Staying in the Montmartre


Feb 21st, 2015, 02:53 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2012
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Staying in the Montmartre

Only a couple of weeks until our next big adventure begins and I'm still procrastinating over accommodation in Paris.
A friend has suggested we stay in the Montmartre and there are a couple of studio apartment hotels that are well within our budget and look comfy enough for my husband, 11 yr old son & me. I'm just a bit wary that some of the reviews suggest the area is a bit 'seedy'.
Is this a real concern ? Given that we are traveling with our son, I doubt we'll be out very late at night.
The alternative is to pay more ( a little daunting as I watch the Aussie $ continue to plummet!) and stay in the Marais or to go to another area like Montparnasse.
I think I'm beginning to over think my choices......
Kwaussie is offline  
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Feb 21st, 2015, 03:03 PM
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True that some areas around Abbesse metro area or the next metro stop down towards Pigalle, for example, might be considered seedy. While I like visiting Montmartre in the day, I don't feel comfortable being there at night. My biggest reason for never staying there is because it's not particularly well set up with easy access metro/bus stops.

You might look into what the 5th and 6th have to offer in the way of budget hotels. We like hotel St. Andre des Arts on the street of the same name (not to be confused with Hotel des Arts). They have a room for just over 100 euros/night for a triple (single bed as you enter room with a door separating the main double bed room & its bathroom...right at the top of the 1st floor landing) that includes breakfast.
klondike is offline  
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Feb 21st, 2015, 04:19 PM
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some parts are a little seedy, what is your concern about your son? Are you afraid he will see something he shouldn't or are you afraid he or you will be physically attacked? I wouldn't worry about the latter (but I wouldn't be running around some parts of Montmarte alone late at night, either). Some parts of it are not particular attractive, which is true of any seedy area in a big city. I suppose there are some sex-related storefronts around, there are some not too far from where I stay in Montparnasse, actually, but there are some blocks away and I don't go in that area -- not because I'm afraid but I have no reason to.

I just don't get why you even want to stay there. Some parts of Montmartre are more pleasant and residential, but I bet that isn't where you found a hotel. It isn't that convenient a location, either.

I'm sure you could find as cheap a hotel elsewhere. FYI, the "adult entertainment" area in Montparnasse is rue de la Gaite, in-between Edgar Quinet and Gaite metro stops. So if your other choice is a cheap hotel on that street, not a good idea. I usually stay in Montparnasse and love it, but I don't stay on that street.

You know, the Montmartre area is quite large, I think it's somewhat inconvenient anyway for a newbie tourist (if you had been to Paris a lot and wanted to stay there for a change, it would make sense). It sounds like you've never been there. And it wouldn't even be as bad in good weather or summer, but you are talking about staying up on that hill in winter, so your treks to other places will be longer. Why don't you say where this apt is you like so much, so someone can give more pointed advice as to location.

There are tons of places to stay in Paris other than the Marais, of course.
Christina is offline  
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Feb 21st, 2015, 04:33 PM
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I think other areas would be much more convenient for you to stay than Montmartre. What is it about this area that your friend likes? I would look at the Marais or the 5th or 6th or any area closer to the Seine as you will be spending most of your days likely near there. Montmartre is OK but really a bit out of the way of most sights and some areas are seedy. Why stay there if you have other options?
KTtravel is offline  
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Feb 21st, 2015, 06:59 PM
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Thanks, that's really helpful. I haven't been to Paris before and so was basing my recommendation on the opinion of someone who had. It's so hard to decide from so far away!
I think it will make much more sense for us to stay closer to the city with easy access to transport
Kwaussie is offline  
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Feb 21st, 2015, 08:00 PM
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We stayed in Montmartre for a month in 2013, near the top, and didn't find it "seedy." The "seedy" parts are farther down the hill, to the south and east, along Blvds Clichy, Rochechouart, and Barbès, especially late at night. The Rue Caulaincourt area, down the hill to the north and west, is actually pretty nice. Admittedly, the Montmartre area is a bit out the way, and, if you're towards the top, as we were, walking up and down (with groceries) can get tiresome (unless one takes the Montmartre bus). For a first time visit to Paris, I agree with the others who have recommended you stay in the Marais or in one of the arrondissements on the left bank, if you can find a place there at this late date.
billandcindy is offline  
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Feb 22nd, 2015, 09:50 AM
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There are at least half a dozen -- probably more -- different "experiences" that one can have in Parisian neighborhoods. There's the quaint old village (Montmartre), the medieval yet hip (Marais), the elegant architecture (Champs Elysées, Opéra, République, all of the Haussmannian boulevards), the former bohemian but now just "bobo" (Saint Germain des Prés), ethnic Paris (Belleville, Ménilmontant, Tolbiac...), decent working class (Jules Joffrin, Plaisance, Nation...), staid and rich (7th, 16th arrondissements) and even ordinary "nothing special about it" Paris. Each type of Paris has its fans -- for chic-ness, for budgetary reasons, for exoticism, for history, for hype, for bling... Just about every sort of Paris that you can imagine is out there, so you only need to think about what sort of experience you would like.
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