If you're planning a visit to Paris, you've perhaps already come across the word "arrondissements"  and maybe figured out that it somehow relates to location.  But what exactly are Paris arrondissements?  

Basically, arrondissements are administrative districts.  Despite being a fairly compact city, Paris contains 20 arrondissements. Instead of having names, they're known by their numbers:  1 through 20.  So again, at a basic level each area designates a specific area, or part of the city.

You might reasonably think that if the numbers simply designate an administrative area, you don't need to give them another thought, right? 

But in reality, you do because everyone uses the numbers to mean not only location, but much, much more.

Here's why:

Each of the 20 Paris districts has its own unique identity, history, and personality, and vibe, along with popular attractions, special events, and other interesting things to do and see.

So when someone says to you, "You'd probably love staying in the 8th," that means that you might like the leafy Right Bank location as well as the many designer boutiques, wonderful bistros, occasional views of the Eiffel Tower, and elegant, upscale vibe."

Favorite Paris Arrondissement Tours

Although these tours (which are among my own personal favorites) focus on neighborhoods within and across arrondissements, they give you a great way to feel the vibes of each special area:

Whether you're planning your first visit or a return trip to the City of Light, knowing which Paris arrondissements have the attractions, activities, neighborhoods, and events you want to experience will help you make the most of your time, decide where to book a hotel room or reserve an apartment, and discover more to do and see nearby. 

In our Paris Arrondissement Guide below, you'll find a quick explanation of the city's layout, an interactive arrondissement map, highlights about top neighborhoods, destinations, activities, major events, tours, and hotels in each district, the best arrondissements 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.

We've packed lots of useful information into this article, but it's long.  If you're looking for details about a specific topic or district, use these Quick Links to find it fast: 

Arrondissement Map

Arrondissements Guide:  1st Arr  -  2nd Arr  -  3rd Arr  -  4th  -  5th  -  6th  -  7th  -  8th  -  9th  -  10th  -  11th  -  12th  -  13th  -  14th  -  15th  -  16th  -  17th  -  18th  -  19th  -  20th  - FAQs

Top photo:  Paris arrondissement map, (c) Paris Discovery Guide

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Paris Arrondissement Map:  Understanding the City's Layout

You'll find single-digit arrondissements in the center of Paris, which is also the oldest part of the city.  They are where you can explore most of the top historic attractions and not surprisingly, find the most tourists. 

As you can see when you look at our Paris arrondissements map below, districts with higher numbers spiral out clockwise from the center (kind of like the shell of a snail, or that favorite French food, an escargot). 

The city of Paris annexed most of the outer arrondissements such as the 18th, home to the Montmartre neighborhood, back in the 1800s when they were villages, and you can still experience plenty of their original charm. 

They are mostly residential and aside from the gorgeous Sacre Coeur Basilica perched on the highest hill of Montmartre and a few popular attractions such as Atelier des Lumières in the 12th and Père Lachaise Cemetery in the 20th, you usually won't see many tourists.

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.

Right Bank, Left Bank, and the Seine River Islands

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 Cité and 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 because their many trees contribute to the quality of the city's air.

The Périphérique: Paris's Circle Road

One final thing you should know about Paris's layout 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). 

If you take a taxi or private transport to or from Charles de Gaulle Airport, you'll most likely experience the Périph first-hand - for better or worse.  (Usually for worse, unless you're very, very lucky.)

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.

1st Arrondissement:   Louvre Museum, Sainte-Chapelle, Les Halles, Tuileries Garden

Paris's 1st arrondissement - Soaking up sun in the Jardin des Tuileries
Perfect spring day in Paris's 1st Arrondissement - Soaking up sun in the Jardin des Tuileries, with views of the Louvre in the background

Why visit:   Famous attractions, spectacular gardens, and excellent cafés, restaurants, and boutiques pack the 1st arrondissement with must-see "bucket list" sights for first-time as well as returning Paris visitors

Top Attractions in the 1st Arrondissement

Discover:  The Louvre Museum, 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.

Find more ways to experience the Louvre

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.

Join a walking tour of Ile de la Cité

The Vibe:  Elegant, lively, historical, with almost-hidden pockets of tranquility

Shop:  Famous designer boutiques along Rue Saint-Honoré, 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.

Fun 1st Arrondissement Wine & Food Experiences

  • French Wine Tasting Class with Sommelier - Savor French wines, Champagne, and fresh bread as you learn about France's wine region, how Champagne is made, and lots more from the popular O Chateau wine bar about a 5-minute walk from the Louvre
  • 2-Hour Seine River Lunch Cruise - See the Louvre Museum and other famous sites in the 1st arrondissement and other parts of Paris as you cruise by while relaxing over a wonderful 3-course lunch
  • Wine Museum Guided Tour with Wine Tasting - Tour the former wine cellars of the King of France across from the Louvre Museum, learn how wine is made, find about about different French grapes and wine regions, and taste some delicious wines

1st Arrondissement Complete Guide:  Find more things to do & see

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

Best places to stay in the 1st District during winter months

See Top Attractions from a Seine River Cruise

2nd Arrondissement - Covered Arcades, Sentier, Bourse

Galerie Vivienne, covered shopping arcade in Paris's 2nd Arrondissement 
Galerie Vivienne, covered shopping arcade in Paris's 2nd Arrondissement 

Why visit:   You'll love the 2nd arrondissement's 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 in the Sentier neighborhood. 

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 hidden treasures 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 (wholesale 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.

The Vibe:  A buzzy mix of chic and industrial, with fascinating slices of old Paris next to the new and trendy

2nd Arrondissement Complete Guide:  Find more things to do & see

Where to Stay in the 2nd District

  • Hotel Edouard VII - 4-star hotel in a superb location on Avenue de l'Opéra, less than a 5-minute walk from the Paris Opera House.  Find current rates
  • 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
  • The Hoxton - Elegant and contemporary, located in a gorgeous 18th century building in the bustling Sentier district.  Find lowest rates

Find more hotels in the 2nd arrondissement

Want to Get Around Paris the Fun & Easy Way?

Hop on hop off bus in Paris
Open Tour Hop On Hop Off bus on Rue de l'Opéra

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

Upper Marais in Paris's 3rd Arrondissement - Rue du Parc Royal
Upper Marais in Paris's 3rd Arrondissement: Jardin Anne Frank, with cherry trees blooming in May

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.  

- Find all the best ways to visit the Picasso Museum

Discover:  Jewish culture in France in the Museum of Jewish Art and History.

Dine on tasty couscous or kebabs at an outdoor table next to the food stalls at Marché des Enfants Rouges, the oldest covered market in Paris where residences have shopped for 400 years. 

Stroll along narrow cobblestone streets and explore the indie designer boutiques.

The Vibe:  Tranquil, arty, family-friendly, with quiet residential enclaves and flower-filled gardens

Recommended Self-Guided Paris Walk:  Rue Payenne Gardens

Where to stay in the 3rd arrondissement

4th Arrondissement - Notre Dame, Pompidou Center, Île Saint-Louis, Place des Vosges, Hôtel de Ville

Famous 4th Arrondissement Paris landmark:  Notre Dame Cathedral, across from 17th and 18th century mansions on the Right Bank and Île Saint-Louis
Famous 4th Arrondissement Paris landmark:  Notre Dame Cathedral, across from 17th and 18th century mansions on the Right Bank and Île Saint-Louis

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.   

Explore the trendy boutiques and galleries in the Marais, and visit antique stores and artisans in historic Village Saint-Paul.  

Admire modern and recent art on a private tour 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.

The Vibe:  Trendy and lively

Fun Ways to See the Marais

Best places to stay in the Marais

Where to stay in the Marais during winter months

Best Paris Arrondissements for Your Visit

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, Panthéon5th Arrondissement street near rue Mouffetard in the Latin Quarter

5th Arrondissement: Rue Mouffetard market street in the Latin Quarter

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.

The Vibe:  Relaxed and still slightly bohemian, thanks to all the students in the area - although upscale in a low-keyed way

Find best hotels & apartments in the Latin Quarter

6th Arrondissement - Luxembourg Garden, Saint Germain des Prés, & Saint-Sulpice Church

Parisian cafe in the 6th Arrondissement on rue de Buci
Parisian bistro in the 6th Arrondissement

Why visit:   The lovely 6th arrondissement, famous for its formerly bohemian Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood and a slice of the chill Latin Quarter, is a lovely upper-class mostly-residential district with commercial areas devoted to superb boutiques, art galleries, 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, and Paris's oldest church, Eglise Saint-Germain-des-Prés

Explore: The district's wonderful antique shops, home furnishing boutiques, and clothing stores.  

Buy:  Holiday gifts at the large Christmas market by Saint-Germain Church from mid-November through December

The Vibe:  Reminiscent of a 19th century romantic painting of the city, a favorite of many American tourists

Recommended 6th Arrondissement Tours

Where to Stay in the 6th Arrondissement

  • Hotel Clémont - This charming 2-star boutique hotel with 28 guestrooms has air conditioning and an elevator, and serves a fantastic breakfast; great value near the Saint Germain Market and Saint Sulpice Church
  • Hotel de Buci - This charming 24-room boutique hotel on the Rue Buci market street features furnishings with a romantic Louis XV 18th century très-Parisian vibe
  • Hotel Madison - Lovely 4-star boutique hotel with 50 rooms and suites across from Saint Germain des Prés church in a fantastic location near two metro stations
  • Hôtel Montalembert - Excellent 5-star boutique hotel in Saint Germain de Prés near museums, the Bon Marché luxury department store and food hall, and numerous small boutiques and antique shops
    Find best rates
  • Hotel de Seine (52 Rue de Seine) - This centrally-located small 3-star boutique hotel features 30 guestrooms, air conditioning, and an elevator in an excellent location near the Seine River - Book Now

Find more hotels & apartments in the 6th arrondissement

Where to stay in Saint-Germain-des-Pres during winter months

7th Arrondissement - Eiffel Tower, Orsay Museum, Bon Marché, Champ de Mars 

The most famous site in the 7th Arrondissement (and in Paris):  The Eiffel Tower
The most famous site in the 7th Arrondissement (and in Paris):  The Eiffel Tower

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. 

Find out how to get skip-the-line-priority entrance to the Eiffel Tower

See Impressionist masterpieces at Musée d'Orsay, non-western art at the Branly Museum, and magnificent sculptures and a romantic garden at Musée Rodin. 

Find skip-the-line tickets & guided tours to the Orsay Museum

Shop for luxury goods and gourmet food and wine selections at Le Bon Marché.  

History buffs will want to explore Les Invalides, where you'll find the Musée de l'Armée and Napoleon's tomb in Dome Church (get a priority entrance ticket that covers both). 

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.

The Vibe:  Elegant, quiet, upscale (except for the tourist-packed area around the Eiffel Tower)

Where to Stay in the 7th Arrondissement

Find best hotels near the Eiffel Tower

Best hotels in Paris's 7th arrondissement

8th Arrondissement - Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Élysées, Golden Triangle, Parc Monceau

Arc de Triomphe, on Champs Elysées in the 8th Arrondissement
Arc de Triomphe, on Champs Élysées in the 8th Arrondissement in Paris

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.

Find out more about visiting the Arc de Triomphe

Best places to stay in the 8th arrondissement

Fun Ways to See & Do near the Arc de Triomphe

9th Arrondissement - Palais Garnier, Pigalle, Galeries Lafayette, Printemps, Wax Museum, Covered Passages

Opéra Garnier (the Paris Opera House), in the 9th Arrondissement 
Opera Garnier (the Paris Opera House), in the 9th Arrondissement 

Why visit:   For most tourists, the top reason to visit the 9th arrondissement is shopping at the Grands Magasins (big luxury department stores) - Galeries Lafayette and Au Printemps - in this lively district filled with gorgeous19th 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.

    Explore the Paris Opera House, a Baroque masterpiece

  • Musée Grévin, the wax museum, located in Passage Jouffroy, one of the many historic covered arcades in the 9th. 

    Get your Grevin Museum tickets online and skip the (usually) long ticket queue at the entrance

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 SoPi's northern edge bordering the 18th can still feel a bit sketchy due to the remaining sex shows in this former red-light district, although in reality it's quite safe). 

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.

9th Arrondissement Complete Guide:  Find more things to do & see

Where to stay in the 9th arrondissement

Best places to stay in the 9th during winter months

10th Arrondissement - Canal Saint-Martin, Place de la République, Gare du Nord, Gare de l'Est

Canal Saint-Martin in Paris's 10th Arrondissement
Canal Saint-Martin in Paris's 10th Arrondissement

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 (which means more hotels, etc) than others. 

What to Discover:  Scenic bridges and locks along Canal Saint-Martin - Take a cruise, or simply stroll around the neighborhood and enjoy the colorful street art, lively cafes, and boutiques - in particular, look for up-and-coming young designers and pop-up stores. 

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.

Where to stay in the 10th arrondissement

11th Arrondissement - Place de la Bastille, Oberkampf, Nightlife, Atelier des Lumieres

Oberkampf cafe in Paris's 11th Arrondissement 
Oberkampf cafe in Paris's 11th Arrondissement 

Why visit:   The 11th arrondissement is a pleasant mostly residential area, formerly working class but now 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. 

For a unique immersive digitized art and music experience in a former iron foundry, visit Atelier des Lumières.

If you are looking for a lively nightlife scene, 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

Marché d'Aligre, the most popular flea market inside the Paris city limits, in the 12th Arrondissement
Reflecting pools along Promenade Plantée, also known as Coulée Verte, in Paris 12

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.

Find best places to stay in the 12th arrondissement

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

Street art in Paris's 13th Arrondissement 
Street art in Paris's 13th Arrondissement 

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.

How to Explore: 

Street Art in the 13th District Walking Tour - You'll see a lot of exciting street art including some by internationally famous graffiti artists in this fascinating tour of the 13th arrondissement- Find out more & book your ticket

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

Skulls and bones in the Catacombs
Skulls and bones in the Catacombs

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. 

Find out why & how to get skip the line priority tickets for the Catacombs

See all the Skip the Line and Priority Access ticket choices for the Catacombs

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. 

Next to the 14th, on the other side of the Périphérique:  Vanves Flea Market

15th Arrondissement - Parc André Citroen, Montparnasse Tower, Beaugrenelle Mall

Art exhibit at the Fondation Cartier in Paris's 14th Arrondissement
Fragrant flowers in the lavender garden in Parc André Citroen, in Paris's 15th Arrondissement

Why visit:   The 15th arrondissement is a large, mostly residential middle-to-upper income 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.

Find out where to stay in the 15th district

16th Arrondissement - Trocadéro, Palais de Tokyo, Musée Marmottan, Bois de Boulogne, Paris Aquarium

Exhibit at Palais de Tokyo, contemporary Paris art museum in the 16th Arrondissement
Exhibit at Palais de Tokyo, contemporary Paris art museum in the 16th Arrondissement

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, 20th century masterpieces at Musée d'Art Moderne, and the world of counterfeiting at Musée de la Contrefaçon, to name just a few.  And if you're visiting Paris with kids, the Paris Aquarium will be a big hit.

Find recommended hotels in Paris's 16th arrondissement

17th Arrondissement - Batignolles Square, Martin Luther King Park

Flowers blooming in a public square in the Batignolles neighborhood in Paris's 17th Arrondissement
Flowers blooming in a public square in the Batignolles neighborhood in Paris's 17th Arrondissement

Why visit:   The 17th Arrondissement's economic diversity makes it hard to categorize, and because it lacks any major tourist attractions aside from the Arc de Triomphe (which it shares with the 8th and 16th), 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 17th, 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 arena 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.

Explore the Artsy & Bohemian Side of Batignolles in this 3-Hour Walking Tour

Find the best places to stay in the 17th arrondissement

18th Arrondissement - Montmartre, Sacré Coeur, Moulin Rouge, Les Puces Flea Market

Place de Tertre next to Sacré Coeur in Paris's 18th Arrondissement
Place de Tertre next to Sacré Coeur in Paris's 18th Arrondissement

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, especially along Rue des Abbesses where a Christmas Market pops up during December.

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.  

Find out about a VIP evening at Moulin Rouge:  Champagne, dinner, and tickets to the hottest show in town

Explore:  Five floors of dazzling textiles and trims at the Saint-Pierre Fabric Market.

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.  And no, Saint-Ouen is not part of Paris (historically, this was to avoid taxes) and Les Puces isn't technically in the 18th - but it's just across the city line.

Find top Montmartre hotels & apartments in Montmartre

Recommended Montmartre Tours

19th Arrondissement - Parc de la Villette, Buttes Chaumont Park, Paris Plages

Silver dome (La Géode) housing a theater at Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie, science and exploration museum at Paris's Parc de la Villette in the 19th Arrondissement
Silver dome (La Géode) housing a theater at Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie, science and exploration museum at Paris's Parc de la Villette in the 19th Arrondissement

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.

Find out about the 17 best locations to see spectacular Paris skyline views

20th Arrondissement - Père Lachaise Cemetery, Belleville, Street Art

Top attraction in Paris's 20th Arrondissement:  Père-Lachaise Cemetery
Top attraction in Paris's 20th Arrondissement:  Père-Lachaise Cemetery

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, Edith Piaf, Rossini, and many other luminaries at Père-Lachaise, along with some of the city's most fascinating and poignant tombstones.  For a special experience, take a guided tour (or choose a small-group or private option).

Where to find the most famous 101 graves at Père-Lachaise

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

Find out where to stay in Paris's 20th arrondissement

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? 

Find out where to stay on your first trip to Paris:  best neighborhoods

Use this map to find available accommodations & best rates for your travel dates, and make your reservations:


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More to Know 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 only practical difference is that now the Paris Centre arrondissements share one mayor and one city hall.  So don't worry - everyone still refers to them as the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th.

Is a Quartier (Quarter) the Same as a Neighborhood in Paris?  

Sometimes - 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) - serve double duty as neighborhood names, although (just to keep things confusing) neighborhood boundaries usually don't align with quartiers boundaries.

Additionally, some neighborhood names such Latin Quarter and Marais reflect what Parisians have traditionally called the area, and have no relationship at all to the names of their quartiers.

For example, the Latin Quarter covers 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 chic Marais neighborhood spanning large swaths of the 3rd and 4th arrondissements used to be swamp land, and so Parisians called it (somewhat derisively) 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 Arrondissement Has the Most Tourist Attractions? 

Probably the 1st arrondissement (although not everyone may define "tourist" attraction the same way).

In this old and historic Paris area, you'll find the Louvre Museum (former Palais du Louvre, home to Paris kings and queens, and now the world's most-visited museum.

More to the point, Paris 1 is where you can visit Sainte Chapelle with its stunning gorgeous medieval stained glass walls and wonderful classical concerts and La Conciergerie, a medieval palace and Reign of Terror prison.  Both are located on Ile de la Cité  - but only half of the island is in the 1st; the rest, including the part with Notre Dame Cathedral) is in the 4th. 

Across the Seine on the Right Bank is the rest of the 1st, and that's where you'll find da Vinci's Mona Lisa) in the Louvre, Monet's famous water lily paintings in Musée de l'Orangerie, the Forum des Halles shopping center where the old Les Halles wholesale food markets once stood, some of the city's best kitchenware stores (including Dehillerin), part of the appealing Rue de Montgoreiul market street, along Rue Saint Honoré with its numerous designer boutiques, Tuileries Garden, and the Palais Royal Garden, just to name a few of the top attractions. 

And last but certainly not least, the 1st is where you'll find the super-popular Tuileries Christmas Market and Hotel de Ville Christmas Market. 

What Does "1er" 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 ("1er" or "2e" etc) and a slightly longer ("1ère" or "2ème") way (which you'll much 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 don't be startled if you see it.

However ... older street signs may show the arrondissement number as a Roman numeral - so if you're feeling fuzzy about whether "IX" means 9 or 11 (or maybe 4 or 6), brush up on those as needed.  (This really isn't a quiz, but here's the "answer":  IX = 9)

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:


  • First (1st)
  • Second (2nd)
  • Third (3rd)
  • Fourth (4th)
  • Fifth (5th)
  • Sixth (6th)
  • Seventh (7th)
  • Eighth (8th)
  • Ninth (9th)
  • Tenth (10th)
  • Eleventh (11th)
  • Twelfth (12th)
  • Thirteenth (13th)
  • Fourteenth (14th)
  • Fifteenth (15th)
  • Sixteenth (16th)
  • Seventeenth (17th)
  • Eighteenth (18th)
  • Nineteenth (19th)
  • Twentieth (20th)

In French

  • Première (I)
  • Deuxième (II)
  • Troisième (III)
  • Quartrième (IV)
  • Cinquième (V)
  • Sixième (VI)
  • Septième (VII)
  • Huitième (VIII)
  • Neuvième (IX)
  • Dixième (X)
  • Onzième (XI)
  • Douzième (XII)
  • Treizième (XIII)
  • Quatorzième (XIV)
  • Quinzième (XV)
  • Seizième (XVI)
  • Dix-septième (XVII)
  • Dix-huitième (XVIII)
  • Dix-neuvième (XIX)
  • Vingtième (XX)


  • 1re (1ère)
  •  2e (2ème)
  • 3e (3ème)
  • 4e (4ème)
  • 5e (5ème)
  • 6e (6ème)
  • 7e (7ème)
  • 8e (8ème)
  • 9e (9ème)
  • 10e (10ème)
  • 11e (11ème)
  • 12e (12ème)
  • 13e (13ème)
  • 14e (14ème)
  • 15e (15ème)
  • 16e (16ème)
  • 17e (17ème)
  • 18e (18ème)
  • 19e (19ème)
  • 20e (20ème)


  • Louvre
  • Bourse
  • Temple
  • Hôtel de Ville
  • Panthéon
  • Luxembourg
  • Palais-Bourbon
  • Élysée
  • Opéra
  • Entrepôt
  • Popincourt
  • Reuilly
  • Gobelins
  • Observatoire
  • Vaugirard
  • Passy
  • Batignolles-Monceau
  • Butte-Montmartre
  • Buttes-Chaumont
  • Ménilmontant

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Les Halles Canopée and Saint Eustache Church in Paris's 1st arrondissement
Les Halles Canopée and Saint Eustache Church in Paris's 1st arrondissement
Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysées on a car-free Sunday in Paris's 8th district
Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysées on a car-free Sunday in Paris's 8th district