Advice on Paris neighborhood to stay in

Old Jan 20th, 2015, 03:57 PM
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Advice on Paris neighborhood to stay in

Hello! I am in the early stages of planning our trip to Europe. We will be in Spain, Paris, and Germany for about 2.5 weeks in June. It will be my sister and I and a friend. This will be our friends first visit to Paris and our second trip. My first question involves Paris.

We will most likely arrive by train from Barcelona and then leave later to go to Munich by train. We plan on seeing Versailles and Giverny while we are there as well.

Our top sites to see will be the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Sainte Chapelle, Arc de Triomphe. If time and interest permits we also hope to see.
Pantheon, Concierege, Rodin Museum, Napoleon's Tomb, and maybe a couple of other things.

I'm primarily trying to figure out the best neighborhood/area we should base ourselves out of. Since we will be coming and going a lot, I was hoping for something close and easily connected for our trips out. My initial thought was the Marais area. Any suggestions and even hotel recommendations would be appreciated. Thank you!
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Old Jan 20th, 2015, 04:21 PM
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Based on what you want to see, consider the 7th or the 6th. Look for an area where you have access to the Metro. I think the seventh is a little dull at night, so I like the 6th. Even the 5th near the Pantheon would be good, that would be closer to Notre Dame, Sainte Chappelle and the Conciergerie. Again, look for easy transportation the the ET , les Invalides and Musee Rodin by bus or Metro.

I love the area near Odeon or St Germain des Pres church...both are easily accessed by Metro or bus. The area near Maubert Mutualite is also good- great market there.
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Old Jan 20th, 2015, 04:38 PM
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The last time we were in Paris, we stayed on the southern fringe of the 5th, near the Gobelins metro station. I really liked that area a lot. It was far enough away from the more touristy parts of the city, but close enough to walk to the Luxembourg Gardens, the Jardin des Plantes, Notre Dame, and many other places.
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Old Jan 20th, 2015, 04:46 PM
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I agree with denisea. That said, it is incredibly easy to get around all of Paris using the bus. We usually stay in the 7th, on the side closest to the 6th, and for the bulk of the things you would like to take in you can walk from there. You might find better value renting an apartment, depending on how long you will be in Paris.
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Old Jan 20th, 2015, 05:38 PM
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I think based on what you want to see I would choose the 6th , close to river if possible.. you could walk to ET, Notre Dame, Orsay, Rodin, Napoleons Tomb, St Chapelle,and even Pantheon.. some walks would be longer,, but scenic anways. June is super busy , and triples are harder to find.. so get cracking if you want a cheap hotel that's still a nice hotel.
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Old Jan 20th, 2015, 08:36 PM
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The Marais would certainly work fine for you.

There's a bus that goes down Rue de Turenne and to the Eiffel Tower. Otherwise everything else on your list is an easy walk. Plenty of Metro lines.
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Old Jan 21st, 2015, 06:18 AM
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If you want to be able to walk out of your hotel and be at the river and with easy access to the main tourist sites in central Paris (Louvre, Orsay, Notre Dame etc.) then pretty much anywhere in arrondissements 1 through 6 will work. The Marais and The Latin Quarter are always popular suggestions and I like these areas but IMO opinion the most central location in Paris is in the Châtelet-les-Halles area. There are more transport connections here than anywhere else in the city and it is also the largest and liveliest pedestrian area in the whole city. This was the heart of medieval Paris and many of the street patterns there (though not the buildings) have been in existence since the 12th and 13th centuries. There are also some cobbled streets and old buildings much like you would find in the Marais or Latin Quarter, particularly those streets that intersect with rue Montorgueil but they aren't the only ones (rue Quincampoix etc.).

Within a 10 minute walk you can be in the Marais, at the river, on either of the islands or at the Louvre among other places. Look for something around rue Montorgueil, which is one of Paris's lively market streets.
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Old Jan 21st, 2015, 10:08 AM
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Most of what you want to see is in the center, you could walk to it from the Latin Qtr or the island (or Marais). Those would be 4th-5th arrondisements, near the river. St Germain, also, I guess.

When you say trips out, I'm not sure if you just mean in the city or the ones elsewhere. For Versailles or Giverny, being more on the west side of the city would be helpful, a bit. Versailles is on the RER tha tgoes along the river, you could be close to it from the 5th-7th arrondisements, at least if you are near the RER C line.. For Giverny, you need to take the train from gare St Lazare which is in the 9th arrondisement not too far from the big dept stores. You probably don't want to stay around there (I do, but you probably wouldn't given your desires), and other areas will be better for your general sightseeing. You can get there easily enough by metro from the Marais, etc.
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Old Jan 21st, 2015, 11:57 AM
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Thanks for all the suggestions! When I mentioned trips out, I was thinking more along the lines of Versailles/Giverny. Something that gets us back to the city center and enough time to site see the rest of the days. Sounds like 5-7 are our best options.

I haven't figured out exactly where we are coming/going when we leave the city etc. Do you know if it will be fairly easy to connect when we arrive from Barcelona and then leave to go to Munich with the trains? Are we looking at 30 minutes to an 1 hour to get to our train stations from the hotel areas? (from the 5-7 areas) Or are we looking at a longer time period?
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Old Jan 21st, 2015, 12:38 PM
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What you want to see has absolutely no bearing on where you should stay because public transportation in Paris is excellent and you will be using it no matter what.

There are the elegant (and overpriced) Haussmannian areas like the Champs Elysées or Opéra, there are picturesque but excessively renovated (and overpriced) areas like Saint Germain-des-Prés or the Marais, there are older areas with hit-or-miss charm (and prices) like the Latin Quarter or Montmartre, there are super elegant (and super expensive) residential areas like the 7th arrondissement (Eiffel Tower) or most of the 16th arrondissement. And then there is the remaining 75% of Paris which offers a variety of experiences and prices. There is "lively" (République, Gambetta, Montparnasse, Bastille, Villiers, Place de Clichy...), "lively ethnic" (Belleville, Ménilmontant, Porte de Clignancourt...) and all of the quiet ordinary areas (but still with lots of shops) that people come to love on return trips, because they realise that when they stay there, the ring scam, the petition girls, the pickpockets, etc. are all somewhere else.
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Old Jan 21st, 2015, 02:02 PM
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well, I think what you want to see has some relationship to where you stay. No point in staying on the completely opposite side of town or far away from it as youspend a lot of time "commuting" as a tourist. I would never stay in Menilmontant nor recommend it to a first time tourist, nor Porte de Clignancourt which is not that nice and on the complete edge of the city.

Some people dont' go to Paris to stay in "ethnic" neighborhoods. I do that at home, Paris isn't the only city in the world with immigrants from Asia or Africa, you know, I don't travel to France to see them.
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Old Jan 21st, 2015, 02:23 PM
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Still, a lot of people want to stay near the Eiffel Tower without realising that it is quite isolated from most of the rest of the city and quite dead. But they don't complain too much, because they find out that they can go everywhere else easily. People who stay in livelier areas also find out that can go everywhere easily, but they have the added advantage of staying in an area with cheaper shops and cafés and restaurants open until all hours.
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Old Jan 21st, 2015, 03:35 PM
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Depending upon your luggage situation, You'll be entering Paris at gare de Lyon, and departing from Gare l'est, as I understand your itinerary. I'd suggest somewhere in the 2-3 arr., as your largest luggage days will be on arrival and departure. The shortest amount of lugging luggage, to me, would be more preferable, and more practical than moving all your luggage to a location south of the river, then all the way back up to the 10th arr to leave. Getting around is amazingly simple (without tons of luggage) and if I could suggest getting something in the 2nd or 3rd as close to l'est as possible would be best.

Your Giverny trip leaves from Lazare, which is also close to Nord and Est, so catching the early train out to Giverny becomes simpler with a short 5 minute metro ride to Lazare to leave.
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Old Jan 21st, 2015, 06:07 PM
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When I see "lively neighborhood" in a vacation rental description, I do think of cafes open until all hours, and of my ultra-light-sleeping husband's response to that. But I agree with Kerouac, and would go with the quiet and ordinary, with lots of shops, if I only had to please myself.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2015, 02:18 AM
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There are no best places to stay. It depends how long a stay, if a first timer and a variety of other things.

This person would probably be fine for the short time in St. Germain area.

I am in Paris for two months and would not be my cup of tea. I have been coming to Paris for many years and have stayed in many areas, apts, hotels, etc. I have found that the western part of the 7th is perfect, for me, and for my longer stays. So much is nearby and anything else easy to get to.

Wherever you stay you are going to need some transportation for places that you may want to go to. I much prefer the bus to the metro..only use it as a last resort.

It is the same from your hometown..the areas that you prefer to live in. If I want to go to Charleston or Savannah for a weekend, I probably want to be in town, unless a beach person!

Coming to Paris for a short stay to go to specific restaurants or sights you would want to be near them. All have to make those decisions of what suits them best and the type of stay they are looking for.

I seem to have noticed some newer restaurants/bars of a more American type and an American crowd. I can go to those at home! I prefer French restaurants and French clientele when in Paris.

It is all a personal choice in every aspect. No best place for all..whether lodging or restaurants...all my opinion only..

a bientot..

Joan
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