What You'll Learn
This post will start with some quick general information about Paris that will help you plan your trip. Things like:
- Best time to visit Paris
- Weather in Paris
- How to get to Paris from the airport
- Getting around Paris by Metro
- Travel times around the city with the Paris Metro
- Google map tricks (to find great areas in Paris)!
After that, welcome to your Paris arrondissement guide! Discover what tourist attractions are in each of the Paris neighbourhoods (including maps) and what else you can expect there.
Then we'll wrap it up with the best arrondissements in Paris to stay in.
If you are looking for accommodations in Paris, check out this great post on apartment hotels in Paris, which is the latest trend starting across Europe. Find out why aparthotels are fast becoming the Airbnb alternative in Europe.
Paris Travel resources
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Best Time to Visit Paris
Paris is a very popular city in Europe. It gets about 30 million visitors a year. When is the best time to visit Paris for you?
There are many factors that you will have to consider. Crowds and prices vary throughout the year, and events like Paris Fashion Week can make hotels harder to find.
June, July and August
These are the most popular months to visit Paris. You will be fighting more crowds, and the lineups will be longer. Skip the Line tickets mean you don't have to wait in another line just to buy tickets. So be sure to book your sunset Seine River Cruise well in advance. All attractions will be open in the summer months.
Accommodations will be harder to find if you don't book well in advance. June will be the most expensive month on average. Prices in June will be 30-40% higher compared to a month like March.
The weather will be best in the summer, with highs of around 25°c (77°f). Don't forget your umbrella as July receives the second most amount of rain throughout the year.
Shoulder Seasons in Paris
The shoulder seasons in Paris are September, October, March, April and May. These months are one of the best times to visit Paris. Crowds are much smaller, with shorter lineups for the major attractions.
Prices will be much less in these months, and you get a better selection of accommodations.
In the fall, you get to experience the trees slowly changing colours. While in the spring, everything is coming to life.
Watch out for Paris Fashion Week. It usually runs at the end of September for their Fall/Winter shows. Hotels will be hard to find during this time and cost more.
If you want to experience Paris but are on a tight budget, this is your time. Christmas to New Year's Eve and Paris Fashion Week (at the end of February) will be more expensive. Much like Paris Fashion Week in September, hotels will be harder to find during the Spring/Summer fashion event.
Paris doesn't get much snow, but it will be colder, so bring a warmer coat.
Weather in Paris
Temperatures in Paris
Rainfall in Paris
How to Get from Charles De Gaulle to Paris
Photo credit © Paris Tourist Office - Photographer: Amélie Dupont
If you are flying into Paris, you will arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport Paris CGD or Orly Airport ORY. (Check flight prices to Paris). I recommend using the Paris Metro or getting an airport transfer. Driving in any big European city can be a challenge. Traffic is frustrating, and parking is even worse.
Taking the Metro
The Charles de Gaulle Airport Paris is about 45-90 minutes by Paris Metro to the various Paris neighbourhoods.
The best site to check is the RATP site. It has all the different ways to get from the airports to the city. From CDG, you can take the Roisseybus, RER B Train, or Bus 350/351. The cost to take the Paris Metro from the Charles de Gaulle airport is between €6 to €12. See the current Paris Metro Prices here.
Charles de Gaulle to Paris taxi cost will be between €50-55. This is the Paris airport taxi flat rate, and can take just as long as the Metro.
Transfer from Charles de Gaulle Airport to Paris (and others)
Charles de Gaulle (CDG) is the main international airport for Paris. You will most likely be flying into this airport.
There are two smaller airports also in the area. Orly (ORY) is south of Paris and Beauvais (BVA), which is north of the city (a hub for low-cost carriers).
Getting an airport transfer from Charles de Gaulle to Paris is a great option, especially for a small group or family. The prices vary depending on the number of people.
You can book it in advance and have them ready to pick you up when you arrive. No fighting for a taxi or trying to haggle with prices.
Here is a list of different airport transfer options from all the airports: Charles de Gaulle (CDG) , Orly (ORY) and Beauvais (BVA).
Getting Around Paris by Metro
One of the cheapest ways to get around Paris is with the Metro. Also, it's one of the most efficient ways.
You don't have to deal with traffic, giant traffic circles or especially parking. Whenever I am visiting a large European city, I always use the public transit system.
I recommend getting the Paris Visite Travel Pass. You can choose between a 1,2,3, or 5-day pass, allowing you to travel in zones 1 to 3.
If you prefer to pay per ride, you can get a t+ ticket. Currently, a one-way ticket is €1.90, or you can get a 10 pack for €14.90.
If you plan on visiting monuments, museums and art galleries like the Louvre, Musee d'Orsay, consider the Paris Pass. It gets you free entry and fast track into 60+ sites, PLUS the Paris Visite Travel Pass.
Travel Times - Paris Tourist Attractions to Every Arrondissement
Okay, this is where I went a little crazy, but hey, my craziness benefits you. The charts below show the average travel times using the Paris Metro from the various Paris neighbourhoods to famous landmarks in Paris.
Keep in mind these travel times will vary. It all depends on the time of day and where you are leaving from within that neighbourhood. The ones within 0-8 minutes travel time generally indicate that they are more than likely within walking distance.
Walking Times Are Included in Estimates
The Eiffel Tower on a map looks quite close to some areas like the 3rd arrondissement. Physically it is, but the Eiffel Tower is at the end of the Champs de Mars park.
Depending on where you are staying within the arrondissement, these travel times will include a walk to the metro or bus stop. From there, you will be walking 12 minutes when you get to Champ de Mars.
A 41-minute travel time below to the Eiffel Tower includes 15-20 minutes of walking time from the bus/metro stops.
Travel times in minutes in Paris by Metro - 11th-20th Arrondissements
Travel times in minutes in Paris by Metro - 11th-20th Arrondissements
As you can see by the charts above, the inner 10 arrondissements are closer to the majority of the attractions, with an average travel time of 15-23 minutes with the Paris Metro. That's really not that bad, is it?
How to Pronounce Arrondissement?
How do you pronounce arrondissement? Wow, that's a mouthful. The video below will help you know how to pronounce it.
What does arrondissement mean? They are the Paris neighbourhoods divided into administrative districts. Each one has a number designation. Each of the Paris neighbourhoods also has a name. You may hear them referred to as either-or.
For example, the 3rd arrondissement of Paris is also known as Temple. Don't worry, you don't have to remember them all. The complete list is in this post.
How Many Arrondissements Are There in Paris?
There are 20 arrondissements in Paris, arranged in a clockwise spiral. Each with its unique vibe and feel. Some are packed with the sites you want to see. Others are cool Paris neighbourhoods with fashion, galleries, food and drink.
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This book includes colour maps and images throughout. Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests.
Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots.
Paris Map of Arrondissements
While the charts above are a great idea on travel times, I also need to visualize things. That's why I made this map to help understand how the 20 arrondissements are laid out and where all the major tourist attractions in Paris are within those.
As you can see below in the map of Paris arrondissements, they start in the centre and spiral clockwise outward.
Map of 20 Famous Paris Tourist Attractions
Is Closer Better?
Being closer to the middle keeps you in the heart of the action. Depending on where you are staying, it may come with the trade-off of more noise at night.
Smaller boutique hotels may not have air conditioning (very common). In the warmer summer months, you will want to open your window at night and can be noisy from the lively streets below. Restaurants, cafes and bars will also be busier.
Being further away will mean a slightly longer travel time to get to the centre of Paris. The advantage is you will have a quieter evening. You'll have less crowded areas and be able to enjoy local bars and restaurants a little easier.
It really comes down to the type of traveller you are.
Google Map Tricks to Find Great Areas in Paris
There are two great little tricks to using Google Maps that most people don't know about. The first one has been in front of you the whole time whenever you are on Google Maps.
Below is a zoomed-out view on Google maps of Sacré-Cœur in the 18th arrondissement. Do you notice anything? Do you see those orange areas in patches around the streets?
Those light orange areas on Google Maps indicate high foot traffic areas. In other words, this is where the action is. If you zoom in on those areas, you will see why it's a high foot traffic area.
Once you zoom in, you can see more orange areas and understand why everyone is walking around here. It's loaded with restaurants and shops. If you are looking for a place to stay in Paris, this is a great way to see the neighbourhood surrounding your accommodations.
You can even take it one step further. You can go to Paris right now and walk in the neighbourhood you want to stay in. Well, virtually, at least. The video below will show you how. It's a great way to scout the area and get a feel for it.
A Quick Guide to the 20 Arrondissements of Paris
This is your quick guide to all 20 arrondissements of Paris. Included is a short description of each and their notable landmarks.
You may often hear about arrondissements being on the Left Bank or Right Bank. Here is a simple explanation so you can understand it.
The Seine River flows west. If you were to stand looking west down the Seine River, to your right is the Right Bank and to the left is the Left Bank.
The Right Bank of Paris ( Paris Rive Gauche ) is the part of the city north of the Seine river which divides the city. The Left Bank of Paris ( Paris Rive Droite ) is south of the Seine River.
Included are maps for each arrondissement in groups of five for a visual reference.
1st Arrondissement - Louvre - Right Bank
The name Louvre for this neighbourhood tells you what's here. The 1st arrondissement is home to the Louvre and the Tuileries Gardens. Both of these take up a large portion of one of the city's smallest arrondissements.
The remaining area is filled with businesses, making it the least populated district of Paris. You can find many luxury jewellers and designer boutiques here.
- Tuileries Gardens
- La Conciergerie
- Place du Châtelet
- Place Vendôme
2nd Arrondissement - Bourse - Right Bank
This is the smallest of the arrondissement of Paris.
It is a dense concentration of business also highlighted by the textile industry. This means early morning starts for the trucks that make the industry hum. If you plan on staying here, keep that in mind.
You will find lots of shops and cafes here, great for taking an afternoon break. Go explore the Passage des Panoramas, Paris' oldest covered passageways.
- Passage des Panoramas
- Passage Choiseul
- Many Theatres
- Tour Jean sans Peur
3rd Arrondissement - Temple - Right Bank
The 3rd arrondissement is home to the northern part of the famous medieval quarter, Le Marais. It is the quieter part of Le Marais with the livelier portion in the 4th arrondissement to the south.
Here you will find many designer boutiques and high-end restaurants, making it one of the more expensive places. Art lovers come here for the many art galleries highlighted by the Picasso Museum.
- Le Marais (Northern part)
- Musée Picasso
- Carreau du Temple (covered market)
- Musée de l'Histoire de France
4th Arrondissement - Hôtel-de-Ville - Right Bank
The 4th arrondissement of Paris is a mix of Renaissance-era architecture with the Place de Vosges, contrasted by the modern Centre Pompidou. The 4th also houses the livelier southern part of Le Marais, with hipster boutiques and well-known gay bars.
The Jewish Quarter still has many kosher restaurants. It's known for having little streets filled with cafes and shops. It can be quite busy due to its popularity.
It is also home to the world-famous Notre Dame Cathedral.
- Le Marais
- Place de Vosges
- Tour Saint-Jacques
- Notre Dame Cathedral
- Centre Pompidou
- Hôtel-de-Ville ( Paris city hall )
5th Arrondissement - Panthéon - Left Bank
There is still an influence of the Roman times that once were here. Known as the Latin Quarter, and known for its universities, colleges and prestigious high schools. It gets its name from the Latin language that was spoken here by the students in Medieval times at Sorbonne University.
It can be packed with students, making it "fun" to navigate, but in turn, offers great nightlife and some cheaper eats in places. This is one of the oldest parts of Paris, which adds to its charm. The Jardin des Plantes botanical gardens and Natural History Museum is great for family activities.
- Rue Mouffetard (markets, bars and restaurants)
- National Museum of Natural History
- Jardin des Plantes
- Latin Quarter
6th Arrondissement - Luxembourg - Left Bank
The 6th is world-renowned for its beautiful architecture and highly influential post-war intellectual and literary movements. It is considered one of the wealthiest districts in Paris.
It is also known for its cafes and high concentration of some of Paris' best-known monuments. Its centrepiece Luxembourg Palace and surrounding gardens are a must-see.
- Luxembourg Gardens
- Pont Neuf
- Pont des Arts
- Saint Sulpice Church
7th Arrondissement - Palais-Bourbon - Left Bank
This is where 7 million people a year come because of one iconic thing. The Eiffel Tower. Situated on the Seine River and very central, this picturesque arrondissement has been home to Paris' upper class for over 400 years.If you are a foodie, then you will enjoy the many cafes and restaurants with beautiful views. Staying here can be expensive, but more than likely, you will want to visit it.
- Eiffel Tower
- Champ de Mars
- Musée d'Orsay
- Musée Rodin
- Hôtel des Invalides
8th Arrondissement - Élysée - Right Bank
The 8th arrondissement of Paris is one of Paris' main business districts. Celebrities stay here when they come to visit. If that's you, then what the heck are you doing on my blog (please share!)? If it's not you, then it might just be a place to visit.
It is home to many upscale retail shops. It is also home to some of the most famous landmarks in Paris like the Arc de Triomphe, Champ-Élysées, and Place de la Concorde.
Even the French President lives here. How's that for chic?
- Place de la Concorde
- Élysée Palace
- Arc de Triomphe
- Grand Palais
9th Arrondissement - Opéra - Right Bank
The 9th arrondissement of Paris has the namesake of the famous Opéra Garnier (Paris Opera and Ballet) resides within. Here you will find Paris' grand department stores like Printemps and LaFayette, along with great little restaurants. I'll tell you a secret. This is the place a lot of Europeans prefer to stay and hang out.
If you want to get a more European feel of Paris and see local Parisian life, this is the place. It's worth checking out the old-world-covered passages along the Grand Boulevards.
- Opera Garnier
- Musée du Parfum
- Printemps department store
- Lafayette department store
10th Arrondissement - Entrepôt - Right Bank
The 10th arrondissement shares a border with the 9th arrondissement. Therefore it shares some of the same feel and charm. You can find global foods, trendy restaurants, and gourmet street vendors.
The Canal Saint Martin has small footbridges crossing it and is lined with bohemian cafes. It is home to two of the largest and busiest train stations in Europe, Gare du Nord (north) and the Gare de L'Est (east).
- Canal Saint-Martin
- Church of Saint-Laurent
- Church of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul
- Porte Saint-Denis
- Porte Saint-Martin
11th Arrondissement - Popincourt - Right Bank
This is one of the most densely populated urban districts in Europe. What does that mean to you? It means it is a very lively and energetic part of Paris.
If you are looking for trendy restaurants, cafes and nightlife, then head over to Faubourg St Antoine Street. Oberkampf in the 11th is known for its young, hip vibe and popular nightlife. The 11th is developing into a trendy district in Paris.
- Place de la Bastille (shared with 4th, & 12th)
- Place de la République
- Saint-Ambroise Church
- Boulevard Richard Lenoir
12th Arrondissement - Reuilly - Right Bank
The 12th arrondissement is one of the largest in Paris. It is an affordable and safe place to stay in Paris, with an abundance of hotels, hostels and apartment rentals. It is a quiet residential neighbourhood.
A large portion of the 12th arrondissement is taken up by the Bois de Vincennes, the city's largest park. You may want to check out Marché Beauvau, a classic Parisian covered market.The Ópera Bastille is a modern Paris opera house right where the 4th and 11th arrondissements meet in Bastille.
- Bois de Vincennes
- Ópera Bastille
- Place de la Bastille (shared with the 4th & 11th)
- Parc de Bercy
- Paris Zoological Park
- Marché Beauvau
- Market D'aligre
13th Arrondissement - Gobelins - Left Bank
The 13th arrondissement is famous for Paris' main Chinatown. You'll find various Asian cuisine and shopping here.
France's main library also is found in the 13th, with its impressive architecture looking like a giant set of bookends.The hilltop neighbourhood of Butte aux Cailles neighbourhood is worth checking out. At night you will find cafes and bars operating on riverboats, cruising the Seine.
- Bibliothèque nationale de France
- Quartier Asiatique (Asian Quarter)
- Stade Sébastien Charléty (Soccer stadium)
14th Arrondissement - Observatoire - Left Bank
The 14th arrondissement of Paris is home to the famous Catacombs of Paris that draws tourists from all around the world. A short walk from there, you can check out the Montparnasse Cemetery.
The Paris Observatory, just northeast of the Catacombs, is one of the largest astronomical centres in the world.
Head up to the Montparnasse Tower for a great view of Paris. You'll get a bird's eye view of Paris with the Eiffel Tower keeping watch over the city. The 14th will bring you many bistros and creperies for that perfect afternoon snack and coffee.
- Paris Catacombs
- Paris Observatory
- Montparnasse Cemetery
15th Arrondissement - Vaugirard - Left Bank
The 15th houses the Front de Seine high-rise district. It also shares part of the Montparnasse area with the 14th arrondissement.Here you can head up the Montparnasse Tower for a great view of Paris. With its north bordering on the 7th arrondissement, you'll find yourself close to sites like the Eiffel Tower.
- Parc Georges-Brassens
- Montparnasse Tower
- Parc André Citroën with the Ballon de Paris
- Île aux Cygnes (with a replica Statue of Liberty)
16th Arrondissement - Marseille - Right Bank
The 16th is a very residential area home to many foreign embassies, so you will find a mix of families from other countries living here.
Parts of it are also across the Seine River from the 7th arrondissement home of the Eiffel Tower. So you can get good views of the Eiffel Tower from here.
There are great family things to see here with the Exploradome science museum and Garden of Acclimatization children's amusement park.
Hilly Passy is a very affluent part of Paris which brings you some very trendy restaurants.
If sports are your thing, in particular soccer, you will enjoy Parc des Princes, home of Paris Saint-Germain Football Club.
- Palais de Tokyo
- Arc de Triomphe
- Parc des Princes
- Jardin d'Acclimatization (children's amusement park)
- Jardin des Serres d'Auteuil (greenhouse)
- Exploradome (science museum)
17th Arrondissement - Batignolles-Monceau - Right Bank
The 17th is an up and coming area with many young families in the Batignolles area and the trendy bustling Place de Clichy.
In the Batignolles, you find classic narrow Parisian streets lined with wine bars, shops and restaurants with a bohemian flair.
- Arc de Triomphe
- Marché Poncelet
- Place de Clichy
18th Arrondissement - Butte-Montmartre - Right Bank
Have you heard of Moulin Rouge? It's on the south side of the 18th, along with Pigalle, an area formally known for its sex shops and Red Light District.
Venturing to the hilltop neighbourhood of Montmartre, topped with Sacré-Cœur overlooking the district, is a must. Just be wary of pickpockets around the Basilica, as tourists get distracted in the crowds. You can also take the funicular railway to the highest part of the Montmartre if the stairs and inclines are too much.
South Pigalle is bustling with locals. Butte Montmartre is becoming one of the hottest places to be in Paris. Foodies will want to check out Rue des Martyrs. If you want to check out the eclectic bar scene with something for everyone, you should find your way to Rue Frochot.
- Sacré-Cœur Basilica
- Funiculaire de Montmartre
- Moulin Rouge
19th Arrondissement - Butte-Chaumont - Right Bank
The 19th arrondissement is a quieter, family-friendly part of the city. The northern part of the 19th is a little less desirable, much like many areas of Paris as you get further away from the city centre.
It is home to some nice markets and parks, but as for touristy things, there isn't too much to find here.
Buttes Chaumont Park is a beautiful 19th-century park with waterfalls, towering trees and a lake. There is also an old iron railway here.
- Parc des Buttes Chaumont
- Parc de la Villette
20th Arrondissement - Ménilmontant - Right Bank
If you are a Jim Morrison fan, this is where he is buried. Pere Lachaise cemetery is the resting place of Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, and Chopin and more famous people. The mix of artists in this famous cemetery represents the diversity of this arrondissement.
Ménilmontant will have off-beat music venues and bars, while Belleville will have the trendier crowds. You'll find some great graffiti and other street art as you walk around the 20th.
- Père Lachaise cemetery
- Parc de Belleville
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Best Arrondissements to Stay in Paris
Now that you have a picture of the arrondissements in Paris, you are probably asking where are the best places to stay in Paris?
First Time Visitors to Paris
As a first-time visitor to Paris, you may want to look at Le Marais with straddles the 3rd and 4th arrondissements. The 3rd is quieter than the 4th, so you have some options there depending on your preference for nightlife or not.
More Upscale Neighbourhood in ParisIf you are looking for a little more upscale, look in Saint Germain des Prés in the 6th arrondissement. It's conveniently located beside the 7th (Eiffel Tower). Across the river are the 1st and 4th arrondissements, home to the most sites in Paris to visit.
Best Area to Stay in Paris Close to Everything
If you are purely looking for the best place to stay close to everything, then based on Paris Metro travel times and walking, look at the 1st, 4th, 5th and 6th arrondissements. They hug the Seine River and hold the majority of the famous landmarks that people come to Paris for.
Best Arrondissements in Paris Near the Eiffel Tower
You may be asking, are there cheap hotels in Paris near the Eiffel tower? I'm not sure if there are really "cheap" hotels near the Eiffel Tower. If you are looking to stay near the Eiffel Tower, you can look in the 7th arrondissement. Accommodations in the 7th will be more expensive.
If you are looking for an affordable option closer to the Eiffel Tower there are two places to consider. Look in the north side of the 15th and the west side of the 6th arrondissement.
Are you looking for the best place to stay with a view of the Eiffel Tower? Look across the Seine River in the 16th arrondissement or 8th arrondissement.
Best Neighbourhoods in Paris to Stay with Kids
In the 16th arrondissement, there are great family things to see here with the science museum and children's amusement park in Jardin D'acclimatation. It is also across the Seine from the 7th arrondissement, the gateway to all the major Paris landmarks.
The 12th arrondissement is also a great family-friendly neighbourhood with a great local feel. It is also one of the more affordable places to stay in Paris. The zoo is close by, along with parks like Parc de Bercy. Lots of great markets to visit that are a great way to experience Parisian life.
I always tell people travelling to Europe with kids that kids are adaptable. If you travel to Paris with toddlers, they won't care or remember where you stayed or what you did.
I say this from experience as a person that experienced much of Europe as a toddler, teen and father. It's more on how you prepare the kids for the trip.
Best Areas to Stay in Paris on a Budget
If you are looking for a place to stay in Paris on a budget, the 5th and 12th arrondissements are two districts to start looking into. The 5th has a high student population, so you may find cheaper accommodations, and you may be able to find budget-friendly eats and activities.
The 12th arrondissement is a nice residential area with many affordable hotels and apartments. It also has some quaint local markets and you can save some money on food by getting some fresh market goods. Never rented a vacation home? Here's your guide to vacation homes. It's a great way to save money and experience living like a local.
Paris Neighbourhoods to Avoid
This is a tough one. Everyone has their own thoughts on what they would like to avoid. If we look at it from a safety perspective, Paris is pretty safe.
Every city has its rough areas. Stick to the 20 arrondissements and don't go outside of them and the Ring Road.
As for the outer ones like the 12th to the 20th, look closer to the centre. This will be better even if just for travel times.Around the major train stations can be a little less desirable, more so at night.
READ REVIEWS! I can't stress this enough. Whether it's a hotel, hostel or Airbnb, reviews will tell you everything. Read a lot of them, not just the good ones, the bad ones too. People will tell you if the area is unsafe, noisy, or in a bad location.
More than anything, it comes down to being smart and safe.
- Don't scream tourist, or wear all your best jewelry.
- Stay in well-lit areas at night.
- There will be pickpockets in the touristy areas, so beware of people around you and keep your head up.
- Keep your valuables out of sight, or just don't bring them.
- Never flash money around, and carry only what you think you will need.