The 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Paris
Paris is such a city where I go every year. Hop a train or a bus, and I’m in the city of love a few hours later. I have already been eight times or so, and I know the city quite well. That is why I decided today to write a guide about the nicest neighborhoods to stay in Paris, why you may like them, and some hotel tips too! If you’re planning a trip to the city soon, I hope this article helps!
Paris Travel Guides
What’s the Center of Paris?
Paris does not really have one center. Roughly speaking, because of the size of the city, you can say that all 20 arrondissements that fall within the ring road are “the center”. But for a tourist, some places are of course more central than others.
The count of arrondissements starts at number 1, in the middle of the city, and then rolls out clockwise over the city like a kind of coffee roll. Arrondissements 1 to 7 are the most central, and also have the most monuments. If you want to stay in the center of Paris, then I recommend a stay in one of the first seven arrondissements.
All pictures of hotels in this article are from Booking.com
The Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Paris
One district where I always go to when I am in Paris is Les Marais. I always find it such a lovely, bustling neighborhood– full of nice restaurants, clothing stores, and a nice traditional atmosphere. I always like to go to Place des Vosges for a picnic in the oldest park in Paris, and then wander under the arches while I try to peek inside the shabby houses that stand here on the square. You may also like visiting Victor Hugo’s old house, which is now a museum.
Another nice part of the neighborhood is the Jewish part, L’as du Falafel has the best falafel in the whole of Paris. Two streets where you definitely want to go are Rue Vieille du Temple and Rue du Roi de Sicile. These streets are must sees when it comes to the nicest restaurants, bars and boutiques. If you like art, the Picasso Museum is a must. And I would like to go to Musée Carnavalet (the city museum) if it is opened again.
You’ll like Les Marais if you like: shopping in hip boutiques, nice hotspots, stately neighborhoods with city parks, and a central location.
Hotels in Les Marais
- Relais du Marais: this is the best budget option. A clean, comfortable 3-star hotel with small but well-kept rooms in the heart of the neighborhood. Click here for prices & availability.
- 1K Hotel: This unique 4-star hotel has design influences from Incan culture in its design. Where do you find something like this in Paris? Super hip. Stay in one of the spacious rooms, and enjoy the good breakfast buffet in the morning. Click here for prices & availability.
- Pavillon de la Reine: Experience ultimate luxury at this stylish 5-star hotel, where you can enjoy the spa and park for free. You’ll stay on the beautiful Place des Vosges, so it’s a must. Click here for prices & availability.
The most romantic district in Paris without doubt is Montmartre. Located on the hill with the same name, this district is traditionally the artist’s heart of the city. And where artists are, there’s romance, the greatest inspiration for art. The winding streets that lead to the Sacre Coeur have stories to tell.
The last time I was in Paris, I stayed a few days in Montmartre, and found that length the perfect amount of time. I had no plans, so I just wandered around the district a little, tried out restaurants, and enjoyed the atmosphere. Place du Tetre, with its painters remains a nice place, but I also like the surroundings of the secret vineyard, Clos Montmartre.
You’ll like Montmartre if you like: that traditional French atmosphere, beautiful views, romance and art
Hotels in Montmartre
- Hotel Le Chat Noir: This cute hotel is the best budget option in Montmartre. This hotel was inspired by the theater café and cabaret of the same name, a legendary establishment in Montmartre. Also nice: from the nice hotel rooms you have a beautiful view over Paris. Click here for prices & availability.
- Hôtel Particulier Montmartre: A charming hotel with a hidden courtyard where chickens roam, how romantic do you want it to be? Breakfast in the beautiful conservatory, enjoy the luxurious room, and eat a French dish in the evening at the restaurant in the hotel. Click here for prices & availability.
To the south of the Seine you will find the Latin Quarter. This is one of the oldest districts in Paris and originally a real student district. Here is the Sorbonne, the oldest French-speaking university in the world. Almost all famous French thinkers studied here in the Middle Ages. In 1970 the university was divided into 13 different universities.
Because students originally lived in this area, there are many bars and bistros. Not that those students still live there: it’s far too expensive now. Walk along the Pantheon (get tickets here), one of the most impressive buildings in Paris. In the summer you can have a picnic in the Jardin du Luxembourg, between the locals.
My favorite business in the Latin Quarter is Shakespeare & Company, an English-language book shop opposite Notre-Dame. It is named after the original book store from 1919 with the same name, where literary heroes like Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald regularly came. The current bright green shop dates from 1951 and is now a literary institution in Paris.
You’ll like Latin Quarter if you like: a cozy neighborhood full of winding streets, with lots of bars and bistros and within walking distance of sights.
Hotels in the Latin Quarter
- Hotel André Latin: Perfectly located just a few minutes from all the sights, this budget hotel has a super nice lobby. Click here for prices & availability.
- Hôtel Montecristo: This 4-star boutique hotel seems to come from an interior magazine. So nice, with all kinds of trendy bohemian touches. Also enjoy the sauna and the indoor pool. With this unique design you seem to stay in an exotic world. Click here for prices & availability.
- Millésime Hôtel: This hotel sits in a 17th century building and has a beautiful stylish decor. It is only a ten minute walk from the Louvre. The rooms are spacious and luxurious. Click here for prices and availability.
One of the hippest pieces of Paris can be found around Rue Oberkampf. I always like to come here for the nice restaurants and bars that you find here. The heart of this area can be found at Place de la République. The square is really a square of the people, in 2015 people gathered there after the attacks in Paris. There are regular protests.
Around Oberkampf, you will find the real hipster hotspots of Paris. The Italian Ober Mamma is very popular, but Café Oberkampf and Astier are great too. Personally I always go north of Place de la République to go to Les Parigots, my favorite bistro in the city. The sirloin steak is really to die for. A bit further is my favorite boulangerie Du Pain and Des Idees, which has been voted best bakery in Paris. Every time I’m in Paris, I just drop by. And then go for a walk along Canal Saint-Martin, of course.
You’ll like Oberkampf if you like: nice restaurants, shopsm and nightclubs. Moreover, you are not far from Canal Saint-Martin, and Les Marais. Really the ideal location if you want to stay in the hipster heart of Paris.
Hotels in Oberkampf
- Ibis Paris Bastille Opera: You can never go wrong with Ibis’s soft beds. With a short walk you are in Les Marais and Place de la République. Click here for prices & availability.
- Hotel La Nouvelle République: This boutique hotel is located in the heart of the hipster area and has a cool, original vibe with super cute furnishings. Enjoy the fresh croissants at breakfast, and then dive into the city. Click here for prices & availability.
The 1st Arrondissement of Paris is the absolute heart of the city. To be precise, Paris started on Ile de la Cité (the city island), where Notre-Dame stands (skip the line to visit here). It is one of the nicest places of the city to stay if you want to see the sights of Paris.
One time when we stayed in this area, we took a walk along the Seine in the evening, and the Notre-Dame was beautifully illuminated by the dark night. One of the most romantic moments I have ever experienced!
In the first arrondissement of Paris you will find all kinds of important sights such as the Jardin des Tuilleries, the Louvre (skip the line here), the Ile de la Cité with the Notre-Dame, and on the other side of the Seine you will find the famous Musée D’Orsay (get tickets here). The district is enclosed between Les Marais, the Latin Quarter, and the 8th Arrondissement with the Champs Elysée and Arc de Triomphe.
You’ll like the 1st arrondissement if you like: a beautiful area full of monuments, close to all sights, and within walking distance of Les Marais.
Hotels in the 1st Arrondissement
- Saint James Albany Paris Hotel Spa: You’ll experience affordable luxury in this great historic building. Marie Antoinette has even been in the building.oThe hotel sits ppposite Jardin des Tuilleries, and has a spa, hammam, and an indoor swimming pool. Click here for prices & availability
- Hotel Le Relais des Halles: Near the George Pompidou museum, you will find this hotel that is usually sold out. Stay in the spacious rooms, and enjoy the good breakfast in the morning. You walk to all sights. Click here for prices & availability
These are my five favorite neighborhoods to stay in Paris! What are your favorites?
General Travel Tips
- For accommodation, I always check Airbnb or Booking.com for the best prices.
- If your insurance at home doesn’t cover travel, you may want to look into SafetyWing for an affordable option.
- I always recommend checking Get Your Guide for the best tours in Europe.