Paris has long been a city for coworkers and freelancers, although the café culture has changed since Hemingway and Fitzgerald held court here. A dream for many to spend a week, month, or years in the City of Light, Paris’s creative pockets are now catering to the new nomadic crowd more than ever.
As more entrepreneurs move to the city, Paris’ neighborhoods are filling the gap in the previously lacking market with cafes conducive for coworking and office spaces that feel more like sleek lobby lounges than conference rooms. From the student-heavy area of Saint Germain des Prés and Montparnasse on the Left Bank to central Sentier, up-and-coming Pigalle, and the restaurant-heavy Marais, here are some of the best neighborhoods for coworkers to call home in Paris.
The 2nd arrondissement sits in the heart of the city, on the cusp of the 1st and 9th districts, so it’s a quick stroll to the Louvre, Place Vendôme, and the Opéra. On the eastern side of the arrondissement, Sentier is located near the Grands Boulevards, between rue du Sentier, boulevard de Sébastopol, and rue Réaumur. Historically known as the garment district, Sentier is considered one of the city’s more exciting up-and-coming neighborhoods. The startup culture has earned it the nickname “Silicon Sentier” and coworking spaces keep popping up on every corner (Morning, Sentier, HUBSY Arts & Métiers, and Spaces Réaumur are just a few to check out).
The neighborhood is also experiencing a culinary renaissance as one restaurant after the next opens its doors. One of the popular new editions: Japanese-influenced rooftop La Plume in the new Madame Rêve hotel. California-inspired deli Echo is a great pick for lunch, and Liza is a local favorite for modernized, elevated Lebanese. Stroll up the pedestrian-only rue Montorgueil, which is lined with fromageries, wine shops, boulangeries, and restaurants, and continue to the tucked-away rue du Nil, a tiny street that’s one of the most gastronomic in Paris thanks to artisanal chocolate shops like Plaq and restaurants like Michelin-starred Frenchie. The area extends to Strasbourg-Saint-Denis (which skirts the 10th arrondissement), where you’ll find an explosion of hot restaurants and cocktail bars like Vivant, Eels, and Le Syndicat.
Saint Germain des Pres & Montparnasse
The Seine snakes through the city cutting it into two very distinct sides: the Rive Droite (Right Bank) and Rive Gauche (Left Bank). The Left Bank is home to the Eiffel Tower, but it was also considered the city’s literary hub. In one of the most infamous neighborhoods, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the bustling Boulevard Saint-Germain is where twentieth-century artists and writers like Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Pablo Picasso, and Ernest Hemingway once worked and gathered at spots like Brasserie Lipp, Café de Flore, and Les Deux Magots.
The area is well-connected thanks to the Line 4 metro, and close enough to walk to major museums like Musée d’Orsay and the Louvre. Saint Germain was once a popular place for jazz music following the first World War, and in the neighboring Latin Quarter, Le Caveau de la Huchette still offers a program of nightly live music in its subterranean jazz club. Since Saint Germain is lined with mostly high-end shops (also where the world’s first department store, Le Bon Marché, is located), it can be on the quieter side in the evenings.
Rent is high here, but the location and quintessential Parisian buildings and parks are what make Saint Germain such a great place to live and work. In between upscale eateries like Quinsou and COYA, you’ll find a handful of neighborhood spots where locals gather over small plates and wine, such as Au Sauvignon and Avant Comptoir du Marché. Coworking spaces like La Bulle and specialty coffee shops like Ten Belles 6 and Coutume are also catering to a younger crowd of independent workers.
Saint Germain blends seamlessly into Montparnasse, a more affordable (and less trafficked) neighborhood in the 14th arrondissement that was a hotspot in the Roaring Twenties thanks to bistros and cafes like La Coupole, Le Dôme, and La Closerie des Lilas. While some Parisians think of the 56-floor Montparnasse Toweras an eyesore, it offers one of the best panoramic views of the city from the top floor observation deck. Continue your tour exploring below ground in the centuries-old quarries forming the Catacombs, or admire the latest exhibit at glass-encased contemporary art gallery Fondation Cartier. Rue de la Gaité is the heart of the neighborhood’s theater district, where greats like Juliette Gréco got her start at the Théâtre de la Gaîté Montparnasse, and it’s now lined with lively cafés and restaurants. For wine, don’t miss La Quincave or Fulgurances à l’Entrepôt, which brings guest chefs for multi-month residencies. For coworking, try Wojo Paris 14e – Montparnasse Gaîté or Newtown Square.
Marais & Oberkampf
The Marais neighborhood is dotted with 17th-century private mansions and museums dedicated to artists like Picasso, as well as the country’s largest collection of modern and contemporary art at the Centre Pompidou. Extending from the Haut Marais, which touches Bastille, to the banks of the Seine, this neighborhood feels like both a little village (it’s historically the Jewish quarter), as well as a nightlife hub, since some of the hottest bars and restaurants are located here. Since it’s a central part of the city—as well as a popular shopping destination—the Marais can be busy on weekends, and the streets can be noisy in the evenings. It’s on the pricier side in terms of accommodations, but if you want to step out your door and be in the heart of the action, this is the place. The Marais is lined with fantastic cafes and bars, a few standouts being Le Mary Celeste, Candelaria, and Little Red Door. Since the area is home to artists and creatives, you’ll find a variety of coworking places like WeWork and Unicorners.
The Marais borders Oberkampf, a neighborhood in the 11th arrondissement that was once a working-class part of Paris and, over the past decade or so, has emerged as one of the more up-and-coming places to live and go out. Since the neighborhood is on the compact side, it’s easy to hop from one bar or restaurant to the next—and it seems like the list of must-visit spots just keeps growing. Grab a glass of wine and artisanal ice cream at Folderol, or reserve a seat next door at intimate yakitori Le Rigmarole, owned and operated by the same couple. Continue the evening with drinks and dancing at vinyl record bars Fréquence and Bambino, or opt for a more low-key evening of wine and light bites at newcomer Pur Vin. Since the area is still developing, it’s more affordable than the Marais and offers 24/7 coworking spots like Paradise Working on the main drag, rue Oberkampf.
Pigalle & Montmartre
Neighboring Pigalle and Montmartre extend across the 9th and 18th arrondissements in one of the most picturesque parts of Paris. Pigalle was once known mostly for its red-light district and rowdy nightlife, but more recently, it’s cleaned up its act and now draws a younger, more fashionable local crowd to eateries like Frenchie Pigalle and craft cocktail bars like Sister Midnight, which hosts regular drag, burlesque, and cabaret shows.
Start your morning with pastries from Rose Bakery or linger over coffee at Café Pigalle. For something traditional, take a seat at Bouillon Pigalle, a brasserie inspired by working-class bouillon restaurants that features classic fare like beef bourguignon and terrine. The area has a more residential—and slightly more upscale feel—than Montmartre, which can be seen in coworking options like the recently opened Soho House Paris, set inside the former Cocteau family home. And while Pigalle has become something of a hipster hotspot for its drinking and dining scene, it still very much feels livable and slightly removed from some of the hustle and bustle of tourist-heavy Montmartre.
Montmartre has long been associated with the artist lifestyle, and this little hilltop village still exudes this charm today. Crowned by the 19th-century Romano-Byzantine-style Sacré-Cœur basilica, where you can admire panoramic views over Paris, the area is a tourist favorite—particularly for the Moulin Rouge cabaret. Winding streets open up to windmills, vineyards, and cafes made famous by French films like Amélie. In terms of dining, the area isn’t as culinary-driven as Pigalle, but you can still find a few gems like Georgian eatery Colchide and fine dining Sarté Restaurant. Near the basilica, Hardware Société serves up one of the city’s best brunch menus, and for coworking, Paris Wellio Montmartre is your best bet.