Where to live in Paris

Where to live in Paris

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Wondering where to live in Paris? Discover the different characters of the Paris arrondissements with this handy guide.

If you want to live in Paris, you'll find plenty of distinct Parisian neighbourhoods to choose from, with prices varying greatly depending on the character of the area.

From the famous city-centre districts housing the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower to the banlieus and low-cost housing on the city's edge, each arrondissement has its own characteristics and features. As Paris apartments are typically advertised with their arrondissement in the description, reading this guide is a good way to get to grips with your hunt for a new home.

It's worth noting that there are few houses in Paris, and many buildings don't have lifts, so if you want a bit more space and a garden, check out our guide to Paris's suburbs and outlying towns.

Unlike many cities, the arrondissements in Paris are laid out in a regular order. Starting with the Louvre (1e), the districts work outwards in a spiral. This means that the second district will be between the first and third, and the ninth will be between the eighth and the tenth and yet the second and ninth districts are next to each other as well. Arrondissements may be referred to by their name (eg. Louvre, Popincourt, Gobelins) but are more commonly referred to by number, particularly in real estate advertisements. The number will usually be followed by a small 'e', for example 8e, which is the French equivalent of writing '8th'.

A further division is the 'left bank' (rive gauche) and 'right bank' (rive droite) of the Seine. This means the area south (left) and north (right) of the River Seine. Approximately half the city is on each side, so the neighbourhoods vary enormously. That said, traditionally the rive gauche is seen as more artistic, bohemian and student-friendly while the rive droite is more bourgeois and sophisticated.

Where to live in Paris: Great for nightlife and culture


Premier (1e) arrondissement – Louvre
Deuxième (2e) arrondissement – Bourse

The heart of Paris is primarily shops, offices and tourist attractions with relatively few apartments. The Bourse itself is the former stock exchange, and the area is easily walkable, making this a good choice for anyone wanting to be close to the business district. The area tends to shut down at night, with few restaurants and shops.

Arrondissements 1e and 2e at a glance:

  • Location: Geographical centre of Paris.
  • Housing costs: Expensive, from EUR 2,000 per month for a two-bedroom apartment.
  • Commuting options: Walking is popular. Many metro and bus lines cross through here, as do the boat-buses and boat-taxis.
  • Cars: Parking is very limited and expensive, and traffic is often gridlocked.
  • Recreation: Easy access to museums and monuments, and nice green spaces in the Jardin des Tuileries by the River Seine. Restaurants are often overrun with tourists.
  • Shopping: The Champs Elysées is nearby, although more day-to-day shopping is somewhat limited.
  • Neighbourhood: Primarily a business district with apartments often used Monday to Friday.
  • Read more on the 1e or 2e arrondissement municipality website.


Troisième (3e) arrondissement – Temple
Quatrième (4e) arrondissement – Hôtel de Ville

Together, these two districts make up the traditional Marais neighbourhood. An elegant old neighbourhood on the right bank, the 4e includes the Île de la Cité (home of Notre Dame Cathedral) and the Île Saint-Louis. An address on either island has an amazing cachet. Both the 3e and the 4e are very central and well-regarded, with a busy street life and nightlife.

Arrondissements 3e and 4e at a glance:

  • Location: Directly east of the centre, and close to the Louvre.
  • Housing costs: Expensive, from EUR 1,800 per month for a two-bedroom apartment.
  • Commuting options: Bus, metro and boat lines connect the 4e to the rest of the city. Cycling and walking are also popular.
  • Cars: Keeping a car is not recommended, as parking is usually expensive.
  • Recreation: Theatres and museums, with easy access to the rest of the city. Few green areas although there are pretty walks along the river and a sandy beach is created here every summer.
  • Shopping: Primarily upmarket boutiques and small shops.
  • Neighbourhood: A historic residential district with roots in the medieval period.
  • Read more on the 3e or 4e arrondissement municipality website


Huitième (8e) arrondissement – Élysée
The presidential palace, high-end hotels and apartments dominate the area around the Champs Élysées. Expensive and elegant, this elite area is popular with tourists and the international jet set alike. The Champs Élysées never sleeps, with bars, shops, restaurants and nightclubs opening and closing 24 hours a day.

Arrondissement 8e at a glance:

  • Location: Just west of the centre, from the Louvre to the Arc de Triomphe.
  • Housing costs: Expensive, from EUR 2,000 per month for a two-bedroom apartment.
  • Commuting options: Walking or cycling is possible. Metro and bus routes are extensive, but often crowded with tourists.
  • Cars: Parking is difficult and expensive, and traffic is famously bad, particularly around the Arc de Triomphe.
  • Recreation: Vibrant nightlife and street life on the Champs Élysées but other streets are much quieter. Parc Monceau provides a pleasant green oasis.
  • Shopping: A mix of designer boutiques and lower-price shops, many aimed at tourists.
  • Neighbourhood: Primarily shops and government offices, with some residential areas.
  • Read more on the 8e arrondissement municipality website.
Renting an apartment: Where to live in Paris, France

Neuvième (9e) arrondissement – Opéra
This is primarily a business area with few residential streets but the 9e also includes the vibrant and risqué area around the Moulin Rouge. Busy and somewhat seedy, it's not a prestigious address but it does provide easy access to the city centre, and to Parisian nightlife.

Arrondissement 9e at a glance:

  • Location: Directly north of the centre.
  • Housing costs: Expensive, typically from EUR 1,800–2,800 per month for a two-bedroom apartment.
  • Commuting options: Walking and cycling are popular. Bus and metro lines cross the district.
  • Cars: Parking limited and traffic often disrupted by deliveries to the larger shops.
  • Recreation: Easy access to the nightlife in Pigalle, to the north, and the centre, to the south. A few small parks provide a break from the urban scene.
  • Shopping: Galleries Lafayette is here, offering designer labels. The surrounding streets have many fashion brands.
  • Neighbourhood: The residential buildings are primarily older, typically 19th century.
  • Read more on the 9e arrondissement municipality website.


Where to live in Paris: Great for students and tight budgets

Cinquième (5e) arrondissement  Panthéon

Known as the Latin Quarter, this area is home to the Sorbonne, first founded in 1257, as well as several other schools and colleges. It is thus known as a student area. It still retains the vibrant and bohemian atmosphere of the left bank. Expect an eclectic mix of excellent restaurants, shops and bars and student dives.

Arrondissement 5e at a glance:

  • Location: South-east of the centre, near Notre Dame.
  • Housing costs: Moderate, from EUR 1,600 per month for a two-bedroom apartment.
  • Commuting options: Everything you need is within walking distance, and if not there's an excellent bus and metro service.
  • Cars: Expensive to park. Traffic is poor.
  • Recreation: Vibrant nightlife with many restaurants, markets and museums nearby. Head for the Jardin des Plantes when you crave a touch of green.
  • Shopping: Mainly small independent shops but also some chain stores and markets. You can buy almost anything around here.
  • Neighbourhood: A lively student area packed with teenagers and young adults.
  • Read more on the 5e arrondissement municipality website.


Dixième (10e) arrondissement – Saint-Laurent
Onzième (
11
e) arrondissement – Popincourt
These areas are primarily residential, and both the 10e and the 11e have a multicultural, artistic flair. The dominant language and cuisine vary from street to street, as do property prices. Gentrification has largely passed it by. Some areas stay busy late at night or have businesses that take deliveries very early, so it's best to visit at different times, if you can.

Arrondissement 10e and 11e at a glance:

  • Renting an apartment: Where to live in Paris, France Location: North and north-east of the centre.
  • Housing costs: Moderate, typically EUR 1,400–2,000 per month for a two-bedroom apartment.
  • Commuting options: The 10e is home to both the Gare du Nord and the Gare de l'Est. Metro and bus routes converge here.
  • Cars: Little parking available and streets are often crowded and narrow.
  • Recreation: The Oberkampf area is known for its nightlife. A few small parks dot the area, but there is little greenery.
  • Shopping: A mix of traditional French businesses and international imports. Supermarkets and delis are both common.
  • Neighbourhood: Primarily residential, with a real mix of nationalities and cultures.
  • Read more on the 10e and 11e arrondissement municipality website.


Dix-neuvième (19e) arrondissement – Buttes-Chaumont
Vingtième (
20
e) arrondissement – Ménilmontant
Primarily working-class, the 19e and 20e are home to residents from many countries. The street life, shops and restaurants reflect this, and the bars and nightclubs buzz throughout the night. Some areas can be rough or noisy, so it's worth visiting after dark to get a complete picture of the street. Rents tend to be lower and apartments larger and often more modern than in the centre.

Arrondissement 19e and 20e at a glance:

  • Location: On the eastern edge of the city.
  • Housing costs: Moderate, typically EUR 1,400–1,800 per month for a two-bedroom apartment.
  • Commuting options: Metro and bus lines cross the neighbourhood.
  • Cars: Easy access to the Paris ring road, and modern buildings often have allocated parking.
  • Recreation: Lively bars, restaurants and nightclubs. The Pere Lachaise cemetery is the main green space, with pleasant tree-lined walks.
  • Shopping: Small shops sell goods of all kinds, including many international foods.
  • Neighbourhood: Low-cost housing dominates, and the area is crowded.
  • Read more on the 19e and 20e arrondissement municipality website.


Where to live in Paris: Great for families

Septième (7e) arrondissement – Palais-Bourbon

Apartments with a view of the Eiffel Tower, the stand-out landmark in this neighbourhood, tend to be particularly expensive. The parks at the foot of the Eiffel Tower and at Invalides are great places for kids to play. The 7e is home to the Bilingual Montessori School of Paris and the American University in Paris.

Arrondissement 7e at a glance:

  • Location: South-west of the centre, near the Eiffel Tower.
  • Housing costs: Expensive, from EUR 2,000 per month for a two-bedroom apartment.
  • Commuting options: Boat, metro and bus lines run through here. Cycling and walking are popular.
  • Cars: Parking is limited and difficult. Traffic is typically congested by tour buses and coaches.
  • Recreation: Museums include the world-famous Musée d'Orsay and the Palais-Bourbon. Otherwise it's somewhat quiet, with easy access to parks, the Seine and the rest of the city.
  • Shopping: Typically small and independent. Expect to visit the green grocer, the baker, and the cheese shop.
  • Neighbourhood: Largely a traditional residential one, with many lovely old buildings.
  • Read more on the 7e arrondissement municipality website.
Renting an apartment: Where to live in Paris, France

Seizième (16e) arrondissement – Passy
Popular with expats, this area has a thriving American community. It's home to the International School of Paris, which offers an English-language curriculum, and the Eurecole, which provides French-language immersion programmes and preparation for other European examinations (including British, German and Spanish). The neighbourhood is peaceful, prosperous and placid.

Arrondissement 16e at a glance:

  • Location: At the western edge of the city, stretching from the Arc de Triomphe to the Bois de Boulogne.
  • Housing costs: Moderate, typically EUR 1,400–2,000 per month for a two-bedroom apartment.
  • Commuting options: Metro and bus lines cross the area. Cycling is also possible.
  • Cars: Parking tends to be expensive, and the traffic around the Arc de Triomphe is famously bad.
  • Recreation: Charming restaurants and cafés line the streets. The area adjoins the extensive park of Bois de Boulogne.
  • Shopping: High-end stores near the Seine, more down-market farther out. Supermarkets often have international aisles.
  • Neighbourhood: Varied residential, from new apartment blocks overlooking the Seine to 17th-century town houses.
  • Read more on the 16e arrondissement municipality website.


Dix-septième (17e) arrondissement – Batignolles-Monceau
A mixed neighbourhood, the 17e features both very expensive apartments and very affordable accommodation. Apartments are often larger than in the centre, and family-friendly. It's also home to the Collège International Honoré de Balzac. This is a state school (no fees to pay) which offers courses in other languages. Students in the international section typically spend six to eight hours per week working in their own language, the rest in French.

Arrondissement 17e at a glance:

  • Location: At the city's north-west edge.
  • Housing costs: Moderate, typically EUR 1,400–2,000 per month for a two-bedroom apartment.
  • Commuting options: Metro, bus and RER lines run through the area. Cycling is also popular.
  • Cars: Parking is limited but possible. Easy access to the Paris ring road.
  • Recreation: Plenty of small parks, cinemas and restaurants.
  • Shopping: Mix of supermarkets, French and international food shops. Primarily smaller shops, some chain stores.
  • Neighbourhood: Primarily residential area with some offices and larger businesses.
  • Read more on the 17e arrondissement municipality website.


Where to live in Paris: Great for peace and quiet

Sixième (6e) arrondissement Luxembourg

The heart of the left bank, this area is also known as the Faubourg (suburb) Saint Germain or Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Towards the end of the 20th century, the 6e went upmarket and is now one of the most expensive places to live in Paris. A lot of the anarchic, artistic life it was famous for has disappeared, leaving a pleasant, quiet neighbourhood very close to the centre.

Arrondissement 6e at a glance:

  • Location: Directly south-west of the centre.
  • Housing costs: Expensive, typically EUR 1,800–-2,600 per month for a two-bedroom apartment.
  • Commuting options: Good metro and bus connections. Walking and cycling are also possible.
  • Cars: Parking limited and expensive.
  • Recreation: The extensive Jardin du Luxembourg is a pleasant park in which to walk, cycle or run.
  • Shopping: Designer boutiques and independent food stores dominate.
  • Neighbourhood: Many beautiful old buildings now converted into apartments.
  • Read more on the 6e arrondissement municipality website.


Quatorzième (14e) arrondissement – Observatoire
Quinzième (
15e) arrondissement – Vaugirard
The Gare de l'Ouest separates these two residential neighbourhoods. It's where trains from Brittany arrive, and the area is still home to many Breton restaurants. Look out for the savoury and filling crêpes served with a mug of cider. Otherwise, both arrondissements are generally quiet, almost suburban. They tend to be busier closer to the centre of Paris, around the station and along certain shopping streets.

Arrondissement 14e and 15e at a glance:

  • Location: At the edge of the city, south and south-west of the centre.
  • Housing costs: Moderate, typically EUR 1,400–1,900 per month for a two-bedroom apartment.
  • Commuting options: Numerous bus and metro stops. Easy access to the Paris ring road.
  • Cars: Few buildings have allocated parking. Paid-for parking often possible.
  • Recreation: Some cinemas, bars and restaurants. Several charming small parks, including one on the top of the Gare de l'Ouest train station and the larger Parc Montsouris.
  • Shopping: A mix of supermarkets, chain stores and small independent businesses scattered around the area. Regular markets.
  • Neighbourhood: Primarily residential. Mix of new tower blocks and traditional old buildings.
  • Read more on the 14e and 15e arrondissement municipality website.


Dix-huitième (18e) arrondissement – Buttes-Montmartre
The narrow streets around Sacré Coeur have a village feel. The area spills down the back of the hill, away from the centre of Paris, to form a quiet, working-class neighbourhood. At the southern edge, the border with the 9e is a busy tourist district. Some parts of this southern end can be rough, so it's best to get a good grasp of the area before selecting a new home.

Arrondissement 18e at a glance:

  • Location: At the northern edge of the city.
  • Housing costs: Affordable, typically EUR 1,200–1,600 per month for a two-bedroom apartment.
  • Commuting options: Bus and metro lines run through the district. Easy access to the Paris ring road.
  • Cars: Some street parking is available but few homes have dedicated parking.
  • Recreation: The lively area of Pigalle is in the south, but the northern section tends to be quiet, with cinemas, restaurants and a few pretty parks.
  • Shopping: A number of traditional markets, plus supermarkets and independent shops.
  • Neighbourhood: A quiet, almost suburban feel in the north. Busy and urban in the south.
  • Read more on the 18e arrondissement municipality website.
Rent a house in Paris, France

Where to live in Paris: Great for being active

Douzième (12e) arrondissement  Reuilly

The Palais Omnisports is a major centre for watching live sports, and has a skate park and running areas in the surrounding park. Rowing is possible on the Seine, and the Bois de Vincennes and the city's raised park, the Promenade Plantée, are popular with runners, walkers and cyclists.

Arrondissement 12e at a glance:

  • Location: On the south-east edge of the city.
  • Housing costs: Moderate, typically EUR 1,500–2,000 per month for a two-bedroom apartment.
  • Commuting options: Boat, metro and bus lines connect to the city centre. Cycling is popular.
  • Cars: Parking tends to be limited. Easy access to the Paris ring roads.
  • Recreation: Numerous parks and sporting facilities, but little nightlife.
  • Shopping: Supermarkets and small shops on most streets.
  • Neighbourhood: Residential district with lots of families.
  • Read more on the 12e arrondissement municipality website.


Treizième (13e) arrondissement Gobelins
From the floating swimming pool in the Seine to punting in the Bois de Vincennes, the 13e is a great place to be outdoors, and the leafy streets are an enjoyable cycle route. The area is primarily residential, with some large office blocks and Paris's Chinatown.

Arrondissement 13e at a glance:

  • Location: South-east edge of the city.
  • Housing costs: Affordable, typically EUR 1,200–1,700 per month for a two-bedroom apartment.
  • Commuting options: Cycling is popular. Bus and metro lines cross the area.
  • Cars: Easy access to the Paris ring road.
  • Recreation: There a number of sports clubs, ranging from tennis to yoga.
  • Shopping: A few malls and larger supermarkets as well as many small independent shops.
  • Neighbourhood: Clumps of new high-rise apartment blocks are surrounded by 19th-century townhouses.
  • Read more on the 13e arrondissement municipality website.

 

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Updated 2015.

Photo credit: Moyan Brenn (photo 1), ParisSharing (photo 2, 5), Rui Ornelas (photo 3), mattjiggins (photo 4).

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2 Comments To This Article

  • Isaiah posted:

    on 21st June 2016, 00:38:55 - Reply

    Timely article ! I learned a lot from the facts !

  • Frances posted:

    on 11th February 2015, 17:18:29 - Reply

    The train station that separates the 14th and 15th arr was once called Gare de l'Ouest, but it was renamed many, many years ago. I don't know anyone who knows it by it's original name.

    I lived in the 14th at Place Denfert Rochereau for 9 years and it was a wonderful location with terrific transportation plus you can walk to so many places.

    Fortunately, there are not a lot of tourists coming into the neighborhood except to visit the catacombs.