7 Top Arrondissements to Stay in Paris for First Time Visitors

A fancy fountain with sculptures sits in the middle of a square, with an obelisk in the background, and Haussman-style buildings behind the obelisk.

You’ve just booked your flight for your trip to Paris – congratulations! You are going to love the City of Lights. But where to stay in Paris on your first time to France? There are a lot of options! But don’t worry, I’m here to help you out.

Before we get into the best arrondissements and hotels to stay in Paris for first time visitors, there are a few good things to know.

My Top 3 Picks: Best Arrondissements in Paris

#1 TOP PICK

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Hotel Residence Henri IV
✔️ Located in the trendy Latin Quarter
✔️ Luxury rooms with period furniture
✔️ Hamman on site

#2 PICK

Elysées Union
✔️ Near the Eiffel Tower
✔️ Bar and lounge areas
✔️Lovely interior garden

#3 PICK

Hôtel Le Relais des Halles
✔️ On pedestrian street by cafes and restaurants
✔️ Near one of the largest metro stations in Paris
✔️ Antique-style decorated rooms

The Arrondissement System

If you’re not suuuuuper familiar with the arrondissement system in Paris, basically, an arrondissement is a neighborhood or district of Paris. There are 20 of them in the city.

The first arrondissement starts in the middle of the city, and the arrondissements extend out in a spiral around the city, with the 12-20th lining the perimeter of the city. 

An map showing Paris broken up by arrondissements.

Each arrondissement has a different feel and a different vibe. Some of the arrondissements even have their own names, such as Le Marais, the Latin Quarter, Saint-Germain, or Montmartre. 

While none of the 20 arrondissements are bad options, there are some definite advantages to staying in different locations, as you are closer to different metro lines or attractions, or the neighborhood is a little cheaper, or it’s in the most central location. 

Why I Recommend the Hotels on This List:

Generally, I would recommend staying in the inner circle of arrondissements when visiting Paris for the first time (or even on a subsequent visit!), and not going with the outlying neighborhoods.

While there’s nothing inherently wrong with staying in these neighborhoods of Paris, I just think that it’s worth staying closer to most attractions and points of interest.

Also, I personally enjoy being within walking distance of at least a few things to see in Paris, and being on a convenient metro line that will easily take me to other areas around Paris. 

If you stay farther out, you aren’t within easy walking distance to anything and you can spend a lot more time on the metro.

When deciding where to stay, its worth considering where you want to go and what you want to see in Paris when deciding what arrondissement to stay in. (For example, if you really want to spend a lot of time in the village of Montmartre, then staying in Montmartre makes a lot of sense, etc).

Best Arrondissements to Stay in Paris For First Time Visitors

Let’s get into some arrondissements and hotel recommendations!

I’ve visited Paris on 6 different occasions, have stayed in many of these arrondissements, and explored them all — these are all my best picks!

To start, here’s a handy map of the different areas in Paris that we’ll discuss below, with the locations of my recommended hotels noted:

1. The 1st Arrondissement

Half of the pyramid of the Louvre is in the foregournd, with a section of the ornate Louvre building in the background. This is a top area to stay in Paris.
The Louvre

The first arrondissement is right in the center of Paris, with attractions like the Louvre, the Jardin de Tuileries, Palais Royale, and Place Vendome.

This is a fantastic, centrally located arrondissement (you really can’t get any more central than this!), right next to some main attractions of Paris you’ll definitely be visiting on your Paris itinerary

It’s a really beautiful area, with some of the most gorgeous buildings and hotels in Paris.

This is also one of the most convenient areas to be on as far as metro access goes. Metro line 1 runs from the Arc de Triomphe straight through this arrondissement and beyond (essentially following the line of the river) – hitting many main tourist attractions and providing some really easy and convenient transfer points to other areas of the city. 

Of course, being in a central and popular location does come at a cost – generally hotels are a bit more expensive in this arrondissement, and this area does see a lot of tourism.

Best Hotels to Stay in the 1st Arrondissement of Paris:

Hotel du Lion d’Or Louvre ($)

✔️Lots of character e.g. exposed beams and stone
✔️A few blocks from the Louvre and Tuileries
✔️Close to a convenient metro stop
✔️Close to the action, but tucked away on a side street
Rated: 8.2 of 10 – read all reviews here

👉Check rates and availability for the Hotel du Lion d’Or Louvre here

Hôtel Le Relais des Halles ($$)

✔️Beautiful, individually decorated rooms and attention to detail
✔️Located on a pedestrian side street yet very close to one of the biggest metro stations in the city + the RER that goes to the airport
✔️Walking distance to many attractions
Rated 9.2 of 10 – read all reviews here

👉Check rates and availability for the Hotel Le Relais des Halles here

Hôtel du Louvre ($$$)

✔️Located in one of the most convenient and upscale locations in Paris, right across from the Louvre and near Rue de Rivoli
✔️Delivers in location, incredible views, service, and convenience
✔️The light and airy rooms, and the luxurious bathrooms are a dream
Rated 8.7 of 10 – read all reviews here

👉Check rates and availability for the Hotel du Louvre here

2. Le Marais (The 3rd+4th Arrondissement)

The large, fancy, decorated building of the Hotel de Ville (city hall of Paris), from the side, with a small fountainer, rectangle fountain in front.
Hotel de Ville

The area of Le Marais includes the 4th arrondissements, the two islands of Paris (Ile de la Cité and Ile Saint Louis), and part of the 3rd arrondissement.

Notable attractions in the Marais include Hotel de Ville (city hall), the Centre Pompidou, Notre Dame, Sainte Chappelle, the Marché aux Fleurs, Place de la Bastille, and Place des Vosges

The Marais is well-known for being the gay district in Paris, and for being a young, hip, and trendy area of Paris, with contemporary art galleries, up and coming boutiques, cobblestoned streets, and a bohemian vibe. You can also find a lot of thrift stores in the Marais.

Like the 1st arrondissement, metro line 1 cuts through the middle of the 4th arrondissement, making it a convenient access point to many main attractions. 

➡️The 3rd + 4th are popular arrondissements to stay in Paris if you want a particularly LGBTQ+ friendly area, or if you want to stay in an area that is very central and trendy, while not being right smack dab in the middle of the biggest tourist attractions.

Best Places to Stay in the 4th Arrondissement of Paris

If this sounds like the spot for you, check out these hotel recommendations for the Marais:

Hotel Bastille Speria ($)

✔️The hotel rooms are extremely nice and comfortable. 
✔️Right by Bastille – and is by several metro lines, making it easy to get around Paris
✔️Within walking distance of the Place des Vosges and one of my favorite markets in Paris – Marché d’Aligre.
Rated 8.6 of 10 – read all reviews here

👉Check rates and availability for the Hotel Bastille Speria here

Hotel Saint-Louis en L’Isle ($$)

✔️This hotel is situated on the smaller of Paris’s two islands: Isle Saint-Louis!
✔️This island is a super charming and quaint little area of Paris, and quite literally in the heart of Paris.
✔️The wooden beams add character and the river is just steps from the hotel. 
Rated 9.3 of 10 – read all reviews here

👉Check rates and availability for the Hotel Saint-Louis en L’Isle here

Goralska Résidences Hôtel Paris Bastille ($$$)

✔️This hotel offers spacious suites (including a little kitchen and living area), as well as a fitness center
✔️Rooms are clean, modern, and have beautiful views of the Seine
✔️A short walk to the Bastille metro, where you can easily get around Paris. 
Rated 9.5 of 10 – read all reviews here

👉Check rates and availability for the Goralska Résidences Hotel Paris Bastille here

3. The Latin Quarter (aka The 5th Arrondissement)

The Pantheon is modeled after the one in Rome, and has columns and a freize in front and a tall dome in the back.
The Pantheon

The 5th arrondissement is known as the Latin Quarter, and is a very well-known and sought after arrondissement in Paris. This neighborhood is the oldest in Paris, and even has some ruins from Roman times

The Latin Quarter got its name from the high concentration of universities and research centers in the area. (University students commonly spoke in Latin back in the day.)

In this area, you’ll find the Pantheon, the Jardin des Plantes, the Sorbonne University and the University of Paris, and the famous Boulevard Saint Michel and Boulevard Saint Germain.

➡️This is the best arrondissement to stay in Paris if you want to explore narrow, historic, winding streets and be in the trendy left bank neighborhood.

Best Hotels to Stay in the 5th Arrondissement:

Hôtel du College de France ($)

✔️A charming hotel in a charming area of Paris, located just off of Blvd Saint-Germain, a main street in the Latin Quarter.
✔️ 10 minute walk to the Seine, Notre Dame, or Jardin de Luxembourg
✔️Perfect spot for exploring the Latin Quarter
Rated 9 of 10 – read all reviews here

👉Check rates and availability for the Hotel du College de France here

Hôtel Henri IV Rive Gauche ($$)

✔️This boutique hotel is in a lively area of the 5th arrondissement, near the main Latin Quarter boulevards and the river.
✔️Some rooms have views overlooking the church or view of the top of the Eiffel Tower
✔️Rooms are clean, updated, and have a minibar, and staff is very helpful.
Rated 8.5 of 10 – read all reviews here

👉Check rates and availability for the Hotel Henri IV Rive Gauche here

Residence Henri IV ($$$)

✔️Located just around the corner from the Pantheon, this hotel is located in a historic building with a ton of historic details and artful room layouts.
✔️I particularly love the four poster beds, the frame molding on the walls, and the decorations on the ceiling!
Rated 8.9 of 10 – read all reviews here

👉Check rates and availability for the Residence Henri IV here

4. Saint Germain (The 6th Arrondissement)

A large basin of water with a small fountain is in the foreground, with an old palace with tan walls and a black roof is in the background, and some bushes on the sides.
The Jardin de Luxembourg

The 6th arrondissement (also known as Saint Germain) is particularly known for being a hotspot for intellectuals. It is home to the famous Cafe de Flore and Les Deux Magots cafes, where philosophers, writers, and artists such as Picasso, Hemingway, Sartre, and Simone de Beauvoir hung out and discussed ideas. 

You’ll also find the Jardin de Luxembourg, one of the most beautiful gardens in Paris, as well as a whole host of churches, such as Saint-Germain-des-Pres and Saint-Sulpice in the 6th arrondissement. This is just a great left bank district and one of the most well-known arrondissements to stay in Paris.

Best Places to Stay in the 6th Arrondissement of Paris:

Hotel Clément ($)

✔️This hotel has clean, comfortable rooms with unique decorations and wallpaper, and the option for breakfast in your room.
✔️It’s <10 minute walk to the Seine or the Jardin de Luxembourg
✔️Overall a great value hotel in Paris
Rated 8.9 of 10 – read all reviews here

👉Check rates and availability for the Hotel Clément here

Hotel Saint Paul Rive Gauche ($$)

✔️This hotel has clean and updated rooms, with a mini-fridge, very friendly staff.
✔️The hotel is really close to an RER B stop (which takes you directly to the CDG airport).
✔️You are just around the corner from the Jardin de Luxembourg!
Rated 8.7 of 10 – read all reviews here

👉Check rates and availability for the Hotel Saint Paul Rive Gauche here

Hôtel Vinci Due & Spa ($$)

✔️The decor and art around the hotel is all a nod to Leonardo da Vinci
✔️It’s a block away from one of the most beautiful stretches of the Seine, right across from the Louvre and Tuileries gardens, and close to the Musee d’Orsay.
✔️This the hotel is unique for Paris in that it has a spa on site.
Rated 8.8 of 10 – read all reviews here

👉Check rates and availability for the Hotel Vinci Due & Spa here

Hotel Odeon Saint-Germain ($$$)

✔️The rooms in this hotel really feel elegant, with the heavy fabrics, stone walls, exposed beams, marble bathrooms, minibar, and well-decorated rooms.
✔️Enjoy close proximity to the Jardin de Luxembourg, the metro station, the Blvd Saint-Germain with its cafes and restaurants, and Notre Dame.
Rated 7.9 of 10 – read all reviews here

👉Check rates and availability for the Hotel Odeon Saint-Germain here

5. The 7th Arrondissement (plus a tiny part of the 16th)

The Eiffel Tower stands in the background, with with grass of the Champ de Mars coming towards you, plus a wide unpaved walking path and trees. This is a popular arrondissement to stay in for first time visitors to Paris.
The Eiffel Tower from the Champs de Mars

The 7th arrondissement is home to a hidden gem of Paris – a small monument known as the Eiffel Tower. Ok, all kidding aside, this neighborhood is a beautiful area of Paris, but can also be a tourist-heavy one. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stay here, though. It really is a beautiful area and you are conveniently located to several other great locations.

Other notable attractions in this area include the Musée d’Orsay, the Hotel des Invalides, the Pont Alexandre III, the Musée Rodin, and the Champs de Mars. 

The Seine runs right next to the Eiffel Tower, and the opposite side of the river is the 16th arrondissement. The part of the 16th closer to the Eiffel Tower is also a good area to stay, as it shares many of the same advantages of the 7th.

➡️This is the best arrondissement to stay in Paris if you want to have easy access to the most famous monument in the world (it’s easy to pop over and watch the lights at night if you’re just next door!)

Best Hotels to Stay in the 7th Arrondissement of Paris:

Elysées Union ($)

✔️This hotel is set right between the Trocadero platform and the Arc de Triomphe, making it an easy 10-15 minute walk to reach both of these iconic Parisian landmarks.
✔️The best part of the Elysees Union, though, is the Eiffel Tower views you get from some of the rooms.
✔️The interior courtyard is a nice added perk, and if you are traveling with family, they do offer a 2 bedroom apartment room option.  
Rated 8.2 of 10 – read all reviews here

👉Check rates and availability for the Elysées Union here

Hôtel de la Bourdonnais ($$)

✔️This hotel is located just a block over from the Champs de Mars and Eiffel Tower, on a lovely and beautiful street.
✔️Rooms are decorated in a warm and cozy manner, with some rooms having Eiffel Tower views from the window!
✔️This hotel has an on-site cocktail bar
Rated 8.7 of 10 – read all reviews here

👉Check rates and availability for the Hotel de la Bourdonnais here

Hôtel Le Walt ($$$)

✔️Located on Avenue de la Motte-Picquet, you are kitty corner and just a minute’s walk from the Champ de Mars, the greenspace that leads up to the Eiffel Tower.
✔️If you are interested in close access to the Iron Lady, this is a perfect hotel for you. 
✔️Additionally, some rooms have Eiffel Tower views, and the room decor is lovely. 
Rated 9 of 10 – read all reviews here

👉Check rates and availability for the Hotel Le Walt here

6. The 8th Arrondissement

Cars drive on both sides of the wide Champs Elysees avenue, which is lined by uniformly cut trees, and the Arc de Triomphe is in the distance.
The Champs Elysées

Truth be told, this is one of my very favorite arrondissements to stay in or visit in Paris. The 8th and 17th are really nice, upscale neighborhoods, with gorgeous Haussmanian architecture and some lovely parks.

The 8th arrondissement includes the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs Elysées, the Place de la Concorde, and Parc Monceau. Metro line 1 cuts through the Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysees, and the Saint Lazare train station is also in the 8th arrondissement, which all provide easy access to other spots in Paris and beyond.

➡️This is a great arrondissement to stay in Paris if you want to stay in neighborhoods with beautiful architecture, and a lot of places that are a little bit more residential (once you get off of the Champs Elysees line).

Best Hotels to Stay in the 8th Arrondissement:

L’Ouest Hotel ($)

✔️This hotel really delivers in location!
It’s right around the corner from the Saint Lazare station. Many metro lines (and a train line) run through this station
✔️You’re only 10-20 minutes by foot from Montmartre, the Opera Garnier, the Champs Elysees, Parc Monceau, and the Arc de Triomphe!
✔️Rooms are nicely furnished, modern, and clean, with hardwood floors.
Rated 8.1 of 10 – read all reviews here

👉Check rates and availability for the L’Ouest Hotel here

Elysées Ceramic Hotel ($$)

✔️This hotel sits just a little bit north of the Arc de Triomphe – you can get a nice view of it out some of the windows!
✔️Rooms are tastefully decorated and have a minibar.
✔️There’s a cute little garden courtyard for taking breakfast
✔️The street view facade of the building is done in a cool art nouveau style
Rated 8.3 of 10 – read all reviews here

👉Check rates and availability for the Elysées Ceramic Hotel here

Hôtel Lancaster Paris Champs-Elysées ($$$)

✔️The hotel has so many classic French architectural details, including fireplaces, hardwood floors, and ceiling medallions.
✔️It’s located right off the upscale Champs Elysees, a fashionable avenue for shopping and people-watching, and is also a really convenient location for getting around.
Rated 8.8 of 10 – read all reviews here

👉Check rates and availability for the Hotel Lancaster Paris Champs-Elysees here

7. Montmartre (The 18th Arrondissement)

The back of the Sacre coeur basilica, with its white stone and domed top.
Sacré Coeur from behind

This arrondissement encompases the “village” of Montmartre, a well known neighborhood which includes Sacre Coeur, the Moulin Rouge, the Wall of I Love You, and other sites (e.g.  Place du Tertres, the stairs of Montmartre, etc). 

Montmartre has quite a big fan club, as the neighborhood does have a distinct feel and a very bohemian history. There are a lot of cute, romantic spots to explore in Montmartre and a lot of charming and delicious cafes and restaurants in the area. 

Note that the red light district of Paris extends along Boulevard de Clichy, which is the southern border of the 18th arrondissement, and is the boulevard where many of the metro stations are. While it is not an unsafe area per se, the whole boulevard is essentially one long sex shop, so if that’s not your jam, just head north or south right away instead of walking along the boulevard. 

➡️Montmartre is the best arrondissement to stay in Paris if you like that village feel within a big city, and an area with lots of cute restaurants and cafes.

Best Places to Stay in the 18th Arrondissement:

Hotel du Beaumont ($)

✔️I love the exposed stone walls in this hotel and decor and furnishings throughout the property – it really feels more expensive than it is!
✔️The hotel is very conveniently located just a one minute walk (if that!) to a metro station and literally right around the corner from the Moulin Rouge. 
Rated 8.8 of 10 – read all reviews here

👉Check rates and availability for the Hotel du Beaumont here

Hôtel Monsieur Aristide ($$)

✔️The Aristide is a newer boutique hotel, and they really show attention to detail with the furnishings around the property.
✔️The garden terrace is gorgeous
✔️The streets right by the hotel are filled with cafes, bakeries, and chocolate shops, making it a great place to hang out. 
Rated 9.2 of 10 – read all reviews here

👉Check rates and availability for the Hotel Monsieur Aristide here

Terrass Hotel ($$$)

✔️The Terrass Hotel really makes use of being on the hill of Montmartre, as the views over Paris from the guest rooms and the rooftop terrace are truly spectacular. Some rooms even have an Eiffel Tower view!
✔️The hotel lobby is done in a trendy, modern style, and the location is great – just off of Rue Lepic, one of my favorite streets in Montmartre, and a 10 minute walk from Sacré Coeur. 
Rated 8.8 of 10 – read all reviews here

👉Check rates and availability for the Terrass Hotel here

A Breakdown of Hotels By Category

To help categorize all the recommended hotels another way and help you sort based on what is important to you, I made this list! A few notes about the list:
➡️Not every hotel recommended above is on this list, but I still think every hotel recommendation is very solid! Just not every one neatly fit into one of these categories below.
➡️ The best hotels for runners are ones that are located near a greenspace or along the river. Now, you really can jog on any of the streets in Paris – you see people doing that a lot. But Parisiens love going to the parks for running, and I think you will too!
➡️The best hotels for families are ones that have rooms with extra beds in them.

Most Budget-Friendly Hotels:

Most Beautiful Hotels:

Hotels Right Along the Seine:

Hotel on the Island:

Hotels With an Eiffel Tower View:

Best Hotels for Families:

Best Hotels for Runners:

Best Hotels in the LGBTQ Quarter:

Hotels With an On-Site Fitness Center:

Hotels With an On-Site Spa:

Closest Hotels to the:

Other Important Things to Know When Considering Where to Stay in Paris

When to Book Your Hotel for Paris

Paris is, of course, a popular destination, and so I would highly recommend you book your accommodations as soon as possible. Hotels really can get booked up many months in advance, particularly if you are traveling between April through October, or December.

Book early so you can get your top choice for where you want to stay in Paris!

A Few Important Notes About Hotels in Paris

➡️Generally speaking, hotel rooms in France are much smaller (we’ll just call it cozier) than hotel rooms in the United States. Because these are old buildings, the rooms are just a bit tighter and there is definitely less floorspace. This is just something to be aware of!

➡️Expect elevators to also be very tiny – and not all places have elevators. I actually really love the teeny tiny elevators in France – they’re such a novelty!

➡️On the same note, almost no hotels offer free breakfast. Almost every hotel will offer breakfast, but it costs extra. We rarely pay for the hotel breakfast, preferring instead to grab some pastries from the closest boulangerie as we start our day. 

The Seine

A sightseeing boat cruises down the Seine River, which is lined by walkways and trees. In the background is a bridge.

The river Seine cuts through Paris, dividing it pretty neatly in half. Sometimes different areas of Paris will be referred to as the right bank or the left bank of Paris – referring to what side of the river you are on. The left bank is south of the river, and the right bank is north of the river. 

What is the Safest Arrondissement in Paris?

All of these arrondissements are very safe and you can definitely stay in them without concern. As I mentioned in the Montmartre section, the Red Light district starts in Montmartre, so I’d avoid that area, but other than that, I would feel confident knowing that any of the areas and all the hotels I recommend on this list are very safe locations to stay in Paris.

Metro System in Paris

Paris has an exceptionally well-designed metro system – no matter where you stay, you are only minutes from a metro stop, which you can take to get around the city.

A single metro ticket costs 1.90 euro, and a bundle, or carnet, of 10 tickets costs you 18.60 euro. We usually use anywhere from 3-5 metro tickets per person per day, so if you are staying longer than a day, it’s worth buying a carnet. 

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Securing some travel insurance is an important part of prepping for any international trip – you never know when something might happen, and your regular insurance generally won’t cover you overseas. Costs for a medical emergency on vacation can add up extremely fast, so it’s just better to be safe than sorry. (If covid has taught me anything, it’s that you never know what could happen!)  

I like booking insurance at Insure My Trip, as they offer a variety of plans with different coverages to choose from, so you can find the right option for you. Plus, they have great customer support if you need help before, during, or after your trip.

👉Check rates at Insure My Trip here!👈

Final Thoughts on the Best Arrondissements to Stay in Paris

That’s a wrap on what I consider to be the best neighborhoods in Paris to stay in! If you are going to Paris for the first time, you are really in for a treat, and staying in one of these recommended hotels in one of these recommended arrondissements will only enhance your experience. Bon voyage!

Check out my other Paris articles:

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