What are Paris arrondissements? Arrondissements are administrative districts. While the City of Paris contains 20 arrondissements numbered 1 through 20 within its borders, the first four are bundled into a single district called "Paris Centre," making a total of 17 administrative districts.
Each of the 20 Paris districts has its own unique identity and personality, popular attractions, special events, and other interesting things to do and see.
Those with lower numbers form the center of the city and contain most of the top historic attractions and not surprisingly, many tourists.
Arrondissements with higher numbers spiral out clockwise from the center (much like the shell of a snail, or escargot). Most were former villages annexed by Paris in the 1800s, and you'll still find plenty of their original charm. They are mostly residential and aside from the most famous, Montmartre, and a few popular attractions such as Père Lachaise Cemetery in the 20th arr, you usually won't see many tourists.
If you're planning your first or even your 10th trip to the City of Light, knowing where the attractions, activities, and events you want to experience are located can help you make the most of your time in Paris, decide where to book a hotel room or reserve an apartment, and discover more nearby to do and see.
Our Paris Arrondissement Guide below includes an interactive arrondissement map, and highlights top destinations, activities, major events, tours, and hotels in each district, the best arrondissement to stay in based on what you want to see and do, and tips for using the district numbers to help you plan your trip to Paris.
Paris Arrondissement Map: Understanding the City's Layout
Our interactive Paris map shows the 20 arrondissements with attractions and landmarks, the city's two great forests, the Seine River, and top attractions plus a few key destinations outside of the city such as Versailles, Disneyland Paris, La Vallée Village discount shopping center, the La Défense business district, and the three closest international airports.
Zoom in to get a closer view of Paris streets and neighborhoods, or zoom out to see more of France.
The blue line of the Seine River divides the city into the Right Bank (above the river) and the Left Bank below it.
In the middle of the Seine are two small islands, Île de la Citéand Île Saint-Louis.
Île de la Cité, the historic heart of the city includes parts of the 1st and 4th arrondissements. This is where the area's first settlers, a Celtic tribe called the Parisii, made their home over 2,300 years ago. It is also where you'll find some of the city's most famous attractions.
Île Saint-Louis belongs to the 4th district, and is a quiet residential area with 17th century homes, a main street lined with boutiques and bistros, and a few small upscale hotels.
The large green areas at each side of Paris (think of them as the snail's head and tail) represent two enormous tree-filled parks (bois), sometimes called the "lungs" of the city.
One final thing you should know is that an almost-constantly congested multi-lane highway, the Périphérique (Parisians normally call it "la Périph"), circles the outer districts (but not the parks) - look closely at the map, and you can see it just inside the city limits. If you take a taxi or private transport to or from Charles de Gaulle Airport, you'll most likely experience it first-hand - for better or worse.
Paris Arrondissement Guide
Now, let's take a look at the landmarks and attractions that make each arrondissement special to help you choose where to stay and what to see and do during your visit.
Why visit: Famous attractions, spectacular gardens, and excellent cafés, restaurants, and boutiques pack the 1st with must-see "bucket list" sights for first-time as well as returning Paris visitors.
Top Attractions in the 1st Arrondissement
Discover: The Louvre, home to the Mona Lisa and many other treasured works of art. Tuileries Gardens, filled with flowers and statues, pools and fountains, cafes, and a giant ferris wheel. Musée de l'Orangerie, featuring Monet's lush waterlily paintings. Musée des Arts Decoratifs is a must if you're into design, decorative items, or just like beautiful things.
Experience: Royal Paris in the almost-hidden Palais Royal Garden and shopping arcades, two of the city's biggest and best Christmas Markets during November and December, the soaring stained glass windows and concerts at Sainte-Chapelle, and Marie Antoinette's last days in the Conciergerie,a medieval palace and infamous Reign of Terror prison.
Shop: Famous designer boutiques, market streets, and the most popular French cookware shops in Paris pack the 1st.
Explore: Les Halles, once the city's largest food market before being torn down in the name of urban renewal, now attracts enthusiastic crowds with its new shopping, entertainment, and dining plaza. Don't miss the jazz clubs in nearby Rue des Lombards or the epic market pedestrian-only street, Rue Montorgueil.
Visit:Île de la Cité, the tiny Island in the Seine River straddling the 1st and 4th arrondissements where you'll find the historic heart of Paris, medieval masterpieces, hidden gardens, and lots more.
Recommended 1st Arrondissement Tours
Paris in One Day Sightseeing Tour - This popular tour includes a guided tour of the 1st arrondisement's most important attraction, the Louvre Museum. You also get a Seine River cruise to the Eiffel Tower, where you can either end your tour with or without lunch, or opt to continue and visit the outside of Notre Dame Cathedral. Find out more
Book a Local Friend - For the ultimate flexibility, book a local Parisian who will customize a personalized tour of the 1st arrondissement - or anywhere else in Paris - based on what you want to see and do. Find out more
Secret Paris: Cheese, Art, & Life - You'll see famous sights as well as hidden enclaves known only to locals during this tour that starts in the heart of Paris and winds past the Louvre and through its arcades, and into the medieval neighborhood of the Marais, ending in front of the fabulously modern Pompidou Center. Along the way, you'll sample a macaroon, walk through a beautiful garden, and visit a fromagerie (cheese market) where you can taste some cheese. This tour lasts 3 hours and usually fills up fast, so don't wait to book. Find out more
Where to Stay in the 1st Arrondissement
Top Hotels in the 1st - See our recommendations for best places to stay near the Louvre, Sainte-Chapelle, Rue Saint-Honoré and Les Halles shopping districts, and other top 1st District attractions
2nd Arrondissement - Covered Arcades, Sentier, Bourse
Why visit: Covered 19th century shopping arcades, the best Japanese and Korean restaurants in Paris, and fascinating glimpses of the Paris's thriving wholesale textile and design industries. The district's western end is just a few feet away from Opéra Garnier (Paris Opera House) and the Olympia music hall.
Top Attractions in the 2nd Arrondissement
The 2nd Arrondissement sometimes gets overlooked as being a mostly-business district dominated by the Bourse (Palais Brongiart), the former Paris stock exchange now used for special trade shows, and at its east end by the Sentier quartier, home to the Paris textile industry and wholesale-only clothing showrooms.
However, you'll find some interesting surprises tucked away in the 2nd - especially if you enjoy shopping and dining. And at the lively western end of the district, excellent shopping, hotels, and restaurants near the Paris Opera House and bustling Avenue de l'Opéra attract numerous visitors.
Discover: Japanese restaurants lining Rue Saint-Anne. Designer boutiques around Place des Victoires, and more affordable shopping along Avenue de l'Opéra.
Explore: 19th century Passages Couverts, the glass-roofed covered retail arcades and galeries lined with boutiques and bistros - inspiration for today's indoor shopping malls. Look for Galerie Vivienne (elegant shops and bistros), Passage du Caire (whole textiles and clothing), Passage de Choiseul (Korean specialties), Passage du Grand Cerf (art, crafts, esoteric collections), and Passage des Princes (toys and games). Treasure hunters will want to explore the stamp, coin, and antique dealers in Passage des Panoramas not far from the Drouot Auction House in the 9th. Explore on your own - or join a secret passages tour.
In and around Sentier, hip restaurants started popping up a few years ago, and now chic hotels are following, making this an increasingly trendy neighborhood for visitors - plus Sentier is next door to the even trendier Marais.
Hotel Bachaumont - Lovely 4-star hotel with an Art Deco vibe on a quiet side street between the pedestrian-only Rue Montorgueil market street and a stretch of Rue Montmartre lined with luxury boutiques. Compare rates
Hop On/Hop Off double-decker buses give you an easy way to explore Paris arrondissement and see the city's top attractions. Your ticket gives you access to 3 different tour routes past all the famous landmarks, sights, and shopping areas. Hop off as often as you wish to explore on foot, and then hop back on to see more attractions as you enjoy the panoramic views from the top deck. For a few additional Euros, you can get a 2 or 3 day ticket - a fun and economical way to get around the city as you sightsee.
3rd Arrondissement (Temple) - Picasso Museum, Upper Marais, Musée Carnavalet
Why visit: Known as the Haut ("Upper") Marais, the 3rd Arrondissement gives you a glimpse of medieval Paris plus plenty of ornate 17th century mansions, popular museums, and fashion boutiques.
Top Attractions in the 3rd District
You'll find a number of outstanding museums here including the famous Picasso Museum housed in a 17th century mansion, Musée des Arts et Métiers with its displays ranging from airplanes to perfume, and Musée Carnavalet.
4th Arrondissement - Notre Dame, Pompidou Center, Île Saint-Louis, Place des Vosges, Hôtel de Ville
Why visit: The 4th Arrondissement is "must see" area for first time and return visitors. So many famous historic sites and top attractions are located here - plus the medieval Marais neighborhood offers some of the best shopping in Paris.
Top Attractions in the 4th Arrondissement
The 4th includes Île Saint-Louis, half of Île de la Cité, and a swath of the Right Bank, including part of the Marais, and is packed with top attractions, historic neighborhoods, chic shopping, and superb restaurants.
Discover: The magnificent Cathedral of Notre Dame on Île de la Cité. Bertillon ice cream, considered the best in Paris, in Île Saint-Louis.
Admire modern and recent art at Centre Pompidou, go for carryout falafel in Rue de Rosiers in the Marais home of the oldest Orthodox Jewish community in Paris, and picnic in picture-perfect Place des Vosges.
Fun Ways to See the Marais
Book a private shopping tour with a personal shopper who will customize the experience to fit your budget and taste, suggest chic ensembles and accessories to make you look like a stylish Parisian, and take you to trendy and exclusive (but affordable) Marais boutiques. Find out more
Which district should you choose when choosing where to make hotel reservations or book an apartment for your Paris visit? Here's a quick guide:
Are you a . . .
First-time (or return) visitor who wants to see top Paris attractions? Focus on these arrondissements: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, part of 16 (Trocadéro) and part of 18 (Montmartre)
Return visitor who wants to explore the "real" Paris off the tourist path and discover hidden treasures? Explore these arrondissements: 2, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 (beyond Trocadéro), 17, 18 (beyond Montmartre), 19, and 20
5th Arrondissement - Latin Quarter, Cluny Museum, Arènes de Lutèce, Panthéon
Why visit: Layers of history, the famous Latin Quarter and other top attractions, charming street markets, and winding cobblestone lanes make the 5th Arrondissement another "must-see" part of the city for first-time and returning visitors.
Top Attractions in the 5th Arrondissement
Discover: The famous Pantheon, towering majestically over much of the district
The Roman-era Arènes de Lutèce and Roman baths under Musée Cluny, home to magnificent tapestries and other medieval treasures.
The Jardin des Plants, where you'll find an ancient botanic garden, Natural History Museum, and the small but appealing Paris Zoo.
Don't miss the Rue Mouffetard street market, Shakespeare and Company Bookstore, and Tunisian pastries and tiny glasses of mint tea at the Arab Institute's terrace restaurant overlooking the most scenic parts of Paris.
6th Arrondissement - Luxembourg Garden, Saint Germain des Prés, Art Galleries
Why visit: The lovely 6th arrondissement, called Saint-Germain-des-Prés, is a lovely upper-class mostly-residential district with commercial areas devoted to superb boutiques and dining.
Top Attractions in the 6th Arrondissement
Discover: Beautiful Luxembourg Garden. Cafés and bistros along Boulevard Saint-Germain made famous by French Existentialists and American writers during the last century.
Visit: The magnificent Church of Saint-Sulpice, setting for The Da Vinci Code.
Explore: The neighborhood's wonderful antique shops, home furnishing boutiques, and clothing stores.
7th Arrondissement - Eiffel Tower, Orsay Museum, Bon Marché, Champ de Mars
Why visit: The 7th arrondissement is where you'll find the world's most famous landmark - the Eiffel Tower - as well as several top museums, the only department store on the Left Bank, a popular market street, and many top-notch restaurants.
Top Attractions in the 7th District
Discover: Sweeping Paris views from the top of the Eiffel Tower.
Shop for luxury goods and gourmet food and wine selections at Le Bon Marché.
History buffs will want to explore the Musée de l'Armée and Napoleon's tomb (get skip-the-line tickets here). After your visit, walk a few blocks to reach the popular Rue Cler market street, overflowing with small cafes and yummy bakeries where you enjoy a wonderful lunch or dinner. Or buy a few gourmet goodies and head over to nearby Champ de Mars for a picnic.
8th Arrondissement - Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Élysées, Golden Triangle, Parc Monceau
Why visit: With the Arc de Triomphe and Champs Élysées as major tourist attractions, the 8th arrondissement ranks high on the "must visit" list for most first time visitors. But there's so much to see and do here that you'll want to return whenever you're in Paris.
Top Attractions in the 8th Arrondissement
Discover: Expansive views from the top of the Arc, the beautiful but blood-soaked Place de la Concorde, and an eternal flame marking the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the base. Excellent art collections, exquisite architecture, and a little-known tea room overlooking a lovely garden at the Petit Palais. Special exhibits at the enormous glass-roofed Grand Palais. Luxury goods on display in designer showrooms along the Golden Triangle.
Need a change of pace in this wealthy, tourist-filled arrondissement?
Head over to tranquil Parc Monceau, and visit one of the nearby specialty museums - Musée Cernuschi, Musée Nissim de Camondo, or Musée Jacquemart-André.
Fun Things to Do in the 8th Arrondissement
View Paris from the top of the Arc de Triomphe - You'll experience panoramic views of the entire city and all its iconic sites. That's where we took the photo of Sacre Coeur at the top of this page. Tickets are cheap - but admission lines can be long, so do yourself a favor and get a skip-the-line ticket online before you go.
Fun Ways to See Top Paris Attractions
9th Arrondissement - Opera Garnier, Pigalle, Grand Department Stores
Why visit: For most tourists, the top reason to visit the 9th arrondissement is shopping at the Grands Magasins, or big luxury department stores - Galeries Lafayette and Au Printemps - as well as numerous other shops lining the surrounding avenues lined with outstanding examples of 19th century Haussmannian architecture.
Top Attractions in the 9th Arrondissement
More to discover: The spectacular Opéra Garnier (Paris Opera) - the largest and possibly the most flamboyant opera house in Europe, and a must-visit destination for Phantom of the Opera fans.
If you enjoy exploring newly hip neighborhoods, head to trendy South Pigalle, known as SoPi where you can visit the Musée de la Vie Romantic (but do know that Pigalle at the northern edge bordering the 18th can still feel a bit sketchy at night due to the remaining sex shows in this former red-light district).
Stop by the famous Drouot auction house, and explore the surrounding streets where you'll find many dealers specializing in stamps, coins, antiques, and other collectibles.
10th Arrondissement - Canal Saint-Martin, Place de la République, Gare du Nord
Why visit: The diverse 10th arrondissement contains two major Paris train stations, Gare du Nord and Gare de l'Ést, surrounded by numerous popular bistros and cafes, and a variety of neighborhoods - some more gentrified (meaning more hotels, etc) than others.
Place de la République (shared with 11th) - another trendy spot filled with bars and bistros, nightlife, and towering over the square, a magnificent statue of Marianne, Goddess of Liberty and symbol of the French Republic.
11th Arrondissement - Place de la Bastille, Nightlife
Why visit: The 11th arrondissement is mostly a pleasant residential area, formerly working class but now rather trendy and increasingly gentrified, with no major landmarks aside from Place de la Bastille and the enormous Opéra Bastille where you can catch a Paris Opera concert or ballet.
If you are looking for a lively nightlife scene, you'll want to check out the bars and clubs in the Oberkampf neighborhood. If you need any camera equipment or accessories while you are in Paris, you may want to visit one of the specialized camera stores along Boulevard Beaumarchais, near the Chemin Vert Metro Station.
Discover: Lots of ethnic and French cafes around and near Place de la Bastille. Vintage furniture and clothing stores around Rue de Marché Popincourt and Rue Nueve Popincourt.
The Bastille Arts and Crafts Market held from 9am - about 6pm every Saturday along Boulevard Richard Lenoir, starting just beyond the Bastille Métro Station.
If you are adventurous, explore the almost-hidden passages and interior courtyards along the north side of Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine, once occupied by 19th century furniture makers and artisans, and now art galleries, craft studios, and boutiques.
12th Arrondissement - Proménade Plantée, Marché d'Aligre Market, Bercy Village
Why visit: Although the 12th arrondissement is primarily residential, it has several attractions worth exploring if you're on a return visit to Paris and want to interesting sites beyond the major tourist attractions. On the 12th's eastern side is the largest public park in Paris, Bois de Vincennes, complete with a chateau, English-style gardens, and a zoo.
Discover: Interesting city views and exquisite gardens along the elevated parkland of the Proménade Plantée. Thrilling ballet performances at the glittering Bastille Opera. Treasures (and junk) at the Marché d'Aligre, the city's most popular flea market. Spend an afternoon browsing in the boutiques and sipping wine at an outdoor cafe in Bercy Village, converted from 19th century wine warehouses next to the Seine.
Paris Arrondissement Numbers: 4 Ways You Can Use Them
Avoid getting lost: Most street signs display the arrondissement number - an easy way to confirm roughly where you are.
Find your destination's location: Not sure where you're going? Look up the address, which almost always include a 5-digit postal code. The code's last two digits are the arrondissement number, which tells you where your destination is located. For example, if you look up the address for the Picasso Museum, you'll see the street address plus the postal code: 75004. That means the museum is in Paris's 4th district. (Paris addresses always have "75" as the first two digits.)
Plan your trip: Do you have a bucket list of attractions and places you want to visit? Look up their addresses, note the district numbers, and plan your itinerary based on locations to minimize your travel time between attractions.
Choose where to book accommodations: Once you identify the arrondissement where most of your bucket list attractions are located, choose a hotel or apartment in the same district for ultimate convenience.
13th Arrondissement - Gobelins Tapestry, Place d'Italie, Street Art, Butte aux Cailles
Why visit: Fans of street art will find plenty to enjoy in the 13th arrondissement, where an innovative mayor and many modern concrete high-rise buildings provide a welcoming canvas space for street art professionals and amateurs. Otherwise, this is another mostly residential neighborhood - no major tourist attractions, but plenty of interesting local spots to explore.
Discover: How tapestries are made at Gobelins Manufactory, creators of museum-worthy pieces since the mid-1400s. A large enclosed shopping mall - a rarity in Paris - in Place d'Italie. Charming leafy streets in the hilly Butte aux Cailles neighborhood. And of course, look for street art - some discrete, some mammoth - wherever you go in the 13th.
Off the Beaten Track in Paris - Travel in style in a vintage Citroen 2CV convertible to see Butte aux Cailles in the 13th as well as a number of other hidden but wonderful places around the city: the beautiful Place des Vosges park in the Marais, the Roman arena Arènes de Lutèce, the site of the Bastille Prison, arty Village Saint Paul, and seven other special places you might not find on your own - Find out more & book your ticket
14th Arrondissement - The Catacombs, Montparnasse Cemetery, Fondation Cartier
Why visit: The 14th arrondissement offers an interesting mix of commercial and residential areas, with plenty of cultural and historical attractions worth seeing, including the always-popular Paris Catacombs.
Discover: A maze of underground tunnels where the remains of about 6 million people are buried in the Catacombs. The tombs of famous artists, writers, and performers in Montparnasse Cemetery. Contemporary art exhibits at Fondation Cartier, in a striking building designed by architect Jean Nouvel. Lots of theaters, restaurants , and several famous bistros in the area around the triangle formed by the Montparnasse-Bienvenue, Edgar Quinet, and Vavin Métro Stations.
Must-visit destination for history buffs: Musée de la Liberation, a museum that examines the history of the French Resistance and the Liberation of Paris from the Nazis during World War II by focusing on heroic actions of individuals.
15th Arrondissement - Parc André Citroen, Montparnasse Tower, Beaugrenelle Mall
Why visit: The 15th arrondissement is a large, mostly residential upper class district with lovely parks, a spectacular shopping mall, and easy access to Île-des-Cygnes (Island of the Swans), an almost-hidden park in the middle of the Seine. Visit the 15th to get a feel for how real Parisians live and play.
Discover: Hot air balloon rides at Parc André Citroen. Spectacular views of Paris from on top of Montparnasse Tower. The weekend antiquarian and used book market at Parc Georges Brassens. A collection of top clothing and specialty stores in the upscale Beaugrenelle shopping mall.
For the perfect afternoon, head to the Mirabeau Bridge and walk down the ramp to Île-des-Cygnes, a lovely sliver of an island in the Seine with excellent views of the Eiffel Tower.
16th Arrondissement - Trocadéro, Palais de Tokyo, Musée Marmottan, Bois de Boulogne, Paris Aquarium
Why visit: Although much of the 16th arrondissement is a wealthy residential area (a favorite of well-off American ex-pats), numerous superb museums, excellent Eiffel Tower views, and the huge Bois de Boulogne park give you plenty of reasons to visit.
Discover: Unobstructed views of the Eiffel Tower from the marble-paved platform at Trocadéro. A large collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings by Claude Monet at Musée Marmottan. The French Open, Fondation Louis Vuitton, a chateau and lake, a zoo, and greenhouses containing 100,000 plants in the Bois de Boulogne park.
You could easily spend days exploring treasures in the 16th's many specialty museums - anthropology at Musée de l'Homme, avant-garde contemporary art at Palais de Tokyo, Asian art at Musée Guimet, fashion at Musée Galliera, and 20th century masterpieces at Musée d'Art Moderne, to name just a few. And if you're visiting Paris with kids, the Paris Aquarium will be a big hit.
17th Arrondissement - Batignolles Square, Martin Luther King Park
Why visit: The 17th Arrondissement's economic diversity makes it hard to categorize, and because it lacks any major tourist attractions, you might easily skip over it on your first, second, or even third trip to Paris. But if you want to explore the "real" Paris, head to the leafy Batignolles neighborhood in the eastern part of the 19th, where you'll find a mix of 19th century charm and 21st century modernization.
Discover: Gourmet treats from all over France and freshly harvested organic produce in the Batignolles outdoor markets. Charming sidewalk cafes lead up to Batignolles Square, a neighborhood park filled with landscaped hills and dells, a duck pond, and pétanque courts. On the other side is Parc Clichy-Batignolles, a gorgeous new recreational area once occupied by freight yards, where you'll find a skate park, basketball courts, and a playgound surrounded by natural landscaping, scenic walks, and sustainable energy displays including wind turbines and solar panels.
18th Arrondissement - Montmartre, Sacré Coeur, Moulin Rouge, Les Puces Flea Market
Why visit: Famous attractions, village-like neighborhoods once populated by artists and writers, and fantastic views of Paris attract large numbers of visitors to the 18th Arrondissement. You'll also find plenty of appealing cafes and boutiques.
Top Montmartre Attractions
Discover: The sloping hills, vineyard, and stories about famous artists and musicians who once lived in Montmartre. The charming village of Abbesses.
Enjoy: Spectacular views from Sacre Coeur.
Treat yourself to: Unforgettable shows and dinner at Moulin Rouge.
Spend a day at: The biggest flea market in Paris (and the world), Marché aux Puces (Flea Market) in Saint-Ouen located just north of the Peripherique at Clingancourt.
Recommended Montmartre Tours
19th Arrondissement - Parc de la Villette, Buttes Chaumont Park, Paris Plages
Why visit: Cultural, recreational, and scenic attractions fill the 19th Arrondissement's two huge parks - plus the district boasts the city's largest artificial lake, the site of summer festivals, sports, and even a "beach."
Discover: Cité de la Science et l’Industrie science museum, Cité de la Musique music instruments museum, and Philharmonie de Paris concert hall at Parc de la Villette.
Enjoy: Bassin de la Villette's beach and row boats during Paris Plages. Flower-covered slopes, a waterfall, and some of the best views of Paris in Parc des Buttes-Chaumont.
20th Arrondissement - Père Lachaise Cemetery, Belleville, Street Art
Why visit: The 20th's biggest attraction is Cimetière du Père-Lachaise - the famous Père Lachaise Cemetery - where rows of ornate tombs and monuments of famous writers, musicians, artists, philosophers, and politicians perch on the landscaped hills. The 20th District also includes a swath of the sprawling and dynamic Belleville neighborhood, which spans parts of the 19th, 10th, and 11th districts as well.
Discover: The final resting spots of Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Frédéric Chopin, Marcel Proust, Rossini, and many other luminaries at Père-Lachaise, along with some of the city's most fascinating and poignant tombstones.
Enjoy: Sweeping views of Paris from a hilltop covered terrace adorned with graphic art in Parc de Belleville, and at the back, a small historic vineyard; down the side of the hill is a 300-foot long tiered waterfall-fountain, plus expanses of award-winning flower gardens.
Explore: The interesting street art, indie boutiques, art galleries, green space, and the city's second largest Chinatown (complete with wonderful, affordable restaurants) in Belleville. And on the other side of the Périphérique from the 20th: Montreuil Flea Market
Paris Hotel Map - Where to Stay in Your Favorite Paris District
Want to find a convenient Paris hotel or apartment close to your bucket list attractions?
More about Paris Arrondissements, Names, Quarters, & Neighborhoods
Paris Districts: Do They Have Names?
Yes. Each arrondissement has a historic name in addition to a number. But there's no need to learn them because they are not normally used in daily conversation, directions, or much of anything else.
You'll almost always hear Parisians refer to districts by only the number. For example, "She works in the 7th."
Confused? Don't worry about it. By the time you've spent a few days in Paris, all of this will make more sense.
The practice of compartmentalizing Paris into administrative districts and numbering them sequentially dates back to 1795 when the city was divided into 12 arrondissements. In 1860, Emperor Napoleon III more than doubled the size of the city by annexing 11 surrounding towns and expanding the number of arrondissements to the present 20.
The recent formation of "Paris Centre" by administratively combining the first four districts doesn't really change much. The major practical difference is that now the Paris Centre arrondissements will share one mayor and one city hall.
Is a Quartier (Quarter) the Same as a Neighborhood in Paris?
It depends - but not usually.
Each of Paris's 20 arrondissements contains four distinct quartiers (administrative sub-districts) and each quartier has a historic name.
Although many quartier names such as Croulebarbe and Gaillon are no longer used in everyday conversation, others such as Les Halles (1st arrondissement), Sentier (2nd), Saint-Germain-des-Prés (6th) - do double duty as neighborhood names, although neighborhood boundaries usually don't align with quartiers boundaries.
Additionally, some neighborhood names such Latin Quarter and Maraisare what Parisians have traditionally called the area, and have no relationship at all to the names of quartiers.
For example, the Latin Quarter is an area in the 5th, 6th, and even a bit of the 13th districts where students from all other Europe gathered during the Middle Ages while studying at the Sorbonne University. They spoke Latin as their common language, and that's how this Paris neighborhood got its name.
Similarly, the super-chic Marais neighborhood spanning large swaths of the 3rd and 4th arrondissements used to be swamp land, and so Parisians called it Le Marais ("the swamp").
Bottom line: Paris neighborhood names and locations within or across arrondissements are useful to know. Quartier names, not so much.
What Does "1re" Mean? What about "1ère"?
This is how Parisians (and everyone else in France) abbreviates "1st Arrondissement" ("la premier" in French) - and yes, there's a very short ("1re" or "2e" etc) and a slightly longer ("1ère" or "2ème") way (which you'll less frequently see written as "1ière" or "2ième") to do this and both are used interchangeably. Although the longer version is technically incorrect, that doesn't stop people from using it - so you should expect to see both.
However ... older street signs may show the arrondissement number as a Roman numeral - so brush up on those as needed.
Here's a cheatsheet with arrondissement numbers in English, French (along with Roman numerals), short and longer French abbreviations, and historical names in case you do happen to hear them:
Hôtel de Ville
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