The Paris Arrondissements – A Guide To The Neighborhoods

To understand Paris, you must familiarize yourself with the arrondissements, the administrative districts of the city. The numbering starts in the center of Paris, the 1st Arrondissement (the heart), with the following arrondissements spiraling out in a clockwise direction until Arrondissements 12 to 20 form the border of Paris.

Paris Arromdissement Map Map of the Paris Arrondissements, Wikimedia by Eric Gaba & Mark Craft

Each arrondissement has its own distinct character; it's for good reason that they were once referred to the "twenty little cities". But Paris is always changing and, in 2020, the four smallest arrondissements were consolidated into one new district called Paris Central, so now there are officially seventeen arrondissements. Here we cover the original twenty. When planning where to stay in Paris, it's a good idea to get an overview of the arrondissements and determine the best choice for you.


1st & 2nd Arrondissements – The Heart of Paris

The Heart of Paris Courtyard of the Louvre Museum, 1st Arrondissement, photo Wikimedia by Benh Lieu Song

For centuries the seat of royal power in France, these two historic Paris districts comprise the heart of Paris. Home to many iconic Paris attractions — Palais Royal, the Louvre Museum, lovely Jardin des Tuileries, , Place de la Concorde — it's is a very popular locale for travelers to call home.

The 3rd & 4th Arrondissements – The Marais

The Marais Place des Vosges, 4th Arrondissement

Encompassing the 3rd and 4th Arrondissements, the Marais is one of the oldest and most charming quartiers of the city. Here's where you'll find trendy shops, the liveliest alternative community, the hub of the Jewish community, the Hotel de Ville, and popular restaurants frequented by Parisians. It's also home to Place de Vosges, the first royal park in Paris open to the public.


Delicious Activities in the Marais

Marais Food & Wine Tour
Walk through the historic Marais neighborhood with a food-expert guide to visit traditional food & wine shops, while tasting iconic Parisian foods.
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Cheese & Wine Tasting in a Paris Cellar
In the cheese-aging cellar of a Paris fromagerie discover 7 classic French cheeses and the wines that pair with them. Lots of sampling!
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Cheese & Wine Tasting in a Paris Cellar
In the cheese-aging cellar of a Paris fromagerie discover 7 classic French cheeses and the wines that pair with them. Lots of sampling!
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The Islands of Paris

The Islands Île de la Cité from Ponts des Arts, photo by Mark Craft

Join us on an island-hopping tour in Paris! Île de la Cité and Île St. Louis are two of the most romantic places to stay in Paris. Home to Notre Dame Cathedral, La Sainte-Chapelle, and the Concierge, the two islands also have cute, tiny parks, green spaces and, cafes overlooking the Seine River.

The 5th Arrondissement – The Latin Quarter

The Latin Quarter A street in the The Latin Quarter, 5th Arrondissement

The 5th Arrondissement, AKA the Latin Quarter, may be the most well-known district of Paris. It's ancient, too — dating back to when Paris was a Roman settlement. Here you'll find the Pantheon; the Sorbonne; Rue Mouffetard, the bustling market district; and winding cobblestone streets. No wonder many travelers (including us) choose to stay here when visiting Paris.


Experience The Left Bank Of Paris

Dinner & Cabaret at Paradis Latin Theater
Spend a memorable evening in the Latin Quarter at the Paradis Latin cabaret, including dinner, VIP seating, the musical show, and champagne.
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Chocolate & Pastry Walking Tour of Saint-Germain-des-Prés
On a food walking tour through this historic Left Bank district discover the finest pastry and chocolate shops. Lots of sampling will ensue!
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Chocolate & Pastry Walking Tour of Saint-Germain-des-Prés
On a food walking tour through this historic Left Bank district discover the finest pastry and chocolate shops. Lots of sampling will ensue!
Check Availability…

The 6th Arrondissement – St-Germain-des-Prés

6th Arrondissement Saint-Germain-des-Prés, 6th Arrondissement

One of the prettiest areas in Paris, Saint-Germain-des-Prés was the haunt of both the French existentialists and the Americans of the Lost Generation. Home to the Jardin du Luxembourg and the church of St-Germain-des-Prés, travelers choose to stay in St Germain for the luxe shopping, the famous cafes, and the parks.

The 7th Arrondissement – The Eiffel Tower

7th Arrondissement The 7th Arrondissement's most ionic sight

The 7th Arrondissement, home to the Eiffel Tower, the grandest symbols of Paris, is where you'll also find Musée d'Orsay, Les Invalides, and the Rodin Museum. Travelers choose to stay here for the glittering facades, wealthy residential streets, tree-lined parks, the banks of the Seine, the famous food street Rue Cler, and a string of lovely restaurants and hotels. We think it's one of the most attractive quartiers in Paris — the Eiffel Tower is just a bonus!

The 8th Arrondissement – Champs-Elysées

8th Arrondissement Arc de Triomphe, at the end of Champs-Elysées, 8th Arrondissement

The 8th Arrondissement is known for luxury. If you have a comfortable bank account and a taste for the good things in life — luxury hotels, great museums, and chi-chi shopping — this is where you should stay. Parc Monceau, one of the most civilized parks in the city, is also found in this wealthy arrondissement. Champs-Elysées itself is bookended by Place de la Concorde and the Arc de Triomphe.

The 9th Arrondissement – Opéra

9th Arrondissement Palais Garnier at Place de la Opéra, 9th Arrondissement

Love to shop? Famous for the Grands MagasinsGaleries Lafayette and Printemps department stores — the 9th is home to a plethora of shopping brands. For many, though, it's most famous for the beautiful 19th-century Paris opera house, Palais Garnier. For a restful night after shopping, there are many, many attractive hotels. Discover what to do and see in the 9th Arrondissement.

10th Arrondissement – Les Gares

10th Arrondissement Gare de l'Est, photo Wikimedia by Gilbert Bochenek

If you love interesting, mixed, even funky neighborhoods, head to this arrondissement of northeast of central Paris. Home to the two largest gares in Paris as well as the northern tip of Canal St-Martin, the 10th is full of life, thrift shops, off-the-beaten-path restaurants, some surprisingly good hotels, and lots of Parisians. In our guide we reveal what makes the 10th tick.

11th Arrondissement – Canal Saint-Martin

Canal Saint-Martin Canal Saint-Martin, 11th Arrondissement

This up-and-coming neighborhood straddles the canal as it winds through the 10th and 11th Arrondissements. Today it's a popular neighborhood where young Parisians live, attracted by cheaper rents and trending restaurants and cafes. You can also hop on a canal boat for a leisurely ride through the locks and on to the Seine River. Let's find out what makes Canal Saint-Martin (and the rest of the 11th Arrondissement) so attractive.

12th Arrondissement – The Far East

12th Arondissement Aligre Market, 12th Arrondissement, photo by Mark Craft

The 12th is full of things we really like — the modernistic Opera Bastille; the Aligre market; Gare de Lyon, the loveliest train station in Paris; Bercy Village; and a great promenade pathway built along an old rail line. Travelers choose to stay here for activities, the cheaper hotels, and the lively neighborhoods.

The 13th Arrondissement – Something New, Something New

13th Arrondissement Cité de la Mode, 13th Arrondissement

The 13th Arrondissement doesn't feature historic monuments, cobblestone streets, or vestiges of Roman Paris to attract the visitor. Here you find more of the Paris of the 20th century, thanks to extensive modern projects and rebuilding, such as the postmodern high-rise, Bibliothèque Nationale de France and the neighboring new quartier of Paris Rive Gauche. But there are still the traditional Parisian street markets, an historic train station, a swimming pool floating on the Seine, and a dynamic new arts and entertainment and activities scene, often re-purposing former industrial buildings

The 14th Arrondissement – The South

The Paris Catacombs The Paris Catacombs, located in the 14th Arrondissement

140,000 Parisians can't be wrong about the attractions of this southern district. That's how many live, work, shop, and play in the 14th Arrondissement. Although this is another area not normally on travelers' list of places to visit in Paris, we find there's a lot to like about the 14th — including these twelve suggestions.

The 15th Arrondissement – The Far Left Bank

The South Lunching al fresco in the 15th Arrondissement, photo by Mark Craft

The 15th Arrondissement is another quartier not often on the top of visitors' hotel checklists, but the cozy neighborhood has much to recommend it. This large arrondissement tucks up against the Seine on the Left Bank, across from the 16th. Hotels cost less and are found close to Gare Montparnasse, the Tour Montparnasse skyscraper, plus the charming shopping street of Rue du Commerce, the Grenelle Market, and Parc André Citroën. So, let's hop on Metro Line 8 or 12 and meet up in southwest Paris!

The 16th Arrondissement – From the Arc to the Bois

16th Arrondissement The view from Trocadero in the 16th Arrondissement, photo by Mark Craft

The westernmost arrondissement stretches from the Arc de Triomphe to the vast Bois de Boulogne. It's home to Musée Marmottan, where we go to to view the Monets; to luxury shopping and spectacular food markets; and to some of the most sought-after residential real estate in Paris. The plaza at Trocadero is a well-known and much-visited landmark found just across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower. Go there for some of the best views in Paris. This arrondissement is also home to many of the most glamorous luxury hotels in Paris, and our favorite Michelin-starred restaurants.

The 17th Arrondissement – Where Parisians Call Home

17th Arrondissement Poncelet market, 17th Arrondissement, photo by Mark Craft

This large arrondissement holds down the northwest corner of Paris, and it's a place many Parisians call home. Here you'll find great street markets, cheese shops, boulangeries, boucheries, and all the other stores and services the residents need. We'd like to share four great hotels, two favorite restaurants, and other secrets of this too-neglected residential area.

The 18th Arrondissement – Montmartre

Village of Montmartre Streets of Montmartre village, 18th Arrondissement, photo Wikimedia by Albany Tim

The quartier of Montmartre was formerly a village of the same name, high up on the hill above Paris. It encompasses the 18th Arrondissement, which runs up from the border of the 9th right up to the northernmost edge of the city. This hilltop neighborhood has been home to famous (and not-so-famous) painters and writers, most notably Picasso, Renoir, and van Gogh. From its perch on a hill, Montmartre has spectacular views, especially from the big white church of Sacre Coeur. It's also home to the Moulin Rouge. There's more in our guide.

The 19th Arrondissement – Music, Science & Parks

The 19th Arrondissement Night view of Parc de la Villette, 19th Arrondissement

A bustling neighborhood, with one of the largest populations in Paris, the 19th Arrondissement offers a lot to explore. Home to Parc de la Villette, which features a cluster of museums including the Cité des Sciences, Cité de la Musique, and the spectacular Philharmonie de Paris, one of the world's great concert halls. The 19th's other large park, Buttes Chaumont, sports a tall waterfall, nature walking paths, and a pedestrian bridge. We'll tell you what makes this neighborhood exciting.

The 20th Arrondissement – Belleville

The 20th Arrondissement Pere Lachaise Cemetery, photo by Mark Craft

On the eastern edge of Paris, the 20th Arrondissement is a long, half-hour Metro ride from central Paris. It's where you find the fascinating Pere Lachaise Cemetery, final resting place of the rich and infamous. The 20th is also worth visiting for the bustling community of Belleville. Come along as we visit eight things we love about this district of Paris.

La Défense

La Défense La Grande Arche at La Défense, photo from Wikipedia, by Feydey

La Défense is the modern business district of Paris, located six or seven kilometres west of the central city but very visible (due to its collection of soaring skyscrapers) from such vantage points as the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, and even Montmartre. It surprised us to learn that this modernistic collection of buildings gets eight million visitors a year. Let's take a look at the best reasons for heading west.


Find Hotel Deals for Your Dates in Paris

Check the complete list of Paris hotels to find current sale prices on rooms in every arrondissement. Save 10%, 20%… or even more!

Paris Hotel Deals
Find hotels in the Latin Quarter, Saint Germain, the Right Bank, the Marais, near the Eiffel Tower.
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Find Hotel Deals for Your Dates in Paris

Save on hotels in every arrondissement of Paris – the Latin Quarter, Saint Germain, the Right Bank, the Marais, near the Eiffel Tower. Save 10%, 20%… or even more!
Search for your hotel

Paris Arrondissements – Then There Were 17

Paris Arromdissement Map Map of the Paris Arrondissements, Wikimedia by Eric Gaba & Mark Craft

As Paris grew from a small town centered on the islands more municipal districts were required to administer the city. In the 1860s the city expanded in one giant gulp by incorporating nearby villages into the larger urban entity and creating the familiar twenty arrondissements.

At least that's how Paris remained from 1860 until the summer of 2020 when the center of Paris — the four arrondissements with the smallest numbers (including the islands) — were amalgamated into a new administrative district called Paris Central, with the mairie of the 3rd Arrondissement becoming the town hall of the new district. While Paris now has only seventeen arrondissements, we continue to think of arrondissements one through four as separate "little cities" and write about them individually. (To us, Pluto's still a planet.)

As a visitor, you'll discover that the individual Paris arrondissements have their own feel and attractions. You may not make it to all the Paris arrondissements, but this guide will help you focus on the important places to see and things to do in each district. The map above shows the numbers of the Paris arrondissements as well as the names of the neighborhoods. Click on the map for a larger version.

Paris Arrondissement Fun Facts

  • Paris was divided into the familiar twenty arrondissements in 1860, when Napoleon III added new territory to the city, including towns and villages that were previously outside the city walls, like Montmartre and Belleville.
  • Before Napoleon III came to power Paris had twelve arrondissements, numbered from west to east (left to right on a map).
  • The current arrondissements are numbered in a clockwise spiral, starting with the 1st Arrondissement (now part of Paris Central) at the Seine.
  • Built over marshlands (marais), the Marais was the favored neighborhood of the aristocracy from the 13th to the 17th centuries.
  • The Paris Islands were part of the 1st and part of the 4th Arrondissements, though of course they are now part of Paris Central.
  • The Latin Quarter is known for vestiges of Roman Paris and some of the best food markets in the city. It's also home to a number of French universities. In fact, the name of the quartier dates back to the time when the languages spoken by the students at the universities was Latin.
  • What's the largest arrondissement in Paris? Surprisingly it's the 12th — when you count in the huge Bois de Vincennes, which is part of the district. (It beats out the 16th Arrondissement by just five acres.)
  • Formerly a village, Montmartre, high up on the hill above Paris, is now part of the 18th Arrondissement, which runs up from the border of the 9th right up to the northernmost edge of the city.
  • Before Paris had the familiar, uniform blue street signs, the street name was often chiseled into the corner of buildings. Today you can still find the old arrondissement numbers on some buildings, as well as some old street names.
  • The arrondissement number is used as the last two digits of its Paris postal code. The 1st Arrondissement is 75001, the 4th is 75004, the 10th is 75010, the 20th is 75020 and so on.

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