Favorite Parisian Neighborhoods

Hello, My husband and I are visiting Paris at Christmas and we would like to rent an apartment. I have loads of great options on VRBO, but would like some neighborhood suggestions. We are looking for a semi-quiet(meaning we like to stay out late eating, drinking wine, and walking, not clubbing) area with great cafes and restaurants. We also would like the neighborhood feel and would like to be able to pick up cheeses, breads, meats, and wines to take back to our apartment or find a nice place to picnic--I know, I know, Paris at Christmas is cold, but in my mind I'll be picnicking! Any and all suggestions are welcome! Thanks in advance,

Posted by Alexander
Quad Cities, IL/IA
354 posts

My favorite is the 14th: Alésia. It's a nice, residential area that has some great restaurants, cinémas, and just a nice Parisian feel, also Dunfert-Rochereau is just a short walk away. The area is very safe. Just thinking about it makes me homesick!

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
5693 posts

Especially for a first visit, but really any time, my favorite arrondissements are the 4th, 5th & 6th, as close to the river as possible. From those areas you can walk to many sites and all those areas have many places to eat. At that time of year you will have short days, but Paris is just as beautiful at night. An apartment is a great idea because of those short and possibly cold days. I actually prefer apartments anyway.

Posted by Douglas
Beaverton, Oregon, United States
35 posts

My wife would second Alexander's 14th recommendation. "our" neighborhood is Pernety

Posted by Susan
Marin County/San Francisco
3733 posts

I agree with Andrea. My favorite area of all is the 4th, 5th and 6th, as close to the river as possible. Ile St. Louis, the little island east of Notre Dame, in the 4th, is my all time favorite neighborhood. It's like a village unto itself in the very heart of Paris. From the middle to the eastern end it is very quiet at night. From the middle going west, there are lots of fun shops, restaurants, cafes, butchers, bakeries, crepe stands, cheese shops, ice cream, one bar, pharmacies, grocery store, produce store that has the best fresh squeezed OJ on the planet, and an ATM. Notre Dame is the very center of Paris. That is where all distances in France are measured from. So, the farther away you get from Notre Dame, the farther away from the center you are. As Andrea said, from the 4th, 5th and 6th you'll be able to walk to most places a first time visitor will want to go. In this area there will be restaurants, cafes, wine bars, people playing music outside, great shops, the amazing Luxembourg Gardens (don't miss!) and the river with amazing views and beautiful buildings. Enjoy!

Posted by Anita
Long Beach, California, USA
1447 posts

We love the 16th in the Passy neighborhood. It's across the river from the Eiffel Tower and a few blocks south and is very "real" Paris...beautiful restaurants and shops and very quick by metro to everything. It is a quiet area with lovely parks, small museums, and boulevards. Not touristy yet beautiful!

Posted by Tom
Milwaukee, WI, USA
102 posts

I was fortunate to live for almost 2 years in the 15th Arr. two blocks from Mo. La Motte-Picquet Grenelle which has 3 lines running through it that will take you to just about anywhere in the city you want to go (see it on a map). It was a working class neighborhood back then but now has gentrified (especially on the rue du Commerce) and has plenty of nice shops and restaurants. It is an easy walk over to the Champs de Mars and the Eiffel Tower. One of the Metro lines (ligne 6) runs above ground crossing the Seine as it heads to Charles de Gaulle-Etoile and the Arc de Triomphe. A more diverse and different (meaning real French) neighborhood than the touristy neighborhoods such as the Latin Quarter area but as safe as any other city neighborhood. Also, apartment rentals tend to be a bit cheaper here and in the Mo. Dupleix area. All the above suggestions are great choices but this is where I stay when I am in Paris. Enjoy your Christmas trip and try to get tickets to midnight Mass on Christmas Eve at Notre Dame!