Ask Fodor's: Where Should I Stay in Paris?

Posted by Mark Sullivan on June 9, 2014 at 11:00:00 AM EDT | Post a Comment

Our column this week features a question submitted by @kdykstra53 via Twitter: 

I want to visit Paris for a couple nights. Which district is most economical & centrally located to the museums?

What a great idea for a Paris getaway! Staying close to the museums is the perfect solution for art aficionados looking to pack a lot into a few days. You won't have to factor in extra time for transportation and you can get there early enough to be among the first in line. If you splurge on a Paris Museum Pass, you can leave when the galleries get too crowded and come back later in the day or even the next morning.

The good news is that every neighborhood has lodgings that won’t break the bank.Which museums are on your list? If you have your heart set on the Louvre, there are plenty of options, including the stunning Hôtel Meurice, which we included in our Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards for 2013. This one is definitely a splurge, but there are more inexpensive options as well. Try to stay in this area on Wednesday or Friday, when the Louvre is open late. Another good choice for Louvre-lovers would be stay across the Seine in the neighborhood of St-Germain-des-Prés.

St-Germain-des-Prés is also home to the Musée d'Orsay, the former train station that now houses Impressionist masterpieces. Other popular museums in the area include the Musée Maillol, dedicated to sculptor Aristide Maillol, and the Musée Delacroix, housed in the former studio of artist Eugene Delacroix. To stretch your budget, look for family-run options like the Hôtel Bonaparte. St-Germain-des-Prés also happens to be the center of the city's café culture, so it's not hard to find a tucked-away place for an espresso or cappuccino.

Dedicated to the Middle Ages, the fascinating Musée de Cluny sits in the heart of the city's Latin Quarter. Traversed by narrow streets and winding alleys, the historic student quarter is a good place to find a bargain, including the perfectly located Hôtel Familia, a wallet-friendly lodging with charm to spare. It's one of our Fodor's Choice hotels.

Headed to the ultramodern Centre Pompidou, home of the Musée National d'Art Moderne? You'll definitely want to stay in the Marais. Although this centrally located neighborhood has a time-mellowed feel, many of the best lodging options are boutique hotels with sleek furnishings and a hip vibe. Within an easy stroll you'll find sensational shops and intimate bistros. —Mark Sullivan, Editor, Cities and Cultural Destinations (Follow him on Twitter: @markenroute.)

Have a travel question for our experts and editors? Ask us on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #AskFodors.

© Dennis Dolkens | Dreamstime.com (Louvre); © Jan Kranendonk | Dreamstime.com (Musee d'Orsay); © Piccia Neri | Dreamstime.com (Centre Pompidou)

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