When you think of Paris, you probably envisage staying somewhere by the River Seine where you can take romantic evening walks, in walking distance from Champs-Elysées so fabulous shopping is never too far, or somewhere with a top floor balcony where you can enjoy panoramic views over the Eiffel Tower.
That certainly defines an ideal stay in Paris, but it could also be a very expensive experience.
The great news is that you have a lot or choices for where to stay in Paris. If you are on a budget, seeking a local experience or just looking for a Parisian student night out, you have 20 locations to choose from.
Paris is divided in 20 municipal districts called arrondissements. The central ones, from 1 to 7, are home to some of the most renown Parisian landmarks, but as you go further into the outskirts you get a feel of ‘real Paris’.
The French capital is well connected via metro, so no matter what arrondissement you choose to stay in, there is always a connection to the city center.
Here is a guide to the 20 arrondissements in Paris:
Having fun at Louvre
The 1st arrondissement is located on the Right Bank of River Seine and known as the centre of contemporary Paris.
The municipal district is home to some of the most famous Parisian landmarks, including The Louvre, the Palais-Royal and the Jardins des Tuileries.
Apart from the historical monuments, this district is also boasting with bars and restaurants and even one of the largest shopping centers in Paris, the Forum les Halles.
The area is well connected to the rest of Paris via metro. One of the main stations for this district is Chatelet/Les Halles, which is also the largest metro station in Paris.
If you are arriving by plane, the trains from the airports will be linked to the Chatelet/Les Halles station.
One of the benefits of staying in the 1st district is that the majority of tourist attractions are within walking distance, so you will rarely need to use the metro or bus.
You also have a great selection of accommodation, from 5 star hotels to guest houses and hostels. However, do expect to pay higher prices for the comfort of a central location.
The 2nd arrondissement is also located on the Right Bank of Seine and is known as the business district.
The Bouse, which is the stock exchange in Paris, is one of the financial centers of Europe.
The area is home to very few tourist attractions, but some visitors do chose to stay here as the accommodation is cheaper.
Shopping is very fun in this district, because it has a touch of history. Here you can visit Les Galleries, a shopping area with 19th century architecture.
The business district is also home to the national library, known as the Bibliotheque Nationale de France, the Opera-Comique and the beautiful Notre Dame des Victories church.
The 3rd arrondissement, also located along the Right Bank of River Seine, is one of the smallest districts in Paris.
Many famous museums are found in this district, such as Muse National Picasso and Muse National des Arts et Mitiers.
If you want a glimpse of the olden Parisian days, you can also visit Les Marais, which is the oldest neighborhood in Paris.
Don’t forget to stop by the beautiful Jewish Quarter or grab a bite in the Chinatown.
If you want to get lost in the narrow streets of lower Marais and be charmed by the boutique and speciality shops, local cafés and a lovely selection of bars and restaurants, the 4th arrondissement is the place to be.
This is also the home of some of the most renown museums and galleries, that you absolutely must visit whilst in Paris.
Here you will find Notre Dame and the National Museum of Art, the Hotel de Ville and the Place des Vorges. The latter is known as the oldest and most beautiful square in Europe.
The area has a great selection of accommodation, from 5 star hotels to budget rooms.
You will also be connected with other parts of Paris via the 4 main metro stations: Rambuteau, St. Paul, Citi and Hotel de Ville.
The 5th district is famously known as the ‘Latin Quarter’. This name is inherited from the prestigious Sorbonne University, where in the medieval times students and professors used to speak Latin.
Today the Latin Quarter still keeps an intellectual status as it is home to various universities and higher education institutions. Here you will find a great variety of English bookstores.
The arrondissement is famous for having the best food in Paris, all served on Rue Mouffetard.
You will also get a glimpse of the Gallo-Roman times, from the many archaeological ruins scattered across the district.
These are only 5 of the 20 districts of Paris. I will share the others with you soon. In the mean time enjoy.