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Opinions please - which Parisian arrondisements are at their best in what season?

Opinions please - which Parisian arrondisements are at their best in what season?

Jul 29th, 2002, 08:59 AM
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Opinions please - which Parisian arrondisements are at their best in what season?

In both my domestic and my traveling life, I'm acutely attuned to the concept of seasonality - that is, the practice of having your food, clothing, decor, etc. express and appreciate the best of the changing seasons. In a recent thread on Paris in the summer, someone brought up the thought that the Marais is probably not the best place to be in hot weather, given its low-lying,location and congested streets. I would love to hear from others who have an opinion on which districts are best in which seasons. All reasons acceptable - weather, shopping, restaurants, parks, romance, sentimental memories!
I'm starting to plan a trip in mid-November, so any thoughts with autumnal pleasures in mind are particularly welcome.
Thanks very much.
Jul 29th, 2002, 11:54 AM
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Jul 29th, 2002, 12:05 PM
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hi lizbeth
The Marais was once a swamp, but that was centuries ago.

Of all the factors to consider in choosing a place to stay, I wouldn't think about the seasonal weather. November in Paris is likely to be pretty chilly and rainy but that doesn't mean you can't have a wonderful time. The most central areas are the single-digit arrondissements, and among those, the 5th and 6th are the most popular, although the Marais has its fans as well. I also very much enjoy staying in the 1st, but there are fewer choices there for casual, drop-in cafes, so perhaps fewer choices for reasonably-priced hot coffee or hot chocolate. I like the 1st because it is central for the Louvre, Place de la Concorde, etc.

If you do a search here on Paris Arrondissements you should find previous comments on the various districts. I also have a file on Paris; if you'd like to see it, email me.
Jul 29th, 2002, 01:36 PM
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I like Paris in the fall (hey, is there a tune in there somewhere?). The angle of the sunlight off the river makes for fantastic photos of beautiful scenes. The deciduous trees are such beautiful colors, and the crunch crunch of leaves underfoot is cheery. I'm also a big fan of deep-orange fall flowers like asters, so they're in full bloom. AND, there's the vendange in the 18eme...

I like Paris in the winter, except by the river. Too windy and cold. The wide open spaces like the Champs de Mars and the big bois are also pretty miserable on a cold winter's day. The Bois de Vincennes and de Boulogne are really pretty in the spring and fall, and are a good place to cool off in the summer - far away from the city buildings, with lots of grass and trees and water.

I don't like any city in the summer, so Paris isn't exempt. It is Paris, after all, so it's tolerable in July/August with all those damn tour buses full of sweating tourists all crammed into Notre Dame and stepping on my toes then moving like a school of fish to Berthillon where they all stand in a mob trying to....oh, sorry, I wandered there for a minute.

Jul 29th, 2002, 01:45 PM
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I like the 5th, going up St. Michel toward the Park, in October, because the trees are yellow and you can indeed smell wood smoke. Chestnuts have a great smell, and sidewwalk cafes are at their best when the weather turns a bit cool. It is an exciting time with all the sutdents on the streets. And when you've had enough of the crowds, you can easily walk down to the river and get a breath of air there. Paris is fabulous anytime, but the fall is especially nice. This probably comes from my first trip there 30 plus years ago, when I was a student at Sorbonne, and I arrived in late summer, and before I knew it, the fall arrived, and it was fantastic!
Jul 29th, 2002, 02:13 PM
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The Marais may no longer be a swamp, but is still is not the best neighborhood for people with respiratory illnesses on a hot muggy day. The narrow streets trap pollution, particularly motor vehicle pollution. Last year I had to interview several Paris based pulmonologists; they reported that severe asthma attacks, especially in children, were stronger in the Marais on hot, "airless" days than in many other parts of town.
If I were traveling in summer and hit a very warm, muggy spell (like today here in Brussels and in Paris), I'd want a neighborhood with broader streets and trees--the 7th, the 16th, etc.
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