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It doesn’t matter if it’s your first visit or tenth, deciding where to stay in Paris is always a difficult decision. There is really no ‘best’ neighbourhood as Paris has so many things you want to do in your visit. But our best advice is to stay near a metro station.
The city has 16 metro lines that spread out across the parts of Paris you want to see, as well as a good bus service. Although first timers in Paris can use our 48 hours in Paris guide to walk the major sites in 2 days.
Paris is split by the river Seine and tends to be referred to as the right and left bank. The city is further split down into arrondissement’s. Those are numbered and start at the 1st on the right bank (north of the river) and work their way round like a clockwise snail shell. Arrondissements 1 thru 7 are the most central and least residential. The feel of the areas in close proximity to the Seine are seen as associated with classic architecture to the left and trendy to the right, but the whole central area always feels safe, walkable and gives most direct access to the major landmarks.
For the first timer this is what is envisaged when you think of Paris. The Eiffel Tower, the Seine, amazing restaurants and fantastic museums. Although not as bustling in the evening it certainly has its fair share of great eateries and the chance of a luxury hotel in Paris with a close-up view of France’s most famous landmark. Whether visiting for a family holiday or as a couple the 7th gives easy access to some of the best attractions Paris has to offer.
Spanning the 3rd an 4th arrondissements Le Maris is known for its Jewish quarter. Home to some amazing buildings that look like time stood still it is a part of the city filled with art galleries, boutique shops and fantastic restaurants. Perhaps attracting the younger Parisian its certainly one of the trendiest areas of Paris.
If you are looking where to stay in Paris for the local vibe then this is where you need to stay. Just south of the Moulin Rouge and the former red light district. Famed for its nightlife the area is still amazing for sitting in a cafe on a weekend morning and spending time relaxing and people watching. For the tourist in you the area is located near the foot of Montmartre, close to the Sacre Coeur.
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With an array of upscale cafes and restaurants Saint Germain attracts a slightly different crowd but at times can feel very touristy. By day tour the high end shops or relax in the Jardin du Luxembourg, by night encounter the student filled bars and jazz clubs. Whichever you are looking for the area retains the charms of the Left Bank.
The most famous shopping street in France. Another excellent base for exploring the city. Topped and tailed by major city attractions, the Arc de Triomphe and the Place de la Concorde the area around the Camps-Elysées is a great place for art and shopping. Be careful to avoid the tourist traps of the main avenue and check out the side streets for a taste of the real Paris.
Filled with street artists and charming little shops, Montmartre has managed to retain something of what people imagine when they think of old Paris. Steep hills and narrow streets wind them selves around to the Sacre Coeur at the summit. Providing some of the best free views of the Paris skyline and an area that has been painted by some of the world most famous artists. You may be a little further out but everything is only a metro ride away!
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When you decide where to stay in Paris there are many wonders to see and world class restaurants to visit, just let us know how they went in the comments.
Chris is a Number cruncher by work day, seeker of new experiences by weekend – always looking to spend 48 hours somewhere! Seen 4 continents, 26 countries and 100’s of city’s hoping to add a few more each year.