Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and we are thrilled you decided to visit. You will love all the incredible attractions like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and Cathédrale Notre-Dame. Naturally, you must be wondering where to stay in Paris when you first visit the French capital.
Finding the best and safest neighbourhood is overwhelming, considering that Paris is one of the largest capital cities in Europe. The city is immense and every district has something different to offer.
But don't worry, we are here to help. Trust us because we stayed in so many locations all over the city and know exactly what are the hotels in Paris.
The good news is that there are 8 suitable neighbourhoods for tourists to stay in Paris. They are in close proximity to main attractions and are perfect for all visitors interested in history, culture, museums and food. Paris is a walkable city and you will be able to enjoy the fantastic French atmosphere as you go from landmark to landmark.
We put together the best 8 best areas to stay in Paris and for each of them, we selected the top hotel recommendations, to suit all budgets.
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We first visited the French capital when I organised a romantic weekend in Paris to celebrate a surprise birthday for my husband. Needless to say that we simply loved Paris and we returned on so many occasions since. Paris is the perfect blend of vibrant, grand, modern and luring. We stayed in various districts or arrondissements and we learnt a thing or two about the most interesting places to stay in Paris for tourists and visitors. Here's our latest updated guide for 2020 for you!
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The best neighbourhood in Paris
Without a doubt, we are certain the best area to stay in Paris for the first time visitor is the 7th arrondissement. This is where the Eiffel Tower is located so your hotel will be walking distance from the main tourist attraction in Paris. Chances are, your room will have a direct view of the Eiffel Tower too. This is also the best neighbourhood in Paris if you want to be very close to the main tourist attractions, restaurants, cafes and cultural happenings.
- Where to stay in Paris for first timers - 7th arrondissement
- Where to stay in Paris for sightseeing: 1st arrondissement
- Where to stay in Paris for luxury: 8th arrondissement
- Where to stay in Paris for romance: 18th arrondissement (Montmartre)
- Where to stay in Paris for nightlife & shopping: 4th arrondissement (Le Marais)
- Where to stay in Paris for culture: 9th arrondissement (Opera)
- Where to stay in Paris for families: 6th arrondissement (Saint-Germain)
- Where to stay in Paris for history: 5th arrondissement (Latin Quartier)
Best Hotels in Paris, France for tourists
- Best luxury hotel: Hotel de Crillon
- Best Boutique hotel: Grand Hôtel Du Palais Royal
- Best mid-range hotel: Hôtel Duc De St-Simon
- Best budget hotel: Appartement Tour Eiffel Sevres - Babylone
- Best hotel for families: Hôtel Duc De St-Simon
Where we stayed in Paris for the first time
To find where to stay in Paris you first need to understand how the city is organised. Paris has 20 Arrondissements (districts) and each of them has its own virtues. Starting from North of Seine, the arrondissements are distributed clockwise (like a snail shell). This means that 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th arrondissements are the most central. These arrondissements are generally safe and walkable and are home to some of the most well-known landmarks.
Population density map of Paris, image from Wikipedia
When we visited Paris we stayed near Palais Garnier in the 9th arrondissement. This is definitely the best district in Paris for culture. However, looking back, we realise it would have been better to stay in the 7th arrondissement to be closer to all attractions in Paris.
We stayed in InterContinental Paris Le Grand which was just minutes away from the Opera Garnier, and since we had evening tickets for the show, this seemed the perfect location for our needs. Paris sure is a romantic city, full of love and life. It's very close to our hearts.
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 district so we can help you pick the best arrondissement to stay in Paris. Here's some of the feedback we gathered.
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Eiffel Tower - 7th Arrondissement (Best neighbourhood for first-time visitors)
The 7th Arrondissement is the place to stay in Paris if you want to see The Eiffel Tower and the Invalides. It's the best neighbourhood for first-time visitors because your hotel's location will be close to all the main attractions.
If you decide to visit during Autumn, this is one of my favourite parts of Paris. Loved the haute-couture and those beautiful high-end shops and boutiques, which are just a stone throw away from your hotel room.
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 tourists, then this is a great location for you. The 7th Arrondissement is elegant, luxurious and gorgeous. Some hotels will have views of the Eiffel Tower right from their window or balcony. It won't be a quiet district but it will surely be perfect for the vibrant Paris seeking visitor.
This is a safe neighbourhood in Paris, although be aware of tourist scammers operating in the area. After dark, the 7th Arrondissement is very quiet as it's not the place for nightlife. Which means you can enjoy bustling Paris during the day, but withdraw to a quiet hotel room for the night.
Best hotels in the 7th Arrondissement
Here are our recommendations for the best places to stay in Paris in the 7th Arrondissement. This is the best location in Paris if you are visiting for the first time and want to wake up with the views of the Eiffel Tower.
Louvre - 1st Arrondissement (Best neighbourhood for sightseeing)
Do you want to be close to the main attractions in Paris? Then very likely you will want to stay in the 1st Arrondissement also called Louvre.
This is the must-stay in place in Paris, especially if you want to do all the sightseeing and be close to the main attractions like the Louvre Museum and Tuileries Gardens. This is a very walkable arrondissement and you can easily get to other attractions all around Paris. It's also a very well connected district.
The 1st Arrondissement is known as the district of the Kings of France. It's also one of the most expensive districts 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 so you can enjoy peace and quiet at night.
1st Arrondissement is also the district of Les Halles which has a huge central market, so make sure to add it to your bucket list.
Best hotels in Paris in the 1st Arrondissement
Here are our recommendations for the best places to stay in Paris in the 1st Arrondissement. You will find the best for your own budget and tailored needs.
Le Marais - 4th Arrondissement (Best neighbourhood for nightlife & shopping)
When we visited the 4th Arrondissement, we thought this is one of the nicest neighbourhoods in Paris. I know Paris can be subjective, but we loved this district to stay in Paris because, in my opinion, is romantic, chic, vibrant and beautiful.
Stay in Le Marais if you want to experience that Paris je ne sais quoi. We loved walking around hand in hand, going shopping and eating lots of cake!
There are lots of things to do in the 4th Arrondissement, making it an ideal place to stay for tourists. Close to your hotel, you 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.
The 4th Arrondissement is a fantastic place to stay in Paris and a district of great historical significance. This part of Paris is in high demand for its accommodation so make sure to book your hotel as soon as possible.
Best hotels in Paris in the 4th Arrondissement
Here are our recommendations for the best places to stay in Paris in the 4th Arrondissement. This is a lovely location in Paris, and it's especially fantastic for couples looking to enjoy a lovely time in Paris. We found the 4th Arrondissement a safe neighbourhood in Paris.
Champs-Élysées - 8th Arrondissement (Best neighbourhood for nightlife & shopping)
Fashion, luxury and upscale boutiques? This is the place to stay in Paris if you want the luxury and sophisticated Paris with major brand houses and those incredible hotels you see in movies. 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 neighbourhood in Paris for fashion and lux lovers. 8th Arrondissement has many fancy hotels and luxurious restaurants. It's also a safe district and one of our favourite places for photography. The 8th Arrondissement can be a great place to stay in Paris if you are organising a special celebration.
Best Hotels in Paris in the 8th Arrondissement
Here are our recommendations for the best places to stay in Paris in the 8th Arrondissement. This is for the fashion lover who wants to meander around some of the best brand houses in the world. This is also the best place to stay in Paris if you are a luxury traveller who wants to be in the midst of the "Golden Triangle".
Saint-Germain-des-Prés - 6th Arrondissement (Best neighbourhood for history lovers)
The 6th Arrondissement is the most family-friendly neighbourhood in Paris. We recommend staying around Saint-Germain, near Jardin du Luxembourg if you are travel with kids. It's not only super central, but you will be close to open spaces and green parks, perfect for your little ones to play and run around.
Being so central, the 6th arrondissement is not the cheap as it is home to luxury boutiques. So expect elegant hotel rooms with stunning views over the city. Close to your hotel, you'll find lovely streets and beautiful grand architecture.
Make sure to book your hotel close to the Luxembourg gardens and the Saint Sulpice Church. The Luxembourg garden is an especially great point of attraction for tourists with kids. You can take many great photos of your whole family in this location.
The 6th Arrondissement is well known for its Quartier Saint Germain des Prés, where intellectuals and artists used to meet a long time ago. This is one of the safest districts in Paris, perfect for families with small kids.
Best hotels in Paris in the 6th Arrondissement
Here are our recommendations for the best places to stay in Paris in the 6th Arrondissement. We especially recommend it as one of the best neighbourhoods in Paris for families who can afford a little luxury. It's sophisticated, elegant and close to relaxing, green areas for your kids.
Latin Quartier - 5th Arrondissement (Best neighbourhood for history lovers)
The 5th Arrondissement: it's called the Latin Quarter and it is known for its culture and history. It's an ideal place for tourists who want to be a little further from the bustling Parisienne centre but still very conveniently located.
If you love history, this is the best place to stay in Paris. Here, in the 5th arrondissement is actually where the Romans settled for the first time and founded the city of Lutetia. It's also the oldest district of Paris. Pick a hotel close to the Panthéon so you can be close to the attraction.
This district is safe and energetic, known for its student cafes, incredible bookshops and the Shakespeare & Company. Stay here if you are looking for decent prices or want to experience Paris in its authentic form.
When you stay in this district make sure to add the Jardin des Plantes botanical gardens and the National Museum of Natural History to your must-see list.
Since this is a student district with universities, you will find well-priced accommodation with affordable hotel rooms.
Best hotels in Paris in the 5th Arrondissement
Here are our recommendations for the best places to stay in Paris in the 5th Arrondissement. This is the best place to stay in Paris if you want a blooming culture and are a secret historian at heart. It's vibrant, quaint and fun. Besides, it's a safe district and the hotel rooms are affordable.
Opéra - 9th Arrondissement (Best neighbourhood for culture)
We really liked the vibe in the 9th Arrondissement so we recommend it as a place to stay in Paris for culture lovers. Being so close to the Palais Garnier, a night spent at the opera house is the main attraction here.
While it's not the closest neighbourhood to other major attractions, the 9th Arrondissement offers top affordable hotels with spacious and comfortable rooms. There are many shops around the district so you can always find interesting things to do before heading back to the hotel room.
The main draw for staying in the 9th Arrondissement is having tickets for the opera. Being just walking distance from the opera house is very convenient, especially because the spectacles end late at night. We felt it was a safe neighbourhood, suitable for couples and culture lovers.
Here is a cool tip: many tourists pay to have a tour of the Palais Garnier, but if you buy tickets for a spectacle some months in advance, you can get them for as little as £20 per person. This means getting access to the Palais and taking your time and pictures at your leisure.
The best hotel in this neighbourhood is by far the InterContinental. We loved our stay at the InterContinental for a fancy weekend. There are various hotels in the area suitable for budget-oriented or mid-range travellers as well.
Best Hotels in Paris in the 9th Arrondissement
Here are our recommendations for the best places to stay in Paris in the 9th Arrondissement. This is a fantastic place to stay in Paris if you plan on seeing a spectacle at the Palais Garnier. Either way, we found this location in Paris to be fun, versatile, affordable and authentic.
Montmartre - 18th Arrondissement (Best neighbourhood for romance)
Montmartre is the most romantic neighbourhood in Paris, the place where you fall in love with every single quaint street. It's one of the most formidable Arrondissements to stay in Paris because it's home to one of the prettiest neighbourhoods in the city, Quartier Montmartre.
Montmartre is like an authentic Paris village in the heart of the large capital city. It is located on a large hill which is 130 m high. It offers stunning views of the city, which is why is so perfect for couples who want to picnic with a view. Stay in the 18th Arrondissement if you are looking for charm, romance and authenticity. It appealed to many artists during the 19th and 20th centuries, so you are guaranteed to be located in an atmospheric district.
Montmartre should be high on the list for a stay in Paris thanks to its art, cobbled streets and lovely bistros. It's where you should go for pictures or just to get a glimpse into a more traditional Paris, beyond the fancy boulevards and glamour.
Stay in Montmartre to be close to the Moulin Rouge. You are still well connected to the rest of the main attractions in Paris via the metro lines. If you want to stay in the same location as Pablo Picasso, then this is the right district for you.
Best Hotels in Paris in the 18th Arrondissement
Here are our recommendations for the best places to stay in Paris in the 18th Arrondissement. This is the best place to stay in Paris if you are a bohemian, romantic tourist who wants to indulge in an authentic Parisienne feel. It offers stunning views of the cityscape and it's fun, quaint and unique. You will love staying here.
Yay, you made it to the end of this deeply researched travel guide. Now you know exactly where to stay in Paris for your visit. You learned about the best 8 neighbourhood in Paris which are most suitable for tourists and first-time visitors. We personally visited all these districts and talked to locals to ensure all our recommendations are great for you.
We also carefully selected hotels which we personally love and categorised them by price so every type of traveller can select their favourite. You now have the perfect options to suit your style and of course your budget. Choosing the best hotel is always based on the top attractions you want to visit nearby.
Enjoy Paris, you will love it!
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