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There are SO many great places to stay in Paris, it’s impossible for us to choose just one “best” area in the city. The decision over where to stay depends on a wide range of factors, from budget to personality. That said, we’re big fans of having local experiences while traveling and one great way to do this is by staying in a more local neighborhood. These generally are a bit cheaper than staying near the most popular attractions while offering you the chance to meet locals and see everyday life. If this sounds like it fits your trip style, check out our selection of the best areas to stay in Paris for a local experience and our local tips for each one.

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(WA = Wheelchair Accessible)

This is an image of a room full of art made from light.

Image Courtesy of Atelier des Lumières via Tiqets

The 11th 

Most Paris arrondissements have sub-neighborhoods which in turn have different spirits, however, as a whole the 11th is quite a cool area and is definitely one of the best areas to stay in Paris for a local experience. The arrondissement has plenty of Parisian ambiance, but don’t stay here if you’re looking for fancy shops, chic Haussmann-style buildings, and glitzy monuments. The district was traditionally working class, although in recent years it’s become an enclave of hip Parisians and expats who’ve brought with them fantastic independent shops, vegan cafés, tattoo artists, and inventive restaurants. So grab a table at one of these cool venues, order a chai latte or pint of craft beer, and make some friends!

Some of our favorite spots and things to do in the 11th

↳ Aujourd’hui Demain

One of Paris’s first vegan concept stores, everything sold or prepared in this large shop and café is 100% vegan. In addition to its vegan philosophies, it strives to be ethical, sustainable, and environmentally friendly in all ways. You’ll see in the products they sell and prepare themselves, including those of the café which serves creative lunch fare and hot and cold beverages that go well with their cakes and other snacks.

Aujourd’hui Demain | WA

↳ Atelier des Lumières

The 11th doesn’t have many “sites” per se, except for this digital art space. Located in a former metal foundry, it was the first immersive art exhibition space in Paris. Depending on its current exhibit, sound and light displays immerse you in Impressional art, ancient Egypt or the quirky world of Salvador Dali.

Book tickets for the Atelier des Lumières | WA

↳ Try some inventive cuisine

The 11th has the best concentration of modern cuisine in Paris, so by staying in the district you’ll be able to more easily try some of this. For fusion French and Filipino cuisine try Le Servan, which is run by a sister duo. Chef Eloi Spinnler of Orgueil endeavors to reduce waste in his creative cuisine available in a gastronomic tasting menu and small-plate bistro. Newly opened Géosmine offers up daring tasting menus by chef Maxime Bouttier, who received a first Michelin star after being open for only a few months. 

This is an image of a hotel room with a very minimal interior and exposed brick walls. Image Courtesy of Hotel Fabric via Expedia 

Hotels to Book in the 11th

↳ Hotel Fabric

Occupying a refurbished 19th-century textile factory, this is a perfect base for absorbing the local life of the 11th. With exposed brick walls and ventilation pipes, the ground floor has an industrial feel while guest rooms with colorful headboards and textiles. If you’d like to call the 11th home for longer stays, reserve a larger deluxe room and a duplex room with a separate living area.

Book Hotel Fabric on Expedia or | 11th Arrondissement | WA

↳ Gardette Park Hotel

Overlooking a pretty park in the center of the 11th, this hotel is a real bargain. It has recently refurbished rooms with modern vegetal wallpaper and floor-to-ceiling windows. Some rooms have furnished balconies, where you can sip on un café and watch locals meandering through the park below.

Book Gardette Park Hotel on Expedia or | 11th Arrondissement | WA

↳ Oh la la ! Hotel Bar Paris Bastille

Although the name is a bit cheesy, this hotel is super well located, in the southern part of the 11th district and steps from Place de la Bastille. Rooms are clean, simple, modern and bright thanks to large windows looking out onto a leafy street. It has a ground floor bar perfect for people-watching.

Book Oh la la ! Hotel Bar Paris Bastille on Expedia or | 11th Arrondissement

This is an image of a busy Parisian street that looks out over the rest of the city.


While the 11th is very local, these side-by-side districts further to its northwest are even more. You won’t see many tourists wandering around these hilly artsy neighborhoods. Among the most affordable areas of the city, you’ll save on accommodation as well as going out in the area. While exploring, you’ll come across street art, small designer boutiques, hip hangouts, and surprise views of the Eiffel Tower – without having to get close and deal with its crowds.

Some of our favorite spots and things to do in Belleville/Menilmontant

↳ Discovering the area’s street art

One of the best things to do in Belleville is to check out its vibrant street art scene. There’s generally quite a lot all along the Rue Dénoyez, near métro Belleville, and then you’ll find other examples throughout the district. If you’d like to experience the best street art in Belleville with an artist, join one of these tours.

Book a Belleville Street Art Tour with an Artist | 10th and 11th Arrondissements 

↳ Parc de Belleville 

This park is lovely, with sloping paths and even some grape vines harking back to when vineyards used to spread over the hill. But the best part of it is the plaza at its summit, which has a phenomenal panorama over the city and an excellent vantage point of the Eiffel Tower. Behind this are also some nice local bars.

Parc de Belleville | 20th Arrondissement

↳ Pere Lachaise Cemetery

The Menilmontant side of the 20th is home to Paris’s most famous cemetery. Constructed in the 1820s in what was then outside Paris, the cemetery is the final resting place of many great Parisian residents, from Oscar Wilde to Jim Morrison and from Edith Piaf to Gertrude Stein. Discover the spookier side of this historic cemetery on a Haunted Père Lachaise Cemetery tour.

Book a Haunted Père Lachaise Cemetery tour | 20th Arrondissement 

↳ La Bellevilloise

This huge, cool venue in the heights of Belleville has a large bar/restaurant and outdoor terrace. It’s great for a drink or meal, but it also hosts an array of events from concerts to vintage clothing sales.

La Bellevilloise | 20th Arrondissement | partially WA

This is a picture of a very nice hotel room that has a burnt orange colour theme with plants and an eccentric mirror. Image courtesy of Babel via Expedia

Hotels to Book in Belleville/Menilmontant 

↳ The People – Belleville 

For a very affordable stay in Belleville book a dorm or private room at this eco-friendly hostel. It has a sunny terrace and funky lounge for socializing and stepping out the door you’ll be close to the lively local bars and restaurants of the area. known for its artsy and edgy vibe, it’s one of the best places to stay for a local experience.

Book The People – Belleville on Hostelworld or | 11th Arrondissement | WA

↳ Jo&Joe Nation

This is another great and reasonably priced place to stay in the northeast of Paris, on the border of the 11th district and the 20th. It has dorms, double, triple, and six-person rooms, making it ideal for groups of friends and family. A social place, it has a restaurant serving excellent pizzas and a fantastic rooftop bar which often has live music.

Book Jo&Joe Nation on Expedia or | 20th Arrondissement | WA

↳ Babel

This is somewhat of a” secret” boutique hotel in Belleville with very reasonable prices for what you get. A stylish homage to the Tower of Babel, there are detailed scenes of it drawn in Indian ink around the hotel. Rooms have plush headboards, cool ceramic lamps, and other design items. It also has a great fusion restaurant for a convenient meal at your Belleville abode.

Book Babel on Expedia or | 20th Arrondissement | WA

This is a picture of a canal in Paris. Over it is a small bridge and there are lots of green trees around.

The Canal St-Martin

Popular with Parisians, fewer tourists are aware of the canals which run through the northwest of the city. Of the three canals, the Canal St-Martin is more gentrified, however, it’s still very local. It’s also a convenient location for any arriving at Gare de Nord or Gare de l’Est, both found nearby. The Canal itself is beautiful, but the area is buzzing with life both day and night, making it a great place to feel a part of Paris.

Some of our favorite spots and things to do around the Canal St-Martin

↳ Stroll or picnic along the canal

The canal is wonderful for strolling. Be sure to cross over some of the romantic elevated footbridges. There are some benches but it’s also nice to sit on the wider sections next to the water’s edge. You can pick up some munchies for a casual picnic, and in the warmer months, the banks of the canal can get lively with Parisians enjoying the lovely space.

↳ Shop at the area’s small shops

The streets on and adjacent to the Canal St-Martin are one of the best areas for local shopping in Paris. Rue de Lancry is lined with cool shops, like the great vintage stores Alternative and Thanx God I’m a V.I.P., included in our Best Vintage Shops in Paris article (coming soon!). The Rue Beaurepaire is another popular shopping street, where you can find stylish homeware at Moustache or ethically made clothing at WeDressFair.

↳ Le Comptoir Général

One of the coolest hangouts along the canal is this eclectic multipurpose venue. Hidden back from the street, once you’ve found its entrance you’ll whisked into a whimsical series of rooms with quirky decor and soaring plants. There’s a bar, restaurant, patio, vintage shop and a calendar of concerts, workshops and events.

Le Comptoir Général | 10th Arrondissement

This is an image of a minimalist hotel room with a double bed. You can see another room on the side with two single beds in it. Image courtesy of Staycity Aparthotels – Gare de l’Est via Expedia

Hotels to Book around the Canal St-Martin

↳ Generator Paris

This hip hostel is found only a block from the Canal St-Martin. It has a lively bar with DJs, a rooftop terrace popular with Parisians and an inviting lounge area with a games room. In addition to 10-bed dorms, it has private rooms, some with terraces. 

Book Generator Paris on Hostelworld or | 10th Arrondissement | WA

↳ Le Citizen Hotel

This boutique hotel is situated right on the Canal St-Martin. Rooms are bright and have modern light wood paneling and accents of deep blue in the sofas and bathrooms. They have suites with sofa beds and two-bedroom apartments, making it also suitable for families.

Book Le Citizen Hotel on Expedia or | 10th Arrondissement | WA

↳ Staycity Aparthotels – Gare de l’Est

This aparthotel a short walk to the canal is a great budget-friendly option and a good family hotel in Paris. It’s on a quiet side street, yet close to both Gare de Nord and Gare de l’Est. Recently refurbished rooms have contemporary furnishings and kitchenettes. 

Book Staycity Aparthotels – Gare de l’Est on Expedia or | 10th Arrondissement

South Pigalle 

Over the last decade, the streets south of Place de Pigalle in the 9th district have become one of the hippest areas of Paris. Another part of the city where few tourists venture to, it’s popular with both cool Parisians and expats. It’s also relatively central and those staying here can still walk to many of Paris’s top tourist sites, like Montmartre which is just above it, while the Opera Garnier, the Louvre, and the Marais are walkable in around 20 to 30 minutes.

Some of our favorite spots and things to do in South Pigalle

↳ Rue Frochot

Once a hub of the shadier side of Pigalle, this street’s former escort girl bars have been transformed into cool cocktail bars. Our favorites are the Tiki bar Dirty Dick, the inventive Les Justes, and Lipstick which has good happy hour prices and a sultry decoration.

↳ Le Mansart

This traditional café has been overtaken by the area’s hip locals. Start your evening off here over reasonably priced drinks and creative tapas.

Le Mansart | 9th Arrondissement  | WA

↳ Rue des Martyrs

The market street of the South Pigalle area, this steep street has tons of great food shops, including award-winning bakeries, inventive pastries shops, and the great contemporary coffee shop KB Roasters.

This is an image of a luxe hotel room. There is a double bed with a white duvet and brown throw rug. The rug matches the green/brown shade of the walls. Image courtesy of Hotel Rochechouart via Expedia 

Hotels to Book in South Pigalle

↳ Le Pigalle

A home away from home, this trendy boutique hotel has a vast ground-floor lounge, with a friendly common table, worn leather sofas, and a DJ spinning at night. Its 40 rooms have white walls decorated with modern photos and unique antique finds.

Book Le Pigalle on Expedia or | 9th Arrondissement | WA

↳ Hotel Rochechouart 

Originally opened in 1929, this historic hotel got a 21st-century makeover that converted it into a cool boutique hotel. The decor evokes its Art Deco heritage and guests enjoy special access to its fantastic rooftop bar.

Book Hotel Rochechouart on Expedia or | 9th Arrondissement | WA

↳ Hotel Villa Boheme

Found down a private lane, this hotel is very good value for the area. Recently refurbished, rooms feature colorful panels behind the beds and new modern bathrooms. Some rooms boast their own terrace.

Book Hotel Paradis on Expedia or | 9th Arrondissement

This is a picture of a Parisian street with cafés lining the corner of the streets. There are no people around.

Les Batignolles 

Located in the 17th arrondissement and once a village outside Paris, like nearby Montmartre, Les Batignolles doesn’t get the same mobs of tourists. The neighborhood revolves around a central square, la Place du Dr Félix Lobligeois. The streets that extend away from it have some great smaller boutiques and nice local hangouts. The neighborhood also has two gorgeous parks and some excellent street markets.

Some of our favorite spots and things to do in Les Batignolles

↳ Stroll through the Square des Batignolles and Parc Martin Luther King 

For some greenery, visit the two special parks in the district. Le Square des Batignolles was designed after the area became part of Paris in 1860. The four-acre park has a natural English-style design with curving lanes and a collection of ancient foreign trees, like a giant American sequoia. There’s also a lovely pond and plenty of benches to soak up the park’s serene ambiance. Around the corner is the newer Parc Martin Luther King. Built atop the old train yards of the Gare Saint Lazare, it was created in 2004 as an eco-friendly and sustainable park. It’s surrounded by funky modern apartment buildings which show a very different face of Paris.

↳ Visit the Rue de Levis Market Street or Les Batignolles Organic Market

Found at the edge of Les Batignolles, the Rue de Levis is a fantastic market street. It has permanent food shops selling everything from cheese to fresh produce. On Saturday mornings, the Boulevard des Batignolles hosts one of Paris’s fully organic open-air markets, so if you’re keen to try organic French food items, this is the place to go. At either location, you can pick up picnic supplies to enjoy in one of the two parks mentioned above.

↳ Shop at independent designers 

If you’re interested in doing some ethical local shopping, Les Batignolles offers you this opportunity. Rue Legendre has plenty of boutiques such as French Touche, a fun concept store that sells bags, houseware, accessories, and paper products all of which are 100% Made en France. Désordre Urbain is another great concept store on rue Nollet. Rue des Dames is also great for browsing shops. It’s full of antique dealers, vintage clothing shops and other nice boutiques like the jewelry shop L’Atelier Haut Perché.

This is a picture of a spa hotel room. There is a very luxurious bed with a balcony, couch and spa alongside it. Image courtesy of Paris J’Adore via

Hotels to Book in Les Batignolles

↳ B Montmartre 

Despite its somewhat misleading name, this hotel is at the edge of Les Batignolles and a short walk to Montmartre. Some rooms have special amenities like private patios, balconies, and in-room hammams. They also have triple rooms and one-bedroom suites with a sofa bed that are good for families.

Book B Montmartre on Expedia or | 17th Arrondissement | WA

↳ Hotel Eldorado

Located on buzzing rue des Dames, this hotel has recently been entirely redone. In the spirit of a country home, it has a bucolic feel with floral wallpaper and leafy plants. This natural chicness flows over into its lovely courtyard bar-restaurant.

Book Hotel Eldorado on Expedia or | 17th Arrondissement

↳ Paris J’Adore

This stylish couples-only boutique hotel and spa is ideal for a romantic stay in Les Batignolles. Guests can choose between eight room categories, with names like “Passion” and “Boudoir”, each with romance-enhancing elements from swings, double Jacuzzi tubs, mood lighting, and smart technology. There’s a ground-floor restaurant with a terrace overlooking a vertical garden and cascading fountain and a spa with a pool, salt cave, steam room, and Sensory Sky showers.

Book Paris J’Adore on Expedia or | 17th Arrondissement | WA

This is an image of the exterior of a cafe in Paris. It is lined with wooden tables and a big black board with a menu.

La Butte-aux-Cailles 

Situated in the southeastern 13th district, this is another cool former village, far from tourists!

A small-town ambiance still exists around a cluster of cobbled charming streets, like Rue des Cinq Diamants, Passage Barrault, and Rue Moulin des Prés, which also have relaxed bars and restaurants. 

Some of our favorite spots and things to do in La Butte-aux-Cailles

↳ Take in the village vibes on a terrace 

As the area gets very few tourists, people-watching here will definitely give you a window into the true local life of the area. The main street, the Rue de la Butte-aux-Cailles, is packed with restaurants and bars popular with students from nearby campuses of the University of Paris. Find a table at one of these, or on the Place Paul Verlaine, the old main square of the village.

↳ Seek out street art

The 13th district has welcomed street artists and is likely the arrondissement with the most street art in the whole city. The sides of the district’s tall modern buildings are decorated with over 50 murals, mainly along the Boulevard Vincent Auriol, but you can see a lot of smaller works around Les Buttes-aux-Cailles. Discover these with the help of this interactive map.

↳ Take a wander through Europe’s largest Chinatown

A section of the 13th arrondissement, close to La Butte-aux-Cailles, is well-known for its bustling Chinatown. The largest Chinatown in Europe, this can be found in the modern highrises of the Les Olympiades district, between Avenue d’Ivry, Avenue de Choisy and Boulevard Masséna. Here you can get some delicious authentic food and a taste of a different side of Paris.

This is an image of a very nice hotel room with a double bed and a green bedside table. The feature wall behind it is full of flowers and greenery. Image courtesy of Hôtel Rosalie via Expedia

Hotels to Book in La Butte-aux-Cailles

↳ L’Hôtel Verlaine

This super budget-friendly hotel is right at the edge of La Buttes-aux-Cailles. Its welcoming owner will make you feel right at home. Rooms are simple yet tastefully decorated and leaving the hotel you’ll be in the charming streets of La Buttes-aux-Cailles in seconds and the métro at Porte d’Italie is a short walk away.

Book Hotel L’Hôtel Verlaine on Expedia or | 13th Arrondissement

↳ Hotel La Manufacture

This is a good-value hotel in the 13th district. Some rooms are more classically decorated rooms with Paris sites on the curtains, however, deluxe rooms and suites have a more contemporary look while also boasting views over the rooftops of Paris, Eiffel Tower, and Montmartre. 

Book Hotel La Manufacture on Expedia or | 13th Arrondissement

↳ Hôtel Rosalie

This recently revamped boutique hotel isn’t far from La Butte-aux-Cailles. A verdant oasis, it’s surrounded by hidden garden courtyards and also has a rooftop terrace. Nature finds its way into the rooms with chic floral wallpaper and eco-friendly products, including those used in its restaurant menu, revolving around vegetables.

Book Hôtel Rosalie on Expedia or | 13th Arrondissement | WA

This is an image of a lovely local laneway in Paris. It is lined with shops and there are two people walking down it.

Rue Daguerre 

The 14th arrondissement can be a little sleepy, however, this vibrant market street abounds in local life. It’s also a short walk to the Luxembourg Gardens, the Latin Quarter and Saint-Germain and has convenient transport links, with the RER train that goes to both airports and the Orly airport bus located a few paces away in Place Denfert Rochereau.

Some of our favorite spots and things to do around Rue Daguerre 

↳ Go food shopping at the Rue Daguerre Market 

Rue Daguerre is one of the best market streets in all of Paris. You can pick up all kinds of delicious food to enjoy in the Luxembourg Gardens or more local Parc Montsouris, described below.

↳ Visit the Catacombs

Created in the 1780s, the Paris Catacombs contain the remains of over six million people. One of Paris’s eeriest sites, it isn’t for everyone, however, it’s a very popular tourist site. The best way to visit it is by joining a skip-the-line tour, as the site has some of the longest lines of any of Paris’s attractions. We recommend the Take Walks Catacombs Tour which not only includes skip-the-line tickets, but also amazing insight on the venue provided by your guide who will also show you some secret spots you wouldn’t find on your own.

Join a Skip-the-Line Paris Catacombs Tour with Special Access | 14th Arrondissement

↳ Relax in the Park Montsouris 

This park was created during the 1860s as a refurbishment of the former Montrouge stone quarry. The pretty space, popular with residents of southern Paris, has gently sloping hills and pretty pathways.

↳ Visit the Fondation Cartier 

Established in the 1980s and moved into a building designed by Jean Nouvel in 1994, the Fondation Cartier is dedicated to promoting and raising awareness of contemporary art. It has exhibits featuring top contemporary artists, an excellent art bookshop, and a beautiful modern garden.

Fondation Cartier | 14th Arrondissement | WA

This is an image of an eccentric hotel room. There is a double bed with a white duvet and the wall behind it has feature art of trees and clouds. Image courtesy of Drawing House via Expedia

Hotels to Book around Rue Daguerre

↳ Drawing House

This stylish boutique hotel is located on the Montparnasse side of the Rue Daguerre. Inspired by the artistic heritage of the area, the hotel has contemporary art, a large pool, and a chic restaurant and cocktail bar.

Book Drawing House on Expedia or | 14th Arrondissement | WA

↳ Graphik Montparnasse

Found around the corner from the Rue Daguerre, this design-minded hotel features rooms with bold vibrant colors and all-new bathrooms. Rooms are bright and overlook a leafy avenue. 

Book Graphik Montparnasse on Expedia or | 14th Arrondissement

↳ Hotel Leopold

This reasonably-priced boutique hotel has beautiful rooms decorated in light greens and blues, vintage-style floral headboards, and sections of wallpaper. It has some triple rooms and a family room that sleeps five, which could work well for families.

Book Hotel Leopold on Expedia or | 14th Arrondissement | WA

This is a picture of the Montmartre district where vendors line the street selling art and wares.

Lamarck/Jules Joffrin 

While Montmartre is a wonderful area, it can get a little busy with tourists. So if you’d like to stay near the area, but removed from the masses, this area behind Montmartre, around the main streets of Rue de Caulaincourt and Rue Ordener, is a great option. Full of locals, it has an up-and-coming restaurant scene, great local coffee shops and in five to 10 minutes you can be wandering the lanes of Montmartre.

Some of our favorite spots and things to do around Lamarck/Jules Joffrin

↳ Go Food shopping on Rue de Poteau

This district is home to yet another of Paris’s best market streets. Lined with excellent food shops, Rue de Poteau begins near Place Jules-Joffrin and runs roughly parallel to the area’s main street Rue Ordener.

↳ Go to a former rail station bar

At the edge of the Jules Joffrin neighborhood are two cool venues occupying former train stations of Paris’s defunct light rail line, la Petite Ceinture. La REcyclerie is the better known of the two, it has a bar-restaurant, casual seating down by the former train tracks, and a program of eco-minded events, from upcycling clothing to organic food fairs. The Hasard Ludique is found a few blocks away and is slightly edgier. They also have seating down by the tracks and inside concerts or other events are often held.

↳ People watch from a café terrace 

One of our favorite activities in Paris for taking in local life, this district has a few great people-watching terraces. We can often be found en terrasse at Chez Ginette, which also has a good restaurant, La Cave Café, which occasionally has concerts in its cellar room, or Sunset, which has modern small plates and great cocktails.

This is an image of a simple, minimalist hotel room with a double bed and a small wardrobe. Image courtesy of Hotel De Flore via

Hotels to Book around Lamarck/Jules Joffrin

↳ Beau M Hostel

This new boutique hostel near Jules Joffrin has a chic design while being eco-friendly, digitally connected, and fully air-conditioned. It has private doubles, family rooms, and six and 12-bed dorms. 

Book Beau M on Hostelworld or | 18th Arrondissement

↳ Hotel de Flore Montmartre 

This is a simple budget-friendly hotel on the back side of Montmartre. It’s no fuss, but really reasonable, clean and some rooms have views over the rooftops of the area.

Book Hotel de Flore – Montmartre on Expedia or | 18th Arrondissement

↳ Hotel Apolonia Paris Montmartre

Even though it’s part of the Best Western group, this hotel actually has a lot of charm and very good prices for being close to Montmartre. It’s been recently redone and has stylish wallpaper, air-conditioning and single rooms ideal for solo-travelers to Paris.

Book Hotel Apolonia Paris Montmartre on Expedia or | 18th Arrondissement

After discovering the best areas to stay in Paris for a local experience, are you looking for more tips on where to stay in Paris? Read these articles next:

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Lily Heise

A long-time Paris resident, Lily Heise is a travel writer whose work has been in Condé Nast Traveler, Huff Post, Fodor’s, AFAR, and Frommer’s, among others. When she’s not uncovering the city’s best secrets, she can be found on a Parisian café terrasse or traveling the globe.

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