Looking for some local spots in Paris? Make sure you get yourself a copy of our 2019 INSIDR Free Paris Travel Guides! When travelling to Paris, we understand that not everyone has the same needs, you could be visiting for business, a romantic break, with friends on a budget or any other reason for that matter. That’s why we’ve divided up the best places to stay in Paris for your specific taste and needs!
A GLIMPSE OF LUXURIOUS PARIS
There are lots of luxurious places to stay in Paris, whether you’re travelling to the city of lights for a honeymoon, a special romantic break or as a first timer without a budget restriction, there is the perfect place for you.
1. LE MARAIS
Le Marais is a charming area with tiny winding streets that you’ll be happy to get lost in with all it has to offer. From trendy concept stores to top art galleries and tiny boutiques this is a place of high culture and luxury. Le Marais is the historical Jewish district of Paris and is seen today as a favourite hangout for trendy fashionistas, it is a very safe area of Paris with all of the necessities close by. It is a short walk from the main tourist sights of Hôtel de Ville, Châtelet, Châtelet – Les Halles shopping centre, BHV department store and the magnificent Place des Vosges.
One of Le Marais’ greatest features in the area is the oldest covered food market in Paris, the Marché des Enfants-Rouges which dates back to 1615! Le Marais is a great place to stay for first time travellers to Paris who want to be located centrally and for those who want a luxurious experience of Paris. If you can find accommodation big enough this centrally, this area would be great for families visiting Paris.
2. ST GERMAIN AND ST SULPICE
St Germain and St Sulpice, located on the Left Bank, is one of the main historical districts of Paris. This area is brimming with art and culture; It was here where many famous writers, painters and philosophers lived, where Oscar Wilde spent his last days, where Jean Paul Sartre and Albert Camus had their famous falling out in Café de Flore and Deux Magots, making it a must see for those who are here to explore Paris’ rich history. The old is also juxtaposed with the new in this neighbourhood, the modern Montparnasse Tower is located near by, where you can find one of the best views of Paris.
The tiny streets around Église Saint-Sulpice boasts many art galleries, making it an ideal location for art enthusiasts and collectors. The secret Place de Furstemberg square is a perfect spot for romantic couples, Rue de Buci is great for foodies, Le Bon Marché department store and the luxury boutiques of Rue de Grenelle is fantastic for fashion lovers hunting haute couture. It is also a family friendly district as it is safe and has beautiful parks, such as the Luxembourg gardens, a great space for kids to run around. Its many bookstores, cafés, quirky boutiques, theatres, jazz clubs and bars give this district its distinct bohemian feel, and guarantees a luxurious stay.
Two of the main monuments to see in this area is the magnificent Institute de France and the original love-lock bridge the Pont des Arts (pictured below)
3. ST HONORÉ AND TUILERIES
Located very centrally, St Honoré is near many of the main tourist sites. Just a stone’s throw away from Jardin des Tuileries and Musée du Louvre, it’s perfect for a luxurious stay in Paris. If you choose to stay in this area, Marché Saint Honoré will be on your doorstep, you will be a walkable distance from Notre-Dame-de Paris, Ile Saint-Louis, Hôtel de Ville, Georges Pompoidou Center and the Champs Élysées, and you will have easy access to many metro stations, combining convenience and luxury.
4. ILE SAINT- LOUIS
Ile Saint-Louis is located in the heart of the city, very close to Kilometer 0 of France – the Notre-Dame cathedral (the measuring system they used for postal services). It’s quiet, winding streets tend to be less touristy than its neighbouring Ile-de-la-Cité, and is still a walkable distance from the main tourists sites, making it the perfect location for families and luxurious romantic stays in Paris.
5. VILLAGE D’AUTEUIL
Village d’Auteuil is a small Parisian village with lots of open green spaces. Its calm streets, beautifully decorated with flowers are filled with luxury apartments that you can rent during your stay in Paris. This area is perfect for escaping the hustle and bustle of Paris whilst still being located centrally. It is spacious enough for big families travelling to Paris. Find out more information about Village d’Auteuil.
If you’ve been to Paris before and want to get a real feel for the Parisians’ Paris, choose to stay in a less touristy district where you can rub shoulders with the locals!
Montmartre, home of the iconic Sacré-coeur, is known for its village-like atmosphere; with it’s sloping cobbled streets, small boutiques and street-side brasseries. You are not short of great restaurants in Montmartre, especially along Rue des Abbesses. It may be a popular tourist destination, but many locals choose to live in this vibrant, picturesque district, so if you know where to look, and if you have the help of INSIDR, you will find the places the locals go, making you feel like a true Parisian!
2. THE 9TH ARRONDISSEMENT & SOPI (SOUTH PIGALLE)
This area, once the shady underbelly of Montmartre, is fast becoming one of the trendiest parts in Paris. With numerous boutiques, quirky cafés, and great nightlife, this district pulls a young crowd of Parisian locals. The sloping Rue des Martyrs is always fun to explore, and the tree-lined Avenue Trudaine is the perfect alternative romantic spot couples. Every Friday afternoon at Place Anvers there is an organic food market, ideal for fresh, local produce.
Another favourite place to stay amongst, is the Bastille area. It is conveniently just a short walk from the main touristy sites, such as the River Seine, Place de la Bastille, Le Marais, and just a few metro stops away from central Paris – it’s accessible and trendy. It is also a good choice to stay if it is your your first time visiting Paris.
This area has a fascinating history. Rue de la Roquette was once home to two prisons, and every evening the guillotine would be brought out and the prisoners executed… but that morbid nighttime activity has been replaced with groups of Parisians enjoying the many bars and cocktail bars this area has to offer! Rue de Lappe is a particular favourite with locals as it’s full of trendy bars and always has a festive atmosphere at the weekends.
During the day you can check out the marvellous ‘Marché d’Aligre’, which sells everything you’ll need from wine to flowers! As well as Rue de Charonne which is a great spot to do some shopping in Paris!
4. CANAL ST-MARTIN
One of the most up-and-coming neighbourhoods in Paris today is Canal St-Martin. It’s brimming with trendy restaurants, bars and boutiques, making it a top pick for local Parisians. The nightlife in this district is great, with bars such as Comptoir Générale and (which we featured in our underground Paris article). The great shops of Rue Beaurepaire and Rue de Marseille make this truly a great place to stay in Paris without all the tourists.
Pictured on the right is the beautiful uniform bridges along Canal St-Martin. This is a common place for locals to gather and enjoy a glass of wine on a Friday evening.
5. NOMA (NORTH MARAIS)
The northern part of Le Marais, leading into the the 11th arrondissement and Oberkampf is one of the Parisians’ favourites. Boulevard Richard Lenoir offers a big outdoor food market and is always very lively in the evenings, thanks to the many cheap bars found on Rue Oberkampf. This area is perfect for all those wishing to blend in with the Parisians! The concept stores found on Boulevard Beaumarchais are also not to be missed.
Instead of booking a hotel for your stay in Paris that is just a bedroom, why not rent a self-catering apartment in some of the best places in Paris. Perfectly Paris holiday flats are located in areas of the best local parts of the city where you have your own local butcher, cheese shop, fruit seller, vegetable market, bakery and much more. It will allow you to have the feeling that you are truly living like a Parisian.
Family friendly Neighbourhoods in Paris
If you’re looking for family friendly neighbourhoods, which are still accessible to central Paris and the main tourist sites, you have a few choices, all offering a different atmosphere.
One of the quietest and safest areas in Paris is Maubert. However, there is still plenty to do and see, the market on Maubert Square, just a step away from the Maubert-Mutualité metro station is great to choose some local produce with your family in tow. This area is very close to Notre Dame cathedral, Saint-Michel where you can find many reasonably priced bars and restaurants, although we do recommend you avoid Rue de la Huchette which is full of overpriced tourist traps! Read more in our article about tourist traps in Paris, and how to avoid them.
A great place to stay if you are travelling to Paris with kids is the Luxembourg area. On a direct line for a transfer to the airport, it has great restaurants as well as being home to the Luxembourg Gardens, a wonderful area for young children to play. On the whole, this area of Paris is very quiet and safe.
Pictured below is the beautiful gardens with free seating in the background.
3. INVALIDES AND CHAMP DE MARS
Invalides and Champ de Mars in the 7th arrondissement of Paris are perfect for a very central and safe family setting. Being very close to Hotel d’Invalides (where Napoleon is buried), the Eiffel Tower, the Rodin Museum and some of the most beautiful bridges in Paris, it is both picturesque and calm. It is a very quiet and safe and surprisingly non touristy, unless you’re on the Esplanade des Invalides or on the Champ de Mars and under the Eiffel Tower itself.
Rue Saint-Dominique which runs nearly directly between the two is home to everything you’ll need from hairdressers, to coffee shops, to grocery stores to fantastic restaurants. We highly recommend dining at the Café Constant if you are in this area!
Batignolles offers a village-like setting, whilst staying in the city. Far from the busy touristy districts, there isn’t a tourist insight, but don’t worry you can use Paris’ fantastic public transport system to easily access central Paris. This area offers a space which is both quiet and safe for families visiting Paris. The very quaint Square des Batignolles is ideal for kids, with a small park and petite waterfall! Peruse the shops along Rue Legendre and enjoy the local organic market on Saturday mornings – a perfect family activity in Paris!
PARIS ON A BUDGET OR FOR ADVENTURE FRIENDS
Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to stay in Paris on a budget, if you know where to go! There are lots of trendy areas which offer accommodation at a cheap price.
Once the working-class neighbourhood and home of Edith Piaf, Belleville is full of character, with a growing arts scene, particularly street art. The Parc de Belleville with its panoramic views of Paris are great for a stroll to see the city without the crowds found by the Sacré-Coeur. Be sure to stop off at a great coffee shop with amazing breakfasts called CREAM. This cosmopolitan and multicultural area offers lots of cheap eats which is perfect for a anyone staying in Paris on a budget.
If you need a cheap place to stay in this area, we recommend Les Piaules. Far from unclean beds and roughing it for a night, this youth hostel provides comfy beds and high speed WIFI. You can also feel like a true local with their rooftop terrace and bar located inside the hostel. For a fraction of the cost of a hotel, you can be sure to save on your pennies, whilst experiencing a fun and dynamic area of the city.
2. STRASBOURG ST DENIS AND GRANDS BOULEVARDS
A fantastic area to stay in Paris on a budget is around Strasbourg St Denis and Grands Boulevards. A working class, cosmopolitan area, it’s full of fun cheap bars and restaurants. It is a popular hangout spot for the younger, student population of Paris on the hunt for a cheap beer and decent priced meal. Grands Boulevards offers bars that stay open until very late in the night and with drinks at a fraction of the cost of other areas. Be sure to check out Passage Brady for Paris’ ‘little India’!
If you’re looking for somewhere to stay near this area of Paris we recommend the fantastic Hotel Basss. A fantastic boutique hotel which offers cheap rooms for visitors to Paris. It is also perfect for business travels in Paris – offering cancellation up to 2pm on the same day!
3. BUTTES CHAUMONT
This up-and-coming area in Paris, located in the 19th arrondissement has lots of great things to do and see, such as the Canal de La Villette – a very beautiful canal and open space with stunning views. Buttes Chaumont is a stunning park, frequented by locals who head there to picnic on the hill, which gives stunning views of Paris. This area is still relatively cheap and favoured by locals- great for travellers on a budget in Paris.
Pictured below is the iconic view of Paris from the Park Buttes Chaumont.
4. PLACE MONGE
A great place for a budget trip to Paris is definitely Place Monge. Rue Mouffetard just off Place Monge is a personal favourite of INSIDR as, thanks to its many cheap bars and restaurants, always has a fun, festive atmosphere full of locals and English-speakers alike! Its not far from the Latin Quarter, St Michel and St Germain, so is a good compromise, being both cheap and a central location in Paris.
If you’re looking for a cheap, cool hostel in this area of Paris – we recommend the Young & Happy Hostel! This friendly hostel is full of internationals who are ready to enjoy their adventures in Paris.
5. NORTH OF MONTMARTRE
The Northern part of Montmartre, around the subway station Jules Joffrin, Lamarck Caulaincourt, is rapidly becoming a very trendy area of the city. With lots of wonderful restaurants it is a very charming and affordable place to stay, plus, you will be just a stones throw from the Sacré-Coeur!
BUSINESS IN PARIS
For the perfect business trip to Paris, we understand that you have to be central, near main lines of public transport and be comfortable. If you’re going to be travelling from the airport to Paris and wish to avoid numerous metro changes, here are some great places to stay in Paris for business visits.
A very central and convenient location to stay in Paris is République, with 5 different metro lines at République metro station, it is very easy to connect to anywhere in Paris – very quickly. With lots of restaurants opening very early and serving until very late, it’s perfect for the busy business traveller in Paris. It’s also very close to a CMG Sports club and has a great jogging route around Canal St Martin – both perfect for an early morning or late night work-out!
2. CENTRE POMPIDOU/ LES HALLES
The area surrounding the Georges Pompidou centre (which, by the way, is worth a visit in itself) is a convenient location in central Paris for business travellers. There are many transport options, providing easy access around the city and to airports; The RER train and metro station, Les Halles, is very close by and connects the RER B line with Charles de Gaulle airport. With lots of other subway lines, some good bars and restaurants around, there’s plenty to do, when you have time to mix business with pleasure. It also offers some great gyms, a Bikram yoga centre, and a good jogging route along the Seine river banks – it’s great for that post-work work-out!
Opéra is a nice area which is very close to Roissy BUS station for a quick, cheap Charles de Gaulle airport transfer. With lots of subway lines and short walks from the Louvre museum and the centre of Paris, it is also less touristy and has some great bars and restaurants around. You can find some gyms in the area, such as L’Usine which is great for crossfit lovers, plus for that extra bit of relaxation after a long day, there are some good spas around!
Last but not least, remember to be careful when booking your accommodation in Paris. For more information on avoiding these apartment rental scams – the lovely Heather from Secrets of Paris has written a fantastic article. Whilst most places are absolutely fine and 100% safe to rent out, unfortunately, just like in all places of the world – scams do happen!
Enjoy preparing your Paris adventure!