The Parisian neighborhoods are not only a place to live for the inhabitants of the city, it’s much more than this, it is your identity, it is the favorite subject in every Parisian house party and you can be sure that Parisians from other places will attack your choice, read this article about how to pick a Parisian neighborhood and make the right choice. So let’s see how to pick the Parisian neighborhood that will suit you best.

Paris map with the different districts

Marais – The trendy quarter


The first thing you need to know about that quarter is that it probably has the weirdest name, because «marais» in English means «swamp»! But not to worry; there’s an explanation: before monks settled there in the XIIth century, there were only swamps. The second thing you need to know about that quarter is that it is the oldest one in Paris! In fact, that is the only quarter that Haussmann spared. He was Napoléon’s 3rd chief architect of Paris from 1853 to 1870, and he turned it into a modern city with wide avenues, blue roofs and white stone buildings that now symbolize Paris.

So the Marais is the place where you can imagine how the Middle Age Paris looked like… but today, it is probably the trendiest quarter of the city! Along those old small narrow streets, you will find lots of street arts, creator shops, second-hand clothes shops, trendy bars or cafés, and hipsters! So that’s the perfect place to meet friends, have fun, and go shopping. You also need to know that it is certainly the quarter of Paris where the gay community is most present.

Narrow streets among so many others in the Marais

>> How to get there? This quarter straddles the 3rd and the 4th districts in the center of Paris on the Right Bank. Its borders are the rue Beaubourg to the West, boulevard Beaumarchais to the East; rue de Bretagne to the North, and the river Seine at the South. (NB: « rue » means «street»)

>> Metro stations: Arts et Métiers (line 3 and 11), Chemin vert (line 8), Filles du Calvaire, (line 8), Hotel de Ville (line 1 and 11), Saint Sébastien-Froissart (line 8), Saint Paul (line 1), Temple (line 3).

Montmartre / Pigalle – the picturesque quarter

Before, Pigalle and Montmartre were of ill fame. It was the domain of thugs, mafia, big shots, prostitutes, and the police. That was a place of debauchery where people came to entertain. So at the end of World War II, the Allied soldiers nicknamed Pigalle’s quarter « Pig Alley ». But today it looks quite different! Even though you can still find many cabarets there such as the Moulin Rouge or the Divan du Monde, many sex shops, and Museum of Eroticism, it is now a touristy place!

Nevertheless, Parisians still hang out there. In the hidden streets, you can find some of the trendiest night clubs of the city and bars where locals go. But who lives here? The bobos. You might wonder what it means. well the first bo stands for «bourgeois» and the second one for « bohemian ». In fact, it is said that there are individuals who spend their days earning money, and their nights criticizing money because they love the arty and bohemian spirit!


>> How to get there? This quarter straddles the 9th and the 18th districts. It is located around the Pigalle square and below Montmartre mound.

>> Metro stations: Pigalle (line 2 and 12), Blanche (line 2), Anvers (line 2), Abesses (line 12), or Place de Clichy (line 2 and 13).

Ouest Parisien

Contrary to popular opinion, there is not a major richness discrepancy between North Paris and South Paris, so between the Right Bank and the Left Bank, the gap is somewhere-else, between the West and the East! Western Paris is actually the « Beaux Quartiers » (the chic quarters). There you find the great haussmannian building, with wide avenues, and huge flats. There are also great parks and greens. It’s very calm and safe, and so is the perfect place for large families and young children. The only problem is that it is so calm that sometimes you have to walk for hours before you find a bakery!


>> How to get there? Those chic neighborhoods are located in the 7th, 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, and 17th districts (see the map at the beginning of the article).

Quartier latin / Saint Germain

The Latin Quarter is the student quarter of Paris, and St Germain-des-prés is probably the most intellectual one. In fact, the Latin Quarter got the name because Latin was the exclusive language of the courses given in Schools and Universities there during the Middle Ages, and Saint Germain-des-prés used to be home to the jazz cellar, the artists, and bohemians that were broke. Nowadays, it still houses many higher education establishments and universities such as la Sorbonne, but it is also the place where real estate is most expensive! But even though it is now a wealthy neighbourhood, it still has an intellectual spirit, a very nice atmosphere, good bars and cafés.


>> How to get there? Those two quarters correspond to the 5th and 6th districts of Paris. They are representative of what is called the Left Bank spirit.

>> Metro station: – line 7: Censier Daubenton, Place Monge, Jussieu.
>> Line 4: Saint Germain-des-prés, Odéon, Saint Michel.
>> Line 10: Mabillon, Odéon, Cluny la Sorbonne, Maubert Mutualité, Cardinal Lemoine, Jussieu.

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