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

Les Marais

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 can also book a nice walking tour of Le Marais here or a gourmet food tasting experience here.

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

Prefer a different hotel in Les Marais? See all options here.

Montmartre

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.

If you want a more guided introduction, try booking a walking tour or this tour with an expert.

You’ll like Montmartre if you like: that traditional French atmosphere, beautiful views, romance and art

Hotels in Montmartre

Prefer another hotel in Montmartre? See all options here.

Latin Quarter

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

Prefer another hotel in Latin Quarter? See all options here.

Oberkampf

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

Prefer another hotel in Oberkampf? See all options here.

1st Arrondissement

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

Prefer a different hotel in the 1st Arrondissement? See all options here.

These are my five favorite neighborhoods to stay in Paris! What are your favorites?

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