Top areas to stay in ParisFrom trundling streets in Montmartre where there is coffee aplenty, to settling into a hotel with a view of the Eiffel Tower and its twinkling lights, Paris is home to some of the most magical areas on the planet. It’s certain to say that you won’t be stuck for where to stay in Paris. If you’re feeling inspired, take a look at our excellent range of Paris holidays
Parisian hotels are among Europe’s most expensive for what you get. Although it is possible to find a double room in a central location for around €70, these will usually be basic, with a sink (lavabo) in the room and a shared bathroom on the landing (dans le palier). As a rule, a double room in an old-fashioned two-star will cost between €90 and €150; for something with a bit more class you could easily spend as much as €200. Some bargains do exist, however, so it pays to shop around. At the luxury end of the scale the sky’s the limit, with prices above €400 not uncommon - though online and off-season deals can chop a dramatic amount off the official rack rates.
With narrow, winding streets and dead-ends, Montmartre (‘la Butte’, or the hill, to its residents) still has something of a provincial feel. For over 200 years it has been associated with artists and bohemians. The tourist Montmartrobus spares you the walk and shows you some of the area in a single sweep, but the best way to discover Montmartre at your own pace is to start early, at the top. Take the Métro to Abbesses and the lift to the street (the stairs here seem endless) - and note the handsome Art Nouveau entrance as you leave. Rue Yvonne le Tac leads to the base station of a funicular railway. The funicular (Métro/bus tickets are valid) climbs to the terrace right in front of the Byzantine-style basilica of Sacré-Coeur standing at the highest point in Paris, it is one of the city’s principal landmarks. The Terrass Hotel is a fantastic option to stay in the area. This Montmartre hotel has one considerable advantage over its rivals, in addition to its stylish decor and chic piano bar: the open air lounge on its roof. Drinks and meals are served here in good weather, with panoramic views of the capital.
At the far end of Rue Lepic, a market street renowned for its food shops and several appealingly bohemian cafés, is Place Blanche. On the corner of Boulevard de Clichy is the iconic Moulin Rouge, still staging its nightly cabarets, although mostly to tourists. Next door is La Machine du Moulin Rouge, a huge nightclub, pumping with the sounds of house, dance music and mainstream pop. It’s certainly the best neighbourhood to stay in Paris for a good night out.
The area referred to as the Latin Quarter lies to the east of Boulevard St-Michel. This maze of ancient streets and squares has been the stamping ground of students for nearly eight centuries and it is home to the city’s most famous university, the Sorbonne. West of boulevard St-Michel is St-Germain-des-Prés, once the centre of literary Paris and existentialism, with the oldest church in Paris at its heart. Although these two areas have changed over the past few decades, with high fashion increasingly replacing heavy thinking, they still maintain their charm in tree-lined boulevards, narrow streets and beautifully manicured gardens. There are plenty of other attractions in the area, too. Think the Arab World Institute , the Jardin des Plantes and the Natural History Museum.
When the Paris nobility moved out of the Marais in the 18th century, and Versailles dwindled, the rich and famous built new townhouses across the river from the Tuileries, in the 7th arrondissement. Not only is this chic district rich with upmarket architecture, it also has a wealth of visitor attractions, with highlights including the Musée d’Orsay, the Invalides and the Rodin Museum. After all, where better to stay in Paris than near the Eiffel Tower?
This district, to the north of the Île de la Cité and Île St-Louis, has successfully withstood the onslaught of modern construction. It provides a remarkably intact record of the development of the city, from the reign of Henri IV at the end of the 16th century to the advent of the Revolution. Built on reclaimed marshland, as its name suggests (marais means ‘swamp’), the Marais contains some of Europe’s most elegant Renaissance mansions (hôtels), many of which now serve as museums and libraries. In the 1960s, the government designated the area an historical monument, and conservation and restoration took hold. The big change in the last 30 years has been the steady influx of trendy boutiques and gay bars. There is plenty of history to soak up in the area. The national archives of the Ancien Régime are stored in an 18th-century mansion, the Hôtel de Soubise. Across a vast, horseshoe-shaped courtyard, you come across the rococo style of Louis XV’s time in the apartments of the Prince and Princess of Soubise. The Marais is home to a number of prestigious museums, including the grand Musée Carnavalet which charts the history of the city. What’s more, foodies will enjoy the best falafel in the whole city here!