Choosing where to stay in Paris can be difficult but we're here to help.
Why listen to us when it comes to deciding on the best area to stay in Paris? We've visited Paris several times and each time we make sure to stay in different neighborhoods.
Plus a couple of years ago, we were sent on assignment to break down the best arrondissements to in Paris.
Our sole job was to research the best neighborhoods to stay in Paris and recommend where to stay to their readers.
After all, there are a lot of arrondissements in Paris to choose from it can be overwhelming to know where to start..
How do you know what area is right for you?
The answer is, there is no one best place to stay in Paris.
All Paris Arrondissements have pros and cons. Instead, choosing the right Paris neighborhood depends on your needs.
Best Places to Stay in Paris
We also highlight the best things to do in each neighborhood and suggested tours to take.
Our Paris hotel guide has everything you need to start planning today.
How to Choose a Neighborhood in Paris
Eiffel Tower – 7th Arrondissement is the best place to stay in Paris for the first time because it is close to many attractions like the Eiffel Tower and Musee d'Orsay.
Montmartre, the 18 arrondissement is one of the most budget-friendly neighborhoods in Paris and is well connected to the rest of Paris.
If you want to enjoy the nightlife in Paris, the best arrondissement to stay in is Le Marais, the 3rd and 4th Arrondissements.
Champs-Élysées – 8th Arrondissement is an upscale neighborhood with luxury accommodation and is full of name brand shops. Perfect for shopping.
There are 20 Arrondissements in Paris.
They are numbered in order as they circle out in a counter-clockwise direction from the Seine starting at 1.
The closer to the River Seine, the lower the number of the arrondissement.
We're not going to cover all 20, but we have rounded up what we feel are the best arrondissements to stay in Paris.
We personally consider Montmartre (18th arrondissement) our favorite neighborhood to stay in for our needs, but you may have something different in mind.
It is overwhelming trying to decide which neighborhood but once you get the hang of how the city works it's easy.
So grab your Paris Pass and let's get ready to start planning your Paris trip.
1. Eiffel Tower – 7th Arrondissement
The beauty of the 7th arrondissement is that it is centrally located on the left bank of the River Seine.
You are close to everything.
All of the major attractions like the Eiffel Tower, Les Invalides – home to Napoleon's Tomb, Musée d'Orsay, Musée Rodin, and the Musée du Quai Branly are located in this Paris district.
This makes it the perfect place for first-timers to Paris as allows you to explore a lot in a small amount of time.
This is one of the main reasons we recommend it in our Paris Itinerary.
This has been home to the aristocrats and upper class of Paris for three centuries so of course, it will be perfect for you.
Where to Stay in the 7th Arrondissement
Best Air BnB: Close to Eiffel Tower: A stone's throw from the Champ de Mars and close to the Eiffel tower and the lively boulevard de Grenelle district, you will appreciate the calm and charm of this charming apartment.
Best Hotel: Shangri-la Hotel– Ultra-luxury hotel, located across the Seine facing Eiffel Tower, 2 Michelin Star restaurants and Spa. Perfect for a little luxury with amazing views.
Best Mid Range Hotel: Le Narcisse Blanc Hotel– Indoor pool, spa, hot tub. Walking distance to sites. Breakfast and good Wifi.
Best Budget Hotel: Hotel Longchamps Elysees- Modern affordable hotel, walking distance to Eiffel Tower, close to metro & Free WiFi.
Our #1 Money Saving Tip in Paris
You can get it for 2-6 days and it includes all the below and more:
- Free entry to more than 60 top attractions
- Free travel on the metro
- A 1-day hop-on, hop-off bus tour ticket
- A guidebook in 6 languages
- Skip-the-line entrance to many of the sights, like Centre Pompidou, Arc de Triomphe, Louvre Museum, and more.
- Bateaux Parisiens River Cruise
- Wine Tasting – O Chateau
2. Le Marais – 4th Arrondissement
Le Marais is by far the coolest and hippest district in Paris. It is also a favorite hangout for the younger generation of Parisians.
It is here that you'll find a vibrant nightlife scene, situated beside boutique shopping and gourmet chocolatiers.
It may look and feel like old Paris, but the area is definitely contemporary, most notably the Centre George Pompidou.
The Pompidou Centre spans several blocks showing the latest in contemporary art. The Parisians are great at integrating art into their architecture.
Pre French Revolution Feel
After the revolution, Napoleon III (descendant of Napoleon I) widened all of the streets to stop people from making barricades.
That's the reason most of Paris has wide large boulevards today.
In Le Marais, you'll find many pre-revolutionary buildings and narrow streets from Medieval Paris.
It's had a cool vibe ever since.
On a spring day try and visit Place des Vosges, which is one of the oldest squares in Paris.
This district can be expensive and very busy, but if you are wanting to stay in one of the best neighborhoods in Paris and take it all in then this is where you should situate yourself.
Notre Dame Cathedral
Sadly the famous gothic cathedral on the Isle de la Cité burnt down in 2019, but with all the money donated to rebuild, I think it won't be long until tourists can see it again.
We haven't been back to visit Paris since the fire, but I am sure people are still flocking to the site to see Notre Dame with their own eyes.
Where to Stay in Le Marais
Best Air BnB– Cosy Studio in the Heart of the city: Superb 21 sqm studio, next to the town hall and at the doors of Le Marais.
Best Hotel: Hotel Dupond Smith– Luxury 5 star boutique hotel. 8 individual rooms Bar/Lounge Free WiFi.
Best Budget Hotel: Marais Home Hotel– Affordable hotel with a gym, spa, free WiFi. Excellent deal for the location.
Looking for a great Paris itinerary?
Check out our 3 Days in Paris post for information on all of the top attractions including hours of operation and cost.
3. Champs-Élysées – 8th Arrondissement
If you are looking to focus on shopping then the 8th Arrondissement is where you want to base yourself. This is the posh area and it is where you'll have quick access to the Champs-Élysées.
The 8th arrondissement is located on the Right bank of the River Seine and is home to the Champs-Elysees, Arc de Triomphe, Place de la Concorde, The Grand Palais and so much more.
A day can be spent walking along this street, peeking into boutiques, dining on fine French cuisine and even catching the latest Hollywood movie.
A walk up the Arc de Triomphe will give you a bird’s eye view of all the streets in Paris leading away from this downtown core.
We recommend going up the Arc de Triomphe at night.
The 8th arrondissement centers around The Opera, but really, if you are staying here, it’s all about the high-end shopping, fine dining, and extravagant living.
It’s home to the most famous street in the world.
That street is the Champs-Élysées. This is a street that stretches from the Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe.
Definitely worth a visit even if you are not staying in this area.
Where to Stay Near Champs-Elysees
Best Air BnB near Champs-Elysees– Beautiful private apartment in the heart of ‘Avenue des Champs Elysees. A little luxury in Paris
Best Hotel: The Le Bristol – This luxury Hotel is within a 15-minute walk to all top 8th sites. 3 restaurants, a spa, an indoor pool, and a fitness center.
Best Mid Range Hotel: Buddha Bar Hotel – Great location, well-appointed rooms, breakfast/wifi included in this stylish hotel. Spa, Lounge & Bar. Perfect for the Champs-Elysees area.
Best Budget Hotel: Hotel La Sanguine– Good location in a difficult neighborhood to find budget accommodation. Free Wifi/Breakfast. A great deal in an expensive area.
Check out Availability & Prices on TripAdvisor
Paris Museum Pass– This city is known for its museums. Get the museum pass for the front of the line entrance to 60 museums.
If you're going to the Louvre on regular hours, book in advance at skip the line for a reasonable self-guided tour.
Arc de Triomphe Skip the Line – Get front of the line access to the Arc de Triomphe rooftop for a panoramic view.
Getting to the 8th Arrondissement
Most lines go to the 8th Arrondissement.
Look for stops along the Champs-Elysees, Conforde, Madeleine.
4. Montmartre – 18th Arrondissement
Montmartre is the 18th arrondissement and is our favorite area to stay in Paris.
It is full of affordable accommodation and has a certain charm that brings us back to old Paris.
There is something magical about sitting in a cafe, enjoying a coffee and croissant while watching the street performers ply their trade up and down the streets.
Pair that with the art district, that features artists like Dali and Picasso, the beauty of Sacre Coeur as well as some of the best views of Paris and you will never want to leave.
This is our favorite neighborhood in Paris, hands down. I imagine this is where we would live if we ever moved to Paris.
Montmartre is also the best place to stay in Paris if you are on a budget or if you are looking for some real Parisian culture.
It is the neighborhood that has it all in my opinion.
Where to Stay in Montmartre
Best Air BnB– Apartment near Sacre Coeur- This Sacré-Coeur apartment features a living room, a kitchenette, a queen-size bed, and a bathroom with basin, shower, and toilet. It is in a perfect location too!
Best Hotel: Maison Souquet – Full of history and opulence this luxury hotel is perfectly situated in Montmartre and offers the best in amenities and service. A true luxury experience.
Best Mid Range Hotel: Mercure Sacre Couer– Great location, well-appointed rooms, breakfast/wifi included in this stylish hotel. Spa, Lounge & Bar too!
Best Budget Hotel: Perfect Hotel-Our first budget stay in Paris was the Perfect Hotel in Montmartre- location was great, breakfast included, great rooms.
Things to See in Montmartre – 18th Arrondissement
Sacre Couer – It has one of the best views of the city. Sacre Coeur Basilica is a Roman Catholic church located on the highest point of Paris. You can visit the Basilica for free from 6 am to 10 pm. If you want to visit the tower there is a charge.
Carousel and Funicular – The Funicular is included in your Metro Pass. When you arrive at Sacre Couer, you can take the funicular instead of walking up the steps. There are many carousels scattered throughout the city and this one offers beautiful photo opportunities.
Views of Paris – Pack a bottle of wine (be discreet) and a picnic to enjoy on the steps while you take in the best view of Paris for free!
Cimetière de Montmartre – Like the Cimetiere Pere Lachaise, you can stroll through this cemetery for free you will see where many famous artists have their final resting place. Alexandre Dumas and Edgar Degas.
Moulin Rouge – the famous Moulin Rouge is located in Montmartre. Take in a show or tour the theatre.
Montmartre Museum and Dali Museum – Montmartre has several museums most notably the Dali Museum located where Dali used to live.
Vineyards – You'll find the oldest vineyard in Paris in Montmartre. How cool is it to see grapevines growing in the middle of the city?
Windmills – Paris used to be scattered with windmills. Today there are a few left but you will find them in Montmartre.
Moulin Rouge with Champagne – watch the world-famous cabaret as you sip on a half bottle of champagne per person.
Montmartre Guided Tour – Join a local guide will weaving through the streets of Montmartre. Highlights include Place du Tertre, Place du Calvaire, the Montmartre vineyard and the windmills of Montmartre.
Moulin Rouge with Dinner – Take a guided city tour at night and end with at the Moulin Rouge where you'll travel by luxury coach and toast your champagne while watching the famous can-can.
Paris Eiffel Tower Dinner, Seine Cruise and Moulin Rouge – The Ultimate City Tour starts with a 3-course dinner at Altitude 58 in the Eiffel Tower, then a tour down the River Seine before ending the evening at the Moulin Rouge to watch the world-famous Can-Can dancers as you sip champagne.
The Metro stations for Montmartre are
Abbesses – Line 12 (green)
Anvers – Line 2 (blue) will take you to the foot of Sacré Coeur. You can walk up the stairs, take in the view of Paris or if you want, you can take the Funicular de Montmartre to the top as the fee is included in the Metro ticket.
Lamarck Caulaincourt – Line 12 (green)
Blanche station (line 2) -coming out of Blanche (line 2 Porte Dauphine-Nation), you will see the Moulin Rouge
We also took a stroll one day from Montmartre to the Seine.
It's less than an hour's in the most direct route, but we suggest walking east from Montmartre to the Canal Saint-Martin and walking along the water for a little bit for a true feel of local living.
Paris also has a comprehensive bus line and you can take buses 30 – 31 – 80 – 85 to the Anvers Sacré-Coeur.
5. The Latin Quarter – 5th Arrondissement
This is definitely a popular tourist and student area. It has been the student hangout for 800 years.
Here you'll find a lot of budget and moderately priced accommodation.
The Latin Quarter is home to the “menu formule“. If you stroll the streets you'll find a lot of great budget food choices.
You'll also get your kitschy tourist items in this area and plenty of cheap drinks. The charm of this area is just getting lost in the streets.
Where to Stay in The Latin Quarter
Best Air BnB– 5th Heaven Studio in the Latin Quarter- Extremely close to many metro lines and many sites. Beautiful location as well. It is on the 6th floor but has an elevator.
Best Hotel: Hotel Monge– 4-star hotel with a spa. Close to metro stations and Notre Dame. Free WiFi.
Best Mid Range Hotel: Hotel Petit Paris-A small boutique hotel, close to Luxembourg Gardens. Behind a typical Saint-Germain-des-Pres facade, the Hotel le Petit Paris reveals a luxurious, contemporary interior, opening out onto a patio.
Best Budget Hotel: Hotel Parc St. Severin– A small Boutique hotel in the Latin Quarter near Saint Michel Metro. A warm and spacious lobby greets you, and the well-appointed bedrooms are full of light.
Things to see in The Latin Quarter – 5th Arrondissement
The Latin Quarter has the benefit of being an excellent central location. Filled with history and the distinction of being the intellectual center of the city.
The Pantheon is the most imposing landmark of the Latin Quarter modeled after the ancient temples of Greece.
The Eglise Saint-Séverin Saint-Nicolas is a wonderful Gothic gem of Paris.
Get lost in the streets as you browse shops, cafés, art cinema houses, vintage shops, and bookstores.
Visit the Luxembourg Gardens and Cluny’s medieval gardens.
Place St. Michel's baroque fountain of St. Michel killing a demon is a popular meeting spot and many free walking tours leave from here.
Take line for to Métro Saint-Michel
Line 10 to Cluny-La Sorbonne, or Maubert-Mutualité
Line B of the RER to: Luxembourg station
Other Metro stops in Latin Quarter – Métro Cluny-La Sorbonne, Saint-Michel, or Odéon station
The Paris Pass gives you unlimited travel on metro, bus and trains as well as skip the line tickets to the Eiffel Tower and entrance to 60 museums, sights, and attractions.
6. The Louvre – 1st Arrondissement
Located on the Right Bank of the River Seine this is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Paris.
If you want to be central and close to all the major sites then this is where you want to base yourself.
But be aware that all that convenience comes at a price. The 1st arrondissement is probably one of the most expensive districts in the city.
Most people who are visiting for the first time and looking for where to stay in Paris end up booking here because it is so central.
But, remember, the Metro is cheap and convenient so check out some of the other neighborhoods as they offer a little more charm and affordability.
The west end is where you'll have the very upscale hotels reaching out to the Place de la Concorde.
The center has the Louvre, Famous Ponte Neuf and gardens while the East reaches out to touch on the Ile de la Cite and the West to the Place de la Concorde.
Where to Stay Near The Louvre
Best Airbnb: SAINT HONORE – Located in the prestigious rue Saint-Honoré, this bright 2 person studio was recently renovated. Steps away from the Louvre Museum, the Tuileries Gardens, and more!
Best Hotel: Mandarin Hotel Paris– A truly 5-star experience. Elegant rooms and the service is some of the best in Paris. If you want luxury this is the place to stay.
Best Mid Range Hotel: Saint James Paris– Elegant 19th-century building with private garden and spa facility. Located across from the Jardin des Tuileries.
Best Budget Hotel: Hotel Crayon rouge– Located next to Palais Royal. Modern affordable accommodation for the 1st arrondissement's high-end hotels.
Things to See near the Louvre – 1st Arrondissement
The Louvre – This is the star attraction of the 1st Arrondissement and you can spend days at the Louvre.
The outdoor gardens are a must. Walk from the Louvre to the Place de la Concorde through the Jardin des Tuileries and marvel at the outdoor statues, gardens, and fountains.
Rue de Rivoli – shop in the elegant boutiques and trendy cafés along this street.
Ponte Neuf Bridge – it's the oldest bridge in Paris and our favorite in the city. Take a walk along this centuries-old bridge linking the Right and Left Banks through the Ile de la Cite.
Pedestrian Streets – The area around Les Halls and the River Seine is home to many pedestrian streets
Les Halles – Go shopping at the premiere underground shopping center. This was formerly the Paris food market, now it's a place to shop and see a movie.
Jardin du Palais Royal – Palais Royal is home to the ministry of culture but you can visit its gardens and surrounding boutique shops
Louvre Museum Evening and Charcuterie Board – Take an exclusive evening tour of the Louvre free from crowds. The guided tour will take you through the highlights and end at a famous wine bar.
Louvre Skip the Line & Private Tour – Lines can be long at the Louvre and it's difficult to find the art you are looking for, so skip the line and follow a knowledgeable guide to the best sites the Louvre has to offer.
Mona Lisa Best of the Louvre – Just want to see the best and most famous sites. This guided tour will take you to the iconic masterpieces of the Louvre.
Main metro stations are:
- Les Hall – Metro Lines 1, 4, 7, 11 and 14
- Concorde – Take Metro lines 1,7 or 14
- Madeleine – Metro lines 1,7,14
7. Saint-Germain-des-Prés – 6th Arrondissement
If you are looking for that classic Parisian neighborhood feel that allows you to escape the craziness of other parts of the city, this is the place.
Here you'll spend your days sitting in the city's most trendy cafés lining Saint Germain and people watching.
The area of Paris is full of galleries, nightclubs, and restaurants and is the perfect place to get away from the more touristy area of the Latin Quarter and still be close.
This area also houses the Jardins Luxembourg where we have always suggested is the perfect spot for a picnic and it is still close to sites like the Musee D'Orsay and Notre Dame.
It's a very artsy district with the school of fine arts and many galleries and museums. Perfect for someone looking for the more”real” Paris.
Where to Stay in Saint-Germain-des-Prés
Best Air BnB– Saint Germain – Beautiful Studio– Amazing studio in the heart of Saint-Germain des Près. The studio is on the 2nd floor with an elevator in a very nice and typical Parisian building.
Best Hotel: Hotel Le Six– 4-star hotel close to Luxumbourg Gardens and near the metro. Spa/Fitness Centre Free WiFi.
Best Mid Range Hotel: Artus Hotel by MH– Centrally located and close to the metro. The cost, location, attentiveness of the staff, & cleanliness makes it a bargain in the area.
Best Budget Hotel: Holiday Inn– You know what you're getting with Holiday Inn & this renovated hotel is an affordable choice.
Things to See in Saint-Germain-des-Prés – 6th Arrondissement
Located not far from the Latin Quarter, St. Germain is another area that is more known for its cafés and shops rather than iconic landmarks.
Many of the sights are similar to what you will see in the Latin Quarter with the Odeon, Eglise Saint Sulpice and Luxembourg Gardens.
Take the Line 4 metro to the center of the are at the church of St. Germain des Prés at the St. Germain des Prés metro station.
8. Montparnasse – 14th Arrondissement
Montparnasse was the first place we ever stayed in Paris.
We booked a cheap room at an Ibis Hotel and had three glorious days in Paris. We loved our time in the city and found this to be an excellent area to stay.
It's not too far from anything and easy to get around.
We just hopped on the metro each day and made our way to all the Paris attractions.
I get the feeling this is where the residents live. It feels like a modern liveable part of the city.
If you want the best neighborhood in Paris to feel like a modern-day local, this is the spot.
Where to Stay in Montparnasse
Best Air BnB– Artist's studio, close to everywhere– Amazing studio in the heart of Montparnasse. Located on the ground floor and recently updated.
Best Hotel: Victoria Palace– All rooms have soaking tubs with a minibar. Includes free breakfast and fast WiFi.
Best Mid Range Hotel: Villa Montparnasse– Great location near Metro and connected to CGD Airport. High-speed Internet.
Best Budget Hotel: Ibis Montparnasse– Simple accommodation and great value. We stayed here our first trip to Paris.
Things to do in Montparnasse – 14th Arrondissement
Catacombs – The underground labyrinth of bones is one of the most fascinating tours in Paris.
The Panoramic Observation Floor of Montparnasse – This offers some of the best views of Paris, without the crowds of the Eiffel Tower. It gave us our first view of the Eiffel Tower and city skyline and we can attest, it does offer excellent views.
Le Bar Américain on the 56th floor – Have a drink in style after taking in the views.
Paris Observatory – Dating all the way back to 1667! It's under renovation right now, but who knows, by the time you visit, it might be open again.
Follow in the footsteps of Picasso, Hemingway, and Modigliani as you relax in the art deco cafes.
I imagine this is the spot where Owen Wilson walked the streets of Paris during Midnight in Paris.
After all, it is the district where Jean-Paul Sartre discussed existentialism.
Sadly most of the cool cafes and artist studios were demolished in the 1960s to make way for the train station and the eyesore known as Tour Montparnasse.
But it still has that real-life vibe.
Take lines 4, 6, 12 and 13 arrive and depart from level -2 at Montparnasse Metro Station.
You can get to Montparnasse from CDG Airport easily. Here is how you can do it!
For the Catacombs
- Metro Station – Denfert Rochereau. Catacombs are right across the street
- Bus: #38 and #68
So there you have it. Our choices on where to stay in Paris. Do you have any suggestions?
Paris Quick Tips
The city is easy to get around so don't stress too much about choosing a hotel near your favorite monument or museum.
The Metro is affordable and easy to navigate. When you arrive in Paris, you can easily pick up a pass and travel is easy.
A five–day pass in zones 1-3 is only €37,50.
- If you want to travel further, you can get a pass for zones 1 to 5: travels in Paris, the suburbs Orly/CDG airports, Disneyland and Versailles start at €24.50 for a one day pass. You can pre-order your tickets online and have them delivered to your home as well.
- Depending on which zones you select, Paris Transport allows you to travel on: metro lines, RER lines (RATP and SNCF), Ile-de-France bus lines (RATP and OPTILE), except those circulating on Jetbus, Allobus Roissy CDG, tourist excursion, and Air France networks, Tramway lines and the Montmartre funicular.
- Getting to and from the airports is fairly easy. We have broken down all the Airport options and costs here.
Best Time to Visit Paris
The high season for traveling is June to August. Summertime in Paris is a dream.
The weather is warm and sunny, but it is also high season so you will have crowds and higher prices at hotels.
September/October are still great times to visit. The weather is good and the prices are a bit lower as it is getting into the shoulder season.
We've also visited in the Spring and it is cheaper at this time, but you also will have rain.
But the people of Paris are used to carrying umbrellas. So buy a chic umbrella don a raincoat and enjoy Paris in the Springtime.
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