No matter which arrondissement you choose to stay in while you’re visiting Paris, we promise there’ll be gourmet cuisine, enchanting architecture and that magical atmosphere that’s only found in the City of Lights. But since each quartier has its own unique character, choosing which neighbourhood to stay in can be tricky - so we’ve chosen 7 of the best areas to stay in, to help you choose where to call your home from home in Paris.
If the winding cobbled streets and historic passages of the 18th Arrondissement are calling your name, head north of Sacré-Cœur and away from the (slightly touristy) charm of Montmartre, into multi-cultural Clignancourt. This neighborhood might not have the same post-card aesthetic as its more famous neighbor, but Clignancourt more than makes up for it with its local atmosphere, artistic spirit, and the fact that its home to some of the most authentic places to eat in the 18th. As well as its unpretentious roadside markets, globally diverse restaurants, and affordable bistros, this area is home to Paris’s beloved Marché aux Puces, a flea market that’s a treasure chest of vintage gems, bric-a-brac, and antiques.
Does a bourgeois bohemian (or bobo, as the locals say) enclave, where a community based cafe culture is at the heart of local life sound like your vibe? If you’re thinking yes to any of the above, then head to Batignolles and enjoy a peaceful break from the hustle and bustle of neighbouring quartiers. You won’t find many tourists, but you’ll be in the good company of artists, trendy young locals and grandparents who have lived in the neighbourhood for generations. Stroll through elegant gardens, open-air markets, chic boutiques and along Rue Sauffroy, which is the centre of the neighbourhood’s African community, and experience a taste of paradise, Parisian style.
If you want to stay right in the heart of Paris, there’s nowhere better than Le Marais. This historic quarter is one of the oldest in the city, and despite its central location a stone’s throw from the banks of the Seine, Le Marais feels like an independent village. An enclave packed with old-world charm, you’ll soon see why the area is also known as ‘Old Paris’; there’s cobbled streets, pre-revolution architecture and the city’s oldest market to be found here. But it’s not all history - today the area is refreshingly diverse thanks to the combination of its Jewish heritage, a vibrant LGBTQ scene and the gourmet cuisine you’ll find everywhere from the Marché des Enfants Rouge to the traditional Jewish bakeries to the bistros that spill out onto the cobblestone pavements.
Classically Parisian, this neighbourhood on the left bank was once known to be a bohemian bolthole for the city’s famed writers and artists, but nowadays leans more towards designer boutiques, upscale galleries and fashionable restaurants. Let yourself be charmed by its pavement cafes and ivy covered apartments, while away the afternoon sipping a petit café or a glass of champagne and stroll along Boulevard Saint-Germain to get a feel for the area’s rich history. Home to the elegant Luxembourg Gardens as well as museums, cultural and literary spots that hint at the quartier's past life, this central neighbourhood is a great base to explore some of Paris’s most famous attractions from, as well as experiencing a taste of Paris at its most chic.
Students, philosophers, fashionistas and bohemians all congregate around the Canal Saint-Martin, in what has become one of Paris’s coolest neighbourhoods, and the place to see and be seen. This local spot in the 10th Arrondissement is popular with Parisians from all over the city, but less well known to visitors, making it the perfect place to stay if you want to get off the beaten path a little but still be close to the city center. There is a laid back and creative atmosphere here that lends itself well to the international and academic bookshops, cafes, bars and high fashion boutiques that are scattered along the water’s edge. The banks of the canal are the perfect place to enjoy some street food picked up nearby, share a drink with friends in the evening or check out the parties and exhibitions that take place here over the summer months.
Photo credit: obonparis.com
Off the beaten path Belleville is the perfect base for anyone wanting to get off the tourist trail and discover another side to Paris that most visitors don't see. This vibrant neighborhood has stayed true to its globally diverse roots, and from its days as a working-class neighborhood has evolved into a multi-cultural quarter with a thriving arts scene, strong culinary culture, and a community whose heritage spans from Sub-Saharan Africa to China. The Parc de Belleville is an urban oasis that makes a perfect sanctuary for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of central Paris, and the melting pot of culinary traditions you’ll find here means this neighborhood has some of the most delicious and authentic food in the city.
This small, pedestrianized area is the perfect base for foodies; a permanent market street that’s also home to the oldest patisserie in Paris, there’s always something delicious to be found here. Thanks to its central location, Rue Montorgueil is a great base to explore Paris’s famous attractions from, as well as being able to wine and dine at family-run bistros and brasseries where you’ll find there's hardly a tourist in sight. With some of the best meat and fish markets in the city, boulangeries, fromageries, and patisseries galore and a diverse range of bars to choose from, for a gourmet taste of Paris, there’s nowhere better.
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