Gare de Lyon/Opera Bastille

Old Apr 3rd, 2005, 05:40 PM
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Gare de Lyon/Opera Bastille

Would this be an OK neighborhood to stay in saftey-wise? Does it have any charm? Thanks for any comments.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2005, 05:53 PM
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I regard it as a safe neighborhood with a nice feel that gradually morphs into the Marais. Personally, I like it because it has a less touristy feel to it, but there are plenty of corner brasseries, patisseries, etc. To me, it's just more of a "working Paris neighborhood" where people live and hang out vs. one that is structured more around visitors. That aspect also translates into VALUE, in terms of what you'll pay for things like hotel rooms and meals.
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Old Apr 4th, 2005, 02:10 AM
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I stay quite often on rue St Antoine and I like it. Immediately on top of any major train station may be a bit seedy, but the broader area is fine - workaday, not particularly picturesque or elegant, but interestingly varied -with the Marché Aligre, Viaduc des Arts/Promenade Plantée.
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Old Apr 4th, 2005, 03:26 AM
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I would take Bastille over Gare de Lyon just for its amenities -- but that is a personal view.

A few years ago we rented (from our next door neighbours) their studio on the rue du Faubourg St Antoine.

We enjoyed the sights mentioned above and formed lasting attachments to some local restaurants: Le Square Trousseau (Square Trousseau) and Bistrot du Peinter (rue Charenton, I think).

We liked the small detail that our local metro station, Ledru-Rollin, was recreated in the 1944 film noir The Mask of Dimitrios.

There was a seedy corner very near us, with dossers, but we never minded. Of course all the advice you have received to date has been from men, who may be more open to edgy neighbourhoods.

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Old Apr 4th, 2005, 03:57 AM
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To me, this sector of Paris has got infinitely more "charm" than the brain-dead 7th arrondissement so favored by Fodorites for some reason. Flyboy, I wish Bastille were still a "working Paris" neighborhood, well it might have been 40 years ago, but now it's definitely "bo bo land", which answers the OP's concerns about safety. Also note that the area around Gare de Lyon escapes the usual station seediness, it's nicely bourgeois and haussmanian.
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Old Apr 4th, 2005, 05:08 AM
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I was surprisingly pleased with my stay at the Holiday Inn Bastille (which is actually about a block away from the Gare de Lyon). Great price, very conveniently located in terms of good transportation connections, and surprisingly stylish (sort of a post-Art Deco look), achieved through a fairly recent renovation. There is a sex shop adjacent to the hotel, but, as sex shops, go, it's rather discreet. And the neighbourhood seemed perfectly safe, albeit not the most atmospheric part of town.
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Old Apr 4th, 2005, 09:57 AM
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I agree, and so does the whole population of Paris half my age -- that, is about 30. None of them want to live in the stately, green, highly policed 7th arrondissement. If they aren't fortunate enough to live around the Bastille, they visit in the evening.

But take heart, you need not venture far into the 11th arrondissement from Bastille to find working-class Paris alive and well. At the Bar des Artisans on the rue de Montreuil, for example, within walking distance, there really are artisans dining at midday, in their coveralls. And when developers tried to grab two connected industrial couryards just across the street they were met with a surge of popular resistance and sent hightailing it back to their desks in western Paris to dream up some other mischief.
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Old Apr 4th, 2005, 10:25 AM
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My sister and I met our French tutor (she had just moved back to Paris from SF) in front of Opera Bastille for our final lesson. She had chosen this location because it was where she used to work and hang out before she got married and started a family.

We thought it was an easy walk from where we were staying (Ile Saint Louis), and we ended up going back over there for a few dinners, to buy food at Marche Place d'Aligre, etc.

We saw Jean Paul Gaultier walking down the street behind the Opera.

For what it's worth, I'd stay there and I'm a woman, mid-thirties. I much prefer it to the 7th. but, hey, for a hotel with a good price, I'd stay in the 7th too!
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Old Apr 4th, 2005, 12:01 PM
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I personally wouldn't stay in that area. I don't find it very interesting. Happy Travels!
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