Family trip to Paris - which area?

Jan 14th, 2015, 04:15 PM
  #1  
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Family trip to Paris - which area?

We will be visiting Paris for the first time in July. Since there will be 6 of us (me and my husband, kids 10 & 13 years old, and my in-laws) we will probably stay in an apartment. Would love some suggestions on which areas would be easy for walking to restaurants, sights and parks for kids to run around. Last year we stayed not far from Piazza Navona in Rome and the kids loved going for strolls in the evening and watching the musicians and artists on the piazza. Is there a similar area in Paris? We also walked everywhere but we probably won't be able to do that in Paris. My daughter is very much lobbying for an apartment with Eifel tower views, but from what I've been reading, the 7th is not at all lively in the evening.
luluma is offline  
Jan 14th, 2015, 06:04 PM
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Maybe the area around Luxembourg Gardens would be good. Great area with good Metro access, so easy to get to the other sites you might be interested in. I think the 6th is far more fun than the 7th/ET area.
denisea is offline  
Jan 14th, 2015, 06:31 PM
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If you are going in the latter half of July, you might try to get within walking distance of one of the Paris "beaches" (Paris Plages) that are set up along the Seine

http://www.paris.fr/english/visit/fl...146_port_18969

But while Paris has some gorgeous and fun nighttime walking venues, it really doesn't have the equivalent of a major Roman piazza as *the* social gathering place. Were it me taking kids to Paris, I would pick out a variety of nighttime destinations, and hop on the Metro to each (they will soon ace the Metro and love zipping around on it). But a nighttime walk around Notre Dame, a nighttime walk down the Champs-Elysees, a night time walk near the Eiffel Tour (and walks across the bridges). Maybe a night boat on the Seine if its affordable? That sort of thing.

Just be aware that the sun sets fairly late that far north, and it is easy to stay out and party past midnight is the weather is lovely. So if you if your group is enthusiastic about Parisian night life, then I would be realistic about how enthused they will be for early morning wake-up calls to go sightseeing educational stuff. (Markets might be an easier sell.)
sandralist is offline  
Jan 14th, 2015, 06:51 PM
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I agree with those who find the 7th a bit quiet and deserted in the evening ( except for one or two streets).. because of course much of it is residential.

I think if you can get anything in the 4th( Marais) 5th( Latin Quarter) 6th ( St Germain) or 14th Monparnasse,, you would be more central.. will plenty of sights within walking distance ( this being less true of the 14th, but its a great area in its own for cafes /shops and markets, but there are good metro lines that take you where you want to go )

In each of those areas there are busy areas.. and quieter streets.. its nice to get on a quieter street in a vibrant area.

At this point however, I would really move it on the finding a place.. many good places book up very early.. like last year for this year.

Ps If you stay in an area near the river you can see the Eiffel Tower at night when it sparkles( on the hour.. usually first at ten pm) its really magical.. I like to get an ice cream and wander over to a good bridge right at 9.55.. just waiting for the twinkle... a "Paris" moment for me.

It may be harder to find an apartment for six too.. especially since your kids are basically grown up sized people and many apartments count sofa beds as sleeping for two and many people consider them barely adequate for one!
justineparis is offline  
Jan 14th, 2015, 06:52 PM
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We took our granddaughters -- each when they were 6 years old -- and we stayed in the 6th arrondissement. Easy transportation connections and an easy walk to Jardin du Luxembourg. We seemed to end up in the 5th for restaurants, for the most part, but Bus 63 goes straight down boulevard Saint Germain!

Sandy
sandypaws3 is offline  
Jan 14th, 2015, 07:21 PM
  #6  
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Wow, thank you so much for the quick responses! I think I'll take the 7th of our list. I think my daughter will enjoy a night boat ride on the Seine, maybe on the night of her birthday or the day after (which is Bastille Day). I feel like I've looked at a million different apartments. Would you mind taking a look at this apartment to see if it's a good location? http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-ren...9555vb#summary
It's in the 4th, not far from Place de la Bastille (edge of the Marais)? It fits our budget and has the things that we're looking for (air conditioning, at least 2 bathrooms). The 3rd bedroom instead of just a pull out sofa is also a definite plus.
luluma is offline  
Jan 14th, 2015, 08:42 PM
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This looks to be in a good location, both for walking and Metro connections. The reviews give you a good indication of past travelers' experiences. I would book it! I've used VRBO for years, and have not had a bad experience yet.
Bellarosa70032 is offline  
Jan 14th, 2015, 10:19 PM
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I have been in Paris on Bastille Day and it was MOBBED. If you decide to stay in the areas that get the biggest crowds, you will need a strategy for moving around that day (and sleeping). There is at least one resident of Paris who posts here, and probably a few more on Tripadvisor.
sandralist is offline  
Jan 14th, 2015, 10:26 PM
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That is a beautiful apartment! I don't think you can go wrong with it, but if you want to look at another, I have used My Paris Visit several times and I've been happy with them. It looks like they only have one 3 bedroom, 2 bath apartment. It's located near Les Halles and the third bedroom has twin beds, so that might be a plus. It's a little smaller than the VRBO apartment, but is a bit cheaper, too.

http://www.myparisvisit.com
tracilee is offline  
Jan 14th, 2015, 11:56 PM
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Sandralist.. I have been in Paris on Fete Nationale( it is Not called Bastille Day except by western tourists )or Le Quatorze juillet ,, at least 10 times.. it is not "mobbed" any more then any other summer day if you avoid the Champs Elysees area..

I also doubt they would keep a ten year old child out walking past midnight.. how odd of you to suppose that.. do you have children ?
justineparis is offline  
Jan 15th, 2015, 12:02 AM
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OP.. I love the apartment, its very beautiful.. very pricey ( to me) but it does look lovely ,, and the location is very good. Only concern is if it faces a busy street.. is noise an issue..I don't see any reviews mentioning that being an issue.. but you could ask if bedrooms face inner courtyard or front street. Also.. didn't notice.. does it say there is an elevator( never assume one is there unless specifically stated)
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Jan 15th, 2015, 05:20 AM
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That is a beautiful apartment in a good location. Although Paris doesn't have plazas like you found in Rome there are still some squares and pedestrian zones. Just north of that apt. is the beautiful Places des Vosges (a park/square) enclosed by beautiful 17th century buildings. You're right on the edge of the Marais which is very popular and lively and which offers some (semi)pedestrianized streets sort of centered around rue des Rosiers and rue de la Verrerie. Then just a bit west of there is quite a large plaza in front of the Centre Pompidou that always has lots of people gathering and usually street performers. And then just adjacent to that is the largest pedestrianized zone in Paris in the Châtelet-les-Halles district (also called Les Halles). You'd also be in a good location to walk to the river and stroll around the two islands (Île-de-la-Cité and Île Saint-Louis). One of the largest street markets in Paris takes place on Sunday all along the Boulevard Richard Lenoir, right next to your apartment. There are plenty of food shopping and restaurant options within a 5 minute walk. Three bedroom/2 bathroom apartments with air conditioning and a balcony aren't always easy to find so I'd day this is a pretty good option.
FrenchMystiqueTours is offline  
Jan 15th, 2015, 05:46 AM
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tracilee, that apartment looks beautiful and maybe better located for us. That's one website I hadn't checked yet. Unfortunately no a/c so it's off our list.

Thank you everyone for all the great information. FrenchMystiqueTours, that's incredibly helpful info! Thanks for taking the time to post it. I'll have to highlight those areas on a map. Now I just have to run everything by my crew and book it soon.
luluma is offline  
Jan 15th, 2015, 06:39 AM
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I would also suggest strolling nearby in the Lower Marais along the rue des Jardins Saint-Paul, where you can see an exposed segment of the medieval 13th century wall that used to surround Paris. And between this street and rue Saint Paul is the Village Saint-Paul, a courtyarded enclave of shops and boutiques. Then around the corner is the beautiful Hotel de Sens, a 15th century palace owned by the Archbishop of Sens. Then continue along rue Charlemagne, rue de Jouy and rue François Miron and you'll see interesting things and some nice cafés and restos.
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Jan 15th, 2015, 01:46 PM
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I stayed last July just 2 blocks from there. It is a great location, the main business street for boulangeries, etc. is Rue St-Antoine to the north. There is also a nice but smallish supermarket (Franprix) right near you on Blvd Henri IV. Place de la Bastille has 3 metro lines and several buses.

We paid a third what this place asks, but it was much smaller with a barely functional kitchenette.
tom_mn is offline  
Jan 15th, 2015, 02:10 PM
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Hmmm, I actually though that the price was reasonable compared to other apartments with our criteria (air conditoning, 2 bathrooms, sleeps 6, elevator and central location). Maybe I'm looking at the wrong websites. tom_mn, would you mind sharing the link to the apartment you rented if you were happy with the place?
luluma is offline  
Jan 15th, 2015, 02:26 PM
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justinparis,

What is wrong with you? luluma posted about her daughter's birthday being on Bastille Day, and I responded to that. You are incorrect about the crowds and their locations on July 14, and I am giving her a good tip. Children are up past midnight all the time in Europe in summer, especially on noisy holidays, but even just in general. If you travel with kids the age of luluma's (I do it every year), I feel sorry for them if you make them go to bed earlier!
sandralist is offline  
Jan 15th, 2015, 02:32 PM
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I think that is a fair price for what you are getting at that time of year.....I'd book it!
Judy is online now  
Jan 15th, 2015, 06:02 PM
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Sorry, the apartment we rented did not have AC (it will probably not be necessary in Paris even in July). And it slept 5, not 6.
tom_mn is offline  
Jan 15th, 2015, 07:35 PM
  #20  
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Unfortunately it looks like that apartment isn't going to work out. Because we're only staying 5 nights, the owner can't commit until 1 month before. I don't think we can wait that long to secure something so it's back to the drawing board for us . If anyone has a good lead on an apartment, please let me know.
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