The most popular neighbourhoods in Paris are fun and thriving and beg to be explored on foot. The arrondissements, as they say in French, spiral clockwise starting from the city centre. Each neighbourhood has its own distinctive flair, quirks, and history. 

    No matter where you go, there’s no shortage of couture-lined boulevards, art museums, galleries, and quaint cafés where you can sit and watch people pass by. If you’re preparing for your next Parisian adventure, read on to find out the best neighbourhoods in Paris to eat, drink, party, and shop.

    What are the most popular neighbourhoods in Paris?



    Watch a performance at the opera

    Bastille, a neighbourhood located on the right bank of the Seine, had a significant role in the history of Paris. Little remains of its revolutionary past, although every now and then, you’ll see demonstrations between the former quartier and Place de la Nation. Now, it attracts a variety of people with its opera house, indie boutiques, grungy record stores, and diverse food scene.

    If you have the time or the budget, catch a show at the modern Opéra Bastille. Browse the shops at Viaduc des Arts for some unique finds or simply stroll along the elevated park, which extends beyond the neighbourhood.



    Shop at emerging Parisian brands

    Batignolles is a village-like neighbourhood with a bohemian flair, situated west of Montmartre. If you’re looking to shop, you’ll have a dizzying array of eclectic shops and vintage boutiques to choose from. This includes quirky concept stores like Dorothee Beucher and Les Passantes, which sell everything from accessories and ceramics to clothing pieces.

    The neighbourhood has plenty of trendy restaurants, boulangeries, and bistros in the area, where you can get fuelled up for a day of adventure. A go-to spot is Dose, which offers an alternative to the usual bitter coffee served in many neighbourhood cafes.

    Read more

    Canal Saint-Martin

    Have a picnic by the canal

    Canal Saint-Martin is a trendy area that's mostly known for its waterway. If you’ve seen Amelie, a Jean-Pierre Jeunet film, then you’ve seen the iron footbridge and shaded quays of the canal. The best way to experience it is on a boat ride. If you want to do what the locals do, you can have a picnic near the bank or head to a bistro called Hotel du Nord. It has become a local favourite ever since it appeared in Marcel Carne’s 1938 film.

    The canal is lined with internationally acclaimed and up-and-coming French designers. Further down the canal, you’ll find a creative workshop called Make My Lemonade, where you can learn how to sew and design your own clothes.


    Le Marais

    A historic Jewish district in Paris

    Le Marais is a fairly small neighbourhood in Paris. However, it has an impressive selection of cafés, bars, and boutiques sprawled across little alleys that are tucked away from busy Parisian streets. If you’re in the area, you should grab a falafel at L’As du Fallafel or other Middle Eastern eateries there.

    The Passage de l’Ancre is a hidden gem worth exploring. It’s an old cobbled passageway where people used to hide during WWII. You’ll find some quaint shops and eateries in the area, including Pep’s, which is the oldest umbrella repair shop in Paris. The neighbourhood also has a wide array of museums, such as Musee National Picasso-Paris and Maison Europeene de la Photographie.

    Read more


    Shop for vintage designer items

    Pigalle is a quirky and hip neighbourhood that’s on par with Haut Marais. Just a short distance away from Sacre-Coeur Basilica, it’s full of restaurants, bistros, and stores that can satiate foodies and gastronomes from all over the world.

    Pigalle is famous for its nightlife and contains the renowned Moulin Rouge. If you’re looking for a drink, go to Rue Frochot. This street is lined with a vast selection of bars that suit different tastes. You can get absinthe-based cocktails from Lulu White and Glass. There are several trendy boutiques in the neighbourhood, too. You’ll find a mix of vintage shops and concept stores, such as Sept Cinq and Mr. Fish.


    photo by flightlog (CC BY 2.0) modified



    Eat savoury crepes at a French bistro

    Known for its creperies, bistros, and shops, Montparnasse is a charming and laidback neighbourhood on the left bank of the River Seine. Some of the popular hangouts in the area include La Coupole, Le Dome, and La Closerie des Lilas.

    The Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art showcases different artistic movements every year, ranging from painting and photography to multimedia. You can relax and chill at the café in the gallery’s garden. For the best views in the area, you can go to the 56th floor of the Montparnasse Tower. You’ll have panoramic views of the French capital, including unobstructed views of the Eiffel Tower.

    Read more

    photo by besopha (CC BY 2.0) modified



    Grab a drink at a trendy Parisian bar

    Oberkampf is a vibrant and edgy neighbourhood in Paris filled with shabby-chic bars, basement dives, sleek wine bars, and concert halls. Its gritty nightlife scene draws in 20-somethings who are looking for a cold beer at an affordable price.

    Aside from its party scene, Oberkampf is known for its urban art. Rue Denoyez, which is a small alley right by the metro, has entire walls and windows painted with colourful art. It used to be lined with various boutiques and shops. Unfortunately, business was slow in the area, so it was eventually abandoned. Now, street art has completely taken over.


    photo by Patrick Nouhailler (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified



    Find peace and quiet at the heart of the bustling city

    The 1st arrondissement of Paris, Palais-Royal, is home to iconic spots such as the Louvre Museum and Tuileries Gardens. This 17th-century palace is just a few minutes away from the famous museum. Its tranquil gardens exude that Parisian charm without the tourists.

    Another peaceful spot that you can visit is the Jardin du Palais Royal. Lined with beautiful trees, rose bushes, and fountains, it’s a quiet refuge from the tourist traps of the Parisian capital. Families come here to bask in the sun and relax near the fountains.


    Saint Germain des Prés

    Visit cafés steeped in literary history

    Saint Germain des Prés, which is the 6th arrondissement of Paris, stretches from the left bank of the Seine to Jardin du Luxembourg. It has a rich literary, revolutionary, and artistic history. Two cafés in the area, Les Deux Magots and Café de Flore, were home to influential philosophers, writers, and artists in the 1920s and 1930s. Pablo Picasso, Albert Camus, Leon Trotsky, and Jean-Paul Sartre were some of the brilliant minds that frequented these cafés.

    Just a few minutes away from Eglise Saint-Sulpice, you’ll find the entrance to Musée de Luxembourg. At some point in time, it housed works from Rembrandt, Leonardo da Vinci, and Raphael. It doesn’t have permanent collections, so exhibits change a few times a year.


    photo by Celette (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    The Latin Quarter

    Explore iconic Parisian bookstores

    Every book lover should visit the Latin Quarter, which is the 5th arrondissement of Paris. It’s one of the city’s oldest neighbourhoods, known for its medieval alleyways, family-friendly attractions, and bookshops, including Shakespeare & Company. It’s home to Sorbonne, the city’s second-oldest university. Also located here is the Pantheon, a mausoleum containing the tombs of famous French citizens, including Victor Hugo, Voltaire, and Marie Curie.

    Beyond its medieval and Renaissance sites, it has a vast range of upscale and budget-friendly restaurants, boutiques, hotels, and more. Some of them you’ll find in Place de l’Odeon. During warm months, tourists and locals alike flock here to bask in the sun and sip coffee before the charming Parisian buildings that line the square.


    photo by Oliver Romo Miranda (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified



    Take a stroll in the most artistic district of Paris

    Montmartre is one of the most picturesque districts in the city. It’s a quaint neighbourhood that feels like a village in a big city. Built on a hill, it has the splendid Sacré-Coeur Basilica as its centrepiece. Famous for its artistic scene that still attracts painters, musicians and writers, Montmartre is a pretty active area at night. You’ll find nightclubs, live music venues and, down the hill on the southwestern side, the world-famous cabaret show at Moulin Rouge.

    Read more

    Location: 18th Arrondissement of Paris, France

    Geri Mileva | Contributing Writer

    Start planning your trip

    Why book with

    Travel alert

    Check COVID-19 restrictions.

    Find out more
    Back to top