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How sketchy are the Pigalle and Abbesses parts of Paris?


Oct 1st, 2012, 03:53 PM
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How sketchy are the Pigalle and Abbesses parts of Paris?

I'm looking into several different apartment rental options for my January trip to Paris and a few of them are situated in the Pigalle or Abbesses parts of town (or rather, those are apparently the closest metro stations).

Specifically, the ones i'm interested in are located on:

44 Rue Durantin
13 rue André Antoine
2 rue de Parme
2 Rue Maurice Utrillo (i think this is in the same arrondissement but maybe closer to Sacre Coeur)

I will be travelling alone and was just wondering if those parts of Paris are really that dangerous? I know it's the red light district area so wasn't sure if the good rental deal is worth it?

Any advice would be much appreciated!
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Oct 1st, 2012, 04:46 PM
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We have walked through Pigalle from noon to midnight and never felt threatened. Plenty of people about. I would stay away from the side streets though.

A studio that we have used for the past 5 years is a 20 min. walk away from Pigalle and in a great neighborhood.

Nadine Giblin
Studio 30 sqm Paris 9e near Montmartre
E-mail : [email protected]
Website : http://locationparis9.canalblog.com
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Oct 1st, 2012, 04:49 PM
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Thanks jkbritt - i will check it out.

I'm actually looking at apartments4u since they seem legit but those are the ones in the areas of town i'm unsure about. Quartier Latin Apartements also looks good - it has less reviews so fingers crossed for that.
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Oct 1st, 2012, 07:55 PM
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Love the Latin Quarter, and never threatened by the Pigalle area. You don't really need a suit of armor for the area, but I'm thinking it might be easier for someone who is coming from a big city where you aren't shocked by differences in lifestyle.

So, I guess, me, coming from Los Angeles, I've seen it all. So much so, I remember one day I was walking in NYC and there was someone walking down the street in a Gorilla suit, and neither the New Yorkers nor those from L.A. stopped and stared.

I think, perhaps, if I was young and female, and spent my whole life in some farm town in Pennsylvania, I might get kind of freaked out in Pigalle, alone, at night. Except for the female part, I'm none of the above.
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Oct 1st, 2012, 08:42 PM
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I've seen it all too, in NYC and Chicago, at work in very dangerous and dicey areas but my husband and I had to RUN away in Pigalle in the daytime ..Hopped on the Metro and escaped.
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Oct 1st, 2012, 11:50 PM
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They definitely wouldn't be my first choice, especially for a first timer. We now stay in the 11th and love it. It is a bit cheaper generally than the 1-6 arrondissements.
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Oct 2nd, 2012, 12:14 AM
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A friend of mine lives 13 rue André Antoine. It is a very quiet and narrow street with little traffic. The building is nice, has a concierge, an old-fashioned elevator and is very safe. There is an inside courtyard and it is very quiet at night. Her bedroom, kitchen and bathroom overlook the courtyard and she has a nice view of Paris from the living room windows.
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Oct 2nd, 2012, 03:27 AM
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I was somewhat unnerved the first time I stayed in Pigalle as a young 22-year old woman travelling alone, as I went out at night for a walk (in January 2005) and realised there were no women to be seen in any of the bars or cafes, just groups of men. I didn't necessarily feel super unsafe, but it was a bit creepy & I didn't like it.

I went into a petrol station somewhere and the clerk started chatting me up in French. He asked if I'd been to a proper French café, I said "not yet", he said "would you like to?", I said "yes" (just thinking we were making general conversation), next thing I knew, he said, "okay, just give me 10 minutes to shut the shop" (it was probably getting on for around midnight), and he locked the doors with the both of us inside... After a minute to think "how did I get into this situation, and how do I get out of it?" I managed to come up with the excuse that I had said I'd call my mum at a particular time & I had to go back to my hotel to do so or she'd worry, and he let me out.

Anyhoo, that has nothing to do with anything really, but it stuck in my head. That was my first big overseas trip by myself, thankfully I'm a bit more assertive & street-smart now!
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Oct 2nd, 2012, 04:43 AM
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The "good rental deals" are never the least expensive. I would cut the spending elsewhere and find a place closer in and in a more charming neighborhood. This IS a vacation, no?
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Oct 2nd, 2012, 07:24 AM
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Montmartre is one of the areas that some people say is the most charming in the city. People have different tastes.
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Oct 3rd, 2012, 04:06 AM
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Don't worry. I was working near Pigalle/Montmartre/Barbès and this area is not dangerous. Just pay attention to pick-pockets when entering the subway.
Abesses or Pigalle is a good place to live and is really becoming "trendy". Its dangerous reputation just come from the fact that this is close to some "bad" places from the north of Paris.
Enjoy your trip!
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Oct 3rd, 2012, 04:30 PM
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Thanks so much for all the responses!

It won't be my first trip to Paris but it will be my first in winter and staying in an apartment rental so I'm more paranoid than I thought.

I've given up on some of the original places I was looking at and narrowed it down to:

1. Rue de Rochechouart in the 9th arron. (not sure which part of this road it's on but reviewers said it's about 5 min from Cadet metro station on foot)

2. 52 Rue des Abbesses in the 18th arron.

3. Villa Croix Nivert in the 15th arron.

I've stayed in the 15th before so i'm not worried about that and on paper, the 9th one is in a better area of town but the Abbesses apartment is really amazing with plenty of good reviews so i'm a bit stuck.

I've asked around a bit and it seems that rue de Abbesses isn't so bad? It's relatively far away enough from Pigalle?
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Oct 3rd, 2012, 08:19 PM
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I wouldn't do it. And this is from someone who's traditionally stayed in the 7ème and this past September stayed in the 20ème. You're looking for cheap...I get that...but you'll make up for that getting into Paris Proper, and it won't be "sketchy," but if you're a first-time visitor to Paris it sure won't be sweet, either. Get yourself a place in the center of town, arrondissements 1-7, and enjoy being close to the sights. Save the Pigalle area for a later trip when you're more accustomed to Paris.
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Oct 3rd, 2012, 10:07 PM
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Rue des Abbesses is not the least bit sleazy -- it is several blocks up above the sleaze zone down on boulevard de Rochechouart, and the two worlds absolutely do not mix.

I don't know of a single person who ever stayed on rue des Abbesses and regretted it. It is lines with chic cafés, wine bars and gourmet shops -- as a look on Google Street View will show you.
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Oct 4th, 2012, 02:11 AM
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I agree with the previous poster. I wouldn't stay in Pigalle but Rue des Abbesses is fine.
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Oct 4th, 2012, 03:38 AM
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I LOVE MONTMARTRE and rue Abbessess, I always stay around this area. Great vibe, great restaurants, cinema, good metro, fab cafes and coffee places, cake shops, ordinary shops, food shops. Do I need to keep going???

If the apartment has great reviews, go for it. There is even a good restaurant underneath you...

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Oct 4th, 2012, 08:21 AM
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Awesome - thank you all so much! And definitely google street view is the best ~ i can't believe that i never used it until now.

I'm going to go with the Abbesses apartment then
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Oct 4th, 2012, 06:04 PM
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Good choice. Can you flick us the details of the apartment? I would be interested in this for sure. Normally I use Paris Perfect and whilst I find them very good, always on the lookout for what else is out there.

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Oct 5th, 2012, 12:54 PM
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i used apartments4u-paris and specifically i got this one:

The one i originally wanted was this since it's only 20 euros more and twice the size:


However, fodorites and tripadvisor forum discussions ended up dissuading me from the Sacre Coeur apartment since it's quite a walk from the nearest metro station.

My friend just stayed in the one I ended up booking btw and she says it looks exactly like in the pictures and the owner is very pro so i figured that's a good sign.

i also took a look at airbnb website where owners can directly list their apartments for rent. Thousands of good ones up there all across Paris at a whole range of prices. I also looked at Paris attitude but their agency fees were quite high.
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Dec 12th, 2012, 02:59 PM
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I'm a 21 year old female also travelling alone. Currently staying in the Rue Maurice Utrillo apartment. The area doesn't seem to be dangerous at all and the metro isn't really as far as it seems (it's never taken me more than 5 mins to walk).

The apartment itself is as nice as it looks in the pictures and the whole building is very secure (codes for front gate etc). Sacre Coeur is about 20 stairs away.

As for apartments4u they have been great to deal with. Lionel met me at the apartment and explained how everything worked and had made up a map with things I might need - grocery store, metro, tourism office etc, and info on English speaking taxi company and restaurants.

Hope this helps
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