Late spring or early summer is the perfect time to visit Paris. The trees are blooming, the light is magical, and the weather is idyllic. People are sitting outside cafés drinking a glass of wine and watching passersby while locals might be sitting by the Canal Saint-Martin having a picnic at the end of a long workday. In essence, Paris comes alive this time of year.
If you've already booked flights for your Parisian adventure, the next step is figuring out where to stay. Finding an area to stay in Paris can be tricky, even if you're a seasoned visitor to the City of Lights. The city is shaped like a large circle and divided into arrondissements (or districts) forming a clockwise spiral starting from the city center. Don't be confused if the 8th is located next to the 1st; it's entirely normal. So what are the best areas to stay in Paris for the best restaurants, shopping, and sightseeing? We've outlined it all for you (along with our favorite hotels in each).
2ème Arrondissement: The Hoxton
Courtesy of The Hoxton
Adjacent to the 1st arrondissement—where you'll find the Louvres, the Palais-Royal, and the Jardins des Tuileries—the 2nd arrondissement is tucked away just outside of the tourist madness, but still a stone's throw away from all the main attractions, making this a great neighborhood for Paris first-timers.
Foodies will love the restaurant-filled Passage des Panoramas (where you'll find Caffè Stern and Racines), and a drink at the Experimental Cocktail Club is a must. Don't forget to pop into L'Appartement Sézane for fantastic fashion.
Where to Stay: The Hoxton is Paris's coolest new hotel and the perfect basecamp for your French escapades. The courtyard is charming and its restaurant, Rivié, is one of the hottest new tables in Paris.
3ème Arrondissement: Les Bains
Courtesy of Les Bains
Th 3rd arrondissement is often better known as Le Haut Marais and includes a large portion of this popular Paris neighborhood. Here, you'll find a buzzing enclave of cafés (Boot Café, Ob-La-Di), restaurants (Les Chouettes), and shops.
From Le Marais, you are just a few steps away from Le Centre Pompidou, a fantastic modern art museum, and the Canal Saint-Martin, where locals take often have apéro by the canal at sunset.
Where to Stay: Les Bains was reborn a few years ago from one of the city's most iconic nightclubs. Today, it's a luxury hotel boasting a cutting-edge design that's the center of cool.
8ème Arrondissement: Hôtel Vernet
Courtesy of Hôtel Vernet
The 8th arrondissement spans all the way from the end of the Jardin des Tuileries to the Arc de Triomphe along Les Champs Élysées. Here, you' find all the most high-end establishments, from Le Bristol and George V hotels to the iconic Caviar Kaspia restaurant.
Yes, the area can get a little packed with tourists, but it's immaculately beautiful nonetheless. Pro tip: Meander through the smaller streets or walk along La Seine instead of sticking to Les Champs Élysées, and stop in at Les Grands Verres or Monsieur Bleu for a drink or a meal.
Where to Stay: Hôtel Vernet isn't quite as luxe at the George V, but it isn't far off. The design—at the intersection of classic Haussmannian architecture and modern style—is one of the best in Paris.
9ème Arrondissement: Hôtel Bienvenue
Courtesy of Hôtel Bienvenue
The 9th arrondissement is home to the famous Galeries Lafayettes, so get ready for great shopping. It's also an area where hot new restaurants are proliferating. Try out Pink Mamma or Maison Lautrec, two of the city's most popular tables currently.
During the day, head north up the Montmartre steps to visit the quaint neighborhood that's home to the only vineyard in Paris.
Where to Stay: Hôtel Bienvenue may be our new favorite hotels in Paris. The serene courtyard is a respite from the city's hustle and bustle, and the design is a beautiful influence of Art Deco modernized for today's taste.
13ème Arrondissement: Hôtel Henriette
Courtesy of Hôtel Henriette
Located on the Rive Gauche on the other side of La Seine, the 13th arrondissement is a hip area filled with hip cafés and bars, just a few steps away from the Latin Quarter.
Walk along the river, or head over to Le Jardin du Luxembourg, one of the most beautiful gardens in Paris, and make your way across to the Place de l'Odéon and the Boulevard Saint-Germain, where you'll find some of the best cafés and shopping in Paris.
Where to Stay: Hôtel Henriette is one of Paris's most adorable budget-friendly hotels. Newly opened, it features quirky and colorful décor with midcentury influences. It's also kid-friendly, in case you want to bring the little ones.
Next up: The new Paris hotel all the cool girls will be flocking to in 2018.