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Chris Jan 26th, 2000 10:18 AM

Paris - Gare de Lyon Area Safe?
My fiance and I are planning to go to Paris for our honeymoon. We are on a tight budget so we can't stay in an extravagent hotel. My number one concern is safety. Neither of us can speak any French and I've been reading some of the horror stories of pickpockets and worse here. I've heard that the 17e, 18e, and parts of the 2e are places to avoid. I found a hotel named Hotel Conrail sandwiched between Gare de Lyon metro station (300m) and the Opera de La Bastille (300m) in the 12e. One thing I like about it is that it is on a major street (Rue de Lyon). It is a bargain at only 432 FRF per night with a shower. I've checked prices at a couple of places in the general vicinity and they are between 550 - 800 FRF per night. <BR> <BR>Does anyone know about this area in general? I think the hotel is a bargain but I don't want to find myself in the middle of a Paris getto. Thanks.

Kevin Jan 26th, 2000 11:12 AM

Chris, let me calm your worries. While not ritzy, the 12e is a safe place to stay. I have been to paris countless times, and the crime problem is exagerated. With a little caution, you shoul have no problems. Check out the Botanical Gardens and Natural History Museum just across the Seine, next to Gare D'Austerlitz. Very beautiful and interesting. <BR>As Paris is the city of love, I believe that you will have a wonderful honeymoon. Congrats on the pending wedding. If I can be of further assistance, let me know. <BR> <BR> Cheers! <BR> <BR> Kevin

lynn Jan 26th, 2000 11:16 AM

Chris - <BR> <BR>Please don't stay so far away from the city center on your honeymoon... <BR> <BR>I do understand budgets but I don't think this is a good idea. Plus, train station areas are generally not good anywhere. <BR> <BR>Don't worry about the pickpocket thing. Sure, they're around but just be mindful of your stuff and don't walk around wearing flashy jewelry, etc. advertising that you are a "rich American." <BR> <BR>As for hotel, I highly recommend the following... <BR> <BR>Hotel D'Albe <BR>1, rue de la Harpe <BR>Phone 01 46 34 09 70 <BR>Fax 01 40 46 85 70 <BR> <BR>You can call and they do speak English. Also, you can fax. That's what I did and we've stayed here twice. It's in the Latin Quarter right near lots of major stuff. Notre Dame, St. Chapelle, and Musee de Cluny are very close. A bit further (1 to 1.5 miles) is Louvre and Musee d'Orsay. Plus, right around the quarter are lots of cheap fast-food Greek places to eat (gyros and fries about $6), crepe stands, jazz clubs, people-watching, street performers on the weekend, etc. Also, attached to the hotel is a bakery. We usually had coffee and bread or croissants for breakfast (or Egg McMuffins) and then we were off. <BR> <BR>Also near is the St. Germain area (6th district) with lots of cafes, boutiques, and the Rue de Buci market. <BR> <BR>Our room was about $110 per night. I know this is about $50 more than you were considering but I really, really think you will get so much more out of your trip if stay in the middle of the action. The place you are considering is not near hardly anything. And the Eiffel Tower is way on the other side of town. <BR> <BR>If you need any other info, please contact me. Also, do a search for other postings. I know other people have posted other hotels in the same area I'm recommending for under $100. I just don't know what they are. <BR> <BR>:-)

Lori Jan 26th, 2000 01:36 PM

It's not a bad area but a bit away from the main things (the Metro in Paris is great tho and you can get anyplace quickly). If you can possibly do it spend a bit more for your hotel and get into a nicer area. Our last visit we stayed right at the Trocadero (with a great view of the Eiffel Tower) for $93 night(small room but decent sized bath) it was Best Western Residence Trocadero - you can check BW website for info, their hotels are not like US motels but small individual places. I understand budgeting your money but try not and scrimp too much on the hotel if you can avoid it. As for not speaking French, don't worry, nearly everyone speaks some English. If you can learn a few phrases it won't hurt, but you will be surprised, everyone will talk Englist to you anyway. Regarding safety, pickpockets, etc. - use common sense and be careful, but don't get paranoid. I've been to Paris dozens of times and never had a problem. Just don't go to places that you would not go to at home, if something makes you feel uneasy, don't go there. Just use regular street smarts and you will be fine. Naturally it is wise to be careful, but don't let it spoil your trip. If you live in a major US city it is probably much worse crime wise than Paris is.

s.fowler Jan 26th, 2000 02:09 PM

Stay in the 7eme. It's convenient, charming and has several hotels in your range. <BR> <BR> [We've stayed here - the dounle rooms with bath are corner ones and quite charming] <BR> <BR> [a little above your $$ - but highly recommended by people from this forum] <BR> <BR> [also recommended often - but book fast! It fills up] <BR> <BR>There are two others [at least] Serre and Leveque. All are near the Rue Cler market street and the ecole Militaire metro stop. It's a residential neighborhood and very safe! Les Invalides is two block away and great views of the Eiffel Tower the same :)

Brian in Atlanta Jan 27th, 2000 05:23 AM

Chris, one thing to consider is that in most (all?) countries in Europe, the price you're quoted is all you pay, unlike the stupid American system of adding tax to the quoted rate. So that should save you 10%-14% if you were expecting to pay taxes on the quoted rate. Secondly, most hotels will include breakfast. It may only consist of coffee and a roll, but it can save a few bucks every morning. Finally, the Dollar is very strong against the Euro (it's worth more than a Euro this morning!) and therefor the Franc, and I'd be surprised if this changes much in the next few months. So a good hotel in the 5th that costs FF630 and includes breakfast would cost you (today) only $96 a night. <BR> <BR>Do stay close to the center. Strolling is much more romantic and relaxing than riding the subway. Good luck!

Carol Jan 27th, 2000 06:01 AM

Hi Chris-- <BR> <BR>Check and I think both websites will have Latin Quarter hotels in your price range. It's where you should stay if you can, and there are quite a few nice and really inexpensive hotels there--have you thought about the Hotel du Globe?

Ross Jan 27th, 2000 06:54 AM

Hi Chris! <BR> <BR>First of all, CONGRATULATIONS!!! <BR> <BR>Secondly, If I may suggest, there are many small family-run hotels in Paris that are charming, safe, and affordable. <BR>There is one in particular called the Hotel de la Place des Vosges. It is located right next to one of the MOST beautiful parks in all of Paris. Quite reasonable. There are also several good hotels in the Marais. I travel alone, do a lot of research before I go, and travel on a budget. Good, safe, clean,well-located, what I look for. I usually pay around 300-350FF a night for 1. I'm certain that you can get a better rate at a nicer hotel in the areas that I've mentioned above. Any questions, just E-Mail me. <BR>:-)

Chris Feb 3rd, 2000 02:56 AM

Thank you all for your comments. I really appreciate all your responces.

dan woodlief Feb 3rd, 2000 04:42 AM

Chris, I have to agree with those who have suggested staying closer to the center. There are numerous hotels in Paris at good prices. If you are using a travel agent, don't. They will usually only give you hotels that are around $100 U.S. or more. Do a search on Paris hotels on this forum. Take a look at publications such as Let's Go and Rick Steves, and you will find many options. For example, we stayed on a wonderful small pedestrian-only street near the Eiffel Tower for $65 a night two years ago. That included a bath. This was at the Grand Hotel Leveque on Rue Cler. Their Web site lists double room prices at 420 francs right now.

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