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Ultimate Paris Guide by Neighborhood

April 02, 2021
It's easy to think of Paris as this glittering utopia where every corner is shimmering with luxurious splendor. It's as if the French capital is in a snow globe of sparkles. The truth, however, couldn't be farther from this! Paris is beautiful, true, but it's also diverse, exciting, edgy, bohemian, cool, simple, homely, and more. And all of these are thanks to its many neighborhoods. This guide will talk about the most popular Paris neighborhoods out there.

Ultimate Paris Guide by Neighborhood



How Many Neighborhoods are There in Paris?


Before all of that, just how many neighborhoods does Paris have, anyway? The answer is 80 in total. This seems crazy since there are a few neighborhoods that are already world-famous and they're only a handful, but in truth, the French capital has 80 different areas. They go beyond the urban metropolis, reaching even the fairly distant Paris suburbs. And though there are 80 neighborhoods, they're all divided into 20 arrondissements, which serve as administrative districts of the capital city. 


What are The Best Neighborhoods in Paris?


There are no definitive answers to what are the best neighborhoods in Paris. It depends on what you're looking for and what you consider makes for a great place. If you're into gloss and glamour, for example, the upscale Champs-Elysées and the trendy Marais districts would tickle your fancy more. If you prefer the bohemian side of Paris instead, the Latin Quarter and Montmartre are more up your alley.


The Safest Neighborhoods in Paris


As beautiful as Paris is as a city and destination, the harsh reality is that it's far from the safest place in the world. The French capital actually has a fairly high crime rate (61.54%), not to mention an even higher rate of increasing crimes for the past few years (72.42). Fortunately, there are still a few safe neighborhoods in Paris. They include the Champs-Elysées, the Latin Quarter, Le Marais, Châtelet, Montmartre, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, South Pigalle, and the area near Canal St. Martin. 


Paris Neighborhoods to Avoid


As for the areas to avoid, keep note of the area around Barbès-Rochechouart, the area near Gard du Nord, and Quartier Pigalle. Barbès-Rochechouart is infamous as one of the original crime hoods in Paris and, unfortunately, that hasn't changed over the years. Gard du Nord, on the other hand, is notorious for robberies. From simple pickpockets to armed burglaries, you'd best not stay here for a long time. And Quartier Pigalle serves as the red-light district of Paris, often a hotbed for all sorts of dangerous mischief. 


Eiffel Tower in Paris


Ultimate Paris Guide by Neighborhood


Source: Wikimedia Commons 


Let's officially start this neighborhood guide with what is perhaps the most famous area in the city. While most people probably know of the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris, not a lot realize that it is in its own eponymous neighborhood. Called the Eiffel Tower district, the area includes the tower itself, Champ de Mars Park, Musée d'Orsay, and Le Bon Marché department store. Don't forget about the luxury homes too. They're arguably the most covetable real estate in the city as they have the best views of the world-famous landmark. 


Where is The Eiffel Tower Located in Paris?


The Eiffel Tower and its district are in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. It’s part of Rive Gauche, also known as the south bank of the Seine River. The neighborhood itself is divided into four areas: Quartier du Gros Caillou, Quartier de l’École Militaire, Quartier des Invalides, and Quartier Saint Thomas d’Aquin.


Champs-Élysées in Paris


Ultimate Paris Guide by Neighborhood


Source: Wikimedia Commons 


Arguably the second-most famous neighborhood in Paris is the Champs-Élysées district, named after Avenue des Champs-Élysées in the 8th arrondissement. The avenue spans 1.9 kilometers (1.2 miles) long and 70 meters (230 feet) wide, starting from the Place de la Concorde to the Place Charles de Gaulle. The area that surrounds it is known for its many luxurious attractions, from high-fashion stores, first-class restaurants, five-star hotels, beautiful theaters, and more. 


What to See in Champs-Élysées in Paris


Avenue des Champs-Élysées itself is a must-see. This is the major thoroughfare in Paris, famous for its many holiday celebrations. This is where the city puts on a grand military parade every Bastille Day, as well as one of the best fireworks displays on New Year's Eve. Of course, you also shouldn't miss the Arc de Triomphe, the second-most well-known monument in Paris. It's a historic landmark that's as symbolic of the French capital as the Eiffel Tower is. There's also the Grand Palais, a crystal palace that will take your breath away. 


What to Do in Champs-Élysées


The Champs-Élysées district is where you'll want to shop, eat out, and luxuriate. One of the more upscale neighborhoods in Paris, this place is what most people talk about when they refer to Paris as a lap of luxury. The area is also home to the headquarters of various big-named brands, most famously Christian Dior on Avenue Montaigne. Galeries Lafayette, the beloved department store in Paris, is also located in Champs-Élysées. It's a high-class paradise for shopaholics! 


The Marais in Paris


Ultimate Paris Guide by Neighborhood


Source: Wikimedia Commons 


When you envision Paris as this trendy metropolis full of lively hotspots and bustling energy, you're likely thinking about Le Marais. Once the home of the city's Jewish Quarter, it eventually became one of the most upscale neighborhoods in Paris. And most notably, the “gayborhood” of the French capital. Over the years, the Marais district turned into the center of the city's LGBTQ+ community, and the area now comprises drag clubs, gay clubs, lesbian hotspots, and more. Amidst all that, there are still some old-school mansions and centuries-old residential buildings too. 


Where is Marais in Paris?


Le Marais spans both the 3rd and 4th arrondissements on the “Rive Droite,” the Right Bank of the Seine River. It's one of the biggest neighborhoods in Paris. 


Where to Stay in Marais, Paris


Although South Marais is where all the action is at, arguably the best places to stay in the neighborhood are in Haut Marais (Upper Marais). This is where you'll find Rue des Francs Bourgeois, Rue de Saintonge, Rue de Turenne, and Rue Vieille du Temple, peaceful and largely residential streets that are a fair distance away from the busier parts of the district. 




Ultimate Paris Guide by Neighborhood


Source: Wikimedia Commons 


Montparnasse in the 14th arrondissement is perhaps the most complex neighborhood in Paris. Typically, the popular areas in the city have this single, identifiable quality about them. There's the luxury in Champs-Elysées, the universities in the Latin Quarter, the LGBTQ+ hotspots in Le Marais, and more. But Montparnasse? There are too many to count! There's Tour Montparnasse, for example, which is a 231-meter (758 ft) tall skyscraper known for its stunning observation deck. The views up here are out of this world! At the same time, Montparnasse the Paris Catacombs, the infamous underground labyrinth lines with human remains. Talk about the polar opposite! 


Is Montparnasse Safe?


As mentioned earlier, Montparnasse is one of the safest neighborhoods in Paris. It's a largely residential district where peace and serenity reign supreme. You still have to be careful around Gare Montparnasse though. There are still a couple of pickpockets in that area.  


Louvre District


Ultimate Paris Guide by Neighborhood


Source: Wikimedia Commons 


The Louvre is possibly the most famous museum in the world. Home to some of the most iconic artworks ever made, it draws in millions of people year after year. With that said, did you know that the Louvre is also a neighborhood in Paris? For those who don’t know, the Louvre - Tuileries district is an affluent area. Though the world-famous gallery is the pièce de résistance, there's a lot more to expect in this part of the French capital. 


What Area is The Louvre in Paris?


The Louvre is located in the 1st arrondissement of Paris. 


What Neighborhood is The Louvre in?


The Louvre-Tuileries neighborhood. The place is named after the beloved museum and the nearby park. You'll also find the fashionable Rue Saint Honoré, Place Vendôme, and the arcaded Rue de Rivoli here too. 


Why is The Louvre Important to French Culture?


Even before it became the iconic museum it is today, the Louvre used to be among the most important palaces in Paris. The building complex once served as one of the main residences of the past kings of France. It only became a museum in 1793, after the French Revolution. And for French culture today, the Louvre is the ultimate testament to how Paris is truly the art capital of the world. 




Ultimate Paris Guide by Neighborhood


Source: Wikimedia Commons 


Saint-Germain-des-Prés is where the charms of yesteryear's Paris are still alive and well. If you're aware of the intellectual and artistic Café Society in early 20th-century Paris, Saint-Germain-des-Prés was one of their ultimate hotspots. It's here where they conversed in chic bistros, debated over hot cups of coffee in cafes, and had a gay ol’ time come nightfall. And the best part? Most of those historic hotspots are still in Montparnasse today. From Les Magots Deux to Café de Flore, these are must-sees in Paris! 


Latin Quarter in Paris


Ultimate Paris Guide by Neighborhood


Source: Wikimedia Commons 


The Latin Quarter is another bohemian neighborhood in Paris. Located in the 5th arrondissement, the place is best known as the home of the city's most prestigious and historic universities. There's the Paris-Sorbonne University, College of Sorbonne, Collège de France, Universidad de París V Descartes, and Université Paris Diderot Paris 7, among many others. And of course, the young students who go to these schools live nearby, resulting in the district's youthful energy. 


Is The Latin Quarter in Paris Safe?


Considering the kind and common age range of residents in the Latin Quarter, it's no surprise that the neighborhood is fairly safe and secure. Parts of the area are protected by the educational institutions located here. At the same time, the city recognizes that it also needs to ensure the protection of local and international students in the district. 


Where is The Latin Quarter in Paris?


As already mentioned, the Latin Quarter is in the 5th arrondissement, making up most of the administrative district. Parts of it are in the 6th arrondissement too. Both districts are located on the left bank of the Seine River. 


What is The Latin Quarter of Paris Best Known for?


As a whole, the Latin Quarter is defined by its universities and colleges. But if you moved to Paris and have been to this district a lot of times, you'll also realize that the Latin Quarter is also known for its bohemian energy. As for the tourist sites in the neighborhood, none comes as close as the Panthéon atop the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève. It's safe to say that this monument is the centerpiece of the Latin Quarter. 




Ultimate Paris Guide by Neighborhood


Source: Wikimedia Commons 


Yes, you read that right. There's a Paris neighborhood that's named Luxembourg. Located in the 6th arrondissement, it's a quiet and peaceful area with a healthy mix of commercial districts and residential buildings. Famously, this is where you'll find the Jardin du Luxembourg, one of the most popular parks in Paris. You'll also find the Odéon Theatre here, a great place to get quality entertainment in this part of the city. 


Is Luxembourg in France?


Yes and no. The Luxembourg district in Paris is in France, located in the city's 6th arrondissement. The Luxembourg country, on the other hand, is an entirely separate territory that borders France, Germany, and Belgium. The country is so small that it's easy to mistake it as part of France, especially since they speak French here too. 


Opera District


Ultimate Paris Guide by Neighborhood


Source: Wikimedia Commons 


Much like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre Museum, the iconic Palais Garnier also has its own neighborhood. The area that surrounds the world-famous opera house is known as the Opéra district  Since it's so near the Champs-Elysées, many of their famous attractions overlap. The Galeries Lafayette, for example, is technically in the Champs-Elysées area but it's so near the Opéra that many consider it as part of the latter neighborhood. Nevertheless, the undeniable centerpiece of this part of the city is the Palais Garnier, thanks in large part to “The Phantom of The Opera” 1910 novel and its eventual 1986 musical adaptation. 


Where is Opéra District in Paris?


Although the Opéra district is very near the Champs-Elysées area, which is in the 8th arrondissement, the neighborhood itself is actually in the 9th arrondissement. Both neighborhoods tend to get confused with one another as both are notably upscale and affluent districts.


Montorgueil in Paris


Ultimate Paris Guide by Neighborhood


Source: Wikimedia Commons 


Ask any Parisian and he/she will probably tell you that the easiest neighborhood to live in is at Montorgueil. Why? Because it has many stores that sell what you need. As touristy as Paris is. It's still a city where people live. So beyond the picturesque cafes and novel souvenir shops, Montorgueil has a lot of supermarkets. fish stores, cheese shops, wine places, and more. It's more for the everyday Parisian who has to go out every once and a while to buy food for their homes. 




Ultimate Paris Guide by Neighborhood


Source: Wikimedia Commons 


Part of what makes the Passy neighborhood popular among locals and tourists alike is that it's near the Eiffel Tower. It's not in the Eiffel Tower district, but it's not too far from the world-famous monument either. It's only a quick stroll or a quick taxi ride away. But what truly separates it from the rest of the city is that it's a quiet area. Though there are other peaceful parts of Paris, the fact that Passy is one is remarkable considering the nearby areas. It's even safe to say that Passy is the closest thing you'll get to a suburban neighborhood at the heart of Paris. 


What to Do in Passy, Paris


Apart from the usual shopping, eating, and sightseeing, Passy is known for visiting some of the best museums in Paris. It's in this neighborhood where you'll find Musée Marmottan Monet, Musée du Vin, Maison de Balzac, and more. Though they're not all the most popular cultural attractions out there, they're still must-sees in their own right. At the same time, you really ought to check out the Passy Cemetery too. It's a hauntingly beautiful necropolis; one of the most beautiful cemeteries in Paris. 


Where is Passy, France?


The Passy neighborhood is located in the 16th arrondissement. It's near various central districts such as the Eiffel Tower district, Trocadero, and more. 




Ultimate Paris Guide by Neighborhood


Source: Wikimedia Commons 


If you've seen various movies set in Paris, there's a good chance that you've already seen Montmartre. The neighborhood is world-famous because it's been featured in countless films, TV series, and other media. You can't blame the filmmakers and the like because the place really is that charming. It has maintained all its beauty from the past while always looking forward to the future. There's arguably no other Paris neighborhood that combines the best of both worlds quite like Montmartre. 


What to Do in Montmartre, Paris


It can't be stressed enough that there are lots that you can do in Montmartre. The district is one of the best places to have a calming cup of coffee on a rainy afternoon. Or to enjoy a nice stroll on a beautiful autumn morning. At night, you'll love hanging out in the bars and bistros here, the very same ones where Pablo Picasso, Ernst Hemingway, and Josephine Baker once hung out. 


Where is Montmartre Located in Paris?


Montmartre makes up most if not all of the 18th arrondissement of Paris. It's a large district that even takes up an entire hill, Butte Montmartre. This is famous for the grand Sacré-Cœur basilica that sits atop the hill. 


Is Montmartre a Good Place to Stay in Paris?


Not just good, many would argue that Montmartre is a great place to stay! Perhaps even the best in the entire city. What Montmartre gets right is that it has successfully maintained a balance between a residential area and a bustling district. There are parts where tourists can explore the most popular and intriguing hotspots and others where families can settle down and live a fairly quiet life amidst the hectic French capital. 


Is Montmartre Worth Visiting?


Definitely! Montmartre is a treasure trove of incredible spots. As mentioned, there's Sacré-Cœur atop Montmartre Hill, not to mention Place du Tertre, Place des Abbesses, La Maison Rose, Café des Deux Moulins, the Sinking House of Montmartre, Le Moulin de la Galette, and the Moulin Rouge cabaret. Not many might like to explore it, but the Montmartre Cemetery is a pretty remarkable sight too. 


What is Montmartre in Paris Known for?


It's hard to pinpoint exactly what makes Montmartre the popular neighborhood that it is. Perhaps the most common reason is its bohemian spirit. There's a quirk in every corner of this district, from whimsical cafes to charming bistros. And just as you'd expect, some places feel as if you've walked into a set of a Hollywood movie.




Ultimate Paris Guide by Neighborhood


Source: Wikimedia Commons 


The charm of the Ternes neighborhood is that it's quiet. Nestled at the heart of such a bustling city, you'll feel as if you're no longer in Paris when you're staying here. Although it can get busy at times, especially since it's near a metro station, it's not as noisy and cramped as the other areas on this list. And it has its fair share of coffee shops, groceries, wine places, and more to keep you fulfilled and entertained.


Is Ternes, Paris Safe?


Yes, it is. It's not even far-fetched to say that it’s among the safest neighborhoods in all of Paris. It's famously quiet here, so much so that you almost couldn't imagine any crime being committed here. 




Ultimate Paris Guide by Neighborhood


Source: Wikimedia Commons 


Tucked away in the 20th arrondissement of Paris, Belleville is unlike any other. It's arguably the most multicultural part of the French capital, thanks in large part to the immigrant communities that have settled down here. From Latin Americans and Africans to Asians and Arabs, the whole world is in Belleville! You can experience all sorts of cultures, try different cuisines, and discover something new at every corner. 


What to Do in Belleville, Paris


Learn. This is perhaps the best thing to do in Bellville, Paris. Since it's the most diverse neighborhood in Paris, there's no end to how much you can learn about different cultures and communities here. On top of that, this is also one of the most exciting places to eat in the French capital. You might even discover that your favorite food is actually from a country you never heard of or never thought of visiting yourself! 


Is Belleville, Paris Safe?


Unfortunately, Belleville doesn't exactly have the cleanest reputation. It's far from the safest neighborhood in the city but not exactly an area you need to avoid. You just need to be careful when you're walking the streets there, especially at night! 


Don't know where to stay in Paris yet? Don't worry! This ultimate guide will tell you which of the areas that make up this beautiful city will fit your needs better. At the end of the day, it's all about experiencing the true Paris, not just the one you see on postcards! 


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