Paris

A Guide to the Neighborhoods of Paris

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Every year people from all over the world people travel to Paris. Some are looking to experience its cutting-edge fashion and art; others are attracted to its culinary scenes, and many want to witness the beauty of the historical monuments that surround the city. Although the attractions are plentiful, this is an insider’s city where every quarter seems to be uniquely rich in history. Not surprisingly, the summer is the most popular season to visit Paris. However, tourists experience a uniquely compelling experience regardless of their visit schedules; from the hilly cobblestone streets of Montmartre to the beautiful Belleville neighborhood.  

Shopaholics will also take delight in the city’s myriad of options, from chic department stores like Le Bon Marché to famed boutiques like Deyrolle.

Whether you are a regular tourist or a first-time visitor to Paris, we’ve put together this quick guide to the commonly visited districts will have you moving around like a local in no time!

Louvre – Palais Royal

Paris’s first arrondissement is the center of the city. The Louvre, Tuileries, Place Vendôme, the Palais Royal and Rue Saint-Honoré‘s upscale boutiques are all located here. If you’re looking to explore the rich culture of Paris, it’s best you start at the center of it all.

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Haute-Marais / Upper Marais


Both areas of the Marais have a very different vibe to them. If you are a person who likes tea and haute couture, you should definitely visit the Haute-Marais / Upper Marais. This neighborhood’s central location provides many sightseeing options. You can start your day touring Avenue des Champs Elysées for a plethora of luxury boutique shopping. Givenchy, Hermes, and Balenciaga are situated within the area. And for timeless architectural inspiration, Place de la Concorde, Paris’s largest square, is within view in every direction. Plus you get to catch a glimpse of a stunning 3,300-year-old Egyptian obelisk.

Batignolles

The Batignolles is a quiet oasis in a little-known corner of the seventeenth arrondissement. That is to say, this neighborhood is a laid-back haven of charming boutiques perfect for an afternoon of flânerie. Its village-like feel is ideal for a simple, authentic Paris-vibe, far from monuments and museums. Stroll through the 19th-century Square des Batignolles (an idyllic small park with a small waterfall and stream). Peruse the shops along rue Legendre, enjoy the local organic market on Saturday mornings. Grab a seat outside one of the charming bistros like Le Tout Petit.

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Saint-Germain-des-Prés

Perfect if you are a lover of outdoor spaces, art galleries, Gothic architecture, and diverse crowds. Take off by foot and start from the neighborhood’s center where the Church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés rests. The Gothic-style building was built in 1163, and it displays beautiful wall frescoes. Subsequently, it is one of the oldest churches in Paris. A little further and you should meet the famous Café de Flore, where a seemingly ever-present tourist crowd gathers. Art aficionados will not want to miss Saint Germain’s intimate art galleries, including Musée Maillol and Musée Delacroix.

Bastille

The 11th arrondissement Bastille is located between the Marais and Belleville. Widely known as being a residential area for artists of all ages. So it serves as a perfect spot for artists seeking inspiration.

Montmartre

Sitting high atop a hill, Montmartre feels as though it is a world apart from the bustling Paris streets below. You can explore the corners where Hemingway once sipped his coffee and discover some of its classically designed bakeries. You should be sure not to miss the neighborhood’s biggest attraction, Sacré-Cœur Basilica. The Roman Catholic Church, located at Paris’s highest point, contains jaw-dropping mosaics and interiors. Meanwhile, food lovers should add Rue d’Olive’s to their “to-do” list! An indoor market, overflowing with fresh produce, international dishes, and has an organic wine bar. So what’s better than that?! 

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Elyssa Duncan (@elyssa_duncan) is a freelance writer for hire based in Boston, MA. She’s a lover of all things adventurous and spends nearly all of her downtime exploring new places to find the best local restaurants. Fascinated by culture and the psychology of relationship building, her dream is to travel the globe and experience the world’s regional cuisine, traditions, and people. When she’s not writing or taking on a bizarre food challenge, you can find her at the dog park with her two pups, Jaxx and Vinnie.

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