Want to explore Paris beyond the famous monuments, this post will show you the most charming neighborhoods of Paris to visit to get a deeper understanding of the city.
From visiting the world-famous Louvre museum to climbing the iconic Eiffel tower, there’s no shortage of things to do in Paris, but if you’re looking for a more relaxed and intimate experience, I recommend exploring some of the city’s charming neighborhoods.
From the Grand boulevards of the Right Bank to the charming streets of Montmartre, these neighborhoods in Paris will take your breath away.
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Each of these Paris neighborhoods possesses a unique vibe and lifestyle, impressive landmarks, and a certain charm that sets it apart from the rest.
While some of them offer intricate history, a few are well-known for their modern flair and charm while others are what you’d call “Boho”. You will find some of the city’s rarest jewels in these Parisian neighborhoods.
So, while you’re in the French capital, use this list of the best neighborhoods to visit in Paris, and explore the city of love in a way you’ve never done before.
Before You Go, Here’s How to Plan Your Visit To Paris: Practical Quick Tips
WHERE TO STAY
Best Eiffel Tower Views: Hôtel Le Walt (9.0)
Luxury stay: Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel (8.2)
Mid-range stay: Hôtel Eiffel (8.7)
Budget Stay: People – Paris Bercy (8.9)
Apartment Rental: Résidence Charles Floquet (9.1)
- Don’t forget to take Travel Insurance. Request a free quote from my favorite insurance, World Nomads. (More on this at the end of the article.)
- Prepare your trip extensively with this Paris Travel guidebook.
- Don’t forget a universal travel adapter, a travel neck pouch, and comfortable walking shoes.
- Consider getting either the museum pass or the Paris city pass if you plan to visit a lot of attractions. The city pass comes with free transportation and access to the hop-on-hop-off bus. You can read my Paris museum pass review to see if it’s right for you.
- Book this private transfer from CDG airport to Paris to avoid the hustle of figuring out how to get to Paris.
Psst… Before traveling to Paris or France in general, make sure that you have Travel Insurance! I always use World Nomads on all my trips and I am happy to recommend it to you. You can easily request a quote from World Nomads from here for FREE!
Best Neighborhoods of Paris
From the beloved Montmartre village to the Latin Quarter, here is a brief Paris neighborhood guide to help you discover the must-visit areas of Paris and the reasons why you should visit them.
1. Montparnasse, 14th Arrondissement
Ever since Montparnasse became a part of Paris in 1669, it has been cherished and turned into an artistic hub by famous French writers like Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and other prominent figures like Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso.
Today, it is well known for the alluring Montparnasse Tower (which offers stunning views of Paris when climbed) and Montparnasse Train station.
Wherever you look around in this neighborhood, you will find historic art studios, traditional cafes, and bars but the highlights of your visit to Montparnasse will be the Paris Catacombs, an underground tunnel that houses thousands of skulls and bones, and the Cimetière de Montparnasse (Montparnasse Cemetery), which is the second-largest cemetery in Paris.
Furthermore, there are several local eateries that have retained their old charm where you can enjoy some mouth-watering meals. The delicious Breton-style crêperies and traditional bistros will steal your heart while in Montparnasse.
Plan your visit to Montparnasse
Where to eat in Montparnasse: For French authentic foods, try out these restaurants: La Coupole, La Closerie des Lilas, Le Select or La Crêperie de Josselin for the best crêpes in Paris.
Where to stay in Montparnasse: Hôtel Odessa Montparnasse (A budget hotel near the subway and has clean and comfortable rooms), Hôtel Le M (a mid-range hotel near a theatre and restaurants and has spacious rooms), Pullman Paris Montparnasse (a Luxury Hotel that offers a stunning view of Paris), or this Quiet House rental (a large House rental with a beautiful terrace).
Get your tickets ready: While in this Parisian neighborhood, be sure to visit the Catacombs by buying this skip-the-line ticket with an audio guide. Alternatively, you can book this Catacombs guided tour to learn more about the underground city of Paris and get access to areas that can only be accessed with a guide.
Related post: Where to stay in Paris (Detailed Guide)
2. Latin Quarter, 5th and 6th Arrondissements
The Latin Quarter is the city’s oldest district and dates back to the 1st century.
Home to the great Parisian University (Paris City University) and other scholarly establishments like Sorbonne University whose history dates back to 1257, Panthéon-Assas University, and others, it is one of the most popular student neighborhoods of Paris.
Latin was a widely spoken language by students and teachers during the middle ages when Sorbonne University opened and that’s how this historic neighborhood got named the Latin Quarter.
Though this area is packed with educational facilities, it still has a number of attractions worth checking out. From the impressive buildings that haven’t lost their old charm, and museums, to cute cafes.
Explore the gorgeous Musée Curie, a scientific museum with the preservations of Marie Curie’s experiments and other radiological research.
If you want to learn more about medieval art and the middle ages, make sure to check out the exemplary Musée Cluny and the Pantheon which is the final resting place for prominent figures in French history.
You can stroll around the vibrant market streets and buy some books at the iconic Shakespeare & Co which is one of the best English bookstores in Paris.
And if you want to take a break from sightseeing, chill at Jardin des Plantes, or visit one of these famous Parisian churches, Saint-Etienne du Mont, or Eglise Saint-Sulpice. Don’t miss the Grande Mosquée de Paris as well as it’s one of the biggest mosques in the country.
Plan your visit to the Latin Quarter
Where to eat in the Latin Quarter: Odette Paris — this is one of the cutest cafes in Paris, Le Bistro Des Augustins, or Le Polidor.
Where to stay in the Latin Quarter: Hotel des Carmes (A budget hotel located near all the highlights of the neighborhood), Hôtel Albe Saint Michel ( a Mid-range hotel in the heart of the Latin Quarter), Hotel La Lanterne (a Luxury hotel with an indoor swimming pool and fitness room), or this lovely apartment ( a stylish and bright apartment rental in the center of the neighborhood).
Get your tickets ready: To fully learn about the Latin Quarter, I recommend taking this walking tour that will take you through all the attractions in the neighborhood while giving you facts and historical details about them.
3. Le Marais, 3rd and 4th Arrondissements
Le Marais is chic, hippie, fashionable, and probably one of the best Parisian neighborhoods to visit.
Notably, this district is home to many private mansions and museums, lively bars and cafes, and household fashion brands.
Hôtel de Ville and Musée Picasso are a few impeccable examples but you can extend your visit by exploring some of the best Parisian museums in the neighborhood like Musée Carnavalet to learn the history of Paris, the Pompidou Centre to admire contemporary art, Maison de Victor Hugo and many others.
You can also roam around or relax at Place des Vosges to enjoy the beauty of its luscious green surroundings and red-brick building.
Despite holding a rich heritage history, Le Marais is a hub of fashion houses, hip galleries, and various trendy restaurants. Head over to L’As du Fallafel & Pozzetto to enjoy the best falafel and ice creams in the district.
Plan Your Visit To Le Marais
Where to eat in Le Marais: Go Les Pinces for seafood, Au Bourguignon du Marais or Les Philosophes for traditional French foods, or Café Charlot.
Get your tickets ready: To best prepare for your visit to Le Marais, get yourself this skip-the-line ticket to Pompidou Centre to get access to both the permanent and temporary exhibits and this entry ticket to Picasso Museum. You can also sign up for this Le Marais food walking tour to understand Paris’ food, or join this Le Marais walking tour to learn more about the history of the neighborhood.
4. La Villette, 19th Arrondissement
Situated in the northwestern part of Paris, the famous La Villette is a stunning example of modern architecture and Parisian culture.
The neighborhood is an astonishing blend of French Boheminisiam and Parisian cosmopolitan traditions.
Famously known because of La Villette park and Bassin de la Villette, the largest artificial lake in Paris, this neighborhood is the go-to for music and art lovers in Paris.
The park hosts most of the city’s biggest well-known music concerts and festivals including the Cinéma en Plein Air (outdoor movie).
It also has a number of museums and concert halls including the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie (City of Science and Industry), which is one of the biggest science museums in Europe, Cité de la Musique, Grande Halle de la Villette, La Géode (a unique mirror-finished geodesic dome movie theatre), and so many other cool attractions.
The Rotonde de La Villette is another prominent attraction with the most imposing design of a “propylaea”. Also, take some time to visit the Philharmonie de Paris and witness its spectacular structure.
Whether you spend your time walking along the Bassin de la Villette (or even cruise on it) or participating in the various events in the Park, La Villette is the best neighborhood in Paris to enjoy various artistic and cultural events, especially if you visit Paris in the summer.
Plan Your Visit To La Villette
Where to eat in La Villette: Café Odilon, Le Pavillon des Canaux, or BoBun Flandre.
Where to stay in La Villette: Reims Hotel (Budget hotel), Holiday Inn Express Paris-Canal De La Villette, an IHG Hotel (Mid-range hotel located at the banks of Bassin de la Villette), or this Charming loft with terrace (Apartment rental).
Get your tickets ready: Book this Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie entry ticket to see interesting science exhibitions.
5. Montmartre, 18th Arrondissement
Montmartre is a 130m (430ft) high hill located on the right bank of the Seine in the 18th arrondissement. It is one of the most charming neighbourhoods of Paris offering an artistic and romantic vibe.
Every street and corner you turn is as charming as the previous one. From pretty cobblestoned Parisian streets, and cute cafes to famous landmarks, there is nothing not to love in Montmartre.
Being an artsy neighborhood, famous painters like Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, and Toulouse-Lautrec once called it home.
You’ll also find various street artists, especially at Place du Tertre. You can even get painted to have the perfect souvenir from Paris.
Besides strolling its streets, enjoying the views of Paris, and dining at popular cafes like Le Consulat or La Maison rose which have become popular Instagram spots in Paris, be sure to stop at Sacre Coeur, Moulin Rouge (or to even watch a cabaret), Espace Dalí, and the Wall of love.
Every turn in Montmartre provides something worth stopping for that it can take you the entire day to explore this beautiful Parisian neighborhood.
Plan Your Visit To Montmartre
Where to eat in Montmartre: Sacrée Fleur, Le Consulat, La Taverne de Montmartre, or L’ Anvers du Décor.
Where to stay in Montmartre: Caulaincourt Montmartre by Hiphophostels (clean and cozy budget hostel with dorms and private rooms), Hotel de Flore (a mid-range hotel located on the famous rue Lamark), Terrass” Hotel (a Luxury hotel with stunning views of the Eiffel Tower), or this Charming apartment (an apartment rental with a garden view).
Get your tickets ready: To get the most out of your visit to Montmartre, I recommend opting for one of these tours. This 2-hour Montmartre walking tour will take you through all the attractions I’ve mentioned above. If you love cheese and wine, book this 3–Hour Montmartre Cheese, Wine, and Pastry Tour instead. And when night comes, be sure to watch the most fun cabaret show in Paris but book this Moulin Rouge Cabaret Show Ticket with Champagne in advance or this one if you want to enjoy the show with dinner.
Related post: Romantic things to do in Paris for couples
6. South Pigalle, 9th Arrondissement
Though it was always considered the naughtiest place in Paris where shops were rather focused on the adult side of things, it has evolved into a trendy setter for Paris’ nightlife.
Today, South Pigalle (or SoPi as known by some) which is located just at the foothill of Montmartre is the finest choice for theater and nightlife lovers.
Named after the famous sculptor Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, Sopi is also the nerve center for hipster locals.
You can stroll around Rue des Martyrs, admiring the vibrant street cafes, shops, and restaurants.
Spoil yourself at lively bars, cabarets, and music venues but be sure to shop for some exquisite souvenirs amidst the packed pathways of Passage Jouffroy.
But it’s not just bars and quicky galleries in South Pigalle, you’ll find museums like Musée de la Vie Romantique which is one of the must-visit free museums in Paris, (though it’s usually confused to be in Montmartre).
If you wish to take part in the nightlife of Paris, make sure to stop over at South Pigalle.
Plan Your Visit To South Pigalle
Where to eat in South Pigalle: KB Cafe Shop — this is one of the best coffee shops in Paris, Restaurant Caillebotte, or Buvette Paris.
Where to stay in South Pigalle: Hotel Victor Massé (Budget hotel), Grand Hôtel De Turin (Mid-range hotel), Hotel Migny Opéra Montmartre (Spacious and comfortable hotel), or this Apartment rental (a spacious and modern apartment in the heart of Pigalle).
7. Belleville, 10th, 11th, 19th, and 20th Arrondissements
Situated on a hill, Belleville is one of Paris’ most beautiful neighborhoods yet often overlooked by tourists. It straddles 4 arrondissements — the 19th, 20th, 10th, and 11th though the largest part lies in the 20th and the 19th.
After the industrial revolution in the 19th century, it quickly gained popularity as a significant immigrant neighborhood.
Today, it is a multi-cultural place though it stands out mostly as a home to one of the Chinatowns in Paris.
Unlike other neighborhoods of Paris that are covered in Haussmann architecture and packed with tourists, Belleville is more laid down giving a village-in-city kind of vibe. In fact, it easily qualifies as one of the non-touristy Paris neighbourhoods.
Belleville also features some of the most spectacular street art in Paris that it’s hard not to see any on every turn. Add the unique contemporary art galleries and you’ll get yourself the true meaning of Belleville.
Besides art, another notable attraction in this Parisian neighborhood is Père Lachaise Cemetery, the largest cemetery in Paris, with graves of notable figures such as Édith Piaf, Oscar Wilde, and Jim Morrison.
You can also stop at Musee Edith Piaf to learn a bit more about one of the most famous French singers of all time.
When you finish exploring all the art in the area, you can relax at Parc de Belleville or Parc Buttes-Chaumont which both offer stunning views of Paris since the neighborhood is also on a hill (one of the highest points in the city) — just like Montmartre.
So, if you want to escape the crowds in other areas of Paris or just want to chill in a laid-back and colorful neighborhood, head to Belleville.
Plan Your Visit To Belleville
Where to eat in Belleville: Mensae, WenZhou, La Cave de Belleville, or Raviolis Nord-Est.
Get your tickets ready: Most of the attractions in Belleville are free but if you want to fully know the ins and outs of the city’s biggest cemetery, I recommend booking this Père Lachaise Cemetery Walking Tour. I also highly recommend going for this street art walking tour to discover all the street art treasures in this neighborhood plus the story behind them.
Related post: Fun free things to do in Paris
8. Oberkampf, 11th Arrondissement
Oberkampf is located in the 11th arrondissement and is named after the famous French industrialist Christophe-Philippe Oberkampf.
Despite being home to several marvelous galleries, street art, and boutiques, the nightlife of this neighborhood is what sets it apart.
The neighborhood is packed with a number of clubs, hip bars, and restaurants that anyone who enjoys having a great nightlife will appreciate.
You can also indulge yourself in the fresh aromas of delectable local foods at Marché des Enfants Rouges.
What makes this place even more admirable are the tiny passages such as Passage Brady and Passage l’Homme. So, if you are nearby, take some time to explore the hidden gems of Paris in Oberkampf.
Plan Your Visit To Oberkampf
Where to eat in Oberkampf: Les Fabricants, Les Fabricants, Melt, or Ober Mamma.
9. Canal Saint-Martin, 10th Arrondissement
A 4.6 km (2.86 meters) long Canal Saint-Martin constructed in the 19th century is what makes this neighborhood stand out.
With a mix of trendy, lively, and hipster vibe, Canal Saint-Martin is the perfect definition of French Boho — think of it as a blend between bourgeois and bohemian.
The neighborhood is dotted with small cafes and bars and you’ll find traces of street arts and street musicians to keep the vibe going.
Moreover, the bohemian vibe on the streets and live band at Le coq D’or bring more joy to the whole experience.
Its impressive straight stretches and iron-clad footbridges are ideal for getting away from the hustles and bustles of the city and offer a great alternative to the rather crowded Seine river.
You can choose to walk on the banks of the canal, enjoy a picnic, or board a boat cruise to explore the canal even more closely.
This is one of Paris’s best neighborhoods ideal for spending sunny afternoons or lazy evenings with your friends.
Plan Your Visit To Canal Saint-Martin
Where to eat at Canal Saint-Martin: Chez prune, Tigermilk Paris Canal, or Hôtel du Nord.
Where to stay at Canal Saint-Martin: Libertel Gare de L’Est Francais (Mid-range hotel), Renaissance Paris Republique Hotel & Spa (Luxury hotel), or this Beautiful and large apartment (apartment rental).
Get your tickets ready: If you want to cruise on the canal, you can book this lovely boat cruise that takes you along the Seine and Canal saint-martin.
10. Saint-Germain-des-Prés, 6th Arrondissement
Initially a quiet town, Saint-Germain-des-Prés is well known for its artistic vibe since many artists called it home in the 19th century.
The Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés is an eminent proof of historical importance with impeccable architecture but the luxury boutiques and fancy gourmet restaurants at Saint-Germain-des-Prés are what will make your heart skip a beat.
Saint-Germain is also brimming with museums worth exploring. From Musée Delacroix, which highlights the life of this French painter, Musée de la Monnaie, Zadkine Museum, and Musée de Minéralogie, which has an extensive collection of over 100,000 rare mineral specimens.
This is also where you’ll find the famous Pont des Arts or Love lock bridge as known by many.
Furthermore, stroll through one of the beautiful Parisian gardens; Jardin du Luxembourg, which has it all, from the charming rose gardens to tennis courts and playgrounds. There’s a lot to see in this neighborhood, so make sure you have plenty of time.
Plan Your Visit To Saint-Germain-des-Prés
Where to eat in Saint-Germain: Les Deux Magots, Cafe de Flore, Le Procope, or Brasserie Lipp.
Where to stay in Saint-Germain: Hotel Clément (Budget hotel), Grand Hôtel de L’Univers Saint-Germain (Mid-range hotel), K+K Hôtel Cayré Saint Germain des Prés (luxury hotel), or this apartment rental (Comfortable apartment in the heart of Saint Germain).
Get your tickets ready: To fully get an understanding of Saint-Germain, you can signup for this neighborhood walking tour or this Saint-Germain-des-Prés pastry and Chocolate Walking Tour to indulge in France’s pastries.
11. Opera, 9th, 1st, And 2nd Arrondissements
Famously known for its Grand Magasins and Palais Garnier, Opera is one of the busiest neighborhoods in Paris.
If you’re into shopping, fine dining, cinema, and cultural activities, the Opera neighborhood is one that you shouldn’t miss visiting.
Make a stop at Palais Garnier, or Paris Opera to take in its opulence beauty both on the interior and exterior, or catch a show at Olympia. And for all French perfume lovers, Musée du Parfum Fragonard is an ethereal experience.
And if you ever fancied shopping in Paris, the Opera neighborhood is the shopping mecca. You’ll find anything you can think of at Boulevard Haussmann in either Printemps or Galeries Lafayette — Paris’s most famous departmental stores.
Plan Your Visit To Opera
Where to eat in Opera: Cafe de la Paix, Le Capucine (Opéra), or Hanoï Cà Phê Opéra.
Where to stay in Opera: ibis Paris Grands Boulevards Opéra 9e (Budget hotel), Hotel Peyris Opera (Mid-range hotel), Hotel Migny Opéra Montmartre (Luxury hotel), or this Apartment rental (spacious apartment near palais garnier).
Get your tickets ready: Take in the beauty of Opera Garnier by purchasing this entry ticket.
12. Bastille, 4th, 11th, and 12th Arrondissement
Situated where the historic Bastille prison once stood, the wonderful Bastille neighborhood bestrides the 4th, 11th, and 12th arrondissement.
The highlight of your visit to Bastille will be Opera Bastille, the second-largest opera house in the city, where you can witness terrific symphony concerts and ballet performances, and Colonne de Juillet which is a reminder of France’s historied past.
This neighborhood is also bustling during the nighttime, with numerous chic cafes, bars, and classical concert halls.
Plan Your Visit To Bastille
Where to eat in Bastille: Amici Miei, Septime, Jones, or Servan.
Where to stay in Bastille: Hotel L’Antoine (Budget hotel), La Maison Gobert Paris Hotel Particulier (Bed & Breakfast), Maison Bréguet (Luxury hotel), or this lovely home at Bastille (Apartment rental).
Final Thoughts on the Cool Paris Neighborhoods
From the Opera to the Latin Quarter and Montmartre, these neighborhoods of Paris can not be missed whether you want to immerse yourself in the art and cultural side of the city or you just want to learn more about Paris’s history.
So, what are you waiting for? Use this Paris neighborhood guide to choose the best area that suits your taste or better yet visit all of them if you have time to experience some of the most remarkable pieces of art and culture.
NEVER TRAVEL TO PARIS WITHOUT TRAVEL INSURANCE
One of the biggest mistakes you’ll ever make when planning a trip to Paris is to forego Travel Insurance!
You might think that it’s expensive, but when you think of how much it will save you when you lose your valuables or even get sick, then you’ll know that it’s NOT that expensive!
There are many Travel Insurance companies out there, but I love World Nomads! They cover almost every single thing you might face/do while in Paris or even France in general, it is easy to request a quote, and if you ever need to claim, the claiming process is not a rat race!
I’ve used World Nomads on all my trips, and I am confident and happy to recommend it to you!
No worries if you’re not yet ready to book your trip, you can request a free quote from World Nomads here and see if it suits your personal needs!
Check out these posts to help you plan your trip to Paris
- Best Things to do in Paris in April
- What to do in Paris at night
- Best things to do in Paris in January
- What to do in pairs in February
- What to Pack for Paris in winter
- Fun facts about Paris
- Best things to do in Paris in Spring
- Where to find the best views of Paris
- Big mistakes to avoid in Paris
- What to Pack for Paris
- Skip the line tickets for Paris’ popular attractions
- Interesting jokes about Paris
- Paris captions for Instagram
- Famous quotes on Paris
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