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Is Marais the best place for a family in Paris?

Is Marais the best place for a family in Paris?

Sep 21st, 2010, 09:24 AM
  #1  
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Is Marais the best place for a family in Paris?

My family is moving to China in December for six months. Husband is already there, so the kids and I want to take a trip to Europe on our way to meeting him. It will be me, my 11 year old son, and my 7 year old daughter. We will be in Paris sometime during the second half of November for 4-7 days. We are leaning toward an apartment.
My questions-

Is the Marais the best area for us?

If not, what other areas are there that would be good?

How do you all pick from the tons of apartments out there? Are there ways to find reviews besides the ones posted on vrbo?

What are the fun things to do in cold weather?

One last question- What is the best way to get to Paris from Spain, probably Barcelona? Plane or train?

Thank you so much!
ameliabedilia is offline  
Sep 21st, 2010, 09:46 AM
  #2  
 
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Vueling, a Spanish airline, has a number of flights a day from Paris to Barcelona.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Sep 21st, 2010, 09:49 AM
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What are the fun things to do in cold weather?>

Try the Ice Skating rink set up in front of the Hotel de Ville - you rent skates and join the throngs - not sure when it opens however.

The weather should not be so cold in November - in 40s often the many times i have been there then

As for Marais - it is a nice location but IMO no nicer than many other venues.

You can take a day train or a night train from Barcelona to Paris - you can get some really cheap fares if you book online far in advance. www.elipsos.com - for the overnight train called Elipsos.
PalenQ is offline  
Sep 21st, 2010, 09:52 AM
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A lot of people here have rented...a search will give you some ideas.

I was going to recommend the Luxembourg Gardens area, but in November it might not be as good a place as during summer season.

November might not bas a cold as you expect.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Sep 21st, 2010, 10:00 AM
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There is the science museum, Natural History Museum (dinosaurs), Segway tours, bike tours, Catacombs (was closed..re-opened?), Sewer tour, Doll Museum, War Museum, lots of art museums, there are two large Monet exhibits on, Seine cruise, Paris Walks has a chocolat tour, etc..
Michel_Paris is offline  
Sep 21st, 2010, 10:05 AM
  #6  
 
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Any part of Paris is good. The metro gets you anywhere you need to go in a few minutes. If you decide to stay a full week, I think an outer area is better for shopping and for general living.
kerouac is online now  
Sep 21st, 2010, 10:06 AM
  #7  
 
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The Marais is just one of many nice areas in Paris. There is no "best." It's the oldest part of the city, with a rich Jewish heritage, and more recently a gay enclave, so it has many artistic and cultural attributes and is pretty central.

If you search here for Paris apartments you'll find thousands of ideas.
StCirq is online now  
Sep 21st, 2010, 10:14 AM
  #8  
 
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The apartments on VRBO only have reviews that the owners wants published, it isn't unbiased.

There are some apt. reviews on www.slowtravel.com, as well as on here, of course. I'd focus more on a general review of the agency or owner rather than one particular place, if you can't find it. Of course, you know VRBO is exactly what the name says, and that website is just liking ads in a newspaper, it isn't any agency.

I pick an apt. based on the price, location, amenities I want, the look, well, what you would expect.

It won't be cold enough to ice skate in November, at least it would be highly unusual. And parks are going to be rather dreary, also, but there might be some activity there.
Christina is offline  
Sep 21st, 2010, 10:20 AM
  #9  
cw
 
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You can look at this thread for ideas about apartments and agencies/owners:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...ent-thread.cfm
cw is offline  
Sep 21st, 2010, 10:56 AM
  #10  
 
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Catacombs (was closed..re-opened>

Friends just toured the re-opened Catacombs two weeks ago - a great place for kids - spooky
PalenQ is offline  
Sep 21st, 2010, 10:59 AM
  #11  
 
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If you have never been to Paris a hotel might be the best answer for you. The concierge/front desk could advise you, make reservations if needed, etc.
Gretchen is online now  
Sep 21st, 2010, 11:26 AM
  #12  
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Thanks everyone. Sewer tour and catacombs sound right up my kids' alley. They love all things gross and scary . Thinking now we should pick somewhere a bit farther out. Will any arrondissement do, or can I narrow it down at all? I am so overwhelmed I just don't know where to start. Everyone says there are tons of nice places... I would really like to get a real feel for Paris, to "pretend" we live there, if even for a week, if that makes sense. Thanks so much.
ameliabedilia is offline  
Sep 21st, 2010, 11:53 AM
  #13  
 
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Well, then you should not get a place in the tourist center. Any of the arrondissement numbers 9 and above (except 16) should be fine. Each will be a different experience.

If you see anything for Montparnasse (14/15) or Batignolles (17), people find those particularly appealing.
kerouac is online now  
Sep 21st, 2010, 12:18 PM
  #14  
 
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Kerouac...no 16th because of price?
Michel_Paris is offline  
Sep 21st, 2010, 12:22 PM
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No 16th mostly because it is totally dead like the 7th and not at all like normal life in Paris. Visually, like the 7th, it is perfect. In human terms, it is like "Invasion of the Body Snatchers."
kerouac is online now  
Dec 2nd, 2010, 04:10 AM
  #16  
 
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We just got back from 5 days in Paris (over Thanksgiving). We rented an apartment in the Marais and just fell in love with the area. Close enough to everything but also felt somewhat like a "regular" neighborhood. Less than a 10 minute walk to Notre Dame and easy Metro access (we took it everywhere). We rented from this agency (found through HomeAway): www.parisautrement.com which specializes in the area. Their apartments are unique and beautiful, and they are prompt at getting back to you with answers to all of your questions. Range of price points, too. They charge a lot for a taxi ride from the airport, but there was no worry about whether we would find the actual apartment. You need to meet them to get the key, but we were able to leave the keys in the apartment at our departure to catch an early flight without the advertised additional charge. Hired our own taxi for ride back to airport for a lot less.

As for whether to go with a hotel room: We love having an apartment on vacation for the space (you will need some down time) and a kitchen for the times when you don't feel like (or can't afford)another meal out. if there is a washer and dryer, it's a bonus--you don't have to pack nearly as much. Have a great trip.
Joanne67 is offline  
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