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Where to Stay in Paris | Best Areas & Hotels

Where to Stay in Paris | Best Areas & Hotels

Ah, Paris! The City of Light is renowned for its excellent cuisine, timeless art, and incredible architecture that lends the city a posh, romantic feel. The city is large and sprawling with tons of options for accommodations. But you’ll feel like a local with our guide on where to stay in Paris.

Where to Stay in Paris

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned Parisian traveler, figuring out where to stay in Paris is complicated to say the least. The capital city of France stretches nearly 41 square miles – and that’s not including the extended metropolitan area, which adds another 890 square miles! 

The best place to stay in Paris really depends on what you want out of your Parisian trip. The city is loosely divided into 2 portions: The classic, historical left bank (south of the River Seine) and the trendy, modern right bank (north of the River Seine).

The different sections of the city are then divided into 20 arrondissements, or districts, sometimes called “the twenty little cities.”

Each one offers something a little different. Once you narrow down the types of sights you’d like to see and the areas you want to be close to, it’s a lot easier to pinpoint where to stay in Paris. 

Paris’s Best Parts of Town

Graphic showing where to stay in Paris to see the popular sites

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Paris is divided into 20 districts, or arrondissements. These are numbered 1-20, with the higher numbers representing more residential areas with fewer landmarks and areas of interest.

Arrondissements 1-7 are the most centrally located, generally considered the best places to stay. These will likely cover all or most of your areas of interest.

  1. 1st & 2nd arrondissements: Home to famous architecture, museums, and sightseeing; “The heart of Paris”
  2. 3rd & 4th arrondissements: The Marais district with parks, modern shops, cabarets, and bars
  3. 6th arrondissement: The Saint Germain district is best for shopping, cafes, and picturesque parks 
  4. 7th arrondissement: Known for the Eiffel tower, high-end hotels, markets, and great restaurants

The 4 Best Places to Stay in Paris

Take a more detailed look at the different parts of Paris to see which areas pique your interest the most. This will help you discover which arrondissements, or districts, will be the best fit for your trip. Here’s a look at where to stay in Paris for the best trip. 

1. The Heart of Paris: 1st & 2nd Arrondissements

The Heart of Paris: 1st & 2nd Arrondissements for a piece on the best places to stay in Paris

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This is where you go to see it all in Paris. The first and second districts are called “The heart of Paris” for a reason! The Louvre Museum, Palais Royale, Place de la Concorde (public square), and more are nestled in the 1st and 2nd arrondissements of Paris.

These are the oldest and center-most areas of Paris. If you’re into history and architecture, this is an area you can’t miss. Most people planning a Paris trip have the landmarks and sights in this district on their list.

If you stay in the 1st or 2nd arrondissements, you’ll be able to walk to the Louvre Museum to take in famous classic paintings (the Mona Lisa!) and history. The world-renowned stained glass at Sainte-Chapelle is here, as well as the sprawling gardens of the Palais Royale. 

Coco Chanel’s former home, The Place Vendome, is a highlight for fashionistas and architecture lovers alike. The Tuileries Garden presents an option for a peaceful, beautiful stroll away from the noise and lights of the city.

Quaint Parisian cafes are found throughout the area to satisfy your need for a glass of wine or cup of coffee as you explore the city.

Fans of “old” Paris who want to see the classic side of this romantic city will be right at home in these inner districts. Those looking for vibrant night life and modern hangout spots might feel more at home in Marais (the 3rd and 4th arrondissements, covered next). 

Things to Do

  • Visit the Louvre Museum to see classical works of art
  • Stroll through Tuileries Garden on your way to Place de la Concorde
  • View the intricate stained glass windows at Sainte-Chapelle
  • See the historic Palais Royale
  • Check out Coco Chanel’s former home, the Palace Vendome 

Where to Eat

Heart of Paris Budget Hotels

  • Appi Hotel. Take adavantage of some of the lowest room prices in the city with easy subway access for traveling all over town. It’s located proximally to all landmarks and sights in the center of Paris. The rooms are basic with no frills and not all have private showers (double check when you book). You get free WiFi, towels, and toiletries, though! 
  • Hotel d’Orléans Paris Gare de l’Est. Right in the heart of Paris and a short walk from the train station, this adults-only hotel offers all the basics with free WiFi and luggage storage. Not all rooms have a private bathroom, so be sure to check your details when you book. 

Heart of Paris Mid-Range Hotels

  • Hotel Montpensier. Stay a quarter mile from the Louvre with all the basics (WiFi, toiletries, etc.) included in your stay. Look forward to a buffet breakfast in the morning to fuel your walking tour of the city! You’ll get a coveted private bathroom (many budget rooms don’t offer this in Paris) and proximity to all the 1st and 2nd district sights. 
  • Hôtel du Pont Neuf. You can settle into the center of the city less than a mile from the biggest landmarks and attractions here. Rooms are basic but include a private bathroom – score! The metro and train stations are steps away so you can connect to any part of the city right from your room. Continental breakfasts are included with your room. 

Heart of Paris Luxury Hotels

  • Hotel du Louver by Hyatt. This 5-star hotel has it all: Concierge service, buffet breakfasts, in-room mini bar, private baths, and elegant design to satisfy even the most luxurious tastes. Speaking of taste, the hotel restaurant, La Brasserie du Louver by Bocuse, is nestled inside with excellent French cuisine loved by locals and travelers. Your room may even have a view of some of the most famous Paris landmarks, including the Louvre Museum! 
  • Hotel La Clef Louvre Paris by The Crest Collection. This 5-star hotel in central Paris boasts prime accommodations with plenty of extras. Buffet breakfasts, concierge, dry cleaning, and laundry services, fitness room, and private baths are all notable bonuses. Plus, you’re steps away from all the 1st and 2nd district sights you want to see! 

2. The Marais: 3rd & 4th Arrondissements

The Marais: 3rd & 4th Arrondissements for a piece on where to stay in Paris

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The 3rd and 4th arrondissements (districts) are collectively called the Marais, which means “marshlands” in French. That’s fitting, because this section of the city is built over marshlands and is one of the oldest parts of Paris.

The Marais was home to wealthy aristocrats from the 13th through the 17th centuries. Today, it’s a bustling hub with a trendy, artsy community, luxury hotels, modern shops, and quaint cafes. There’s something for everyone in The Marais district. This area boasts loads of trendy shops if you’re in a shopping mood.

There are tucked-away cafes and brunch spots galore. Things really come alive at night in The Marais, where nightlife is a way of life. Cabarets, speakeasies,  luxe cocktail lounges, and bars are found in abundance here. 

If you’re not big on nightlife and prefer a more subdued and family-friendly atmosphere, other areas of Paris would better suit your interests. We recommend checking out the 1st and 2nd districts – the heart of Paris – or the Saint Germain district for family-friendly fun. 

Things to Do

  • Plan a picnic and stroll at Place de Vosges, the first royal park open to the public
  • Take in a cabaret show at Moulin Rouge
  • Visit the Paris Opera (Opéra Garnier) 
  • Enjoy world-class shopping at trendy boutiques in the district
  • Check out Wanderlust’s terrace bar and the Nuits Fauves nightclub

Where to Eat

The Marais Budget Hotels

  • Mije Marais. With hostel-style communal rooms and bathrooms, this is not a private spot but it’s very budget-friendly. And there’s a terrace overlooking the city! They do have family rooms available if you’re traveling as a unit. You’ll be about a mile from the Louvre and other central Paris attractions, and even closer to cabarets, cafes, and bars for fun Parisian nights! 
  • Art Beaubourg. If you’re looking for a cheap room, this communal-style hostel is where to stay in Paris. It’s super inexpensive and you’re renting a single bed in a dormitory-style setting. It’s not very private, but if you just need a place to sleep in between sightseeing and nightclubs, it’s perfect. 

The Marais Mid-Range Hotels

  • Hotel Caron. Close proximity to the Metro Station Saint-Paul is one of the highlights of this hotel. It’s a short walk from Notre Dame, the Picasso Museum, and more. Buffet and continental breakfasts are included with your stay, and you’ll be close to lots of cafes, restaurants, and bars when you stay here. 
  • Hotel du Vieux Saule. This hotel is nestled in a gorgeous 16th century building just feet from the Metro Station for easy access across Paris. You’ll be steps away from the Opéra Garnier and Place de la République. Free buffet breakfast in the historic arched stone cellar will be a highlight of your stay! 

The Marais Luxury Hotels

  • Hotel Les Bains. Nestle into luxury in the heart of the Marais district with lots of extras, including private balconies, indoor swimming pool, concierge service, and an in-hotel restaurant with excellent food. You’ll be close to the hustle and bustle of the Marais, but tucked away serenely in your little corner of the district. 
  • Sinner Paris. This 5-star hotel is smack in the center of the Marais district for easy walking and metro access throughout Paris. With a gorgeous Greco-Roman style pool and spa, walk-in showers, room service, and an onsite restaurant, you can enjoy your time in Paris with an added touch of luxe. 

3. Saint Germain: 6th Arrondissement

Saint Germain: 6th Arrondissement, one of the best places to stay in Paris

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Saint Germain is where to stay in Paris if you’re bringing your family. It’s also considered one of the most beautiful sections of this historic city. With the Luxembourg Gardens, Natural History Museum, tons of shopping and eateries within walking distance, adults and kids of all ages can find something to enjoy here.

Many Parisian travelers find Saint Germain to be one of the most walkable districts in Paris, and you’re never far from the Metro Station to connect to other districts and landmarks throughout the city. 

The parks in the district (including Luxembourg Gardens and Jardin des Plantes) feature entertaining playgrounds to help your kids burn off some energy.

If you have children over the age of 13 or so, you may want to consider another district to stay in with more activities for older teens and young adults. But you can always walk through Saint Germain during your trip, and the fabulous coffee, chocolate, and art galleries will make it well worth it. 

Things to Do

  • Visit the Centre Pompidou for art and family activities
  • Check out the Natural History Museum
  • Stroll through Luxembourg Gardens and Jardin des Plantes
  • Sample coffees, chocolates, and bistro-style food in the district
  • Check out small art galleries and shop boutiques 

Where to Eat

  • Côté Saint-Germain. Informal yet refined Italian dining perfect for families.
  • La Société. Locally renowned French dining in a formal setting. 
  • Freddy’s. Popular tapas restaurant in the heart of the district. 

Saint Germain Budget Hotels

  • Hotel du Dragon. Do Paris on a budget by staying here, where the rooms are small but come with amenities like private baths and free WiFi. You’ll be mere steps away from the famous Cafe de Flore and les Deux Magots, and a short walk from the River Seine and Luxembourg Gardens! Guests enjoy the onsite piano lounge and patio.
  • Hotel Terminus Montparnasse. With room rates ranging from cheap to moderately expensive, this hotel covers most bases. Two buildings make up this highly-reviewed hotel, and it’s pet-friendly. Elevator room access (not all rooms, so double check), free WiFi, close proximity to shopping and cafes, and private baths make it a must-stay. 

Saint Germain Mid-Range Hotels

  • Villa des Princes. Get luxury vibes on a smaller budget at this hotel. Gorgeous architecture, elevator access to upper floors, and plenty of extras in your room are all things to look forward to. You’ll be near Luxembourg and Jardin des Plantes for pleasant strolls, and the arched breakfast room is a guest favorite.
  • Hotel Mayet. Just a short walking distance from all Saint Germain has to offer and the nearest Metro Station, Paris is your oyster when you stay here! Free WiFi, buffet breakfast, 24-hour reception desk, in-room mini bar, and a fun Oriental theme make this place unforgettable. 

Saint Germain Luxury Hotels

  • Hotel Des Saints Peres – Espirit de France. This hotel is the former 17th century home of Louis XIV’s personal architect, so you know it’s grand. Private bathrooms, mini bar, onsite lounge and garden, a fine-dining room, and room service are just a few of the highlights. You’re close to the center of Saint Germain for easy walking access.
  • Relais Christine. Also set in a 17th century mansion, this hotel boasts a large garden, sauna and spa, and fitness center for guests. Buffet breakfast, 24/7 room service, and onsite lounge make it special, but you’ll love your private balcony or terrace the most. There’s even a convertible Fiat you can rent by the day to explore the city!

4. Eiffel Tower: 7th Arrondissement

Eiffel Tower: 7th Arrondissement, one of the best places to stay in Paris

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The 7th arrondissement is home to the Eiffel Tower, famous museums, 5-star restaurants (and budget options, too), and a bustling market street. This is where to stay in Paris if you’re visiting for the first time or just want a great, well-rounded place to stay in the city. 

The 7th district looks like…well, exactly what you’d expect Paris to look like from films and photos. With the dramatic Eiffel Tower standing as a beacon in the background, this district takes on a distinctly Parisian feel that will immerse you in this French city from the moment you arrive. 

It’s not as busy or crowded as some of the other districts and it’s a little less trendy and hip (Read: less expensive) than nearby districts like the Marais or Saint Germain. It’s packed with little cafes, wine bars, and clubs with live music.

This is one of the best parts of Paris! 

If you’re looking for the hustle and bustle of Paris, you’re better off staying in the 1st or 2nd districts – the heart of Paris – or the busy Marais district (if you’re looking for a little more nightlife). The 7th is the perfect place to stay for first-time visitors to Paris.

Home to the Eiffel Tower, notable museums like the Musée d’Orsay, world-class restaurants, some of the most beautiful architecture in the city, and the charming market street Rue Cler, you’ll experience what most people think of when they envision Paris.

You’ll also have the benefit of being away from some of the hustle and bustle in neighboring Saint Germain while being close enough to take advantage of its wine bars and jazz clubs.

The 7th Arrondissement is home to some of the grand symbols of Paris — Musée d’Orsay, Les Invalides, the Eiffel Tower. But if you look beyond those glittering facades you’ll find narrow yet wealthy residential streets, tree-lined parks, the banks of the Seine, and the services Parisian need for their daily lives.

It’s also home to many French government offices, the Rodin Museum, the famous food street Rue Cler, and a string of lovely restaurants and hotels. We think it’s one of the most attractive residential quartiers in Paris — the Eiffel Tower is just a bonus!

Things to Do

  • Visit the Eiffel Tower (of course!)
  • Pop into the Musée d’Orsay, a museum built in an old railway station
  • Walk Rue Cler, the bustling market street with great shopping and food
  • Stroll the banks of the River Seine
  • Eat at any of the great restaurants nearby

Where to Eat

  • Jules Verne. Elegant French cuisine in the Eiffel Tower.
  • Sandwicherie. Gourmet sandwiches with a gorgeous view. 
  • Villa Verdi. Upscale Italian dining in an intimate setting. 

Eiffel Tower Budget Hotels

  • Adveniat Paris. Snuggled into a cozy Catholic community, this hostel is a little more than a mile from the Eiffel Tower and museums. Free Wifi, a communal terrace and garden, and shared kitchen with lounge are all onsite. Laundry service and luggage storage are available. It’s best if you’re traveling alone or with one other person. 
  • Hotel Paris Saint-Honore. Just steps from the Champs-Elysees and Metro Station for easy access to the Eiffel Tower, this lower-priced hotel has a lot to offer. Room access via elevator, private baths, continental breakfast, and onsite bar make it stand out. 

Eiffel Tower Mid-Range Hotels

  • Hotel de la Paix Tour Eiffel. Situated just 600 feet from Champs de Mars Park (where the Eiffel Tower is) and 800 feet from Rue Cler market, you’ll love how luxurious this hotel feels for a moderate per-night price. Soundproof rooms, private baths, buffet breakfast, and close proximity to nearby landmarks and activities are all part of the package. 
  • Hotel Royal Phare. You’re only a 5 minute walk away from the Eiffel Tower here, with amazing city views and lots of amenities. Soundproof rooms, private baths, buffet breakfast, and en suite rooms with elevator access make this a must-stay place. 

Eiffel Tower Luxury Hotels

  • Cler Hotel. This elegant hotel is the best of the best. You’ll be a 12-minute walk from the Eiffel Tower, and you’ll have incredible views of it from the terrace and patio here. Private baths, mini bar, gourmet breakfast, and room service are luxury touches you’ll appreciate. 
  • Rayz Eiffel. This unique and luxury hotel has a rooftop lounge, fully equipped kitchenette and dining room, private baths, and continental breakfast included. You’ll immerse yourself in the Parisian feel with views of the Eiffel Tower (1.2 miles away). 

Unsafe Areas to Avoid in Paris

Image for a piece on where to stay in Paris featuring an unsafe area at night, the Stalingrad metro station

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Overall, Paris is considered a safe city with very few “unsafe” or dangerous areas. There is comparatively very little violent crime in the city. The most common crimes in the area are pickpocketing and scams.

As long as you keep your personal items secured when you walk the city and avoid giving money to potential scam artists, you’ll have a safe and memorable trip when you visit Paris. 

There are some neighborhoods and areas that are less safe than others for travelers, especially after dark. Locals and seasoned travelers seem to agree that the following areas should be avoided after dark by tourists:

  • Goutte D’or
  • Barbes Rouchechouart metro stop
  • Chateau Rouge metro stop
  • Gare du Nord train station/Gare de l’Est (10th arrondissement)
  • Stalingrad metro station
  • Colonel Fabian metro station
  • Halle Pujol market area (18th arrondissement)
  • Porte de Montreuil (20th arrondissement)

While these areas may be hot spots for pickpocketing and petty crime, you can still safely visit and make your way through as long as your items and money are secured and you stay aware of your surroundings.

Follow our tips on where to stay in Paris – we recommend avoiding staying in the areas above (unless you’ve been there before). These are mostly in the arrondissements further from the center of Paris, where tourists don’t typically stay or venture. 

Be aware of possible public protests (grèves) during your visit by checking the news. If you think you can easily be identified as a tourist during your stay, it’s wise to keep small amounts of cash and valuables on you.

Invest in an anti-theft handbag (or one of our favorite money belts) if you plan to carry a purse to help deter petty theft. Remember – Paris is a safe city overall. You just need to use normal caution in certain areas, especially if you’ll be walking through in the evening hours. 

So, Where Should You Stay in Paris?

Hotel in Paris for a piece on the best places to stay in Paris

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That’s your whirlwind “tour” of Paris – we think you’ll make lifelong memories on your trip, especially if you know where to stay in Paris.

Whether you’re looking to connect with the classical architecture that makes this city world-famous or want to get a taste of the unique nightlife and imbibe in Paris’ fun side, knowing where to stay will set you up near all the landmarks and shops you want to check off your list.

Bookmark this guide to keep a list of things to do and places to eat handy for your upcoming Parisian adventure!