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Advice and Comments on Paris Apartment Rental

Advice and Comments on Paris Apartment Rental

Feb 8th, 2007, 05:52 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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camelbak, I'm hijacking for a sec... sorry.

Travelbunny- I'm staying near the rue du Bac metro stop on rue de Grenelle (directly across from Christian Louboutin's sexy red heeled shoes!) in July. Any "must do" restaurants(casual, inexpensive)in the area that you can share?
amwosu is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 10:50 AM
  #22  
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Thanks for your input re: staying in the St. Germain or Marais districts.

My SIL stayed in St. Germain during her visit last fall and totally loved it - like you mentioned close to everything, etc.

I am just wondering if it might be too touristy though? I mean, I am a tourist, logically, but I would love to be able to try to find the "real" Paris (of course within easy walking distance to everything).

I know, I know that sounds totally silly. I guess I would like to know if St. Germain has the same type of neighbourhood feel that I have heard the Marais district does? I want to feel like I am part of daily life - or at least see some daily life around me...instead of just tourist masses whenever I step directly out of the apartments front door.

Your thoughts would be appreciated.

camelbak is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 11:00 AM
  #23  
 
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The area of the 6th near the 5th (ex the Odeon area) is quite touristy. The area close to the 7th is truly a neighborhood. (please note my prejudice).
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Feb 8th, 2007, 11:31 AM
  #24  
 
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..am re restaurants.. I used to love the Maillot museum. In the basement there was a great coffee shop. On dreary days I would get my art fix and then either a great cofee or a hot chocolate. I would occassionally go to the Rest (?Bistro) les ministeres..only for lunch. I would people watch and look for senior members of the national assembly..just "fun" once or twice. There is a fairly pricey resto La ferme Saint Simon BUT they had a very good "menu". I think you had to go relatively early for this (or maybe I was just hungry and always went early) to take advantage of this. There was a great cheese shop on the rue du Bac and a Nicholas just off it so all my needs were met!
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Feb 8th, 2007, 01:44 PM
  #25  
 
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St Germain didn't feel like a neighborhood to me at all -- it feels like a wealthy strip of boutiques and over-priced brasseries and cafes. It's fun if you really like to shop, though, even window shop.

A cafe creme ran 2.30 Euro (sitting at a table) in the Marais neighborhood I stayed in, an espresso was 1.40 and there were plenty of locals around in the morning.

In Saint Germain, a cafe creme ran around 6 Euro (higher at cafes from the glory days of the Paris intelligentsia) and there are tourists from all over the world sitting around you -- that's not a bad thing, just depends on what you're looking for.
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Feb 8th, 2007, 02:50 PM
  #26  
 
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Camelbak - I stayed in the Latin Quartier, not St. Germaine. I was just a block or two away from Blvd St Germaine de Pres. I really liked the area between the 5th and 6th due to its approximaticity. Some people are correct in saying that it's very touristy. Think Robson in the summer, if you will. But it was close to everything. Now, the area where Travelbunny mentions - it is nice, definitely local, and I think close enough to Le Grand Epicerie, I believe. Paris is really funny where for a block, it's totally overrun by tourists and shops, then the next block up, it's so residential.

So really, the ideal location just depends on which block you're in. And like Travelbunny says, you're almost always in walking distance to something in Paris.
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Feb 8th, 2007, 04:31 PM
  #27  
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hmmmm. While I love window shopping, I don't like overpriced coffee shops and restaurants simply because I am in a tourist part of a city.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I will pay for a good lunch/dinner, whatever, but if I know there is an equally good place somewhere else for less..I will tend to wander over there. You know?

Alrighty....if you could LIVE in either area...which would you live in to get the full Parisian flavour?

See, while I was in Florence last year I stayed out in the main tourist area (with my BFF who lives there). I felt like I was experiencing real Italian life instead of just setting out from the Duomo and stepping into my apartment across the square sort of thing.

This is SOOOO hard! I guess that is partly what makes it fun..and your input is really appreciated.

-camelbak
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Feb 8th, 2007, 05:12 PM
  #28  
 
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good question. I guess if I were to live there, I'd probably live a bit further away from the Seine, but still close enough to see the Eiffel somewhere. But I haven't truly explored out further from the Seine, on my first trip, and this is what I want to do on my 2nd trip - get out away from the tourist central and find little neighbourhoods
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Feb 8th, 2007, 05:15 PM
  #29  
 
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ps - never been to Marais yet - so I can't say where I'd live just yet. I think I would probably choose Marais based on what people have said.
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Feb 8th, 2007, 05:31 PM
  #30  
 
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Fishee. have you actually lived in the area near rue du Bac or lived in the Marais? I lived in the first and spent considerable time in the second years ago (I was "bring courted" by someone who lived in the 4th). Both these neighborhood have great memories but I am trying to be objective with recommendations to the first time tourist.
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Feb 8th, 2007, 05:58 PM
  #31  
 
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Travelbunny.
I don't totally understand your question although I'm sensing you're establishing yourself as an authority on where to stay in paris since you once "lived" there and was "courted" by someone. good for you!! sounds delightful!

If you've noticed, I've refrained from telling camelbak where to stay since I have no idea what she likes and values. I just noted the shopping was great in St. Germain, tourists from all over the world, and that the coffee is a tad expensive -- does that sound unobjective or inaccurate?

No matter what, she's going to have a fabulous time -- you really can't go wrong in either place! Have a wonderful trip!


fishee is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 06:14 PM
  #32  
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Heya...

When travelling I love running around all the regular sites and taking everything in fully...but when it comes to "going home" for the evening, I like a neighbourhood that feels like I could live there everyday. Good stores and restaurants nearby but away from all the tourist hustle and bustle. It seems like Marais, from all my reading on Fodors and Slowtrav, is more along those lines more so than St. Germain district...but I was wanting to get some first hand opinions as well.

I guess I should provide some background? I am 32, hubby is 35. We have two kids (who will most definitely be staying home this trip). We have travelled to Hawaii, Arizona, throughout Canada, Mexico and I have been to Italy twice in the last two years. DH did his first Europe trip last year to Italy as well.

We enjoy good food, but aren't foodies, like to relax at cafes and watch the people and world go by. We love museums and great buildings and beautiful surroundings and DH in particular loves great architecture (and has this thing with old, old doorways). We like to splurge on items for one another and ourselves, but are frugal in our choices. We don't have huge budgets, but won't scoff at paying for a nice bottle of wine, or a well prepared and slow lunch at a cafe somewhere (we spent three hours at a restaurant overlooking San Lorenzo church on a sunny September day and it is one of the best memories of the trip).

On my Florence trips I loved cooking at the apartment and then walking around at night, grabbing a coffee and dessert and seeing all of the tourist sites lit up etc, but I also loved being able to go back to my "neighbourhood" (near San Marco) and feeling like I was in a real neigbhourhood, with real people doing their own thing.

So..I like a mix of tourist and residential. It seems from what I have read that the Marais has more of that to offer then the St. German, or Latin Quarter.

Your take now that you have a bit of background on me?

camelbak is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 10:45 PM
  #33  
 
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From what you're saying, it sounds like you're generally looking for something more like the Marais, although it would depend a bit on what street you're on in either neighborhood.

I'd punch in an exact address on pagesjaune.com to get a feel for the street your apartment will be on. This site shows you street level photos of every building/store front on the block.

Again, either way, you can't really go wrong. Everything is a bit more expensive and posh around St Germain Des Pres but it's quite enjoyable and I loved it on my first trip.



fishee is offline  
Feb 9th, 2007, 06:37 AM
  #34  
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Thanks Fishee. Funny you should mention because my SIL (who was in Paris last year) forwarded me a pic of the front of the building which she got through pagesjeune. SO cool! (the internet is just crazy).

I also ran it through GoogleEarth - literally two blocks from Place de Vosges.

We also found out that the closest metro (Chemin Vert) through the http://www.ratp.info/orienter/cv/carteparis.php.

So far, with the budget that I have been given, I think that this is the apartment for us!

Now....to find out about restuarants and cafes around the area...

Thank you for your help! I really appreciate everyone's input!
camelbak is offline  
Feb 9th, 2007, 07:07 AM
  #35  
 
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we've stayed in the same neighborhood, and are returning this spring. between the chemin vert and st. paul metros and the 96 and 69 buses, it is super easy to get anywhere you want to go.

we also find the marais to be generally more lively (esp. at night) than the 6th. the place des vosges is fabulous, and there are many great museums just a short walk away.

have fun!!
melissa19 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2007, 07:10 AM
  #36  
 
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Melissa,

Seeing that you've stayed there, is there a good cafe nearby for just sitting there and watching the world go by?
lmlweb is offline  
Feb 9th, 2007, 07:57 AM
  #37  
 
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there are a lot of cafes in the area! our tradition has been to go the the cafe hugo, which is right on the place des vosges, when we arrive. you can sit under the arcades which is nice. just a few doors down from "our" apartment is l'escurail, at the corner of rue de turenne and rue des francs bourgeoise(sp?); there is another cafe just across the street.

i also had a nice encounter with a handsome french waiter at les philosophes which is on rue vielle de temple!
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Feb 9th, 2007, 05:34 PM
  #38  
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Thanks Melissa!

Just wondering where "your" apartment was? Did you rent through VRBO or another agency, or are you lucky enough to have an abode in Paris all for yourself? As you can see, I am very open to any fabulous little gem of an apartment in the Marais district.
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Feb 10th, 2007, 05:08 AM
  #39  
 
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hi,

we're renting (not owning, unfortunately) vrbo #15502 for the second time next month. it's a 2BR though, and it sounds like you only need a 1BR.

i think the apt. you're looking at in the marais looks very nice. however, as other posters have said, the "window overlooking a private courtyard" may not provide much light. regardless, the location sounds great.
melissa19 is offline  
Feb 11th, 2007, 08:16 AM
  #40  
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Thanks!

Of course Fishee threw their rental VRBO into the mix. Showed it to the DH and he has now decided that he likes the idea of a studio apartment - but even more so he loves the idea of a little terrace/balcony to sit at night and have some wine. His exact words "it would be so romantic".

Think I caught myself a keeper

Now if I can just figure out how to get pagejeune.com to let me view pictures of store fronts all will be good!!!
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