Can You Explain
The Paris Neighborhoods?

Answers to Your Paris Questions


I'm confused by the Paris neighborhoods. I'm trying to book a Paris hotel but am unsure about the different arrondissements.

Thanks. -Russ, UK



The Paris Neighborhoods. Paris is divided into 20 administrative zones, called arrondissements. They are sometimes referred to as the twenty small cities of Paris, each with a distinct personality and its own town hall! Let's start with the geography.

The Seine River divides Paris essentially in half. The Right Bank (Rive Droite) is the larger half containing these arrondissements: 1st to 4th, 8th to 12th, 16th to the 20th.

The Left Bank (Rive Gauche), the smaller of the two halves, contains the 5th, 6th and 7th and the 13th, 14th and 15th Arrondissements.

Circling the arrondissements of Paris is the périphérique, or perimeter road, beyond which is the beginning of the Paris suburbs.

1st to 4th Arrondissements

Paris neighborhoods

Arrondissements 1 to 4

The Paris neighborhoods surrounding the Louvre are the 1st and 2nd Arrondissements. These are the oldest quartiers in Paris and the smallest as well.

Popular areas here are Rue Montorgreuil, the semi-pedestrian food street; Saint-Eustache, the Gothic church; and the financial district.

The 3rd and 4th Arrondissements are where you'll find the trendy Marais district, a popular destination for travelers. It's one of the few areas of Paris that was left untouched by Haussmann's hand when Paris was modernized in the mid-18th century. Instead of broad boulevards and Haussmanian apartment buildings you find twisty, narrow, ancient roads and tilting buildings. The oldest square in Paris is found in the Marais at Place des Vosges.

The two islands of ParisÎle de la Cité and Île St. Louis — are found in the middle of Paris in the 1st and 4th Arrondissements. This is where you find Notre Dame Cathedral.

The 5th and 6th Arrondissements are home to the Latin Quarter, the Sorbonne and the Left Bank around Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

  Paris Insiders Arrondissement Guides —

7th to 12th Arrondissements

Paris Neighborhoods

Arrondissements 7 to 12

The 7th Arrondissement is home to the the Eiffel Tower, popular Rue Cler, Rue St. Dominique, and the d'Orsay Museum.

It's a wealthy Paris neighborhood filled with charming Left Bank hotels, bistros and leafy streets.

The 8th Arrondissement borders on the 16th and 17th arrondissement on its western end. The 8th is famous for Champs Elysées and some of the best world-class hotels like the Plaza Athenée, Hotel le Bristol and the Hotel de Crillon. It's a great Paris neighborhood to stay in, but it does tend to be pricier.

The 9th Arrondissement is all about the Grand Magasins — Printemps and Galeries Lafayette department stores — and the Palais Garnier opera house. Although we love to visit the 9th, we don't care to stay in the area.

To the east are the 10th, 11th and 12th Arrondissements. Although up-and-coming, many travelers shy away from staying here. What a shame! The area around Canal St. Martin is filled with trendy restaurants and cafés. The Bastille neighborhood of the 11th and 12th borders on the Marais, making it a convenient central location.

  Paris Insiders Arrondissement Guides —

13th to 20th Arrondissements

Paris Neighborhoods

Paris Neighborhoods

The 13th, 14th and 15th Arrondissements are found in the southern part of Paris.

The 15th Arrondissement is another of our favorite Paris neighborhoods to stay in. It's managed to hold onto its roots and is filled with authentic boulangeries, charcuteries and patisseries.

The western Paris neighborhoods of the 16th and 17th are the largest and the wealthiest of the arrondissements. A stay in the Passy neighborhood of the 16th will make you feel like you've made it!

The 18th Arrondissement is where you find Montmartre, the slightly bohemian enclave home to artists, musicians and writers-in-residence. It's a charming area to stay, especially if you stay close to Rue des Abbesses. This is where the Sacré Coeur resides atop the highest point in Paris.

The 19th and 20th are where you find Edith Piaf's old neighborhood, Belleville. Most travelers do not stay in these Paris neighborhoods as they are a bit out of the way. Although easily reached by Metro, the ride from the the center of Paris is about 30 minutes. However, it makes for a fun day trip to visit the canals and two of the biggest parks of Paris — Parc de Villette and Parc des Buttes Chaumont.

  Paris Insiders Arrondissement Guides —

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