First trip to France

Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 06:55 PM
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First trip to France

My wife and I are taking our first trip to Paris and France at the end of April, probably for a seven night stay. We're 30-somethings who will hit the cultural attractions during the day and party pretty hard at night. We like intimate resturants, bars and cafes, but have also been known hit dance clubs and other larger, happening scenes, at night. We're prepared to extend ourselves financially for this trip, but are of average means. A couple of questions for starters:
WHERE TO STAY IN PARIS: Any thoughts on Left bank vs. right bank and any particular hotel's you'd recommend? If we had to choose, we'd rather be well situated to the resturants/bars/clubs we hit at night as opposed to the museums and cafes we'll frequent during the day. Location, cleanliness, and value are our top priorities. Charm is nice too. Ammenities for business or spa or anything like that is unimportant to us.
WHERE ELSE BESIDES PARIS: Our thought was to spend three or four days exploring Paris and then either head to another part of France or do day trips from Paris. Any recommendations? Obviously the warmth of the south has some appeal, but so does staying put in Paris and exploring from there. Would a Paris/Corsica trip be out of the question for a week-long trip?
WriteThisWay is offline  
Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 07:05 PM
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Hi
Let me suggest that you browse through this thread, the Paris Superthread
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34519236

which has links and a lot of basic information on Paris and environs.

Also, if you click at the top of this screen on Destinations, you will find a lot of fodors info on Paris, including some of the bars and clubs.

Other good websites are lonelyplanet, slowtrav, and especially good is timeout.com for nightlife

elaine is offline  
Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 10:19 PM
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writethisway -

personally, on a first visit to france i'd stay put in paris (with maybe just a day trip nearby - like Versailles or Giverny, for example).

If you really want to head south, perhaps in search of some sunshine ???, then think about provence instead of Corsica. Don't get me wrong, Corsica is a gorgeous island and well worth the visit but just not as easy getting to and especially traveling around for a short and first visit to France. Instead you could take the TGV (cheap and easy and fast) from the center of Paris to Avignon and spend a couple of nights down here just to get a feel for it.

-Kevin
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Old Jan 4th, 2005, 03:13 AM
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Stay in Paris and perhaps do one day trip either to Versailles or Giverney.
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Old Jan 4th, 2005, 03:25 AM
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In terms of hotel location: you'll find that the Paris Metro pretty much blankets the city probably to a greater extent than any other city transport system can claim. If you aren't adverse to using public transport, getting to and from a museum, etc., should be relatively convenient regardless of hotel location.

As to clubbing, etc., at night, you may want to return by taxi anyway.
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Old Jan 4th, 2005, 03:43 AM
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>We're 30-somethings who will hit the cultural attractions during the day and party pretty hard at night.<

I strongly suggest the hotels in the Place Pigalle area.
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Old Jan 4th, 2005, 04:47 AM
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Another vote for staying in Paris for the full 7 days. There are wonderful day trips if you want to get out of town for a day or so including Giverny (which should be lovely in April), Chartres and Versailles.
This forum has lots of hotel recommendations and many threads on restaurants.
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Old Jan 4th, 2005, 07:28 AM
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If you want to sleep next to some nightlife / restaurant / bar scene, I would discard the left bank, and especially the 7th arrondissement which seems to be a darling of Fodorites. These areas are nice, but not on the cutting edge of the current Paris hip circuit. The Marais (3rd, 4th), Bastille (11th, 3rd), even République / Canal Saint Martin have got charm, location (in general and vis à vis nightlife) and authenticity for them. Since I live in Paris, I don't use any hotels, and thus can't recommend any, but I am sure other people on this forum can. On the other hand, if you can be more specific about your tastes in dance clubs, bars and cafes, I'll be happy to help.
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Old Jan 4th, 2005, 12:26 PM
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This is wonderful. Thank you for the responses. I found two hotels in the Marais that might work for us - Hôtel Jeanne d'Arc (http://hotels.parishotels.com/hotel-...tel=64&lang=en) and the Hotel Vieux Marais (www.vieuxmarais.com). Does any one have any knowledge or familiarity with these properties and their locations? The Hotel Vieux Marais sounds a bit nicer to me but is a few more Euros a night. Any thoughts on whether it is worth it? Any other suggestions? Thanks again, Greg
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