Paris, Paris… beautiful, mystical, and rather expensive. This is where I would strongly encourage the use of an AirBnB. We decided to go that route and did not regret it. We saved so much money and were still close to the major tourist areas. We had a kitchen and were able to cook if we needed to. Where to stay? There are 20 arrondissements, or neighborhoods, that surround Paris in semi- concentric circles. Unlike many cities, any of the 20 neighborhoods will work as long as you’re comfortable using the Metro. They are all reasonably safe, all have their own charms, and all have access to public transportation. Different places are obviously placed closer to the Metro lines than others, so it’s worth your time to learn where the stations are in relation to your apartment.
The outer arrondissements (like the 17th, 20th) are typically safe and cheap, however you have to pay extra for metro tickets or bus tickets to get closer to the typical tourist spots. The 1st, 2nd, and 8th arrondissements are typically extremely expensive because of their locations. Alot of Americans choose the 7th arrondissement because it’s very American-friendly, with a high percentage of ex-pats living in the area. The 5th and 6th are good areas that are still relatively close to the Louvre but are much cheaper than the first and second districts. There are endless blogs dedicated simply to housing in Paris.
Here are some of the arrondissements in Paris, as well as the location of some of the city’s sights in relation to the individual neighborhood.
1st Arrondissement: The Louvre, The Royal Palace, Tuileries Gardens, Forum des Halles, Vendome Square
2nd Arrondissement: Historic National Library
3rd Arrondissement: Marais
4th Arrondissement: Hotel de Ville, Notre Dame Cathedral, Place de Voges
5th Arrondissement: Pantheon, Latin Quarter
6th Arrondissement: Luxembourg
7th Arrondissement: Palais-Bourbon
8th Arrondissement: Champs d’Elysee
9th Arrondissement: Opera, Red Light District
10th Arrondissement: Gare de l’Est and Gare du Nord
11th Arrondissement: Mostly residential – does have the Winter Circus and Ambroise Church
12th Arrondissement: Bastille Opera
13th Arrondissement: Chinatown, National Library
14th Arrondissement: The Catacombs and National Observatory
15th Arrondissement: The Montparnasse Tower as well as the The Parc André Citroën is here
16th Arrondissement: Palais de Chaillot
17th: Arrondissement: Particularly breathtaking architecture & adorable cafes, shops, & markets.
18th Arrondissement: Montmarte
19th Arrondissement: Chaumont
20th Arrondissement: Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, the most famous cemetery in Paris