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What’s the best area to stay in Paris? We’re here to help! You’ve planned your trip and booked your flight to France, but there’s one question left: where to stay in Paris, France? Where are the best neighborhoods in Paris, for that matter?
For most people, going to Paris is the trip of a lifetime — so it’s all the more important to carefully choose the right area.
Paris was the first city I ever fell in love with, and after 22 years, it’s still my favorite city in the world. On my first visit, I skipped away from my school group to climb the towers of Notre-Dame; these days, I’m more likely to escape for a plate of oysters and glass of champagne in the Saint-Germain neighborhood.
I’ve now visited Paris more than a dozen times and usually stay in two or three different places on each visit. At this point, I’ve gotten to know lots of different neighborhoods, I’ve learned the benefits of staying in different places, and I know the kinds of experiences that make a trip to Paris special.
In short, when it comes to the best places to stay in Paris, especially for first-time visitors, you’ve got plenty of options!
This post is divided into sections. I’ve listed the best neighborhoods to stay in Paris, along with the best hotels at each price point in each neighborhood. There are also a few sections on hotels that I’ve especially enjoyed on my own trips.
Here we go — let’s see the best area to stay in Paris!
Where to Stay in Paris, France
Everyone wants to know where to stay in Paris, but I think most people like being in a quintessential Paris neighborhood — a place where you can buy fresh baguettes and marvel at the wrought-iron balconies. There is a lot of diversity in Paris, but most visitors like to stay somewhere that looks like the Paris of their dreams!
Paris is divided into 20 arrondissements (neighborhoods) and they are numbered in a spiral, the center surrounding Ile de la Cité, the island in the Seine home to Notre-Dame.
Neighborhoods with lower numbers are closer to the center; the 12th-20th arrondissements are the outer edge. Parisians refer to the neighborhoods by their number.
My two favorite neighborhoods to stay in Paris are Le Marais and St. Germain-des-Pres. Both neighborhoods are beautiful, central, and as popular with Parisians as they are with visitors.
Paris is expensive, but, Montmartre has lots of affordable hotels and guesthouses. It’s a smart choice for traveling Paris on a budget.
Don’t stay near the airports or outside the central 20 arrondissements — it will take you ages to get into central Paris. I recommend avoiding hotels near the Eiffel Tower or the Champs-Elysees — you’ll pay inflated rates for a neighborhood with less character.
If you have an unlimited budget, you can’t top the romance of the Four Seasons George V — but if not, I think St. Germain is one of the most romantic neighborhoods in Paris, especially around Rue de Buci at night.
Best Neighborhoods in Paris
If I were choosing the best neighborhoods in Paris, at the top of my list would be the Marais and St. Germain, followed by the nicer part of Montmartre. Whether it’s your first time in Paris or your tenth, you’ll love them.
I think the Marais (also known as Le Marais) is the best neighborhood in Paris overall because it has so much to offer — it’s a creative, colorful neighborhood filled with interesting boutiques, beautiful parks, and some of the quirkiest architecture in the city (hello, Beaubourg).
The Marais is also home to my all-time favorite crepe restaurant in Paris, Breizh Cafe, and the best cheap meal in Paris: the falafel at L’As du Falafel, which is best eaten as a picnic in the Places des Vosges. When you stay in the Marais, you have easy access to art, shopping, and several metro lines that can take you all over the city.
I think St. Germain is another one of the best places to stay in Paris because it has retained its Left Bank artistic culture over time. This is the neighborhood where Sartre, Hemingway, and Dali used to hang out, along with the Lost Generation immortalized in The Sun Also Rises.
You can sit in one of those famous St. Germain cafes by day, or check out the galleries and bookstores (including my favorite, Shakespeare and Company) that line the streets. When you stay in St. Germain, you have easy access to the Jardin Luxembourg, the Musée d’Orsay, Notre-Dame, and plenty of other metro lines.
Montmartre is wrapped up in mystique, but it definitely has its highs and lows. Parts of Montmartre make you think it’s the most beautiful Paris neighborhood — where the white buildings line curvy steep streets. Then you get the seedy parts of Montmartre: the sex shops and aggressive touts who try to part you with your money. But if you’re able to concentrate on the good parts, it’s without a doubt one of the best places to stay in Paris.
Staying in Montmartre gives you easy access to the Sacre-Coeur (go up to the very top at sunset!), the cheesy but wonderful Moulin Rouge! show, and plenty of beautiful cafes and boutiques.
READ MORE: Ultimate Guide to Solo Female Travel in Paris
The Marais (3rd and 4th arrondissement), in my opinion, is easily the best neighborhood in Paris. It’s central with lots of metro lines. It’s got several attractions, like the Centre Pompidou and the Hotel de Ville. There are lots of wonderful restaurants and cafes, the architecture is magnificent, and the shopping is superb.
In fact, I think the Marais is the best shopping neighborhood in the city — there are tons of independently owned boutiques as well as luxury shops and wonderful markets. Just be prepared to pay for the privilege! You can’t afford a boutique in le Marais by charging bargain prices!
The Marais was historically home to marginalized communities in Paris, including the LGBTQ community and the Jewish community, and as a result it’s got a nice cultural mix to this day.
The Marais is also home to the top-rated cheese experience in Paris, where you go into a cellar with a cheese expert and eat tons of interesting cheeses and drink fabulous wines!
Top-Rated Hotels in the Marais
- Luxury: Hotel Les Bains Paris
- Mid-range: Hotel Georgette
- Budget: Hotel Bastille
Find deals on hotels in the Marais here.
If you’re looking for Left Bank Paris, the neighborhood of Hemingway and Camus and Sartre, St. Germain-des-Près (6th arrondissement), or just St. Germain, is a nice option and my other favorite neighborhood in which to stay. While it definitely has its share of tourists, you’ll find wonderful (and longtime famous) cafes, interesting little shops, and streets full of life.
St. Germain (full name: St. Germain-des-Pres) is well-located in Paris. The Jardin du Luxembourg is nearby, and it’s close to Notre Dame and the Musée d’Orsay as well. But what makes this neighborhood special is that it feels small and close-knit, like you’re a bit removed from the hustle and bustle of Paris. If you’re looking for where to stay in Paris, you can’t go wrong here.
One other thing: lots of travelers want to stay in the Latin Quarter of Paris. I’m not a fan of this neighborhood — it has gone from a quirky student neighborhood to a tourist zone filled with mediocre restaurants no Parisian would patronize. I recommend actually staying in St. Germain instead. It’s right next door and has the bohemian vibe you crave.
St. Germain is home to some wonderful bakeries — a great place to learn how to make croissants or French desserts.
Top-Rated Hotels in St. Germain
- Luxury: Hotel Villa d’Estrées
- Mid-range: Hotel Clément
- Budget: Hotel de Nesle
Find deals on hotels in St. Germain here.
If you love Moulin Rouge! and Amélie, Montmartre (18th arrondissement*) is your dream neighborhood. It’s one of the places in Paris that feels like a movie set. However, there’s a reason why I gave it an asterisk. Montmartre can be wonderful, but you need to do a little extra research to make sure you’re in the good part.
While much of Montmartre is the village-like urban neighborhood frequented by Amélie Poulin, some parts are seedy, especially around the Pigalle area. Rue Lepic (pictured above) and its side streets are lovely; Boulevard Clichy near Pigalle and further east is full of sex shops. Perhaps not one of the best places to stay in Paris if you have small kids.
The best way to know if you’re in a good part of Montmartre? Google Streetview is my go-to tool. Take a look at the neighborhood, especially the blocks surrounding the hotel, before you book your accommodation. The good news is that Montmartre hotels tend to be a bit cheaper than other areas of Paris, and it’s one of the best neighborhoods in Paris when it comes to value for money.
If you’re looking for a rollicking, fun-filled food tour with more than just French food, be sure to check out the NO DIET CLUB Montmartre night food tour!
Top-Rated Hotels in Montmartre
- Luxury: Mom’Art Hotel and Spa
- Mid-range: Mercure Paris Montmartre Sacre Coeur
- Budget: Best Western Le Montmartre Saint Pierre
Find deals on hotels in Montmartre here.
Opéra and the 9th Arrondissement
The 9th arrondissement won’t be on a lot of lists of where to stay in Paris — while it has the Opéra, it isn’t big on attractions. And while it’s very Parisian, it’s not as famously charming as other neighborhoods. I didn’t give it a second thought until I stayed at my friend’s apartment in the 9th and saw what a great base it made for exploring Paris.
The 9th is a residential zone with the Galeries-Lafayette department store on one end (perfect views of the Eiffel Tower at sunset) and the edge of Montmartre on the other end. As a result, there aren’t a ton of tourists swarming the streets here (a rarity in central Paris!).
So what IS here? There are lots of restaurants, bars and cafes (including one of my favorites, Boullion Chartier), and there’s lots of life without a single establishment pandering to tourists. It’s the best arrondissement for going incognito for a bit.
And if you’re looking for something delicious, you can learn how to make fancy-looking French pastries like financiers and cannelés.
Top-Rated Hotels in Opéra
- Luxury: Hotel Saint Petersbourg Opéra
- Mid-range: Hotel 34B Astotel
- Budget: Hotel France Albion
Find deals on hotels in Opéra and the 9th here.
If you want to be in the dead center of the city, yet a place that doesn’t feel like Parisian Disneyland, Île Saint-Louis is one of the best places to stay in Paris. It has a wonderful feel — almost like its own small town.
Even though it’s next door to Île de la Cité and the massive crowds of tourists visiting Notre-Dame, Île Saint-Louis is almost a world away. It’s like the world suddenly goes quiet as soon as you cross the bridge.
The restaurants are nice and you shouldn’t miss Berthillon, home of Paris’s most famous ice cream. The black current ice cream is fabulous and one of my favorites. The boutiques aren’t bad, either.
Île Saint-Louis is home to L’Etiquette wine bar, a great place for drinks and the starting point for this top-rated wine tour of Paris, including a visit to a living vineyard within Paris!
Where to Stay on Île Saint-Louis
- Luxury: Hotel Saint-Louis en L’Île
- Mid-range: Hotel du Jeu de Paume
- Budget: Familia Hotel Paris (three blocks away from the island)
Find deals on hotels in Île Saint-Louis here.
Bastille and 12th Arrondissement
Place de la Bastille is no longer home to the famous prison — remember, it was razed during the French Revolution — and today is a great neighborhood located just east of the Marais and a world away. As soon as you pass the Bastille and cross into the 12th, prices drop a bit, but the cool factor remains.
You’re around the corner from Gare de Lyon train station — convenient for people traveling onward southeast by rail — and have easy access to vibrant, pumping nightlife. It’s the best area to stay in Paris for people who want a bit of party, but also go home and sleep at the end of the night.
Technically when you head westward of the Bastille, you’re in the 12th, stretching out all the way to Bois de Vincennes. It’s a large arrondissement here, so make sure you’re conveniently located near a Metro station.
And one of the best market tours in Paris is located here: the Aligre market foodie tour, a farmers’ market beloved by Parisians and the perfect place to get to know Paris on a personal level.
Where to Stay in Bastille and 12th Arrondissement
- Luxury: Maison Bréguet
- Mid-range: Le Marceau Bastille
- Budget: Hôtel Des Arts-Bastille
Louvre/Les Halles (1st Arrondissement)
Finally, if you want to be incredibly central and walking distance from most of the major sites, consider the center of the city: the 1st arrondissement. You’ll have easy access to many of Paris’s main attractions: the Louvre, the Jardin des Tuileries, Place Vendôme, Notre-Dame, and almost every major transportation line. A lot of people consider it one of the best neighborhoods in Paris for that reason, but I think it’s a little too commercial and lacking in character.
Keep in mind that being central comes with a price: Paris hotels tend to be most expensive in the first arrondissement. A lot of people who don’t know where to stay in Paris book their accommodation here because they assume it will be easier to get to the sights. But don’t forget about the metro. It’s cheap, it’s easy, it goes everywhere.
One of my top recommendations is to branch away from the biggest sites and see what’s available a bit of a longer walk away. One of my favorite spots is Rue Montorgueuil, a fantastic food street split between the 1st and 2nd arrondissement. I once stayed by there and now it’s a place I need to visit whenever I’m in Paris.
And if you’re visiting Paris with kids, Les Halles is home to a family-friendly food tour filled with things kids will be thrilled to eat.
Where to Stay Near the Louvre/Les Halles
- Luxury: Mandarin Oriental Paris
- Mid-range: Hotel Moliere Paris
- Budget: Tonic Hotel du Louvre
Find deals on hotels near the Louvre and the 1st here.
Where NOT to Stay in Paris
Don’t stay outside the main 20 arrondissements. You’ll be far from the center and while many of Paris’s surrounding suburbs are lovely and perfectly safe, some of them are the most dangerous areas in Paris. Whenever you hear about riots and violence in Paris, it’s usually in these rough suburbs.
Don’t plan your stay around being close to a certain attraction. Paris’s metro is easy and efficient enough to navigate your way anywhere — you don’t need to stay within walking distance from the Louvre in order to visit the Louvre.
“Near the Eiffel Tower” actually isn’t my favorite. The neighborhoods near the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, in the 7th arrondissement, are upscale residential areas. They’re fine, but they’re expensive and a bit boring, in my opinion. Besides, you can see the tower from all over the city.
“Near the Champs-Elysees” is worse. A lot of people (including the Four Seasons) think this is one of the best places to stay in Paris, but I disagree strongly. Definitely go to the Champs-Elysees at least once, but it’s filled with shops you can find anywhere and it’s absolutely swarming with tourists. It’s Paris’s Times Square. There are better places to stay in Paris.
Don’t stay in a hotel near the airport. Unless it’s for one night only and your flight leaves at 6:00 AM the next day. Paris’s two airports, Charles de Gaulle and Orly, are both far outside the city.
Best Luxury Hotel in Paris: Hotel Villa d’Estrées
I’ve stayed in a few luxury hotels in Paris and my favorite is Hotel Villa d’Estrées. I relaxed the moment I stepped into this hotel room. It was elegant, streamlined, and old-fashioned but not cliche. The main room had striped wallpaper; the bathroom had a beautiful vanity and the windows had a view over St. Germain.
While Paris hotels are usually known for being cramped and tiny, my room at the Villa d’Estrées was spacious and actually had room for a couch.
And the location? Magnifique. St. Germain, a 30-second (!) walk from the St. Michel metro station and just steps from the shops and galleries of St. Germain, making it one of the best places to stay in Paris. Even though an Irish pub is next door, you don’t hear the noise of it at all.
More Top-Rated Luxury Hotels in Paris:
- Hotel Les Bains Paris
- Hotel Bel Ami
- Nolinski Paris
- Hotel Plaze Athenée
- International luxury chains: Four Seasons George V, Mandarin Oriental Paris, Hotel The Peninsula Paris, Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme, Shangri-La Hotel Paris
Best Mid-range Hotel in Paris: Hotel Georgette
If you’re looking for a great mid-range hotel in Paris, where you get a lot of value for less money than a luxury property, Hotel Georgette is a fabulous option. Hotel Georgette is fun, colorful, and very queer-friendly. Each room is decorated in a signature style, making the place you stay part of the Paris experience.
Hotel Georgette has just 19 rooms, making it feel like a cozy establishment rather than a large, nameless hotel. The property has an honesty bar, communal area, breakfast, and a concierge service.
But perhaps one of the best things about Hotel Georgette is its location — in the heart of the Marais, just around the corner from the Centre Pompidou. Not only do you have easy access to fabulous modern art, the Seine, and my favorite crepe restaurant on the planet (Breizh Cafe), it’s also a great place to access to cheaper Paris activities, like getting a falafel at L’as du Falafel and having a picnic with it in Place des Vosges.
More Top-Rated Mid-range Hotels in Paris
- Hotel Moliere Paris
- Mercure Paris Montmartre Sacre Coeur
- Hotel du Jeu de Paume
- Hotel 34B Astotel
- Holiday Inn Paris St. Germain-des-Pres
Best Budget Hotel in Paris: Best Western Le Montmartre St. Pierre
Finding a budget hotel in Paris can be tough — it’s a very expensive city, and rooms here are tiny (and the elevators even tinier). Finding a place where you can enjoy Paris on a budget and be in a room larger than a closet can be challenging at times.
Luckily, there’s the Best Western Le Montmartre St. Pierre — an excellent budget hotel where you can be based in a charming part of Paris while still saving money. Inside you’ll have small but not minuscule rooms, decorated with damask window panes and outfitted with fluffy windows. Out the windows you’ll have views of Montmartre rooftops.
Montmartre has a long history of being a working-class neighborhood, and though it’s gentrified today, you can still find hotels here for a fraction of what you’d pay for a similar property in neighborhoods like Les Halles and the Marais. It’s the best area to stay in Paris for Amélie and Moulin Rouge fans, too. Enjoy Montmartre — and live as the locals do!
More Top-Rated Budget Hotels in Paris
Best Hostel in Paris: St. Christopher’s Hostel — The Canal
As hostels continue to innovate and turn into modern budget getaways for travelers of all ages, exceptional properties are popping up all over Europe. That said, unlike Lisbon or Berlin, Paris doesn’t have any game-changing hostels.
However, there is one nice Paris hostel that I do recommend: St. Christopher’s Hostel on the canal. It’s a relatively new hostel, built in 2008, and it’s airy and vibrant with impeccably clean dorms, large bathrooms, key card security, and a wild bar downstairs to meet fellow travelers.
St. Christopher’s is part of the Europe’s Famous Hostels chain, and I’ve found all their hostels to be well maintained with a great social environment.
The location on Canal St. Martin is offbeat and fairly out of the way, but there are plenty of nice cafes, a grocery store, some Vietnamese restaurants, and three metro stops within a ten-minute walk. What you lack in a central location you make up for in funky character. It’s one of the best areas to stay in Paris to avoid the tourist crowds.
More Top-Rated Paris Hostels
Travel Insurance for Paris
A lot of people think travel insurance is an unnecessary expense — I couldn’t disagree more. Travel insurance is vital. It’s saved me hundreds of dollars and for one of my friends, who slipped and broke his back while traveling, his travel insurance saved him hundreds of thousands of dollars. Another friend, who broke her foot while traveling, got her insurance to get her a business class flight home to keep her foot up.
If you get pickpocketed on the metro, travel insurance will refund you what you lost.
If you slip on the stairs at Notre Dame Cathedral and break your ankle, travel insurance will refund your medical costs and will get you home for free.
If you get appendicitis while in Paris, travel insurance will cover your medical costs.
If an immediate family member dies while you’re halfway across the world, travel insurance will help you get home immediately.
These are unpleasant things to think about, but it’s so important to be prepared for the worst.
Take a look at World Nomads Travel Insurance for trips to Paris. They’re a great fit for almost every traveler. Take a look at their policies before you buy to make sure they’re right for you.
My #1 Paris Accommodation Travel Tip
Make sure your accommodation is within a short walk of a metro stop, or, ideally, a few metro stops on a few different lines. You’ll be riding the metro a lot, so being close will make your time in Paris so much easier. It almost doesn’t matter where to stay in Paris when you can get around so quickly on the metro!
In the past, I’ve stayed in places that were a long walk (around 12 minutes) from the metro in areas that weren’t well traversed. This made me uncomfortable walking home alone at night, and while I stuck it out at the time, I wouldn’t stay that far away again.
Any trip to Paris should be the trip of a lifetime. I hope this guide brings you close to finding the best area in Paris for YOU personally. It’s time to make your Paris dream come true.
Are you ready? Let’s book your place to stay in Paris!
More on Paris:
- Solo Female Travel in Paris — Is it Safe?
- 33 Most Famous Streets in Paris
- How to Plan a Day Trip to Paris from London
- How to Spend a Layover in Paris
- 100 Travel Tips for Paris
- The Art of the Chilled Out Trip to Paris
Have you been to Paris? Where’s your favorite place to stay?
126 thoughts on “Best Area to Stay in Paris: Neighborhoods, Hotels & More!”
Le Marais is definitely my favourite neighborhood in Paris although a close second is the Latin Quarter. My friend has a flat on Rue Mouffetard (my favourite street) and I’m going to stay there for a weekend in December. It has markets, amazing food and great bars too, the perfect Paris combination.
I think your tips to ensure you stay near the centre (rather than on the outskirts) and near a metro stop are the most important ones. There is so much to Paris that exploring it can easily keep visitors busy over several visits, as you yourself have proved!
I stayed in Montmartre and it was very lovely.. Full of action! I definitely recommend to everyone!
I stayed at a Cobblestone apartment in Montmartre, and it was fabulous. I can’t wait to return.
Love this post! I’ve never been to Paris, but it’s definitely a place I would like to visit one day.
This is a very very useful post, thank you! Even tough I’ve been to Paris a few times, I’ll read this again before I search for accomodation next time around.
We were in Paris in July and rented an AirBnB near Parc des Buttes Chaumont, and while it wasn’t necessarily central, it was perfect to see ‘real life’ in Paris. Like you said, transit is fantastic, so it’s really no problem getting around!
Parc Buttes-Chaumont is kind of a haul, but it’s one of my favorite places in the city. I’m generally inclined to point people farther from the center, not necessarily way on the outskirts, but areas like Denfert-Rochereau, which is an RER B hub, as well as a stop on the 6 (which also goes straight to Bir-Hakeim and Trocadero, both great ways to get to the Eiffel Tower) and the 4 (which goes through Saint Sulpice, Saint Germain, Saint Michel and Chatelet-Les Halles on its way up to Barbes-Rochechouart). I also really enjoy the 11th (Oberkampf, Filles du Calvaire) and 12th (Dugommier area) arrondissements–residential, no tourists, plenty of local color, and easily accessible by multiple train lines. The good news about Paris is that no matter where you end up, it’s pretty simple to hop on a train and figure out how to get to your next destination.
Gosh, now I’m all nostalgic! I haven’t lived there since 2012.
We love the Hotel St. Paul in the 6th. Lots of dining choices around and it’s about three blocks to the Metro. Also, close enough to the Pont des Arts for a picnic dinner.
I have family all over paris (center + suburbs). With this I’ve been there countless times (going there again twice in December) and gained a pretty good knowledge of the city.
Mostly, I agree with you. It is also relatively safe unless you end up in the wrong neighbourhood, like barbes. One thing though is that some suburbs are quite interesting and provide a different and interesting scenario. Try the area around la marne.
What about daily trips from Paris? There’s so much to see and do.
I stayed in a boutique hotel in the 16th arrondissement for my first visit and it was the best! Very safe, quiet Parisian neighborhood and a quick 15 minute walk to the Eiffel, although it was 2-3 blocks from the train. Would want to check out the other neighborhoods on future trips though for the experience.
Can you please tell me the name of the hotel you stayed in?
Thank you for the tips! This article was posted at a perfect time as I am currently making my plans for an overnight layover in Paris next month! If anyone can make a suggestion of things to do for a brief first timer’s visit in Paris that would be appreciated. I arrive at the Paris airport at 5pm and will depart at 2pm the next day. Thanks in advance 🙂
Yikes, barely a layover! If I were you, I’d decide whether you want to see the Eiffel Tower up close at day or at night. Both are nice. Make sure you get up early the next day. If you wanted to wander a bit, I suggest taking in Notre Dame, Ile Saint-Louis and either the Marais or St. Germain (either neighborhood is adjacent to the islands). St. Germain is nice at night — Boulevard St. Germain and Rue de Buci are good places to wander and have dinner at a cafe. Also near St. Germain is Le Relais de l’Entrecote for a steak frites and another steak frites!
LOVED St Christopher’s Crimee ( on the Canal) when I stayed there a few years ago. Tossing up between there again and the newer hostel when I go to Paris next month. Second night probably a hotel, the Marais sounds like a good bet!
Thank you for sharing this! Looking for the right spot to stay in such iconic cities can definitely get overwhelming fast. It’s great to have a little guide to follow!
I definitely needed to read this before I went to Paris last month. The day before I arrived there was a new review that summed it up perfectly… “The street commerce downstairs is less than appealing”. Despite this, we had a fantastic time and the street commerce turned out to be a source of entertainment for us in the end xo
Sounds like Montmartre around Pigalle! 😉
We managed to find a first time Airbnber (we were Airbnb virgins too) for an absolute steal (something like 30 or 40 euros a night). They jacked prices up after that. A little far- 15th arondissement – but a really lovely and quiet residential area, we got live like locals for a week.
The Marais area sounds perfect!! I’ve never been to Paris, but I love cities and food so we’re bound to get along. 😉 Thinking of doing a girls trip there next year and this post will be super helpful!
I love the neighborhoods you identified. One of our favorite places to stay is Hotel de l’Abbaye Saint-Germain. Great location near a Metro stop and lots of nice, cozy restaurants. It’s also conveniently located near a laundry. We pack light, so it’s nice to have one nearby!
You and I met years ago at a bloggers conference in Perugia (when I was sans beard) and I’ve been following your posts ever since. I’ve also been to Paris many times (I was once an exec with Air France) and you’ve hit the mark with this post. Good work!
Aww, thank you, Jim! So nice to hear from you! 🙂
Kate, do you have a hotel recommendation in the Maris that you offer?
I haven’t stayed in a hotel in the Marais, only Airbnb rentals, so I can’t recommend one personally. There are a lot, though!
This makes me want to go back right now! I have been twice so far and have done all the touristy stuff as well as wandering aimlessly, on my next visit I would like to explore more of the neighbourhoods
Great article! In case everyone is looking for additional tools to find the right neighborhood in Paris, check out Villy – http://www.villy.co/. We help users find the right neighborhood for them by asking a series of questions about what they care about.
Kate – would love to know what you think.
This is SO helpful. I’ve been to Paris a few times and have stayed in St. Germain every time. Next time around, I want to try someplace new, perhaps the Marais? Thanks for sharing! Bookmarking this.
Happy travels 🙂
I always stay in St. Christophers (Canal). They recently opened a new branch at Gare du Nord, but I don’t like to be in that area at night. I still have to go exploring the south of Paris.
I loved parc Bercy and especially the national library across the canal with the forest inside 🙂
Just discovered your site. Your tips are great like how you provide options just not just giving your opinion while explaining what each has to offer. Look forward to future post.
Welcome, De’Jav! Hope to see you around!
I just got back from my first trip to Paris and I stayed in the 9th near Eglise de la Madeleine, at a new hotel that’s just opened and then in the 6th near St. Sulpice at an AirBnB rental. Both were great and close to metro stops. I would stay in either location again without 6. Paris is a big city but I felt like I was never that far from anything because of the metro. I also walked…a lot. Paris is a very, very walkable city.
Great list Kate! I absolutely love Le Marais as well. I stayed in Montmartre on the border of the seedy area (my mistake) so it was a bit gross. The rest of Montmartre is great though! Definitely heading for Le Marais next time though. Love Paris!
Great post Kate!
I’ve been to Paris 6 or 7 times now as it’s pretty close to where I used to live (London), and where I live now (Berlin), and I love it!
Because of that, I haven’t been in ages. 🙂 In fact, the last time I was actually in Paris was 7 years ago in which I just decided to hop over there because the flight was €18.00 (Easyjet) so I went to Disneyland for a few days, and then I remembered that I had a girlfriend who was half-French and lived in the sticks somewhere in the middle of France, so I stayed with her for a week, and because it was early Sepember, I decided to stick around and booked a house in Brittany for another week!! In fact, that house was in Cancales!
Good times LOL!
Hahaha. Why not keep extending the trip?
Surprised you didn’t mention the controversy surrounding Airbnb recently. They are quasi-legal at best, and currently undergoing legal challenges in both NYC and Paris.
They are. I’ve talked about it in earlier posts: https://www.adventurouskate.com/how-to-use-airbnb-and-have-a-great-experience/
It is a legal company. You pay fees to them, they pay taxes. You pick a place based on reviews, and it is cheaper and way more interesting than staying at a standard hotel. I would never stay at a hotel anymore, like I would never use taxis anymore…
Sorry, Kristi and Kate- Airbnb *and* most private rentals are not legal, and are being cracked down on by the city of Paris. Cobblestone doesn’t have the greatest rep either so you’re lucky!
I’ve stayed in three Cobblestone rentals and they were all fabulous and the service was outstanding.
So what would you recommend ? Im visiting Paris for about two weeks and staying at hotel is crazy expensive. Im looking for another alternative where i don’t have to share a bathroom.
I need to get back to Paris and I need to pack this guide in my back pocket. I went while I was in college and didn’t appreciate it or spend nearly enough time there. That apartment looks and sounds amazing.
Was my first time to Paris in July this year. I stayed in Marais and loved it. Was lucky to have friends living there who were out of town and had their place to myself. Such an easy city to walk around. I must have walked nearly 10km each day. Gotta burn off those calories consumed in between!
That’s the best case scenario — friends in Paris’s best neighborhood who let you stay at their place for free!
nice collection of pictures depicting true culture. Thanks for sharing will definitely visit this place one day!
Great article. Nice to see the caveat about the 18th arrondissement, as well – it’s so easy to end up in the wrong area so quickly! The Barbes metro is an area that one should be especially careful to watch out for.
I need to say, though – the area near the Eiffel tower is gorgeous!! In my opinion, the views absolutely outweigh whatever potential monotony you might experience there. Though, to be fair: it’s extremely expensive, like you said.
Just googled travel blogs and found yours, AND favorited your site. Can’t wait to read the rest of it 🙂
Thanks, Anna! Welcome!
What an awesome list. I will definitely need to check some of these out when my travels take me back to Paris. Great stuff, Kate!
This is why, in my opinion, your blog is offers the best travel advice – the exceptional quality. Every post is crafted with care and full of tips that you have lived and breathed yourself. They offer not just inspiration but solid, practical advice that sometimes I feel even guidebooks lack.
Sorry for being gushy, but you can never have enough praise when it comes to something like blogging!
I appreciate that greatly, Beanie. Thank you so much!
This is such an informative post, thank you! The Marais is my absolute favourite area in Paris. I haven’t ventured to Belleville before, but it looks like I’ll have to give it a try 🙂
Always wanted to stay in Monmartre but ever since Amelie, the place has gotten too touristy. But your list has so many amazing options now I’m spoilt for choice! 🙂
Oh, I think Montmartre was touristy long before Amelie came alone. 😉 Still, though, like anywhere else, walk a few blocks off the main drag and you’ll be tourist-free!
Have just returned from my 1st Paris visit and am in love with the city – it was mutual 🙂 Can I give a shout out for the 2nd arrondissement, which was very local and very convenient to everything. We had a great little flat and could not have been happier with all of the OMG moments that Paris serves up. Great post
The 2nd is great as well! Glad you had a nice time in Paris.
Really nice post, Kate, awesome collection of photos. Paris is so colourful and amazing city, everybody can find something special for himself. My personal favourite area is St. Germain, I have great memories of a holiday I spent there once.
I have got a twist on the best place to stay in Paris. We took our boat through the French canals from the English Channel to the med. on our way we stopped at a halt on the river seine in view of the Eiffel Tower. So for us our boat named Cedilla was the best place we could think of.
Great stuff Barry
Wow, Barry! What a trip! Sounds incredible.
Bookmarking this for my Paris comeback… I will come back. 🙂
You should, Kieu!
Absolutely makes sense that this is your most popular post this month. I lived in Paris for half a year and your take on the neighborhoods – not just where to live, but what to do around the corner – is spot on in every way. I do wish I have spent a bit more time in the Marais (I lived in the 7th with the view of the Tower right over my window’s geraniums, went to school in the 8th on Hausmann), and in the future I certainly will (my favorite bakery is there). And until your post I never thought about it but it’s true – the 9th is truly the sole central non-touristy neighborhood in the city! As far as accommodations go though, on my return to Paris, whenever that happens, I want to stay at one of the Hotels Particuliers!
I’m glad a part-time Parisian like you agrees with my choices, Anna!
Beautiful photos! Thank you for sharing article. Hope to hear more from you.
Great tips!!! I’ve already done some of your “nevers”, so when planning next trip to Paris, i should definetely use your advises!!!
I also love Paris and wish to someday be visiting it. Paris is beautiful!
Thanks for the valuable information about the property which you have provided.
Great article and just started following your blog…
good and interesting post!
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Hi Kate! Would you reccomend staying at the new location of the ST. Christopher’s hostel, or the one on the canal? Is the newer one more central to getting to the tourist attractions?
Thanks in advance!
I’ve only stayed on the canal. Both are well-connected via Metro but I think the Gare du Nord location is slightly more convenient.
Have you stayed recently? Would love to know if you still recommend this hostel 🙂
Love your site!!
I last stayed there over a year ago but I would still recommend it.
Great blog. Been to Paris twice. My favorite city. This time taking kids with us.
Looking at an apt thru airbnb at following places:
1. Boulevard Malesherbes, awesome apartment – very chic and spacious
2. Ile saint lois – quaint one but still like it
3. one near eifel tower – spacious with a terrace
Any suggestions on which one to pick? We really love the first one. Gorgeous apartment but not sure of safety and proximity to things in the location. Please help…
No A/C in any. is that ok? travelling mid august.
Also any advice on three day trips to go out of Paris?
Mom and teen daughter first time visitors going in April (five days). After reading this, I’m thinking the Hyatt Etoile in the 17th (formerly Hotel Concorde La Fayette) might be too far out?
If it’s Etoile, that’s by the Arc de Triomphe, isn’t it? Not too far out at all! Just make sure you’re near a metro station (if it’s Charles de Gaulle-Etoile, that’s a major metro hub!).
I too will be traveling to Paris for the first time in April with my teen daughter and i know nothing about Paris either. I am starting to panic because i have no idea where to stay with a very limited budget. From what i have read so far the Marais area is nice, safe, and within walking distance to most everything. Any advice would be helpful!! Would love to do the cobblestone apartment just not sure of the expense.
cab in Michigan
just visit your blog here and its give me bit knowledge on paris. Me, my wife and my two children (3yo & 6yo) are planning to visit paris this coming july. this is our first time, any idea where to stay for 3 nights in paris? my budget for stay is around $100 per night, thank you
Wonderful blog Kate.
Thanks for the advice. We are planning our first trip to Paris and now we know better than what knew before 🙂