Good area for family in Marais?

Sep 6th, 2006, 07:34 PM
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Good area for family in Marais?

Hello, everyone.

It will be our first time in Paris, and we (my husband and I, and our 10 yr old daughter) are thinking of renting an apartment on the southern end of rue du Bourg Tibourg.

Does anyone know what this area is like? We plan to eat in for some of our meals, so it would be nice to have a market of some kind and a good bakery nearby.

Reading past posts, I am also having thoughts that the Latin Quarter may be a good (better maybe?) choice for families with kids. Would an apartment on either rue St-Severin or rue Xavier Privas, both very close to St-Michel be better? The prices seem more inexpensive there (thus more budget for shopping!).

We will be hitting the usual tourist spots - Louvre, Tour Eiffel, Sacre Coeur, Notre Dame, Ile St Louis, etc., and hopefully, the ballet at the Opera!

Thanks in advance!
Luna67 is offline  
Sep 6th, 2006, 09:23 PM
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Rue du Bourg Tibourg is in the heart of the gay ghetto, so it depends on how open-minded you are and whether the bar clientele will keep you awake until 2 a.m.
As for rue Xavier Privas and rue Saint Séverin, these are extremely narrow streets in the heart of the tourist restaurant zone (90% "Greek") at Saint Michel -- also very noisy until all hours.
So I would say that both areas are interesting and lively, but I would hope that the apartment would be on the inner courtyard or else that you have good earplugs.
kerouac is offline  
Sep 6th, 2006, 11:13 PM
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for a family on a first trip (given your child is just 10), try to find something in the 6th near the 7th or 7th near the 6th. Close enough to all the major sites but more of a family (though very upscale family neighborhood).
travelbunny is offline  
Sep 6th, 2006, 11:22 PM
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Didn't realize that about rue du Bourg Tibourg. I have friends who are gay, so I have no problems with openmindedness. The apartment has double glazed windows, so if street noise becomes a problem we'll just have to shut them.

My concern is, how would the area actually feel - would I be uncomfortable walking down the street with my child? Where I come from, Tokyo, the famous gay "entertainment" area is lively, but seedy and downright ugly - "sad" is what my gay friends say. It isn't like that, is it? I found the gay area in New York very beautiful.
Luna67 is offline  
Sep 7th, 2006, 12:21 AM
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No, there is nothing to feel uncomfortable about in the neighborhood. It is mostly just couples walking hand in hand. Anything rough looking normally goes on behind closed doors, as it should. (You can Google something like the Quetzal bar to get an idea of what the local commerces are like -- it should be just about next door to your location.)
kerouac is offline  
Sep 7th, 2006, 02:24 AM
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We stayed in the Marais last year and didnt' find it seedy at all. We loved it -including my teenage daughter. There are great stores, restaurants and cafes. It is a very sophisticated area and yes, there is a gay presence, but it reminded me of New York's Chelsea. But, it also has a Jewish community, along with an artsy feel. I recommend the area. It was our fav.
risab is offline  
Sep 7th, 2006, 02:50 AM
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This website has been posted 299 times in this forum, but it always finds new fans among Paris-bound travelers:

If you type in the address, this site will provide you with pictures, aerial view, maps, and all kinds of details for your location, including pics of business down the street. I tried it for 25 Rue du Bourg Tibourg (kind of middle of the street) and the area looks lovely and very convenient to Rue de Rivoli (wonderful shopping/browsing for teens!). I took my 16 year old niece to Paris and she was in shopping heaven! Have fun!
Viajero2 is offline  
Sep 7th, 2006, 03:00 AM
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I think that is a great area to stay. Its not just gay but also has a very cosmopolitan feeling. If you are on the south end of the street you should be near the rue Rivoli which is a bustling shopping street filled with all shorts of shops and markets. I vote to stay in the Marais for a real Paris experience.
richardab is offline  
Sep 7th, 2006, 03:19 AM
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I agree, Le Marais is a great place to stay. I was lucky enough to stay in Le Marais for 6 weeks on a business trip and rented an apartment on Rue Rambuteau. Opposite there was an Italian deli who made their own pastas (good if you plan to eat in), a Chinese restaurant plus numerous bistros, bakery, coffee shop, interesting boutiques etc. Pompidou Centre is nearby, behind that Les Halles, it's near to Rue Rivoli. It was also convenient for taking the train (RER)from CDG.
Odin is offline  
Sep 7th, 2006, 07:49 AM
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Hello Luna67,
My husband and I rented a lovely apartment on rue du Bourg Tibourg for 2 weeks.We loved it being so central.
If it is in the heart of the "gay area" we sure didn't notice.
Whatever you decide, opt for a decision based on location.
Good luck,
KCN84 is offline  
Sep 7th, 2006, 08:14 AM
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Hi Luna67,
My husband, daughter (10 at the time) and I stayed in a nice 1 bedroom apt. on 3 Place Bourg-Tibourg in the summer of 2004 through The neighborhood didn't seem largely gay and is definitely family-friendly. The apt. is not deluxe but was clean, well-equipped and even had air conditioning, which I think is an absolute necessity in the summer. It's on a little square in an excellent location to see all the usual sights. It's barely 2 blocks from the metro and surrounded by restaurants, grocery and other stores. Others have posted mostly positive reviews on this apt. so you may want to review those posts as well. Good luck!
socalfam is offline  
Sep 7th, 2006, 10:08 AM
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I lived a few blocks from there (near the Picasso museum) in the 3rd with my 4 and 3 year old and loved it. The Marais is a great area - walking distance to all the Paris attractions, but also within walking distance to "un-touristy" areas for local groceries, bakeries, and cafes.

Like Kerouc said, this is the gay area of Paris - you are cool with that lifestyle, so you'll be fine. However, it is also an area full of kids - check out the play areas at the Place des Vosges when school lets out - kids everywhere

Personally, I've walked down rue de Bour Tiborg alone with my 4 year old son late at night (we often stayed out late since my kids took forever to change time zones) and felt totally safe. Nothing seedy - like Kerouac says, "just people of the same sex holding hands" or you realize that all the patrons sitting outside at a cafe are male.

To learn more about the Marais, visit this site. Tons of descriptions and pictures, and it will really give you a feel for this area.

Good luck. - C

ParisEscapes is offline  
Sep 8th, 2006, 07:49 PM
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Thank you all for the info - especially all the great links!
I think I've made up my mind to go for the Marais apartment. I was initially trying to find an apartment in the 6th, but the more I read things about the Marais, the more intrigued I'd get. Now I'll be in the midst of it to find out why! ...again, thanks.
Luna67 is offline  
Sep 9th, 2006, 04:56 PM
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Good decision, you won't regret it. The marais is somewhat personal like a village. It fun to wander the streets and poke thru the shops.

Just a note, on the rue Rivoili at the St Paul Metro stop there is a market, wine shop, cheese store, butcher, etc which you can use for snacks, breakfast and supplies.

From here you can also walk to the lovely Ile St Louis where there are more shops and restaurants.
richardab is offline  
Sep 9th, 2006, 05:46 PM
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Hi Luna, I stayed two weeks in the Marais, a woman alone who felt safe and saw many children. You will be close to metro stops that will take you where you want, lots of great shops for kids and pets.
cigalechanta is offline  
Sep 9th, 2006, 09:39 PM
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Hi Luna, as Cigalechanta and others have said, that is a great location, very safe and central area. I have stayed at the Hotel de Nice which is in effect on the corner of the rue de Rivoli and the Place Bourg Tibourg (at the southernmost end of the rue) although the entry is on rue de Rivoli. On one stay I had a room on the 2nd floor (French 2nd) that looked over Place Bourg Tibourg and can say that it was not particularly noisy at night with windows closed.
Faux is offline  
Sep 9th, 2006, 09:46 PM
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No one has said much about your question of comparison with the two places near St. Michel. I have stayed in that area twice, and it is fine, but frankly it is far tackier and noisier (as kerouac says) than the lovely area of Bourg Tibourg. I had seriously looked at that apart. mentioned by socalfam at #3 Bourg Tibourg. It is a nice place -- we only backed out because they required total payment at the time of reserving -- even though it was a full year ahead. Right outside its door are several really nice restaurants.
Sep 11th, 2006, 09:52 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
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..having lived near the rue du Bac metro stop and having a goddaughter in the Marais, I love both areas. However, for a first visit I would choose the 6th near the 7th (or 7th near the 6th). Both have a neighborhood feel thought the area near Place des Vosges has too many tour buses now.
travelbunny is offline  
Sep 11th, 2006, 10:50 AM
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The area that your are looking into is very nice, not at all "seedy". Although the Marais is the center of gay culture that is part of its offbeat charm. It is also very close to all the sites and minutes to the river. There lots of reasonable restaurants ect. in that area. Best of all that part of Paris is FUN!
InMiami is offline  
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