The 9 Best Places to Live in Paris
Paris is a spectacular city, and a wonderful place to move to as an expat.
You can expect to be blown away by the City of Lights’ countless wonders and overflowing cultural attractions, from the art and architecture to the food and fashion.
It’s one of the best cities in the world – and you should have a home to match.
So whether you’re focused on finding an area with the best schools, the best restaurants, or just the best chance of not missing your rent or mortgage payments, we’ve got you covered.
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The best neighbourhood in Paris for cheap property
It’s said about urban areas all over the world, but the relatively affordable 19th arrondissement is genuinely up-and-coming.
Wander through the beautiful streets of La Mouzaïa, spend the day reading and drinking coffee by the artificial Bassin de la Villette lake, saunter through Parc des Buttes Chaumont with its grotto and cherry trees, or head to the Canal de l'Ourcq’s waterfront walkway.
The canal will lead you to the Parc de la Villette, the third-largest park in the city, where you’ll find three concert venues, the biggest science museum in Europe, and La Géode, a giant reflective dome that houses an immersive cinema.
With these attractions, it’s no surprise that the area is quickly becoming increasingly attractive.
There are plenty of lovely places to live on either side of the Alexander III bridge
The best neighbourhood in Paris for green spaces
First, walk the Coulée Verte, a 4.5km path that stretches from the Place de la Bastille to the Bois de Vincennes, while surrounded by beautifully maintained plants and trees.
Then, when you get to the Bois de Vincennes, you can enjoy the arboretum, the zoo, and the gorgeous 14th-century Chateau de Vincennes.
And if you’re after some more dynamic pursuits, you can play some mini-golf, take a boat across the Lac des Minimes, or simply run somewhere in this gigantic, 10km² park.
The city’s expensive western edge is also blessed with copious green spots.
Bois de Boulogne is Paris’s second-biggest park behind the Bois de Vincennes, spreading over five times the area of Regent’s Park in London, and 2.5 times the size of New York City’s Central Park.
Relax on the boating lakes, then take your small children to the Jardin d'Acclimatation theme park. Le Petit Train will transport you there in adorable fashion, and then you’re free to enjoy the rollercoasters, mirrored funhouse, and pony rides.
That’s not all, either – the 16th is also home to the ornate Trocadéro Gardens, where delightful fountains, sculptures, and statues can be found wherever you look.
The best neighbourhoods in Paris for culture
Naturally, this is an impossible decision. Every area of this city will amaze you in different, fascinating ways, and none of the arrondissements are devoid of enjoyable cultural activities.
That said, there are two main ways to go. If you want to be immersed in the centre of the city, choose the 5th arrondissement, also known as the Latin Quarter.
The area is home to many universities, creating a lively atmosphere that’s further stoked by its charming bookshops and cafes.
Wonder down the Rue Mouffetard market street, admire the medieval architecture, visit the Arènes de Lutèce – where gladiators fought in front of thousands in the first century AD – and spend some time at the stunning Panthéon.
This magnificent building is the final resting place of some incredible figures from history, including Émile Zola, Marie Curie, Victor Hugo, Voltaire, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
If you’d rather live on the outskirts, don’t worry: you can still drown in culture, and for a more affordable price.
As well as the breathtaking Sacré-Cœur church and the famous Moulin Rouge cabaret, the historically bohemian 18th is also home to Montmartre, where a staggering number of artists have lived and created masterpieces.
If you want to walk the same cobblestoned streets as Picasso, Van Gogh, Manet, Degas, Mondrian, Modigliani, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec, and more, this is the place.
The stunning Sacré-Cœur Basilica is worth the climb up Montmartre
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The best neighbourhood in Paris for food
Again, you’ll be spoiled for choice wherever you end up, but nonetheless, this isn’t a competition.
If food is your passion, choose the 11th. If you don’t, you’ll end up here on a weekly basis anyway.
As well as revolutionary modern French cuisine, this area also boasts Filipino, Mexican, Japanese, Spanish, and Vietnamese food that’ll blow your socks off.
And if you enjoy wine, cheese plates, interesting cocktails, and delicious charcuterie boards, you’ll be in heaven.
The best neighbourhoods in Paris for nightlife
If you’re looking for a place that comes to life after the sun goes down, Le Marais in Paris’s 4th is perfect for you.
The area is steeped in Jewish and LGBT history, and it remains the case that you can grab a delicious falafel before heading to a trendy LGBT club like Le CUD Bar, Le Tango (La Boîte à Frissons), 3W Kafé, or Le So What.
You should also spend some time at the Lizard Lounge, where you can find excellent wine and beer lists alongside mouth-watering cheese and honey sandwiches. Eat, drink, dance, be merry – and then come back the next morning for brunch. It’s worth it.
The best neighbourhoods in Paris for schools
Paris is split into 20 arrondissements, which spiral elegantly from the centre in a clockwise direction. You can think of them as boroughs, except they’re much smaller, because London is 15 times bigger than the French capital.
Your best bet for a child-friendly area with excellent schools is the 15th – known as quinzième to locals.
It’s a welcoming, charming arrondissement where everyone knows each other, and the green spaces are plentiful. Just look behind the nearest blocks of flats, or stroll over to the Parc George Brassens or the Parc André Citroën, which sits alongside the Seine.
And, of course, there are copious high-quality schools in this south-west district.
Help your child to settle in by sending them to the Little English Montessori School, Bilingual International School of Paris, or ICS Paris – or throw them in the deep end.
The public school Lycée Camille Sée is excellent, but the private and extremely selective École Jeannine Manuel is on another level – it’s topped France’s school rankings for nine consecutive years.
It does cost around £7,000 per year, though – which rises above £22,000 per year when your child tries to get their International Baccalaureate.
This area contains green spaces, shopping opportunities and public transport options, and the imposing Arc de Triomphe – along with all the bilingual schools you’ll need.
You can send your kid to the private La Petite Ecole Bilingue, which teaches children in kindergarten and primary school, or keep them at the private EIB Monceau from kindergarten until they’re 15.
Alternatively, you could choose the public Lycée EIB Étoile, a wonderful high school for ages 15-18, or the Lycée International Honoré de Balzac, a public secondary school with a 98% International Baccalaureate pass rate.
Finding a place to live in Paris
Hopefully you now have some ideas about where you could live when you move to the glorious city of Paris – but that’s just the first step.
The next part is finding a home, securing it for yourself, and transporting all your precious belongings without losing or breaking any of them.