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The 20 Paris Arrondissments
(city districts) Explained...

The Paris arrondissments each have a distinctive neighbourhood feel, so there is a Paris for everyone.


When looking on a map, the arrondissments follow a spiral that ressembles the shell of one of our famous Burgundian snails (see above), only with numbers tattooed on it. A third of the arrondissments are on the exclusive Left Bank, whereas the remaining two thirds sit on the more modern, but equally in demand Right Bank - banks of the River Seine, that is. Their postcodes are all prefixed with 750 or 7500, the arrondissment number completing as as suffixe, for example: the 8th, "le 8ème", has the postcode 75008. 

Below is a selection of what we think are the most sought after arrondissements and neighbourhoods:

1st Arrondissement :

Right Bank, 75001


The most central location in Paris, the Business area, a stone's throw from the Louvre, luxury shops on the rue St Honoré and the Place Vendôme, not to mention the aristocratic Palais Royal and Tuileries Gardens.   Residential property is rare in this district and will often be found in buildings shared with commercial properties.  However, the quartier of Les Halles is much less prestigious, even though apartments can be found in very old buildings, often modernised, but not losing their charm.  


2nd Arrondissement :

Right Bank, 75002


Just behind the Palais Royal, there is an area worth looking into. The beautiful covered Passages Vivienne and Colbert, fine architecture and the streets around the pedestrian market rue Montorgueil, offer an authentic charm to discover ;   elsewhere, this district is too commercial.    Prices are quite attractive, particularly in the Northern part of the arrondissement and well served for public transport.


3rd Arrondissement :

Right Bank, 75003


The southern part of this district is generally assimilated into the Marais.  However, in the past few years this movement has moved north-westwards with a flourish of fashion ateliers, contemporary art galleries, designer hotels and "bobo" (Bourgeois bohemians) residents.  Properties are usually smaller and more expensive in the old, southern part of the arrondissement and access by car is difficult.


4th Arrondissement :

Right Bank, 75004


The Marais, the Île St Louis and the Place des Vosges are amongst the most treasured locations in Paris - a heady mixture of ancient buildings in narrow streets, grand ‘Hôtels Particuliers’ (town houses), designer shops, hip cafés and bars.  The mixture of people is just as eclectic  -  artistic, gay, musical and everyone else who enjoys the vitality and the buzz of this unique district.  Property you will find here reflects the general atmosphere, from the modest, beamed and charming, to four-metre-high ceilings and majestic stone staircases.  The Île St Louis is in a world of its own  -  a peaceful oasis in the heart of Paris, this remains one of the city's most exclusive addresses.


5th Arrondissement :

Left Bank, 75005


Home to the erudite since the 12th century and known as the "Latin Quarter", this district, the centre of learning and the Sorbonne, still boasts a relaxed bohemian atmosphere, giving the areas around the Pantheon, Place de la Contrescarpe and near the river such a unique charm. Property is rare and snapped up very quickly.  The southern part of the district is cheaper and more family orientated.


6th Arrondissement :

Left Bank, 75006


Paris' most expensive district, due largely to the legendary attraction of St Germain des Prés and its chic bustle of galleries, boutiques and café life spilling out onto the pavements. It's hardly surprising that a large proportion of properties are owned by foreigners.  Some people will prefer the quieter, less touristic areas around the Luxembourg Gardens and the rue du Cherche Midi.  Property is less expensive as you get nearer to Montparnasse.


7th Arrondissement :

Left Bank, 75007

This district is synonymous with exclusive, discreet elegance making it one of Paris most sought after districts.  Old French families, government ministries, fine art galleries and antiquaries as well as good restaurants all set the tone. There is a distinct difference in atmosphere between the older, more ‘Aristocratic’ Faubourg St Germain / Rue du Bac area (embodying the "Rive Gauche" atmosphere) and the quieter residential areas, with large tree lined avenues and Haussmannian architecture on the other side of Les Invalides or around the Champ de Mars.


8th Arrondissement :

Right Bank, 75008


Another heart of Paris - this time to haute couture, palace hotels, showbiz and gourmet restaurants.  The "Triangle d'Or" (between the Avenue Georges V, the Place de l'Alma, and the Champs Elysées) attracts a ritzy international clientele. This golden triangle is very small and demand for property high, making it an expensive area.  The Faubourg St Honoré, more discretely elegant, is home to fine clothes, prestigious auction houses, chic private clubs and of course the French President.  A quieter, residential, area can be found around the elegant Parc Monceau.


16th Arrondissement :

Right Bank, 75016

Located in the western side of Paris and closer to the Bois de Boulogne, with access to Versailles and the Normandy countryside, this residential district epitomises Parisian bourgeois elegance.  To the north (75116), the imposing Avenues, such as Foch, Iéna, Victor Hugo and Georges Mandel are prized by diplomats, embassies and foreign business residents. The Passy-Muette area is smart and lively, and Auteuil has a pleasant village atmosphere, although it is a little far out geographically. The quality of property is high, generally Haussmanian and largely made up of good-sized family apartments and cosy town houses.


17th Arrondissement :

Right Bank, 75017

Although further from the centre, this is an attractive residential neighbourhood with classic Haussmannian architecture and a comfortable standard of living. The area to the North of the Parc Monceau is particularly sought after for large family apartments and around the Place des Ternes for a younger, livelier atmosphere.


18th Arrondissement :

Right Bank, 75018


Montmartre.  Who can resist this amazing village from where hundreds of artists have sprung and where there is still a productive vineyard on the slopes of the hill culminating in the iconic Sacre Coeur !  Small cosy houses, quaint cobbled streets and old-world charm make it one of the most desirable areas of Paris for a discerning foreigner to put down roots.

Want to find out more and which Paris is your Paris? Give us a call to chat!


The Philip Hawkes Agency, Paris
+ 33 6 80 40 65 99 - + 33 1 42 68 11 11

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