Where To Stay In Paris – A 2020 Guide To The Best Neighborhoods

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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 in Paris for a client.

Our sole job was to research the neighborhoods to recommend to their readers. This assignment helped us do the research to really look into choosing the best neighborhoods to suit each person’s needs.

After all, there are a lot of arrondissements to choose from. How do you know what area is right for you?

The answer is, there is no one best place to stay in Paris. Instead, choosing the right neighborhood depends on your needs.

Where to Stay in Paris, France

Where to stay in Paris for the first time?

There are many places to choose to stay for the first time, but the Eiffel Tower –  7th Arrondissement is the best because it is close to many attractions like the Eiffel Tower and Musee d’Orsay.

Where is the best area to stay in Paris for shopping?

Champs-Élysées – 8th Arrondissement is an upscale neighborhood with luxury accommodation and is full of name brand shops. Perfect for shopping.

Other Paris Neighborhoods

The Louvre – 1st Arrondissement is the business district with luxury hotels and trendy boutiques.

The Latin Quarter – 5th Arrondissement is the student center offering a central location with affordable accommodation.

Saint-Germain-des-Prés – 6th Arrondissement is a funky neighborhood of Paris with chic cafes and galleries.

Montparnasse – 14 Arrondissement. If you want to get into local life and see how Parisians live this is a great neighborhood for that. It is also very central.

Paris Arrondissements

Paris neighbourhoods arrondissements map

Map courtesy Eric Gaba – Wikimedia

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, but we’ve made it easy for you.

Choosing where to stay in Paris is easy once you get the hang of how the city works. So grab your Paris Pass and let’s get ready to start planning your Paris trip.

The Best Neighborhoods in Paris

1. Eiffel Tower – 7th Arrondissement

where stay in Paris Eiffel tower

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 close by.

Lines can be very long at the Eiffel Tower. Book in advance for skip the line tickets and save yourself from waiting hours in line on the day. You can also find other options for tours around the Eiffel Tower here.

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

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

Get your Paris Pass Now!

2. Le Marais – 4th Arrondissement

paris accommodations in Le Marais

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.

best neighborhoods in paris le marais pompidou centre

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.

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

where to stay in Paris near Notre Dame

Sadly the famous gothic cathedral on the Isle de la Cite 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

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

Best Arrondissement Paris Near Champs Elysees

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.

The Arc de Triomphe in the Champs-Elysees neighbourhood of Paris

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 BnBAir BnB near Champs-Elysees Cozy private apartment in the heart of ‘Avenue des Champs Elysee’ which can comfortably host 2 guests. The apartment is situated on the ground floor and fully equipped with high-speed wi-fi, TV and all needed amenities for your stay.

Check out Availability and Prices on Air BnB

  • 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.

Check out Availability & Prices: TripAdvisor or Booking.com

  • 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.

Check out Availability & Prices on TripAdvisor or Booking.com

  • 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

Suggested Tours

Getting to the 8th Arrondissement

Most lines go to the 8th Arrondissement.

Look for stops along the Champs-Elysees, Conforde, Madeleine.

For more information check out the Paris Metro Website and visit Paris by Train for updated costs and schedule.

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.

4. Montmartre – 18th Arrondissement

One of the Best Neighborhoods in Paris - Montmartre

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.

Montmartre is the best place to stay in Paris if you are on a budget

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 BnBApartment near Sacre Coeur– This Sacré-Coeur apartment features a living room, a kitchenette, a bedroom equipped with a queen-size bed, and a bathroom with basin, shower, and toilet. It is in a perfect location too!

Check out Availability and Prices on Air BnB

  • 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.

Check out Availability & Prices: TripAdvisor or Booking.com

  • Best Mid Range Hotel: Mercure Sacre Couer– Great location, well-appointed rooms, breakfast/wifi included in this stylish hotel. Spa, Lounge & Bar too!

Check out Availability & Prices on TripAdvisor or Booking.com

  • Best Budget Hotel: Perfect Hotel-Our first budget stay in Paris was the Perfect Hotel in Montmartre- location was great, breakfast included, great rooms.

Check out Availability & Prices on TripAdvisor or Booking.com

Things to See in Montmartre – 18th Arrondissement

Sacre Coeur in the Montmartre Neighbourhood

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.

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.

Suggested Tours

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.

Getting There

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

Paris accommodation in The latin quarter

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

Things to see in The Latin Quarter – 5th Arrondissement

The Latin Quarter at night in Paris

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.

Getting There

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

paris accommodation near the louvre

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 Air BnBUPPER-CLASS SUITE – RUE SAINT HONORE– Located in the prestigious rue Saint-Honoré, this bright 2 people studio, recently renovated. You will be just steps away from the Louvre Museum, the Tuileries gardens, the Marais neighborhood, the Picasso museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood, and the Pont Neuf.

Check out Availability and Prices on Air BnB

  • 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.

Check out Availability & Prices: TripAdvisor or Booking.com

  • Best Mid Range Hotel: Saint James Paris– Elegant 19th-century building with private garden and spa facility. Located across from the Jardin des Tuileries.

Check out Availability & Prices on TripAdvisor or Booking.com

  • Best Budget Hotel: Hotel Crayon rouge– Located next to Palais Royal. Modern affordable accommodation for the 1st arrondissement’s high-end hotels.

Check out Availability & Prices on TripAdvisor or Booking.com

Things to See near the Louvre – 1st Arrondissement

where to stay in paris ponte neuf bridge from arrondissement 1

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

Suggested Tours 

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.

Getting There

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

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 BnBSaint Germain – Beautiful Studio– Amazing studio in the heart of Saint-Germain des Près, near the seine river, Le théatre de l’odéon, Notre Dame. The studio is on the 2nd floor with an elevator in a very nice and typical Parisian building. It’s perfect for a couple or family with kids.

Check out Availability and Prices on Air BnB

  • Best Hotel: Hotel Le Six– 4-star hotel close to Luxumbourg Gardens and near the metro. Spa/Fitness Centre Free WiFi.

Check out Availability & Prices: TripAdvisor or Booking.com

  • 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.

Check out Availability & Prices on TripAdvisor or Booking.com

  • Best Budget Hotel: Holiday Inn– You know what you’re getting with Holiday Inn & this renovated hotel is an affordable choice

Check out Availability & Prices on TripAdvisor or Booking.com

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.

Getting There

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

accommodation in paris near Montparnasse

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

Things to do in Montparnasse – 14th Arrondissement

Catacombs of Paris near Montparnasse neighbourhood

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.

Suggested Tours

Getting There

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?

Leave them in the comments below. Our readers would love to have as many ideas and reasons for choosing as they can.

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 fiveday 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.

Find Out how Cheap You Can Fly to Paris Below!

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About Dave And Deb

Dave and Deb are the owners and founders of The Planet D. Since launching in 2008 they have continued to inspire “Adventure in Everyone” and show that you don’t have to be an uber athlete or super-rich in order to be an adventurer.

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