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Where to stay in Paris?

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Hi,
We are a family of 5 traveling to Europe for the 1st time. Kids are 15, 17, and 19. We have tickets to Paris for June 22nd, and leaving from Bacelona on July 8th. We don't have any hotels or train reservation yet, and I am just now working on the details of the trip.
General idea is 6 days in France, mostly Paris but I would love to see some parts of the country.
A couple on Venice and another two in Cinque Terra, and the rest in the Barcelona area.
I would appreciate suggestions on:
1. Where to stay in Paris? I hope we can find a reasonable hotel as we are on a budget. If anyone can recommend an area, it'll make it easier to find a hotel..
2. Would it be too ambitious to think about renting a car and drive to Lyon, and then take a train to Venice? Then another train to Cinque Terra? Or better fly to Venice and just use the train between Venezia and Barcelona?
3. Is it true theat the cost of the sleeping cars in the rail is about 2/3 more expensive than just traveling in the regular sits?
I appreciate any answer to my questions or any other suggestions that would help us maximize time and the experience.

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