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Best Neighborhoods in Paris

eiffel tower at dusk in paris france




As a first timer, you have to cross off the obvious list of things that you one must see or do while in Paris: Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, Champs-Elysées, Musée d’Orsay, Versailles (about 40 minutes outside of Paris – accessible by RER C), Sacré-Coeur, Jardin du Luxembourg, Catacombs.

But I also want to share some of my favorite neighborhoods in Paris – those that typically feel very “French”.


louvre museum paris france

The iconic Louvre




Historic yet trendy district in Paris – peppered with boutiques, vintage shops, Jewish bakeries, and the epicenter of gay Paris. My favorite places to eat are in Place des Vosges and Place Sainte-Catherine! Metro Stop Line 1: Hotel de Ville, Bastille, Saint- Paul




It has that Bohemian Parisian vibe: quintessential Parisian cafés, quirky bookstores, (Shakespeare and Co.!), and students from Sorbonne University give it that eclectic and vibrant atmosphere. I love walking around here! Paris Metro Stop Line 4: Saint-Michel.




One of the “chic-iest” arrondisements in Paris. This quarter also boasts some of Paris most famous cafés: Les Deux Magots, Café de Flore, le Procope, and Brasserie Lipp. Some of the famous clienteles of these cafés were, for example: Jean-Paul Sartre, Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, Oscar Wilde. I squatted the whole day at Café de Flore once just to pretend like I was one of them famous artists/writers…. And here I am writing a blog. WHAT?! Paris Metro Stop Line 4: Saint-Germain-des-Prés


paris arrondissement france

Street scenes in Paris





Set on the hilly side of Paris(watch out for those endless stairs that just won’t quiiiit!!) Montmartre is one of the most colorful neighborhoods popular among artists and tourists. I stayed in a hostel here on my very first trip to Paris, so this arrondisement has a special meaning to me – and where I also met some of my first hostel friends that I am still in touch with to this day (and some of I’ve already reunited since we met – almost ten years later!) Paris Metro Stop Line 12: Abesses, Line 2: Anvers




Great shopping/street market where locals go. I recently discovered this neighborhood (after so many years – yikes!) and what I really enjoyed was the selection of restaurants on this street! Vibrant at night! Paris Metro Stop Line 7: Censier-Daubenton.




One of the major pubic squares in Paris where you’ll find the Luxor Obelisk, Tuileries Garden, and some fancy water fountain ?(Fontaine des Mers – you’ll recognize this immediately if you’ve seen the Devil Wears Prada at least ten times).

Around the corner are also the fanciest boutique shops in Paris – which is to be expected as this is one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Paris. Paris Metro Stop Line 1: Concorde


fontaines de la concorde paris france

Fontaines de la Concorde




This is not my first time in Paris. But I’ll list my initial observations below on the very first time I ever stepped foot in Paris (2007) – more specifically from the airport to my hostel. I’ve been studying French before this trip so the excitement/anticipation/and all those other senses were extremely high – which makes it seem like this happened just yesterday.

1) The sound of the French language at the airport – right off the bat. Trying to figure if I can understand what they were saying.

2) Not saying Bonjour. I asked if I can borrow a pen at the immigration line at the airport without saying “Bonjour”, and the lady kept repeating “Bonjour” until I said it and before she let me borrow her pen.

3) Being slightly intimidated by the metro map. Prior to my first ever visit to Paris, I’ve never seen so many metro lines with different colors and with so many stops that I could not even pronounce!

4) The sound of accordion playing on my metro ride from my the airport to the hostel (can we say cliché?!)



5) THE STAIRS!! I was carrying my large backpack and another bag and finally figured why there are barely any fat French people (or at least Parisians) regardless of the how many pastries and carbs (I’m talking about baguettes here) they consumer EVERYDAY!

6) The smell of fresh baked pastries and busy cafés at every street corner. It just sets the ambiance of the whole city.

7) The whole city wreaks of sex appeal. The architecture is sexy. The food is sexy. The people way people dress is sexy (ok, more elegant, but still wreaks sexy). The way people carry their baguette while walking the cobble-stoned street is sexy. The people smoking a cigarette makes it look sexy. Everything. TOUT! And they’re not even trying.

8) You will feel conscious if you are dressed properly.

9) The city is romantic AF. There’s no other city in the world that will make you feel aware that you are very much single. Désolé.

10) Museums on museums on museums. You will leave Paris feeling fancy and cultured.





On this particular trip, I was all about Boeuf Bourguignon – a stew prepared with beef braised in red wine (traditionally red burgundy and beef broth). One of my favorite French dishes (and there’s a gazillion of them).




There are plenty, but somehow this is what I find the most interesting: There is only one stop sign in the whole city of Paris ?




As I mentioned earlier, you don’t need to speak French in Paris. And despite the (not very true) clichés, the French are actually very polite. So if you must know some French before arriving in France, memorize these three– VERY IMPORTANT: Bonjour (greeting), Merci (thank you), and S’ il vous plaît (please).


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