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Need help on the districts of Paris, please.

Need help on the districts of Paris, please.

Sep 15th, 2009, 08:28 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 417
Need help on the districts of Paris, please.

Hi everyone. I love Fodors forums & DH & I could never have had such wonderful trips to Europe without them. Once again I am turning to the 'experts' for our next trip beginning 11/5/09. Just decided this, which is short prep time for me. I do the planning & it feels daunting, but I still want to go. And, we have not been to Paris.

Don't have time to get to the bookstore until tomorrow or Saturday & won't have much time for research until Saturday, and, I need to book our transportation before prices continue to go up! I did some online Paris info research this a.m. but you know how that goes....takes hours as I flit from one link to another. The puzzle for me right now are the DISTRICTS - WHICH ONES!?

In order to find our hotel & research the prices, I need to know WHERE in Paris. What are the best?/favorite? places for tourists? If we are not within walking distance, we like to be close to the easiest & quickest transportation to the usual sites. Which districts are those?

I imagine the hotel price is based on the district, so our top hotel budget is $200 nite, but obviously prefer below that. There will be 2 of us going. For this 1st trip, we will do the usual tourist thing (Louvre, HoHo, Eiffle tower, etc), and plan to return for a more indepth stay in the future - God willing & the creek don't rise! We plan on 3-4 nites. For a new city, we like the assistance of an informative hotel staff, but after price & location, our most important requirement is cleanliness. We need an elevator. We would 'like' inroom TV to keep abreast of news; not required. We want an in room bath with shower; tub not necessary. As typical Americans, sadly we do not speak French; only English.

Hope I get some help on the location.

Thanks in advance, Julie
JulieAgain is offline  
Sep 15th, 2009, 08:42 AM
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The GENERAL consensus is 4, 5, 6, & 7 and the closer to the river the better...
bardo1 is offline  
Sep 15th, 2009, 08:51 AM
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I would look at the 4th,5th and 6th arrondissements (districts).

The 5th and the 6th are on the Left Bank, and are also known as the Latin Quarter and St Germain areas. The 4th includes the two islands (Cite and St Louis) as well as part of the Right Bank. The Right Bank part is known as the Marais area.

The other areas of Paris are not out of the picture, but for first timers, these are not a bad choice.

Left Bank..I've stayed in this area several times. Lots of restaurants, bakeries, cafes, shopping. Easy walk to Notre Dame, St Chapelle, Seine river cruises, walks along Seine, Orsay Museum, Musee du Moyen Age, Luxembourg gardens, etc. Bit busier and touristy, but not a bad thing

The Marais is a bit funkier, but also a nice area. Place des Vosges is one of my favorite squares, there are many okld mansions, the St Paul antique disctrict is nearby.

The Metro and RER (train) system is excellent in Paris. You can easily and cheaply get anywhere you want to. The 5th and 6th locations allow you to see many sites, but Eiffel, Louvre, Champs Elysee could be a long walk (I've done it, but at end of day I'd Metro back). The RER from CDG airport has a few stops on the Left Bank near here, so if you plan correctly, you could hop on at CDG and hop off near your hotel.

So there is no one area that gives you walking access to all sites, but 4/5/6 is central as central can be, and will give you plenty to see on foot.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Sep 15th, 2009, 08:52 AM
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JulieAgain - If you would like to be near most of the tourist attractions, everyone heads to the 4th (Marais) 5th & 6th (Latin Quarter) and then races over to the 7th (Eiffel Tower).
There are those Fodorites with a more adventurous spirit who dive right into the double digit arrondissements like the 10th, 16th, 18th, 20th and beyond! Thats where the real Paris begins and life like a Parisian can be experienced!

You might be shocked to learn that a very acceptable tourist class hotel can be found for as little as 49 euros (double en-suite) per night with a view of Paris over the Seine down to the Arc de Triomphe?!

Getting back to your needs: We just love these alternatives but you would have to be lucky to get in:http://www.hotel-grandes-ecoles.com/
tod is offline  
Sep 15th, 2009, 08:58 AM
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Hotel Bonaparte, Grand Ecoles are a couple that get a few mentions here. If you do a search here, you will find plenty of suggestions.

I'd also recommend the Fodor's Guide here to get an onverview of Paris
Michel_Paris is offline  
Sep 15th, 2009, 09:35 AM
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For an amazing experience right outside the doors of Notre Dame Cathedral on the I'lle St Louis, you can rent a 6th Floor room inside the oldest hospitel in Paris!
We stayed there this May and it was very convenient to Left and Right Bank tourist attractions. As clean and organised as a hospitel would be! Flat screen TV, Aircon, and skylight.
Heres the link: http://www.hotel-hospitel.com/
tod is offline  
Sep 15th, 2009, 09:40 AM
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this site will give you an idea of what each arrondissement is like: http://www.intransit-international.com/sitemap.html
cigalechanta is offline  
Sep 15th, 2009, 11:39 AM
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The list on this forum will tell you what's worth seeing in each arr.

cigalechanta is offline  
Sep 15th, 2009, 12:08 PM
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I believe that the hotel you describe, L'Hospitel, is on the island (L'Ile de la Cite) next to Ile St-Louis.


Look at a map of the Paris Metro (www.ratp.fr). Many (most) of the tourist sites you wish to visit are a short stroll from Line 1 of the Metro, which runs east and west above the river. If you stay anywhere within walking distance of the Seine, in the 4th-8th arrondissements, you will have ready access to those sites.

Enjoy your trip.
hmmm is offline  
Sep 15th, 2009, 02:34 PM
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Thanks everyone. I've already done a review/availability search on the hotels you mentioned - so far nothing. The Hospitel reviews were great & it sounded so interesting, but no availability. According to the reviews, it is located next to Notre Dame. Is that on an island. Is being on an island a problem or is transport/walking access to sites/food as available as not being on an island?

JulieAgain is offline  
Sep 15th, 2009, 02:48 PM
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"Is being on an island a problem or is transport/walking access to sites/food as available as not being on an island?"

You'll be less than 80 yards from the "mainland".
Pvoyageuse is offline  
Sep 15th, 2009, 02:53 PM
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Staying on either island makes it convenient to walk to the right or left bank attractions, and there are stores and restaurants close by. I suggest you get a map and check out hotels close to the major sites and the Seine. That would include the arrondissements mentioned by previous posters and also I'd add the 1st as well.

I'm sure with your budget you can find a hotel in the 6th, 5th, or 4th. Don't get discouraged. There are many many small hotels in Paris. And search here for Paris hotel threads.
cw is offline  
Sep 16th, 2009, 12:53 AM
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Spotted this one - reviews seem to be mostly positive so maybe this hotel is just what you are looking for!
Good tip - ask for a twin-bedded room if you may be used to sleeping in a queen size or larger. This way you get a decent nights sleep. (the beds are usually pushed next to each other in anycase).
tod is offline  
Sep 16th, 2009, 05:18 AM
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All the suggestions above are great but I think your number one priority is to study a map of Paris and it's arrondisements... a hotel may sound wonderful but if it's out by the Peripherique it might not be quite so attractive a proposition....

Here's a map with both the arrondisements marked as well as many major sites...


The island of Ile de la Cite is also the heart of Paris and where the city actually started. Distances from Paris to other cities in France are measured from a marked spot on the island in front of Notre Dame. So being on this island is no hindrance to getting anywhere in Paris. It also has the deepest metro station in the city.

It's also home to the prefecture of police and when you see the swarms and van loads of police you'll also realize this has to be the safest place in the city! ;^)

ParisAmsterdam is offline  
Sep 16th, 2009, 05:25 AM
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BTW, All the hotels im post above are in the 4th, 5th, or 6th.
bardo1 is offline  
Sep 16th, 2009, 05:29 AM
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The islands are connected to the Left and Right Banks by multiple car/pedestrian bridges, so access is not an issue. One of the attractions of Ile St Louis is that off-peak hours there is little "on-island" traffic and just traffic going between the Banks..so it is quieter.

Some of these bridges offer memorable views.

Ile St Louis is smaller, with one main street and a couple of side streets. Ile de la Cite (Notre Dame) is larger.

On Ile St Louis island hotels: Lutece, Deux Iles, Jeu de Paume ($$), St Louis en Ile. I've stayed at a couple of these and I like the location, like a small village.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Sep 16th, 2009, 07:10 AM
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I always send first timers on a limited budget to Hotel Valadon(**), in the 7th. The Orsenne's, the owners, are friendly and will take good care of you.
oakglen is offline  
Sep 16th, 2009, 07:23 AM
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I usually stay at Hotel Espace Champerret seconds from Louise Michele Metro and ten minutes to City Centre.

Have spent Xmas and New Year here in the past.

The Hotel is situated in the business area of Paris and as such does not have a touristy feel which I like.

Bit of a treasure find for me...nice and quiet, easy going, restaurants for the local residents and office workers,ten minutes to Opera and not a bad price for the Hotel.

crdtny is offline  
Sep 16th, 2009, 07:47 AM
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I went to Paris last October, for the first time, in the 7th. It was wonderful! It was less than 10 minutes to the Eiffel Tower by foot, and convenient to transportation and the Metro. I rented an apartment from www.vacationinparis.com - for less than $200 per night! They have many reasonably priced properties. In order to get your bearings, you might want to consider Le Cars Rouge, they are red buses (open on top) and you can hop on an off all over the city. But for getting from point A to B, you can't beat the Metro! Have a wonderful time - you'll love it!
pdawn1969 is offline  

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