Did you know?
The Paris map shows the 20 different neighborhoods which are called arrondissements. In Paris arrondissements are named according to their number, which corresponds to an administrative district. For example, you might live in the 5th arrondissement, which would be written as 5ème (or 5e) in French. Looking at the Paris Map you can see that the districts spiral out from the center in numerical order. If you know the postal code of any address in Paris, you can easily identify which arrondissement it is located in because Parisian postal codes take the form of - 75XXX - with the last two digits being equal to the arrondissement (e.g. 75008 is the postal code for the 8th arrondissement). The suburbs are called the banlieues. The areas to the west of the city (Neuilly, Boulogne, Saint Cloud, Levallois, Versailles) are the most desirable and they are generally more peaceful than the city. Each of the Paris neighborhoods and arrondissements has its own special character which we'll try to describe below.
Which Paris Neighborhood is Best for You?
It's impossible to generalize each neighborhood, but the following should give you a broad description of the differences between the Paris neighborhoods and make it easier to get oriented on the Paris map. Also check out videos of the most scenic arrondissements and make hotel bookings for each Paris neighborhood.
1er - Louvre, Palais Royale
This is the geographical center of Paris and a haven for tourists. The Louvre, Les Halles and the Palais Royal are all here.
2ème - Bourse
A primarily business district. The Paris Stock Market (the Bourse) is located here and the Place des Victoires is a favorite destination for shopping in trendy boutiques.
3ème - Marais, Picasso Museum
Along with the 4ème arrondissement, this neighborhood makes up the Marais, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Paris. The Picasso Museum is found here, and many 17th century mansions that once housed the noblest families in Paris are still to be seen in this quiet and ungentrified neighborhood.
4ème - Marais, Hôtel de Ville
The heart of the Marais is a lively neighborhood with lots of trendy bars and restaurants and it's also known as the center of Gay nightlife. The rue des Rosiers is a centerpiece of Jewish lifestyle in Paris and the Ile St. Louis and the Ile de la Cité are the oldest parts of Paris.
5ème - Latin Quarter
This fabled neighborhood takes its name from the Sorbonne, where Latin was the common tongue for all students during the Middle Ages. The neighborhood has the feel of a small village and students mix freely with professionals in its winding streets. The rue Mouffetard is a primary artery where shops, international restaurants and student bars and cafés are found.
6ème - Saint Germain
Once the hangout for bohemians and intellectuals, this district has undergone gentrification and is now one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Paris. Trendy boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants can be found throughout this district.
7ème - Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower, the Musée d'Orsay, the Rodin Museum and the market street, Rue Cler can be found here.This very wealthy district is also known for being the home of foreign embassies and many international residents.
8ème - Champs-Elysées
This upscale neighborhood is in fact quite diverse. The area around the famous Avenue des Champs-Elysèes has lots of shopping and lots of tourists, while in the area to the East, between the Champs-Elysees and Place de la Madeleine, you'll find a mixture of 19th century buildings intermingled with businesses. This area is in many ways similar to parts of the 16th, but is generally less pretentious.
9ème - Opéra, Pigalle
A diverse residential area popular among an artistic crowd. This Southern portion is similar to the 2nd arrondissement, with a mix of residential and business buildings. The Paris Opera is located here as well as Les Grands Magasins (Galeries Lafayette and Printemps). Further North is Pigalle, home of the famous Moulin Rouge and the fading Red Light district.
10ème - Canal St. Martin
This lively and young district is the home of the two biggest train stations in Paris, the Gare de l'Est and the Gare du Nord. This multi-cultural neighborhood also contains a bohemian element. The cafes and restaurants along the Canal Saint-Martin make it a popular destination for both Parisians and tourists.
11ème - Bastille
Place de la Bastille and the New Opera are found here. This is a primarily residential district popular among artists. Its well known for its nightlife which is centered around the Rue de la Roquette and the Rue Oberkampf.
12ème - Bercy
A residential neighborhood bordered on the east by the Bois de Vincennes. The Promenade Plantée, an elevated greenbelt that stretches for almost 3 miles from Place de la Bastille and the indoor arena, Palais Omnisports de Bercy are also located here.
13ème - Place d'Italie
A multi-cultural residential neighborhood which includes Paris' Chinatown and the ultra-modern Bibliothèque François Mitterand. The modernist Place dItalie is the site of one of the most ambitious French urban renewal projects and the Butte aux Cailles neighborhood with its cobblestone streets and numerous restaurants, cafes and nightlife, preserves a village-like atmosphere within Paris.
14ème - Montparnasse
Montparnasse and the Cité Universitaire are found in this residential district traditionally known for its lively cafés and restaurants around the Boulevard Montparnasse.
15ème - Parc des Expositions
This large primarily residential neighborhood ranges from very upscale in the area bordering the 7th arrondissement and the Seine, to relatively safe and affordable in the more outlying areas.
16ème - Trocadéro
Although it is not as exclusive as the 7th arrondissement, the 16th is widely regarded as the neighborhood for the wealthy. The areas around rue de Passy and Place Victor Hugo offer upscale shopping and the Place de Trocadéro offers a splendid view of the Eiffel Tower from its trendy cafes.
17ème - Palais de Congrès
This diverse district really contains more than one neighborhood, with the portion, in the West, near the Arc de Triomphe and Parc Monceau, being very upscale.
18ème - Montmartre
This artsy residential neighborhood situated at the top of a hill overlooking Paris has a small village feel. The view across Paris from the Sacré Coeur church is breathtaking and the nearby Place du Tertre is a popular tourist destination.
19ème - Parc de la Villette
The Parc des Buttes Chaumont. A residential neighborhood with many ethnic restaurants and shops. Parc de la Villette is located here with its Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie museum and cultural center.
20ème - Belleville, Père Lachaise
Belleville, Ménilmontant and the Père-Lachaise cemetery. Although traditionally working class, this outlying residential area is slowly becoming yuppified due to its affordable prices and its popularity among artists and creative types. Ethnic shops, culture and restaurants abound.
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