If you prefer to stay in a quieter, residential area and travel to the more vibrant parts of town when you feel like a bit of buzz, The 15th, 16th and 17th districts will probably suit you well. You’ll still find great restaurants and good shopping areas, just not quite as busy as around Chatelet, Boulevard St Michel or the Champs Elysees.
The 15th is a mainly residential part of Paris with none of the major sights, but right next to the Eiffel tower on its border with the 7th. There’s a vibrant street market on Rue St Charles on Tuesdays and Fridays and a modern shopping mall in the Paris Beaugrenelle centre.
For the more adventurous, you can go up in a tethered hot air balloon from André Citroen park on the river for fabulous views of the city. When you feel like a bit more action, the busy Montparnasse area is nearby with all it's shops and restaurants, or head out to Vanves flea market on the weekend to browse for bargains.
Just across the river from the 15th is the very upmarket 16th arrondissement with its wide boulevards and chic shops. Avenue Foch, which radiates out from the Arc de Triomphe, is one of the most expensive streets in the world and lies to the north of the district.
Head to rue de Passy for some retail therapy or pay a visit to the Palais de Tokyo and immerse yourself in modern art. You'll get great views across the river to the Eiffel tower from Place du Trocadero, also the location of the Palais de Chaillot. The area is bounded by the Bois de Boulogne, home to the French Open stadium at Roland Garros, Longchamps race course, a golf club and the Paris Polo Club.
To the north of the 16th, you'll find the eclectic 17th district with its diverse population and atmosphere. There are great examples of Hausmannian architecture in the quiet streets of the 17th around Parc Monceau and south of Boulevard Malesherbes, a quiet residential area, long the favourite of middle class French families.
In the northern part of the district, close to its border with the 18th, the character changes to an edgier, younger ambiance with trendy bars and narrow streets.
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