Whether you're looking for a Paris hotel near the Eiffel Tower or up in romantic Montmartre, this guide will help you make sense of the city and choose where to stay in Paris.
Leading west from place de la Concorde, Avenue Champs-Élysées is the most famous of the dozen grand boulevards radiating from the Arc de Triomphe. This broad, leafy avenue is tailor-made for promenading, lined with exclusive boutiques, legendary Paris hotels, restaurants, cinemas and cabaret nightspots. Equally chic rue du Faubourg St-Honoré runs parallel, home to the Hermès flagship store. Couture houses cram the Golden Triangle formed by Avenue Montaigne running down to the Seine, where a string of grand buildings have views of the Eiffel Tower on the Left Bank.
The Louvre Museum’s arcaded pavilions dominate the River Seine’s north bank, stretching from Pont Royal to Pont Neuf, Paris’ oldest bridge. Luxury Paris hotels cluster off rue de Rivoli as it transforms from elegant to bohemian heading east to the Marais district. Nearby Châtelet metro has direct rail links to Orly and Charles de Gaulle airports. In the Marais, a lively mix of pedestrianised backstreets wind to cultural hubs like the Pompidou Centre, Paris’ best boutique hotels and late-night bars.
On Paris’ highest hill, in the north of the city, Montmartre is the quintessential ‘Parisian’ locale. Steep cobbled lanes lead to candlelit bistros and bars, lamp-lit squares like place du Tertre and balconied hotels adorned with flower boxes. Capping the hill are the white domes of Sacré Coeur Basilica. From here, panoramic views take in the Pigalle red-light district at the foot of Montmartre, and further south the hotels and shops of L’Opera.. Major rail hubs, Gare du Nord and Gare de l’Est, are just a few metro stops away.
The Latin Quarter’s reputation for intellectualism and activism was born in the Sorbonne university, established here on the Left Bank of the River Seine in the 12th century. Student cafés still resound with discussions of existentialism, and the famous dead lie entombed in the domed Panthéon mausoleum. To the west is the St-Germain area with its 19th-century cafés Deux Magots and Café de Flore. The Luxembourg Gardens connect south to the local markets of Montparnasse, where bus links to Orly and Charles de Gaulle airports arrive at central Paris’ sole skyscraper, Montparnasse Tower.
On the River Seine’s southern bank, near the golden dome of the Invalides where Napoleon lies buried, the Eiffel Tower is an eye-catching sight by day or night. The quiet residential streets of townhouses surrounding this monument are amongst the most desirable choices when deciding where to stay in Paris. Parisians saunter through the Champ de Mars gardens running south from the tower, and Avenue Champs- Élysées is a short stroll across the Seine.