Is Montmartre too isolated to stay in?

Old Jul 27th, 2004, 02:13 PM
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Is Montmartre too isolated to stay in?

I have the same question as Geener in the last question. I'm going to Paris for the first time in September, but I'll be alone. I don't want someplace that is too busy, but that I can easily walk around to get to things. I'm currently reserved up on the far right hand side of Montmartre (not in Pigalle or to the left of it). I fell in love with the photos of the windy streets and neighborhoods. But some people have told me Montmartre is really a day trip and I'll be isolated there. Any suggestions? Also any information on the St. Martin Canal area? Thank you.
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 02:19 PM
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Hi
Could you be more specific about your location in Montmartre? I know the area well - many parts of it are lovely (windy streets, cobblestones, lovely views, great, quirky shops and cafés), other areas that are sometimes defined as Montmartre are less wonderful. On the whole, though, it's one of my favourite parts of Paris. Once you escape the crowds around the Sacré Coeur and Place du Tertre it feels really villagey and quite different from other parts of the city.

The Canal St Martin is a great area too, in parts. Quite hip, up and coming area.

It depends whether you want to be within walking distance of all the sites, of course, but bear in mind that Paris is fairly compact and easy to get around, and with the metro system you'll not feel isolated unless you're staying miles out in the suburbs.
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 02:22 PM
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Is this near the Abbesses metro stop? If so, it will take some time to get into central Paris, but it's a nice area and there are cheaper food options. The area around Pigalle and Anvers metro stops looks rougher.
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 02:26 PM
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Yes. I'd find a place within a few blocks of the Seine...on either bank.
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 02:27 PM
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It's not daytrip distance so don't worry about that. On my first trip to Paris a long time ago I stayed in what seemed to me to be in the outer reaches of the 14th, and a 10-15 minute walk from a metro stop, and I haven't wanted to repeat that experience, though others might not at all think twice about the area.

Can you narrow down the metro stop or street where your hotel is? Some of Montmartre is sleazy as you know, other areas quite charming, also as you know.
It's not central in terms of walking, but a convenient metro makes all the difference imo.

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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 02:34 PM
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Thank you so much for messaging so quickly!

I've been researching for almost a week now, and I've become so confused reading so many books, websites, and speaking with friends.

The hotel is the Avenir on Blvd de Rochechouart. I read good reviews and the price is reasonable. The metro station is Anvers.

After following in love of photos of Montmartre in the day, I further read that there are fun places for night life on and around R yvonne Le Tac, R des Trios Freres, & R des Martyrs.

I really want a place wher e I wake up in the morning and am in love with it. Then I can go day trip... but place that once I return in the evening I can walk to something if I like. I guess I'd like to feel like a local, over being just a tourist.

Sometimes people give me the impression that Paris is small, and very easy to get around. Other times they make it seem like it's so large I'll get swallowed.

Perspective would be nice. How long would it take to walk from where I am in Montmartre to St. Martin's canal?

Everything said, I am still open to switching areas. I just want to hurry up and decide... feeling confident about my decision.

Thank you again to everyone for the advise and help!
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 02:49 PM
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I think you should do what your heart tells you to do. It sounds like you have already decided. (But just make sure wherever you do book, you feel that the area is safe and comfortable and w/i walking distance to a metro.

Bon Voyage!
Patricia
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 03:10 PM
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I love Montmartre, but I'm not too crazy about the location of the hotel you mentioned. I think you're better off if you stick to the western end of Montmartre, closer to the 17th arrondissement.

You may want to check out the Hotel Prima Lepic on rue Lepic, which is just off rue des Abbesses and near many of the streets you mentioned. There's a nice wine bar near there--Le Sancerre--that has live music and attracts a young, fun crowd.

Another thing you might want to do is go the web site www.pagesjaunes.fr and plug in the address of the hotel. You can then check out photos of the address and the surrounding neighborhood.
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 04:00 PM
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Elle, thank you. The website you suggested is simply amazing! I've been all over the city the past hour. You are correct, I too do not like the location of my hotel. The website really helps. Now I'll be able to look and make a confident choice. Merci!!!
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 04:14 PM
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Check the "overwhelmed" Paris hotel post that's active right now for great suggestions much closer to the Seine and within comfortable walking distance of Notre Dame, the Louvre, and the heart of Paris. I promise if you are out and about walking on your own you'll enjoy St. Germain (or Latin Quarter or Marais) more.
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 04:30 PM
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We stayed just south of Montmartre and didn't find it isolated. The metro is fast, and a short ride took us to our starting point each morning. Montmartre would be a little farther, but not any great distance. We rather enjoyed returning "home" to our quiet neighborhood each evening.
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 04:35 PM
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You know, I guess I just assumed the poster was a woman. That's why I've been pushing a location that didn't require a ride on metro to get home.

Rufus, if you are a "he" and the other part of the "we" is a "she", do you think she would be as comfortable with that location? Just wondering...
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 04:42 PM
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On my recent trip, I didn't feel uncomfortable on either metros or buses late at night in/near Montparnasse (but before midnight).

One night it was after 11 and I was in the Latin Quarter. I was trying to figure out the best way to proceed. I saw a taxi driver (with the Taxi Parisien sign on the roof) who saw me, seemed to leer at me, and asked if I needed a ride. I felt more uncomfortable with him as opposed to taking the metro and I got out of there quickly.
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 04:42 PM
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Sorry - would "she" as a woman traveling alone be as comfortable in Montmarte than at the Bonaparte or Fleurie, etc?
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 04:44 PM
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gracieb, I agree that as a woman I think I'd be more uncomfortable in Montmartre at night than in St. Germain or Montparnasse.
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 04:52 PM
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Hey, WillTravel - I'm sending you a compliment on another post as you are supporting me on this one.

I was VERY glad to be staying in the Latin Quarter on my last trip and have picked out a very small region in St. Germain for my next trip. I have traveled solo for years on business. If I were in Paris for pleasure (especially by myself) I would NOT want to be in Montmarte. I'm sure folks like it for varied reasons, but why NOT be in the heart of Paris?
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 05:32 PM
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Everyone loves Montmartre, but Anvers is right between Pigalle(super-sleaze) and Barbes-Rochechouart which is one of the more dangerous metro stops, especially at night. Anvers itself is not bad, there is a good restaurant called Table d'Anvers on the Place but this little neighborhood is surrounded by questionable areas.
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 05:33 PM
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Thank you again to everyone! After a week of so much stress over this, you all helped me to confidently decide in about an hour! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Yes, I'm a young, single female, traveling alone. So, safety is an issue.

Funny, I have heard such cab driver stories from other women. Even being from California, I've had it happen to me several times even in Los Angeles and San Francisco... come to mention it, a car driver in Washington DC too. So, yes, I understand.

Being able to look at the photos of the city really helped. I was able to see the exact areas and what the streets I'd be walking looked like. I rebooked at the Hotel Saint Jacques, on Rue des Ecoles, in the Latin Quarter.

I'm feeling very happy and looking forward to me trip.

Elle- I will definitly be visiting the are of Montmarte you suggested when trek up there. You were a big help!

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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 05:54 PM
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Ah, earthie, I am relieved and pleased. I stayed nearby and was delighted to be able to walk in Notre Dame in a few short blocks. I love fresh flowers and stopped at a florist at the corner on Monge and rue Ecoles to buy some flowers from the outside buckets. When I took the two bunches in to pay, the clerk asked "un bouquet?". I nodded and she spent several minutes cutting and arranging a bouquet and even went outside to get another bunch to pull better flowers out. When I left I had a beautifully wrapped, raffia tied arrangement of flowers for about 6 Euros. I bought an inexpensive collapsible plastic vase with the Eiffel tower on it (okay, borderline tacky) but had fresh flowers in every hotel room on the trip. We stumbled upon Luderee chocolates on the way to the Seine. There are plenty of windy streets where you will be. Place St. Germain is just a few blocks away and we loved Cafe Bonaparte. LOTS of good places to eat and drink and soak in Paris.
By the way, the only "weird" taxi experience we had was as we were leaving the Lido after the midnight show. The driver was asking just a few too many personal questions of the two ladies he was driving. Felt strange, but it was very late at night. I guess that's just normal (unfortunately) no matter where you are.
Near the corner on Monge and rue Ecole is an old fashioned American diner with hamburgers, milk shakes, and great breakfasts. We chose to "eat French" but the reviews were good and it might be comforting to have a touch of home when you are alone in Paris. It was very brightly lit - as was the area.
HAVE A BLAST!!!
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 09:49 PM
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Seems as I'm tagging onto a post that's already decided... but chiming in as a single woman who's only been to Paris once & the Latin Quarter was great! I walked every where, only took the Metro once to get up the Eiffel Tower, then walked back (a long walk but gorgeous day). The 5th was busy but not overwhelming. Felt reasonably safe always. Hint: take the business card from your hotel and carry it with you. I got incredibly lost one afternoon very near my hotel! With the address in hand you can always take a cab back.
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