The Ultimate Paris Neighborhood Guide (and which best fits your personality!)

I recently wrote a guide on where to stay in Paris and wanted to supplement that post with a neighborhood (i.e. Arrondissement) overview. I thought it would be useful to provide more details on the neighborhoods in Paris because it can get confusing when trying to decided where to stay. Some Arrondissements have nicknames (i.e. the Marais or St. Germain), others seem to overlap into each other, and there are so many sights to see there isn’t just one or two neighborhoods that make logistical sense. I think most travelers are looking for a home away from home when traveling abroad, so I thought it’d be fun to match some of the neighborhoods with personality types. Hopefully this will help you find the perfect fit your trip to Paris!

1st Arrondissement

Personality Type: A high-roller who wants to be near it all. Although you won’t have the Parisian neighborhood feel, you may have nice views from your hotel and you will definitely be able to check off your bucket list items quickly.

Often known as the most exclusive neighborhood due to it’s luxury hotels and posh apartment rentals. This neighborhood is home to many of Paris’ must see-sights (Popular Sights: Louvre, Palais Royal Gardens, Musée d’Orsay, Tuileries Palace, distant views of the Eiffel Tower)

2nd Arrondissement

Personality Type: For those who like to stay under the radar, the 2nd Arrondissement could be the perfect place to call home. Often overlooked because there are no major tourist sites, this neighborhood is close to everything, has shopping and cafes at your fingertips, and provides a more authentic experience as most tourists pass it by.




Although this is the city’s smallest neighborhood, it makes up for size with its shopping arcades and cafes.

3rd and 4th Arrondissement

Personality Type: If you’re artsy and a worldly traveler who appreciates beautiful decor and architecture, this neighborhood (formerly occupied by aristocrats) will call to you.

Nickname: Le Marais

Vintage shopping, designer boutiques, brasserie’s, and cafes make this part of the city a Parisian dream. (Popular sights: Notre Dame, Ile St. Louis, Place Des Vosges, Picasso Museum and the Merci store)

5th Arrondissement

Personality Type: History buffs, students, authors, and those looking for an intellectual debate will be in heaven in this section of Paris.

Nickname: Latin Quarter

The Latin Quarter is known for Rue Mouffetard, its old world charm, the Sorbonne University, and prestigious high schools. Expect to find lots of students bustling around. (Popular sights: Sorbonne, Jardin des Plantes, and the Latin Quarter)

6th Arrondissement

Personality Type: Intellectual meets old-world glamour. Someone who would enjoy spending an hour at a cafe reading a book just as much as exploring the trendy boutiques will love this neighborhood. This is also the perfect neighborhood for those wanting to follow in Hemingway, Simone de Beauvoir and Sartre’s footsteps due to the famous literary cafes.

Nickname: Saint Germain des Prés or just “Saint Germain”

The iconic St. Germain neighborhood (my personal favorite) has great proximity to shops, cafes, sights, and all the patisseries you could ever ask for.  (Popular sights: Jardin du Luxembourg, St. Germain Quarter, and literary cafes (Flore and Les Deux Magots), walking distance from the Seine).

7th Arrondissement

An elegant residential neighborhood that is home to the Eiffel Tower and popular museums as well as an abundance of tourists coming to see them. (Popular sights: Eiffel Tower, Napoleon’s tomb, Musee d’Orsay, and Musée Rodin, Rue Cler Street Market)

8th Arrondissement

Personality Type: Fashionistas who have come to Paris for one thing: shopping.

Lux and oh-so-chic, this neighborhood is filled with expensive designer shopping on Champs-Elysees and Avenue Montaigne (Popular sights: Grand Palais, Pont Alexandre III (bridge), Parc Monceau, Arc de Triomphe)

9th, 10th and 11th Arrondissement

Personality Type: “Bobos” (bohemian-bourgeois)

Nickname: Oberkampf District (11th Arrondissement)

Walkable neighborhoods that are young and trendy (perhaps even edgy) with lots of nightlife. Be cautious of your surroundings as some parts can be sketchy (Popular sights: Department store Lafayette, Opera Garnier)

12th Arrondissement

Personality type: Backpackers looking for hostels or someone looking for a hotel deal.

A little off the beaten track, this neighborhood can be a great place to find nice, affordable places to stay (including hostels) and is generally known to be safe.

13th, 14th, and 15th Arrondissement

Nickname: Montparnasse (14th)

Mostly a residential, sleepy area of town (Popular sights: Catacombs)

16th Arrondissement

Personality type: Homebodies will feel comfortable here as this area is filled with American expats.

Nickname: Passy

Residential, safe, and pretty cobble-stoned alleyways. This arrondissement has been compared to New York’s Upper East Side and London’s Kensington area (Popular sights: Musee Marmottan Monet, Palais du Tokyo)



18th arrondissement

Personality Type: Nostalgic individuals will enjoy this quintessential Parisian neighborhood full of artists and crepes (enough to make you wish you brought your Parisian beret).

Nickname: Montmarte

This neighborhood can be very charming, but be very careful for safety at night (Popular sights: Sacre Coeur, Montemarte, and Moulin Rouge)

What is your favorite Arrondissement in Paris? Leave your comments for fellow travelers in the comments below!

Happy Travels!

Jenny

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