Which Paris neighbourhood fits your personality best?
Paris is a city known for its timeless architecture, culinary escapades that delight every type of palate, and an eternal quest to discover secrets that locals guard close to their hearts. But beyond its most obvious appeal, it is the city’s diverse neighbourhoods that help to make it so special. Twenty arrondissements, each with a life of its own. Distinct corners dotted with bistro chairs, shaded boulangeries on quiet cul-de-sacs, and century-old churches. For the traveler seeking a Paris getaway that best reflects their own personality, here are a few neighbourhoods to consider.
Traveler Type: The intellectual cafe lover who thrives on art, outdoor spaces, and youthful energy. Saint Germain is home to outdoor cafes, bookstores, art galleries, Gothic architecture, and eclectic crowds.
What to Do: Though easy to take on by foot, try a different view of Saint Germain’s most beloved spots with Cédric’s Paris private tours, which whisks guests away in a classic French 2CV car to share charming squares and historical facts about the neighbourhood through local eyes. By foot, start in the neighbourhood’s centre at the church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Built in 1163, the Gothic-style building contains beautiful wall frescoes and is one of the oldest churches in Paris.
Nearby is the famous Café de Flore, where a mostly tourist crowd gathers on its enviable corner location. Art aficionados should not miss some of Saint Germain’s intimate art galleries, including Musée Maillol and Musée Delacroix. Get lost in the beauty of outdoor cafes on Rue du Buci, and on a sunny day have a relaxing afternoon in Luxembourg gardens for an al fresco French chateau experience. At night, head to Birdland Jazz Bar for some music and a nightcap.
Where to Stay: The Hotel La Villa St. Germain is a 17th-century mansion designed by famous architect J.P. Nuel. Contemporary design and stylish crowds make it a top choice for accommodations in Saint Germain. The street where it’s located is full of charming boutiques and galleries.
Where to Eat: Nearby in Le Marais, chef Mauro Colagreco’s creations in GrandCouer’s courtyard brasserie offer some of Paris’s most distinctive cuisine. Try the seasonal white asparagus dish, gorgeously displayed on a bed of barley. Café Le Procope boasts of being Paris’s oldest café and once frequented by Voltaire, Benjamin Franklin, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. It is worth visiting alone for its history and stunning interior design, complete with crimson walls and crystal chandeliers.
Traveler Type: For those who prefer high tea and haute couture, look no further than the Eighth Arrondissement. You crave decadent hotel design as much as a century-old museum.
What to Do: This neighborhood’s central location provides a number of options. Begin on Avenue des Champs Elysées for a plethora of luxury boutique shopping — Givenchy, Hermes, and Balenciaga to name a few. Naturally,after a day of shopping, relaxation is a must. Visit Spa My Blend by Clarins and its 75-foot pool. The pure white interior will calm any nerves and buyer’s remorse. For timeless architecture inspiration, Place de la Concorde is Paris’s largest square with views in every direction and a stunning 3,300-year-old Egyptian obelisk.
Where to Stay: Just steps away from Arc de Triomphe, Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris is a luxury hotel that has drawn guests from Walt Disney to Sofia Coppola, and for good reason. With contemporary design by architect Philippe Starck, the historical property exudes art de vivre, or the art of living, with a colorful, contemporary design that draws on 1930s glamour. Each of its 149 rooms and suites is carefully crafted around the property’s extensive art collection. There is also a 99-seat private movie theater for guests to enjoy.
Where to Eat: If there is one thing the French know how to do well, it is having a proper brunch. At Le Heures, in the always-popular Prince De Galles, A Luxury Collection Hotel, it’s a royal affair on Sundays — with a buffet brunch worth booking well in advance. An array of French cheeses and charcuterie, seafood, and gourmet pastries prepared by Chef Stéphanie Le Quellec attracts some of Paris’s most fashionable clientele. For an outdoor, personalized experience with views of the Eiffel Tower, Paris Picnic will provide a customizable gourmet food spread and bubbly — an experience that should not be missed.
Traveler Type: The ubercool music lover who revels in unpretentious and quirky cocktail bars.
What to Do: Everything comes alive at night in Oberkampf, and it’s best to go with the flow. For the bulk of options, Avenue de la République and Rue Moret are your best bests. For shopping and art galleries, head to Rue Charlot. For a taste of Paris’s indie and rock band scene, don’t miss Pop In. Café Charbon attracts hordes of crowds to its quintessential brasserie design and electro tunes.
Where to Stay: For an inexpensive room in a central location, choose Hotel Alhambra. Many of its rooms overlook a quiet garden where guests can also enjoy breakfast. In close proximity to the property are some of Paris’s most attractive destinations, including Notre Dame and the Bastille Opera House.
Where to Eat: Ober Mamma draws Paris’s local crowd into lines each weekend for a taste of wood-fired pizza and craft cocktails. Grab a seat at its sexy bar and watch the magic of Italian-fare creations in the open-air kitchen. The truffle pasta is the thing that dreams are made of — and so is nearly every pizza on the menu.
Traveler Type: The bohemian adventurer who doesn’t need a map and loves a decadent dessert.
What to Do: Situated atop a hill, Montmartre feels a world apart from Paris’s bustling streets below. Here you can roam corners where Hemingway once sipped coffee and discover one of its dozens of creperies and classically designed boulangeries. First-time visitors should not 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. Food lovers should visit Rue d’Olive’s indoor market, which is full of fresh produce, international dishes, and an organic wine bar. La Reyclerie is a gorgeous eco-friendly café made of recycled materials. There is an urban garden on the premises and monthly events. Craving an unforgettable baguette? Award-winning Le Grenier is your answer.
Where to Stay: Hotel Montmartre is a boutique hotel in the heart of the area, with interior design by Sandrine Alouf. The property is all about romance, with bright red colors and scenes of French and American cinema’s most iconic love scenes.
What to Eat: La Table d’Eugene is a local favorite located on a quiet hillside. Do not miss the lobster wrapped in a flaky fried pastry. For vegans and gluten-free options, Soul Kitchen is your best bet. Seasonal, organic fare and good, strong coffee make it a great option.