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Where to stay in Paris

Preface: I've read the other threads on here on this topic, as well as Rick's 2022 Paris book, and other relevant articles. Still have an open question about where to stay and would really appreciate this crowd's advice...

About me: ~30 y/o male, traveling alone in late-September for 7 nights, interested in staying near non-clubby nightlife as opposed to the nearest subway station. Budget is not a primary concern and I'm okay walking significant distances per day. I like the kind of nightlife/bars that don't have a loud DJ and are at least semi-conducive to conversation. Been learning French the past couple years and would sure like to practice and hopefully make some friends!

Based on Rick's book, I'd have guessed that for someone like me, the 5th or 6th arrondisement would be the optimal place to stay. However, a French guy I know said that it's the 8th, 16th, and 17th arrondisements that I should be considering. However, Rick barely covers these areas except for a little around Arc de Triomphe.

Does anyone have experience in both those areas and/or can weigh in on choosing 5-6 vs 8-16-17? Thanks so much!

Edit: looks like there's a high density of Michelin Star restaurants in the 16th & 17th arrondisements, and the guy who recommended it to me makes a living in food, so I wonder if his recommendation is causative or correlative...

Posted by
7976 posts

Been learning French the past couple years and would sure like to practice and hopefully make some friends!

You have to go into the slower pace smaller towns if you really want to survive in French and not big tourist town Paris where everyone speaks English when they here your accent. Try staying in the 20th it is more working class not many tourists

Posted by
929 posts

I’ve always enjoyed the Marais (solo traveler.) I appreciate your outlook, but being near a decent metro stop should still be a primary concern. I mean, I get where you don’t want to be surrounded by tourists, but you’re still a tourist and will appreciate more convenient access about the city.

However, I was set to stay in Charonne area which is 20th Arrondisement before the pandemic. I biked around it a bit after visiting Pere Lachaise. I think it might be what you’re looking for.:

Posted by
1165 posts

The 8th is a very upscale district with fashion houses, high-end shopping, and upscale restaurants and hotels. Here you will find a lot of the 5-star hotels, i.e., Four Seasons George V, Plaza Athenee, Le Bristol, etc. You can find some more reasonably priced accommodations, like Hotel Chambiges Elysees, or West End, but they are still in a higher bracket. We stay there often, and was there last month. Not really known for it's nightlife, more for eating, shopping, and strolling. If not mistaken, the 16th is very much family-oriented and rather swanky with nice parks. We like the 16th. The 17th is also a residential area, so perhaps your friend recommended these areas because of that reason. Both have good restaurants.

Posted by
8164 posts

First trip --- I'd go with the Latin Quarter as a single young guy or the 11th. I love the 17th and we stay there often in the Batignolles section of this arrondissement but I am not sure it would be my choice on a first visit -- there is nothing to do there -- one of its charms. I would absolutely not want to be in the 8th or near the Arc.

Posted by
6996 posts

Your French friend is almost trying to prank you by suggesting the 8-16-17th 😂. There is almost no casual nightlife in the 16, the 8 has a bit more but it is expensive and vast swathes are really dead at night, and the 17 is really hit-or-miss. Some parts are really lively, but most aren't.
The 5-6 would be good, 3-4 and 9 (esp. around rue des Martyrs) as well. Also the 11th, but it can get loud in places.

Posted by
9766 posts

I remember when that Guardian article came out, I was reading it and about fell out of my chair - the "Café Sans Nom" that they mention was literally on the ground floor of the building we lived in before we moved to our current apartment. I had never thought of our neighborhood -- heck, our street, as a hot neighborhood.

Looking through that article now, I am curious how many of those places are still open since the pandemic. If it wasn't supposed to be so bloody hot this weekend, I would go up there and do a roll call.

Anyway to the OP, I agree totally with everyone who says the 8th, 16th, and 17th are dullsville and you will enjoy the 5th, 6th, 3rd, 4th, maybe 9th much more.

Posted by
8 posts

My 27 yr old 1/2 french 1/2 American daughter lives in the neighborhood by Canal St Martin (Rue des Vinaigriers). I love her neighborhood. It's the 11eme. Check it out, not touristy, nice bars on the canal, great hip restos and bars. An amazing marche near by and close to 2 train stations.