Paris is divided into 20 districts, or so called “Arrondissements”, each as different as the next. And these are articulated in the shape of a snail, the first arrondissement being in the centre of Paris, and the following ones moving outwards, keeping the spiral shape so atypical of the French capital.
Alright, this information may be useful, but it does not necessarily help you in your search. So let’s stick to the basics.
In a word, for families, the 1st, 5th, 6th and 19th arrondissements are recommended. On the other hands, if you travel with friends, the 4th, 5th, 11th and 18th arrondissements are the most appropriate to find your ideal accommodation. Are you coming with your loved one? The 2nd, 7th, 8th and 18th arrondissements are praised. And finally, for those on business trips, the 1st, 9th and 15th arrondissements are appropriate for your hotel or Airbnb.
We go into all the details just below. Thanks to our classification, you will be able to choose your favourite neighbourhood according to your budget, your priorities, or your desires. But first, let’s start with the basics!
How to choose your accommodation in Paris? The main points to remember.
When you come to Paris, there are two golden rules that you should always follow before finalising your hotel or Airbnb reservation:
- Stay as central as possible.
- Find an accommodation near a metro station (maximum 5min walk).
In principle, and in view of the number of properties that meet these criteria, you will be able to follow these two rules easily.
And you will then be able to find a location according to your interests. Below is a map that highlights the main monuments of Paris, it will give you a better idea of the layout of the city.
The city of Paris is divided in two by the Seine. And the river divides the capital in a very distinct way, making it easier for Parisians to find their way around. The north of the Seine is the “Rive Droite” (Right Bank), with the Champs-Elysées, the Arc de Triomphe and the Louvre. And the south of the river is the “Rive Gauche (Left Bank). Here you will find the Eiffel Tower, the Orsay Museum and the Pantheon.
In a word, the Right Bank is more affordable than its neighbour – with the exception of the 8th and 16th arrondissements, which remain very upmarket areas. Consequently this criteria also applies to the hotels, pubs and other cafés that you can find near your den. This information can influence your final decision, both in terms of location and type of accommodation.
Airbnb or Hotel, which is more convenient to visit Paris?
Yes, you know it, Airbnb’s are now as common as hotels. The choice is vast, and the price range varies enormously depending on the comfort you need.
Furthermore, Airbnb is generally cheaper than hotels. Whether you are with your family or friends, you will be able to find a flat that meets your expectations at a more friendly price than hotels.
Of course, unlike hotels, Airbnb takes away the possibility of having breakfast served on the ground floor every morning at 9am. But you should know that the majority of brasseries or cafés in Paris offer a breakfast formula for around 8€. What could be better than a cappuccino, a buttered croissant and a freshly squeezed fruit juice taken at the corner café?
Similarly, and for an even cheaper option you can simply go to the local bakery to buy a baguette or pains au chocolats, and enjoy them in your Airbnb.
Beware, getting back into your Airbnb in Paris sometimes requires tenants to walk up several flights of stairs. Indeed, the majority of Parisian flats are Haussmann-style and were built at the end of the 19th century, so lifts were not very popular at the time… If you are planning to travel with a lot of suitcases, strollers, etc., consider asking the owner if the flat is accessible by lift. This will save you a likely and unpleasant surprise!
It is also important to note that air conditioning isn’t common in people’s apartments in France. This means your Airbnb will most likely not have any A/C system. We know there is more and more heat waves, especially in July and August. Thus, if you come during these months and can’t do without A/C, you may favour a hotel. And if you need more details about the weather in Paris, you can have a look at our page here.
In a nutshell, Airbnb offers simplicity and larger spaces while hotels offer more comfort. Depending on your priorities and budget, you can choose one or the other.
How to enjoy your last day in Paris, without having to worry about your luggage?
Hotel or Airbnb, in both cases, you will most likely be asked to leave the premises around 11am or noon on the last day of your visit.
In order to enjoy your last day to the fullest, without having to go through a concierge or your hotel to collect your suitcase, consider booking Alfred.
We will collect your luggage at the time and place of your choice, and deliver it to the airport at the desired time, just before your flight.
A reliable and ideal service to enjoy your last moments in Paris with peace of mind!
The ideal accommodation for families:
Travelling with the family requires answers to questions that may not be in the cards for business travellers, or for travel with friends. It’s important to stay central, while staying in an area that offers opportunities for children to play. We have therefore chosen 3 areas that meet these criteria, and that offer proximity to a city park.
Our preference is the Latin Quarter (5th and 6th arrondissements). However, depending on your budget or criteria, you may be interested in the 1st or 19th arrondissements:
|5th and 6th Arrondissements||1st Arrondissement||19th Arrondissement|
|Proximity to main attractions||The Pantheon|
Pompidou Centre & Les Halles
|La Villette Park|
Saint Martin Canal
The Buttes Chaumont
|Proximity to a park||Luxembourg garden||Tuileries garden||La Villette Park|
|Main advantage of the area||The Latin Quarter has many child-friendly cafés and brasseries. Moreover, the area is mainly pedestrian, which makes it easy to get around. The Jardin du Luxembourg offers a haven of peace just a stone’s throw from the pedestrianised streets mentioned above, ideal to recharge your batteries in the middle of the city!||Line 1 of the metro crosses the 1st Arrondissement, and leads to all the main attractions of Paris. The majority of the monuments will be within your reach. And the Tuileries Gardens will allow you to take a leisurely stroll once the visits are over!||The Parc de la Villette has many attractions perfect for children of all ages. The Canal de l’Ourcq and the Buttes Chaumont are also within walking distance for a variety of daytime walks! The area is further away from the main monuments than its neighbours, which makes it possible to stay at a lower price.|
Besides, don’t forget to follow our advice before planning your next family trip to Paris. Some of the items listed here will give you the peace of mind that you are packing the essentials for your trip.
Choosing your hotel / Airbnb to visit Paris with friends :
When you come to Paris with your friends, it is essential to be able to find accommodation in a dynamic, vibrant area, but which also allows you to move around easily in the key places of the French capital.
To summarise, it is very complicated to select just one area. As a result, we selected 4 recommendations for your upcoming trip with your friends:
|4th Arrondissement||5th Arrondissement||11th Arrondissement||18th Arrondissement|
|Proximity to main attractions||Le Marais|
The Town Hall
Pompidou Centre & Les Halles
|Place de la Bastille|
Père Lachaise Cemetery
Place de la République
The Moulin Rouge
|Dynamic neighbourhood (bars, cafés, etc.)||+++||++||++||+++|
|Main advantage of the area||Between the Marais and the rue Montorgueil, there is no shortage of bars in the area. Close to many concept stores and independent shops and other thrift stores, it is ideal for those who also want to do a little shopping.||A district in its own right!|
Dynamic by day and by night, the Latin Quarter gathers the golden youth of Paris who wander between cafés, wine bars and theatres. The atmosphere is more chic but friendly. Besides, it is easy to get around in this mainly pedestrian area.
|It’s between Oberkampf, and the small streets behind the Place de la Bastille that everything happens after dark. The prices remain affordable, and the proximity of the district to the main monuments of Paris is not to be forgotten.|
The place is ideal for people who have already spent a first stay in Paris.
|More affordable in terms of price, but just as charming, Montmartre remains one of the most pleasant districts during the day, thanks to its artistic and authentic side. Once the sun goes down, go to Batignolles for a drink, or several!|
In addition, if you need some guidance to find bars, you will find here all our recommendations!
The best accommodation when visiting Paris as a couple:
Whether you’ve been to Paris before or not, you have a choice of locations to choose from, to create the perfect stay with your partner. In terms of accommodation, on the whole the 7th arrondissement remains ideal for a couple’s trip. Nonetheless, there are other options available to you as listed in the table below.
Consequently we have also listed in our criteria the proximity to restaurants, so that you have a choice of menu for a dinner for two after a long day of walking and sightseeing:
|2nd Arrondissement||7th Arrondissement||8th Arrondissement||18th Arrondissement|
|Proximity to main attractions||The Louvre|
Pompidou Centre & Les Halles
The Latin Quarter
The Arc de Triomphe
Place de la Concorde
The Sacré Coeur
The Moulin Rouge
|Choice of restaurants in the area||+||+++||+++||++|
|Main advantage of the area||Very central, the 2nd arrondissement has the advantage of being close to many monuments and unmissable districts, but it is also very well served by public transport. It is therefore easy to navigate from this district. Don’t forget to wander through the passages and shopping arcades on foot, before setting off to discover the neighbouring monuments!||Ideal for first time visitors to Paris, the area is prestigious, and beautiful. You may be lucky enough to have a view of the Eiffel Tower from your hotel/airbnb if the budget allows. Between museums and sumptuous buildings, the district is also ideal for shopping, especially on the main streets of the arrondissement.||The 8th arrondissement is as romantic as you could wish for, with the Champs Elysées, the Place de la Concorde, the Arc de Triomphe, and the banks of the Seine all in one place.|
For a more intimate stroll, the Parc Monceau is also accessible to the north of the district.
|Both touristy and authentic, the 18th arrondissement is a must in Paris thanks to the Sacré Coeur, the Montmartre hill and the streets around Pigalle. The former artists’ quarter has kept its charm thanks to its small colourful and flowery streets. A more affordable neighbourhood, but no less pleasant!|
Be careful to live in the southern part of the district.
And finally, once you have chosen your accommodation, you can then put together your itinerary. We give you all our tips here to make your stay with your partner or loved one as smooth as possible!
Finding your hotel when you come to Paris for a business trip:
Business trips are organised in a very different way to so-called “leisure” trips. Consequently, we have listed the areas that we feel are suitable for your accommodation.
Many people prefer to stay close to their daily or next day appointments. However, if you want to stay in a nice area, we highlight the 3 districts below.
Note that the 1st and 2nd Arrondissements allow you to stay in Paris, while taking advantage of a direct line to La Défense, the latter not always being pleasant at night because of its number of surrounding offices. The 15th is perfect if you need to get to Porte de Versailles. And the 9th is a pleasant, central district, which allows you to be close to Bercy if necessary.
|1st and 2nd Arrondissements||9th Arrondissement||15th Arrondissement|
|Proximity to Railway Stations and Airports||++||++||+|
|Proximity to business centres||Direct metro line to La Defense||Bercy||Porte de Versailles|
Issy les Moulineaux
|Main advantage of the area||Very central, the 1st and 2nd arrondissements are the best served by public transport. You can be anywhere in Paris in no time!|
Line 1 of the metro allows you to reach the La Défense district without any changes. Ideal for spending the night in the centre of Paris without wasting too much time getting to the business district in the early hours of the morning.
These 2 districts also make it relatively easy to reach the main train stations: Gare du Nord, Gare de l’Est, and Gare de Lyon.
|The 9th arrondissement is a more affordable part of Paris, but still central. Nestled between the Bastille and the Parc de Bercy, it is mainly dynamic thanks to the locals.|
Indeed, the district is very suitable for a 1 or 2 night business stay in the capital, especially if you are arriving or leaving from the Gare de Lyon.
|Especially popular with all those who need to spend one or more nights near the Porte de Versailles, the district allows you to keep a foot in Paris while being a stone’s throw from the exhibition centre.|
The 15th is also not far from the Gare Montparnasse.
In a word finding the perfect accommodation in Paris can seem tedious. However, by following the advice listed above, you have all the solutions in hand to find the perfect flat or hotel. Whether you are a couple, a family, friends, or on a business trip, Paris offers solutions for all types of travellers!
And don’t forget, Alfred is also there to take care of your luggage as soon as you arrive in Paris or later during your stay, so that you can visit this beautiful city, free of your luggage.
Let’s go! Now you are ready to visit the Capital of Lights!