Last updated on February 21, 2024 by Stefano Ferro, founder of MEL365, following extensive travelling in Paris

Top 4 SAFEST areas to stay in PARIS [and 3 districts to avoid]

Looking for the safest areas to stay in Paris for your upcoming trip? You’re in the right place.

This guide will walk you through the top picks for secure, comfortable, and enjoyable accommodations in the City of Light.

I have focused on the safest places to stay in Paris, ensuring you can explore the city’s charm and beauty with peace of mind.

From the historic and vibrant Marais to the intellectual allure of the Latin Quarter, the sophisticated charm of St Germain, and the convenient locale near Gare de Lyon, each area offers its unique character and advantages.

I talk below also about the areas to avoid in Paris and finally, you should check out my suggested precautions to take in the French capital.

Paris - Typical buildings and roofs in the Marais, aerial view from the Pompidou Center
Paris – Typical buildings and roofs in the Marais, aerial view from the Pompidou Center

Safest areas to stay in Paris – Key Points

Here below I have organised a table that compares the 4 safest areas to stay in Paris. They are mostly in the central part of the city and are well connected by metro lines.

Swipe left or right on a mobile to see the entire table. Click on the Arrondissement (french for neighbourhood/district) to discover all the pros, cons and a full description of the area, besides my suggested accommodations.

You can see the map of Paris with the highlighted areas after the table

ArrondissementIdeal forProsConsBudgetHotelMetroAttractionsRestaurantsFamiliesNightlifeCharacter
Marais (4th)History and cultureHistoric, vibrant nightlife, centralBusy, slightly pricierHighLe Petit BeaumarchaisSaint-Paul, Hôtel de Ville, RambuteauNotre Dame, Picasso MuseumDiverse, from traditional bistros to Jewish delisMediumExcellent, vibrant nightlifeHistoric, beautiful architecture
Latin Quarter (5th)Students, intellectuals, history buffsIntellectual vibe, numerous bookshopsCan be crowdedMidHôtel CapfunMaubert – Mutualité, Cardinal Lemoine, Cluny – La SorbonneNotre Dame, the PantheonRich, from bustling cafes to historic bistrosMediumExcellent, vibrant nightlifeHistoric, intellectual
St Germain (6th)Luxury seekers, foodies, art loversArtistic, high-end boutiquesExpensive dining and shoppingHighVictoria PalaceSaint-Germain-des-Prés, Mabillon, Sèvres – BabyloneLuxembourg Gardens, Musée d’OrsayHigh-end, from luxury dining to chic cafesGood, serene and sophisticatedGood, elegant nightlifeSophisticated, artistic
Near Gare de Lyon (12th)Travellers seeking convenience, event-goersExcellent transport, several dining optionsLess charming, can be very busyMidLe Marceau BastilleGare de Lyon, Quai de la Rapée, Reuilly – DiderotAccorHotels Arena, Bastille districtVaried, from casual bistros to upscale diningGood, vibrant and livelyGood, varied nightlifeModern, convenient
Safest areas to stay in Paris
Safest areas to stay in Paris
Safest areas to stay in Paris

Marais – 4th Arrondissement

  • Why it’s considered a safe area to stay in Paris: Marais is often mentioned as a safe neighbourhood in Paris due to its central location and active street life. It is a vibrant and diverse district, filled with tourists, residents, and workers, which helps to maintain a secure atmosphere.

Pros

The Marais is a historic district known for its beautiful architecture, and rich cultural heritage, including being home to the Jewish Quarter, a variety of boutique shops, and many galleries and museums. It has a vibrant nightlife with numerous bars and restaurants. You will be also nearby iconic destinations, like Notre Dame and the Louvre.

Cons

The Marais can get very busy, especially during the peak tourist season. Accommodation prices might be slightly higher due to its central location and popularity.

Paris- Typical buildings and roofs in the Marais - view from the Pompidou Center
Paris- Typical buildings and roofs in the Marais – view from the Pompidou Center

The 4th Arrondissement, known as Le Marais, often makes it to the top of lists for the safest and most captivating districts of Paris. Wandering through its narrow, winding streets is like stepping back in time, with each corner revealing another layer of the city’s rich past.

Place des Vosges, the oldest planned square in Paris, is a centrepiece of Le Marais. Its harmonious red-brick buildings, verdant central park, and elegant arcades exude an old-world charm that’s distinctly Parisian. The square is also home to the Maison de Victor Hugo, where the iconic author wrote part of “Les Misérables.”

Often compared to a village within the city, Le Marais exudes an inviting, close-knit community feel, contributing to its reputation as a secure area. It’s so lovely to walk through the cobblestones streets between chic boutiques, art galleries, and unique shops. You can still experience local shopkeepers and residents, for a great community feeling.

Paris - Notre Dame at sunrise time
Paris – Notre Dame at sunrise time

Gastronomy is another highlight of Le Marais. The neighbourhood offers an eclectic mix of traditional French bistros, Jewish delis, and renowned falafel stands, particularly along Rue des Rosiers. Culinary enthusiasts can delight in these flavours, together with the charming service of restaurants and cafes.

Historical treasures are found at every turn in Le Marais. A must-visit is the Picasso Museum, housed in a grand 17th-century mansion. This is where you will experience one of the most impressive collections of this unique artist.

The nearby Carnavalet Museum offers a journey through the history of Paris, a unique time trip.

Architectural splendours abound along Rue Saint-Antoine, from the French Baroque beauty of the Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis Church to the majestic Hôtel de Ville, Paris’s city hall.

Despite being frequented by tourists, the area retains its tranquillity. It may get very busy in the summer season but certainly not overcrowded as other areas in Paris.

Le Marais transitions effortlessly from day to night, with an array of bars and clubs contributing to its vibrant nightlife scene. The district is a known hotspot for the LGBTQ+ community. The streets remain well-lit and lively even after sundown, reinforcing the area’s reputation for safety.

In the midst of this bustling district, tranquil havens like the Jardin Anne-Frank and the garden of the Hôtel de Sens offer peaceful retreats. These beautifully maintained green spaces provide a safe, serene environment for relaxation, a great place to feel in a village more than in a city.

My suggested hotels in the 4th Arrondissement – Le Marais

Le Petit Beaumarchais Hotel & Spa ($$$) offers a unique boutique stay in the heart of Paris, close to iconic attractions. The hotel boasts stunning interior design, comfortable rooms, friendly staff, and a delicious breakfast. The location is so convenient. On-site dining, and delightful extra touches like the Spa, make it an ideal choice for couples seeking a memorable Parisian experience.

Another 2 great accommodations close to everything are:

Hôtel Le Presbytère ($$$-$$$$): old-style with plenty of Parisian character and charm

Hotel Dupond-Smith ($$$): comfortable and spacious rooms, high-quality service

In conclusion. Boasting a seamless blend of historical charm and modern amenities, Le Marais provides a safe, engaging, and quintessentially Parisian experience. Its high safety standards, cultural richness, and lively atmosphere make it an excellent choice for any visitor seeking authentic Paris. This is one of the best areas to stay in Paris on your first visit.

Latin Quarter – 5th Arrondissement

  • Why it’s considered a safe area to stay in Paris: The Latin Quarter is generally safe, with a significant police presence due to its proximity to governmental institutions and universities. Its busy streets populated by students, tourists, and locals add to the overall safety.

Pros

The Latin Quarter is renowned for its intellectual and artistic vibe, with numerous bookshops, cafes, and cinemas. It is home to the Sorbonne University and the Pantheon. It offers a vibrant nightlife and is in proximity to notable attractions like the Notre Dame Cathedral.

Cons

It can get very busy due to its popularity among tourists, and prices for food and souvenirs might be higher in this area.

Paris - View of the Latin Quarter and Montparnasse
Paris – View of the Latin Quarter and Montparnasse

The Latin Quarter is located in the 5th Arrondissement in Paris. It is a district famous for its narrow streets and of course its intellectual history, architectural splendour, and invigorating energy.

With its academic roots and cultural vibrancy, it offers a truly Parisian experience in a safe and welcoming environment.

The name’s origin can be traced back to the widespread usage of Latin in the area. This was due to the presence of the University of Paris. Today, the famed Sorbonne University stands as a testament to the area’s academic heritage.

It contributes significantly to the neighbourhood’s secure atmosphere, with a constant influx of students and faculty creating a lively, but orderly environment.

The Latin Quarter is an architectural treasure trove. The Panthéon, a grand neoclassical building, dominates its skyline and serves as the final resting place for many French luminaries.

The area also boasts an array of bookshops, from small second-hand stores to the famous Shakespeare and Company. These literary hubs, often buzzing with readers and writers, are well-regulated spaces ensuring safety and peace for all visitors.

Low angle shot of the Pantheon in Paris
Low-angle shot of the Pantheon in Paris

A gastronomical delight, the Latin Quarter offers a variety of dining options. From bustling cafes offering crepes to traditional French cuisine in historic bistros, there’s something for every palate. You should check out Les Galandines, a small cafe offering simple, but delicious and inexpensive crepes.

The Latin Quarter’s night scene is equally vibrant, characterized by traditional cabaret shows and a variety of bars.

It’s a total pleasure walking in the well-lit streets, where it’s not uncommon to meet police patrolling the area. This creates a safe environment for both residents and tourists.

In the area, you should not miss a night at Le Caveau de la Huchette. This renowned jazz club boasts a cosy basement setting and a nostalgic midcentury ambience.

Enjoy delicious drinks while listening to live music performances on a regular basis till late a night (2:30 am or 4 am on Friday/Saturday).

In the midst of the district’s hustle and bustle, serene green spaces like the Jardin des Plantes offer a tranquil retreat, perfect for relaxation and recreation.

Now you well understand why the Latin Quarter is quite often pointed as one of the best areas to stay in Paris, with so many attractions, bars, restaurants and nightlife options.

Here are 3 of the best hotels in the Latin Quarter:

Hôtel Capfun ($$+): Charming studios and 1BR apartments (up to 4 people). Clean, quiet, close to metro. Excellent location, ideal for city explorations

Hotel Studia ($$+): Centrally located in vibrant Quartier Latin, offers comfortable, clean rooms and excellent customer service

Hôtel Albe Saint Michel ($$$): Charming hotel with excellent location, friendly staff, comfortable rooms, and wonderful views. Superb value for money.

In conclusion, from the Luxembourg Gardens to the winding paths along the Seine, the Latin Quarter is a dynamic blend of history, culture, and learning. It’s a great safe base to visit Paris, centrally located and with fantastic value for money accommodation, especially considering you are in the heart of the city.

St Germain – 6th Arrondissement

  • Why it’s considered a safe area to stay in Paris: St Germain is a well-off neighbourhood with a low crime rate. It’s a highly policed area due to the presence of governmental institutions and embassies.

Pros

Known for its literary and artistic history, St Germain offers high-end boutiques, antique shops, and numerous cafes and restaurants. You will find popular attractions like the Luxembourg Gardens and you will be close to iconic destinations like the Musée d’Orsay and Notre Dame.

Cons

St Germain can be expensive in terms of dining and shopping due to its upmarket nature.

Paris - View of the Pantheon and one of the towers of Notre Dame
Paris – View of the Pantheon and one of the towers of Notre Dame

St Germain (the short version of Saint-Germain-des-Prés) is a chic neighbourhood in the 6th Arrondissement. The district is well known for its deep-rooted literary and artistic history.

It also hosts one of the best Parisien selections of luxury boutiques and stylish restaurants. This sophisticated area, with its safe and serene atmosphere, is a welcoming invitation to any visitor.

The historical significance of St Germain plays an integral role in the character of the neighbourhood. Over time, it has been a hub for influential writers, musicians, and philosophers, generating an intellectual vibrancy that pulses through its streets.

Its cultural prestige tends to draw a discerning, peaceable crowd, enhancing the area’s overall security.

The neighbourhood’s heart lies in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés Church, Paris’ oldest, standing as a beacon of stability. This hallowed site cultivates a sense of tranquillity, besides being one of the most beautiful historical sites of the city.

St Germain has long been an epicentre for art lovers, housing prestigious art galleries and museums. The Orsay Museum and the Eugène Delacroix Museum are unmissable. These cultural treasures, well-guarded and supervised, contribute to the overall secure atmosphere of the district.

Panorama of Paris and the Eiffel Tower in the 7th arrondissement
Panorama of Paris and the Eiffel Tower in the 7th Arrondissement

Although there are other better places to stay in Paris near the Eiffel Tower, you will be still quite close to it, probably under 10 minutes by Metro.

Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent and many other renowned designers have here their high-end boutiques in St Germain. A walk through these shops is an experience in itself.

Café culture thrives in St Germain, with celebrated venues such as Café de Flore and Les Deux Magots, once the chosen haunts of eminent intellectuals, offering inviting places for dining and socializing.

Nightlife in St Germain is an elegant affair, comprising jazz clubs, cocktail bars, and classic French bistros. The area maintains a pleasant ambience with well-illuminated streets and reliable establishments that cater to a more mature clientele.

Here are 3 of the best hotels in Saint-Germain-des-Prés:

Victoria Palace Hotel ($$$$): Refined elegance, impeccable service, and spacious rooms in an excellent Parisian location

Grand Hôtel de L’Univers Saint-Germain ($$$): Charming boutique hotel in historic Saint-Germain. Exceptionally clean, comfortable, and perfectly located. Excellent, friendly service.

Hotel Clément ($$+): Charming boutique hotel offering great value; perfectly located, friendly staff, clean rooms, and efficient amenities.

In conclusion, St Germain-des-Prés seamlessly combines safety, refinement, and cultural richness. Its unique blend of history, art, fashion, and food set within a secure setting, makes it an appealing choice for visitors exploring the enchanting city of Paris. True, the area is quite expensive, however, you will find here some of the most unique boutique accommodations in the city.

Near Gare de Lyon – 12th arrondissement

  • Why it’s considered a safe area to stay in Paris: This area is generally safe due to the constant activity around one of the main transportation hubs in the city. The presence of travellers and locals adds to the overall safety.

Pros

Staying near Gare de Lyon offers excellent transportation links to other parts of Paris and beyond. The vicinity also features several dining options and is close to the AccorHotels Arena (popular with events) and the Bastille district. It offers great value accommodations without compromising on safety

Cons

The area may not be as charming or characterful as other Parisian districts. As with any transportation hub, it can get crowded, and there might be some noise.

Paris - Bastille harbour with houseboats on the Seine
Paris – Bastille harbour with houseboats on the Seine

Gare de Lyon, found within the 12th arrondissement, boasts a striking balance of modernity and historical charm. This dynamic neighbourhood, focused around the iconic railway station of the same name, features a diverse blend of attractions, eateries, and excellent transport links, making it an optimal base for visitors, who can rest assured about their safety while exploring this energetic corner of Paris.

The centrepiece of this area is the Gare de Lyon station, one of Europe’s oldest and busiest. Its magnificent façade, crowned by a towering clock, narrates Paris’s bygone era, subtly reminding one of the city’s continued resilience.

The ever-watchful presence of railway security staff offers an added sense of safety for those navigating the area.

It’s a great area to stay in Paris with family, especially if you arrive by train and you do not want to carry around all the bags on the Metro line, besides navigating the city for the first time with bags and kids is not really an ideal situation to be in.

Dining options in the area are vast, with the crown jewel being Le Train Bleu. This is one of the most beautiful and characteristic restaurants in the city with stunning decor, excellent service, and delicious food.

You can also find a plethora of great value restaurants which work great if you are travelling on a budget.

Close by, the lively Bastille district infuses the area with vibrancy and life. Known for its history tied to the French Revolution, today, it hosts a bustling bar and restaurant scene, with a nice lively crowd.

The peaceful shores of the River Seine are conveniently close by, providing a calm getaway in the midst of the bustling city.

Even at night, these well-lit riverside walkways maintain a secure environment for peaceful strolls, with regular patrols ensuring the area remains safe. Of course, still practice the normal precautions for any big city.

The contemporary AccorHotels Arena, a major venue for concerts and sports events, is located nearby. Its presence, along with efficient crowd management practices during events, reinforces the security factor of the neighbourhood.

Moreover, Gare de Lyon’s supreme connectivity is a significant aspect of its appeal. Several bus routes and metro lines intersect here, ensuring easy, fast transportation to various city highlights.

Here are 2 of the best hotels close to Gare de Lyon:

Le Marceau Bastille ($$-$$$): comfort and convenience in Paris’ vibrant heart, with commendable staff and facilities

Hôtel Riesner ($$$): excellent location, spotless modern rooms, delightful staff, and comfortable beds.

In conclusion, the area around Gare de Lyon, with its blend of modern convenience and historical appeal, ensures a comfortable, safe stay in Paris. Its eclectic mix of attractions and reliable transport connections provides an appealing choice for anyone visiting the French capital. Although this is not one of the cheapest areas to stay in Paris, Gare de Lyon still offers amazing value for money.

Paris - View of the Latin Quarter and Montparnasse
Paris – View of the Latin Quarter and Montparnasse

Areas to avoid in Paris

There are a few areas to avoid in Paris. These are mostly in the north of the city, where the accommodations tend to be also cheaper.

The French Capital is organised in 20 arrondissements (districts/neighbourhoods). These are all within the Périphérique, the belt highway that encircles Paris.

Usually, the cheapest places to stay in Paris are outside the Périphérique, although you can still find some good value neighbourhoods inside. If you decide to stay outside, I personally suggest Charenton-le-Pont and Arcueil, in the south of the city.

Areas to avoid in Paris
Areas to avoid in Paris

10th, 18th and 19th arrondissements – Inside the Périphérique

These arrondissements tend to be the least safe in Paris. This is where you will notice more dodgy people, drug trafficking and other sorts of illegal business.

Both the train stations Gare du Nord and Gare de l’Est are (in)famous for pickpocketing.

If you are looking for where to stay in Paris on a budget, often you will notice that these arrondissements are listed as possible candidates. And in true honesty, I find the 18th, Butte-Montmartre, to be actually one of the most charming and romantic areas of the city.

Crime numbers are usually published every year for every city in France and in the last study Paris has ranked as the second most dangerous city in the country. This may alarm you, till you actually notice that worldwide Paris ranks in 101st place for criminality, following cities like Chicago in the USA, Cairns in Australia or Coventry in the UK.

I guess the point here is that it’s all relative. The important thing is that you take all the precautions that you would in any other big city.

And avoid, whenever possible, walking around the two train stations at night. I arrived just before the pandemic in Gare du Nord during the day and it was totally fine, honestly much better than many stations I have experienced in Europe.

Paris - View of Eiffel Tower from the dome of the Basilica of Sacré-Cœur de Montmartre
Paris – View of Eiffel Tower from the dome of the Basilica of Sacré-Cœur de Montmartre

Seine-Saint-Denis – Outside the Périphérique

The area of Seine-Saint-Denis is often mentioned as a no-go place to stay or visit. Keep in mind, however, that this area is huge and it covers 236 km² (91 sq mi). Basically much bigger than the Central Paris area itself.

The Urban Riots of November 2005 that expanded to the entire country started actually on the eastern side of Seine-Saint-Denis where you will find some of the most economically disadvantaged suburbs.

Saint-Denis is the commune just outside the Périphérique, on the northwest side of Seine-Saint-Denis. This is where you will find many cheap accommodations and hotels. And honestly, the area is conveniently connected to the centre of the city, too.

Saint-Denis is a melting pot of cultures, teeming with life and diversity. It’s an area where you can hear in the streets a multitude of languages, not just French.

Unfortunately petty crime together with more serious offences put the vibrancy of the area in a bad light.

If you can, try to avoid staying in Seine-Saint-Denis. There are so many other safer and good value areas in Paris. However, if this is where you booked your hotel, try to limit your walks at night, especially in dark streets.

Rooftop view of Paris
Rooftop view of Paris

Other areas to avoid for different reasons

The areas I list below may be not as practical and convenient, however, they may be totally safe.

  • Bercy: While it’s not considered unsafe, the area is not as attractive and it lacks restaurant options. It’s also a bit isolated, which might not be ideal for someone travelling alone and wanting to be surrounded by cafes and restaurants.
  • Avoid the Chatelet Metro Stop: While not an area to avoid in terms of safety, this is a frustrating metro stop when changing lines. The amount of walking is really too much, especially after a day of exploration.
  • Avoid the Montparnasse Metro Stop: Similar to Chatelet, this is another metro stop there the amount of walking required to change lines may be too much after a tiring day.
  • Saint-Lazare Metro Stop: Similarly to the other two stations, the transfer from line 3 to 12 is inconvenient.
Avenue de New York Arrondissement 16 in autumn
Avenue de New York Arrondissement 16 in autumn

Suggested precautions to take in Paris

Most of them are probably familiar and applicable to most of the big cities in the world.

  • Stay Alert for Pickpockets: Pickpocketing can be a problem in any major city, especially in busy areas or on public transportation. Keep your belongings secure and try not to display valuable items openly. Pay extreme attention when boarding the Metro, a place that can be crowded during peak office hours
  • Avoid Isolated Areas at Night: Avoid the already mentioned areas at night, particularly those that are poorly lit or deserted. Stick to well-lit, busy streets where there are other people around.
  • Be Aware of Your Surroundings: This includes being mindful when withdrawing cash from ATMs, especially at night. Choose ATMs that are in well-lit, busy areas and be aware of anyone standing too close or acting suspiciously.
  • Walk Confidently: Walking with purpose and confidence can deter potential trouble. Even if you’re unsure of your direction, you better walk confidently and then stop to check your map or phone in a busy, well-lit place.
  • Learn Basic Local Phrases: Knowing a few words of the local language can be helpful and is often appreciated by locals. You don’t need to speak French, the basic phrases are always so appreciated by the locals.
  • Use Reputable Transportation Services: When using taxis or other transportation services, make sure they are reputable. In Paris, registered taxis have a sign on the roof and a meter. Make sure they are both there when entering the car
  • Check Recent Local Information: Situations can change, so it’s a good idea to check recent sources of local information. Honestly, it’s just enough to Google “Paris problems” in Google News
Paris - Louvre museum in Paris
Paris – Louvre Museum in Paris
Stefano Ferro - MEL365.com Founder and Editor

About the Author

Stefano is a seasoned travel expert and the visionary founder of MEL365.com, a leading travel website with traffic across 6 continents. With a rich background in the travel industry, Stefano spent four pivotal years at Amadeus Travel Distribution System, gaining invaluable insights into travel technologies and distribution.

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