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Paris - First time solo & nervous! Advice on area and apartment vs. hotel?

Paris - First time solo & nervous! Advice on area and apartment vs. hotel?

Mar 25th, 2009, 03:47 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 9,422
Since you are going in August, have you explored the idea of staying in a hotel with rooms that have cooking facilities?
zeppole is offline  
Mar 25th, 2009, 04:03 PM
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You bring up some excellent points that I've thought about. Last time I travelled solo there, I stayed in a hotel. And I liked the fact that I had someone to greet when I returned and other people in the morning for breakfast (if I wanted).

I've also rented apartments and love the conveniece of that. Having a kitchen space makes life easier. Yet, it seems a bit more isolated and you don't get that sense that someone is checking up on you.

What about Citadines ? We've stayed near the Louvre and I love that area since I go out at night and shoot night photos. Last time, I put the kids to bed and I went out solo to shoot photos. I felt very safe at night alone. I think parts of the Marais are fine, but with the smaller, more pedestrian streets, I might get a little spooked at night alone. You'd probably be fine, it is just that perception, I think.

what about Citadines ? Gives you the convenience of an apartment, but yet the lobby of a hotel ? We walked past this one frequently and I know there are others in Paris.

I don't know if it meets your budget though ? good luck!
surfmom is online now  
Mar 25th, 2009, 07:01 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 111
Thanks to everybody for your comments.

Apres_Londee, great suggestions to keep in mind re safety and apartments. The apartment I'm looking at meets those criteria. (BTW, I remember your trip report from your Xmas trip to London & Rome ... it was a great trip report ... and you're not going to believe this but I recently bought the boots you mentioned in that report, at an end of winter sale, and they are incredibly comfortable for lots of walking all over my home city ... my interest in them was piqued by your recommendation!).

Anyway, I have to say that although the votes seem to be in favour of a hotel over the apartment, the food for thought I've been given in these posts is definitely making me lean towards the apartment (which does in fact have A/C). An apartment is usually what I prefer, plus I really enjoy my own company, and am not looking to meet other travelers to sightsee with or have meals with. I'm not at all nervous about sightseeing or eating on my own - its the safety issue (sometimes more perception than anything) of being alone in an unfamiliar city.

Anyway, I appreciate all of the feedback from everyone!
travelgirl2_99 is offline  
Mar 25th, 2009, 08:10 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 374
I'm leaving on Monday for my 10th solo trip to Paris and I can't wait. Hotel or Apartment is your choice. I like staying in hotels for the same reasons luveurop does. I travel alone a lot but particulalry to Paris. I've been asked by many why I do it so often. I love the city of course, but I think one reason I do is that for me Paris is easy for single women. Eating alone at night is perfectly normal and I never feel strange about it. And I always feel safe. I feel safe in general in Europe but perhaps because I know Paris so well I feel safe there. This trip I'm staying in Montparnasse for the first time. I usually stay in the 7th. I'm looking forward to a new neighborhood.
chevre is offline  
Mar 25th, 2009, 08:25 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 3,037
I'm glad you like the boots

I think I'm like you, I actually like the privacy of an apartment- I like being able to have good coffee in the morning or a simple meal at night when I'm tired, without being "on".

As for being in an unfamiliar city, getting hopelessly lost is always my biggest worry when I travel alone. I have a terrible sense of direction and zero navigational skills. One thing I've found invaluable in Paris is a Michelin "Paris par Arrondissements". I've got no.'s 57 and 11 and use them both. So if you're looking for a good map, the Michelin Atlases are great- extremely detailed, easy to read, and the metro maps are handy too.
Apres_Londee is offline  
Mar 25th, 2009, 09:11 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Just to answer your question, which others already have really I guess ... no I think that street is fine. Metro St. Paul is close by and you can avoid the areas west of you at night easily enough.
francophiletasmania is offline  
Jul 1st, 2009, 11:36 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 554
H Travelgirl -

I recently traveled solo to Paris and stayed at Hotel Madison on Blvd. St Germain in the 6th. It seemed to be a fairly safe area that was a great base for sightseeing.
PamEwing is offline  
Jul 1st, 2009, 11:47 AM
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"Fairly" safe? As opposed to?
kerouac is online now  
Jul 13th, 2009, 07:35 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 3,654
'In the suburbs it may get a little unsafe'

Unsafe in what respect?
In all my 11 visits to Paris I have never felt unsafe in the respect I may be mugged or stabbed or worse. Pestered by beggars or con-artists, YES, but that is nothing to be afraid of.
I deliberately like to stay in any of the double-digit arrondisements with the local influence.

I have always found Paris is so busy busy busy, one never really gets to walk anywhere alone where you THINK you might be vunerable to an attacker. Pickpockets to my mind are the number 1 problem in Paris, so it's up to you to protect yourself from loosing your valuables.
tod is offline  
Jul 13th, 2009, 07:37 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
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I'll be very interested in how the apartment works out for you. My daughter and I are renting that apartment next summer and we actually picked it for the location. One thing to keep in mind is that it will be very light as when we were there in May, it did not get dark until after 9pm. I know that when it is light out, I always feel safer.
scrapwithval is offline  

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