17th Arrondissement

The 17th is a large, outlying Parisian arrondissement, that, while never first on any visitor’s list, deserves a detour – if only to check out the quaint and hip Batignolles nabe. Parc Monceau, stradling the 8th and the 17th, is a breath of fresh air in a posh setting, a nice place to chill out if you enjoy watching preppy Parisians in their natural habitat. Further west, The Ternes quarter feels like a giant Haussmannien sleepy dorm: the only draw here are the well-manicured buildings and grandiose boulevards leading to the Arc de Triomphe, not a far hop due west to the Jardin d’Acclimatation (an adorable, French-style amusement park), and the Fondation Louis Vuitton.


The Batig­nolles quar­ter is the main rea­son to come all the way to the north­west­ern cor­ner of Paris: it’s an authen­tic, quaint area chock-full of hip restau­rants, cafés, and shops. Trendy bars dot the streets around Place de Clichy, while the area by Pont-Car­dinet train sta­tion is part of a sus­tain­able eco-dis­trict sur­round­ing Mar­tin Luther King Park: don’t miss HoBa, a cool snack bar with a view perched atop the mid­dle of Mar­tin Luther King park. You can spend a whole day here criss-cross­ing the streets and enjoy­ing a most­ly tourist-free expe­ri­ence.

Parc Monceau

If you pre­fer qui­et ele­gance for strolling among the Parisian trees, choose the Parc Mon­ceau area, south of Batig­nolles. Hip­sters choose the Parc des Buttes Chau­mont (way east in the 19th), and par­ents who don’t mind their chil­dren get­ting their Bon­point and Jaca­di high­brow white frocks scratched and mud­dy, choose Parc Mon­ceau. This area strad­dles the posh 8th arrondisse­ment, and it shows.

Ternes / Arc de Triomphe

This dead­er-than-dead part of the 17th is best left unvis­it­ed: The 17th is, gen­er­al­ly speak­ing, almost com­plete­ly lack­ing in redeem­ing qual­i­ties (see Batig­nolles, above, for the excep­tion), so this zone is tru­ly the pits. If you do find your­self lost around here, head quick­ly north­east for some fresh air in Parc Mon­ceau, or head south­east for some not-so-fresh car fumes at the uber-famous, con­gest­ed Place de l’Étoile and its proud Arc de Tri­om­phe. You might die run-over by a speed­ing, enraged Parisian on a moped, but at least you won’t die of boredom.