Where to stay in Paris for first-timers? This guide will help you find the best place to stay in Paris, depending on the purpose of your trip (sightseeing, nightlife, shopping or the Summer Olympics 2024).
Visited by more than 30 million tourists every year, Paris is one of the most popular destinations in Europe. And there is a good reason why! Paris features world-class museums, gorgeous architecture, high-end fashion and exquisite fine-dining.
Finding the best place to stay in Paris for a first-timer can be very confusing. The capital of France is a big city and it won’t be possible to walk everywhere. You have to be careful when choosing accommodation or you may end up spending too much time commuting.
Rive Droite or Rive Gauche
Paris is located on the Seine River, which splits the city into two parts – Rive Droite and Rive Gauche. Rive Droite (the right bank) refers to the area north of the river. This is where you’ll find the Louvre, Champs-Élysées, Montmartre, just to name a few. Rive Gauche (the left bank) is located south of the Seine. It’s home to the Eiffel Tower, Musee d’Orsay, the Rodin Museum and many more.
In addition to this, Paris is divided into 20 arrondissements. The arrondissement is the French equivalent to the district. The arrondissements are numbered from 1 to 20 in a clockwise spiral, starting from the Louvre on the right bank.
As a rule, it’s recommended for first-time visitors to stay in the single digits arrondissements. These neighbourhoods are most central, easy to get around, well-connected and generally safe.
You can easily find out in which arrondissement is your hotel by looking at its address. For example in “218 rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris”, the last two digits from the postal code 75001 refer to the number of the arrondissement. The smaller the digit, the more central is the neighbourhood.
Where to stay in Paris (a quick guide for first-time visitors)
- Louvre and Bourse – the best area for sightseeing
- Marais, Latin Quarter, Saint Germain-des-Prés – for 3 nights
- 7th arrondissement – for a view of the Eiffel Tower
- Champs-Élysées and Boulevard Haussman – for shopping
- Bastille and Pigalle – for nightlife
- 1st, 7th and 8th arrondissements – for 2024 Summer Olympics
My best tip is regardless of which arrondissement you choose, stay within a short walk of a metro station. It will save you a lot of time walking. Plus, Paris has an excellent metro system. This is great because even if you stay right next to the Louvre, you’ll still have to use the metro to get to some of the attractions.
Another important tip is to book well in advance (at least 3-4 months). Don’t wait till the last moment, because it will be very hard to find good and affordable accommodation.
Also, in general, hotels rooms in Paris are very small (even if you book a suite) and expensive. Bathrooms are even smaller. Thus, be prepared in advance and have reasonable expectations.
Don’t stay in the areas in the immediate proximity to the train stations, especially Gare du Nord (no matter how convenient it may look). The area around Gare du Nord is far from pleasant and not very safe.
I’ve been to Paris several times, staying in different arrondissements. And I can honestly say that the best area for me is the left bank of the Seine, right opposite the Louvre district.
You’ll be a short distance away from many iconic sights. Plus, the location is very strategic, at a walking distance to RER C (Versailles) and metro line 12 (Sacré-Cœur).
If you’re visiting Paris for sightseeing, I’d totally recommend staying in this area. It’s very nice, safe and central (as the 1st arrondissement) but the hotel prices are more affordable.
Most popular hotel in Paris
Looking for the best hotel to stay in the heart of the city? Then check out Hotel Saint Petersbourg Opera – it’s one of the most popular hotels in Paris, with a very central location for sightseeing.
The hotel boasts a fantastic location, just a short walk from Opéra Garnier and several metro stations. Walking distance to Louvre Museum, Champs-Élysées and Galeries Lafayette. Rooms are modern, spacious and quiet with comfy beds.
Why book – 180m from Opéra Garnier, air-conditioning, soundproofed rooms, 24-hour reception desk
Louvre – best area to stay in Paris for first-timers
The best place to stay in Paris for first-time visitors is the Louvre and Bourse neighbourhoods. These are the city’s most central districts. You’ll be at a walking distance to many historic sights, boat cruises and plenty of restaurants.
The Louvre district (1st arrondissement) is where you’ll find the city’s most famous landmarks. The Notre Dame Cathedral, Louvre Museum and Place Vendôme will be just a short walk away.
The Bourse district (2nd arrondissement) is located north of the 1st. It’s a great area for food, shopping and dining out.
If you look for the most central area, there is no better place to stay than the 1st and 2nd arrondissements.
Also, this is the best location if you’re wondering where to stay in Paris in winter. The most popular Christmas markets are at the Hôtel de Ville, Tuileries Garden and Notre-Dame Cathedral. And don’t miss the Christmas decoration of Galeries Lafayette and Le Bon Marché!
Keep in mind, that accommodation in this area is pricey. Thus, if you’re on a budget, take a look at the next section Where to stay in Paris for 3 nights (for still central, but more affordable hotels).
Benefits of staying near the Louvre
- the best area to stay in Paris for first-timers (at a walking distance or short metro ride from everything)
- easy access to the Louvre Museum (to beat the queues in the morning)
- the location is very well-connected to the rest of the city (with numerous metro and RER lines)
- Rue de Rivoli features many international brands along with great souvenir shops (perfect for shopping)
Where to stay in Paris near the Louvre
Hotels near the Louvre (Best for couples)
The hotel enjoys a perfect location in the heart of the French capital. Easy reach of many key places of interest, including the Louvre Museum, Opéra Garnier, Orsay Museum, Notre-Dame Cathedral.
Why book – 250m from the Louvre Museum, close to metro stations, quiet comfy rooms with air-conditioning
Fantastic location, right on the famous Rue de Rivoli, opposite the Tuileries garden. Walking distance to plenty of restaurants. The soundproofed rooms feature typical Parisian decor with antique furniture.
Why book – 250m from the Louvre Museum, close to metro stations, views of the Tuileries garden, comfy beds
Hotels near the Louvre (Best for families)
Situated just a short walk from Opéra Garnier, the hotel is a great place to stay for families. Well-appointed quiet rooms with good size and comfortable beds. Most of the tourist attractions are in the immediate vicinity.
Why book – 250m from Opéra Garnier, soundproofed rooms with spacious bathrooms
Fantastic location, only a few steps to a metro station and hop-on-hop-off bus stop. Close walking distance to many iconic sightseeing points. The family rooms are huge, especially by European standards!
Why book – 250m from Place de la Concorde, tea and coffee making facilities, spacious family rooms
Luxury hotels near the Louvre
An excellent luxury hotel, just a stone’s throw from the Louvre Museum and Notre-Dame Cathedral. The perfect location for every tourist, close to restaurants, attractions, a shopping centre and transport links! Amazing wellness centre with an indoor pool and hot tub.
Why book – 300m from the Louvre Museum, indoor pool and hot tub, luxurious spacious rooms
An amazing place to stay in Paris with easy access to the Louvre, the Seine and shopping centres. Fantastic spa facilities, including a pool, sauna, hammam and massage rooms.
Why book – 350m from the Louvre Museum, excellent spa and swimming pool, outstanding staff
Apartments near the Louvre
Stylish accommodation in a secure building with card entry after reception hours. Fabulous location, within a 3min walk from the Louvre. Plenty of options for eating and shopping close by.
Why book – 170m from the Louvre, quiet location near metro stations, air-conditioning, supermarket just around the corner
Modern, spacious apartments, only a stone’s throw from the Louvre and metro station. Nicely appointed kitchen and comfortable furniture.
Why book – 260m from Place de la Concorde, near plenty of restaurants, fully equipped kitchen
Where to stay in Paris for 3 nights
3-4 nights is the optimum amount of time to stay in Paris to explore the city. And if you can afford it, I’d totally recommend staying in the 1st or 2nd arrondissements. However, you have to keep in mind that the accommodation is a bit pricey, as these are the two most central areas.
Thus, for more affordable, but still, a central location, close to the tourist sights, take a look at 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th arrondissements. These areas are situated right next to the Seine River, at a walking distance to most of the tourist attractions. Yet, to visit some of the sights you’ll have to use the metro, but this is inevitable in such a huge city.
The best area to stay in Paris for 3 nights
- Marais (3th and 4th arrondissements)
- the Latin Quarter (5th arrondissement)
- Saint Germain-des-Prés (6th arrondissement)
Marais is one of the most charming neighbourhoods in Paris. It’s a posh area, full of trendy boutiques, vintage shops and cobblestoned streets, lined with small cafés. Most popular sights are Place des Vosges, Notre-Dame Cathedral and Hôtel de Ville.
Saint Germain-des-Prés is a classical Parisian neighbourhood. Situated on the left bank on the Seine, opposite the Louvre, it has an unbeatable location. The arrondissement is filled with art galleries, antique shops and charming sidewalk cafés. Here you’ll find the iconic Café de Flore and Les Deux Magots, as well as Le Bon Marche, the oldest department store in Paris.
The Latin Quarter
The Latin Quarter is a central district known for its culture and history. If you’re an architecture lover, this is the place to stay. Here you’ll find some of the city’s most famous landmarks, including the Pantheon and Shakespeare & Company.
From all of the three arrondissements, I find the Latin Quarter the best choice for location and price. It’s cheaper than Saint Germain-des-Prés and there is a bigger range of hotels than Marais.
Hotels in the Latin Quarter (Best for couples)
Select Hotel combines classic architecture and modern design in the heart of the Latin Quarter. Walking distance to Notre-Dame and Louvre Museum. Well-appointed rooms with comfy large beds.
Why book – 100m from Luxembourg Gardens, air-conditioning, close to numerous metro stations
A small gorgeous hotel with tastefully decorated quiet rooms. Close to a metro station, so it’s easy to access the whole city. If you prefer to walk, it’s only 20min away from Notre-Dame Cathedral.
Why book – 4min walk from a metro station, indoor pool and sauna, comfy beds
Hotels in the Latin Quarter (Best for families)
Serotel Lutèce features a convenient quiet location in the middle of the Latin Quarter. Spacious rooms, perfect for a family stay. Plenty of nice restaurants nearby.
Why book – 5min walk from a metro station, soundproofed rooms, air-conditioning
Excellent position in the Latin Quarter, close to the Luxembourg Gardens. There is RER station 4min away from the hotel, and several metro stations in about a 10min walk.
Why book – 250m from Luxembourg Gardens, great breakfast with a lot of choices
Apartments in Marais and Latin Quarter
Residence Henri IV offers luxury rooms and apartments with period furniture and painted ceilings. Location is fantastic, just a stone’s throw from the Seine and Notre-Dame Cathedral.
Why book – 590m from Notre-Dame, quiet at night, spacious rooms, amazing breakfast
Beautiful apartments in the heart of Marais neighbourhood. Very close to the Seine River, tourist attractions, public transport and restaurants.
Why book – 350m from Île Saint-Louis, air-conditioning, grocery store across the street
Where to stay in Paris with a view of Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is the city’s most iconic sight. So, staying in a hotel with a view of the tower is a dream for many tourists. There is no better experience than enjoying the flashing lights of the tower from your own balcony!
If this is what you’re interested in, then the 7th arrondissement is the best place to stay for you. It’s the most central neighbourhood that offers amazing views of the Eiffel Tower.
Located south of the Seine River, the 7th arrondissement is home to a handful of sights. You’ll be just a short walk from Les Invalides, Orsay Museum, Rodin Museum and of course the iconic Eiffel Tower.
Another option is the Grenelle neighbourhood. It’s a small district in the north part of the 15th arrondissement, next to Champ de Mars. Here you’ll find plenty of hotels offering rooms with a view of the Eiffel Tower. Just make sure you’re at a walking distance to Champ de Mars and near a metro station.
Best areas to stay in Paris with a view of Eiffel Tower
- 7th arrondissement – most central district, at a walking distance to many sights
- Grenelle (part of the 15th arrondissement) – not so central, but still well-connected by public transport to the rest of the city
Don’t stay in the 16th arrondissement. There are almost no tourist sights in the area and you’ll be too far from everything.
Benefits of staying near the Eiffel Tower
- many hotels have rooms with views of the Eiffel Tower (they cost a little more, but totally worth it)
- easy access to the Eiffel Tower (to beat the queues in the morning or for a picnic in the afternoon)
- many historic sights at a walking distance (Les Invalides, Orsay Museum, Rodin Museum, Louvre Museum)
- well-connected to the rest of the city with a handful of metro lines
This chic boutique hotel is just a short walk from Champ de Mars. The modern rooms are spacious and air-conditioned. Plus, there is a farmer’s market right across the street. It’s the best place to buy some baguettes, cheese and fruits for a picnic in front of the tower!
Why book – 800m from the Eiffel Tower, spacious soundproofed rooms, Nespresso machine
Located in the elegant 7th arrondissement, Hôtel Le Walt is a short distance away from the Eiffel Tower. Some of the rooms feature splendid views of the iconic sight. In addition, there is a huge Carrefour supermarket opposite the hotel (perfect for picnic foods).
Why book – 850m from the Eiffel Tower, private garden terrace, spacious bathrooms
Situated on Rue Cler, this hotel features a unique location. Rue Cler is one of the most delightful Parisian streets. It’s semi-pedestrianised with original cobblestones and boasts delicatessen shops and authentic street-markets. Stay here to experience Paris as a true Parisian!
Why book – 790m from the Eiffel Tower, comfortable quiet rooms with air-conditioning
Best area to stay in Paris for shopping
The best places to stay in Paris for shopping are Champs-Élysées (8th arrondissement) and Boulevard Haussman (9th arrondissement). Located on the right bank on the Seine, these two districts offer the best shopping experience in Paris!
The best area to stay in Paris for shopping
- Champs-Élysées (8th arrondissement) – exclusive high-end boutiques
- Boulevard Haussman (9th arrondissement) – home to the biggest department stores
The 8th arrondissement is home to the world-famous avenue Champs-Élysées. This is the area for all fashion lovers. The avenue features some of the greatest designers, including Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Hugo Boss. You’ll find tons of high-end shopping boutiques along the Avenue Montaigne and the Champs-Elysées.
The biggest department stores, Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, are in the 9th arrondissement. And if you need more, there is an abundance of exclusive shops along the Boulevard Haussmann.
Benefits of staying near Champs-Élysées and Haussman
- the best area to stay in Paris for all shopping lovers
- well-connected to the rest of the city by metro
- excellent fine-dining restaurants
- don’t miss the Golden Triangle (Le Triangle d’Or) – the area between Avenue des Champs-Elysées, Rue Montaigne and Rue George V
- shop til you drop on one of the Grand Boulevards, Haussman
- visit the queen of department stores – Galeries Lafayette
- climb to the top of the Arc de Triomphe for spectacular views in the evening (book skip-the-line tickets here)
Just a few strides from Champs-Élysées, the hotel boasts a fantastic location for shopping. Plus, the nearest metro station is less than a 5min walk (perfect for sightseeing). The spacious rooms feature contemporary design and city views.
Why book – 200m from Champs-Elysées, spacious air-conditioned rooms, breakfast until 2 PM
Located next to the famous Boulevard Haussman, this hotel offers a unique experience. You’ll feel like staying in a secret garden in the heart of Paris, thanks to the floral decorations of rooms. And for all shopping lovers, Galeries Lafayette is less than 10min away!
Why book – 100m from Boulevard Haussman, soundproofed rooms, close to metro lines
If you look for a unique place to stay in Paris, this is the best choice! Set in a 19th-century mansion with a courtyard and a garden, the hotel offers an unforgettable experience. The luxurious rooms boast high ceilings, large windows and marble bathrooms. And it’s in the heart of the shopping area!
Why book – 200m from Boulevard Haussman, spacious comfortable rooms with air-conditioning
Best place to stay in Paris for nightlife
The nightlife in Paris happens around Pigalle (9th arrondissement) and Bastille (11th arrondissement). If sightseeing is not your priority and you’re visiting the city to party, then stay in around Pigalle or Bastille.
Pigalle is more central than Bastille and closer to the tourist sights. Thus, if you plan some sightseeing after all, probably Pigalle would be the better choice for you.
Where to stay in Paris for nightlife
- Bastille (11th arrondissement) – home to trendy bars and hipster clubs
- Pigalle (9th arrondissement) – upscale nightlife with chic cocktail bars and burlesque clubs
A former working-class neighbourhood, today the 11th arrondissement boasts the best nightlife in Paris. Don’t expect any famous sights, but do expect many trendy restaurants, hipster clubs and extravagant rooftop bars.
The main party areas are around Place de la Bastille and Oberkampf. Trendy bars to add to your list – Moonshiner, Meltdown Paris and La Mercerie. Also, don’t miss Supersonic, one of the most popular music venues in the area.
Tastefully designed hotel with a fantastic location for nightlife. It’s just a short distance away both from Place de la Bastille and Oberkampf.
Why book – 500m from Place de la Bastille, close to 3 metro stations, air-conditioning
Located on the border between the 9th and 18th arrondissement, Pigalle is the city’s red-light district.
South Pigalle (SoPi) is the place to stay if you look for more upscale nightlife. The area is home to chic cocktail bars and of course the world-class cabaret, Moulin Rouge.
In addition, you’ll also find numerous trendy clubs and small hidden-away bars like No Entry. To get to the latter you need to pass through the cold storage room of Pink Mamma!
The hotel has a brilliant location, a short walk from Pigalle metro station and the world-famous cabaret Moulin Rouge. Lots of trendy restaurants close by. Plus, Montmartre is just 10min away!
Why book – 280m from Moulin Rouge, near 2 metro stations, air-conditioning, spacious rooms
Where to stay in Paris for the Olympic Games 2024
From 26 July to 11 August, Paris will host the 2024 Olympics! France wants this Olympiad to be environmentally conscious, so as a result, the games will take place in the heart of the city.
In fact, France will use 95% existing or temporary venues (to minimise the carbon footprint). Only three venues will be constructed – the Aquatics Centre, the Olympic and Paralympic Village, and the Media Village. The opening and the closing ceremonies will take place at Stade de France.
Where will the Olympic Games take place
The city’s most iconic sights will be transformed into sporting arenas. Champs-Élysées will become a gigantic cycle track. Château de Versailles will host the horse races. You’ll be able to watch the beach volleyball competition at the foot of the Eiffel Tower! And the Seine River will link all the sporting arenas.
Having in mind all this, I’d recommend you stay near the Seine in the area from the Eiffel Tower to Louvre. Paris has excellent public transport, so you’ll have no problem reaching each sporting arena. Just be sure to book a hotel right next to a metro station.
Best places to stay in Paris for the Olympic Games 2024
- Louvre (1st arrondissement)
- Eiffel Tower and Les Invalides (7th arrondissement)
- Champs-Élysées (8th arrondissement)
To help you decide where to stay in Paris for the Olympics, I’ve hand-picked the hotels below. All of them are right in the heart of the city, at a walking distance from the sporting arenas and metro stations.
Situated next to the Grand Palais, this hotel has the best location for the Summer Olympic Games 2024. You’ll be just a short distance away from Champs-Élysées, Eiffel Tower, Seine River and Les Invalides. And you can reach Stade de France, where the opening ceremony will take place, in 30min (take metro line 13).
Why book – walking distance to many sporting arenas, spacious rooms, excellent breakfast, private parking on-site
Hotel d’Orsay is just a stone’s throw from the Seine River and Les Invalides. You’ll be able to reach a few of the sporting arenas in less than 10min. Stade de France is 40min away (metro line 13).
Why book – walking distance to many sporting arenas, air-conditioning, excellent breakfast, public parking nearby
If you look for a convenient luxury hotel for the Summer Olympics, this is the best option. Overlooking the iconic Place de la Concorde, this accommodation is less than a 2min walk from Champs-Élysées. For the opening ceremony at Stade de France, take metro line 13 (20min ride).
Why book – walking distance to many sporting arenas, spa centre with indoor swimming pool, spacious marble bathrooms
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