Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

First-time International Travelers to Paris

First-time International Travelers to Paris

Old Jun 11th, 2015, 03:39 PM
  #61  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 761
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
For an apartment in Paris, I use Pascal Zytomirski. His email address is [email protected]. He handles several properties. He's a very honest guy and will meet you at the unit when you arrive and explain how everything works.
lauren_s_kahn is offline  
Old Jun 11th, 2015, 10:40 PM
  #62  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 626
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi ditto - this thread is mostly for your mom, but you may scan it too
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...o-in-paris.cfm

Just a lot of really great ideas from people who love Paris.

My one bit of advice - The fitter you are, the more you will enjoy a walkable city such as Paris. I do not mean fit for a marathon, but I do mean fit enough to spend most of every day on your feet, walk and walk and walk, and discover that many good things are either up a hill or down some stairs. But perhaps your family are all athletes?
kovsie is offline  
Old Jun 11th, 2015, 11:49 PM
  #63  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,445
Likes: 0
Received 11 Likes on 4 Posts
On the other hand, do not be discouraged if some of you are not athletes. I am not terribly fit and I enjoy Paris quite a bit.
Nikki is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2015, 03:17 AM
  #64  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,876
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We are of a certain age, and when we tire of walking we take the bus (a MUCH underused method of transportation IMO, by travelers) or we stop at a café for a glass of wine on the terrace and people watch (even in cold months, they have the nice heaters). Fit is fine, but not a requirement. LOL
I do recommend buses to avoid some Metro stations with long correspondances and stairs.
Gretchen is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2015, 06:24 AM
  #65  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 9,171
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You can take the train to Bayeux and do a day tour of Normandy. I would spend the night as it will be a quick trip with the daylight hours short. You can rent a car there but check their hours for pick up and drop off. It is an easy area to drive and tour without a guide.
I do wish the whole Paris rental apartment thing would get fixed as it is a pain to know what is legit and what isn't. I am not sure what to believe, The apartment hotels like citidine are sounding a bit safer till this is worked out. Your parent's could do Normandy and you and your brother do Versailles. I think that is a solution.
flpab is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2015, 06:52 AM
  #66  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 761
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Schlepping to Normandy, the chateaux of the Loire, etc., on a short first trip to Paris would waste a lot of time in transit--and is not something I would advise on a first trip. The family shd concentrate in Paris and sites in the immediate environs (e.g., Versailles) and save the rest for future trips.
lauren_s_kahn is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2015, 07:05 AM
  #67  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 183
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the kudos! I enjoy the planning - it's probably the second best to actually experiencing the city!

See, I would be fine with trekking off alone with my brother, but my mother might have an issue with it! She gets very nervous about leaving us alone, but I'm sure I could twist her arm until she reluctantly agreed.

Thanks for the post link, kovsie! I'll check it out.

Walking around shouldn't be a problem. My brother and I are pretty fit and athletic and my parents aren't too bad off.

All these opinions have definitely given me a lot to think about! I've been unable to relay all this information to the other 3 as of now, but that will be done ASAP!! I know I give thanks in every reply, but really, you guys are fantastic!!
ditto97 is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2015, 09:35 AM
  #68  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 34,919
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
<<I guess we've been lucky with apts. We've always been able to at least leave our luggage and generally check in early.>>

Yes, I'd say you sure have been lucky because I've never experienced that. The people often don't have to leave until late morning, like a hotel, and even if they leave early, whoever is managing it needs the cleaners to come in. And there is no one there to check in with, if the idea is to meet someone at a certain time. Owners generally can't order cleaners to come as a specific time period and don't know exactly when they'll be there. And all the ones I've had did not want people leaving stuff there before they were checked in and when cleaners were there (whom they may not even know that well, if an agency of cleaning staff). Partly, it's liability reasons, I think but they also can't usually predict when anyone will be there.

I just think hotels are a lot easier for everyone, but definitely people who have never been there before and may need directions, advice, or just someone to call a taxi, for that matter. And they sure are a lot easier to book and you don't have to prepay, nor give deposits, nor book them as early.

There can be some advantages for large groups, however, that may outweigh all those reasons--as hotel rooms are harder to find and generally small once you get beyond 2 people. But in this case, there are only 4 people so that would be two double rooms, not a problem.

I think Versailles is a matter of interest. IF someone has no interest in history or architecture, sure, you'd be bored. But if you are at all interested in French history, particularly that period, I would think you'd want to go for that reason, not to be impressed per se.
Christina is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2015, 09:52 AM
  #69  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,876
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you are interested in the French Revolution I recommend the second floor of the Carnavalet--LOVE it for many reasons.

Could not agree more about a hotel for first timers--or many timers.
Gretchen is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2015, 11:46 AM
  #70  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 11,656
Likes: 0
Received 7 Likes on 1 Post
I couldn't imagine going back to staying in a hotel for any length of time. No space for 2 people to relax and spend any time in the apt. This is esp true for hotels in Paris which typically have small rooms. I love being able to have my coffee in the am in my apt--relax and quietly start the day. Or in the evening having wine and cheese before going out. And an apt is generally more reasonably priced. I would think for a group such as the OP, an apt would work well as long as they are comfortable going without the services provided by a hotel. Also the current situation with apts in Paris might be risky for a first timer.
yestravel is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2015, 12:11 PM
  #71  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,876
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
A number of us have suggested the apartment hotels. And your not wanting "to go back to it" is just fine for you--you've been to Paris and know the ropes.
We've never had any problem having wine and cheese before going out from a hotel room either!!
There are just more "moving parts" to renting an apartment for folks who are trying to figure out how to get from CDG for the first time. ;o)
Gretchen is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2015, 12:34 PM
  #72  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 11,656
Likes: 0
Received 7 Likes on 1 Post
Apart hotels is a great compromise and doesn't have the added risk of the current illegal apt. crackdown. Clearly one has to feel comfortable to give up the security of a hotel. And of course, we've had many glasses of wine in hotel rooms.
yestravel is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2015, 05:13 PM
  #73  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 761
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I almost never stay in hotels unless it is a short stay. If it is a week or longer, I am in an apartment if I am not staying with friends or in a home exchange. You get a lot more in an apartment.

The short stay crack down is not for legitimate rental apartments. It is the same thing NYC is doing: Cracking down on people with a long term lease simply short leasing their apartment and avoiding taxes and turning their apartment into an illegal hotel. It should not affect legitimate rental apartments or home exchanges (thank goodness).
lauren_s_kahn is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2015, 05:37 PM
  #74  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 73,201
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
>>The short stay crack down is not for legitimate rental apartments. It is the same thing NYC is doing: Cracking down on people with a long term lease simply short leasing their apartment and avoiding taxes and turning their apartment into an illegal hotel. It should not affect legitimate rental apartments<<

Not true. It has as much to do w/ housing inventory as w/ hotel taxes.



For a first visit it will be easier and less fraught w/ 'issues' to book an aparthotel.
janisj is online now  
Old Jun 12th, 2015, 06:06 PM
  #75  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 11,656
Likes: 0
Received 7 Likes on 1 Post
It is definitely more complicated than what lauren_s_kahn and not the same as the issues in NYC. The problem is it is very difficult if not impossible for a renter to know if their apt rental is legal.

From another thread I think this summarizes the issue on apt
"According to France 2 yesterday, legal rentals are:
-people who have the apartment as their principal residence, but are letting it out for a specific period, such as their holidays.
-people who have the apartment as their secondary residence, and want to rent it out. In this case they must declare this use at their local Mairie. In Paris they will be given approval only if there is an equivalent amount of space available for long-term rental. Thus, if a tourist rents a 40 square metre apartment, there should be 40 square metres available to those looking for a place to live full time. This is obviously a different, and more complicated issue than just declaring your rental income."
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...s-in-paris.cfm
yestravel is offline  
Old Jun 13th, 2015, 06:40 AM
  #76  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,613
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
So let's go back to your accommodation situation, Ditto, and leave Versailles behind for the moment. It's still an option, but let's scrap it as a central concern for the moment.

I know you are looking at the map. In fact, I think all of us are SO happy you understand that a basic Paris map plus Metro map is key to the entire situation.

There is a way you could take care of jetlag for the Mama and Normandy for Papa with a one-week apartment rental, not that I'm entirely saying that's the way to go. I could do hotels again if needed.

There are apartment rental firms who have been in business forever and are NOT going out of business with new Paris restrictions, and their rates drop at your time of year.

Again, you are going in the off-season. You probably have more apartments open to you than most persons do. You could do as I did much later after repeated visits--rent ONE week/7 days. Tell them you will arrive on the SECOND DAY of the rental and expect to crash as soon as you get the luggage in, and getting in to crash is your mission.

They will normally be able to open that apartment, if cleaned the day before, by 9 a.m., so that's why this works.

Then just leave Day 6 or Day 7 for Normandy. You can even stay overnight there! Do your stuff in Normandy. Report back to CDG via TGV.

Done.

I repeat: this is a consideration, not a "do this" thing.

Funny story of how this worked out perfectly for us:

One year, we were only able to stay five nights around Thanksgiving. Still, our daughter was living in Paris at the time, and although the rental agency required a week's rental, we thought, "What the heck? This way we could move into the neighborhood, and she could have the entire place open for a party on our last night."

So we arrive on the SECOND day of the rental, totally crash for sleep upon check-in at 9 am as I said above, and then go on to have a great stay.

The apartment had great WIFI with a laptop, and I find out a midnight before our departure that our flight home has been cancelled.

So yeah, it almost ruins my daughter's plans for the use of the apartment. But then again, WE DO have a place to stay.

My husband and I were able to stage the whole place for a GREAT cocktail/appetizer thing for the daughter by shopping at Picard's and our nearby wine store. We also bought lovely flowers and fabulous cheeses. The kids came, loved the apartment, ate and drank, and then went clubbing.

A success!

We came home, cleaned a bit better than she did (she tried, but her standards have never equaled mine), and then we went to bed, chuckling to ourselves, "Poor us, we had to stay ONE MORE night in Paris."

This anecdote is just food for thought. This is not a dictum.

Although, come to think of it, everything in Paris is about the food.

You are doing well, ditto.
AZ
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Old Jun 13th, 2015, 07:18 AM
  #77  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 73,201
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
>>There are apartment rental firms who have been in business forever and are NOT going out of business with new Paris restrictions, <<

Some of the old, well known companies have in fact had to pull some of their properties off the market.
janisj is online now  
Old Jun 13th, 2015, 08:02 AM
  #78  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,613
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Janisj--Yep, that is why I am certainly NOT discounting the use of a hotel, especially with a first-time visit.

I have seen no evidence that these two companies, among others, have had to pull their flats:

Paris Perfect
http://www.parisperfect.com/

and Paris Vacation Apartments
http://parisvacationapartments.com/
are still operable.

Again, our family has always been willing to continue the hotel tradition
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Old Jun 13th, 2015, 08:32 AM
  #79  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,876
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Then just leave Day 6 or Day 7 for Normandy. You can even stay overnight there! Do your stuff in Normandy. Report back to CDG via TGV.

Need to check this out--TGV from where to CDG.
Gretchen is offline  
Old Jun 13th, 2015, 11:09 AM
  #80  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 11,656
Likes: 0
Received 7 Likes on 1 Post
Re the apt situation. I will be in Paris in November and we are staying in an apt. I saw rentals being offered from lots of the usual Paris agencies. I picked a rental agency that has lots of apts. figuring if the one we selected gets pulled, they will have others to offer to us. I have also been closely following the developments in Paris. I have not yet read a story of a tourist being cancelled or moved out of an apt. This is not to say that it hasn't happened, but it must not be terribly common or I think it would hit the news. Its really up to you and your ability to have some risk.

We have on occassion paid for a week rental when staying less. Generally its still less than a hotel that we would choose to stay in.
yestravel is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -