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Paris Preference...Marais, Montmartre or Montparnasse?

Paris Preference...Marais, Montmartre or Montparnasse?

May 1st, 2006, 02:11 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 170
Paris Preference...Marais, Montmartre or Montparnasse?


I'll be in Paris from May 18th-24th, and I'm [desperately] looking for an apartment/studio (our other arrangements fell through). I've found many options in the Marais, Montmarte and Montparnasse areas. My only experiences have been at the same place in the Latin Quarter, which has a great atmosphere and lots to do nearby.

Some reservations I have about each...

Montmartre...there seem to be warnings in all of my travel books about certain areas...also, not terribly accessibly by foot to the center of Paris (and many hills)...are there any really really good streets/areas to consider here?

Marais...most of the apartments go for a lot cheaper in this area...I'm wondering why...

Montparnasse...seems very charming, village-like...hard for me to gauge because it's not detailed on the free map that came with my book, which makes me feel like it's just WAYYY out there on the fringes of the city...

I'm interested to see what you guys think of these areas and what your caveats would be. I'm a pretty free spirit when it comes to this stuff so long as the area is fairly safe...

Thanks to all~


1travelbug is offline  
May 1st, 2006, 02:36 PM
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I like them all, for different reasons.

Montmartre would probably be lower on my list because of the fact that it is less accessible on foot.

The Marais is fairly central, although some places that claim to be there are on the fringes. Parts of that area can be noisy due to the nightlife.

Montparnasse would probably be my first choice, all things being equal.

If you have actual addresses, you can type them into mappy.com and/or the pagesjaunes.fr site ("Photos of Cities") to see exactly where the apartment is located.
Lesli is offline  
May 1st, 2006, 02:44 PM
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Lesli (or other posters)...do you think it will feel like we're way out from the city center, or are things so accessible by metro that it most likely won't matter? I agree that Montparnasse looks the most inviting, despite the fact that the Marais is closer, but I wonder if it'll feel like a long hike home at the end of the night...I guess I've gotten used to rarely having to use the metro to get from point A to point B unless we were trekking from one side of the city to the other (or just plain exhausted)~

If anyone would recommend certain streets over others in Montparnasse, that would also help me narrow my search.


1travelbug is offline  
May 1st, 2006, 02:49 PM
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I lived in Montparnasse on the Boul. Raspail right at the intersection where La Rotonde and Le Dome are back in my college days, and loved the area. I've also stayed in the Marias a few times and enjoyed it. The Marais proper, in my view, is darker, with narrow, more medieval streets. It seemed very "happening" during my two visits, whereas Montparnasse seemed more everyday Paris to me.

One idea: Why not check which metro LINES are close to your apartment choices so you can see if you have straight shots going home at night?
BlueSwimmer is offline  
May 1st, 2006, 02:49 PM
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We walked from our hotel near the Pantheon out to the Montparnasse area for dinners 2 or 3 nights during my last trip. (There are lots of good restaurants there!)

So depending on where specifically you end up, it either wouldn't bee all that much more of a trek, or you could explore some new and different restaurants near your apartment.
Lesli is offline  
May 1st, 2006, 04:17 PM
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Not Montmartre.

The Marais and Montparnasse are both convenient (the Marais more so) and interesting neighborhoods, though quite different. Montparnasse requires the Metro to see many of the sights (most of which are close to the the river) though it is still walkable.
bardo1 is offline  
May 1st, 2006, 04:25 PM
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I agree, bardo...Montmartre is out.

I've got another "M" to add to the mix (which is okay as I'm ruling out Montmartre ...rue Montorgueil. I've read several posts that were favorable regarding this area...the term "lively" keeps coming up and for whatever reason it appeals to me. In any case, your input is welcome!
1travelbug is offline  
May 1st, 2006, 04:47 PM
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Personally, as far as aesthetics go, I would definitely choose Montparnasse. If you feel confident about using the metro, then you will find that it really is not out of the way. It's close to lovely sights such as the Jardins de Luxembourg and St. Germain des Pres.
perstephanie is offline  
May 1st, 2006, 05:25 PM
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Montparnasse village like? I'm curious to know in which part.
Michael is online now  
May 1st, 2006, 06:41 PM
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I favor the Marais, but check your map carfully. Some parts aren't as 'nice' as others (which MAY account for the low prices you are seeing - it could also be low for other factors such as smaller size apt etc.) If you have questions about a specific address please post it and I am sure you'll get some first hand info.
grantop is offline  
May 2nd, 2006, 07:07 AM
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The area south of the Cimitiere Montparnasse is very residential, with small parks, markets, a few decent restaurants and a more 'village' feeling than the 'grand center' of Paris. Many of the buildings are smaller, lower-built, quirkier than the Haussman blocks and some areas have a bit of history attached to them.


Travelnut is offline  
May 2nd, 2006, 07:14 AM
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Hi 1T,

Enter the addresses of your Montparnasse options at www.mappy.com.

It will show you the nearby metro stations, if any.

ira is offline  
May 3rd, 2006, 12:02 PM
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Thanks, everyone...I found a 1st floor apartment on Rue du Roi de Sicile, just a block from Rue de Rivoli and St Paul metro. The location is great, nice area, a few blocks from the agency and Place des Vosges and a supposedly nice view of Place St Paul. Luckily, the price was just right...595 Euros (which, even after converting to US isn't bad at all).

BlueSwimmer and perstephanie, I will most likely consider Montparnasse when I return with my husband and little girls in a couple of years...this time I'm going with a single girlfriend so the Marais seems a better locale.

Now that I've found a place to sleep, I can focus 100% on being SO very excited for my trip!

Thanks again to my Fodor friends!

1travelbug is offline  
May 3rd, 2006, 05:05 PM
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Great location! Glad that you found something and now you can focus on the rest of the planning - have fun!
grantop is offline  

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