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Pilot has covered the best places to stay in Paris, but what about the best Paris areas and neighborhoods to visit?
When you visit the city of love, you'll see, experience, and fall in love with the 20 arrondissements that make up the extraordinary french city.
Some areas are super touristy and perfect for visiting. In contrast, others are more residential and less interesting if you're trying to visit Paris. Regardless, I'm going to cover them all. Here's your ultimate guide to exploring Paris, uncovering all of the Paris arrondissements and what there is to do, stay, and explore there!
Let's start unraveling the seemingly complex structure that is Paris Arrondissements, and you'll soon be roaming Paris like a local Parisian!
But first, for those confused by the complexity of Paris arrondissements, I'll dissect just how the city of Paris is structured!
Before we get started, let me do a quick overview of the 20 neighborhoods, or arrondissements of Paris. I have included a more comprehensive list of the 20 arrondissements and their associated attractions further down below as well.
Much of the confusion comes from the fact that neighborhoods have different popular names associated with them. I'll try to keep it as simple as I can throughout:
- 1st Paris Arrondissement: Lourve
- 2nd Paris Arrondissement: Bourse
- 3rd Paris Arrondissement: Temple
- 4th Paris Arrondissement: Hôtel-de-Ville
- 5th Paris Arrondissement: Panthéon
- 6th Paris Arrondissement: Luxembourg
- 7th Paris Arrondissement: Palais-Bourbon
- 8th Paris Arrondissement: Élysée
- 9th Paris Arrondissement: Opéra
- 10th Paris Arrondissement: Entrepôt
- 11th Paris Arrondissement: Popincourt
- 12th Paris Arrondissement: Reuilly
- 13th Paris Arrondissement: Gobelins
- 14th Paris Arrondissement: Observatoire
- 15th Paris Arrondissement: Vaugirard
- 16th Paris Arrondissement: Passy
- 17th Paris Arrondissement: Batignolles-Monceau
- 18th Paris Arrondissement: Butte-Montmartre
- 19th Paris Arrondissement: Buttes-Chaumont
- 20th Paris Arrondissement: Ménilmontant
Popular Paris Neighborhoods Explained
Although Paris is divided into 20 arrondissements, those are further divided into quartiers.
Here's a brief overview of some of the most well-known quartiers to Parisians and travelers alike, before diving into my recommendations and guides for all neighborhoods!
Le Marais | 3rd & 4th Arrondissement
Le Marais is well known for being home to the gay district in Paris and for its shopping. I feel it's trendy and hip, and you'll find several bumping bars and clubs to get your party on at night.
Le Marais is also home to Place des Vosges, and the Musée Picasso. I say this is a must-visit, especially for first-timers in Paris.
Montmartre | 18th Arrondissement
Home to Sacre Coeur, this is the neighborhood that reflects the ambiance so many envision when I think of Paris. With its steep hills, cobblestone streets, and picturesque views, you'll find a romantic vibe that screams Paris.
Montmarte is the perfect quartier to be slightly away from the action while in the 18th arrondissement, but still have the picturesque sights.
Latin Quarter (Quartier Latin) | 5th Arrondissement
Located on the Left bank of the Seine (in the 5th arrondissement), this centrally located neighborhood is home to Shakespeare & Co and Sorbonne University. As such, this is an excellent quartier for students and young travelers.
It's also one of the most central quartiers!
I find the energy of the local students inspiring. If you do too, you'll find bars, cafés, and plenty of nightlife perfect for budget travelers.
Saint-Germain-des-Prés | 6th Arrondissement
I'll admit it, sometimes I'm looking for luxury, and that drives me right to the sixth arrondissement. It's one of the more expensive neighborhoods in Paris to stay in, but its luxury boutiques and five-star hotels explain it. Here you'll find Café Flor (famous for more than just being in Emily in Paris I'm told), along with the Jardin Luxembourg.
Pigalle | 9th & 18th Arrondissement
On the border between the 9th and the 18th arrondissement, you'll find the quartier that houses the Moulin Rouge.
This is the nightlife neighborhood, also dubbed the Red Light District of Paris. I recommend you keep thatin mind if you like doing evening strolls.
Which neighborhood to visit in Paris?
It's impossible to pick the best quartiers/arrondissements/neighborhoods to visit. Depending on what you're trying to see, some will better suit your vibe than others. I decided to put them into specific traveler types to get you started.
Here are the best Paris neighborhoods to visit for each occasion and travel styles summarized for you:
Best Neighborhoods to visit in Paris:
- For shopping: head to the 8th arrondissement, where you'll find the Champs - Elysées, and all the luxury stores along with it
- For partying: head to Le Marais in the 4th arrondissement, or Montmartre/Pigalle in the 18th arrondissement
- For bars and jazz: head to the Latin Quarter in the 5th arrondissement
- For the center of the action: head to the 1st (le premier) arrondissement. For iconic landmarks: head to the 7th arrondissement, home to the Eiffel Tower.
- For families: head to Montparnasse in the 14th arrondissement
- For couples: Stroll down Montmartre in the 18th arrondissement or Saint-Germain-des-Prés in the 6th arrondissement.
- For picturesque streets/sights: head to Saint-Germain-des-Prés in the 6th arrondissement or Passage des Panoramas in the 2nd arrondissment.
- For museum-lovers: Aside from the Lourve, check out the 4 Paris locations of the Frances Museum of Natural History, scattered throughout the city!
If you're short on time, I would consider getting on one of the Hop-on hop-off busses in Paris to see it all!
Tip: if you're ever curious about what Paris arrondissement you're in, look at the street signs! There will be a number (it might be a roman numeral) that will indicate the number of the arrondissement.
Best Parisian neighborhoods for food!
I'm not going to France and coming back hungry. I need to know where I'll eat well!
While you can, and should, indulge in French dishes in Paris in just about any neighborhood, some areas in Paris truly have exceptional restaurants.
If you want to treat your inner foodie like I do while in Paris, here are the Paris Neighborhoods for foodies to check out:
- Saint-Germain-des-Prés (6th arrondissement)
- Rue Montorgueil (2nd arrondissement) - old stock market of Paris, a hidden gem for Foodies!
- Canal Saint-Martin (10th arrondissement)
- Latin Quarter (5th arrondissement) - The perfect combination of affordable and delicious given that it's frequented by students!
- Le Marais (ample bars) (4th arrondissement)
- Oberkampf for coffee shops (11th arrondissement)
Neighborhoods & Areas in Paris to avoid!
While traveling through the districts of Paris seems great, I can hear you asking, is Paris safe for tourists? Yes, safety is the number one concern of most travelers, which is especially more important with solo travelers. So just how safe is the city of Paris?
Paris is generally a safe city to visit! The city is tourist-friendly, and if you exercise caution and be mindful of your surroundings, Paris is not dangerous at all. I think that if you are respectful and cautious, you can visit paris with no issues at all.
Tip: Be mindful of any protests or grèves during your visit!
That being said, there are areas, and quartiers, I feel you should be mindful of if you decide to visit as a tourist. This rings especially true if you're solo-traveling, not fluent in French, or well-versed in wayfinding, and certainly after the sun has set.
While there aren't any entire Parisian quartiers you should avoid, Here are the few areas inside Paris Neighborhoods to avoid in the evening:
- 10th Arrondissement - Gare du Nord / Gare de l’Est
- 1st Arrondissement - Châtelet les Halles
- 19th Arrondissement - Northern areas, especially in the evening.
- 20th Arrondissement - Porte de Montreuil after dark.
- 16th Arrondissement - Bois de Boulogne
I am certainly not saying you shouldn't be out at night in Paris, but these are simply some areas where you should exercise more caution.
There are so many exciting, romantic, and beautiful sights and things to do in Paris at night! Being cautious won't ruin your enjoyment!
For navigating your way around the city, Citymapper is an excellent app to have on hand.
What to see in each Paris arrondissement
Every Parisian arrondissement has something to offer and different sights to see.
You could decide to follow the clockwise spiral of the numbering system to visit them all or target the ones that interest you. Or, if you have time to spare, I would recommend a walking tour of Paris's historical neighborhoods. You can also check out other tours around the city to learn more about the rich french history of this beautiful city. I love a good tour!
Here's a list of some highlights in each arrondissement I think are itinerary worthy so you can plan accordingly!
Highlights and Attractions in each Paris Arrondissements!
I’ll go more into detail about each arrondissement in the next section, but here’s the snapshot of the main sights to see in each arrondissement:
- 1st (Ier) arrondissement: Louvre, Jardin des Tuileries, Palais-Royal, Les Halles, Île de la Cité
- 2nd (IIe) arrondissement: Bourse, Passages Couverts, Rue Montorgueil.
- 3rd (IIIe) arrondissement: Picasso Museum, get a glimpse of medieval Paris
- 4th (IVe) arrondissement: Île de la Cité, Notre Dame Cathedral, Sainte Chapelle, Place des Vosges, Le Marais
- 5th (Ve) arrondissement: Pantheon, Jardin des Plantes, Musée Cluny, Latin Quarter
- 6th (VIe) arrondissement: Saint Germain des Prés, Jardin Luxembourg
- 7th (VIIe) arrondissement: Eiffel Tower, Musée d’Orsay, Les Invalides, Champs de Mars
- 8th (VIIIe) arrondissement: Champs-Elysees, Arc de Triomphe, Place de la Concorde
- 9th (IXe) arrondissement: Opera Garnier, Galeries Lafayette (luxury department stores)
- 10th (Xe) arrondissement: Canal Saint Martin, Place de la République
- 11th (XIe) arrondissement: Place de la Bastille, Oberkampf quartier
- 12th (XIIe)arrondissement: Bois de Vincennes, Bercy village, Proménade Plantée, Marché d'Aligre Market
- 13th (XIIIe) arrondissement: Butte-aux-Cailles neighborhood, French National Library
- 14th (XIVe) arrondissement: Catacombs
- 15th (XVe) arrondissement: Montparnasse Tower
- 16th (XVIe) arrondissement: Bois de Boulogne, Trocadéro, Paris Aquarium
- 17th (XVIIe) arrondissement: Jardin de Batignolles, Cité de Fleurs
- 18th (XVIIIe) arrondissement: Montmartre, Sacré Coeur, Moulin Rouge
- 19th (XIXe) arrondissement: Parc de Vilette, Paris Plages, Parc des Buttes Chaumont Park
- 20th (XXe) arrondissement: Père Lachaise Cemetery
If it's your first visit to Paris, I'd focus on the first, third-ninth arrondissements, Trocadero in the 16th, and Montmartre in the 18th to see all the highlights!
If you're pressed on time, check out our recommendations of the things you can do in Paris under three days.
Complete Guide to the Arrondissements of Paris
I've covered what the best neighborhoods in Paris are for each occasion. I've also covered what areas in Paris to avoid at night.
It's time now dissect each arrondissement of Paris up and show you what they all have to offer in each neighborhood! With 20 arrondissements, there is so much to explore in Paris.
Note: I primarily cover affordable Hostels in Paris in the guide below, but if hostels aren't your vibe, check out the awesome AirBnbs in Paris as well!
The first arrondissement is smack dab in the middle of Paris and home to some of the must-see classic sights, including the Louvre, Tuileries Garden, and Ile de la Cité. This is always a top place for both first-time visitors and hundredth-time locals.
- Things to do: Louvre, Jardin des Tuileries, Les Halles, Île de la Cité, Orangerie Museum
- Tour to take: Wine Museum Guided Tour with wine tasting! Learn all about French wine in France while exploring 18th-century wine cellars. Finish your tour with a wine tasting experience!
- Where to stay: While there are no hostels in the 1er arrondissement, the Hotel Tiquetonne offers rooms at under 70€ a night if you have a slightly higher budget. This hotel is near the metro and within walking distance of all the must-see sights in the arrondissement. If you're looking for other cheap places to stay, excellent hostels can be found as close as the 3eme!
- Features: In addition to all the sights to see, this arrondissement is along the Seine, and you'll find monuments, squares, and beautiful architecture all along the cobblestoned streets. For theatre lovers, check out Le Chatelet or La Comédie Française for any shows!
The second arrondissement is mainly the business district of Paris, which has earned it the nickname of La Bourse (translated to the stock market in English).
- Things to do: Passages Couverts, Rue Montorgeuil for food
- Tour to take: Covered Passages Walking Tour. Take a guided tour through the covered passages of the 2eme arrondissement, and learn all the different ones to see!
- Where to stay: No hostels. Hotels in this arrondissement are generally 3 or 4-star. Still, for a cheaper alternative, I would say to try Hotel d'Orléans Paris Gare de l'Est if you want to treat yourself a little!
- Features: As the smallest arrondissement, I only found one park, but ample shopping opportunities.
As half of Le Marais, the 3rd arrondissement is a popular neighborhood for tourists and locals alike.
- Things to do: Picasso Museum, get a glimpse of medieval Paris.
- Tour to take: Marais Walking Tour to learn all about Le Marais, and stop for two gourmet tastings along the way.
- Where to stay: MIJE Marais - stay in a unique 17th-century building with complimentary WiFi and continental breakfast!
- Features: The 3eme is home to the oldest market in Paris, the Marché des Enfants Rouges.
Moving into the other half of Le Marais, this is also the other half of Ile de La Cité. Situated along the right bank of the Seine, you're now in the Hôtel de Ville area of Paris.
- Things to do: Île de la Cité, Île Saint-Louis, Notre-Dame, Sainte Chapelle, Place des Vosges
- Tour to take: Ile de la Cite Walking Tour with a visit to Notre Dame.
- Where to stay: MIJE Marais - their locations span both halves of Le Marais!
- Features: As you cross into this half of Le Marais, you enter the Gay District of Paris. You can also enjoy a lovely picnic in Place des Vosges.
- Where to eat/drink: Le Piment Cafe, Cafe Charlot, La Perle.
The Latin Quarter is one of the hippest neighborhoods with students and tourists but retains its historical charm. I love the blend of everything in the 5th arrondissement.
- Things to do: Panthéon, Jardin des Plantes, Musée Cluny
- Tour to take: Paris Bike Tour of the hidden secrets in Le Marais and the Latin Quarter. Enjoy learning about this area of Paris while biking through the streets!
- Where to stay: Young and Happy Hostel is Paris' first independent hostel. I noticed it is a member of the hiphophostels network.
- Features: Cabarets aplenty, and the Sorbonne, which brings a lively student culture I love to the arrondissement!
- Where to eat/drink: Les Crepes de Louis-Marie
Bienvenue to the Saint Germain des Pres neighborhood of Paris where you'll find the views and architecture that are so associated with the city! I felt I had been here before. That's because when movies shoot Paris scenes, more often than not, they're taking scenes of the big streets, avenues, and buildings located right in the 6th arrondissement!
- Things to do: Saint Germain des Prés, Jardin Luxembourg
- Tour to take: Learn to bake a croissant with a French chef!
- Where to stay: There are no hostels in this arrondissement, and hotels can be expensive so I'd plan wisely if you want to stay in this area! With hostels in the 5eme and 7eme, you can easily stay there and be close to Saint Germain des Pres.
- Features: The 6eme is home to the famous Cafe de Flore, where famous writers and philosophers have frequented in the past (and Emily from Emily in Paris too has been there!)
- Where to eat/drink: The 6eme is famous for its gourmet food and pastries, so you can't go wrong most places! Give Maison Mulot a try for pastries or Cabeau des Oubliettes for a bistro bar with nightly music!
Home to the Eiffel Tower and Les Invalides, this is a must-stop arrondissement on your trip to Paris!
- Things to do: Eiffel Tower, Musée d’Orsay, Les Invalides, Champs de Mars
- Tour to take: I found this to be a unique experience, touring the UNESCO headquarters.
- Where to stay: The 3 Ducks Eiffel Tower by Hiphophostels is located just on the outskirts of the 7eme, and within walking distance of all the sights!
- Features: Head underground to the Paris Sewer Museum, or visit Rue Cler, one of the most well-known market streets of Paris.
If you're into shopping, I'd say this is the arrondissement for you! Also known as Elysée, you'll find some of the best and most expensive shops here.
- Things to do: Champs-Élysées, Arc de Triomphe, Place de la Concorde
- Tour to take: Skip-The-Line Arc de Triomphe Rooftop Tickets
- Where to stay: As an expensive arrondissement, you won't find any hostels here, but neighboring arrondissements (9, 16, and 17) have plenty of affordable options!
- Features: Catch a show at the Crazy Horse Cabaret. As for me, I'd wander down the Champs-Elysees to enjoy the posh shopping scene. You'll have a view of the Arc de Triomphe as you do.
Also known as Opéra, I discovered what was the heart of Parisian culture in the 19th century in the 9th arrondissement!
- Things to do: Opéra Garnier, Galeries Lafayette for shopping
- Tour to take: Self guided tour of the Opéra Garnier
- Where to stay: BVJ Opera Montmartre
- Features: Haussmann architecture is everywhere in this arrondissement, which is so quintessentially French (and Parisian)! Even if you're not a shopping person, be sure to pop inside Galeries Lafayette just to admire the architecture inside. It's stunning.
As you get further out of central Paris, you'll come across Canal Saint Martin, and the arrondissement that shares its name. Home to Gare du Nord, and Gare de l’Est, this arrondissement is also well connected by train!
- Things to do: Canal Saint Martin, Place de la République
- Tour to take: Seine River and Canal Saint Martin Cruise
- Where to stay: St. Christopher's Inn Gare du Nord is easily accessible from Gare du Nord and highly rated.
- Features: You can picnic along the canal bank or find some fun vintage shops around the area!
Home to the Bastille Prison, and the French revolutionary spirit, the 11eme arrondissement is nicknamed Republique. I can still feel the revolutionary energy in the streets of this arrondissement sometimes!
- Things to do: Place de la Bastille, Oberkampf quartier
- Tour to take: The best of hidden Parisian Street Food & Street Art will take you through a few arrondissements as you explore Belleville and its street art.
- Where to stay: Bastille Hotel, but this auberge (French for hostel) does have a maximum age of 30 for guests.
- Features: You can visit an Edith Piaf Museum, or the Atelier des Lumieres to learn about the history of film in France.
- Where to eat/drink: Coffee shops are excellent in Oberkampf, and one such is La Fontaine de Belleville.
Getting away from the bustle of the city, here you'll find a mainly residential 12th arrondissement of Paris full of greenery and parks. It's also home to the Gare de Lyon.
- Things to do: Bois de Vincennes, Parc de Bercy, Proménade Plantée, Marché d'Aligre Market.
- Tour to take: 2 Hour Market Tour with Tastings through the Marché d'Aligre.
- Where to stay: The People - Paris Bercy, a new hostel in the 12eme with ensuite rooms and a fabulous rooftop!
- Features: Lots of greenery and the Marché d'Aligre. As this is more residential, I would not consider it a must-visit arrondissement. However, it can be nice for people who have visited Paris multiple times!
As the up-and-coming 13th arrondissement, I hope you're prepared to find street art, murals, and artsy vibes!
- Things to do: Butte-aux-Cailles neighborhood, French National Library
- Tour to take: Urban Art Murals Walking Tour with an Expert. The 13eme is well-known in Paris for its art murals and street art.
- Where to stay: Hotel Tolbiac has simple single room options for comparable rates to hostels, but you can jump over to the 12eme or 14eme for a hostel if that's what you'd prefer!
- Features: Learn about tapestry at the Manufacture des Gobelins. (Not to be confused with the Gobelins school of animation.)
In Montparnasse, you'll find fun cafes, student-friendly restaurants, and a fun residential arrondissement of Paris.
- Things to do: I would recommend Catacombs
- Tour to take: Paris Catacombs skip-the-line ticket and audio guide
- Where to stay: Enjoy Hostel. While being safely nestled within the 14eme, you're less than a 10-minute walk from the Latin Quarter as well.
- Features: Stroll around the Montparnasse neighborhood to experience a residential Paris.
Ironically, the 15eme is the largest arrondissement, but I was surprised to see it has the least amount of sights to see! This is a perfect neighborhood if you're looking for a family-friendly space or some quiet in the evenings.
- Things to do: Montparnasse Tower - with a higher view than the Eiffel Tower, you can enjoy Paris' skyline up high!
- Tour to take: Balloon Flight over Paris. Fly over Paris from a height of 150 meters in a balloon, and take in the skyline from a different angle!
- Where to stay: Hotel Madrigal, closely located to Gare Montparnasse, is a peaceful place to stay if you want to be away from central Paris.
- Features: Visit Parc André Citröen, or Ile aux Cygnes. Similarly to the 12eme, this isn't an arrondissement to visit on your first few trips to Paris, but it can be a nice escape from central Paris.
Stepping into the most affluent arrondissement of Paris, you may feel some more bougie vibes, but there are still beautiful areas of it to explore
- Things to do: Bois de Boulogne, Trocadéro, Paris Aquarium, Palais de Tokyo
- Tour to take: Small Group Visit to the Musée Yves Saint Lauren
- Where to stay: As the most expensive arrondissement, I've found that budget friendly hostels aren't available here, but there are in neighboring arrondissements!
- Features: Art nouveau architecture differs from much of the rest of Paris. The 16eme is also home to Le Parc des Princes, the football stadium for PSG, so you can try to catch a match there!
What used to be hunting grounds has now spread out into a lovely section of outer Paris. I feel I've traveled back in time a little when walking down some of the streets on the 17th arrondissement!
- Things to do: Jardin de Batignolles, Cité de Fleurs
- Tour to take: Nothing specific in this arrondissement, but take a walk through it to experience it all!
- Where to stay: With no hostels, you can pop over to the 19eme for affordable hostels!
- Features: Haussmann architecture and greenery.
Back into tourism territory, in a good way, as we enter Montmartre!
- Things to do: Montmartre, Sacré Coeur, Moulin Rouge.
- Tour to take: Montmartre Street Art Tour with an artist.
- Where to stay: Le Montclair Montmartre is within five minutes walk of Montmartre, and I have a tip for you, bookings made over 30 days out get a 15% discount!
- Features: Go see a classic Moulin Rouge show, or just admire the outside of the well-known building. You can also head to the Pigalle district for nightlife and partying!
A trendy but off-the-beaten-path arrondissement, you'll feel as if you've stepped outside of Paris while still feeling its unique charm. I believe you'll take a lot of photos here.
- Things to do: Cité de la Science et l’Industrie, Parc de la Villette, Paris Plages, and Parc Buttes-Chaumont
- Tour to take: 90-Minute Street Art Tour
- Where to stay: St Christopher's Inns Canal offers free breakfast if you book directly through their website.
- Features: Explore the Canal de l'Ourcq along the banks or on the water! Be advised that northern parts of this arrondissement aren't recommended to visit after dark.
The last arrondissement, Belleville is one of the least tourist-filled neighborhoods, all while still having sights and monuments!
- Things to do: Pere Lachaise Cemetery
- Tour to take: Pere Lachaise walking tour to help you easily locate the famous residents of the cemetery and their histories.
- Where to stay: Hiphotel Belgrand, although you should stay closer to the center of Paris for first-time visitors to make exploring easier!
- Features: Parc de Belleville for some serenity outside the city center of Paris.
Explore more of Paris!
There's a reason Paris is such a popular city to visit in Europe, and I know you can discover it all while you're there. Even though every neighborhood offers something different, they all make up the Paris we know and love. I can express enough, exploring them all will only make your trip more exciting. Hopefully, my guide has you covered if you know where you want to stay but aren't sure what hostel is best for you.
If you're staying in Paris for long, make sure you take a day trip from Paris to see all of the beautiful sights located around the city! It's views and vibes to die for.
Flying to Paris?
If you're still planning your trip to Paris, I'd make sure you're booking the cheapest flights you can find. Try SkyScanner!
SkyScanner helps you find the cheapest flights available so that you wouldn't have to pay for a flight ticket and save that money for souvenirs or for food!
If you want the deets on Paris's CDG Airport, we've got you covered on that end as well.
Plan your trip to Paris!
How can you actually do all of this? How can you plan the perfect trip to Paris? Now that you've gotten all the Paris neighborhoods sorted out, it's time to Join Pilot and build the ultimate itinerary for Paris!