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Favorite district to stay in Paris for first-timer?

Favorite district to stay in Paris for first-timer?

Dec 25th, 2007, 04:03 PM
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Favorite district to stay in Paris for first-timer?

Well, we're holding tickets for October in Paris, and we're thinking about the first 2 nights taking the train to Bayeaux and then 5 nights in Paris.

In Rome this year, we loved staying at the Residenza Canali, because we could walk out the door and be on an antique, cobblestone street filled with stores and were near the sites.

So what area would be best for first-timers to Paris? We at first considered near the Eiffel Tower because friends have suggested that, but now I'm not sure. We've found a few apartments that look good, too, but I'd like to narrow down the district before we decide on specific hotel or apartment.

We'd love to be able to walk most places. We plan on seeing the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Rue Cler Market, Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe, Les Invalides, and love little out-of-the-way places to explore.

What are your pros and cons of each area for a Paris first-timer? And do you have a favorite place to stay? We'd love to pay under $150-$175 per night.

Samsaf is offline  
Dec 25th, 2007, 04:10 PM
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The 6th followed by the 5th. You can walk to many attractions and they have good metro connections for cross city ventures.
degas is offline  
Dec 25th, 2007, 04:35 PM
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When we first went to Paris I always thought wouldn't it be fun to stay on the Ile Saint Louis, It took us five trips, but this last time we finally stayed there. We stayed at Hotel des deux iles, It may be slightly more than you want to pay, but you may be able to negotiate a better rate if you call. The rooms had just been renovated and were very modern. It is a perfect location, smack dab in the center of Paris and as charming as can be.
happytotravel is offline  
Dec 25th, 2007, 04:46 PM
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Heres some photos of our room and the nearby area share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=2EZsWbNy2YvxA
happytotravel is offline  
Dec 26th, 2007, 03:09 AM
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Thanks, Degas and happytotravel! I'll be checking these out.

Any more opinions?
Samsaf is offline  
Dec 26th, 2007, 03:21 AM
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I agree with Degas -- first 6th then 5th. We walk every where when we're in Paris. Our 2nd visit we stayed in the 6th and never had a problem. Our 3rd time we stayed in the 5th and felt it was too far away from everything. Our 4th time we stayed in the 8th because I thought the Eiffel Tower would be fun. It was fun to walk out of our hotel and see it -- but it wasn't as fun to have to walk another 30 minutes to get anywhere. Have fun. Paris is wonderful!
BKP is offline  
Dec 26th, 2007, 03:22 AM
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My first trip, I had a "thing" about le Rive Gauche...the left bank, artsy, studenty area. That's where I stayed, in the 5th. I was on a way slashed budget from yours and stayed at the St. Andre des Arts. Er...pretty gritty little hotel. But I usually recommend forthe first time American in Paris anywhere from the 1st thru the 8th.
Then spread out.
Have fun planning.
SuzieC is offline  
Dec 26th, 2007, 04:03 AM
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Our first trip we stayed on the right bank (near the Opera) and did not like it. We were much happier on our second trip staying in St. Germain and much prefer the left bank. While the area around the Eiffel Tower is nice, it is not quite as central to everything. I agree with HappytoTravel -- Ile St. Louis is quite central and a great area. It would be my choice for my next visit, and the hotel looks lovely.
gabriele is offline  
Dec 26th, 2007, 08:25 AM
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On our first trip we stayed for 2 weeks in the Marais and were really happy. We loved the quaint streets, the clothing boutiques, and the proximity to everything. We were far from the Eiffel Tower, but we only went there once. However, we were 20 min walking distance from the Seine, 20 min from the Louvre, close to the cheaper areas around the Bastille, and just felt it was the perfect base from which to wander. So, my vote goes to the 3rd/4th.
PegS is offline  
Dec 26th, 2007, 08:28 AM
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Hi S,

We always stay at the Hotel Bonaparte, 61 Rue Bonaparte in the 6th. From 128E dbl w/bkfst. It is located near 3 metro stops. Has AC and an elevator.

Tel 33 1 43 26 97 37
FAX 33 1 46 33 57 67
[email protected]

For more info, enter "Hotel Bonaparte" in the "search this forum" box.

Photos are at http://tinyurl.com/ludgd

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Dec 26th, 2007, 09:46 AM
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I thought a first time stay near the Eiffel Tower would be best too. It was nice but too quiet and in hindsight I would have chosen Ile St. Louis had I known how beautiful and more convenient it was. You might want to enquire at the Hotel Saint Louis on Ile St. Louis. I stayed at both Deux Iles and Hotel de Lutece before also but prefer the Saint Louis. It's simple, very plain, but the staff is very helpful and friendly, and the best thing are the rates which are very reasonable (your budget range more or less) for this location.
francophile03 is offline  
Dec 26th, 2007, 09:54 AM
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Another vote agreeing with Degas and BKP. You won't be disappointed.
cynthia_booker is offline  
Dec 26th, 2007, 10:00 AM
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Well, it really is different strokes for different folks. We've been traveling to Paris annually for the last few years, always staying in the central arrondissements, but changing neighborhoods. So far our favorite is the 7th, near the Eiffel Tower. For us it's the right combination of shopping, restaurants and transportation conveniences. It's really a no-brainer however for a first time visitor to stay in the 6th: there's lots to do in close proximity, but also lots of crowds. If you like things a little calmer but near all the sights, consider the 7th just behind the d'Orsay, bordering the 6th. Our most recent trip, we were based on Ile St.Louis. While it's centrally located of course, we found it too touristy for our tastes. Next trip we'll be with several first-time visitors and are staying just north of the Palais Royal, where the 1st meets the 2nd. In truth, any of the central arrondissements offers easy access to le tout Paris, just put on your walking shoes (or hop a bus or metro). EJ
elsiejune is offline  
Dec 26th, 2007, 10:23 AM
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I've stayed in various areas on many visits to Paris and agree that the Ile St. Louis is by far the most convenient for a first time visitor. On one of my visits last year I stayed at the Deux Iles and walked virtually everywhere, from the Marais to the Louvre and all over the 5th, 6th and parts of the 7th..
ekscrunchy is offline  
Dec 26th, 2007, 11:03 AM
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On my first trip to Paris, we rented an apartment on Ile St. Louis. I agree with ekscrunchy that it is a very convenient location, walkable to many, many locations and also several nearby metro stations to choose from (although none on the Ile itself). We also used the batobus (3-day pass) for a fun way to travel along the Seine.

However, as much as we loved Ile St. Louis as our temporary home, I also feel that a first timer really can't go wrong in any of the inner arrondissements.
luv2cthings is offline  
Dec 26th, 2007, 11:11 AM
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Okay, this is probably a dumb question, but is the Ile St. Louis the island in the Seine?
Samsaf is offline  
Dec 26th, 2007, 11:19 AM
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Yes..it is an island in the river and is part of the 4th arron. There are short bridges to the 5th on one side and and to the Marais on the other, and also bridges to the adjacent Ile de la Cite which is where you will find Notre Dame.. The Ile is quite charming with small shops and cafes. It is one of the oldest parts of the city.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Dec 26th, 2007, 12:05 PM
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I was very happy staying in the 1st, the same arrondisement as the Louvre, and across the Seine from the 6th. I was able to walk everywhere I wanted to. But no suggestions on something in your range. Sorry...
mcnyc is offline  
Dec 26th, 2007, 04:32 PM
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We stayed in the 6th during the strikes in November and loved the convenience to so many things we wanted to do. We walked almost everywhere - the Louvre, D'Orsay, Rodin, ND, Ste. Chappelle. Plus, at night, it's a wonderful neighborhood to "walk home to". The Eiffel tower area was a bit of a long walk to other "first time" spots but we did go there twice at night because we loved seeing the twinkling lights.

I think next time, I'd stay in the 6th again or Ile Saint Louis.

Have fun!
gruezi is offline  
Dec 27th, 2007, 01:23 AM
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I think the 1st arr. is the ideal part of Paris for an easy walk to the major attractions. For a more reasonably priced hotel, try Hotel du Louvre. For one of the great "palace hotels" of Paris, nothing beats the location of Le Meurice.
travelhorizons is offline  

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