Le Marais is a very beautiful and popular area for both locals and tourists. A hip neighborhood with many restaurants, coffee bars, boutiques and concept stores. Furthermore, Place des Vosges, interesting museums and historic churches make Le Marais a very pleasant neighbourhood.
The safest neighborhoods in Paris are mainly in the 1st to the 9th arrondissements. But the neighborhoods in the 13th, 14th, 15th and 18th arrondissements can also be called safe. Paris is one of the safest cities in Europe, but of course there is always a risk in a big city. Tourists are most at risk from pickpockets and scams. Use common sense, keep your bag closed and don't take anything from people on the street. Especially in the neighborhoods around, for example, the Eiffel Tower, Sacré-Coeur, etc... you have to pay extra attention.
The northern suburbs of Paris and the 19th arrondissement are among the most dangerous areas in Paris. The following neighborhoods in Paris are also not really safe and should be avoided: the neighborhood around Gard Quartier Barbès, Château Rouge, Château d'eau, Saint-Denis, Le bois de Boulogne, Le boulevard de Clichy, the Chinese quarter and La porte de Clignancourt . The metro stops that we also do not recommend: Stalingrad, Chapelle, Gare du Nord and and Gare de l'Est. So these neighborhoods are not the best places for choosing a hotel.
Paris consists of 20 arrondissements. Within these districts you have 80 districts, each with its own character and cosiness. These neighborhoods are called 'Quartiers' in French. The area above the Seine is the right bank and the one below it is the left bank. With 2 islands in the middle of the Seine, Île de la Cité (including Notre-Dame and Sainte-Chapelle) and the smaller Île Saint-Louis (residential area full of elegant 17th and 18th century houses).
The official center of Paris includes the 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th arrondissements. The arrondissements 1, 2, 3, 4 and 8 form the tourist center of Paris. With a lot of sights and the most expensive five star hotels in Paris. Famous sights in the center of Paris include the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Champs Elysées, Center Pompidou and Notre-Dame.