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Apt. in Montmartre or Montparnasse? Any thoughts?

Apt. in Montmartre or Montparnasse? Any thoughts?

Old Aug 8th, 2006, 06:56 AM
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Apt. in Montmartre or Montparnasse? Any thoughts?

Hi there,
My husband and I have the opportunity to stay in an apartment in bis rue Tardieu in Montmartre or in the Montparnasse area, close to metros, Pasteur and Volontaires.

This is the first time in Paris for me, and my husband hasn't been since he was a child. We are so excited and would like to be in an area with food shops(for packing picnics),restaurants, bars and some romantic/interesting places to stroll to in the evening. Any thought on which neighborhood might be more interesting to us?
Thank you so much! What a great resource this board is.
foodmuse is offline  
Old Aug 8th, 2006, 07:30 AM
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I much perfer Montparnasse to Montmatre. After a long day of sightseeing, it's hard to trudge up those hills in Montmartre, and it is also inconvenient if you want to pop back into your apartment mid-day. Although I love the quaint quarters of Montmartre, I also don't care much for its seedier side. I feel much more comfortable just wandering around Montparnasse than I do Montmartre.

The cafe life in Montparnasse is one of my favorites, and food shops abound. It is very well served by public transportation. Whenever I am in Paris, I find myself gravitating toward Montparnasse for late-night meals and drinks and desserts. Once you get your bearings, you will discover Montparnasse is quite convenient to much that you want to see.

One last thing: No matter where you stay, visit St Denis, just a bit beyond Montmartre.

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Old Aug 8th, 2006, 08:43 AM
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We've stayed in Montparnasse and like the area. There are lots of restaurants, stores, good transportation, good walking area too. It's busy at night, so you can roam around until late and feel comfortable. Lots of cafes for a late night snack. All in all, it is a convenient location in which to stay. You'll be near Gare Montparnasse for day trips - depending of course on where you will be going.

Visit Montmartre, but IMO, it is too far out, not nearly as assessable as Montparnasse.

Depending on the apartment itself, I would definitely choose Montparnasse.

Enjoy your trip and be sure to write a trip report - please.

Nina
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Old Aug 8th, 2006, 08:48 AM
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I agree with Montparnass, but think about St Germain and the Latin Quarter , or even the Marais- they are so much fun and more restaurants and grand people watching. I think Monmarte is dirty and too far away from everything.
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Old Aug 8th, 2006, 08:51 AM
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I usually stay in Montparnasse in Paris and like the area a lot. I know it has the things you want. For convenience (stores, etc.), I like some of the "newer" arrondisements better than the older ones. I wouldn't want to stay up in Montmartre as a first time visitor, it's too inconvenient, and you are going to be wanting to do and see a lot of things in the inner quarters. I think Montmartre is good for someone who has been to Paris a lot and plans just leading a regular life and hanging out in the neighborhood a lot. I wouldn't particularly want to stay on rue Tardieu even if I were in Montmartre, anyway.
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Old Aug 8th, 2006, 10:03 AM
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Rue Tardieu is one of the very best locations in Montmartre, unless seeing a lot of tourists disgusts you. It is not at the top of any of the hills, so there's no problem being tired at the end of the day. Very accessible to metro Anvers or Abbesses.
The Pasteur/Volontaires areas is not much to write home about and doesn't really qualify as Montparnasse, but it is a completely bourgeois residential area and therefore not unpleasant.
In the evening, you would have to walk to where Montparnasse really to see the café and restaurant district, whereas at rue Tardieu, you are in the heart of the quaint "Amélie" part of Paris.
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Old Aug 8th, 2006, 02:45 PM
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Oh, what to do, what to do? gt;

I am so grateful for all these opinions. I want more!

Felt certain about choosing Montparnasse, until I read kerouac's opinion.

Hell, I live in Hell's Kitchen New York, close to what some might consider a red light district. I don't consider it a big deal as I'm close to a subway.

I think I'm more interested in being close to the metro for day excursions, but also being centrally located to areas with great eating and drinking, it is our first time. It would be nice to return home for rest in the late afternoon before heading out for dinner and more fun.
Come on, I know more of you must have had an experience in one of these spots either Montparnasse or Montmartre.

Id love to hear more!
Thanks as always
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Old Aug 8th, 2006, 03:48 PM
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I will be in Montmartre this Sat. We are staying at the Mercure. Originally, we were supposed to be in Montparnasse, but the tour company changed the hotel. It was probably more cost effective.

Will give you my unbiased opinion around the 21st! I was not happy with the change, but after reading a recent post, I am OK with it. I think we will find enough to do at night there. We have been to Paris a couple of times previously. I have resigned myself to taking the metro, because it will be way too far to walk anywhere. We stayed in Montparnasse in 1984 and loved the location then! But, this will be a new adventure.
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Old Aug 8th, 2006, 10:55 PM
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Boulevard Pasteur to Notre Dame = 4.1 km
rue Tardieu to Notre Dame = 5.1 km

I would suppose that the Montparnasse apartment is actually somewhat farther than Boulevard Pasteur, so both places are approximate the same distance from the center.

Montmartre is certainly a better option for finding small intimate restaurants, as long as you are careful not to fall into a tourist trap. All restaurants in France must post their prices so that they can be seen before you walk in the door, so this is not a major problem.

Montparnasse has much larger industrial size restaurants as it caters to the suburban crowd going to the movies or the theatre. It also has a shopping mall and more supermarkets, if this is of much importance to you.

I would choose Montmartre if it were my trip.
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Old Aug 8th, 2006, 11:55 PM
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I have a friend who lives in Montparnasse and now even when I don't stay with her I stay in hotels nearby as I feel comfortable there.

There is the choice of either the Métro or Bus either one of which can take you just about anywhere in Paris pretty quickly (No. 68 to Galeries Lafayette/Opéra, and the one that goes right up Blvd. St-Michel to Notre Dame, Louvre, etc. The RER which will take you directly to CDG or the OrlyBus, depending on which airport you come into.

On the Rue Daguerre which is a pedestrian street for the most part, there is a daily food market and a Monoprix right on the corner at the beginning of the street for the staples like milk and butter. It's a lot less congested than Montmartre or Quartier Latin and there are really quite a lot of excellent little restaurants. You can walk to the Luxembourg Gardens. Oh, I could go on and on. I just love it there.
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Old Aug 9th, 2006, 12:04 AM
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But someone who is staying at métro Volontaires (in the 15th) is not going to be spending much time (if any!) on rue Daguerre which is at métro Denfert-Rochereau (in the 14th).
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Old Aug 9th, 2006, 05:47 AM
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The apt in the 15th isn't really near much of traditional Montparnasse...
Either apartment is located such that you will be using some transportation to get around.

I would make the decision based on:
- best apartment amenities
- best transportation connections (don't forget to look at the bus system)

For everything else, you'll probably be going elsewhere anyway.
Travelnut is offline  
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