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What are the best areas to stay in while visiting Paris?

Left Bank or Right? Hip versus chic? Close to the monuments or where locals actually hang out? Deciding where to stay in Paris is among the hardest decisions you’ll have to make while planning your trip to the French capital. To make the task less daunting, we’ve brought together our top picks for the best areas to stay in Paris. Ready to find your perfect quartier parisien?

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Best areas to stay in while visiting Paris: what to look for

Proximity to Central Paris 

Organised into 20 districts (called arrondissements) and divided by the Seine River into the Left Bank (south side) and Right Bank (north side), Paris is a nice, compact city. While you could technically walk across the city in only two to three hours, we’re aware time is precious when you’re only in Paris for a few days. So it makes sense to stay within walking distance of the sites and museums you want to visit if that works for your budget. Not exactly sure what you want to visit in Paris or are they spaced out? Then we recommend staying in the first half of the arrondissements, one to seven, nine and ten which are the most central (and still have local personality). That said, there are also a few other aspects to consider which we outline below.

Close to a useful métro station

Thanks to its incredibly efficient transit system (over 300 stations!), there’s a métro station virtually every few blocks in Paris. Nevertheless, if you’re staying outside arrondissements one to ten, you might want to look for a hotel near a useful métro line. These include the city’s three automatic lines– 1, 4, and 14 (especially useful during the city’s all too frequent transit strikes) and lines 8, 9, and 12 are also fairly handy. Paris also has bus, suburban train lines (RER) and tramways, but since these are less reliable (and less centrally based) we don’t necessarily recommend considering these in your Paris accommodation search.

In neighbourhoods with great shops and restaurants

After you’ve been sightseeing all day, it’s nice to be able to have good dining and shopping recommendations near where you’re staying. This is one of the reasons we DON’T suggest staying near the Champs Elysées. The area has a lot of hotels, including top luxury hotels, however, it offers little in the way of affordable, good restaurants and boutiques. Plus Parisians don’t really hang out there… which leads us to the next factor to consider.

Areas where locals go, like market streets

Once you’ve seen the top sites in Paris, you’ll also want to experience local life in Paris! And you can find places locals actually go in all the districts we’ve included below. These are especially, but not only, around market streets. Here you’ll find great food shops, but also cafés and restaurants Parisians gravitate to. With the above factors in mind, here are our top eight areas to stay in Paris and a selection of points of interest and hotels for all budgets in each neighborhood.

This is an image of Parisian buildings and landmarks with a bright blue sky in the background.

Image Courtesy of Office de Tourisme de Paris

Saint Germain – 6th Arrondissement

Let’s face it, the bohemian artists and writers who used to be camped out in the historic cafés of this central Left Bank district are lonnnnng gone. Nevertheless, Saint Germain is picture-perfect Paris, extraordinarily central, and one of the best areas to stay in Paris for first-time visits. Stepping out your hotel’s door, you’ll find art galleries, chic boutiques, and excellent restaurants. What’s more, from here you can get to almost all of Paris’s main sites on foot. It does have a few downsides (namely in the form of high price tags), but a few deals are hiding on its alluring streets. 

This is an image of the outside of the Musee d'Orsay in Paris. A bridge is also in view in the foreground and a blue sky behind the museum.

↳ Points of Interest in Saint Germain

  • Saint Germain des Près Church The area’s namesake and the oldest church in Paris, Saint Germain has been undergoing renovations over the past few years, so it’s well worth popping inside to see the restored paintings from the 19th century which cover its interiors. Plus, just like other Parisian churches (except Sainte-Chapelle), entrance is free! 
  • Historic Cafés – Even if you don’t sit down and shell out way too many euros for their overpriced food and drink, you’ll want to take a gander at Les Deux Magots and the Café de Flore. Two of the oldest cafés in the city, these favorite haunts of the likes of Picasso, Hemingway, and Simone de Beauvoir are Parisian institutions… and very Instagram friendly.
  • Musée d’Orsay If you’re a fan of Impressionism, you’ll want to visit Paris’s second most visited museum, set within a former train station. 
  • Luxembourg Gardens One of the oldest and prettiest public gardens in Paris, Le Jardin du Luxembourg delights all visitors. Romantics will want to pose at the Medici Fountain, Americans might want to track down the model of the Statue of Liberty, kids will adore renting vintage boats to sail in the large water pool, or you may prefer to simply sink into a classic green chair and watch the posh Left Bankers stroll by.
  • Le Bon Marché If you’re keen to dress like a Parisian, spend some time shopping at this chic department store and in the boutiques on neighbouring streets.
This is an image of the outside of a luxurious hotel with lots of windows on the front.

Image Courtesy of Hotel Dame des Arts

Good Hotels in Saint Germain

  • € – Budget and Saint Germain don’t really fit into the same sentence….
  • €€ – Hotel des Marronniers – This under-the-radar hotel is great value for the area. The decor is slightly outdated, but you’ll be spending most of your time out exploring or relaxing in its secret courtyard café.
  • €€€ – Hotel Dame des Arts Found on the border of the 6th and 5th districts, this hotel recently had a makeover giving it a stylish modern look, however, it’s the rooftop terrace (a rarity on the Left Bank!) which is the show-stealer.
  • €€€€ – Hotel Lutetia Originally built in 1910 to accommodate overnight shoppers of Le Bon Marché, this Left Bank palace hotel has a swank Art Deco bar, a cool concept store and some sublime rooms with rooftop terraces and views towards the Eiffel Tower.
This is an image of the Latin Quarter area in Paris which is a cool bohemian area full of shops. The image shows a winding street with eclectic looking storefronts and bars.

The Latin Quarter – 5th Arrondissement

Although it can sometimes get a bad rap due to the ultra-touristy block of streets near Notre Dame, the Latin Quarter spreads over a much larger area, and is another fabulously central choice if you’re looking for where to stay in Paris. As you venture south up the hill, you’ll be able to wander quiet backstreets and stumble upon bars packed with students from the nearby Sorbonne University. You can also rub shoulders with local residents in and around the lively Rue Mouffetard market street.

This is an image of the facade of a grand building with blue skies in the backdrop.

Points of Interest in The Latin Quarter

  • Notre Dame Cathedral – Although it isn’t technically “in” the Latin Quarter, Paris’s beloved cathedral is only a small bridge away on the Ile-de-la-Cité, home to other noted sites like the Conciergerie and Sainte Chapelle.
  • The Panthéon – One of France’s most patriotic sites, what was originally meant to be a church now houses the country’s greatest heroes, like Voltaire, Victor Hugo, and Joséphine Baker, to name but a few.
  • Musée de Cluny – Journey back through the centuries at this comprehensive museum dedicated to the Medieval Times. To help set the tone, it’s set in a building from the 1400s and the remains of the city’s Roman-era public baths.
  • Shakespeare and Company – Come either when it opens or in the evening to avoid the lines that snake out of this world-famous bookstore. If you do go inside for a browse, be sure to support it by buying a book… or at least a tote bag!
  • The Grand Mosque of Paris – Previously something of a Parisian secret, the city’s main mosque started attracting more attention from foreigners after it appeared in Emily in Paris. Whether or not you’re a fan of the show, the Mosque’s tea salon, found in its magical garden, is a wonderful place for a break of tea and North African pastries while exploring the area.
This is an image of the facade of a luxurious hotel with clean neutral walls and a black gate in front.

Image Courtesy of Hotel Colbert

Good Hotels in The Latin Quarter

  • € – Hotel College de France Situated in the heart of the Latin Quarter, this cozy hotel offers simple, reasonably priced rooms, including superior rooms with balconies.
  • €€ – Hotel des Grands Hommes In the shadow of the Panthéon, some rooms of this classy hotel over the domed monument.
  • €€€ – Hotel Monge Found near the rue Mouffetard, this boutique hotel and spa is a fantastic option for living locally in the 5th.
  • €€€€ – Hotel Colbert Mélia Collection The 5th is slim on luxury hotels, but this plush option has spacious rooms with a contemporary decor, some with views of Notre Dame.
This is an image of the outside of a very grand and big building with a beautiful park and water fountain in front.

The Marais 3rd and 4th Arrondissements

Its rising popularity as a shopping district may be pushing some of the locals out of the Marais, nevertheless, its mega central position, beautiful squares, and multitude of shops make the Marais one of the best neighborhoods to stay in Paris. In addition to museum hopping or browsing its trendy boutiques, the district also has Jewish heritage and is the hub of LGBTQ+ Paris. In the northern part of the district, you’ll find contemporary art galleries, independent designer shops, and craft cocktail bars that attract well-heeled bobos (bourgeois-bohemians).

This is an image of the facade of a grand museum in Paris with stone light grey walls and a neat courtyard.

Image Courtesy of Musée Carnavalet

↳ Points of Interest in the Marais 

  • Place des Vosges – Created in the early 17th century when the district was the center of aristocratic life in Paris, this is one of the prettiest squares in Paris… or dare we say the whole world!
  • Musée Carnavalet Set within two historic private mansions, duck into this free museum to have a crash course in Parisian history told through paintings, maps, furniture, and other artefacts. From spring to fall it also hosts a wonderful café in its courtyard garden.
  • Musée Picasso – Another popular Marais museum, come here to see a vast collection of works by this famed 20th-century artist whose career got started off in Paris.
  • Rue des Rosiers – The historic center of Jewish Paris, this street’s traditional shops and restaurants are steadily being replaced by trendy boutiques. That said, its falafel sandwich venues, like L’As du Fallafel, have resisted and these make for the perfect place to refuel for more shopping or exploring.
  • Marché des Enfants Rouges – The oldest covered market in Paris, here you’ll find a range of food stalls (perhaps for a picnic in Place des Vosges?) as well as some casual restaurants.
This is an image of the outside entrance to a French market with a few people stood outside walking around the area.

Image Courtesy of Time Out

Good Hotels in the Marais 

  • € – Hotel Emile Le Marais  – Facing Saint-Paul Church, this budget hotel, with bright rooms decorated with some nice design features like rattan lamps and floral wallpaper, is a real steal for the area.
  • €€ – Hotel Caron Le Marais Located on a tiny side street close to Place des Vosges, this charming hotel has an inviting decor of leafy prints and green tones.
  • €€€ – Hotel du Petit Moulin With an eclectic decor designed by Christian Lacroix (think zebra prints combined with toile de jouy), this boutique hotel is an ideal base in the trendy Northern Marais.
  • €€€€ – Pavillon de la Reine Tucked away off Place des Vosges, this elegant luxury hotel is perfect for a romantic stay in the Marais.
This is an image of the facade of a grand museum in Paris with stone light grey walls and a pristine and shiny front courtyard.

Image Courtesy of

Palais Royal & Opera District – 1st and 2nd Arrondissement

This central neighborhood overlapping the 1st and 2nd districts is possibly the best area to stay in Paris close to everything. Within walking distance of tons of sites, including the Louvre, it might be one of Paris’s business districts, but that doesn’t mean it lacks charm. Au contraire. Veering away from the busier avenues, you’ll discover picturesque covered passageways, bucolic gardens, and even Paris’s Japanese quarter… in case you need a break from croque-monsieurs and steak-frites. It also abounds in shopping opportunities from luxury to affordable international brands.

This is an image of the glass triangle entrance to The Louvre museum in Paris. The sky is full of pretty clouds in the background and it is dusk.

Points of Interest in the Palais Royal & Opera District

  • Musée du Louvre – Does this world-famous museum really need an introduction? If it’s your first time in Paris, you may want to be close to this grand cultural institution and the former palace of the French royals, which houses over 30,000 artworks.
  • Tuileries Gardens – Once the private gardens of the royal palace, these classic gardens beckon leisurely strolls and are home to two museums, the Orangerie and the Jeu de Paume.
  • Palais Royal – Escape the hustle and bustle of the area within this hidden haven. In the centre is a historic garden and under its arcades are haute couture vintage shops and refined restaurants. 
  • Opera Garnier Named in honour of its architect, Charles Garnier, even if you don’t take in a performance, Paris’ 19th-century opera house marvels from the outside and much more so on the glitzy inside, open to independent touring during the day.
  • Place Vendôme – This is the city’s ritziest squares thanks to its glamorous architecture, break-the-bank luxury jewellery shops, and its only hotel… the original Ritz.
This is an image of the front of a whimsical looking hotel in Paris with beige walls and blue and white striped features.

Image Courtesy of Chouchou

Good Hotels in Palais Royal & Opera District

  • € – For affordable options you have to drift further east to Montorgueil or Les Grands Boulevards (see below).
  • €€ – Chouchou Sitting right on Avenue de l’Opéra, this eclectic boutique hotel has stylish rooms and a whimsical “guinguette” style bar-restaurant (often with live music) which is popular with Parisians.
  • €€€ – Le Roche Hotel and Spa – A stone’s throw from the high-end shopping street rue Saint-Honoré, this posh designer hotel has a beautiful courtyard restaurant, spa, and indoor pool — a rare amenity in Paris and very welcome on hot summer days.
  • €€€€ – The Ritz Paris Opened by Cesar Ritz in 1898, it costs a small fortune to stay at this legendary hotel, but if you can afford it, you won’t be disappointed.

Montorgueil – 2nd Arrondissement

One of our favourite areas in Paris and located in the very heart of the city, over the last decade or so the mostly pedestrian streets in and around this market street north of Les Halles have become increasingly hip. Despite this, it still remains a very local area, visited by tourists in the know. Peruse artisanal boutiques, treat yourself to renowned pastries then settle down at one of Montorgeuil’s cafés to gaze at the world going by.

This is an image of the front of a quirky industrialist looking museum with steel railings running throughout it.

Image Courtesy of Centre Pompidou

↳ Points of Interest in the Montorgueil Area

  • Rue Montorgeuil – This street is an important vestige of the area’s history connected to Les Halles, the former central food market of Paris. It and its adjacent streets have many important culinary establishments including several of the oldest restaurants in Paris, historic cooking supply stores, and the city’s oldest pastry shop, Stohrer.
  • Centre Pompidou – If you’re into modern or contemporary art, then don’t miss out on visiting this phenomenal collection found in a building as eccentric as the art it houses. 
  • Bourse de Commerce –  Vast renovations completed in 2021 converted this former grain exchange building into one of Paris’s top contemporary art spaces.
  • Passage du Grand Cerf – This enchanting covered passageway is lined with some great boutiques and small designer shops.
This is an image of the inside of a luxurious hotel looking out of the big glass french windows to the courtyard where people are standing and sitting.

Image Courtesy of Hoxton

↳ Good Hotels in the Montorgueil Area

  • € – Hotel de Roubaix – Found steps from rue Montorgeuil, although this hotel’s decor is a touch quirky, the prices are hard to beat for such a central location.
  • €€ – Hoxton If you book at the right time (which is hard to predict…) you can get a great deal at the Paris branch of this trendy hotel group.
  • €€€ – Hotel Bachaumont Relaxed modern elegance prevails at this discretely chic boutique hotel right off rue Montorgeuil.
  • €€€€ – Hôtel Madame Rêve – Occupying part of the former central post office, this hotspot has an amazing ground floor bar with soaring ceilings and a rooftop restaurant.

Grands Boulevards – North 2nd, South 9th and 10th Arrondissements

With its zooming traffic and chain restaurants, Les Grands Boulevards wouldn’t have been a place we’d have recommended in the past. However, thanks to its increasing hipness, convenient location, and reasonably-priced boutique hotels, it’s among the most economical and best areas to stay in Paris as a tourist. The border of the trendy 2nd and up-and-coming 9th and 10th arrondissements, Les Grands Boulevard is within walking distance to many top sites in Paris including the Louvre, Opera district, Le Marais, and Montmartre. The area is now a hotspot for inventive restaurants and bars, as well as theaters, all of which you can easily get to on foot. If there’s anywhere further afield you need to go, you can simply hop on the area’s many metro lines to get there in a jiffy.

This is an image of the outside of a cool cinema with a starry sky in the background.

Image Courtesy of Le Grand Rex

Points of Interest around Grands Boulevards

  • Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis – This cosmopolitan street is a melting pot of Turkish restaurants, African shops, and hipster hangouts.
  • Passage Jouffroy and Verdeau – Two of Paris’s prettiest covered passageways travel north one after the other from Grands Boulevards and are home to tea salons, antique stores, and bookshops.
  • Folies Bergère – Les Grands Boulevards is one of Paris’s main entertainment districts and this venue is among the most beautiful. Originally a music hall opened in 1867 and featured in a painting by Edouard Manet, Les Folies was redecorated in the Art Deco style in the 1920s when it played host to star performer Josephine Baker.    
  • Le Grand Rex – Another grand Art Deco entertainment venue, it’s cool to see the building lit up at night, take in a film in Europe’s largest cinema (don’t worry – English films are usually in their original language!), or dance till dawn at its techno club.
  • SoGymnase – This historic theater is one of the places where you can experience Paris’s rising standup comedy scene… in English! 
This is an image of the view of a beautiful hotel front in Paris with the sun setting in the background.

Image Courtesy of Hotel Grands Boulevards

Good Hotels around Grands Boulevards

  • € – Hotel Rougemont There are tons of budget hotels scattered across the area, but few offer the quiet oasis of this simple, clean, and friendly two-star hotel nestled in a tiny lane right around the corner from the busy boulevards.
  • €€ – Hôtel Maxim Folies – This 3-star hotel has the look and feel of a boutique hotel at a much lower price tag. Rooms are decked out in custom oak headboards, brass lighting fixtures, and colorful accents.
  • €€€ – Hotel des Grands Boulevards – You almost don’t notice this classy boutique hotel set back from the street smack dab on Les Grands Boulevards. Inside you have a trendy bar and restaurant, another bar on the roof when the weather is nice, and chic modern rooms.
  • €€€€ – La Fantaisie – Opened in 2023, this playful boutique hotel, on the low end of the high price range, brings nature inside thanks to its floral decor and leafy plants and verdant rooftop.
This is an image of a pretty flower shop with lots of plants and flowers and a French name.

Rue Cler – Southwest 7th Arrondissement

If you’re looking for where to stay in Paris near the Eiffel Tower, which is not something we really recommend as it’s encircled by overpriced or tourist trap restaurants, is lacking local soul and is a bit far from many other sites of interest. But hey, we also get why you might want to see as much of “la Dame de Fer,” or the Iron Lady, as much as possible during your stay. If that’s the case, then a hotel near this market street is your best bet. Far enough removed from the tourist traps in the near vicinity of Paris’s famed tower, the area around rue Cler has some top-notch restaurants and cocktail bars. Before heading back to your hotel every night, you can easily catch glimpses of the Eiffel Tower’s evening sparkle-fest for five minutes on the hour as of dusk.

This is an image of Les Invalides in Paris. There are lots of clouds in the background but the front of the building looks well lit and warm in tone. It is extremely grand and big.

Image Courtesy of Paris Perfect

↳ Points of Interest around Rue Cler 

  • The Eiffel Tower – What would Paris be without its world-famous monument? Getting up close and personal with the Eiffel Tower is at least a must for a first visit to Paris.
  • Quai Branly Museum – A few short blocks from the Eiffel Tower is this museum focused on the arts and civilizations of Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas. Its unique design by renowned French architect Jean Nouvel boasts an eco-friendly design, a peaceful garden at its base, and a rooftop restaurant with up-close-and-personal views of the Eiffel Tower.
  • Les Invalides – Ideal for fans of military history (we know some are reading this!), this former retirement home and hospital commissioned by Louis XIV houses three military-related museums as well as the extravagant tomb of Napoléon Bonaparte.
  • Musée Rodin – Even if you’re not a big art fan, you might want to visit this lovely museum and gardens dedicated to the work of French sculptor Auguste Rodin. One of the artist’s studios, the historic mansion houses his works as well as those of his mistress and fellow sculptor Camille Claudel. After visiting the interiors, spend some time meandering through the gorgeous gardens where more of his works are displayed. 
  • Lavirotte Building – A short jaunt from rue Cler, at #29 Avenue Rapp, is one of Paris’s most beautiful Art Nouveau buildings. Inspired by architect Jules Lavoirotte’s love of his wife, the awe-inspiring building will certainly find its way into your next Instagram or TikTok post.
This is an image of a beautiful sleek and modern hotel front. The sky is a deep dark blue in the background and it looks like mid evening time. The hotel is also lit in a sleek way.

Image Courtesy of Le Cinq Codet

Good Hotels in the Rue Cler

  • € – Hôtel 7 Eiffel by Malone – In between the Eiffel Tower and Les Invalides, this is a super value hotel considering the posh neighborhood.
  • €€ – Les Jardins d’Eiffel – Nestled within a garden, although the decor is rather classic, premium rooms make up for this thanks to their great views of the Eiffel Tower.
  • €€€ – Le Cinq Codet – On the high end of this budget category, this hotel has some very spacious suites and a few rooms with views of the Eiffel Tower.
  • €€€€ – Le Narcisse Blanc – When you’re not relaxing on your private balcony or terrace at this luxury hotel then you can unwind in the spa or pool.

Montmartre – Southwest 18th Arrondissement

While this former hilltop village isn’t the most central part of Paris, it’s a great option for anyone who wasn’t able to fulfill their dreams of visiting the French countryside. It’s also quite close to Gare du Nord, making it a convenient area to stay in Paris arriving by Eurostar from London. With little traffic and a few kid-friendly parks, it’s also a great place for families to stay in Paris. What’s more, if you’re staying in the area, you’ll have the charm of its tiny cobbled streets all to yourself once the tour groups have left!

This is an image of the front of a famous landmark in Montmatre with greyish white stone walls and sculptural features.

Points of Interest in Montmartre

  • Sacré-Coeur Basilica – Sometimes likened to a massive wedding cake, even if you don’t duck inside this turn-of-the-20th-century church, the plaza in front of it has one of the best views in Paris, which is particularly vibrant on summer evenings when street musicians perform on the steps.
  • Place du Tertre – Admittedly, this quaint square is VERY touristy, however, you can’t visit the area without at least taking a quick gander. Check out the artists at work, perhaps have your and your kid’s portraits sketched, but DON’T stop for a meal at its cafés which generally serve sub-par food.
  • Musée de Montmartre – Delve into the history of Montmartre at this former art studio turned museum. In addition to the fascinating displays of the area’s heritage of artists and cabarets, it has an enchanting garden where Renoir just so happened to paint his work The Swing.
  • Maison Rose – Possibly Montmartre’s most Instagrammed place, much before the advent of social media this adorable pink building was immortalized on canvas by Maurice Utrillo, one of the artists who had a studio at the Musée de Montmartre.
  • Rue des Abbesses – Leave behind the tourist hoards crammed on top of the hill by descending to the district’s market street. Not only does it have bars and restaurants where the Montmartre locals actually go, it has excellent food shops and cool boutiques.
  • I Love You Wall – If you’re on a romantic getaway to Paris, you have to seek out this wall decked out in tiles spelling out “I Love You” in 250 different languages and dialects.
This is an image of the front of a luxurious looking hotel in Paris with clean walls. It is a tall building with lots of windows on it and the sky is bright and blue in the background.

Image Courtesy of Tripadvisor

↳ Good Hotels in Montmartre

  • € – Hotel Bonsejour – Meaning “good stay” in French, this hotel has simple, modern rooms ideal for a budget stay in Montmartre. 
  • €€ – Hotel Regyn’s Montmartre Found right in Place des Abbesses, the rooms of this reasonably priced Montmartre hotel have exposed stone walls, pretty wallpaper, and deluxe doubles even have views of the rooftops of Paris and the Eiffel Tower.
  • €€€ – Monsieur Aristide – Style and countryside charm meet at this chic boutique hotel on a small street south of rue des Abbesses which has a leafy courtyard garden and stylish rooms in cream tones.
  • €€€€ – Terrass Hotel – The grand dame of Montmartre hotels, in addition to rooms refurbished in 2023, this upscale hotel has amazing views of the city and one of Paris’s most popular rooftop bars.

We hope that you’ve found your perfect “chez toi,” or home base, in Paris! Looking for more inspiration on where to stay in Paris and the top things to do in Paris?

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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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