Having sufficient knowledge on the best area to stay in Paris will enable you to investigate all that Paris brings to the table.
Paris has twenty zones (in France, they are called arrondissements) that are partitioned by the Seine river, as you can see in the picture. Parisians often say - to live on the left bank or the right bank. The lower the number of the arrondissement is, the closer it is to the center. As you can see at the picture below, number 1 - 7 are the main historical city center. And of course, the most expensive. And further on, as you can see in the picture, the marking system continues clockwise in a spiral around the center with a numerical mark higher and higher.
But it still doesn't mean, that you can not find any hidden gem for a reasonable price here. Each part has its particular attributes and vibe. An ideal approach to settle on where to stay in Paris is to comprehend what each area brings to the table.
About districts and arrondissements
One district can cover several arrondissements, and in reality, it is. But do not worry, it is confusing, but in practice, the term arrondissements uses most post, police and other state administration organizations. As a tourist, you will be fine with the expression district or neighborhood.
So, the question is - where to stay in Paris? Which neighborhood is the best to take for the first time? We carefully chose five options for you.
1) Saint Germain
Saint Germain or the Saint-Germain-des-Prés district (No. 6 on the map) is the best neighborhood for families or people who want to discover the real Paris for the first time. Saint Germain holds the timeless charm of the Left Bank while buzzing with a lively array of galleries, restaurants, and jazz clubs.
Price of stay and eating: $$ - very good ratio with price and quality.
Top sights in Saint-Germain and close surrounding: This district is mainly for staying, not for sightseeing. But in this case, it is an advantage.
You sure know the pictures of Paris and Paris boulevards that are so tempting that you bought fly tickets only based on them. And you can see precisely such Paris in Saint Germain.
From the upscale shops that are situated along the bustling Boulevard Saint Germain to the aristocratic peace of the Jardin du Luxembourg (also known as Luxembourg Gardens - excellent in summer), this district is just popular with locals and tourists.
This neighborhood also attracts a well-heeled crowd who come seeking only the biggest names in fashion and food. Though at times the area may feel overrun with tourists, the most significant advantage is that you'll find many shops and restaurants open in summer while other areas of the city are quiet.
Where to stay in the Saint Germain district?
Which hotels are reasonable in this area? There is a list of the best hotels in the Saint Germain area. You can check it yourself. The average price is about € 400 - 450 for 3 nights.
My personal choice
For my "imaginary" first stay in this location, I would choose a hotel Lorette: http://bit.ly/hotel-Lorette-Paris-score-87percent If the Lorette will be full, next choice is this one: http://bit.ly/newhotel-le-voltaire-paris-score85percent Why these hotels? A score of 8.7 and 8.5 is excellent for this money - about € 420 per 3 nights (with breakfast!). The hotels are very clean and close to the metro station.
The possibilities of public transport are excellent: two central metro stations and twelve bus stations. Metro: purple line No. 4 (station Saint-Germain-des-Prés) and yellow line No. 10. (station Mabillion). The purple line No. 4 runs around the main monuments like de Louvre or Notre Dame.
How to get to Saint Germain from Paris airports?
- From the Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) always take RER line "B" and go to the Saint-Michel - Notre-Dame station. After that, you have three options for how to get to the district. If you don't have heavy luggage, you can go on foot. From the station it is about 10 minutes walk away. Alternatively you can go to the metro - purple line No. 4 and take two stops to the station Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Also, the third option is to take a taxi. All the public transport ways take about 45 - 55 minutes, taxi about 60 minutes.
- From the Orly Airport (ORY), always take the Orlybus and go five stops to the station Denfert-Rochereau-Métro-RER. From here you can change to the metro - purple line No. 4, from station Denfert-Rochereau and go six stops to the station Saint-Germain-des-Prés. This way takes about 45 - 50 minutes. Taxi takes about 40 minutes.
Where to eat in Saint Germain area?
1) Lovely is the Cezembre Restaurant. The whole menu for € 29, at the weekend for € 35. Please, if you were satisfied, comment on this site tips on food for the others.
2) If you want something cozier, try Freddy's restaurant/bar, it is a lovely hidden gem in Paris!
Want to buy wine for a great night?
Relative good French wine you can buy from supermarkets. For example, this one, in the area. Do you want something special? You have to go to the wine shop and, in this area, it is this regional seller La Derniere Goutte (and do not be fooled by the outside of the store).
Our next tip for you is the wine shop La Maison Des Millésimes close to metro station Mabillon.
2) Le Marais
Le Marais is my favorite area.
The trendiest district in Paris, the Marais is defined by the hip Parisians who come to eat, drink and shop in this uber cool quarter.
Though the character of the neighborhood leans towards a younger audience, the Marais's diversity offers something for everyone. Ranging from its famed Jewish quarter to the historic Place des Vosges, just many great places for everyone.
For visitors who've already checked off every place in their checklist, the Marais is the perfect place to understand Paris outside of the guidebooks.
Where to stay in the Le Marais area?
Which hotels are beautiful in the Le Marais district? Check this list of the best hotels in the Le Marais district. The average price is around € 600 for 3 nights.
My personal choice
The Le Marais district is overpricing now.
If you are on a budget, but still want to stay in Le Marais district, take this hotel: http://bit.ly/Le-Relais-du_Marais-score80 breakfast included, and you are just on the metro station Temple. For € 400 for 3 nights in Le Marais - it's great, isn't it?
Another option is, and in my opinion it worth to give € 60 more, is this boutique hotel: http://bit.ly/hotel-la-nouvelle-republique-score92 fabulous breakfast included, excellent score, close to two metro stations.
There is nine metro stations and very much bus stations. Metro: green line No. 3, pink line No. 8, yellow line No. 1, brown line No. 11 and orange line No. 5. That's very comfortable.
How to get to the Le Marais from Paris airports?
- From the Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) take RER line "B" and leave the Châtelet - Les Halles station. After that, you can change the metro brown line No. 11 and go two stops to Rambuteau station. This way takes about 50 - 60 minutes, by taxi about 45 minutes.
- From the Orly Airport (ORY), you can take the train T7 and go sixteen stops to the station Villejuif - Louis Aragon. From here you can change the metro - pink line No. 4, from the station of the same name to the station Pont Marie (12 stops). This way takes about 60 minutes. Taxi takes about 40 minutes (in this case it is a better solution).
Where to eat in Le Marais district?
1) If you want to save your money or want to eat something small, there is an excellent baguettes buffet Miznon where you can find yummy products at a reasonable price.
2) Another excellent option is this cozy bistro Le Chanard. However, you have to know they accept cash only!
3) Do you want to try something original from the French cuisine? Go to the Restaurant L'Ange 20, another hidden gem with for your sweet tooth!
Where to buy good wine in the Le Marais district?
In this area is many small supermarkets, where you can NOT buy good wine. So in this case, try to find some wine shop. I can recommend the following:
1) Wine Touch wine shop, close to Le Centre Pompidou and metro station Rambuteau.
2) "Lot" Of Wine wine shop, which is close to river Seine.
3) Nicolas Bretagne wine shop, which has two shops with wine in the Le Marais district.
3) 1st arrondissement in Paris
Sightseeing is unquestionably something you should do in Paris. The Louvre is the star attraction of the 1st Arrondissement, and you can spend days at the Louvre.
The outdoor gardens are a must. Walk from the Louvre to the Place de la Concorde through the Jardin des Tuileries and wonder at the outdoor statues, gardens, and fountains.
You could shop at the in the elegant boutiques and trendy cafés along the Rue de Rivoli street.
Ponte Neuf Bridge is the oldest bridge in Paris and one of the favorites in the city.
Take a walk along this centuries-old bridge linking the Right and Left Banks through the Île de la Cité. Also if you like walking, the area around Les Halls and the River Seine is home to many pedestrian streets.
There's a premier underground shopping center called Les Halles, which was formerly the Paris food market, now it's a place to shop and see a movie. Palais Royal is home to the ministry of culture, but you can visit its gardens and surrounding boutique shops.
Where to stay in the 1st arrondissement?
There is a list of the top hotels in the 1st arr.: the best hotels in Paris city center. The average price here is about € 550 for 3 nights.
My personal choice
Let me choose two hotels for you in my opinion. This one makes a sense for good money: http://bit.ly/hotel-by-elegancia-score85 continental breakfast included, close to park, one RER and two metro stations. € 570 for 3 nights.
It is not such a big place, but still, there are 7 metro stations with five metro lines (yellow 1, pink 7, purple 14 and 4, and green 3). Because it is a historical center, there is no too much bus stops, as well as vehicles in the streets.
How to get to the 1st arrondissement from Paris airports?
- From the Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) take the RER line "B" and after three stops leave the Châtelet - Les Halles station. That's all. This way takes about 50 minutes, by taxi about 45 minutes.
- From the Orly Airport (ORY), take Le bus direct (€ 12) to the station Paris - Gare Montparnasse. From here you can change the metro - green line No. 12, from the station Gare Montparnasse to the station Concorde (7 stops). This way takes about 50 minutes. Taxi takes up to 40 minutes.
Where to eat in the 1st arrondissement?
You cannot expect cheap buffets, although of course, fast food is always there.
1) If you want to experience heaven on earth, try to book a table in the Mumi restaurant. Lunch about € 30, dinner about € 50. Bottle of wine from € 40 - 300.
2) Michelin restaurant Pur' - Jean-François Rouquette can attract you with special French food. However, don't ask me for a price list.
Is there any cheaper alternative? Of course, there is.
Chez la Vieille - more at the east from 1th arr., but not so far. À la Carte menu about € 15 - 25, a cake for € 6.
If you have personally more tips about great restaurants for a reasonable price (best with locals) in the 1st arrondissement, please feel free to write to me at email@example.com
Where can you buy good wine?
In this location, definitely in LQV Le Quinze Vins wine shop.
Tip for backpackers - try to buy wine in supermarket Monoprix, close to Pyramides metro.
4) 7th arrondissement in Paris
A visit to Paris wouldn't be complete without seeing the Eiffel Tower, and if you are seeing it for the first time, this could be the best place for you to stay in Paris.
Napoleon's tomb is located in Les Invalides, and you can have an exciting tour through the military history of France.
The Musee d'Orsay museum is a dream for those who love Impressionism. With Monet, Degas, Cezanne, Van Gogh, Surat, Manet, and Gauguin hanging from its walls, it keeps the most extensive collection of impressionist art in the world.
You may have seen the giant green area from every aerial view of Paris, that's the Champs de Mars which offers beautiful views of the Eiffel Tower and is a perfect spot for a Parisian picnic.
Best places to stay in 7th arrondissement
There is a chance to catch a good hotel for a reasonable price. Especially if you book ahead, you have great opportunity to stay for cheap money in the nearby center. Check out yourself these best hotels in the 7th arrondissement in Paris.
My personal choise
In the 7th arrondissement you can find many good hotels for reasonable prices. This one is cute: http://bit.ly/hotel-de-la-motte-picquet-score85 but not for tall people. They have typical French small hotel beds and rooms. If you don't mind, take it. If you want more comfort, choose this hotel: http://bit.ly/hotel-de-varenne-score86 continental breakfast included, soundproof rooms, close to metro Varenne.
In this area, there are very much opportunities to use public transport. Several metro lines with stations, bus stops every few meters as well.
How to get to the 7th arrondissement from Paris airports?
- From the Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) take the RER line "B" and after four stops leave the Saint-Michel - Notre-Dame station. Here change to the yellow RER-C line and go two stops to Invalides station. This way takes about 60 minutes, by taxi about 40 minutes.
- From the Orly Airport (ORY), take Le bus direct (€ 12) to the station Paris - Gare Montparnasse (two stops). From here you can change the metro - light blue line No. 13, from the station Gare Montparnasse to the station Varenne (3 stops). This way takes about 40 minutes. Taxi takes up to 30 minutes.
Where to eat in 7th arrondissement?
1) If you want to celebrate some special occasion, or sometimes desire to surprise your wife with a perfect dinner, this luxury restaurant inside the Eiffel Tower with a beautiful view of Paris will be the right stay - Le Jules Verne. They have a classic French restaurant on the first floor, with a dinner menu from € 86.
2) Another option is restaurant Philippe Excoffier. If you want something more quiet and decent, it is a perfect choice. Food from € 30 - 50. A classic menu for € 49, degustation menu for € 70.
3) My tip and a personal winner will be L'Antre Amis restaurant. They have a cozy environment and fantastic food. 3-course menu for € 35, 5-course for €50. Very nice choice.
4) Do you want something cheaper? At the border of 7th and 5th is the excellent restaurant which I already mentioned for a reasonable price - Cook'n Saj. Or in the summer, there is a great buffet/restaurant Cannelle, where you can take a meal away. Prices are excellent for this location.
5) The 11th arrondissement (excellent price tip for the first stay)
If you have a limited budget, but still want to stay near the city center, it is a perfect location. I was there and can confirm it myself. Going to the 11th arrondissement will understand the culture of the Parisians.
The 11th is also the best neighborhood for foodies. Located just outside the central arrondissements and with lower rents, many of the city's up and coming chefs have started up in this area. Regularly catering to a local crowd, prices are comparatively more affordable in the 11th where the focus is on relaxed eateries with excellent food vs. traditional haute cuisine. You'll find everything here from newly created Michelin star establishments to the most trend-setting chefs to amazing natural wine bars.
Where to stay in the 11th arrondissement in Paris?
Here you can choose your next stay from these hotels in this location.
My personal choice
Again, I have to vote for the hotel La Nouvelle Republique: http://bit.ly/hotel-la-nouvelle-republique-score92 if this one will be full, choose this cute hotel: http://bit.ly/grand-hotel-francais-score87
Probably the most covered with metro stations from all arrondissements.
How to get there from Paris airports?
- From the Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) take the RER line "B" and after 11 stops leave the Gare du Nord station. Here change to the orange metro line No. 5 and go two stops to Oberkampf station. This way takes about 50 minutes, by taxi about 50 minutes as well.
- From the Orly Airport (ORY), take Ouibus (€ 12) from Paris - Aéroport Orly Sud - Sortie L to the station Paris - Trocadéro (3 stops). From here you can change the metro - yellow line No. 9, from the station Trocadéro to the station Voltaire (16 stops). This way takes about 60 minutes. Taxi at the same time.
Where to eat in the 11th arrondissement?
1) For a reasonable price and my another personal tip, you can taste French food in La Cave de l'Insolite restaurant. They have a menu from € 14 to € 20. Many positive reviews talk for them. They also have great wines.
Your choice where to stay in Paris will probably also depend on the season. If you visit Paris in summer, you can expect to look for places where there are great parks. The hotel will not be so important because you will still be out.
If you want to arrive in winter, you concentrate more on museums and will be very careful to choose the hotel where you stay in case of bad weather and enjoy, for example, a sauna complex.