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Last updated on the 8th May 2022 by Lena
The most frequent question asked in my Paris Trip Planning Group (join here, it’s free!) is “What is the best arrondissement to stay in Paris”?
It is indeed a challenge to figure out where to stay in Paris, especially when you are unfamiliar with the city and are unsure of what to expect. But it also depends on your situation, your travel style, and whether you are visiting Paris for the first time. The best area to stay in Paris depends of course as well on your budget.
You see, there is no single best district in Paris to stay in, but there is surely a neighborhood for everyone.
But let’s start at the beginning.
What is an Arrondissement?
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An arrondissement is an administrative district of Paris, and Paris has 20 of them. They are organized spirally, similar to a snail shell, with the first arrondissement being in the very center of town.
Each arrondissement has its mayor house (Mairie), a Mayor, a council, police and fire stations, and so on. An arrondissement is however not a Parisian Neighborhood. The Neighborhoods of Paris are rather historical quarters with no administrative role.
To be honest, I don’t think it makes any sense to try to find the best arrondissement to stay in Paris, as each of them is very diverse in itself. It’s better to look for the best neighborhoods.
This might sound picky, but take for example the 18th arrondissement. It has the beautiful Montmartre neighborhood which is a great location to stay, but also Goutte D’Or. The latter has quite some character, but I wouldn’t advise staying there if you’re looking for cute Parisian vibes.
Many words to explain why I will show you the best areas to stay in Paris, but not the best arrondissement.
What is the Best Location to stay in Paris?
In this post, you will learn more about the 3 best districts to stay in Paris during your vacation. Given the huge number of hotels to choose from, I also name a few hotels in Paris for every budget that are amongst the most popular in their price range, so get a better idea of where to stay in Paris.
The criteria for my “best hotel location in Paris” list are the proximity to sights, transportation, and the number of restaurants and bars within walking distance. But of course, all suggestions are secure and safe areas to stay in Paris and very important: They have loads of flairs!
If the top 3 locations are not your cup of tea, jump right ahead to the section with the best locations in Paris for families and my recommendation for budget travelers.
Revealed: The best places to stay in Paris
The following 3 locations are the best area to stay in Paris for first time visitors and it is absolutely safe to pick a hotel in those areas. You can’t go wrong if you want to have the full Paris experience.
- Quartier Latin
≡ 3. Opéra
The district around the Opéra Garnier is right in the center of rive droite, right banks of the Seine. The district is known as the 9th arrondissement of Paris, and quite frankly, you can hardly be more central.
Is Opéra one of the best hotel locations in Paris?
Definitely. Opéra is one of those places in Paris, that really looks like… Paris. It is not the Paris of Amélie but the Paris of the Grand Boulevards, the imposing Haussmann buildings with their stunning facades, fancy department stores, museums, and lots of shopping opportunities.
If you are traveling on a tighter budget, the 9th has surprisingly many hotels that could be classified as lower-middle class. Even some really good budget hotels are in the area. For example, the Ibis Hotel near Opéra is one of the most popular of the chain in Paris – You can see a more detailed description of the best Ibis budget hotels in Paris here
Why you should stay near Opéra?
- It’s an iconic and classic neighborhood, surrounded by impressive Haussman Buildings
- you are close to some of the most visited sights of Paris, including the Louvre, the Galeries Lafayette, Montmartre, and of course the Opéra Garnier
- Hotels are often less expensive as in many other districts of Paris
- you are in direct proximity of many good restaurants and nice bars. Rue Sainte Anne, known as being the Japanese district, is just around the corner as well.
Of course, Opéra has a few downsides as well. It can become very crowded, especially on the weekends when many people head out shopping at the Galerie Lafayette. However, as shops and businesses are closed during the night, you are a bit off the buzz.
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What are the best hotels near Opéra?
If you want to stay in the 9th arrondissement near Opéra, the hotels below are your best options considering value for money, location safety, sights, and access to public transportation:
Luxury Option Hôtel Adèle & Jules
The luxury boutique hotel is located just a few meters away from one of the most prestigious streets of Paris, Rue St. Honoré. It’s beautifully decorated and some rooms even have a terrasse. However, the best features are the pool and the spa area, also the breakfast is included.
Upscale Option Hôtel Adèle & Jules
The hotel is located greatly close to the very center of Paris, with many shopping, cultural and nightlife options. The hotel has also a fitness room and breakfast can be included.
The next Metro is just a few minutes away and connects you with the rest of town.
Midrange Option Hotel Eugène en Ville
Some rooms are equipped with a terrasse and the hotel has a winebar and a wellness area.
Budget Option Hôtel de Genève
This hotel is excellent located – right between Montmartre and Opéra. But also the Champs Élysée and the Louvre can be reached on foot. The Hotel is also close to the train station with a direct connection to the Castle of Versailles. It’s an excellent choice with good value for money.
≡ 2. Marais
Le Marais on the right banks of the Seine (Rive Droite) is a historic area that was for long the aristocratic district of Pairs. But don’t expect massive monuments, it’s mainly rather a busy and cute neighborhood with a medieval flair, cobbled stone streets, and askew buildings. After the french revolution, the Marais became a popular commercial area and home to the main Jewish community. The Marais is also the center of the Parisian LGBT culture.
Is the Marais one of the best areas to stay in Paris?
Yes, it is. The Marais is indeed a pretty cool place to stay and a very convenient base when visiting Paris. It’s perfect for everyone in search of a Hotel in the center of Paris. The Marais is in direct proximity to many major sights like Centre Pompidou, Notre Dame de Paris, or St. Michel. It’s also very well connected to public transportation. You will feel comfortable in the Marais if you enjoy an energetic neighborhood, appreciate a huge variety of restaurants, bars, and shops.
Are you staying 3 or 4 days in Paris and wondering how to fill your days best? Check out our itinerary!
Why you should stay in the Marais!
- the Marais is in the center of Paris
- the district is within walking distance of Notre Dame, Picasso Museum, St.Michel, and many others
- it’s a very lively district of Paris with many bars and pubs
- the Marais is easy to get to from airports and train stations
- It’s a very pretty and old neighborhood
- it’s a safe neighborhood
- the Marais lays directly at the Seine, great for evening walks or picnics
- it has great flair, a mix of cultures, and loads of positive vibes
Like everywhere, staying in the Marais has, of course, a few drawbacks. As the location is very lively, it can be also a bit noisy at night (many hotels claim to be soundproof though) and packed on the weekends.
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What are the best hotels in the Marais?
If you want to stay in the Marais when traveling to Paris, check out the Hotels below! As the Marais is a pretty busy district, all hotels below are soundproof! (except the budget option). And of course close to public transportation, good value for money and located in a safe location.
Luxury Option 9Confidentiel
The location of the 9Confidentiel is stellar. Right in the Marais, just a few meters from the Parisian town hall, Notre Dame and Rue de Rivoli – you can’t sleep more central. The hotel is very popular and guests are extremely satisfied with the provided service and staff. Some rooms come with a great view of the roofs of Paris.
Upscale Option Roi de Sicile – Rivoli
This spacious aparthotel lays right in between the beautiful Place des Vosges and the town hall of Paris, directly on Rue de Rivoli. Perfect for sightseeing, shopping, and dining out. Most rooms are granting a great city view of Paris and some even have a balcony – there’s no better place for enjoying a glass of wine!
Midrange Option Hôtel Marais Hôme
The Hôtel Marais Hôme lays in the north of the Marais, close to République. The hotel is very popular amongst visitors and ratings are the best in this price class.
Budget Option Le Compostelle
This hotel is one of the best rated within the Marais within its price class – it’s still no bargain, but the area is absolutely worth it. It’s right by the town hall, in the heart of Paris and the Marais.
≡ 1. The Quartier Latin – The best arrondissement to stay in Paris
The Quartier Latin is just a bridge crossing away from the Marais, on the left banks of the Seine. It’s the university district of Paris and the location of the famous university La Sorbonne, but also countless other colleges and research centers. That strong educational background even served as a name-giver: the language of universities during the middle age was Latin – hence, the Latin Quarter. However, the district is heavily influenced by students and it’s also one of the most lively areas in Paris.
Is the Latin Quarter the best neighborhood to stay in Paris?
Yes, absolutely yes! Get ready for a very open and welcoming area of Paris, a vivid nightlife, a high variety of restaurants, and great shopping options. The Latin Quarter is equally popular amongst tourists, students, and Parisians – no matter if for shopping, having a beer with friends, or eating out. Like the Marais, the Quartier Latin comes with medieval flair and cobbled stoned streets. It’s the best place to stay in Paris.
Why you should stay in the Latin Quarter!
- it’s centrally located and very “Paris-like”
- it has nevertheless a lot of flair due to the little alleys and pedestrian streets
- one of the nicest streets, Rue Mouffetard is in the Latin Quarter
- You have a direct train from both airports and most train stations
- it’s close to St. Michel, the Jardin Luxembourg, Notre Dame, Shakespeare and Company, the Panthéon
- It’s full of great bars and restaurants
- it’s very safe
- The Seine is just right there, waiting for picnics, walks, and the real obligatory Seine Cruise
Thinking about the downsides of the Latin Quarter… I can’t actually think of any other than that it’s a quite pricy area, and you won’t too many cheap hotels in the Paris city center, but that’s about it! 🙂
What are the best hotels in the Latin Quarter?
Here you go, what’s the best area to stay in in Paris? The Latin Quarter! It’s super central, it’s the best place to stay in Paris close to everything. You have also great access to airports, the area is safe, beautiful, and full of activities. When searching for a hotel, have a look at the accommodations below, they are the best value for money!
Luxury Accomodation Hotel D’Aubusson
This hotel has everything that you need to spend the most amazing time in Paris – a spa and pool to relax after a full sightseeing day, a jazz bar, and a nice city view. It’s located in the best area in Paris – close the Notre Dame and the Pont Neuf, right in the heart of St. Germain. A perfect district for amazing dining and shopping experiences.
Upscale Option Hotel La Villa Saint Germain Des Prés
Just a few meters off the Boulevard Saint-German and within walking distance of some of the major sights of Paris – the Villa Saint Germain is truly in a good spot. The rooms are very cozy. You can book massages or use their in-house fitness center if you need some relaxation. The hotel is in direct proximity to many bars and restaurants.
Midrange Option Hotel Parc Saint Severin
If you are searching for a place right in the middle of everything, you found it! The hotel is surrounded by bars and restaurants, and the famous Notre Dame Cathedral is just a few meters away. Some rooms are featuring a private terrace – a great place to end a day, with a glass of wine of course.
Budget Option Hotel De Suez
From this hotel, it’s just a short walk to both: the Jardin du Luxembourg and Saint Michel and Notre Dame. The location is very convenient for dining, shopping, sightseeing as you are within walking distance of many points of interest. The hotel is very popular and the ratings are the best in this price class.
Hotels outside the center of Paris
Do you fancy a more quiet and low-key hotel location, but still with plenty of food options and shopping? Or are you searching for the best places to stay in Paris with your family? The 15th or 14th arrondissement is your hood! There isn’t much tourism going on – ok, there are the Catacombs and Montparnasse but it’s mainly the Parisian daily life. Little bars and restaurants, cheese stores and delis, parks, and markets.
Don’t worry about the – not in the center of everything – location. Paris is rather small and you will be within 20 minutes (or less) with public transportation at Notre Dame or the Eiffel Tower. Don’t imagine a residential-only neighborhood either: you have plenty of choice around your hotel if you want to have drinks, go to the restaurant or buy a few groceries. There is also the Metro very close by and you don’t need to worry about safety either.
I suggest you have a look at the hotels below – as it’s not in the hyped center, you’ll get definitely more for your money, and a very authentic Paris vibe!
MidrangeOption Niepce Paris, Curio Collection By Hilton
The hotel in the south of Paris is located in a very authentic neighborhood. The metro is just 100m away and connects you quickly with the rest of Paris – the area is still very lively with bars, restaurants, and local delis – perfect for foodies! it’s the best example of how much more you get for your money if you stay a bit off the center.
Midrange Option Hôtel Mistral
The Hôtel Mistral lays in a district that is known for theatres, bars, and restaurants. It’s also very close to the Montparnasse Tower and also the Catacombs. The Metro is just 100m away. A nice feature of this hotel is the green courtyard. Fun Fact: Simon de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Satre lived there for a while!
If you need more inspiration for your upcoming Paris vacation, look around this blog 🙂 I suggest you also take a look at our Montmartre Hotel guide if you did not find your accommodation yet. I have also plenty of secret tips and travel planning advice to share! Don’t miss our neighborhood and hotel guides to plan your trip.
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