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Where to stay in Paris (for first time visitors)

Finding where to stay in Paris for the first time can be a little overwhelming. After all, Paris is known as the city of romance, so you definitely want to make sure you pick your location wisely, to fit your travelling style and needs. G and I first visited the French capital together in 2015 when I organised a romantic weekend in Paris. Needless to say that we simply loved Paris. We liked it because it seemed to be the perfect blend of vibrant, grand, modern and sexy. Without further ado, here is where to stay in Paris on your first visit.

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Where to stay in Paris

The first time we visited Paris as a couple we stayed near Palais Garnier in the 9th arrondissement. This is because I booked a surprise weekend for G and wanted to be as close to the opera as possible. You see, the whole reason for the trip was to have a fancy night and go to the opera together to watch a show. Tickets to Palais Garnier can sell out months in advance, so I made sure to plan my trip 6 months in advance. This was really good, as the plane tickets, as well as hotels, were a little cheaper than expected. We went to Paris in November and G had no idea about the trip. I packed the bags one night in advance and hid them in the hallway. In the morning of this birthday, I woke him up at 5am and told him to get dressed quickly. He kept asking questions and had no idea what was going on. I already had a taxi booked and everything in order waiting for us to just go. When we got to the airport, I checked us in quickly so he still didn't know where we were going. Eventually, when I started going towards the gate, he figured I was taking him on a surprise trip to Paris. It was just as exhilarating for me, as it was for him. When we got to Paris, we took the bus towards the centre but luckily it stopped just near the opera. We stayed in InterContinental Paris Le Grand which was just minutes away from the opera, the perfect location for our needs.

Paris has 20 Arrondissements and each of them has its own virtues. During our second, third and fourth trip to Paris, we moved around a little to experience what the city has to offer. We even asked the locals what they think of each Arrondissement so you can better decide where to stay in Paris.

Where to stay in Paris

Louvre - 1st Arrondissement

Do you want to be close to all the attractions in Paris? Then very likely you will want to stay in the 1st Arrondissement. This is the must-see place in Paris, especially if this is your first ever visit here. The 1st Arrondissement is known as the district of the Kings of France. It's also one of the most expensive places to stay in Paris, so if you are a budget traveller, then this might not be a good option. When picking your accommodation in the 1st Arrondissement, make sure your room faces an inner courtyard, as the place can get quite loud at times. 1st Arrondissement is also the district of Les Halles which has the huge central market. It's a little less fancy but also more affordable too.

Overall this is a great place for tourists but not so much if you wish to enjoy Paris as a local.

Where to stay in Paris 1st arrondissement
Hôtel Regina Louvre

Mid-range Hotel Prince Albert Louvre

Guest rooms at Prince Albert are decorated in traditional French patterns and have a private bathroom with a hairdryer. They are equipped with a flat-screen satellite TV, a safe and a minibar. Prices start at £130 per night.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Mid-range Hôtel de la Place du Louvre

A buffet breakfast is served daily in the hotel's Cave des Mousquetaires, a vaulted cave which was once connected to the Louvre. Hotel de la Place du Louvre also provides a bar and a 24-hour reception. Prices start at £134 per night.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Luxury Hôtel Regina Louvre

Designed in an elegant style with period furniture, the air-conditioned rooms feature a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, telephone and safe. Some rooms have views of Tuileries Gardens and the Louvre. Prices start at £320 per night.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Le Marais - 4th Arrondissement

When we visited the 4th Arrondissement, we thought this is one of the nicest. I know Paris can be subjective, but we loved this part the most. There are lots of things to do in the 4th Arrondissement and it's ideal for tourists and locals alike. Here you can find the beautiful Notre Dame or the Sainte Chapelle. The 4th Arrondissement is also known to be the gay district so if you are looking to party, you will see many rainbow flags in the area. We also recommend the 4th Arrondissement for those who are romantic at heart and want a lovely walk on the banks of the Seine.

Where to stay in Paris 4th arrondissement
Hotel de Neuve by Happyculture

Mid-range Hotel Rivoli

At the hotel, the rooms are equipped with a desk and a wardrobe. All rooms have a private bathroom, while some rooms will provide you with a balcony. Prices start from £76 per night.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Mid-range Hotel de Neuve by Happyculture

The guest rooms at the Hotel de Neuve by Happyculture are soundproofed and have a private bathroom. All rooms are serviced by a lift. The Hotel de Neuve by Happyculture is just 230 m from the Saint-Paul Metro Station, providing access to all of Paris. Prices start at £114 per night.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Luxury Hotel Dupond-Smith

Hôtel Dupond-Smith is located in the Marais area in central Paris. It offers individually decorated rooms with design features. Free Wi-Fi access is available throughout and the Louvre Museum is a 15-minute walk away. Prices start at £312 per night.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Latin Quartier - 5th Arrondissement

Fun little fact about the 5th Arrondissement: it's called the Latin Quarter and its known for its culture and history. This is actually where the Romans settled for the first time and founded the city of Lutetia. It's also the oldest district of Paris and also the district of students. And where there are universities, there is accommodation for decent prices. The 5th Arrondissement is a lively district which offers great accommodation and great nightlife.

Where to stay in Paris 5th arrondissement
Residence Henri IV

Mid-range Hotel de L'Esperance

Located a 2-minute walk from the lively rue Mouffetard, Hotel de L'Esperance offers a terrace and views of the city in Paris. Free WiFi is featured throughout the property. Prices start at £79 per night.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Mid-range Select Hotel

The air-conditioned rooms at the Select Hotel feature WiFi access, en suite facilities and a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. Some rooms overlook the Place de la Sorbonne or the inner courtyard. Prices start at £135 per night.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Luxury - Residence Henri IV

Marble fireplaces and vintage paintings give the rooms at Residence Henri IV a 19th-century feel. All accommodation has free Wi-Fi access and many rooms look over the flowered courtyard. Prices start at £166 per night.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Saint-Germain-des-Prés - 6th Arrondissement

The 6th Arrondissement is where to stay in Paris if you like fancy cafes and beautiful art galleries. We loved the 6th Arrondissement but we also thought it was a little pricey. Of course, we know Paris is not a cheap destination anyway. 6th Arrondissement is home to luxury boutiques so you can find a great hotel if you want an elegant trip to Paris. You'll find lovely streets and beautiful grand architecture. Even if you don't stay in Paris here, we still recommend that you visit the area, especially for the Luxembourg gardens and the Saint Sulpice Church. The 6th Arrondissement is well known for its Quartier Saint Germain des Prés, where intellectuals and artists used to meet a long time ago. There is something spectacular about seeing a place so rich in history.

Where to stay in Paris 6th arrondissement
Hôtel D'Aubusson

Mid-range Hotel Michelet Odeon

Some of the rooms provide a desk. The rooms come with a private bathroom with bath or shower. Free toiletries are featured. Prices start at £87 per night.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Mid-range Hotel Le Placide Saint-Germain Des Prés

Entirely redesigned by Bruno Borrione from the Philippe Starck firm, Le Placide Saint-Germain Des Prés offers luxurious black and white accommodation within walking distance to the famous Bon Marché department store. Prices start at £151 per night.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Luxury Hôtel D'Aubusson

This hotel will charm you with original beams, antique furniture and a monumental fireplace made of Burgundy stone. Each room at Hotel D'Aubusson has a marble bathroom, a Nespresso coffee machine and free high-speed WiFi. Prices start at £350 per night.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Eiffel Tower - 7th Arrondissement

The 7th Arrondissement is for you if you want to see what Paris is famed for: The Eiffel Tower and the Invalides. It's incredibly beautiful but can also get incredibly busy at times. In the Autumn, this is one of my favourite parts of Paris. Loved the haute-couture and those beautiful high-end shops and boutiques. Now, given this is super touristy as it is the heart of Paris, there is no surprise that it's one of the most expensive parts of the city. If you want to see Paris as it was intended for travellers, then this is a great place. However, if you like to live like a local and mingle with locals, then the 7th Arrondissement is not the place for you.

Luxury Paris 7th
Hotel Montalembert

Mid-range Hôtel Eiffel Rive Gauche

A 5-minute walk from the Champs de Mars and the Eiffel Tower is this former convent. Now a 3-star hotel, it offers free Wi-Fi access, LCD TV with satellite channels, warm tones and some have a private patio or views of the Eiffel Tower. Prices start at £71 per night.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Mid-range Hôtel Duc De St-Simon

The Hôtel Duc de Saint-Simon offers rooms and suites, some of which have a private terrace or a view over the inner garden. Free Wi-Fi is available in all of the rooms. Prices start at £200 per night

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Luxury Hotel Montalembert

Guest rooms at Hotel Montalembert are stylish and feature original artwork on the walls. Each room is equipped with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. The modern bathrooms offer complimentary toiletries. Prices start at £273 per night.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Champs-Élysées - 8th Arrondissement

Fashion, luxury and upscale boutiques? This is the place for you. The 8th Arrondissement is calling all luxury travellers who want to enjoy the famed "Golden Triangle" of Paris: Rue Montaigne – Rue George V –  Avenue des Champs-Élysées. As you can already tell, this is the best place for fashion lovers and luxury travellers. This is not suitable for budget travellers as most hotels in this area are pricey. We recommend visiting the 8th Arrondissement as it's one of our favourite places for fashion.

Where to stay in Paris 8th arrondissement
Booking.com

Mid-range Atlantic Hotel

Rooms offer a kettle and a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. All rooms have a private bathroom with free toiletries and a hairdryer. Prices here start at £134 per night.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Mid-range Hotel Plaza Elysées

The soundproofed rooms at Hotel Plaza Elysées are air-conditioned and have en suite bathrooms with a hairdryer. Guests will enjoy tea and coffee service and a nightly turndown service. Prices start at £189 per night.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Ultimate Luxury Hotel Plaza Athenee Paris

On the prestigious Avenue Montaigne, with views of the Eiffel Tower, this luxury 5-star hotel features a Dior Institute spa, 5 restaurants, a cocktail bar and a seasonal ice-skating rink. It offers elegant accommodation with marble bathrooms, a 5-minute walk from Avenue Champs Elysées. WiFi access is complimentary and access to the spa is free of charge. Prices start at £935 per night.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Opéra - 9th Arrondissement

We are a little biased as we really liked the vibe in the 9th Arrondissement. There aren't many attractions in the 9th Arrondissement but we think a night at the opera is a must when in Paris. There are several shops around which made it easier for us to do some shopping. It has a more authentic to feel to it and in general, had a very good time here. It has beautiful architecture, great cafes and it's a lively district.

Here is a cool tip: many pay to have a tour of the Palais Garnier, but if you buy tickets in advance, you can get them for as little as £20 per person and basically get to see the opera house for yourself. You can also take as many pictures as you want.

In terms of the hotel, we are a little biased. We loved our stay at the InterContinental but do note we wanted to enjoy a fancy weekend. There are various hotels in the area suitable for budget oriented or mid-range travellers as well.

Where to stay in Paris 9ath arrondissement
InterContinental Paris Le Grand

Mid-range Le Regent by Hiphophostels

Le Regent by Hiphophostels provides accommodation in shared dormitories with private bathroom facilities within the dormitory. Private rooms are also available and guests can choose between an en-suite room and a room with a shared bathroom. Prices start at £53 per night.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Mid-range Hôtel Villa Bohème

Each air-conditioned room features a modern décor and has a flat-screen TV, an electric kettle and a safe. The private bathroom is fitted with a shower and includes a hairdryer and free toiletries. Prices start at £79 per night.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Luxury InterContinental Paris Le Grand

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Montmartre - 18th Arrondissement

Ah, Montmartre, the perfect balance in Paris between living like a local and exploring Paris like a trendy traveller. It's one of the most formidable Arrondissements in Paris because it's home to one of the prettiest neighbourhoods in Paris, Quartier Montmartre, but has also many areas which have been forgotten. We really liked Little India in this Arrondissement for example. For best pictures of Paris, make sure to head to the 18th Arrondissement even if you don't want to position yourself here.

Where to stay in Paris 18th arrondissement
Booking.com

Budget - Hotel Audran

The simply decorated rooms at Audran offer a TV, safe and private bathroom. Some rooms have views of the inner courtyard or the lively street filled with restaurants and bars. Rooms start at £55 per night.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Mid-range Odalys City Paris Montmartre

Each studio is equipped with a flat-screen TV, an equipped kitchenette and a dining area. Every unit is fitted with a private bathroom with a bath and a hairdryer. Bed linen is provided. Prices start at £110 per night.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Luxury Mom'Art Hotel & Spa

The rooms at Mom'Art Hotel & Spa include air conditioning and a wardrobe. Extras include bathrobes and slippers. A Marshall speaker, a minibar and a Nespresso coffee machine can be found in each room. Prices start at £152 per night.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Travelling around Europe? don't forget to check:
Where to stay in Amsterdam
Where to stay in Budapest
Where to stay in Prague
Where to stay in Madrid
Where to stay in Brussels

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