Arrondissements of Paris: Where is the Best Place to Buy Property?
There are no lookalike districts in the capital of France, and each arrondissement is a separate little world with its own atmosphere, history, and champions. Paris is divided into twenty districts (arrondissements). The arrondissements are numbered from 1 to 20 in a spiral pattern.
Arrondissements 1 to 9 are the historic centre of Paris. Here one can come across old Parisian buildings dating back to the epoque of Baron Haussmann’s renovation of Paris (1853 – 1870). This is the most expensive housing in the capital with the average prices going up to €12,000–15,000/m2.
1st arrondissement — Louvre — tourists and sights
The 1st arrondissement is the most ancient part of the city that attracts numerous tourists. This arrondissement is the site of the most magnificent landmarks of Paris, such as the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, Palais-Royale with the gardens, Place Dauphine, Place Vendôme, Conciergerie, Tuileries Garden, the chapel La Sainte-Chapelle, and the Church of Saint Eustache. This arrondissment is the real paradise for shopping sprees and artefact hunting.
The 1st arrondissement, as well as the entire centre of the city, is remarkable for Baron Haussmann’s buildings dating back to Haussmann’s urban renewal of 1853-1870 that resulted in many iconic buildings quintessential for today’s Paris. Rue de Rivoli built on the order of Napoleon Bonaparte is the most famous.
Spacious apartments are for sale in Rue de Rivoli and around Saint-Honoré, however, small studios and two- or three-bedroom apartments are more ubiquitous and in high demand.
More modest apartments are to be found in the district Les Halles called “Le Ventre de Paris” (the “Belly of Paris”) by the French novelist Èmile Zola. Historically, this is a hasty district with the central market replaced by a park now. The district also includes the western part of the Île de la Cité in the Seine, yet the residential properties are not many here. The housing prices here are predictably one of the most expensive in the Parisian districts with apartments costing on average about €13,300/m2.
2nd arrondissement — Bourse — finance and shopping
The 2nd arrondissement is a business and trade district of the city. This is the smallest arrondissement of Paris that seems to be merging into the 1st arrondissement but is not touristy at all. This is the financial centre where the Stock Exchange and numerous banks are located. The 2nd arrondissement is famous for its shopping galleries and fashion boutique. There are also many fruits and vegetable shops, fishmonger's, dairy outlets, restaurants, cafés, and museums.
There are bourgeois quarters with the Baron Haussmann’s buildings in the west of this arrondissement. Apartments in ancient buildings are unusual and overlook quiet courtyards. An apartment here might cost €11,920/m2.
3rd arrondissement — Temple — bohemian and fashionmongers
The 3rd arrondissement is one of the most romantic and fashionable districts of the city. It is home mostly to the intellectuals of the French capital and aristocrats. The notable feature of the arrondissement is the bohemian district Marais with prestigious shops and magnificent Italian-style mansions built in the 17th – 18th centuries.
The Marais is also popular among the LGBT community and became attractive for designers, stylists, and fashion celebrities. The Place des Vosges that lies on the borderline between the 3rd and 4th arrondissements in the Marais district is the oldest square in Paris that had preserved its historic look since the 17th century when it was named the “Place Royale”. Many famous people lived in the houses here, including Cardinal de Richelieu and Victor Hugo. Apartments in this district would cost €12,500/m2.
4th arrondissement — Hôtel-de-Ville — Notre Dame and Îles de Paris (Parisian islands)
The 4th arrondissement is the cultural centre and one of the oldest districts of Paris. This is one of the most touristy areas of the city featuring the iconic Notre-Dame de Paris on the Île de la Cité, Place de la Bastille, and the extravagant Centre Pompidou. The 4th arrondissement also includes the district Marais, the eastern part of the Île de la Cité, and the Île Saint-Louis.
There are almost no landmarks on the Île Saint-Louis but it is home to the richest people of Paris. The residents of the island are even called by the special name “Ludovisiens” (m) and “Ludovisiennes” (f). Voltaire, Molière, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Maria Skłodowska Curie, Georges Pompidou, and Louis de Funès, used to live here. An apartment in the historic centre of Paris may be bought for €13,600/m2.
5th arrondissement — Panthéon — students and tourists
The 5th arrondissement is the oldest student district in Paris. The main landmarks here are the Panthéon, Fontaine Saint-Michel, and the Sorbonne. This is a picturesque district with art studios, high-end homes and student campuses, small boutiques and shopping centres, inexpensive bistros and upscale restaurants. It is always crowded with tourists and noisy.
The Latin Quarter located in the 5th and 6th arrondissements of Paris is a student district on the left bank of the Seine River. Formed around the Sorbonne university, it is now a place to many other universities, prestigious schools, and colleges, such as the Lycée Louis-le-Grand and the Collège de France. This is a good place to buy a studio for rent.
Spacious apartments have a lower selling potential; however, apartments overlooking famous landmarks find sale immediately. The Panthéon square area and Boulevard Saint-Germain are viewed as the best locations to buy property in. Luxurious apartments in traditional homes located in narrow streets are to be found in such districts closer to the river, yet the housing prices here are very high. Newer homes are located in quiet residential areas to the south and closer to the Botanical Garden. An apartment in this arrondissement may be acquired for €12,750/m2 on average.
6th arrondissement — Luxembourg — bohemians and celebrities
The 6th arrondissement is the most expensive arrondissement of Paris with the average housing prices levelling at €14,830/m². This is a glamorous district with homes of many celebrities and historic buildings dating back to the 18th century and the time of Baron Haussmann’s renovation of Paris. There are prestigious colleges, schools, and spacious apartments for families with an area of 120–150 m² here. The royal Luxembourg Garden with palaces, fountains, flower beds, and ponds, located in this arrondissement, is a favoured leisure place of the Parisians.
The 6th arrondissement also includes the Saint Germain quarter popular among bohemians and intellectuals. After World War II, the Saint-Germain quarter turned into the centre of the intellectual and cultural life of Paris. The cafés Les Deux Magots and Cafe de Flore and the brasserie Lipp became the rendezvous places for writers and artists, actors and politicians, such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, Juliette Gréco, Ernest Hemingway, and Pablo Picasso.
The district is still associated with the arts and is famous for its art galleries, antiques shops, historic architecture, and publishing houses. Upscale boutiques and restaurants earned the reputation of the fashionable area to this district.
Paris’s bourgeois arrondissements 5, 6, 7, and 8, lure wealthy homebuyers that look for one-of-a-kind offers. Investors acquire buy-to-rent studios and modest two-bedroom apartments.
7th arrondissement — Palais-Bourbon — Tour d’Eiffel (Eiffel Tower), embassies, and museums
The 7th arrondissement is the political centre of Paris shrouded in an aura of success and prestige. Numerous ministries, agencies, embassies, as well as the National Assembly and UNESCO Headquarters, are located here. The Tour d’Eiffel (Eiffel Tower) on the Champ de Mars is the topmost landmark of the arrondissement. The arrondissement is also famous for such museums as Musée d'Orsay and Musée Rodin. The Dôme des Invalides with the tomb of Napoleon is also located in this arrondissement.
Palais-Bourbon attracts wealthy foreign buyers. Spacious apartments and family residences with several bedrooms, large living rooms, and beautiful views, are in demand. It is one of the most expensive districts in Paris with the average prices going up to €14,500–/m2.
8th arrondissement — Champs-Élysées — the elite and shopaholics
In ancient Greek mythology, the Elysian Fields (Champs-Élysées) or the Elysium meant the blissful fields in the afterlife world reigned by the perennial spring — a carefree place reserved only for heroes favoured by the gods. It is still only the chosen few that can settle in this bohemian place. It is very prestigious to live in this paradisal arrondissement, so the prices here are high — at €11,920/m2.
Champs-Élysées together with Avenue Montaigne and Avenue George V form the Golden Triangle. These are the most prestigious streets in Paris. Champs-Élysées stretches from the Place de la Concord with the Egyptian obelisk to the Place Charles de Gaulle with the Arc de Triomphe that stands in its centre.
Restaurants, theatres, galleries, cabarets, clubs, luxury boutiques, and unconventional outlets, — all these form the spirit of Champs-Élysées. As Joe Dassin sang in the song Les Champs-Élysées, “Au soleil, sous la pluie, à midi ou à minuit il y a tout ce que vous voulez aux Champs-Elysées” (In the sun, in the rain, at noon or midnight everything you could want is on the Champs-Élysées)”.
The famous street Faubourg Saint Honore is home to the Elysée Palace, the official residence of the president of France, as well as haute couture fashion houses, including Coco Chanel and Yves Saint-Laurent boutiques, antiques shops and art galleries. The north of the 8th arrondissement is quieter and cheaper. Spacious apartments in 19th-century buildings close to the park Monceau depicted in the pictures by Claude Monet and Gustave Caillebotte are in demand here.
9th arrondissement — Opéra — commerce and entertainment
The 9th arrondissement, same as the 10th arrondissement, is one of the most compactly developed parts of Paris with few green areas. Most of its residents live in the south that is noisy, crowded, and vibrant with trade. The famous Paris Opéra, Bank of France, 19th-century shopping arcades, including one of the world’s most expensive and fashionable shopping centres the Galeries Lafayette of Paris, are located here. The south is inhabited by families with children drawn by the prestigious school Lycée Condorcet. Paris’s night club, cabaret and red-light district Pigalle is in the north of this arrondissement.
Most of the buildings in the arrondissement were built in the second half of the 19th – early 20th centuries and range from spacious apartments to tiny flats redeveloped from former maid rooms. Mid-sized apartments are scarce. An apartment here may cost €11,220/m2.
Paris’s eastern arrondissements 10, 11, 12, 19, and 20, are popular among students as the property prices are modest. Housing here would cost €8,700–10,600/m2. The youth would also rather choose arrondissements 3, 11, and 12, buoying with parties and cultural events.
10th arrondissement — Enclos-St-Laurent — a canal, railway stations, and migrants
The 10th arrondissement is deemed to be a district full of migrants with ethnic shops, cafés, and even an African market. This is a buzzy arrondissement with two big train stations Gare du Nord (the northern one) and Gare de l'Est (the eastern one). There is also a red-light district in this arrondissement.
Yet the 10th arrondissement is not big, and the vulnerable railway station area in the north is not comparable with the Canal Saint-Martin favoured by the Parisians, especially in the south near the Place de la République. This is definitely the best location in the arrondissement. The Canal Saint-Martin was the filming location for the movie Amélie. The vicinity of the Canal is all about tiny overpriced apartments. In general, the 10th arrondissement attracts by rather low housing prices — at €10,380/m2.
11th arrondissement — Popincourt — the youth and parties
The 11th is the noisiest arrondissement of the city of choice for the youth humming day and night. There are many bars, clubs, and restaurants, around the famous Place de la Bastille with raucous parties all night through.
Although there are few reputable academic establishments in this area, students choose this arrondissement also because the housing and accommodation costs here are materially lower than in the historic Latin Quarter. Wealthy residents of the 11th arrondissement send their children to more prestigious colleges of the 4th arrondissement.
Most upscale districts rich in landmarks are located in the west of this arrondissement. Here there is the Opéra Bastille, Cirque d'Hiver (Winter Circus), Place de la République, the exquisite Boulevard du Temple and Boulevard Beaumarchais. Housing prices in the Bastille area are higher due to its popularity. The properties that find most sales here are studios and one-bedroom apartments, while spacious family apartments are less represented. An apartment in this fun student arrondissement can be bought for €10,630/m2.
12th arrondissement — Reuilly — parks and gardens
The 12th arrondissement is a green and quiet district notable for large parks and boulevards smothered in green. The Bois de Vincennes considered as the “lungs of the city” in the 12th arrondissement is the biggest park in Paris occupying the area of 995 hectares. Parisian families often come here to visit the zoos and gardens, museums and palaces, and ponds with row boats.
It is no wonder that his arrondissement is viewed as one of the most blissful as it is quiet, clean, fresh, and safe. There are good private schools, lyceums, and hospitals, and plenty of shops. This arrondissement, especially the part of Picpus and Daumesnil near the park where there are spacious apartments, is of choice for families. The housing prices here are affordable averaging at €9,600/m2.
13th arrondissement — Gobelins — Chinatown, new developments, and private homes
The 13th arrondissement is located at a distance from the city centre and is considered to be full of migrants. There is an Asian quarter called the Chinatown here that is populated by the people of Japanese, Chinese, and Vietnamese, descent. Local cafés serve traditional Asian foods, and there are many Chinese shops. This is a quiet district with affordable prices.
Most of the buildings in this arrondissement are multi-storeyed edifices erected in the second half of the 20th century. Innumerable high-rising bocks stretch from the Porte d'Italie to the Porte d'Ivry.
There is a bucolic quarter Butte-aux-Cailles here that resembles a village settlement with private houses, snug courtyards, and even a bore well. The land here is exhausted by the old quarries, so high-risers cannot be built on it. As a result, Butte-aux-Cailles turned into the quarter of architectural eccentricities with two- to three-storeyed mansions with pointed ivied roofs. This is one of the cheapest arrondissements in Paris where it costs € 9,400/m2 to buy an apartment.
14th arrondissement — Observatoire — Montparnasse and iconic cafés
The 14th arrondissement is the area preferred by creative intellectuals and art lovers. It comprises the Montparnasse district, antiques shops, and the iconic cafés La Rotonde, Le Dôme, La Closerie des Lilas, Le Select, and La Coupole. The arrondissement was frequented by artists, writers, and performers, such as Jean Cocteau, Amedeo Modigliani, Picasso, Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre, Marc Chagall, Édith Piaf, Ernest Hemingway, Marlene Dietrich, Ava Gardner, and many others.
“No matter what café in Montparnasse you ask a taxi-driver to bring you to from the right bank of the river, they always take you to the Rotonde,” Hemingway wrote. The iconic restaurant has been visited even by the presidents of France: François Hollande celebrated his victory in the primaries in La Rotonde, and Emmanuel Macron celebrated here his victory in the first round of the presidential elections.
The arrondissement is also remarkable for the Catacombs of Paris that stretch through the entire area. The popular shopping centre Galerie Gaité Montparnasse and the charming park Montsouris are also here. An apartment in this arrondissement of arts can be bought for €10,300/m2.
Arrondissements 15, 16, and 17 are of choice for families with children. There are many good schools and parks and spacious apartments with five and more bedrooms here.
15th arrondissement — Vaugirard — high-rise buildings and parks
The 15th arrondissement is a quiet residential arrondissement — the ordinary day-to-day Paris without bustle or tourists. This is a safe and quiet part of the city with mature infrastructure and rather affordable prices often chosen for home by families with children. There are two excellent parks here Parc André Citroën and Parc Georges Brassens, good shops and restaurants, many hospitals and sports centres.
The district Beaugrenelle — one of the rare few high-rising areas in Paris — is in the west of this arrondissement and is not very popular among the Parisians. Surprisingly, the Eiffel Tower in the 7th arrondissement is near this decent multi-storeyed area. Prestigious housing is for sale in the vicinity of the 7th arrondissement and the Seine. The 60-storeyed Tour Montparnasse is the only true high-riser in Paris located in the east of the arrondissement. Homes in this quiet but developed arrondissement cost €10,370/m2.
16th arrondissement — Passy — politicians, aristocrats, and celebrities
The 16th arrondissement is a high-profile residential district, and one of the most expensive and bourgeois districts in Paris. Traditionally inhabited by the Parisian nobility, now the arrondissement draws city celebrities too. There are more than 90 embassies, numerous museums, luxury shops, and refined restaurants in this arrondissement.
The business district La Défense, or the “Parisian Manhattan”, is also near here. The Bois de Boulogne in the 16th arrondissement is one of the world’s largest parks occupying the area of 846 hectares. The Place de Trocadéro gives the most beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower.
Wealthy families with children choose the arrondissement drawn by the prestigious lyceums Jean-Baptiste-Say and Janson de Sailly. The renowned Paris Dauphine University that used to be a subdivision of the Sorbonne is also here. Victor Hugo and Honoré de Balzac lived in Passy, an area in the 16th arrondissement.
The 16th arrondissement is home to Avenue Foch, the city’s most high-end residential district and one of the most expensive streets both in Paris and in the entire world. One can find here mansions and palaces belonging to the Rothschild and Onassis families, luxurious penthouses, houses with interior gardens and pools.
The arrondissement has Russian history too. After the Russian revolution, the Russian migrants used to settle here. The literary figures Bunin, Kuprin, Merezhkovskiy and Gippius, Ivanov and Odoevtseva, Teffi, Nabokov, and the opera singer Shalyapin, are among its prominent residents of the Russian descent. The Russian embassy is placed here, and Russian buyers prefer to buy homes in this upscale arrondissement. Housing here is expensive with the prices as high as €11,450/m2.
17th arrondissement — Batignolles-Monceau — a working district and an upscale private area
The moderately-paced 17th arrondissement located near the park Monceau is good for families with children. There are reputable schools and many spacious apartments here. This part of Paris has the vibes of a little town with street markets and cosy cafés, quiet parks and gardens.
This remote district falls into a working quarter in the north and a private part for wealthy Parisians in the south. Wealthy residents live in the luxurious houses lining broad avenues that meet into the Place de l'Étoile. Avenue des Ternes that is the focal point for the entire commerce of the district, is a good place to buy property. There are 16 embassies and consulates in this arrondissement. Housing here is not cheap, averaging at €11,040/m2.
18th arrondissement — Butte-Montmartre — artists, poets, and the Sacré-Cœur Basilica
Montmartre lures by an air of affection and romance. However, this is a district full of opportunism and controversies. Musicians, poets, artists still live here, but next to migrants and muggers this time. The famous “Red Mill” Moulin Rouge and the snow-white Sacré-Cœur Basilica (the “heart of France”) are located in this arrondissement.
Narrow paved streets, steep stairs, houses with beautiful architecture twined with greens, an own vineyard, flea markets, cosy cafés, sidewalk artists, cheerful cabarets, a red light quarter, and the wall of love with love confessions written on it, — they all create the unparalleled atmosphere of Montmartre. The hill of Montmartre, which is the highest point of Paris, can be reached through 237 steps or by a funicular railway.
The district of Montmartre is considered to be the best location to live in the 18th arrondissement. The south of the hill is legally protected against excessive developments. The north of the arrondissement amasses social housing, whereas migrants dominate the east. The least attractive are the unsafe quarters of Barbes and Goutte d'Or, called the “Parisian Bronx” as the crime rates are high here.
At the end of the 19th century, Monmartre attracted many artists by low prices. Renoir, Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec, Picasso, and Modiglani, used to live here. The prices now are certainly much higher, but still stay within rather a low level of €9,980/m2.
19th arrondissement — Buttes-Chaumont — parks and shabby buildings
The 19th arrondissement is considered vulnerable due to the high crime rate and ill-developed transportation. However, now the arrondissement sees infrastructure improvements. The arrondissement is also notable for the famous parks Buttes-Chaumont and La Villette.
Nevertheless, the arrondissement is not popular among Parisians as there are old shabby buildings, unattractive modern quarters, and a busy trade district here. This is the cheapest arrondissement of Paris with property prices as low as €8,700/m2.
20th arrondissemnt — Menilmontant — Père-Lachaise and migrants
The 20th arrondissement is a multinational district inhabited by Polish Jews, Armenians, Greeks, and migrants from Africa and Asia. The famous old Père-Lachaise Cemetery — the final abode for many famous people, such as Molière, Chopin, Oscar Wilde, Édith Piaf, — is located in this arrondissement.
Aspiring entrepreneurs favour the Charonne quarter in the southern part of the arrondissement for low rent rates and lower competition. Vegetarian cafés, organic foods shops, and other trendy outlets open here. The rougher districts Belleville and Ménilmontant are located in the north.
The best locations to buy property are the Place Gambetta, Père-Lachaise area, and Cours de Vincennes. This is one of the most inexpensive arrondissements in Paris where an apartment can be found for as low as €9,100/m2.