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Where to Stay in Paris

A Guide to Accommodations With All the Perks in the Heart of the Capital

Ah Paris! With its distinct neighborhoods, or "arrondissements", the various highlights of Paris, and the whole "left v.s. right bank" attitude, it's hard to know where to stay to make the most out of your trip. Here's a little guide with everything you need to know about where to stay in Paris. From budget-friendly options to boutique hotels, you'll soon find that the city of love puts creature comforts above all else.

Rive Droite or Rive Gauche?

Where to stay in Paris really depends on what kind of traveler you are, what kind of events and sights you want to be close to, the kind of atmosphere you're looking for, your budget per night, and, of course, whether you're traveling solo, with friends, as a couple or as a family with kids. There's one other point you'll want to consider: are you more a Left Bank lover or a Right Bank kind of Parisian? When deciding where to stay in Paris, you should know that there's a distinct difference between the two "sides" and it's not only the gorgeous River Seine separating these two worlds. Let's have a look at what sets these two areas apart.
In former times, "Le Rive Gauche", or the Left Bank, had a reputation as the more authentic, homegrown, artistic, and eclectic area of Paris. Picasso, Matisse, and Hemingway all lived there because of the area's affordability, and you'll find great thinkers like Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir buried in the famous Montparnasse cemetery. "La Rive Droite", or the Right Bank, tended to be more expensive and luxurious, with the northern part being home to wealthier Parisians.
In the recent past, this distinction has definitely simmered into more of a distinction of culture and attitude rather than an economical fact, partly because Left Bank property rents have skyrocketed to meet their Right Bank counterparts. So, too, have the prices for shopping and dining. Today, deciding where to stay in Paris is a question of taste rather than budget, with the exception of the most high-end areas like the Champs-Elysées. While the Left Bank is more chaotic and less martially organized, the Right Bank is far more packed in, with its 14 arrondissements versus the Left Bank's 6.
Restaurants, shops, cafes, and markets pepper both sides of the Seine, giving visitors plenty to do regardless of where they stay. However, if you're looking to hit any of these major tourist attractions, the Right Bank is home to them all: Champs-Elysees, the Louvre Museum, L'Arc de Triomphe, Tuileries Gardens, the neighborhood of Montmartre with the Sacre Coeur Basilica at its highest point, Musee de l'Orangerie as well as Musee Picasso, the Centre Pompidou, the famous Moulin Rouge, Place Vendome, and the popular Le Marais neighborhood - just to name a few.

Where to Stay in Paris as a Student

If it's your first trip to Europe, you're probably wondering where to stay in Paris for the first time. As a student, your decision about where to stay in Paris is going to be based on two things: what you want to do and how much you're willing to spend. This guide about where to stay in Paris compiles a few options.

The Latin Quarter: The 5th & 6th Arrondissements

Paris's division into twenty arrondissements begins at its very center and proceeds in an outward spiral. As a student, the Latin Quarter should be your first choice for where to stay in Paris. Does this put you on the Left Bank? Yes. But the Latin Quarter is not only incredibly iconic, offering a brilliant mix of high and low culture, galleries, and restaurants, you've always got the ease and speed of the Paris Métro to keep you connected to the attractions of the Right Bank. 

Sine the 13th century, the Latin Quarter has been the students' answer not only to where to stay in Paris but where to study in Paris. The main universities like the famous Sorbonne are housed in this quarter and not only give the neighborhood a high-brow, artistic, and intellectual vibe, they also mean that you're likely to find yourself locked in a heated and fierce debate about Chomsky vs. Foucault at any of the trendy bars and pubs located here. 

The north-south axis of Boulevard St. Michel is famous for its narrow and crooked streets, decked with massive stone buildings dating to the Middle Ages. Of these, you can find accommodations at Hotel Excelsior, an affordable and fully-outfitted hotel in the heart of the Latin Quarter. Continental breakfast, a 24-hour concierge, and a beautiful floral garden, along with its fully air-conditioned suites at an affordable price make this a steal. But its true perk is its location: simply less than 6th of a mile away from the Luxembourg Gardens and a 5th of a mile away from the Panthéon Church, less than half a mile from the famous Sorbonne, and a mere 15-minute walk from Notre-Dame Cathedral, this is exactly where to stay in Paris, enjoy added perks, and keep a student budget.


If you're considering another option for where to stay in Paris, choose Saint-Germain-des-Prés in the 6th arrondissement. Moving west through the Latin Quarter along the Seine will lead you to Boulevard Saint Germain, full of tiny, cobbled, crammed streets, tall housing and buildings, and a steady count of clubs, bars, trendy restaurants, and galleries. At this heart of this historical and student-friendly neighborhood are plenty of mid-range options like the Mercure Paris La Sorbonne Saint Germain des Prés Hotel and the Mercure Paris Notre Dame Saint Germain des Prés. People watching is easy to do because the sidewalks are practically lined with the city's best known cafes. Take a stroll and be sure to nip in and out of its vintage shops, with one-of-a-kind jewelry, and other specialty spots. 
Besides being a viable option for where to stay in Paris, using Saint-Germain-des-Prés as your starting point to explore the city opens you up to a world of culture right away. The area around Odéon, with its charming movie houses, is always lively and thriving with lots of cinema-goers and cafe-lovers milling about. Particularly charming are the dedicated movie houses. If you're a lover of the writings and works of Rimbaud, Camus, Verlaine, Hemingway, Sartre or de Beauvoir, you simply cannot miss a trip to Deux Magots, one of the city's most famous cafe where these intellectuals and artists once sparred ideas.

Where to Settle in Paris as a Tourist

As a tourist, you'll want to remain within Paris's 20 main arrondissements, regardless which neighborhood you choose. For many individuals who are traveling to this fair city for the first time are not sure of where to stay in Paris just quite yet but they feel the need to make this a trip of a lifetime. No doubt, choosing where to stay in Paris is half of that aspiration fulfilled.

Keep yourself close to amenities and major attractions, but don't necessarily base your choice for where to stay in Paris on specific neighborhoods where these attractions are. Paris is, geographically speaking, relatively small, so getting from place to place on the Métro or by foot is fairly easy. However, keeping to the 20 arrondissements exclusively will make your life easier because they are so well-connected, packed with exciting things to do, and safer for tourists and families. If this is your 3rd or 4th time and you're well-versed with the main districts (and your French is on point) then, yes, you can start to move away from the city center when picking where to stay in Paris.

Le Marais: 3rd and 4th Arrondissements

For your first time to the City of Lights, make Le Marais (the 3rd/4th arrondissements) your main base. From here, you can move around easily to Ile de La Cité, Saint Germain or Montmartre (the 18th arrondissement). Pro tip: If you're traveling with children, make sure to pick a hotel or a rental around Rue Lepic and avoid the Pigalle area, where you'll encounter the occasional sex shop. 
Le Marais is an excellent choice whether you're traveling solo, as a couple, trying to figure out were to stay in Paris with family, or traveling with a group of friends. Le Marais is a whole world all in itself. Depending on how long your trip is for, you can end up simply exploring and get a sense of Paris with its winding streets, cozy cafes, main attractions, great restaurants, and cool shopping. This trendy neighborhood used to be the main hub for immigrants in the Jewish community and marginalized individuals in the LGBTQ+ communities, among others. As such, she still retains a sense of identity that is based on homegrown, collective community, local goods, community art and political organization, not to mention stunning architecture from way before her time. 
Le Marais is still diverse enough and the confines of the neighborhood broad enough that you can find your staple luxury brand stores, quirky independently-owned boutiques with vintage finds, and great "markets" all in one spot. Check out Place des Vosges and Hôtel de Sully for gorgeously groomed gardens. You'll also be able to enjoy attractions like Centre Pompidou and Hotel de Ville from this location. 
You could write an entire book on things to do in Le Marais, but for now, use this guide to choose where to stay in Paris. Hotel Turenne le Marais is located on Rue De Turenne in the heart of the district and offers all the advantages of a mid-range hotel. For a more refined experience, head down the street to Hôtel De Joséphine Bonaparte, a 24-room hotel with rooms that will make you feel like a modern Marie Antoinette. At the top end, you have the five-star Hotel Dupond-Smith situated on the lively Rue de Temple. Enjoy luxury rooms along with top-quality spa services, and be confident that you'll get a restful night to prepare you for all the sightseeing that's in store.

Oh Champs Elysées!

While some may prefer to stay in the quaint and quiet neighborhoods of the French capital, others want to be in the center of the action, close to all the sights, sounds, and monuments that make Paris one of a kind. Luckily, there are hundreds of hotels on or around the Champs Elysées for those among us who want to do Paris in style. 
The Champs Elysées is located in the 8th arrondissement and runs almost two kilometers between the Place de la Concorde and the Place Charles de Gaulle. Here, you'll find the Arc de Triomphe and a plethora of extravagant shopping and dining options. You're also in close proximity to the Eiffel Tower, Les Invalids, the Louvre Museum, and the Musée d'Orsay. However, this prime comes at a price. Expect the cost for hotels in this neighborhood to be marginally to significantly higher than those of other Paris neighborhoods.  
For a four-star treat, pop over to Hotel Rochester Champs Elysées. Outfitted with a spa and bar and located directly off the Metro stop Saint Phillip de Roule, this hotel has everything you need for a great Paris vacation. If you're looking for "a lovely place" that reminds you of home, then try the Hotel California, a beautiful hotel with appealing Art-Deco architecture and options for contemporary or classical French furnishings. Hotel Chateaubriand is another favorite, with elegant decor and a relaxing interior garden. With so many hotels to choose from, you're sure to find one that suits your needs and budget.

The 18th Arrondissement: The Best Views in Paris

The 18th Arrondissement is a district as famous for its hedonism as for its eclectic style and impeccable views. Home to the beloved Sacré-Cœur Basilica in Montmartre and the legendary Moulin Rouge in Pigalle, this neighborhood never fails to disappoint. Whether you're looking to browse the quirky shops lining the cobblestone streets, grab a café and take in the Parisian feel, or sample a delicious "galette" at a French créperie, the 18th is a wonderful place to spend your Paris vacation. You'll also be close to the African and North African district of Goutte d'Or, with excellent street markets like the the marché Barbès, full of exotic goods brought in by the substantial immigrant population who live there. 
Picking where to stay in the 18th depends on what you want to see and which Métro line is most convenient for the sightseeing you want to do. For an affordable spot right next to the Moulin Rouge, try the Ibis Paris Montmartre 18ème. Here, you'll be just 10 minutes from the Champs-Elysées and various shopping attractions, and can benefit from air-conditioned rooms, free WiFi, and a bar lounge. 
For a quieter getaway, Le Relays Montmartre is a great choice. Its charming rooms and impeccable views combine with its prime location just a short walk away from the Sacré-Cœur, making it a great spot for a romantic getaway. A funky alternative that also offers wonderful views is the Mercure Paris 9 Pigalle Sacre-Coeur Hotel, located mere steps away from the Pigalle Métro station. Finally, if you're looking to splurge a little this vacation, then book a Junior Suite at the Beauséjour Montmartre and relax in the lounge area while taking advantage of the underfloor heating and walk-in shower. With so many great options, it's no wonder this neighborhood is quickly becoming one of the hottest places to stay in Paris.

Budget-friendly Options

Belleville is the "best-ville" when it comes to budget-friendly spots in Paris. It's where all the hipsters go to party, play, relax and live. As such, it's got a distinct "out of Paris while still in Paris" sort of vibe and you'll find artists, writers, and independent craft stores dedicated to local services. It used to be a working-class neighborhood until gentrification became a real phenomenon. Today, Belleville is one of the best places to stay if you're looking to explore the city and try its diverse range of ethnic eats, including best and most authentic Chinese food in Paris. To be close to the action, try out Hotel Scarlett near Place de la République for easy access to Belleville. 
Prefer to have your own apartment and save a little money on dining out? Head to Aparthotel Adagio Paris Buttes Chaumont Apartment. Just a few minutes away from the idyllic Parc des Buttes Chaumont, this quirky yet modern establishment offers 97 apartments for up to 6 people. Step into the lives of real Parisians in this off-the-beaten-path neighborhood and treat yourself to a pastry and relaxing stole down the Canal de l'Ourcq after a busy day of sightseeing. The Aparthotel Adagio is also within walking distance to fresh, authentic French food shops, where you can get the best wine and cheese for a gourmet meal at home. 
Meanwhile, the Ibis Paris Bastille Opera 11th Hotel is located in the Bastille district, close to the Île Louviers and the harbor of the Bassin de l'Arsenal. Not only is this a central hotel with great access to attractions, it's near the Gare de Lyon train station, which is convenient if you're planning to venture elsewhere in France. 
If you know where to stay in Paris, you'll not only enjoy your days cavorting, exploring, and enjoying, you'll also be able to come back to a space you love to unwind, relax, and recharge for a new day's adventure. Armed with some tips and tricks from experts, the best way to choose a hotel is looking at the prices, location, and figuring out where you'd feel most comfortable and happy. 

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