Like most capital cities in the world, Paris is a sprawling city that can easily be overwhelming at first glance. When you’re just starting to get to know the city and deciding where to stay in Paris, it’s helpful to recognize its 20 arrondissements.
What is an Arrondissement?
In English, “arrondissement” is most often translated to “neighborhood,” but arrondissements are actually more like administrative regions of Paris. They are mainly used for city organization purposes, similar to zip codes, and each arrondissement can have several Parisian neighborhoods within it.
For example, Le Marais is a neighborhood located within the 3rd and 4th arrondissements. Saint-Germain-des-Près is located inside the 6th arrondissement. Montmartre is located within the 18th arrondissement. The Latin Quarter is mostly in the 5th, and partially the 6th arrondissement.
These neighborhoods have great historical value and date back to long before the administrative arrondissements of Paris were drawn! The arrondissements of Paris are diverse and each one is unique in its own way.
Paris Arrondissements Map
Paris is shaped like a rough circle with an arched river dividing it in two. The 1st arrondissement is smack dab in the center of the city, and the numbered arrondissements ascend in a clockwise spiral outward like so:
Paris Arrondissements Explained
Paris is divided into 20 administrative districts known as arrondissements. These are numbered from 1 to 20 in a clockwise spiral, starting from the center of the city. The arrondissements are further subdivided into four administrative quarters each.
Did you know that addresses in Paris designate its arrondissement? The zip code of an address in Paris reflects its arrondissement. The first three digits of the zip code are always 750, followed by the two-digit number of the arrondissement.
So, for example, the zip code for an address in the 5th arrondissement would be 75005, and for the 15th arrondissement, it would be 75015. This system provides an easy way to identify the location of an address within the city.
Paris Arrondissements to Avoid
Generally speaking, Paris is considered a safe city, but like any large urban area, it has neighborhoods that some might prefer to avoid.
Some travelers might be advised to exercise caution in certain arrondissements known for higher levels of petty crime or a lack of tourist attractions. The northern districts, like the upper 18th, 19th, and 20th arrondissements, sometimes receive mixed reviews.
However, even in these areas, there are many vibrant and culturally rich neighborhoods.
Paris Arrondissements Ranked
I have been a visitor to Paris for 10 years and a resident for more than 3 years. These are the best Paris arrondissements ranked:
- 1st Arrondissement: This is the center of Paris. It’s home to some of the best public plazas in Paris as well as world-class shopping and museums.
- 8th Arrondissement: This is a mix of residential homes and grandiose museums. It’s more of a conservative, finance crowd who lives here.
- 6th Arrondissement: The 6th arrondissement is one of the nicest arrondissements to live in Paris. It’s a mix of wealthy artists, expats, and upscale bohemian types.
Here’s a quick overview of each Paris arrondissement!
The 1st arrondissement is located in the heart of Paris and has a number of exclusive addresses. While many attractions are located in the 1st, the proximity to the best of Paris means prices will be high for hotels in the area. The 1st arrondissement is where the historic Roman city of Lutetia was once established 2,000 years ago.
Things to Do in the 1st: Explore the famous Louvre Museum, admire art at Musée de l’Orangerie, walk the Palais Royal gardens, luxury shop along Rue Saint-Honoré and Place Vendôme, wander the Jardin des Tuileries, relax with a glass of wine in Place Dauphine, and mid-market shop at the sprawling outdoor mall Les Halles
Where to Eat in the 1st: Breakfast across from the Louvre pyramid at Café Marly, lunch at Claus or Kong with its glass dome ceiling, and dinner at Le Soufflé
The 2nd arrondissement is sometimes called Bourse, which means stock exchange or trading center. There are lots of financial institutions located in the 2nd arrondissement surrounding Palais Brongniart, a 19th-century former stock exchange building that now functions as a convention center.
The Vivienne neighborhood is a tiny area known for its beautiful covered passages filled with old bookshops and delicious restaurants. Don’t miss a stroll through these 19th-century time warps, especially Galerie Vivienne and Passage des Panoramas.
The northern part of the 2nd arrondissement is home to the neighborhood Sentier, a historical textile and garment manufacturing district that still retains a few studios. In the 90s, it earned the nickname “Silicon Sentier” for attracting a host of technology companies. Today Sentier is mainly known for its trendy hotels and restaurants.
Hotels in the 2nd: The Hoxton
Things to Do in the 2nd: walk the covered passages, have an evening drink along the pedestrian street Rue Montorgueil, check out the statue of Louis XIV in Place des Victoires, shop at the Sézane fashion boutique, and awe at the Medieval residential architecture of the Tour Jean-sans-Peur.
Where to Eat in the 2nd: Le Moulin de La Vierge Victoires is a traditional French boulangerie, Frenchie is your go-to trendy wine bar, Lockwood is a multi-level bar and restaurant, and Canard & Champagne is the place for French duck and bubbles
Formerly the Jewish Quarter, the 3rd arrondissement is the home of many contemporary art galleries and trendy boutique shops today. The most famous neighborhood in the 3rd arrondissement is Le Marais, a trendy fashion-forward area akin to Soho in New York City.
The 4th arrondissement of Paris is home to the other half of Le Marais. Located on the right bank, it’s also known for the Beaubourg neighborhood, where you can find modern and contemporary art museums and artist studios. Paris’ Hôtel de Ville, or town hall, sits on a massive open square in the 4th. If you’re staying in the 4th, don’t miss a stroll along the charming Ile de Saint Louis.
Hotels in the 4th: Hotel Du Jeu De Paume
Things to Do in the 4th: visit the famous Notre Dame on Ile de la Cité, admire contemporary and modern art at Centre Pompidou, stroll inside beautiful Place des Vosges square where you can also tour Victor Hugo’s former house
Where to Eat in the 4th: Chez Julien is a fabulous restaurant located not far from the Seine River.
The 5th arrondissement of Paris is home to the popular Latin Quarter, one of the oldest parts of Paris that dates back to Medieval times! Some of the oldest universities in Paris are located in the 5th like La Sorbonne, and so the area is known as a student district. The most famous monument in the 5th is the Panthéon.
Hotels in the 5th: Stay at the pleasant Hôtel Monge.
Where to Eat in the 5th: Circus Bakery for breakfast, La Petite Périgourdine for dinner
Artists, writers, and intellectuals flocked to the 6th arrondissement in droves during the 1920s, and the neighborhood Saint-Germain-des-Près was their stomping grounds. Today you’ll be hard-pressed to find any artists in this chic, upscale arrondissement filled with luxury boutiques and gourmet food shops. You will find the Saint Sulpice Church, though, made famous by the best-selling novelist Dan Brown in The Davinci Code.
The true gem of the 6th arrondissement is undoubtedly the Jardin du Luxembourg, a sprawling romantic garden that dates to 1612 when Marie de’ Medici commissioned it.
The 7th arrondissement of Paris is known for its crown jewel, the Eiffel Tower. Aside from the Iron Lady, you can visit the final resting place of the great Napoleon at Les Invalides. Be sure to browse the market street of Rue Cler and have a picnic on the long grassy fields of the Champ de Mars.
The 7th is home to a nice balance of tourist-friendly hotels and stunning residential buildings that give it charm. It’s also the location of the richest neighborhood in Paris.
Things to Do in the 7th: After seeing the Eiffel Tower, don’t miss a visit to the stunning Musée Rodin to see artwork by the famous French sculptor Auguste Rodin. The renowned Musée d’Orsay is also worth a visit, but arrive early to avoid the lines.
Where to Eat in the 7th: find a charming restaurant to eat at on Rue Cler, or go shopping for fresh meats and cheeses along this lovely market street
Want to stay in the same neighborhood as the President of France? Then head to the 8th arrondissement, where President Macron resides in the elegant Élysée Palace. The 8th is commonly known for the Avenue des Champs-Élysées and the beautiful monument: Arc de Triomphe. Shops along the Avenue Montaigne draw tourists from all over the world. It’s also where you can find the lovely La Madeleine church.
For a little culture, head to the Grand Palais or Petit Palais, both across from each other, or the fabulous Jacquemart-André Museum. Parc Monceau is a must-see park in the 8th.
Where to Eat in the 8th: L’Avenue is a trendy, yet expensive restaurant where you can sometimes spot celebrities. Chez Francis offers splendid Eiffel Tower views.
In the 9th arrondissement, you’ll want to visit the trendy Pigalle neighborhood and visit the stunning Palais Garnier, where the Opéra de Paris performs. The 9th is a nice place to be inside central Paris, yet still, nearby trendy bars and restaurants that aren’t listed in typical guidebooks.
You can get a real taste of hipster Paris in the 10th where lots of cool artists and creatives hang out. The informal neighborhood of Canal Saint-Martin was featured in the famous French film Amélie. This is an area full of “bobos,” a term for bohemian-bourgeois Parisians.
Come to the 11th for a taste of what it’s like to live as a local Parisian. Some of the coolest French it-girls live in the 11th including Jeanne Damas. The 11th is sometimes referred to as La Bastille, especially the area surrounding this historically significant monument. Here is a Bastille neighborhood guide.
To the north, the Oberkampf neighborhood has a ton of great bars and restaurants like Café Mericourt and Ober Mamma. At night, L’Alimentation Générale and Le Perchoir are the perfect places to have a cocktail.
Things to Do in the 11th: catch a ballet at L’Opéra Bastille, take advantage of the area’s nightlife scene
Where to Eat in the 11th: breakfast at Au Levain du Marais, lunch at Ober Mamma for Italian food, and dinner at the trendy Septime
Situated in the far east corner of Paris, the 12th arrondissement is quiet, yet has some trendy parts closer to the west. The Promenade Plantée (Coulée Verte) is definitely worth a visit – an elevated park located along former railroad tracks. Head to Bercy Village to shop at this outdoor mall with a village-like feel. Rue Crémieux in the 12th has become insta-famous for its pastel-colored homes.
For a taste of French film culture, visit la Cinémathèque Française and catch a screening of a classic French flick! Foodies will love a stroll along the popular Le Marché d’Aligre outdoor food market.
Hotels in the 12th: Hôtel L’Antoine
Things to Do in the 12th: Shop at Bercy Village, snap some photos on Rue Crémieux, and admire the flowers in Parc Floral de Paris.
Where to Eat in the 12th: Blé sucré is a popular and highly rated boulangerie in this 12th arrondissement. Le Train Bleu is a gorgeous upscale fine dining venue to have an unforgettable meal in the Gare de Lyon train station.
The 13th arrondissement is a working-class arrondissement formerly home to textile factories. Today it’s a quiet refuge away from the hustle and bustle of central touristic Paris. It’s home to many immigrants and Paris’ “Chinatown” is located here. The neighborhood worth exploring in the 13th is surely Butte-Aux-Cailles, a village-like district that has retained much of its old-world charm.
Although it’s a bit far from the main attractions in central Paris, the 14th arrondissement still has plenty to offer at its doorstep. Most people visit the 14th to see the famous Catacombs of Paris. You can also tour the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain in the 14th if contemporary art is your thing.
The 15th is in close proximity to the Eiffel Tower and the Seine River. It’s mainly residential but the artistic Montparnasse area could be a good place to stay if you plan to spend a lot of time in the 7th. Ascend the Montparnasse Tower in the 15th arrondissement of Paris to witness one of the most stunning aerial views over the city!
Hotels in the 15th: Hotel Eiffel Blomet
Things to Do in the 15th: ride a hot-air balloon above the city with Ballon de Paris Generali, see a replica of the Statue of Liberty in Paris on quiet Ile aux Cygnes, ascend the Montparnasse tower observation deck
Where to Eat in the 15th: Good News Coffee Shop for breakfast
The 16th arrondissement is Paris’ wealthy upper-crust neighborhood. From luxury apartment buildings to 5-star hotels, the 16th is far from average! Don’t miss a visit to Place de Trocadéro to catch a beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower from across the Seine River.
Hotels in the 16th: Saint James Paris
Things to Do in the 16th: Explore the numerous museums like Palais de Tokyo, Musée de l’Homme, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Musée Yves Saint Laurent, Fondation Le Corbusier, and Musée Marmottan-Monet, then take a walk in the expansive Bois de Boulogne
Where to Eat in the 16th: Café du Trocadéro
The 17th arrondissement is a mainly residential neighborhood with a steady increase of trendy dining options. The coolest neighborhood to stay in the 17th is definitely Batignolles.
Hotels in the 17th: B Montmartre Hôtel
Things to Do in the 17th: The plaza in front of Église Sainte-Marie des Batignolles is beautiful. Walk around the Square des Batignolles after visiting!
Where to Eat in the 17th: coffee at DOSE Dealer de café, lunch at Flows Juices
For a taste of bohemian Paris, then head to the 18th arrondissement, specifically the famous Montmartre neighborhood. This artistic arrondissement is very hilly so it’s not a good place for visitors with low mobility. You will find many steep hills to climb in the 18th, but that’s part of what makes this neighborhood so charming!
Hotels in the 18th: Hôtel Particulier Montmartre, Terrass Hotel
Where to Eat in the 18th: the highly Instagrammable La Maison Rose
The 19th arrondissement of Paris is generally quiet and attracts very few tourists. If you have the chance, be sure to explore the La Mouzaïa neighborhood – a small area with a countryside feel.
Hotels in the 19th: La Belle Ville
Things to Do in the 19th: visit this arrondissement’s two beautiful parks: Parc Buttes-Chaumont and Parc de la Villette
Where to Eat in the 19th: coffee at Kaffee Bar 19, meals at Pavillon Puebla, A l’endroit
The 20th is home to young, artsy couples and is as authentic as you can get in Paris! If you’re looking for a taste of what life is like as an everyday Parisian, then the 20th arrondissement is the place to be. The Belleville neighborhood in the 20th draws local artists because it’s one of the few affordable places to live in Paris!
I hope this guide to the Paris arrondissements was useful in choosing which arrondissement to stay in during your trip to Paris!
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