Heading to Paris and wondering which neighborhoods should be on your agenda? Maybe it’s your second or third trip to Paris and you want to stay in a trendier area of town. Whatever your needs, these are the ten coolest neighborhoods to explore in Paris!
I’ve spent over a year in the capital of France and always recommend visiting these Paris neighborhoods to see the best of the different areas. Paris is a much more diverse city than people realize and these charming neighborhoods each have their own unique characteristics which make them special.
While you may not have a chance to visit all these Parisian neighborhoods, I hope this post will inspire you to visit a new area you might not have otherwise!
1. Le Marais
Le Marais is the ultimate trendy neighborhood for Parisians in the know. From concept stores like Merci to art museums like the Picasso National Museum and Le Centre Pompidou, Le Marais is the place to be for cool creatives. Grab a hotel room at the chic Jules & Jim, and explore this neighborhood’s cobblestone passageways on foot!
Read the Le Marais Guide
One of the few cool areas on the left bank of Paris, Saint-Germain-des-Près, often shortened to just “Saint Germain” is a must-visit when in Paris. A favorite of 20th-century literary writers, Café de Flore is an iconic address to sit for coffee. The oldest church in Paris, Église de Saint-Germain-des-Prés, is found here, as well as the oldest café restaurant in Paris, Le Procope. Don’t miss a walk along the Seine river in Saint Germain to admire the famous vintage bookseller stands, Les Bouquinistes.
Read the Saint-Germain-des-Près Guide
Montmartre is located on a large hill in the 18th arrondissement of Paris. During the 19th century, it was home to many artists including Monet, Modigliani, and Renoir. Today, the winding cobblestone streets attract thousands of visitors who want to catch glimpse of the portrait artists in Place du Tertre and the astounding white-domed Basilica of the Sacré-Cœur.
4. Canal Saint-Martin
The Canal Saint-Martin is the hipster version of the Seine River, which it leads into. The area around Canal Saint-Martin is filled with specialty coffee shops, quirky restaurants, and independent fashion stores. It’s a great neighborhood to explore if you’re into the offbeat culture. Head to the 10th arrondissement to begin exploring Canal Saint-Martin. This is the most hipster neighborhood in Paris, for sure!
5. The Latin Quarter
The Latin Quarter is part of the 5th arrondissement and is known as the student district or the medieval district, depending on who you ask! Several prominent French universities like the Sorbonne are located in the Latin Quarter, which has a history dating back to Medieval times when students from around the continent came to study. They spoke Latin, the only common language, which is where the neighborhood’s name is derived from! Visit the Latin Quarter to see the Panthéon, walk along Rue Mouffetard, sip coffee at Shakespeare & Company, and sit on the steps of Saint-Étienne-du-Mont, just like Gil in Midnight in Paris.
6. South Pigalle
The Pigalle quartier of Paris has become synonymous with cool Parisian nightlife. From the infamous Moulin Rouge to the newer Parisian cocktail bars with risqué names (“Dirty Dick” anyone?), South Pigalle is the place to be if you live during the night. This former red-light district clearly didn’t forget its roots! Don’t worry, there’s plenty to do during the day too – like explore the beautiful Musée Gustave Moreau.
Belleville lies in the northeast corner of Paris, and rarely makes the itineraries of tourists to Paris. Edith Piaf used to call the neighborhood home and today the area is home to a thriving artist community. Be sure to climb the Parc des Buttes Chaumont for a stunning Eiffel Tower view and walk the Rue Denoyez to admire the public art murals.
Similar to a village within Paris, the charming Batignolles is a neighborhood located off the beaten path of the city. Head to the Square des Batignolles in the 17th arrondissement to start exploring this up-and-coming bohemian district.
9. Haut Marais
Just north of Le Marais is Haut Marais, a micro-neighborhood located in Paris’ 3rd arrondissement. From independent designers to concept stores, to artisanal coffee shops, this neighborhood defines the word “cool” in Paris. Start your day at sidewalk brasserie Café Charlot for coffee, head to concept store The Broken Arm to do some shopping, eat lunch at Season, and finish up the day by exploring contemporary art at the Henri Cartier Bresson Foundation.
Once the tourists overran Le Marais, the cool Parisians moved to Bastille, the area east of the neighborhood in the 11th arrondissement. Bastille is now home to up-and-coming bars and restaurants and it’s a gastronome’s paradise. From the esteemed boulangerie Blé Sucré to the lunchtime hotspot Septime, Bastille is full of culinary delights. Don’t forget to visit the most colorful street in Paris, Rue Crémieux, while you’re there!
What is your favorite Paris neighborhood to explore?
Next up, discover the richest neighborhood in Paris.