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Solo female traveller to Paris - where best to stay?

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Hi everyone,

I am a single female travelling to Paris in March 12. I will be spending three nights in Paris before catching the train from the MONTPARNASSE Station to travel West to do an English Language course in Brittany. I will be arriving at the Gare du Nord from Amsterdam.

I have visited Paris once before and stayed at the Hotel de Paris. It was a few years ago now but I remember feeling uncomfortable walking at night in the area despite being with a large group. We also visited Montmatre one night and I remember feeling the same however I am sure there are nice places to stay in both these areas and also in close proximity.

I would like to know where the best place to search for accommodation would be. I have the following requirements:

1. Safe/pleasant area
2. Cheap - backpacker/dorm rooms fine
3. Close proximity to the train stations

I love walking in the city so intend to spend the couple of days I have there exploring. I have already visited the major attractions so am more interested in exploring parks, cafes etc.

I have been searching on the eurocheapo.com and booking.com and have also checked out some of the other suugestions from other discussions but most seem to be well out of my budget.

Any assisstance that can be provided would be much appreciated.

Also - as I am flying to Amsterdam and staying there for a few days first I have a similar request for there - where is the best area to stay that is in close proximity for walking around the city but also safe and cheap?

Thanks

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