What is the best area to stay in Paris? A guide to the top 5 areas to stay in Paris as a first-time visitor.

By March 1, 2017 France, Paris No Comments
What is the best area to stay in Paris?

If you are visiting Paris for the first time, you might be asking yourself what the best place to stay in Paris is.  Of course, the best area (arrondissement) of Paris for you depends on whether you are traveling alone, with kids or family, for nightlife, sightseeing, history, shopping, restaurants, local ambiance or a little bit of everything.

Pas de Probleme! As the French say..Read below to discover what area of Paris suits your interests best. We have created a detailed Paris arrondissement guide for you to navigate easily in the best areas of Paris according to your preferences.

Here is a quick reference guide:

Best Area to Stay in Paris with Kids and Family: Opt to stay at the Arrondissements of Saint Germain or Marais.

Best Areas to Stay in Paris for Peace and Quiet: Vaugirard, Batignolles, Palais Royal, La Villette, Invalides – Ecole Militaire, Tour Eiffel – Champ de Mars, Port Royal

Best Area to Stay in Paris for Nightlife: Stay at the Arrondissement of Canal St-Martin or La Villette. Other nice areas in Paris to enjoy the nightlife are Quartier Latin, Bastille, Pigalle, Le Marais, Opera, Champs Elysees, Montmartre, Montparnasse, Republique, Saint Germain des Pres Odeon, Pere Lachaise Menilmontant

Best Area to Stay in Paris for First Time Visitors: Stay at Arrondissement Rue Cler. Or at the Marais which is more chic.

Best Area to Stay in Paris for Couples and Romance: Opt to stay at the Arrondissement of the Montmartre area.

Best Areas to Stay in Paris for Shopping: Champs Elysees, Opera – Grands Boulevards, Chatelet – Les Halles – Beaubourg, Madeleine – Vendome, Palais Royal, Le Marais, Montmartre, Quartier Latin, La Chapelle, Republique.

Best Area to Stay in Paris for Luxury: Opt to stay in the Arrondissement of Champs Elysees.

Best Areas to Stay in Paris for Transit: Chatelet – Les Halles – Beaubourg, Gare du Nord – Gare de l’Est, Montparnasse, Quartier Latin, Opera Grand Boulevards, Republique, Bastille, La Chapelle

Best Areas to Stay in Paris for Foodies (Dining): Quartier Latin, Montmartre, Montparnasse, Opera Grand Boulevards, Le Marais, Champs Elysees, Place D’ Italie, Pigalle, Batignolles, Canal Saint-Martin, Bastille, Republique, Gare du Nord, Vaugirard

Best Areas to Stay in Paris for Green Spaces: Louvre – Tuileries, Saint Germain des Pres Odeon, Buttes – Chaumont – Belleville, Menilmontant, La Villette, Quartier Latin, Batignolles, Tour Eiffel, Palais Royal, Invalide – Ecole Militaire, Champs Elysees, Notre Dame – Ile de la Cite, Port Royal

Best Area to Stay in Paris for the Overall Atmosphere: Stay at the Arrondissement of the Marais area.

Best Area to Stay in Paris to Relax: Stay at the Arrondissement of the Quartier Latin (many students, laid back area).

Best Area to Stay in Paris for History Lovers: Stay at the Paris Arrondissement of Saint Germain

Best Area for Local Life: Stay at the Paris Arrondissement of Belleville

What Area of Paris is the Louvre in? The Louvre is in the first arrondissement of Paris

Where is Montmartre Located in Paris? Montmartre is in the 18th (eighteenth) arrondissement of Paris

In which area is Moulin Rouge? The Moulin Rouge is in the area called Pigalle.

Here is a more detailed Paris Districts List, where we divide Paris by area and explain to you where is the best location to stay in Paris based on your preferences:

A. General Tips to Choose the Best Area (Arrondissement) to Stay in Paris

Paris doesn’t have one single area that is close to all its main touristic sites. You will have to choose. Paris is divided into “arrondissements.” If you decide to stay somewhere between the 3rd and 7th arrondissements you will find yourself pretty near the major touristic attractions of Paris, especially if you visit it for the first time. Of course, you will need to do a lot of walking and sometimes get the tube or the public buses. If you choose to stay in the other arrondissements, you will have to use the tube and the public transportation, much more often.

Here is a Paris districts map with main attractions in each one of them.

A Map of Districts (Arrondissements) in Paris

The second thing you should keep in mind is this:

Paris is pretty well connected via its metro tube, so you should try and find an area and a hotel that will be as close as possible to a metro station.

Description of Paris Arrondissements

Let’s have a look at the following Paris Arrondissement guide, which explains what each arrondissement has to offer:

1st Arrondissement: Le Louvre is here. Top shopping.

2nd Arrondissement: This is the smallest arrondissement in Paris.  Most of it is taken by Le Louvre and the Jardin des Tulieries.  Nothing special here other than many cafes and great shopping – this area hosts many jewellery and fashion boutiques. Palais Royal is also in this area.

The best hotels in the 1st and 2nd Arrondissements are: Grand Hotel du Palais Royal, Hotel Regina, Le Meurice, Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome, Ritz Paris and the Westin Paris – Vendome (ex Intercontinental)

3d Arrondissement: Le Marais neighborhood is here. Read below for more information.

4th Arrondissement: Le Marais neighborhood is here. Read below for more information.

The best hotels to stay in the 3d and 4th Arrondissements are 1ER Etage, Emile, Hotel Dupond-Smith, Le Pavillon De La Reine, Les Bains.

5th Arrondissement: The Latin Quarter (Quartier Latin) is here. Read below for more information.

6th Arrondissement: Saint Germain des Pres is here. Read below for more information.

The best hotels to stay in the 5th and 6th Arrondissements are: Hotel Baume, Hotel De L’Abbaye, Hotel La Louisiane, Hotel Recamier, L’Hotel, La Belle Juliette, Le Saint

7th Arrondissement: Eiffel Tower and Champ de Mars are here. It is mostly a residential area with many ministers staying here. The National Assembly and the Musee d’Orsay are here as well. 

The best hotels to stay in the 7th Arrondissement are: Hotel La Bourdonnais and Le Cinq Codet

8th Arrondissement: Very expensive area overlooking Eiffel Tower. Hollywood stars stay here when they come to Paris. Many financial executives and politicians are staying here. The Elysee Palace is also in this area. Expensive shopping is the other attraction of this arrondissement.

The best hotels to stay in the 8th Arrondissement are Four Seasons Hotel George V, Hotel Chavanel, Hotel Lancaster, Hotel Marignan, Hotel Vernet, La Reserve Paris Hotel, Le Marianne, Le Pavillon Des Lettres, Prince De Galles

9th Arrondissement: A vivid area, with some areas that are spooky – some roads are full of prostitution. The Opera, Pigalle, Montmartre and Poissonniere are here. Vivid hotel bar and bistro scene.

The best hotels in the 9th arrondissement are Hotel Du Temps, Hotel Scribe, Maison Souquet

10th Arrondissement: A vivid area, with some areas that are spooky – some roads are full of prostitution.

The best hotels to stay in the 10th arrondissement are Auberge Flora, Generator (hostel), Hotel Paradis

11th Arrondissement: An area with many young people and a lot of fun in the evening. Some strange roads to look after too.

12th Arrondissement: Bastille neighborhood is here.

13th Arrondissement: The Paris version of Chinatown is here.

14th Arrondissement: Locals stay here and you will not find many tourists in this arrondissement. A little bit dull as an area.

15th Arrondissement: Boring neighborhood to stay at.

The best hotels to stay in the 13th/14th/15th Arrondissements are C.O.Q Hotel Paris and Hotel Henriette

16th Arrondissement: Safe area, with Arc de Triomphe being close.

17th Arrondissement: Batignolles area is here, full of artists and writers.

The best hotels to stay in the 16th and 17th arrondissements of Paris are Hotel Raphael and Shangri-La Hotel

18th Arrondissement: Pigalle and Moulin Rouge are here. 

19th Arrondissement: Don’t stay here as a first-time visitor to Paris. Nothing special to offer.

20th Arrondissement: Don’t stay here as a first-time visitor to Paris. Nothing special to offer.

The best hotels to stay in the 18th/19th/20th arrondissement of Paris are B Montmartre, Hotel Particulier Montmartre, and Mama Shelter.

Neighborhoods in Paris

Paris offers more than 20 neighborhoods where you can stay: Eiffel Tower, Montmartre, Latin Quarter, Pigalle, Saint Germain, Pigalle, Republique, Le Louvre are just some of them.

Now, let’s have a closer look at the best areas to stay in Paris and what you can expect in each one of them. We will also have a look at the best hotels to stay in these areas.

1. Stay at Montmartre Neighborhood

Montmartre is the most iconic neighborhood and most artistic area of Paris and it has a brand name that is well-known across the world. Montmartre offers is a great area for arts, dining, nightlife, and shopping, while it still has a Bohemian style and it is packed with tourists. Montmartre is located between the 17th and the 18th arr. and above the 9th arrondissement. Here is the map that shows the Montmartre area.

If you ask yourself in which district to stay in Paris for arts and culture, you will enjoy staying at Montmartre, as it’s probably the artsiest neighborhood of Paris. Although quite touristic, it will still make your artistic endeavors much easier. It’s very expensive, so you may want to find a room through Airbnb. The drawback is that it is not one of the safest areas in Paris, so if you wish to go out late in the evening to have a drink out you should be careful of pickpockets. Montmartre offers the best hostels in Paris, so it is also ideal for backpackers

Here is a view of Montmartre (image credit, Anthony Gonzalez Reyes)

And another view of Le Sacre Coeur in the back (image credit, Dennis Jarvis). Overall, being in Montmartre is like being in a small village inside the vast city of Paris and gives you this cozy feeling of being a part of a neighborhood.

2. Stay at Quartier Latin (Latin Quarter) (5th Arrondissement)

An area with many students and tourists, many ethnic restaurants, and vivid nightlife. It’s a hip and crowded area, very interesting to stay if you are in your twenties – thirties, or a young couple. Very touristic and it gets noisy in the night. You will be close to many attractions, though. Latin Quarter is the area where most French teenagers hang out in the evening, and you will also find a lot of students in its bars.

Here is a map that shows where is the Latin Quarter.  It is in the fifth Arrondissement and next to Gare de Lyon, Saint-Michel, Austerlitz, XII Arrondissement, Panthéon, IV Arrondissement, I Arrondissement, VI Arrondissement, and Bastille.

Here is a photo that shows the beautiful streets of the Latin quarter (image credit: Brian Jeffery Beggerly)

3. St Germain (6th Arrondissement)

St Germain is one of the best parts of Paris to stay as it is pretty close to walking to most of the sights of Paris and has a lovely and vibrant area with many bars and restaurants to enjoy. Moreover, it is pretty close to the Seine. If you stay there, don’t miss the Montparnasse tower, which offers a great view. Go there for lunch.

4. Tour Eiffel – Trocadero (7th Arrondissement)

Trocadero and Tour Eiffel area is a nice, safe and quiet area. It’s obviously pretty near the main sight of Paris, Tour Eiffel but it’s quite far from the real heart of Paris. If you stay out late in the evening, you will have to pay a lot for the taxis to take you back to the hotel, as you may not be able to catch the last tube. Please keep in mind that this area doesn’t offer a lot of things to do in the night.

5. Marais (3rd arrondissement)

Marais is quite common for people who visit Paris for the first time, so it gets pretty touristic. It is cheaper than the other places and a beautiful part of it to stay at is near the Picasso Museum and Rue Oberkampf. Visit http://www.parismarais.com/3-star-hotels-in-le-marais-paris.htm for more information. Unfortunately, Marais is very pricey, so it’s hard to find a conveniently priced hotel to stay here if you are on a tight budget.

6. Ile St Louis

Ile St Louis is a small island that feels like a small village, just across the bridge of Notre Dame. It is ideally located in the center of Paris. It gets pretty busy during the day and soundless in the evening. It also offers some great views of the Seine.

You can also get a five days Travel Itinerary to Paris at Guidora.com, by clicking here.


Best Hotels to Stay in Paris by District/Arrondissement:

1st and Second Arrondissements Best Hotels:

Grand Hotel Du Palais Royal (4, rue de Valois, 1st), Prices start at 700 Euros

A five-star hotel located just opposite of the Palais-Royal. Elegant with a 19th century decor.

Hotel Regina (2, place des Pyramides, 1st), Prices start at 320 Euros

A five-star hotel, reminding the Paris of 1960. Great location and amazing views to many iconic sights of Paris, including the Eiffel Tower.


Le Meurice (228, Rue de Rivoli, 1st)


Park Hyatt Paris- Vendome (5, Rue de la Paix, 2nd) Prices start at 890 Euros

Five star luxury hotel.


Ritz Paris (15, Place Vendome, 1st) Prices start at 1000 euros

Five star hotel, just gone under a 400 million euro renovation. 


The Westin Paris-Vendome (Ex-Intercontinental) (3, rue de Castiglione, 1st)

3d and 4th Arrondissements Best Hotels

1ER Etage (38, rue Sainte-Croix De La Bretonnerie, 4th), Prices start at 180 Euros

A quiet small hotel with just five rooms and a nice breakfast.

Emile (2, Rue Malher, 4th), Prices start at 125 euros

A small hotel with 30 rooms and free ipads, free wifi and a friendly owner. Rooms are in a contemporary black and white style.

Hotel Dupond-Smith (2, Rue Des Guillemites, 4th) Prices start at 380 Euros

Small hotel with 8 rooms and suites.

Le Pavillon de la Reine (28, Place des Vosges, 3rd) Prices start at 385 Euros

A hotel with 55 rooms and suites in a luxury style. Won a label of the “Small Luxury Hotels of the World”.

Les Baines (7, Rue du Bourg L’Abbe, 3rd) Prices start at 490 Euros

A fashionable hotel decorated by Philippe Starck.

About Guidora Team

Guidora team is a bunch of experienced travellers who have been in the most amazing places on Earth..Practically everywhere, except for the North Pole and Antarctica (yet)! They always travel solo, with their friends and without organized groups, so the travel itineraries they design are full of useful tips on where to stay, what to do, how much it costs and how to make the most of your experience in a new place. The guides they design have only a single, perfect-made itinerary that will show you exactly what to do each hour of the day, so that you don't get lost in looking for information on the web for hours. It's like having your best friend with you, guiding you to the best things in every place and showing you around!

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