Our comprehensive Paris neighbourhood guide - Paris Pass Blog
Paris Neighbourhood Guide

Our comprehensive Paris neighbourhood guide

October 17, 2018 9:00 am

Discover the city on your own terms with our Paris neighbourhood guide

Navigating Paris – let alone the metro – is an absolute mission and 100% worth committing to. Packed with art galleries, boutiques, patisseries and breathtaking architectural sites, even the savviest local can still discover something new to uncover in one of the many Paris neighbourhoods. Find out more below…

Paris Neighbourhood Guide

Different Districts in Paris

Rather than districts or New York City style blocks, Paris is divided into different sectors called arrondissements. The city is made up of twenty of them, though there’s a few that are going to be more relevant for tourists than others.

Many of the major tourist attractions are located in the 1st, 7th and 18th arrondissements, which include Tuileries, the Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coeur and more. For more on exploring Paris for the first time, check out our guide to exploring the capital for newbies.

The Latin Quarter

Nicknamed ‘the Latin Quarter’ after the nearby university students who once conversed in the lost language, this neighbourhood feels like a portal into medieval Paris. Centrally located in the 5th arrondissement along the River Seine, it’s a mish mash of modern restaurants, old world architecture, book shops and the inevitable student bar as it’s still a popular spot with the university and college crowds.

We adore the area so much that we actually pulled together an in-depth guide diving into the area’s highlights, from the renowned Shakespeare & Co bookshop to its breathtaking Gothic churches. And not to play favourites, but if you asked us what is the best district to stay in Paris – we’d probably say this one.

 

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Saint Germain

This sixth arrondissement hangout is where you’re likely to find the tourists and the upper class who can actually afford to live in this upscale spot. Lined with classic Parisian facades and strings of designer stores, there’s no denying its artistic charm – especially as it’s played a major part in the formation of the city’s creative elite throughout history.

Grab a brew at either Cafe de Flore or Deux Magots, where the likes of Yves Saint Laurent, Simone De Beauvoir and Ernest Hemingway once rubbed elbows with the greatest minds of their generation. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a celebrity as they continue to be popular spots with the likes of Sophia Coppola and Robert de Niro.

Montmartre

As one of the trendiest neighbourhoods in Paris, this 18th arrondissement neighbourhood was once where the city’s creative types brought colour to the city and left their stamp on the capital. In recent years, prices have hiked up and forced them out but they’ve left their mark as it’s becoming a thriving area filled with gorgeous independent boutiques, galleries, cocktail bars, cafes and the occasional sex shop. We’d recommend grabbing a baguette, cheese and wine and heading to the very top to Sacre Couer – Paris’ iconic domed white church where you can sit on its steps and bask in an unparalleled view over the city of lights.

Fan of French cinema? It’s worth stopping by Cafe des Deux Moulins which is located nearby, the nondescript little restaurant which was catapulted into fame by Amelie. Once you’ve finished your coffee and croissant, you can then take the funicular back down to the bottom of the hill to save you from making the long walk down.

South Pigalle

Fondly nicknamed SoPi by locals, this former red light district has cleaned up its act a lot and become one of the city’s coolest places to be. While Parisians may grumble about its rapid gentrification, it’s become a place where chic crowds gather to relax after work with a cocktail at Dirty Dick and dance the night away at Le Carmen (one of its many nightclubs). In the daytime though, it’s also a great place to indulge in some Parisian fashion buys as the rue Clauzel is packed with charming boutiques and vintage stores filled with past season designer buys.

Looking for a bite to eat? Buvette is a big favourite with the locals, though come prepared to queue at peak hours for dinner here. KB Cafeshop is also a great place to stop for a coffee if you need a recharge while Lulu White, a former seedy bar, has now become a speakeasy where you’ll find the coolest cats hanging out.

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