Best Area in Paris

Old Jun 13th, 2024, 03:14 PM
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Best Area in Paris

We will be going to Paris in November for two nights on the way to a longer tour. We would like to see Versailles, Notre Dame and possible architecture, etc. Maybe somewhat close to the Seine.
What are some good neighborhoods to consider for our stay? Is it worth it to find a driver/guide for one day? Thanks
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Old Jun 17th, 2024, 10:07 AM
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A driver will be stuck in traffic like all the other drivers. There are dedicated bus lanes, so the bus is an option, or the metro. November could be rainy and chilly. The passages and galeries would be a good alternative to the streets of Paris to wandering on the streets of Paris.



Surely some guidebooks with recommendations for short stays in Paris must exist.
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Old Jun 17th, 2024, 12:15 PM
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If this is your first time in Paris, see Paris, not Versailles.

Though honestly, I think Versailles is hideous even if it's your eighth time visiting Paris.
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Old Jun 17th, 2024, 02:25 PM
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Have you ever traveled to a major city in Europe before? Renting a car for tourism is never a good idea for being in the city.

Any of the neighborhoods around the Seine would be fine, that would be arrondissements in the innermost area (1-8) (arrondissement is an area with a postal code, like many cities are divided into districts or something). even the 11th close-in is very convenient.

I would never go to Versailles in November if you only have two days there. Because part of the attraction is the grounds/gardens and those won't be interesting. But of course, if you have your heart set on seeing the chateau where Marie Antoinette lived and that's your main goal other than Notre Dame, you can easily do that.

You have heard about the major fire at Notre Dame, haven't you? It's been closed for reconstruction ever since and will not be open in November yet. It is supposed to have its grand reopening this December. Of course you can see the outside.

For neighborhoods, the terms Latin Quarter, St Germain and Marais will work for you for a hotel search.
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Old Jun 18th, 2024, 09:24 AM
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Personally I would not stay in the Latin Quarter. I would look at the 7th. What's the hotel budget?
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Old Jun 18th, 2024, 09:34 AM
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I agree that if you only have two days, you may want to skip Versailles this time around and just focus on seeing the sites in Paris. You can still see the outside of Notre Dame and the exhibit about its reconstruction, which is interesting - and you should also go see Sainte-Chapelle, another nearby church with gorgeous stained glass windows. Make sure to make a reservation as tickets do sell out.

If you want to be near these main touristy sites as well as others (louvre, Tuileries garden, Musee D'Orsay, etc.), the 4th, 5th, or 6th arrondissements will be the closest (although Paris is easily navigable by foot, metro, or bus, and if you want to get away from all the tourists, staying in higher numbered arrondissements will better get you that experience.)
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Old Jun 18th, 2024, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by ekscrunchy
Personally I would not stay in the Latin Quarter. I would look at the 7th. What's the hotel budget?
Just curious why?
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Old Jun 18th, 2024, 11:55 AM
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Cause I find much of it, near the river, packed with tourists and cheap stands selling crepes and Kebabs......same with parts of the 6th.
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Old Jun 18th, 2024, 01:34 PM
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Versailles is pretty far from downtown Paris. It's southwest from the city. Notre Dame area is a better area if you plan on walking. A driver would be nice to take you to Versailles and then just enjoy the rest of your trip in the city.
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Old Jun 18th, 2024, 06:12 PM
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I advise to not stay in the overcrowded Seine area, and I advise against it even more as the season turns colder and damp. There is little joy in walking along the river at that time of year.
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Old Jun 18th, 2024, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by ekscrunchy
Cause I find much of it, near the river, packed with tourists and cheap stands selling crepes and Kebabs......same with parts of the 6th.
Fair enough. I wondered if there were other reasons. ☺️
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Old Jun 19th, 2024, 03:31 PM
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Not an expert on Paris, but just returned from my 3rd trip in May and wanted to comment on Versailles. The best part of it was the gardens, and even in May, they weren't as great as many I've seen in England. Still worthwhile to see for its incredible history, but with limited time, I thought Fountainebleau was a superior palace in terms of furnishings. If you do go to Versailles, see if there's an option to see the stables and horses. On my way to Versailles' carriage museum, I saw a rider exercising the most beautiful horse. A sort of golden color with black mane, tail, and black "boots" on its legs. She was a dressage rider, and I don't know anything of the sport, but they were breathtaking. I didn't take a picture as it felt wrong, and she was concentrating, so I didn't want to interrupt her to ask permission.

Also, I stayed in the 9th at the Astotel 34B. I was going back and forth between the many in the Astotel chain, and the price kept dropping the nearer it came to my departure, so I ended up there, and it was a very walkable and convenient location to the Louvre, and the metro was a minute walk away from the hotel. I opted to include b'fast and was glad I did as I'm not much of a foodie, and just wanted fuel for my day. Not knowing Paris well, I was glad I didn't have to waste my energy trying to figure out a b'fast place that would allow me to sit and where I wouldn't be stuck waiting for a waiter, and the food was very good at the hotel.

Have fun planning!

Last edited by ChgoGal; Jun 19th, 2024 at 03:39 PM.
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Old Jun 19th, 2024, 03:38 PM
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Also, with 2 days, there's much to see in the city itself. Unless Versailles is a must--and it may be--you can do a 2-day museum pass and see the Conciergerie (and the cell where Marie Antoinette was kept up to her execution), the Army Museum, the Musee d'Orsay, the Hotel de la Marine. I had the 4-day, and I saw all those, and many more (including Versailles and Fontainebleau), so it ended up saving me $$ on admissions, But do the math--you may find it's not needed. And I think on the first Sunday of the month, many museums are free if that timing happens to coincide with your visit.
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Old Jun 19th, 2024, 05:09 PM
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Agree, skip Versailles, especially in November. I love staying in St. Germain -- close to walking along Seine, Notre Dame (but be sure to walk behind it over to Ile St. Louis), and easy to walk to the 7th and see Invalides, ET, and the most beautiful bridge Pont Alexandre across to the Petit Palais and Grand Palais right across from it! Take metro to Montmartre. You must research and see what interests YOU. If weather is poor, go to a few of the passages, including Vivienne mentioned above, right near the covered portico of shops along the Palais Royale. And of course, get Chocolat l'Africain at Angelina on Rue Rivoli just across street from the Tuileries from which you can spot the Louvre in one direction, the Arc d'Triomphe and LeDefense to the other.
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Old Jun 20th, 2024, 05:51 AM
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Speaking of traffic, private drivers, etc. In the 5th ( near the Cluny) arr you pick up the beginning of bus #63 which runs all the way down Blvd St Germain over the Seine to the Trocadero. Great way to see where you wish to revisit. Especially in cold or wet weather.

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