Best area in Paris to stay

Old Sep 11th, 2006, 10:38 AM
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Best area in Paris to stay

Hi,

I am looking into a B&B, hotel or even "nice" hostel for my husband and I in Paris, for the very beginning of November. Of the following areas, which do you think is best for us - he has never been, and I only have on the summer back packing thing 5 years ago!

1. Eiffel Tower – Musee d’Orsay – Invalides
2. Montmartre – Moulin Rouge
3. Opera – Grand Boulevard
4. Louvre – Marais
5. Latin Quarter – Saint Germain des Pres
6. Champs Elysees – Trocadero
7. Gare du Nord – Republique
8. Montparnasse – Porte de Versailles
9. Bastille – Bois de Vincennes

Thanks so much,
Susan
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 10:42 AM
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Everybody has a favorite area to stay in Paris. Mine is not on your list: Ile St. Louis (4th district). It's a very central, charming area that is within walking distance to many sights and to other districts.

My second choice would by the St. Germain district.


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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 10:47 AM
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..agree with the above for a first visit..might choose differently for subsequent visits.
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 10:50 AM
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I don't think Montmartre would be a very nice place to stay. It's kind of dirty and dark, and far away from everything else.

The area around the Louvre is very different from the Marais, although it might look close on the map. The Marais is infinitely nicer than the area around the Louvre, unless you're staying at Hotel Meurice or somewhere just off Place Vendome.

As for Montparnasse, it kind of depends on what street you're on, but there's a possibility that it could be a bit garish (there's a stretch that's as close to Times Square as Paris gets).

Gare du nord/Republique is also less nice (generally, anywhere right around a huge train station is a less desirable area).

I'd say that by far the best bets are St.-Germain des Pres and the Marais. St. Germain is super-central and has good transportation connections. The Marais is the most charming and can also be pretty central.
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 10:54 AM
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Ditto on Ile St Louis (which is in the 4th, so technically the Marais) and St Germain. From either one you are an easy walk or short Metro ride to the main tourist sites, plus the neighbourhood of the hotel itself will have lots of cafes, restaurants, shops, nigthtime entertainment,etc..

A couple of nice hotels:

http://www.paris-hotel-lutece.com/
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 11:24 AM
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I'd say Latin Quarter – Saint Germain des Pres, or the Marais.

My parents have stayed at the Hotel Lutece and raved about it. The location is wonderful.
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 11:27 AM
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I would pick Montmartre for quaintness, Gare du Nord-République for price, and Bastille for nightlife. You can't have it all...
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 12:37 PM
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On this site a long time ago, the hotel ANDREA Rivoli was recommended - it is in the 4th arrondissement (le Marais).

Apparently it is a 3 minute walk to the Notre Dame de Paris, the Seine and its famous bouquinistes (outside bookstores) are even closer.

About 10 minutes away (walking) is the Louvre, the Saint Germain des Près district, the Latin district, the Orsay museum and the Place des Vosges.

The rate for a double room is 84 Euros per night.

This all sounds pretty good to me - do you think that's a good deal?

Thanks so much,
Susan
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 01:06 PM
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The metro system's so good that being in a different area than a site isn't a big problem, since it's quite easy to get from one part of the city to another. I do try to book a hotel near a metro station if possible (a station that has more than one line is a bonus).

That being said, I've enjoyed staying in the 7th arrondissment near Invalides (first on your list). It's somewhat quiet, but has nice street markets, the Eiffel tower, quaint little cafes and restaurants. I also like the 6th and the 3rd, and would consider the 4th or the 8th. The 4th is lower on my list because it's a little busy, but there are some hotels off the main streets that would be nice.

I'd avoid staying in Montmarte. I've stayed there before and found some parts very quaint. However, other parts are a touch seedy.
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 01:08 PM
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We stayed in the 7th, near Rue Cler, in November and were quite pleased with our choice. That being said, our two favorite areas in Paris were St. Germain and Ile St. Louis, and we decided that we would stay in one of these areas next time we visit.

Tracy
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 01:29 PM
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In my post above, I wrote the 4th when I meant the 5th arrondissment is busy but worth a consideration.

I didn't list the Ile St. Louis because I've never searched out hotels there. However, if there were one in your budget I think that would be an excellent area. Very pretty and somewhat quiet, but surrounded by lots of sites.
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 02:15 PM
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Susan..84 euro a night is a good deal! The location is quite central..I don't think you can go wrong.
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 05:40 PM
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Love the Marais. The first time we stayed in St. Germain but weren't sold on that area. We stayed at Hotel Jeanne d'Arc in the Marais last April- budget hotel, gotta book it months in advance, very clean and nice staff, excellent location, lousy breakfast, great price. The Marais is now our favorite - great restaurants, Place de Vosges, museums, and cool stores.
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 06:49 PM
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Has anyone ever stayed at the Louvre Saint Romain? It is near the Palais Royale and the Lourve, I believe. Is this area a little shady or safe for a group of six?
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 09:00 PM
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If you choose to stay on Ile St. Louis I agree with the hotel recommendation, Hotel de Lutece. Also recommended is the Lutece's related hotel a few doors away, the Hotel des Deux Iles, but I prefer the Lutece better overall. Also Lutece has had their rooms and bathrooms renovated earlier this year. Rates increased a little but are still okay for the area.
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Old Sep 12th, 2006, 06:53 AM
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CHAMPS ELYSEES - We've stayed at the Marriott on the Champs Elysees and I really liked the neighborhood. Even though it could get a bit too touristy at times, it was very conveniently located as it was close to everything we wanted to see (Arc De Triomphe, Louvre, Tuliere Gardens and many more.) There are lots of restaurants and shops.

OPERA - We stayed one night in this district and really liked it. Lots of cute restaurants, patisseries and shops/boutiques.

ILE ST. LOUIS - I did not know much about this area before visiting Paris. If I had to go back, I would stay here. It is not as conveniently/centrally located as Champs Elysees but it is an extremely quaint neighborhood that offers a fun and interesting look into Parisian life!
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Old Sep 12th, 2006, 10:57 AM
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rbphilly, the Louvre/Palais Royal area is definitely not sketchy or unsafe.

As for Susan, this list sounds like something from a booking agency or something in terms of the names, or maybe package. But, for a firsttimer, I'd vote for areas 1,4, and 5 as most potentially likable, but I think also 3 is okay and parts of 8/9, but the probably is the name is too broad. 8 For example, Bastille area would be fine for you, but not Bois de Vincennes. Same for Montparnasse (ok, name used very broadly, though), but not Porte de Versailles.
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Old Sep 12th, 2006, 12:06 PM
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It's all a matter of which area seems to be more interesting to you personally. I stayed near the Champs Elysees and did not like it at all. I find the Ile St. Louis and the surrounding neighborhoods are much nicer. As for the Ile St. Louis being not central that's not true. Again it depends on where your interests are located but I would say it's much more central than the Champs Elysees and Opera areas if you want to see more sights than shop.
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Old Sep 12th, 2006, 12:13 PM
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I've always considered Notre Dame & the Citi to be THE center, so I was surprised that Manisha considered the Ile St. Louis to be not centrally located.
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Old Sep 12th, 2006, 12:22 PM
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Maybe the question some day should be "what area is NOT good?"
I enjoyed my stay in the 1st.
I don't think I'll stay in the 5th or 6th again...
I enjoyed the Bastille/Republic area
Next month I'm trying out the 17th...
I mean, its PARIS...something to see or culturally different than where I live leastways around every corner!

The Ile not central? er..huh?
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