Working out where to stay in Paris is all about proximity to the city centre and the prime tourist destinations on offer.
For those new to the city, it’s worth remembering Paris is divided into 20 arrondissements, or precincts, that spiral out clockwise from the centre on the north bank of the Seine. This means anything from the 1st to the 8th arrondissement is considered fairly central, offering the convenience of being within walking distance of the sites or accessible via a quick Metro ride.
From the old city centre of Palais-Royal to the artist’s haven of Montmartre, there are accommodation offerings to suit all tastes, budgets, and favoured attractions.
Le Marais is a window into the Paris of the past, featuring cobblestone streets, narrow alleys, and quaint buildings. It’s also close to the centre of the city with a vibrant feel, fabulous restaurants, and lots to explore by foot. This positions Le Marais among the popular places to stay in Paris where small-scale hotels and boutique accommodation abound.
Located on the Left Bank, the Latin Quarter has long been a haven for students and the younger generation. These days the accommodation here is often more affordable than central Paris but offers proximity to all the prime tourist sites, as well as a thriving market street – Rue Monge, and restaurant and bar scene. It’s also an area steeped in history where streets date back to the 11th century and academia is a way of life.
With a classic Parisian feel, Saint-Germain offers refinement and a central position. From here you can easily walk to the essential sites, and it’s widely regarded as one of the best areas to stay in Paris if you’re visiting the city for the first time. This convenience and ambience – streets lined with famous cafes like the Cafe des Fleurs and Les Deux Magots, as well as the flagship stores for many international fashion designers - naturally commands a higher price tag, but when in Paris, surely it’s the experience that counts.
Located on the north bank of the Seine, Montmartre is the heart of the historic artist enclave, where painters, drawers, musicians and sculptors still line the streets and squares. It also offers a spectacular vantage point of Paris from Sacre-Coeur, a view not to be missed at sunset.
Palais-Royal and 1st Arrondissement
If you’re looking to be in the heart of Paris and close to central attractions like the Louvre and Champs-Elysees, you can’t go past the Palais-Royal and the 1st arrondissement. This is one of the oldest districts in the city and is dominated by must-see destinations and luxury hotels.