A look at the different sections of the famous city and what they offer.
I was visiting Paris for the first time. I had my flight booked and was ready to look at accommodations when I realized; I have no clue where in Paris I should stay!
The first thing to note is that Paris is split up into districts known as arrondissements. 20 arrondissements to be exact. They are shaped like a spiral moving outward from the center (arrondissement 1).
So in which arrondissement in Paris should you stay? There is not one right answer. A lot depends on what you want to do and what type of vibe you're after. But, I do have some recommendations. Spoiler: My favorite is Arrondissement 11!
Arrondissement 3 or 4
If you are a text book tourist and love to knock off a list of tourist attractions (tourist traps and all), then you'll want to stay in arrondissement 3 or 4. Staying in this area allows visitors to walk around the historic area's narrow alleyways while viewing the many mansions and parks. You'll be walking distance to many popular attractions and museums including Notre Dame. There are many typical Parisian cafes and bistros as well as many hidden gardens.
If you're younger and like being around university students and the atmosphere that comes along with that; including the bars and cafes, then arrondissement 5 should be highly considered. With its location just south of Notre Dame on the other side of the river, this arrondissement is still very central to all attractions and home to many medieval churches and architecture. This area usually has cheaper accommodations, perfect for travelers on a tight budget.
If you are all about the romance, no question this is the area for you. Arrondissement 18 is home to beautiful narrow streets that seem to transport you back in time. This section of Paris is also home to the highest view of the city. Climb up to the top of the stairs for sweeping views that include the Eiffel tower in the distance.
Speaking of romance, we can't leave out the Eiffel Tower. Arrondissement 7 is where this famous landmark lives. If you'd love to be close to it, this is the area for you. Many hotels and apartments offer views of the Eiffel Tower right from their windows. In fact, even if you aren't staying close by, you can still find great views of the Eiffel Tower. If a romantic Parisian weekend full of high-end shopping is your ideal getaway, this is your spot.
You almost can't talk Paris and tourism without talking about the movie Amélie. If you want to be basic and visit the many sites where the movie was shot, this is the Arrondissement for you. But, honestly this is a great area in my opinion. You'll enjoy walking down Canal Saint-Martin and get to experience a more local vibe. You'll be able to find reasonably priced accommodations here.
I'm a sucker for a trendy, up-and-coming neighborhood. The 11th Arrondissement in Paris is this and so much more! If great restaurants, nightlife, rooftops and secret basement bars is your idea of a great Parisian experience, don't hesitate to stay here. It offers great prices on accommodations and it's a very safe neighborhood. If you're solely in Paris to enjoy tourist traps, look elsewhere. This is where the cool kids stay. I've stayed here, soooo.
Regardless of where you stay, Paris will surprise you (in a good way). I must admit I had low expectations of this city. I believed it to be over-hyped and not the Paris you read about in novels or see in movies. The truth is that all of that Paris-magic is still there, alive and well for anyone to find it.
For questions, feel free to reach out to me directly on Instagram at @Catching.Planes