Paris Accomodations Advice for Families

Nov 28th, 2007, 07:08 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2007
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Paris Accomodations Advice for Families

Hello All:
My wife and I are surprising our kids and taking them to Paris in March 2008 for a week. We have never been, so are completely clueless. We are probably going to focus mainly on the "tourist things" and are wondering what we should do about accommodations. Should we stay in a hotel or rent an apartment? My kids (ages 15, 12, 9) are generally easy to travel with but like to be comfortable. Also any advice on whether we should we stay in a location such as Arr 1 or 2 where everything we are going to see appears to be very close, or should we consider more areas, is much appreciated. Thank you!
Mr_Turtlehead is offline  
Nov 28th, 2007, 07:33 AM
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You have come to the right place, there is a wealth of knowledge and experience here.

There are regular discussions about hotel versus appartment choice. Price wise and for a family, renting is probably a good choice. If you do a search here, you will find many agencies and even particular appartments reviewed and recommended.

Similarly, many discussions about what Arr to stay in. To start with, realize that the public transit system is very good. There is a saying that in central Paris you are never more than 500m from a Metro station. and of course, a good bus system. So location will determine whether you can walk to some of the sites, or will you need to Metro around.

A lot of first timers like the 5,6, and 7th arr. the 5/6 are busier and you will see more tourists, but they both offer lots of restaurants, some museums, intersting walks, parks,etc.. The 7th is a little more residential and quieter at night. Being popular, you may find accomodation prices a bit higher. I find the 1/2 a bit less lively. But generally, staying in the 1-8th would be fine. Let your budget guide you.

I've stayed in the 4/5/6/16th. I was satisfied with all of them, with the caveat that the place in the 16th did require me to Metro to go see anything. Staying in the 1-8th will mean you can walk to some sites.

Michel_Paris is offline  
Nov 28th, 2007, 07:37 AM
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If you go the hotel route, you will most likely need 2 (connected) rooms. Rooms for 4 are hard to find, so for 5, it would be almost impossible. Also do a search in this forum on paris apartments. It's been mentioned many times, with lots of suggestions and information.

March is a nice time, and your kids are a good age. We took out kids there in March '01. The weather was cool but perfectly fine for sight-seeing.
MFNYC is offline  
Nov 28th, 2007, 07:42 AM
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Hi, Mr. T,

yes, you've made a good start.

I've never stayed in Paris with my kids [did a day trip when they were about 14 & 10] but I woudl definitely go for the apartment option. we've stayed in several over the years with our kids and I wouldn't go back to hotel life with them for anything. you get so much more space and freedom.

As to where tto stay, with kids that age, I'd try to be pretty central. one of the joys of apartments is that after a hard days' sight-seeing you can go back for a cup of tea, put your feet up, before going out in the evening [or staying in!] or if teh younger ones are tired, you can go back for lunch and nap before venturing out again.

If you are staying on the outskirts, you lose these possibilities. but this does not mean that you are restricted to just Arr 1 & 2. 1-8 are all pretty close to what you wil want to see.

Finally a plug for parx asterix - if you were considering a day at eurodisney, go there instead. it's very french and a lot of fun.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Nov 28th, 2007, 07:42 AM
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Definitely rent an apartment!

Go to the Paris Superthread - you will learn about everything Paris has to offer.
There are lots of websites about Paris & apartment rental.

The other alternative is to rent a suite in an hotel with interleading rooms.
If it's your very first visit I would advise you to stay in the 5th or 6th - in other words the Latin Quarter. Busy, busy, busy!! Near to
Notre Dame, Luxembourg Gardens, and ancient sites.

Next best advice from me is to obtain a current travel guide. Study it thoroughly then pick out the things that interest you most.
For instance: You could start with a morning market, progress to lovely gardens, do lunch at a busy cafe on Place Maubert, then stroll down rue Lagrange into rue Galand ( one of the most ancient streets) past Square Rene Viviani and get a close up of one of two of the oldest trees in Paris before strolling across to Notre Dame eventually ending up at Square du Vert-Galant and hopping on a Seine Cruise on the Vedettes du Pont Neuf.

Next day try something in the 7th which is Eiffel Tower territory.
A must is a walk up to The Trocadero afterwards ( or before).
We like to be up there at sunset and wait for the tower to light up.
Truly magical!

I wish you and your family a very happy time.
tod is offline  
Nov 28th, 2007, 08:02 AM
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Rent an apartment. Period.

Seriously, I wouldn't even consider hotel rooms under these circumstances and in this market (Paris, that is, with lots and lots of available apartments). It's cheaper (not just the cost of the accomodations but the savings in food costs, as you won't need to eat in restaurants for every meal), nicer, and more fun for everybody.

I rented a two bedroom a couple of years ago with my children (then 12 and 15, I think) in the 1st and we had a great time.
Therese is offline  
Nov 28th, 2007, 08:09 AM
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WOW, Thank you all for your help!!! Forgive me for my ignorance, but I cannot seem to locate the "Paris Superthread" that tod mentions.
Mr_Turtlehead is offline  
Nov 28th, 2007, 05:08 PM
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If you're flush with money stay at a hotel just so that you have plenty of bathrooms. Not too many apartments have more than one bathroom, but it is nice to have a living room to hang out in I guess.

I've done it both ways, and actually find the apartments to be a little, I don't know, lonely? It's fun to have the front desk crew to chat with and ask questions to etc. (But I like visiting with people.)
shoefly is offline  
Nov 28th, 2007, 05:10 PM
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And personally, I'd be looking to stay in the 5th. My kids loved all the street food on Rue Mouffetard, and it was relatively inexpensive.
shoefly is offline  
Nov 28th, 2007, 06:12 PM
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We stayed in the 1st and loved that. My kids are younger than yours (5,7), but we had fun with Palais Royal on the way home every evening. We would stop there and jump among the black and white things, watch the kids play soccer, fly kites, etc.

I also liked it b/c our kids went to bed early (8ish) and I would go over to the Louvre and shoot sunset photos of the pyramids alone at night.

Don't know your plans, but an absolute 'must do' is the Fat Tire Bike Tour

we had a magical trip -- may you enjoy yours (I did a trip report, so you can check it out).
surfmom is online now  
Nov 28th, 2007, 08:42 PM
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You guys are amazing! Thank you so much for all of your input.

Surfmom---Great Trip report! It sounds like you had a wonderful time.

We are now looking very closely at a two bedroom apt. in the 5th arr. at the corner of Quai De La Tournelle and Quai De Montebello overlooking the Seine. However I am concerned about the level of traffic noise this location might present. Is anyone familiar with this location? Is there much activity in this area such as shopping, dining, etc?
Mr_Turtlehead is offline  
Nov 28th, 2007, 09:25 PM
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Our Paris apartment in the 7th had 1 bedroom and 2 bathrooms---perfect for us and 2 teenage daughters (age 12 and 16). One block off Rue Cler, where we could go for fresh croissants every morning and fresh and wonde4ful veggies, meats and cheeses for dinner every night. And afterwards, we walked over to see the Eiffel Tower all lit up.

Our apartment was rented from They were very professional and the whole transaction was trouble-free (and we could use our credit card; no bank transfers or other worrisome transactions). They have lots of apartments all over Paris. I highly recommend this company for a first-timer.

I believe you and your kids would be more comfortable in an apartment.
enzian is offline  
Nov 28th, 2007, 09:55 PM
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Mr Turtlehead,
We were in Paris last December for a week with our 2 kids and rented an apartment. It was a 2 bd/3bath lovely place in the Marais. If you click on my name my trip report will be in the list.

Our kids loved the Marais and loved Paris. But any neighborhood would be wonderful I'm sure. I found our apartment on Some of the great things about renting an apartment was that our son could sleep in while I went to the bakery, we had space to be apart and hang out, and we had a kitchen and laundry.

We mostly spent our days wandering around, finding markets, at the park, etc. Great memories. If/when you go to the Louvre there are cat mummies in the basement that are a must-see for kids.
rosetravels is offline  
Nov 29th, 2007, 05:12 AM
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Any Citadines (ApartHotel) will be worth a look. Stayed May 07 at Citadines Louvre. One bedroom, sofa couch, well-stocked kitchen, bathtub and sink separate from toilet. 3 of us very happy. You could get a 2 bedroom and be in duck soup.
CJS is offline  
Nov 29th, 2007, 08:02 AM
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Regarding the location Tournelle/Montebello, I've stayed at a hotel a few blocks west on that overlooked that street along the Seine. Yes, there is traffic. We stayed 3 floors above street level and was OK since we kept windows closed. I guess it depends what your window overlooks. But I very much like that location. I have walked by it many a time. Many good restaurants nearby, Ile St Louis right in front of you, RER just up the road. Prime+ location as far as I'm concerned.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Nov 29th, 2007, 10:35 AM
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Paris is truly magical and I'm sure your family will love it. We went to Paris with our daughter around her 10th birthday and 4 years later it is still her favorite vacation ever (and believe me, we have been to a lot of other fabulous places before and since then!). We rented an apartment in the 7th Arr. - very close to the Eiffel Tower. I would definitely recommend you go the apartment route. The hotels we looked at did not offer a lot of space unless you wanted to spend an arm and leg. We liked the area around our apartment because of its quiet residential feel. There were plenty of restaurants, bakeries and shops around and it was part of the charm to live the Parisian life and go down to the bakery to get breakfast pastries each morning and walk back home in the evening and pick up a baguette like everyone else.
Iza is offline  

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