We’re breaking down the best areas to stay in Paris!
Like any good vacation planner, one of the essential steps to a perfect trip is accommodations. With sites like booking.com and Airbnb, finding a cool hotel or apartment isn’t the trickiest part, but figuring out where you should stay. This is especially true if you’ve never been to the new city you’re visiting and are completely unfamiliar with the different areas.
If you’re planning a trip to Paris, you’ve come to the right place! We love helping travelers make the most out of their time here in the French capital, and a huge part of that is knowing the best areas to stay in.
I’ve broken things down in terms of taste, budget and general vicinity to monuments and landmarks below. After reading this article, I’m sure you’ll know exactly where to stay in Paris!
Before I get into the specific areas to stay in Paris, there are a few things about the city that are important to understand. If you’ve already taken a look at accommodation options, you’ve probably seen these words being thrown around:
- Right Bank
- Left Bank
Um, say what? I know. It can be confusing if you’ve never been to Paris before, but it’s not as complicated as it seems!
An arrondissement translates roughly into English as borough. I would compare it to New York, where “New York City” is separated into different areas like Brooklyn, the Bronx and Manhattan. While New York boasts 5 boroughs, Paris has 20 different arrondissements. As you can imagine, they are much smaller than in NYC.
Paris’ arrondissements are in the form of a snail, and spiral from left to right outwards from the center of the city.
Paris is also separated into the “Right Bank” and “Left Bank.” This is a reference to the Seine River that flows through the city. There is not only a geographical distinction, but a cultural one as well between the two sides of the Seine.
First of all (just to clear things up because I was really confused about this myself when I got to Paris), the Seine flows to the northwest, so the area of the city to the south of the river is called the Left Bank, and the side to the north is called the Right Bank. The Right Bank is home to 14 different arrondissements, and the remaining 6 are on the Left Bank.
The Left Bank has always been considered the “intellectual” side of the city, with the Latin Quarter, the Sorbonne and cafés where philosophers and writers would congregate to discuss the meaning of life and all of that jazz.
The Right Bank is the more “fashionable and fun” side of the city, with the Champs-Élysées, rue de Rivoli, the Moulin Rouge, Pigalle and Montmartre.
Now that you know these basics, you’re ready to move onto specific areas, arrondissements and neighborhoods to stay in Paris!
If you want easy access to landmarks and luxury hotels
The 1st arrondissement should be your go-to if you want to be as close as you can to the major landmarks in Paris. Here you’ll find the Louvre, Sainte-Chapelle, Tuileries, Palais-Royale and the Place Vendôme.
Here you’ll also find some of the most luxurious hotels in Paris, if you’re ready to splurge! A few dreamy options include the Mandarin Oriental and the Hôtel de Crillon. Keep in mind that these cost upwards of 1,000 euros per night.
Some slightly more budget friendly options include the Hotel Brighton and the Westin Paris – Vendome. If you’re really on a budget but also really want to stay in this area, you’ll have to go a little bit further back from the Seine, Place de la Concorde and Louvre, and more towards Châtelet.
- Arrondissement: 1st
- Right bank
If you’re looking for a hipster vibe
I call these areas hipster because they are teeming with trendy bars, restaurants and boutiques, and there is a huge population of young people that live here. They are great areas to stay in if you want to enjoy Parisian nightlife or if you want to eat avocado toast and sip on oat milk lattes.
Both locales are central as well with plenty of metro access if you want to check out some museums and monuments, too. The canal is perfect for a stroll, and Le Marais is great for some history, shopping or Jewish treats.
- Arrondissement: 4th
- Right bank
- Arrondissement: 10th
- Right Bank
If you want to live like the artists used to
For many, Paris is the city of Picasso, Claude Monet, Salvador Dali and Édith Piaf. I’ll admit that I am one of these people! I love strolling through the city streets, imagining how the city life must have been for some of my heroes.
My favorite area for doing just that is by far Montmartre! Rightfully so, as Picasso, Georges Braques, Edgar Degas and Monet all once called this northern Parisian neighborhood home. If you’re interested in learning more about the area, its famous former residents and more, I definitely recommend you take a look at our Time Travel to Montmartre tour.
Montmartre can be a little on the expensive side due to all of the other curious travelers that want to experience this artists haven, so I also encourage you to look at Airbnb here. Just, be careful. Montmartre is a wonderful and safe area, but it nudges up against some sketchier areas. My advice? Try to stay as close to the Sacré-Coeur as you can.
- Arrondissement: 18th
- Right Bank
If you want to walk in the footsteps of famous writers
If some people associate Paris with artists, there are others that associate this city with writers! Saint-Germain-des-Près is the area for you if you’re one of those. Here, you’ll find famous cafés like the Deux Magots, the Café de Flore and the Brasserie Lipp, where writers like Ernest Hemingway and F Scott Fitzgerald were known to haunt.
The first time I lived in Paris as a student I lived in Saint-Germain and I was immediately charmed by the classically Parisian architecture, antique shops and cafés. If you’re just as nostalgic as I am about Paris in the 1920s, you’ll love this quaint neighborhood.
There are quite a few hotels here with varying price points. A few years ago, my mom stayed in a little boutique hotel near the Boulevard Saint-Germain called the Hôtel Louis 2, which we both loved!
Airbnb is always an option here too. Why not rent an apartment and pretend like you actually live here and are about to go spend some time with your very good friends Ernest and F Scott? Or am I the only one who wants to live out this kind of daydream?!
- Arrondissement: 6th
- Left Bank
If you’re on a serious budget
If you’ve already started some research halfway through this article, you may be feeling like Paris just isn’t in your budget. Never fear – I’ve saved my most budget friendly option for last! Paris is possible on nearly every budget.
My favorite hostel in the city is located on Le Bassin de la Villette, another beautiful canal in Paris. Whenever I have friends coming to visit on a budget, I always recommend they stay here. It’s a really beautiful area, the hostel is clean and safe, and is conveniently located near metro lines 2 and 7 (both lines are great for visiting the important monuments).
The hostel is called St. Christopher’s Inn, and offers private rooms as well as shared. Prices range between 40-80 euros per night, truly a fraction of most hotels or Airbnbs in the city.
- Arrondissement: 19th
- Right Bank
I hope that you have found this article information and helpful! I tried to be as honest as possible, and give you all the same recommendations I give to my friends and family when they come to pay me a visit.
Have you already visited Paris? Where did you stay? Did you like it? Would you recommend it?! Tell me everything in the comments below, I love hearing from you!
If you want some more personalized recommendations, it sounds like you would hugely benefit from one of our Travel Services. We offer an hourly Concierge service which you can use to pick our Paris experts’ brains about what to do and when, get personalized restaurant recommendations and reservations, get the inside scoop on the best activities to do like wine tasting, and so on. We also offer Itinerary Planning, which is the creation of a top-to-bottom vacation plan perfectly tailored to your tastes and needs. You can learn more about both services (and make your payment) on our Travel Services page!