Paris, with its astounding monuments, dreamy architecture and mouth-watering cuisine, is a true staple on any European adventure. Its romantic features are far from the only reason to give it a visit, and you certainly don’t need to wait for your soulmate to stroll down the cobbled streets. To quote Audrey Hepburn, Paris is always a good idea (and we trust her judgement!).
The French capital is laid out in twenty districts, called arrondissements. While at first glance, the numbering may seem confusing, the city is laid out a bit like a pain aux raisin, mmmm pain aux raisin *drools.* The heart of the city is arrondissement 1, and after that the different areas of Paris swirl out clockwise until you find number 20 all the way on the east side of the city centre.
You really can’t go wrong with a stay in Paris, as each area has its own charm and atmosphere. To help you decide where to stay in Paris, we’ve created a guide to the city’s best neighbourhoods. Think of this as the ultimate Paris neighbourhood guide, covering the best things to do, places to eat, and hostels to stay at in each area, to make planning your Parisian adventure as easy as un, deux, trois!
Note from Hostelworld: We love Paris so much that we’ve decided to celebrate our birthday there (and in 19 other cities, because we’re just that extra). Join us at the outrageously beautiful JO&JOE Paris – Gentilly on August 10th for a Lost Temple adventure – but first, find out more about The World’s Biggest Hostel Party.
- Le Marais (3/4th)
- Quartier Latin (5/6th)
- Bastille/Oberkampf (11th Arrondissement)
- Montmartre (18th)
- Belleville (19th)
Le Marais (3/4th)
Shh, Les Marais is a ~not so~ secret spot! ?: @organicphobrotha
Le Marais is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Paris, and a big favourite among travellers. The area breathes the quintessential Parisian charm visitors so desperately flock to experience, with its small shopping streets flanked by tall white buildings. You won’t go hungry in Le Marais, as there’s a large number of yummy restaurants, both traditional staples as well as hip newcomers, to choose from.
A stroll through the narrow streets of Le Marais easily transports you a few centuries back in time, to an era in which the noble families of Paris inhabited these houses. Le Marais is one of the coolest areas in Paris, making it an absolute must visit during any Parisian adventure.
Where to eat in Le Marais
Beautiful baby blues! ?: @bootcafe
Hot diggedy dawg! ?: @foodandguilty
- L’as Du Fallafel – The only place to go in Paris for falafel, in the heart of the Jewish quarter – but be prepared to wait in line! – from €5
- Breizh Café – The salted caramel crepe will be the star of food dreams (and Instagram feed) for the rest of your life – from €4.50
- Kraft Hot Dog – Gourmet hot dogs, one of the hipster hotspots of the area – from €4
- Boot Café – Tucked away behind a traditional blue storefront, this tiny café apparently serves the best coffee in Paris, buzzing! – from €3.50
- Candelaria – A popular spot for Mexican tacos and cocktails – from €3.80
Things to do in Le Marais
Are you taking the Pic(asso)? ?: @marynegau
Greenery goals! ??: @rachelng
- Rue des Rosiers – This charming street lies in the heart of the famous Jewish quartier. It is full of colourful shop fronts and wonderful market stalls.
- Jardin Anne Frank – Tucked away behind the busy streets of Le Marais is the Jardin Anne Frank, which is the perfect place to retreat with a book or to have a little picnic.
- Places Des Vosges – This is the oldest square in Paris, also considered to be one of the prettiest. It was built between 1605 and 1612 and is surrounded by majestic red brick buildings, one of which was the mansion of Victor Hugo.
- Maison de Victor Hugo – Just in the corner of Places Des Vosges is the mansion of famous writer Victor Hugo (Les Misérables) which can be visited – the permanent collections are free to visit.
- Musée Picasso – Admirers of Picasso’s art need to make their way here, as the museum provides an overview of the full works of Picasso. – €12
Where to stay in Le Marais
This hostel courtyard is dreamy! ?: @_saberhagen
- MIJE Fourcy Fauconnier Maubuisson – This 17th century building is hostel GOALS with its wonderful, foliage covered courtyard serving us a taste of classic Paris. The cobble-stoned entrance hall and dark wooden stairway add a rustic character to this fantastic hostel. We feel like bursting into song, a little number from Beauty and the Beast perhaps?
- Auberge Flora – This trendy and super chic hostel is right in the heart of Le Marais. It’s one of the best places to stay in Paris if you’re looking for a wealth of iconic attractions on your doorstep.
Quartier Latin (5/6th)
Red skies at night, Shepherd’s delight! ? ?: @luxuriousrachel
The Latin Quarter is one of the most famous areas in Paris, and lies in the 5th and 6th arrondissement of Paris. The name Quartier Latin means “Latin district”, and is derived from the fact that Latin was spoken widely in the Middle Ages amongst the scholars living in the area… Okay stop dozing off, we’re done with the history lesson!
The area is home to many schools and universities, not to mention charming bistros and excellent arthouse cinemas for all you culture nerds!
Where to eat in Quartier Latin
Say cheese (and ham and tomato!) ?: @_eunbishin
Being an adult means being able to eat cake for breakfast ? Strada Café ?: @lesprecieuxmoments
- Restaurant Heureux Comme Alexandre – Cheese fondue addicts best hurry to this restaurant for their un-brie-lievably tasty cheese fix – From €18
- Il Covo – A small Italian bar/restaurant that serves great pastas – From €15
- Le Petit Journal Saint Michel – Though the food is fine, the real attraction is in the basement: a jazz bar! – First drink is €11 to €15 (for students, otherwise it’s €18 to €20) which includes the concert, additional drinks are €7 to €10 a piece. They also do takeaway sandwiches and hot dogs.
- Strada Café – A cosy Scandinavian style café, serving small bites and coffee. – From €2
- Au P’tit Grec – If you can only visit one crêperie in Paris, let it be this one. Holy crepe they’re good! – From €4
Things to do in Quartier Latin
Rollin’ on a river ?: @louloubln
Un-book-lievably charming! ?: @utoking2me
- La Sorbonne – The beautiful Sorbonne used to house the University of Paris until 1970.
- Quai St. Michel – This street along the canal has undoubtedly some of the best views in Paris, especially at night. The nearby Notre-Dame canal is all lit up, and will melt your heart.
- Shakespeare and Company – This bookshop is the most famous one in Paris; step inside and travel back in time to an era in which your literary heroes walked these very streets.
- Pantheon – This neoclassical building with its eye-catching dome is one of the classic monuments in Paris, and functions as a mausoleum to famous names such as Rousseau and Voltaire. – Free for under 26, €9 for general admission.
- Jardin du Luxembourg – This park borders on Quartier Latin, so we’ll count it. This large park boasts impressive fountains and statues, and its grandeur makes it one of the most spectacular park in Paris.
Where to stay in Quartier Latin
Forever young and happy at heart! ?
- Young & Happy Hostel Quartier Latin – This brightly coloured hostel was the first independent hostel in Paris, don’t you know! Look for the bright red door and be sure to check out the exposed-brick underground kitchen.
- Marignan – The sleek red design and funky interiors makes Hotel Marignan a dreamy destination for any Paris visitor.
*glorious sunset not guaranteed* ?: @anncharlote
The heart of Parisian nightlife is found in the 11th Arrondissement, wedged in between Le Marais and Belleville. It is one of the most densely populated areas in all of Europe, and with that, it’s brought an array of bars, restaurants, concert venues and boutiques. In the southern part of the neighbourhood you’ll find many Latin American themed bars. Meanwhile, the area around Rue Oberkampf is more for the upscale hipster, boasting many wine bars and restaurants that effortlessly marry the upper class and grungier influences of the city of light. This is definitely one of the coolest areas in Paris!
Where to eat in 11th Arrondissement
Rise ‘n Shine! ? ?: @cafeoberkampf
Parisian perfection! ?: @melody_barabe
- Café Oberkampf – famous for its coffee and amazing brunch, this café will get you all the likes on Instagram – from €7
- Les Parigots – On the opposite end of Place du Republique, you’ll find Les Parigots, where the entrecote is the stuff Parisian dreams are made of – from €15
- Le Perchoir – This restaurant has one of the coolest rooftop bars in Paris (it also has an amazing rooftop bar in Le Marais)
- Cafe Chilango – A local staple for affordable Mexican food – from €7
- Ober Mamma – Popular Italian restaurant with big windows and traditional details on the walls. The pizzas and pastas are delicious. – from €9
Things to do in 11th Arrondissement
Lawd Almighty this church is heavenly! ?: @hardrye
And if you close your eyes… ?: @oliveiraoseas
- Place de la République – This square sits right in the middle of the 3rd, 10th and 11th arrondissement. It used to be a gateway to the city and holds a monument that honours the republic.
- Bastille – Bastille was a famous prison in Paris – the storming of the prison on 14th of July in 1789 meant the start of the French Revolution.
- Cirque d’Hiver – Previously named Cirque Napoléon, this venue has seen its fair share of circuses, events and exhibitions over the years. It still holds regular shows.
- Eglise Saint-Ambroise – Constructed between 1863 and 1868 this Catholic church is impressive AF.
- Musée Édith Piaf – If after visiting her birthplace and tomb (at Père Lachaise) you want to continue your Piaf-pilgrimage, head to the Edith Piaf Museum where you can find out more about her life and work, and visit her private apartment.
Where to stay in 11th Arrondissement
- Absolute Paris Boutique Hostel – This hostel is all about location, location, location! The colourful rooms are located conveniently right next to five metro lines, taking you to all the main sites in no time.
Paris looks pretty in pink! ?: @amaranta_b
Montmartre is most famous for its artists and the iconic Sacre Coeur. Being located on a hill, the area overlooks most of Paris. Montmartre is the perfect area to get lost in a maze of winding streets. Wander in and out of art shops and galleries, and don’t forget to sit down at the end of the day with a glass of vin to witness Paris turn into the ‘City of Lights’. Ooo la lovely!
Art is engrained in Montmartre’s DNA. Many famous residents have lived in Montmartre, such as Van Gogh and Picasso. Many artists still live here, though most of them live off the tourism to the area, selling their art to travellers wanting to bring a piece of Paris back home with them.
Where to eat in Montmartre
Island vibes at @alohacafe.paris
Paris has a pizza my heart! In Bocca al Lupo ? ?: @lauriedvt
- Le Ruisseau – Great burgers in a cool bar setting – From €13
- Aloha Café – Hipster paradise. Coffee is served in pretty pastel coloured cups and tropical wall paper adorns the walls – From €2,50
- Le Boucan – A casual bar with board games, table football and a photo booth: What else would you need from a bar? – Cocktails from €8
- Piccolo Rosso Trattoria Pulicinella – For wood oven baked pizzas and traditional pastas, head here. – From €11
- In Bocca al Lupo – Another slice of Italian heaven! Casual restaurant with great pizzas – From €8,5
Things to do in Montmartre
Voulez vous coucher avec moi? ?: @alyonalata
I ❤️ Bread ?: @s_1sol
- Place du Tertre – This is the painters square of Paris, where you’ll find dozens of artists displaying their works.
- Moulin Rouge – The Moulin Rouge is the most famous cabaret in Paris. The building with the red windmill was established in 1889, and has two films named after it. You can still watch shows here.
- Musée de Montmartre – The oldest house in the area holds the museum of Montmartre, dedicated to the history of this district.
- Cimetière de Montmartre – If you think cemeteries aren’t worth your time, you’ve clearly never been to Paris. This cemetery is the lesser known alternative to Père Lachaise.
- Le Mur des je t’aime – Feeling a bit #ForeverAlone? Head to this wall that has the words ‘Je t’aime’ (I love you) inscribed into it 311 times in 250 languages.
Where to stay in Montmartre
Snoozin’ ??: @josephtiew
Plug-inn Montmartre Boutique Hostel – A lovely boutique hostel with exposed brick communal area and winding staircase. All rooms here are en-suite and there’s free wifi throughout the building.
Belleville feels like stepping into a Picasso painting ? ?: @devydevcat
Where the previous neighbourhoods are known for their popularity with tourists, Belleville is definitely a little off the beaten track. The name Belleville means ‘beautiful village,’ which is certainly fitting!
The area is a melting pot, home to many ethnicities, leading to a vibrant urban district which also houses one of Paris’ Chinatowns. Cheaper rents led to an influx of artists and students, meaning the district is scattered with art galleries and cool restaurants. It’s seen as the new hipster area of Paris, where prices are still affordable.
Where to eat in Belleville
YUM ?: @triplettes
Coffee and magazines, magazines and coffee ?: @rubytv
- Triplettes – Bar and bistro offering great brunches – From €12,50
- Le Comptoir – A tiny bistro serving homemade French food, a true favourite with locals
- Wenzhou – Great Shanghai pork buns and other traditional Chinese dishes – From €1
- Aux Folies – The always packed famous bar where Édith Piaf used to perform – From €4
- Café Cheri(e) – A small hipster café with bright red exterior especially popular on summer days because of its large outdoors terrace.
Things to do in Belleville
A colourful dream come true! ?: @b.a.d.a.b.o.u.m
Caught red (and green and purple) handed! ?: @klmsng
- Street art at Rue Dénoyez – Rue Dénoyez is one of Paris’ best spots for street art. The colourful urban artwork fits effortlessly into the multicultural area.
- Marché de Belleville – Locals flock to this market (held every Tuesday and Friday), to find the best fresh produce, meats and fabrics. It’s one of the cheapest markets in Paris, so hurry, before gentrification catches up with it!
- Place Saint Marthe – This charming square is where you’ll find the best nightlife, restaurants and bars in Belleville. When the sun shines, the outside terraces are packed with locals practicing a true Parisian sport: people watching.
- Édith Piaf’s birthplace – When you think Parisian music, you think Édith Piaf. The legendary songstress lived in Belleville her whole life and you’ll find a plaque commemorating her birthplace at Rue de Belleville 72.
- Parc de Belville – What is a Parisian arrondissement without its parks? This park is shaped by its long lanes flanked by trees and some of the best views of the city. Don’t miss Buttes-Chaumont either, another one of our favourite parks in Paris.
Where to stay in Belleville
Hostel rooftop GOALS! ? ?: @lauren.austin
Les Piaules – Also named ‘the most Parisian hostel’, Les Piaules is located in a renovated art deco building, and combines cool comfort with retro vibes. With a cool AF roof terrace serving up Parisian craft beer, you’ll be right at home here.
Feeling more confident about where to stay in Paris? Let us know which part of Paris you’ve decided on in the comments below, even if it’s not on the list!