Where to Stay in Paris for First-Timers

Paris › First Time in Paris
Updated: June 30, 2023
By Santorini Dave

Our Favorite Paris Hotels

• 5-Star Hotel: Four Seasons
• 4-Star Hotel: Westin
• 3-Star Hotel: Cler
• Cheap Hotel: Welcome
• For Couples: Relais Christine
• For Families: Fraser Suites
• Near Eiffel Tower: Pullman
• Louvre: Hotel du Louvre
• Notre Dame: Saint Severin
• Montmartre: Hotel Des Arts
• Gare du Nord/Gare de l’Est: Hotel Hor

7th Arrondissement in Paris.

The Rue Cler shopping street in the 7th Arrondissement.

What is best area to stay in Paris for a first-time visitor?

The 7th arrondissement is the best choice for first-time visitors to Paris because of its central location, iconic attractions, and picturesque scenery. It is home to some of the city’s most famous landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, the Invalides complex, which houses Napoleon’s tomb, and the Musée d’Orsay, known for its impressive Impressionist art collection. This elegant and historic neighborhood is renowned for its iconic landmarks, refined architecture, and enchanting atmosphere, making it an ideal base for travelers looking to immerse themselves in the quintessential Parisian lifestyle.

Perhaps the most compelling reason to stay in the 7th is its close proximity to the Eiffel Tower, arguably Paris’s most famous attraction. By staying in this area, visitors can enjoy leisurely strolls to the iconic monument, take in its awe-inspiring beauty from various vantage points, and even catch a glimpse of it illuminated at night from the comfort of their accommodation.

In addition to the Eiffel Tower, the 7th is home to an array of other notable attractions, including the Musée d’Orsay, the Rodin Museum, and Les Invalides. Each of these cultural institutions showcases a unique aspect of French history and art, providing visitors with a well-rounded and enriching experience. Moreover, the neighborhood’s location along the Seine River means that picturesque riverbank walks and romantic bridge crossings are a mere stone’s throw away.

The 7th arrondissement is also characterized by its upscale ambiance, with tree-lined streets, stately buildings, and foreign embassies contributing to its sophisticated charm. This refined atmosphere provides a serene backdrop for exploring the area’s many cafes, bistros, and boutiques, allowing visitors to savor the essence of Parisian life.

Culinary enthusiasts will appreciate the diverse dining options available in the 7th arrondissement, which range from traditional French bistros to innovative fusion restaurants. One notable highlight is Rue Cler, a lively pedestrian street that boasts an array of specialty food shops, cafes, and open-air markets, where visitors can sample local delicacies and mingle with Parisian residents.

The 7th is well-connected to other parts of the city through public transport, including the Paris Métro and bus system. This accessibility makes it easy for first-time visitors to venture out and explore other renowned sites and neighborhoods in Paris.

What attractions are in the 7th or within walking distance?

The 7th is the best place to stay for first-time visitors to Paris.

Les Invalides in the 7th Arrondissement in Paris.

In the 7th arrondissement:

Eiffel Tower – The world-famous symbol of Paris, offering stunning views of the city from its observation decks.
Les Invalides – A complex of buildings housing the Army Museum, Napoleon’s tomb, and the Church of the Dome.
Musée d’Orsay – A former railway station turned art museum renowned for its extensive collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces.
Rodin Museum – Dedicated to the works of the French sculptor Auguste Rodin, featuring sculptures, drawings, and a beautiful garden.
Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac – Showcasing indigenous art, cultures, and civilizations from Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas.
Rue Cler – A lively pedestrian street known for its markets, bakeries, cafes, and specialty shops.

Within walking distance:

Champs-Élysées – The famous avenue featuring luxury shops, theaters, cafes, and the Arc de Triomphe at its western end.
Louvre Museum – The world’s largest art museum, housing renowned masterpieces such as the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo.
Notre-Dame Cathedral – The iconic Gothic cathedral on Île de la Cité, which is currently undergoing restoration after a devastating fire in 2019.
Saint-Germain-des-Prés – A historic neighborhood with a rich artistic and intellectual heritage, featuring art galleries, boutiques, and famous cafes like Les Deux Magots and Café de Flore.
Orangerie Museum – An art gallery showcasing Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, including Monet’s Water Lilies series.
Tuileries Garden – A beautiful public park situated between the Louvre Museum and Place de la Concorde, perfect for leisurely strolls.

What are the best hotels in the 7th Arrondissement?

Hôtel Montalembert: This historic hotel, located just steps from the Musee d’Orsay and the banks of the Seine, is a luxurious retreat in the heart of the 7th arrondissement. Established in 1926, the Hôtel Montalembert combines classic Parisian elegance with contemporary design elements, providing guests with a stylish and comfortable home away from home.

J.K. Place Paris: Situated in a stunning 19th-century building, J.K. Place Paris offers a chic and sophisticated atmosphere that seamlessly blends Italian and Parisian design sensibilities. With its sumptuous interiors, attentive service, and close proximity to the Eiffel Tower, this boutique hotel ensures a memorable stay in the City of Light.

Le Narcisse Blanc: This exquisite boutique hotel, nestled between the Invalides and the Eiffel Tower, pays homage to the Belle Époque era. Le Narcisse Blanc features luxurious rooms, a serene spa, and an intimate restaurant, providing guests with an oasis of tranquility amidst the bustling Parisian streets.

Cler Hotel: The charming 3-star Cler Hotel, located just moments from the iconic Rue Cler market street, is an inviting and cozy retreat. With its elegantly-appointed rooms and warm, personalized service, this boutique hotel offers a welcoming haven for travelers seeking an authentic Parisian experience.

Le Cinq Codet: This contemporary 5-star hotel, housed in a former 1930s telephone exchange, combines modern design elements with a distinctive Art Deco flair. Le Cinq Codet’s spacious rooms, stylish restaurant, and chic courtyard terrace provide guests with a luxurious and relaxing escape in the heart of the 7th arrondissement.

Hôtel de L’Alma: Situated just a short walk from the Eiffel Tower, Hôtel de L’Alma offers an intimate and comfortable atmosphere, with tastefully-decorated rooms and warm, attentive service. Its convenient location and charming ambiance make it an ideal base for exploring the 7th arrondissement and beyond.

Hôtel La Comtesse: Boasting stunning views of the Eiffel Tower, Hôtel La Comtesse is a refined boutique hotel that transports guests back to the splendor of 18th-century Paris. With its elegant rooms, literary-themed café, and prime location, this hotel is a delightful choice for discerning travelers.

Le Tourville Eiffel: This charming boutique hotel, located near the Invalides and the Rodin Museum, features beautifully-designed rooms that exude Parisian sophistication. Hotel Le Tourville’s warm hospitality, stylish interiors, and convenient location make it a popular choice among visitors to the 7th arrondissement.

Le Pavillon des Lettres: Inspired by literature and the arts, Le Pavillon des Lettres offers a unique and refined experience for travelers seeking a touch of literary glamour. Each room is dedicated to a famous writer, and the hotel’s sophisticated library and elegant salon provide the perfect setting for guests to indulge in their own literary pursuits.

Hotel d’Orsay: Housed in a beautifully-restored 18th-century building, Hotel d’Orsay is an elegant and refined option for visitors to the 7th arrondissement. With its sumptuous rooms, attentive service, and close proximity to the Musee d’Or it’s a great choice for first-timers to Paris.

About Santorini Dave

Santorini Dave Santorini Dave was started in 2011 by a guy who loves Greece and Europe, travel and great hotels. We're now a small team of writers and researchers dedicated to providing the best travel content on the internet. We focus on Santorini, Mykonos, Athens, and Greece, offering recommendations for top hotels, neighborhoods, and family-friendly hotels worldwide. Dave can be contacted at dave@santorinidave.com.