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caze17 Dec 29th, 2013 01:18 PM

Paris location and apartment help with 2-year-old
I have the opportunity to take what, for my overplanning self, will be a last-minute trip to Paris. I would appreciate your recommendations for a location and how to go about the search process for an apartment. I have read a bunch of threads here, but the amount of information is a bit overwhelming. I know that I can trust Fodor's to help me once again with my travel planning!

We have flexible dates and are planning a 2-week trip in late April or May (hoping for fewer crowds than summer but still decent weather). Going on the trip will be my husband and I, our 2.5 year old daughter, and my very active, late-60s parents. The four adults have all been to Paris and seen the major sights, so this trip will be more about enjoying the city through my daughter's eyes and at a very slow pace.

We would like to rent a two-bedroom (three in a dream world) apartment in a central location, but preferably in a "neighborhoody" area. We will make an attempt to visit some of the major sights so don't want to be too far from those. But we will need to head back to the apartment for naps, so it would be nice to be in a neighborhood with cozy cafes, good bakeries, etc since we will spend a lot of time there. A playground would be great too. Does that sound like any location in particular to you?

Regarding finding an apartment, doing some basic searches makes me think that we are a little behind in booking since many apartments are reserved. I have sent an email to Paris Perfect inquiring about availability, but I don't know if they will have anything in our budget, even if something is available. We are hoping to spend less than 2000E per week. Any other thoughts about how to narrow down apartments? I can't believe the number of rental agencies! I am searching vrbo, but would prefer an agency.

Thanks to all for your help!

tuscanlifeedit Dec 29th, 2013 01:55 PM

As soon as I saw your thread title, I thought of Square Samuel Rosseau. It is just above Ste Clotilde, toward the river, in the 7th. It has a really charming little playground and the entire area feels a little more roomy than some other popular areas of Paris.

The rue de Bourgogne is lined with food shops and cafes and you aren't far from lots of others.

If I had a two year old, I would look for something in that neighborhood.

However, I can't exactly recommend an apartment there, as I've stayed a few times in hotels.

jpie Dec 29th, 2013 02:13 PM

Hi there:

I have lived in various sections of Paris over the years and the neighborhood that came to mind for me first would be in the 6th in the part of the district near the Luxembourg Gardens near rue d'Assas. The area over near the Bon Marche in the 7th is also nice and has some nice parks and playgrounds as well.

Another quieter choice might be on the ile St. Louis-super central and very quiet. On the right bank I would potentially look near village St. Paul which is quieter than the rest of the Marais and you also might consider the 1st close to the Tuileries where there there are lots of places to run. Less central than these areas you could also consider apartments near the Eiffel Tower but transit connections are not as easy as the other places I mentioned.

Your daughter may be a bit too young to love the carousels yet, but all of our friends who came with kids 4 years old or so loved them :) Have a great trip-you will have such fun with daughter there-kids are a great prop to get interact with folks. And be sure to budget for some clothes for her while you are there-the French kid clothes are amazingly cute!!

caze17 Dec 30th, 2013 07:16 AM

Thanks for the suggestions! I google mapped/street viewed the Samuel Rousseau Square and it looks perfect. I'm not sure how to find an apartment within a few blocks, but I will sure try!

Christina Dec 30th, 2013 10:17 AM

There are many agencies in Paris, no reason to only search VRBO.

I suppose if you wanted to find an apt near Ste Clothilde (the church in front of sq Rousseau), you'd just start with searching for places in the 7th arr near Solferino metro. Personally, I don't like that location and don't think it is very convenient. It is full of government buildings, kind of a sterile neighborhood IMO. The Defense Ministry is right across the street and takes up a big block or two, and the Assemblee Nationale is also nearby as well as many other govt buildings (about 6 of them). Paris is full of small parks like that, even if it is nice.

I think trying to find something around Luxembourg Gardens would be easier and more fruitful.

jpie Dec 30th, 2013 11:03 AM

I agree with Christina-while the square itself is pretty the location and metro aren't the most convenient and I think you will will have a much easier time finding an apt near the Luxembourg Gardens or over near bon marche. And if you work with an agency and tell them you want to be near a playground or park with you daughter they should be able to help you with that.

The issue with the big buildings talking up space as Christina mentioned is that it can make it a huge schlep to your nearest supermarket or bakery just to get the basics when you need them. If you want the 7th I would stay closer to the river near the Eiffel tower on a street with good supermarkets etc. like rue domenique or suffren. But again the connections aren't as good and it isn't as central as the 6th or even the 4th or 1st

caze17 Jan 1st, 2014 08:57 AM

Thank you for the helpful insights! It's always good to get different opinions. Perhaps something near Luxembourg Gardens is indeed a better choice.

Does anyone have suggestions for rental agencies of more average-price-range accommodations? Some of the ones I hear about on this forum are more geared toward the luxury end.


DeborahAnn Jan 1st, 2014 09:31 AM

We are renting with Paris Attitude in June. I know what you mean about trying to find a suitable apartment in Paris within your budget and in a good location. I think I looked at almost every rental company and private listing for Paris in my search ;;)

I have been very pleased with all the booking contact with Paris Attitude and the owner of the apartment we selected. They answered all my questions promptly and were very professional. You can see their listings at Good luck, Deborah

jpie Jan 1st, 2014 06:45 PM

This looks like a great place to start-I looked at some of the listings for the 6th 1st and 4th and there are some good choices. If you narrow down some apartments based on dates, we can give you some more detailed feedback about neighborhood if that is helpful. I agree it is great to see an agency with some reasonable prices and not just luxury properties :)

caze17 Jan 2nd, 2014 05:25 PM

What are you thoughts on the Marais? It seems that there are a lot of apartments for rent there...

Our priorities are a good neighborhood with lots of bakeries, cafes, markets, etc nearby, and a playground (even a small one), if possible. At least 2 bedrooms. Would love 2 baths, but not a dealbreaker if only one. Stairs aren't a problem.

Here are some specific options I have found. Any thoughts? (And thank you so much for taking the time to look at these.)



caze17 Jan 2nd, 2014 05:37 PM

And this one in the Marais is probably more than we wanted to spend, but we could make it work...the terrace looks amazing and it's 3BR/2BA.

jpie Jan 3rd, 2014 04:43 PM

These all would be options to consider-I would personally rule out the ones with no elevator that are more than one flight up since that really impacts coming and going especially with a child and you have some great options with elevators in just as good a location or better.

So the ones I would NOT consider for that reason would be:


The last one you mentioned

That is 3b 2b is nice but it is not really to me in the area of the marais with best access. I lived 1 block south of there for 2 years and always wished I was on a better metro line and closer to the river.

From a location standpoint, these would be my favorites:


It is a great location easy access to everywhere along the metro 1 line and near place de Vosges for playing and also a carousel near St. Paul. It is a walk up but only 1 flight,2020.aspx

not as close to rivoli as I would like to be but still a nice area of the marais but all other stuff being equal I might go for the St. paul one above


good location the metro stops in montparnasse can be busy because it is a train station but there are 2 great street markets nearby, and some little parks and one of the best Monopirx supermarkets nearby-also near the Luxembourg-great metro lines

Easy location in 6th right on Odeon which is a easy place to get places-maybe not as many places to play as the other one but again super convenient to get most places. And there are some small squares around there with parks

Hope this helps-I didn't really look closely at the place themselves other than looking for elevator-but if I can help or expand on my comments please ask :) Have a great trip!

jpie Jan 3rd, 2014 04:48 PM

Oh and in general the Marais is great-I have lived there as well as the 6-7th area and depending on the exact neighborhood they can be somewhat similar-sidewalks can be a bit tight for strollers but great access for restaurants, shopping, etc and both are central and safe-so both would be good choices. In the 6th I prefer not to be too close to the very dense touristy area near the river-noisy, etc. I like the area closer to St Germain and going south towards the gardens and Montparnasse. In the Marais it is kind of opposite for me-I prefer the area closer to the river near rue de rivoli staying east of the hotel de ville andwest of the place de vosges. Mostly I like this loaction best for east bus and metro access.

But again that is just my opinion-others may have other favorites.

jpie Jan 3rd, 2014 10:29 PM

Sorry for the typos-it should read:

"In the Marais it is kind of opposite for me-I prefer the area closer to the river near rue de rivoli staying east of the hotel de ville and west of the place de vosges. Mostly I like this location best for easy bus and metro access."

swandav2000 Jan 3rd, 2014 11:06 PM

Hi caze17,

A friend of mine stayed in this 3 br/2 bath apartment:

I think it's in the same building as the apartment you posted in the Marais on 3 January because the terrace is exactly the same. My friend loved the place for its spaciousness, the terrace, the central location, and all the nearby shops.

Hope you find the right place soon!


caze17 Jan 5th, 2014 08:25 AM

Thanks for the great info! I'm glad to hear that the Marais would be a good area...for some reason there seems to be a lot of availability there so it has presented some good options. I will keep fine-tuning my search and keep you posted. I also need to go ahead and book flights so that I know my exact dates.

Thanks again!

jpie Jan 5th, 2014 10:55 AM

I will be interested to see what you decide-keep us posted :)

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