Advice for an arrondissement please

Old Mar 21st, 2014, 07:22 AM
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Advice for an arrondissement please

Hello again,
I'm planning another quick, last minute visit to Paris with my husband and our now 15 y.o. son around Apr. 7-11. I think we are going to try airbnb for this trip as there seem to be many options within our price range that can accommodate 3. I have been searching the forum as to which arr. might be a good choice for our needs. Last visit we stayed at Hotel des Grandes Ecoles in the Latin Quarter which was wonderful. We'd like to experience a different area this time. Ideally we'd like a residential neighborhood with small cafés and bakeries etc. We are very comfortable with using the metro and buses so we don't have to be in the heart of the city. I have seen first time visitors directed to the 4-7th as it is walking distance to the main sights. I'm not ruling out those areas, but am willing to forgo convenience for a charming, less frenetic area. I am wondering if Montmartre might be what we're looking for. Or the Marais, although I've read where several people don't like it, and I wonder why. Any advice would be very appreciated. Merci!
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Old Mar 21st, 2014, 08:57 AM
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Look for something in the 12th, near the Place d'Aligre.
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Old Mar 21st, 2014, 09:01 AM
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We live the 11th
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Old Mar 21st, 2014, 09:40 AM
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I like the 3rd, 4th, 14th and parts of the 11th a lot. I have enjoyed the 6th. I did not enjoy the 7th because transportation to the places I like to go isn't very good. It may be great to where you want to go.
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Old Mar 21st, 2014, 10:09 AM
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We are staying in the 14th based on rec from our daughter who stayed there most of last summer. Residential, lots of restos, pattiserries, Monoprix, fromageries, etc. easy access on M line 4 to central Paris. your so might like being near the catacombs. Mary
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Old Mar 21st, 2014, 12:59 PM
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I'm with Michael on the area around the Marché d'Aligre. I've been lucky enough to do lots of home exchanges with someone who lives on the Rue du Faubourg St. Antoine, and it would seem to fit the bill. Though I wouldn't say it's exactly "charming" - it's less upmarket than that name would suggest - but it's safe and has all the neighbourhood amenities, it's quiet, but well-served by public transport.

You could say much the same of various parts of the 11th, and the 10th around République.
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Old Mar 21st, 2014, 05:02 PM
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The 14th and parts of the 15th for me. I've stayed twice recently in those arr in different apts each time and I loved it. Around Metro Vaugirard or Plaisance in the 15th (line 13), or Alesia and Mouton Duvernet (line 4) in the 14th. Lots of cafes, bakeries, excellent neighborhood restaurants serving top class food at neighborhood prices, and fish-mongers in both, and the Rue Daguerre street market in the 14th, as well as other great shopping. Very close to RER B at Denfert Rochereau which can bring you from or take you to CDG.

Actually there are many places in Paris like this. These are just the ones I know and like.
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Old Mar 21st, 2014, 05:51 PM
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Everyone has their favorite areas for personal reasons, not necessarily helpful for your search. I happen to like the 18th, around Rue Lepic, because I lived in the neighborhood.

I suggest you narrow it down by finding apartments you like and, using the street name and map on the Airbnb site, then have a look at the neighborhood on Google Maps Streetview. You can tell if you like the look of the neighborhood and might like to give it a try. Since you're feeling a bit more adventuresome regarding location, it doesn't matter what I or anyone else likes. Just about anywhere inside the Blvd Peripherique will do, but some will look better to you than others. So I think starting with the apartment, then checking the particular neighborhood might be the better way to search.
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Old Mar 21st, 2014, 07:11 PM
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I am also a big fan of the 12th in the area around Place d' Aligre and I would add a recommendation of the 9th close to Rue des Martyrs but I think MmePerdu's advice may be the best - find the apartments that look good to you and go from there. What IS your price range? One good thing about the 12th is, it seems to be a good value (at least it has been for me) when it comes to apartment rentals.

It may be hard to get what you want at this late date - utilize the date function to see what is even available. Homelidays is a good place to look - I know AirBnB is popular but Homelidays has been around a lot longer and I think you can find better values there.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2014, 08:20 AM
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Thank you all for your replies. I have never used airbnb before and I have never heard of Homelidays (I will check it out). For my research, it is helpful to have recommended neighborhoods because there are 100's of airbnbs. Probably 1000's! From the advice above, I started looking in the Place d'Aligre area and already contacted about 6 owners of apartments. And I am looking around Rue Lepic, MmePerdu. I love the neighborhoods there! I will check out the other areas as well.
This is a great start!
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Old Mar 22nd, 2014, 08:34 AM
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I can tell you why I don't like the Marais but others may have other thoughts or reasons. For me, it's crowded and loaded with a lot of chain stores you would see in the US. Are there parts that are nice, certainly but I wouldn't want to stay there. Many love it and that's what is great about Paris ....something for everyone. We love the 6th but other do not. I prefer an inner arrondisement to be close to what we like to do. They are all unique.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2014, 09:24 AM
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GAJayhawks, use the filters at the top of the results page. Choose "Entire Place" for an apartment, slide the red (pink?) price selector to your preferred maximum price, then click on "more filters", just below the word "price" to narrow the results even more and get it to a manageable number.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2014, 05:39 AM
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Thank you, Mme. Yes I have used those filters and it has helped but there are still MANY to choose from. I guess that's a good thing. Unfortunately, you have to ask the owner directly if their apt. Is available as they don't always update their pages. But so far, I have had responses for four available apts! I'm feeling hopeful!

Deisea, that's exactly what I want to hear. What someone may like or dislike in an area might not bother someone else. Someone's "boring" might be someone else's quiet and calm. And your observation about the Marais would be something I would like to avoid. So thank you!
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Old Mar 23rd, 2014, 06:15 AM
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Glad it helped. In my mind, it's Paris and you can't really go wrong.

We stayed in the 7th one year and it had a residential feel. But, it also felt far away from what we really enjoy (Isle St Louis, the 5th and 6th). It just wasn't for us but it's hard to define why we didn't completely fall in love with it.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2014, 06:30 AM
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I am not sure which parts of the Marais are loaded with chain stores that you would find in the US, but the parts with which I am familiar have many more small, independent shops and galleries. Not to say that you should stay there, but while you are in Paris you might want to take a look for yourself.

I have stayed in several different neighborhoods in Paris and had a great time in all of them. I would look at the apartment details over the neighborhood when choosing a place to stay, as long as the apartment is convenient to public transportation.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2014, 10:43 AM
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I think there are lots of chain stores (not American, but French) along rue de Rivoli and some on bd Beaumarchais, etc., but not right in the Marais that I can think of. Those areas aren't the Marais as far as I'm concerned. I don't know where there are American chain stores in that area, either. There aren't really that many American chain stores in Paris that I can think of, but a few on the Champs Elysees and of course, McDonalds is around in various places. There are some foreign chain stores in Paris that you can find in some big cities in the US, sure (eg, Zara and H&M), but I can't think of any in the Marais, also.

Now I don't particularly like the Marais, but not for that reason. I think it's expensive and crowded and I like area with bigger streets and a more open feel. The narrow crowded streets comes with being one of the oldest parts of Paris, of course.

I don't think asking others is really that useful, either as a couple people on this thread voted for an area which they like but which I don't particularly care for at all (around Marche d'Aligre, for one). I wouldn't choose to stay there myself.

I prefer the 4th and 13th-15th and 9th myself. But for a first-timer who doesn't know Paris well, you can't go wrong with the 4th-7th, probably. At least the 4th-6th. Rue Lepic isn't an area I would recommend for a first-timer.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2014, 11:35 AM
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As mentioned in the original post, they aren't first-time visitors to Paris and I think the question was asked because of that fact, to find less known areas that they might enjoy. For someone looking for a bit more adventure, as I took it to mean, I'd specifically avoid the very center of the city, 1st - 8th, parts of which are incessantly recommended and fine, I guess, for beginners but noticeably less fine as one becomes more acquainted with the city. I like to encourage stretching one's horizon's and the neighborhood anchored by Rue Lepic conforms perfectly to the OP's request for "a residential neighborhood with small cafés and bakeries etc." and "we don't have to be in the heart of the city."
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