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Favorite district to stay in Paris for first-timer?

Favorite district to stay in Paris for first-timer?

Dec 27th, 2007, 01:55 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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I would vote for the 1st or 2nd arrondissement for first timers. The 7th arrondissement would be one of the last places on my list.
kerouac is offline  
Dec 27th, 2007, 04:12 AM
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I agree with the recent posts, either the 5th or 6th. I like the feel of the 5th; old and artsy. Hotels are reasonable and there are lots of good and inexpensive cafes and bistros. If you look at a map, the 6th is a little closer to the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, etc., but you can't miss in either arrondissement. There is no better city in the world to walk, but when I get tired I do take the metro which is clean and easy. Let us know where you end up!
ellencmog is offline  
Dec 27th, 2007, 07:12 AM
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Well, I found an apartment on vrbo.com (#74471). I've started another thread asking about it.

It's pretty small, but it's an extremely good rate, and it seems to be near most things (it's in the 6th). What do you think?

We still haven't decided for sure. Since we used frequent flier miles to get our tickets, we had to decide the dates way ahead of time, so we have lots of time to find our place to stay.

Thanks for all your help!
Samsaf is offline  
Dec 27th, 2007, 08:44 AM
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I go to Paris often. I have my preferences of where to stay, for me.

I think this apartment will be great for you. You are not going to be doing a lot of cooking, or spending a lot of thime in the apartment.

You are in a busy, tourist area, which is good for a first timer.

I have rented an apartment on rue Dauphine for April, when I am taking my granddaughter and husband. They are first-timers! When they leave, I will move to the 7th.

Don't wait too long to book your apartment. They do fill up fast. I have had my April apartments for some time. I have also reserved my Sept/Oct. apartment. Can't reserve too early!!

Planning is half the fun..enjoy.....
gracejoan3 is offline  
Dec 31st, 2007, 08:52 PM
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kerouac: You've voiced your displeasure with the 7th on several threads. Just curious as to what, specifically, (if I may be so bold) makes this neighborhood such a buzz-kill. I'm always interested in the locals' perspective on things. Thanks.
Clarin is offline  
Jan 1st, 2008, 12:22 AM
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The 7th is the arrondissement where the largest number of embassies and government ministries are located, turning many of the streets into a complete no man's land. Most of the other streets are nearly as dead, as the apartments are owned by the ultra rich of the Middle East, who only occupy the apartments for a few weeks a year. It is also the arrondissement with the highest average age and income, and the market streets such as rue St. Dominique or rue Cler reflect this in their prices, as most fresh fruits and vegetables are sold for just about double the price of 'normal' markets. This may appeal to some people. I am not one of them.
kerouac is offline  
Jan 1st, 2008, 05:45 AM
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I agree with kerouac, those are pretty much my opinions, also. If you just want a place to stay and are near public transportation around Ecole Militaire, you can get out of there fairly quickly (although the connections may not be as convenient as elsewhere -- like trying to tell someone how to get there from the airport is complicated). It isn't the lack of "nightlife" that people talk about a lot, it's just all the govt. buildings and nothing around and all the expats, expensive rue Cler, etc. I just don't like it much. But lots of folks on here do, I see.
Christina is offline  
Jan 1st, 2008, 06:00 AM
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I wouldn't dismiss the VIIe solely on the basis of proximity to transport. Métro Ligne 8 from École Militaire cuts right across many of the major east-west lines, making one-connection trips to almost anywhere possible.


Note that one of the connections at Opéra is to the CDG Roissybus.
Robespierre is offline  
Jan 1st, 2008, 06:49 AM
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I always stay on Rue Jacob in the 6th. Love the location, great neighborhood.
laartista is offline  
Jan 1st, 2008, 07:00 AM
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Our last trip to Paris we spent a week at the Hotel des Grandes Ecoles: www.france-hotel-guide.com/h75005ecoles2.htm. It's in the 5th near the rue Mouffetard and its market. Definitely a residential neighborhood but close to lots of sights and the Metro. The hotel itself is built around a courtyard in from the street, very quiet. Probably in October you won't be able to eat brakfast in the courtyard, but there are cafes just up the street at the Place Contrascarpe. And lots of restaurants in the immediate neighborhood. This is a popular hotel; you have to book early.

I would never discourage someone from renting an apartment, but would suggest second thoughts about renting from VRBO. There have been some fairly recent cases of fraud -- in Paris. Since you have to pay up front, I prefer the greater safety of an agency and paying with a credit card.
Mimar is offline  
Jan 1st, 2008, 07:14 AM
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For first timers, I would stick to the 4th, 5th, or 6th. The Marais (4th) is usually the neighborhood that I stay in-you can walk to many sites and it's located on Metro Line 1 that takes you to the Louvre and other tourist attractions. There are also great bars and restaurants in the Marais-Bastille-Oberkampf area. The Latin Quarter is also convenient to many attractions by foot or metro. You can easily find hotels or apartments in the Marais and the Latin Quarter for under $150 a night. On my next trip (with my mother), I'm staying in the 6th in a more residential area.

Like kerouac and Christina said, the 7th is a little quiet, and the prices in the neighborhood tend to be higher than the rest of the city. I would stick to the central arrondissements (4,5,6) for your first trip.

Democat is offline  
Jan 1st, 2008, 07:25 AM
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"We'd love to be able to walk most places."

Expect not to. Just to give you an idea of scale: it takes an hour to walk from the Arc de Triomphe to the Louvre, or from the Eiffel Tower to Notre Dame. Paris is more compact than many cities, but it's still pretty big. You can waste a lot of time walking "most places."

I recommend you dope out the bus system, starting with your hotel:

Robespierre is offline  
Jan 1st, 2008, 07:58 AM
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"You can waste a lot of time walking "most places."

I've argued this point before, and I know that Robespierre and some others may not agree. Yes it takes time to walk a lot of places in Paris. And if you have a very limited time and want to see all the major stuff, then you have a problem. But I have never ever thought than ANY walking in Paris is a "waste of time".

But I'm a big believer in the 6th (St. Germaine) or possibly the 5th (near St. Michel and Notre Dame) as being the BEST of the areas to stay for a first time to Paris.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Jan 1st, 2008, 09:10 AM
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"You can waste a lot of time walking "most places."

I fear people who make posts like the above really don't know what Paris is all about. To not "walk" in Paris is close to being a travel crime.
degas is offline  
Jan 1st, 2008, 09:18 AM
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I agree that walking is a major part of being in Paris -- even for Parisians.

Although I love to read the trip reports here, I often cringe when reading about trips to Paris where it was considered normal to jump into a taxi to go from place to place, or even just because "we were tired." Being tired is one of the signs of a successful trip.
kerouac is offline  
Jan 1st, 2008, 09:21 AM
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"I fear people..."

Fear not. I know Paris intimately, having walked its streets and boulevards joyously for going on 45 years.

Walking is walking and an end unto itself. But walking to get somewhere distant is a waste of a 5-day sojourn.

Being tired to the point that one has to return to the hotel to rest is the sign of poor energy management.
Robespierre is offline  
Jan 1st, 2008, 09:29 AM
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Sorry, but I respectfully disagree. More than once we have walked to Village Bercy or back from the 6th. One day we went to Defense in the morning and then spent the entire afternoon walking back to St. Germain -- yes, you read that right. We have walked to Republique from St. Michel. One day we walked back from Sacre Coeur

To have called any of those walks "a waste of a 5 day sojourn" just points out that some of us travel to check things off on a list while others love to breathe the environment. To each his own. But I much prefer my method, thank you.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Jan 1st, 2008, 06:21 PM
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I do a mixture... walk when I feel like it, jump a bus or metro when I want to 'get there now'. You don't have to do only one or the other.
Travelnut is offline  
Jan 1st, 2008, 06:33 PM
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Oh, gee, of course not. I don't think that was anyone's intention, but this all came about because the poster said they'd like to "be ABLE to walk most places" and were told that was a waste of time!
NeoPatrick is offline  
Jan 1st, 2008, 07:02 PM
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"You don't have to do only one or the other."

No disagreement here.

But let's be real. It's possible to walk to Nice - but I don't think anyone here thinks it would work on a 5-day trip.

We're just talking about where the line is drawn, not its existence.
Robespierre is offline  

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