Paris is divided into 20 districts (arrondissements), situated like a snail with its beginning in the centre. I highly recommend choosing your hotel close to the centre and the River Seine, the most prestigious quarters are situated on its right and left banks.
On the right bank are mostly business and tourist quarters, almost all the main sights are concentrated here – the Louvre, the Champs Elysées, the Arc de Triomphe, Opéra, Montmartre, Gallérie Lafayette. And on the left bank is the “true” Paris, bohemian, student-oriented, less touristy. Here the Pantheon, the Luxembourg Gardens and the famous Latin Quartier are located. Yes, and the Eiffel Tower also. The closer you are to the River Seine (in central parts of the city) the calmer and safer the quarters are. Personnaly I can highly recommend the 6th District – with it’s unique antiquarian shops and cafés with these charmingly old-fashioned “garçons”. Here you’ll still find this slightly bohemian, this one-of-a-kind Parisian atmosphere, that makes you love this city, without really being able to explain why.
I do recommend not staying in the northern parts of Paris. Paris’ “Harlem” is situated in the 19th and especially 20th districts. How do you know in which district your hotel is located? Look at the hotel’s postcode, it’s always included in the address. All the Paris postcodes start by 75. 75001 – first district, 75002 – second district… So, if you’ve chosen the hotel in 75020 – you’ve got it, it’s best to look for another one. And what are the most prestigious Paris districts? One of the most expensive is the central business quarter, the 8th district. And the most chic is the quarter of Haussmann’s buildings and its very bourgeois public in the 16th district – chic, for sure, but, frankly speaking, a bit dull if you come to Paris to have some fun.