Where to live in Paris?
Paris is divided into 20 arrondissements. The numbering system starts in the centre, (written as le premier or 1e) being home to the Louvre. The districts spiral outwards, growing in size as they do. The 20e (20th) arrondissement is at the city’s eastern edge. The central districts (1e and 2e) and the 9e are mostly commercial and business areas.
The low numbers are typically more expensive, with the 7e and 8e being particularly chic, and the 11eme and 12eme popular with families. The larger, more residential arrondissements from the 12e to the 20e are often made up of several neighbourhoods, so the tone can change street by street. The 16e and 17e are home to international schools, and the 14e and 15e are quiet and peaceful, compared to the bustling centre.
Arrondissements: 8th, 16th, 17th, and the Western suburbs.
Districts: Madeleine, Trocadéro, Champs-Elysées, Auteuil, Monceau, Ternes, Neuilly-sur-Seine, Levallois, Boulogne-Billancourt.
Arrondissements: 9th, 17th, 18th
Districts: Batignolles, Montmartre, Pigalle, Notre-Dame-de-Lorette
Paris 9th District is a bustling and densely populated area delineated to the south by the Grands Boulevards.
These boast the highest concentration of theatres, cafes-concerts, music halls, department stores and banks.
The boulevards de Rochechouart and Clichy replace the 18th century fiscal Mur des Fermiers Généraux and form the district’s northern boundary.
the neighbouring Batignolles district is popular with young families for its park, cafés and bistros and organic market. Clustered around its butte, or hill, on which stands the basilica of Sacré-Cœur is Montmartre.
Arrondissements: 11th, 12th, 19th, 20th
Districts: Bastille, Buttes-Chaumont, Ménilmontant, Nation.
Traditionally the most populaire (working class) area of Paris, the east is rapidly gentrifying as young couples buy their first property in these less expensive neighbourhoods that nevertheless have a great deal of charm.
The Bastille used to be the star of this area, and a stop here—at the epicenter of the French Revolution—was obligatory. The small streets forking off Place de la Bastille still buzz at night, thanks to bars, music clubs, and the top-flight Opéra Bastille.
Arrondissements: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 10th
Districts: Ile St-Louis, Ile-de-la-Cité, Louvre, Les Halles, Marais, Grands-Boulevards, Montorgeuil, République, Canal St-Martin
District 1 is the centre of Paris and houses some of the must see land marks in the city. The main attractions are the Louvre, Jardins des Tuileries and Palais-Royal which can all be found with the vicinity of each other.
The Canal St-Martin, once the down-and-out cousin on the northern border, is now trend-spotting central, brimming with funky bars, cafés, art galleries, and boutiques. The scene is similar on Rues Oberkampf, St-Maur, and Jean-Pierre-Timbaud, where artists and small designers have set up shop, and where a substantial slice of the city’s bobo (bourgeois-bohemian) contingent is buying up the no-longer-so-affordable apartments.
Arrondissements: 5th, 6th, 7th, 13th, 14th, 15th
Districts: Bibliothèque François Mitterrand, Panthéon-Sorbonne, St-Michel, St-Germain-des-Près, Invalides, Champs-de-Mars-Tour Eiffel, Convention, Alésia, Butte-aux-Cailles, Montparnasse
West of here is the Latin Quarter around the Panthéon, Sorbonne and St-Michel: the home of well-bred students now grown up, its pretty narrow streets still filled with bookshops and unpretentious bistros. For those looking to educate their children in the public school system the Lycée Louis-le-Grand and Lycée Henri IV found here are renowned for their academic results.