Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Europe (
-   -   Paris- Staying in the 14th. district (

sparkle422 Apr 27th, 2011 07:36 AM

Paris- Staying in the 14th. district
We are renting an apartment in the 14th. district in Paris in June. We have never been to Paris before and we will be traveling with our 4 children. I'm wondering if anyone can offer any suggestions on any good places to eat or places to shop in that area, etc. We will be staying near the Alesia rail station. Thanks.

DonTopaz Apr 27th, 2011 08:32 AM

I love the 14th! It's a bit unusual for a 1st-time visitor to Paris -- that doesn't mean it's a bad choice, just not the choice that other 1st-timers make.

Best part of the area is that you're in a city neighborhood, and the people on the streets are the people who live and work in the neighborhood. First thing you'll need to do is find the nearest patisserie (bread bakery). Each morning, the first activity is for one of the crew to head down to the patisserie and pick up a few baguettes (french bread loaves).

The closest supermarket depends on exactly where you're staying. I knw that there's one near the corner of Rue d'Alésia and Rue Didot, but you might be on the other side of the Alesia station.

The best restaurant choices will be the ones within walking distance of your apartment. Those places will be cheaper, and very likely better, than the more tourist-oriented places in the city center or toward St Germain des Pres.

You'll need to take the metro or bus to most of the sites you'll want to see. But, within walking distance, be sure to check out the Montparnasse Cemetery -- it's gorgeous and amazing.

It's also fun to see a movie in Paris -- be sure to go early to watch the advertisements before the show. Lots of theaters in the Montparnasse area (a short ride from your apartment). To find an English-language movie, be sure it's an American or British movie, and that you see the letters <b>V.O.</b> -- that means "original version." If you see V.F., that means the movie is dubbed in French.


Don Topaz /rizzuto

Christina Apr 27th, 2011 08:39 AM

I stay in the 14th all the time, and just got used to the neighborhood when I was going to summers school in the area several years, so it's home to me and I'm comfortable there. However, like all (or at least most) arrondisements, it is quite large. I assume you mean the Alesia metro stop. That is a good area for shopping, it's one of the main shopping streets in the quarter. There is a Monoprix somewhere on that street, I remember, several blocks to the west of the Alesia metro, as I recall. Rue Alesia itself is full of discount shops for clothing and things like that (not food so much).

What kidn of shopping do you want to do? I really don't think you need to worry about it, just walk down the street when you get there and find stores like you want.

mms Apr 27th, 2011 08:39 AM

We stayed in the 14th on our first visit too. Our kids were with us as well. We did not find it hard at all to get around and didn't feel like we were too far out. On other visits we have stayed in the 7th and th 1st (twice), but this summer we will be back in the 14th.

We did what Don suggests, and found the boulangerie right away, and a couple close restaurants that were pretty much locals only. I remember the first night we went in one, we felt a bit out of place since everyone seemed to know each other. After going there several more times, we definitely felt part of it and the staff were so nice to the kids, etc.

StCirq Apr 27th, 2011 09:02 AM

Boulangerie = bread bakery
Patisserie = pastry shop

When I first started visiting Paris I stayed in the 14th all the time. It's changed a lot over the years, but I agree it's a great neighborhood and I don't think you're going to need to map out specific places to find a meal....or anything else.

kerouac Apr 27th, 2011 09:25 AM

The 14th is excellent, and Alésia is a very lively area. I always think it is great for 1st time visitors to be in such an area, because they will see all of the usual stuff in the center, but they will also immediately discover that the outlying districts can be great -- and much cheaper for everything.

A lot of people unfortunately decide that they should stay in the center for the first visit (and tons of people here will egg them on and tell them that it is the only way to do it) -- most of the "attractions" are there, you can "walk everywhere," etc. And when you do it, of course you think it is quite good. But so many people have to return to Paris 5 or 6 times to discover the "rest of Paris" (often because their beloved haven in the center was not available for once), and then their main thought is "how could I have missed this area for so long?"

DonTopaz Apr 27th, 2011 10:08 AM

Oh for goodness sakes, sorry for the patisserie/boulangerie Senior Moment.

OP: If you walk the rue d'Alesia between rue Didot and the Alesia metro station, you'll be in the Parisian version of an outlet shopping mall. Lots of shops with the word "Stock" in the window, and these are (or sometimes just pretend to be) places for terrific bargains, especially selling last season's well-known labels at discount prices.

14th/Boulangerie story: I was staying in the 14eme and my Former Beloved sent me down to the local boulangerie to pick up a fresh baguette:

Me: <i>Un pain français, s'il vous plait.</i>

The shopkeeper, motioning toward the assortment of loaves, in her best high-pitched voice, dripping with disdain: <i>Ils sont tous français, monsieur.</i>

Nikki Apr 27th, 2011 10:13 AM

" But so many people have to return to Paris 5 or 6 times to discover the "rest of Paris""

A fate worse than death.

kerouac Apr 27th, 2011 10:21 AM

Is it time for me to drag out my sad café story from rue Didot? Back when I helped to run a café in olden times...

The café that replaced us is still doing great business. More power to them.

crefloors Apr 27th, 2011 11:54 AM

Another vote for the 14th. Stayed there my last trip and really, really, liked the area. Lots of metro and bus stops so getting around other parts of the city was very easy.

There are a couple of markets in the on Thursdays I believe and art work on Sunday. I have a framed metro ticket from the art market. Probably silly, but I love it.

CaliNurse Apr 27th, 2011 12:45 PM

rizzuto, LOL re the "french bread"

CaliNurse Apr 27th, 2011 12:47 PM

Sparkle, do you mind sharing info about the apartment you chose?

Christina Apr 27th, 2011 01:20 PM

I presume the market crefloors is referring to is on bd Edgar Quinet (roving market) which is a bit of a hike from Alesia. I wouldnt' bother going there for food and lugging it all the way back, there is plenty closer and rue Daguerre is a permanent market street, if you want that kind of thing rather than just a grocery store. It's the street running east-west just beyond the bottom of the cemetery (near place Denfert Rocherau). There are lots of shops on ave Leclerc, also. Of course, if you are to the east of Alesia metro stop, I don'tknow that area so well.

Shanti Apr 27th, 2011 02:00 PM

Add me to the list of people who like to stay in the 14th. I've stayed there both times I've been to Paris and like it, well, for all sorts of reasons that have already been listed.

How old are your kids? Parc Montsouris is a nice park at the southern end of the 14th.

sparkle422 May 12th, 2011 12:41 PM

We rented the apartment from Vacations in Paris. I'll try to post a link so everyone can see what it looks like. If it doesn't work, I'll give all the info. so others can see it.

Leely2 May 12th, 2011 12:54 PM

That looks very nice. Please come back and let us know how you liked the apartment and location after your holiday.

Christina May 12th, 2011 02:04 PM

It looks very nice. So it is on ave Gen Leclerc, that is a vvery busy street but at least it's 3 floors up, so that will help the noise. The location isn't quite as great as it could be given it is south of Alesia metro and closer to Porte d'Orleans, but there is nothing wrong with the area, just farther out.

Their description is amusing as they try to pretend they know French and write gibberish such as that this apt has "tous qu'il faut" which they translate as "all that you need."

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:54 PM.