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Paris: Help me discover new (to me) neighborhoods and streets

Paris: Help me discover new (to me) neighborhoods and streets

Old Jun 30th, 2014, 03:55 PM
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Paris: Help me discover new (to me) neighborhoods and streets

I was supposed to be in Andalusia for my annual Europe trip in May/June. Alas, I had a bad fall over the winter and mangled my foot (bones, ligaments & tendons!). 5 months, crutches and 2 different casts! I knew I needed additional time to mend before jetting off. The good news is that I just booked a two week trip to Paris! I even rented an apartment in the 18th (not my usual "hood") on Rue Caulaincourt. I had read several posts by Kerouac extolling the virtues of the street. I've never stayed in the 18th (usually the 5th). I am very excited about my 2 weeks in one apartment (no moving around), a new neighborhood to stay in and my most favorite city - Paris.

As I am getting older (and clearly less nimble) I seem to prefer returning to known and loved locations. (Less complicated and exhausting travel. More slow moments to savor.) I love, love, love France and especially Paris. I think this will be my 14th visit! On this trip, one of the things I'd like to do is explore less tourist heavy arrondissements for future apartment stay potential.

I would be most appreciative of recommendations of favorite arrondissements and specific streets within you enjoy. I love to just walk and wander but would like a bit of direction. I am very familiar with the 5th and 6th. I haven't been enamored with the "vibe" in the 7th nor Montparnasse. I probably haven't been on the right streets! I plan on getting to know the Marais area better this time. Favorite streets? Other areas I'm exploring - Canal St. Martin, Republic, area east of Bastille, Rue Montorguiel. What about arrondissements like the 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 16th, 17th?

I guess what I'm asking for are recommendations of your favorite neighborhoods and streets for apartment living. I travel solo and enjoy having good cafes, bistros, fromageries, boulongeries nearby. Neighborhoods with activity but not craziness. I'm way past the crazy age. 3 glasses of wine over the course of a 2.5 hour dinner is as crazy as I get these days. Then it's bedtime not club time. LOL.
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Old Jun 30th, 2014, 04:26 PM
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I'm a die hard fan of the 6th for many reasons, but my recent trip I spent some time in the 16th and I really enjoyed it. If I could live in Paris (dream on) I think I would choose the 16th.
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Old Jun 30th, 2014, 05:34 PM
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Honestly, I would search Kerouac's reports for all the lesser known gems. I'm with ruedebuci on the 6th. Paris by Mouth also lists their favorite fromageries, boulangeries and restaurants by arrondisement---might be a good start.
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Old Jul 1st, 2014, 02:07 AM
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I've stayed lots of times near metro Faidherbe-Chaligny (east of Bastille and not far from the Marché Aligre), on the border of the 11th/12th. I like it because it's unpretentious, ordinary, residential and mixed. That said, I'm not a great eater-out, so I wouldn't be aware of any special restaurants in the area, but I don't get the impression it's exactly foodie heaven, just fairly OK neighbourhood cafés. Which is not to say there mightn't be hidden gems up the back streets, just that I wouldn't be aware of them.
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Old Jul 1st, 2014, 04:17 AM
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We also like the 16th, specifically the Auteuil section -- which is a bit removed from the heart of things, but very close to the action if you're going to Roland Garros. The Passy area is also very pleasant, although it does not have the distinct village vibe that you get in Auteuil. Good markets and neighborhood food shops in both.

We had an apartment in Auteuil for over a month and liked it very much. We've also stayed frequently in the Passy area.

OTOH, if were to buy an apartment in Paris AND we had an English cocker again (as I hope we will someday), it would be over near the Bois de Vincennes. I think the cocker would enjoy walks in the park and hearing/smelling the animals at the zoo. Raisin used to raise her head and sniff with delight whenever we passed the Basel zoo on a tram ride.
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Old Jul 1st, 2014, 04:56 AM
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We have always stayed in the 6th but this Sept/Oct we have an apartment for two weeks on the Ile de St. Louis. I love this area of Paris but if I were to live there, I think I would choose the 16th, another of my favorite neighborhoods.
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Old Jul 1st, 2014, 05:19 AM
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We rented in the 14th a block from Denfert Rocherau in May 2014 and found that area perfect in every way. It has easy bus, Metro, and RER access to everywhere, you can stroll to the Seine through the Luxembourg Gardens or to Montparnasse etc and it is a real neighborhood where real, albeit middle class, people live. On a Saturday, we bumped into a Breton cultural festival entirely by accident; it is that kind of neighborhood. Never saw another American, though we know an expat who lives in the area.

I also like the area between Republique and the Hopital St Louis, near and along the Canal St Martin. We have rented on a street full of galleries in the 6th where we watched sleek men promenading with girls the age of their daughters (but who probably weren't) and many times in a great apartment in the Marais that is alas too expensive now for the two of us to rent without another couple because it is two bedrooms. The only place we did not enjoy was in the 7th, which we found boring though others love it.

I am going by myself in September, and I plan to stay either between the Place d'Italie and the Peripherique or somewhere between the Parc Andre Citroen and Vaugirard. I have ridden the bus through there a lot and think there are interesting streets.
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Old Jul 1st, 2014, 06:07 AM
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Wow! Great replies already! Looks like the 16th is the favored arrondissement so far.

ruedebuci - (love the name and love that street!) Is there a particular part of the 16th you enjoy most? Great streets?

denisea - Good suggestions. Kerouac is a wealth of information. I used Paris by Mouth to locate a wonderful boulangerie and fromagerie just a block from my upcoming apartment in the 18th. Good suggestion to use that resource for other potential neighborhoods.

PatrickLondon - I know nothing of the area you suggest. I'll have to investigate. I am a foodie though.

WeisserTee - I had to google Auteuil. From what you say ("village vibe") and it's location, it has potential for me. Are there particular streets you could recommend me to wander along? I'll check out Passy too. And, it sounds to me you really NEED another English Cocker!

mamcalice - another vote for the 16th! What streets did you particularly enjoy?

Ackislander - I am not at all familiar with the area around the Denfert Rocherau metro. I'll have to check it out. You're right, it has a lot of transportation options. I will definitely be checking out the area along Canal St. Martin. I'm going to do the canal cruise (first time) up to Villette and wander back to where the canal goes underground. I'm really looking forward to that day and discovering that particular area. I agree - the Marais has gotten expensive, especially when traveling solo and not having anyone to share housing expense with. Hmmmm.... the area between Place d'Italie and the Peripherique. Another area I know nothing about. This trip I'm really going to take advantage of the bus system to do as you do and explore neighborhoods.
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Old Jul 1st, 2014, 06:12 AM
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The Batignolles neighborhood in the 17th is interesting and there is an organic market on Saturday mornings on the blvd. des Batignolles.
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Old Jul 1st, 2014, 07:03 AM
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I am staying next week in the 11th, a first time for me to stay there. My favorite meal from my last trip was there (Septime) and I liked the vibe of the area. I read on this board about a recommended street art walking tour that starts in the 11th. I have not done it yet but it might be an interesting way for you to see the area http://undergroundparis.org/street-art-tours-paris

The last 3 times I have stayed in le Marais and really love staying there (prefer it to the 6th where I always used to stay). A nice walk is from the Place des Vosges (grab a pastry at Gerard Mulot), walk the Rue des Les Francs-Borgeois toward the Rue Vielle du Temple (stop for gelato at Amarino or fallafel on rue des Rosiers - there is considerable debate about which is the "best") then up toward Rue Bretagne - veering off to explore the little side streets. Have some chocolate or other sweets at Jacques Genin. Pick up bread for dinner at Poilane. Sunday is a good day to go to the Marais as the shops are open there (though for this reason it is also crowded).
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Old Jul 1st, 2014, 07:44 AM
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Have you been in the covered passages of Paris?


I also am a huge fan of the 14th arrondisement.
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Old Jul 1st, 2014, 08:15 AM
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Just stayed in the Marais and we ate at a tiny Mexican restaurant with a small communal table and bar called candeleria. Best food of our trip. I know IRS France but we were craving Mexican and it didn't disappoint.
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Old Jul 1st, 2014, 08:36 AM
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Actually, if you take a poll of favourite arrondissements, the 16th will come very low on the list. The testimonials for it here are a statistical fluke.
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Old Jul 1st, 2014, 08:46 AM
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I like the Passy neighborhood in the 16th.

Paris is so large, just pick the arrondisements you haven't seen and visit the ones you want, there is tons of info online and elsewhere as to what might be the focal point of a visit to the 17th, 13th, 12th, 19th, 20th, 16th, etc. (eg, Batignolles area, Chinatown or Buttes aux Cailles, Viaduc des Arts and Bois de Vincennes, Villette and parc des Buttes Chaumont, Menilmontant and Belleville, Guirmard and Art Nouveau buildings, and so on). Or at last some things to see. I think it's better if you take some initiative in these kind of things instead of just letting someone else tell you what to do, as it's best to have your own discoveries and interests. In 2 weeks, you can easily visit several neighborhoods.

I don't really have one particular favorite street in any area, there are too many, and apts are all over. Main streets might not be the best place to have an apt for noise reasons, anyway.
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Old Jul 1st, 2014, 12:21 PM
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I agree with Christina - too many to name. But since you mention you are a foodie, put Rue des Martyrs on your list. It starts in the 18th not far from where you'll be staying, but most of the food shops are in the 9th (on the other side of Blvd de Clichy). And since you're staying in the 18th, I'm sure you know about Rue Lepic? Big market street, even closer to your apartment. You will love the area. Have fun exploring!

And I'll be curious to get your thoughts on the 16th. A couple of Parisian friends of mine are convinced it's the most boring arrondissement in Paris. But of course, it's all personal preference. And it's so big - how can it all be boring?
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Old Jul 1st, 2014, 01:20 PM
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Nikki, I keep reading about the Batignolles area as wonderful. I LOVE markets. I'll have to visit on a Saturday! Sunday will be the Richard Lenoir market.

lynnalan - I just googled Septime. Wow. What great reviews. When I was looking for apartments I noted many around the Charonne metro. But, as I hadn't been in that area, I ignored them. I too have read good reviews of the street art walking tour. Maybe this trip! Thank you so much for the walk suggestions in the Marais. I will definitely incorporate that.

sandralist - yes, I have been in a few of the passages and am hoping to get into two more this time. Winter and rainy days are perfect for that! May I ask what part of the 14th you like? It's a large arrondisement!

williamscb13 - don't you just love it when a craving results in an extraordinary meal. I've put your suggestion on my list of restaurants!

Kerouac - I was hoping you would post. Hmmmm.... "statistical fluke".

Christina - I'd hate for you to think I'm lazy. I've actually done a lot of research for this trip. I've got a 21 page (and growing) document of notes. It's just that so many Fodorites have traveled to Paris, stayed in apartments, I thought I'd ask for some opinions. I do like to walk "main streets" to observe what services, cafes, etc. are available then look for apartments within a few blocks.

YankyGal - Yes Rue Lepic was very influential in renting the apartment on Caulaincourt. I've google "walked" that street so many times already! Thanks for the tip on Rue des Martyrs. I knew about the Carrefour store and the Anvers market but I didn't know to continue down Martyrs into the 9th. And, what can seem boring to some can be nirvana to others. I just read an article on just that theme re Passy Auteuil. http://www.nytimes.com/1997/11/02/tr...y-auteuil.html Neighborhoods like cities speak to some people and leave others cold. The fun is in the exploring!
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