In which neighborhood would you like to stay in Paris? The city is divided into 20 different districts, called “arrondissements,” numbered 1-20. Each one has its own flavor, its own advantages and yes, some disadvantages.
The 1st arrondissement is located in the center of the city around the Louvre, and the districts (and their numbers) swirl out clockwise from there. The 2nd arrondissement is just north of the first, the 3rd is just east of that, the 4th just south, and around and around it goes!
On this page we describe most of Paris’ central arrondissements in detail. We recommend reading this to get a fuller understanding of your options. If you’re in a hurry, however, and just want to know our favorite neighborhoods, we’d suggest staying in the following central neighborhoods:
The Louvre is in the 1st arrondissement
1st arrondissement (Near the Louvre - Right Bank)
This is about as central as it gets, and puts you within walking distance of the Louvre, Pompidou Centre, Les Halles transportation hub, Jardin du Tuileries and more. Good for museum lovers and shoppers, and easy to get to and from the airport.
A popular two-star pick is the Hotel Prince Albert Louvre. Also, the nearby two-star Hotel Flor Rivoli (in our Châtelet neighborhood) is extremely central.
The lovely Place des Vosges in the Marais
4th arrondissment (The Marais - Right Bank)
Still very central, the Marais was Paris’ Jewish quarter before transforming into the city’s vibrant gay neighborhood. The area is full of restaurants, bars and shops, and makes a good home base for all kinds of travelers. It's pretty easy to get to from the airport.
We recommend many hotels in this neighborhood, from the one-star Hotel Rivoli and Herse d'Or to the swankier, three-star Hotel de Nice and Castex.
The Place de la Sorbonne in the Latin Quarter
5th arrondissement (The Latin Quarter - Left Bank)
Historically Paris’ student neighborhood, the Latin Quarter offers lots of budget accommodation options, a central location, and, unfortunately, some really lousy, touristy shops. Still, the Latin Quarter makes a very convenient home base.
Popular options include the one-star Hotel Marignan and Esmeralda, and the two-star Hotel Cluny Sorbonne.
The Église St-Germain des Prés in the 6th arrondissement.
6th arrondissement (St. Germain des Prés - Left Bank)
Located just west of the Latin Quarter, St. Germain des Prés is more chic than its neighbor, but also more expensive. The neighborhood is convenient to parks, shops, and walking to many sights. Its northern edge borders the Seine.
Favorite hotels here include the one-star Hotel Stella and the two-star Hotel Saint-Pierre.
Looking across the Seine to the Eiffel Tower
7th arrondissement (Near the Eiffel Tower - Left Bank)
Located west of St. Germain des Prés, the neighborhood between Les Invalides and the Eiffel Tower is cute, largely residential and expensive. These streets are pretty quiet at night (compared to the Latin Quarter or Marais), so don’t come here looking for nightlife.
Popular hotels here include the two-star Hotel de la Tour Eiffel and Hotel du Champ de Mars.
More help with neighborhoods
We’ve only mentioned five of the 20 arrondissements. Read full descriptions of many more of the neighborhoods here. We also break down Paris neighborhoods by interest (for example, best for shopping, nightlife, etc.) in this blog post.
Staying on the islands
Many visitors to Paris dream of finding a cozy little place on one of the city’s two central islands, the Ile de la Cité and Ile St-Louis. We understand—they’re adorable, dreamy and central! Most of their accommodation options, unfortunately, are also extremely expensive.
One notable exception, however is the Hotel Henri IV, a no-frills budget hotel located on the tip of the Ile de la Cité, within a quick walk of both the Louvre and Notre Dame.
Staying outside the center
Almost all of the 110 hotels we’ve inspected and recommended in Paris are located in the center of the city in arrondissements 1-11. We prefer hotels in these locations, as they’re easier to reach by foot during the day and at night. Remember that the Metro closes at 1:20 a.m. (2:20 a.m. Saturday night) and taxis can be difficult to come by and expensive.
However, there are many, many affordable hotels located in arrondissements 12-20 (including some that we have recommended near Place d’Italie, Montmartre and Père Lachaise cemetery). Hotels here can be cheaper than those in more central neighborhoods—but you may find the locations to be a touch inconvenient, especially late at night. If you plan to be tucked in by midnight, however, and don’t mind riding the Metro, definitely look into these outer neighborhoods.
Furthermore, even cheaper hotels can be found outside the city limits, on the other side of the Périphérique roadway. The surrounding suburbs offer plenty of hotels to those with the means (and willingness) to travel a bit. You can find these by doing a search in our “CheapoSearch” box.
Read more about where to stay in Paris
About the author: Tom Meyers is the Editor in Chief of EuroCheapo.com.