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Coming to study in Paris and you don’t know where you should live? As someone who has lived in Paris and its suburbs for 24 years, here’s a list of arrondissements & cities I think students should live in. 

⚠ This is only my personal opinion!  

⚠⚠ Keep in mind that the search for accommodation in Paris is particularly difficult because there is more demand than supply.  Because of this, you will not always have the luxury of choosing exactly where to live and I would advise you to stay flexible.


How much is the average rent in Paris?

Before we dive into the best arrondissements for students, here’s a quick overview of the price of housing in Paris and its suburbs.

Best arrondissements to live in if you're a student with a budget of more than 1000€ a month

Le Quartier Latin

The Quartier Latin extends over the 5th and 6th arrondissement. It is a district very popular with students because many schools and universities are located there (eg : La Sorbonne) and its many bars.

Subway stops : Odéon, Saint-Michel, Jussieu, Place-Monge…

Le Marais

Located in the 4th arrondissement, the Marais is a must-see district in Paris. Known for being the gay community district of Paris, it is appreciated for its various restaurants, bars and a more than festive atmosphere. 

Subway stops : Saint-Paul, Rambuteau, Chemin Vert…

where to live as a student in paris

Best arrondissements to live in if you're a student with a budget of 700€ to 900€ a month

Bastille/Oberkampf/Nation (11th & 12th arrondissement)

If you are a party animal, the 11th arrondissement and the 12th arrondissement might be a good fit for you ! Those neighbourhoods are full of bars and clubs where you can dance all night long and they’re well served by public transport. There are slightly more affordable than the Marais or the Quartier Latin, but rent prices are rising quickly. Move a little further away from the center of the arrondissement to find the best deals.

Subway stops : Parmentier, Bastille, Nation, Oberkampf (11th arrondissement), Bercy, Bel-Air (12th arrondissement)…

North-East of Paris (Belleville, Buttes-Chaumont, Montmartre)

where to live as a student in paris
Buttes-Chaumont park, one of my fave parks to just chill and grab a beer with friends!

Traditionally more working-class even though they are becoming increasingly gentrified, the 18th, 19th and 20th arrondissements generally offer studios and apartments with reasonable rents. When it comes to the 18th, you have the choice between quiet neighbourhoods (Lamarck-Caulaincourt, Abbesses) and very animated ones (Pigalle, Montmartre…).

On the 19th arrondissement side, try to look for apartments near the Buttes-Chaumont or La Villette.

In the 20th arrondissement, take a look at the Gambetta and Belleville neighbourhoods.

Subway stops : Lamarck-Caulaincourt, Abbesses(18th), Jaurès, Riquet, Stalingrad, Danube (19th), Belleville, Pyrénées (20th).

The Chinese neighbourhood (13th arrondissement)

where to live as a student in paris
The 13th arrondissement is also a gem if you love street art!

Whether it is the architecture of the neighbourhoods or the atmosphere that reigns there, every place in the 13th arrondissement is different. A modern architecture towards the François Mitterand library, small cobbled streets in the Butte aux Cailles, the hustle and bustle of Place d’Italie and its shops… There is something for everyone !  This arrondissement is also one of the cheapest in the capital, where you can still find relatively affordable accommodation for students.

Subway stops : Bibliothèque François Mitterrand, Tolbiac, Place d’Italie…

Best arrondissements to live in if you're a student with a budget of 500€ to 700€ a month

Suburbs of Paris (Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, Val de Marne)

Often forgotten by foreign students, the inner suburbs of Paris offers many advantages, starting with much cheaper rents. So, if you do not mind living further away from the center, it’s a very attractive option, especially since with the RER and Transilien SNCF lines, some suburban cities are more easily accessible than some districts of Paris….

The area of the Hauts-de-Seine is very appreciated for its more relaxed and family friendly vibe. Popular cities are Neuilly-Sur-Seine, Montrouge, Meudon, Puteaux, Suresnes…

On the contrary, Seine-Saint-Denis has a very bad reputation, but don’t write it off ! Cities like Montreuil, Pantin, Les Lilas or Bagnolet are very pleasant. Finally, in Val-de-Marne, take a look at Vincennes, Saint-Mandé, Fontenay-Sous-Bois or Nogent-Sur-Marne.

where to live as a student in paris
"Le Lac des Minimes" in the Bois de Vincennes, near Nogent-Sur-Marne. Who said the suburbs of Paris were boring?

What are the safest arrondissements to live in Paris?

You’ll notice that throughout this whole article, I haven’t mentioned safety… It’s because Paris is no more dangerous than any other big city if you respect some basic safety rules.

Violent crimes are pretty rare, what you should really look out for are petty crimes such as catcalling, phone theft, etc. However, this type of crimes can sadly happen in any neighbourhood, even in the more “fancy” ones.

With that in mind, I would advise you to not write off any arrondissement, as even the ones with the worst reputation have perfectly safe and pleasant areas. For example, in the 18th arrondissement, you’ll be perfectly fine if you live in Montmartre but I wouldn’t recommend living near Porte de la Chapelle.

So, what you should instead is avoid specific areas but not entire arrondissements. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of areas I would avoid :

  • Gare du Nord
  • Place Stalingrad
  • Porte de la Chapelle
  • Barbès-Rochechouart 
  • Porte de Clignancourt
  • Boulevard de Clichy

That’s it for today, I hope that this article will help you in your search. Also, I’m curious, so I want to know: Where are you planning to live in Paris? Let’s discuss in the comments!

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