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Varying from routine in Paris

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Jan 24th, 2013, 08:58 AM
  #1
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Varying from routine in Paris

Any advice about staying on Ile Saint Louis in Paris? We have stayed many times in the St. Germain area - either the 6th or the very edge of the 7th, and we love it there. We are early 50s, semi-regular travellers. Heading back this summer, and feeling a slight urge to stray and stay on Ile Saint Louis - BUT - will we regret it? Are there tons more tourists? Is it as upscale and nice? Will it feel out of the way? We are such creatures of habit, but is it time to broaden our footprint? We are open to candid opinions about Ile Saint Louis - good and bad - thank you~
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Jan 24th, 2013, 09:24 AM
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Have you ever BEEN ON it? I cannot imagine that you have if you are asking questions about whether or not it is "upscale" and so forth but perhaps I am misinterpreting your questions.

There aren't as many hotels and certainly not the variety of establishments to choose from you have probably been used to.

My basic question is why would you want to? Are you dissatisfied with where you have been or is this simply a matter of wanting to do something different? And really, how different is it from where you usually stay?
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Jan 24th, 2013, 09:40 AM
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We stayed at this place on the Isle a couple of years ago. http://www.vrbo.com/171773 The place is only a short block and a half from Notre Dame (You can hear the bells) but the tourist crush is not so bad when you are only a block off the main cross streets. Obviously it is a mad mob scene right by the church, and the bridge over to the Isle St. Louis, but you have been there so you know how that can be; exciting, but packed.

The disadvantages are that the nearest grocery is a good walk away, either over to St. Louis, or across the bridges to either the right or left banks. At night the place is deserted, except for the few restaurants on the island.

We stayed there primarily because we were travelling with a newbie couple who wanted to be "in the center of things". Though it was enjoyable (It's Paris!)I don't think we would stay there again, though, as we have now started renting in the double digit arrondissements; the 11th last time. We find it a lot more lively to be where the real Parisians live.
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Jan 24th, 2013, 09:45 AM
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I"m also very surprised if you've been in Paris before that you've never been on that island. If that is true, which is appears to be, yes, I think you should stay in another neighborhood and see something of Paris.

it is certainly upscale, no need to worry that you will sully yourself wandering out of upscale St Germain. But there aren't as many hotels to choose from.
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Jan 24th, 2013, 09:48 AM
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I would think it's a great place to stay.

<< Are there tons more tourists >>

More than the 6th & 7th? You have to be kidding. The answer is no.

<< Will it feel out of the way >>

Perhaps you're thinking of some place else, not the Ile-St-Louis. It couldn't possibly feel out of the way since it's right in the heart of Paris.

<< is it time to broaden our footprint >>

IMHO You're not broadening your horizons by staying on the Ile-St-Louis. Perhaps if you were asking about staying at the southern end of the 14th or the northern end of the 18th you would definitely be doing something different. This is quite main stream.

If you're at all hesitant then go back to your familiar places and walk over to the island and see what it's all about and stay there on a subsequent visit if it suits you.
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Jan 24th, 2013, 09:48 AM
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You haven't been there? I thought just about everyone who visited Paris ended up there at some point. Anyway, I wouldn't stay there. It's a small, tourist-packed, expensive venue. You have a zillion choices of places to stay in Paris - that would be really, really far down on my list, though I occasionally like to wander over there for about 15 minutes.
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Jan 24th, 2013, 09:58 AM
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Check for a recent thread just about this topic and many many folks who have stayed there raved about it - some friends of mine just did and loved it - a quiet oasis right in the heart of Paris - can walk to so many famous sights - Notre-Dame, the Louvre, Latin Quarter, etc. And though quiet just a few blocks north off the island is a vibrant shopping district with everything you'll need.
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Jan 24th, 2013, 10:03 AM
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It's hardly "a quiet oasis." Quite the opposite. It's teeming with tourists and busy and noisy. Have you even been there?
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Jan 24th, 2013, 10:04 AM
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50% of the apartments on Ile Saint Louis are tourist apartments. That is total poison to me, but I am not a tourist.
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Jan 24th, 2013, 10:04 AM
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http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractio...de_France.html

Trip Advisor has 311 reviews and 207 rate staying there and their hotel as "excellent" - 93 "very good" and only one "average" - so this says the folks that actually have stayed there are extremely satisfied with doing so.

As for being packed with tourists I have walked around it a lot and my impression is completely to the contrary - I saw few people in general and very few tourists - now the folks who do stay on this island are mostly tourists but to call it tourist-packed is IME at least just not right - Paris as a whole is tourist packed - most venues much much more than I've ever seen here - for one reason why would it be tourist packed - there is nothing really to see on this small island other than the island and its old buildings itself - no reason for any tourist to linger here.
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Jan 24th, 2013, 10:20 AM
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That's why I can't even imagine wanting to stay on the island.

29 million tourists in Paris last year.
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Jan 24th, 2013, 10:27 AM
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The lines at Berthillon alone are daunting. The entire place, except in really low season, is packed, PACKED, with tourists. It's like the rue Cler (which I have no objection to, as I like some of the vendors there). What Trip Advisor says is irrelevant to me - I go on personal experience. I almost always wander over to the Ile St-Louis when I'm in Paris, which is frequently, and I would never consider staying there, ever.

There is EVERY reason for tourists to linger there - every overpriced go-to chain store imaginable (think Olivier), Berthillon, you name it. Plus the band that sings and dances on the bridge. Every single contrived notion of Paris packed into one small island that of course is also pretty and historic, a gentrified come-on.

Half the people "living" there are tourists.
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Jan 24th, 2013, 10:33 AM
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I'll just address your "broaden our footprint" comment. No, not in the least - it's in the 4th arrondissement!

There are hundreds of threads on this Forum on which area to stay in Paris. I'd start with a search of those and see what appeals.
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Jan 24th, 2013, 10:39 AM
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I have a friend with whom I return to Paris often. This may sound silly to some, but at breakfast, we pull out our "deck of cards" which is really the Paris Walks cards. I think there are 50 choices. We shuffle them, pull out a few, and take off to explore new areas. We don't always stick to the route on the cards and we always experience something new.

I'm just thinking that perhaps a good option for you would be to stay in the area you know and explore new places each day.
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Jan 24th, 2013, 11:45 AM
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Just to be clear, the OP is asking about Ile Saint Louis, not to be confused with
Ile de la Cite, home to Notre Dame,

The two islands are connected by bridge work.

I've only been a few times, but thought Ile Saint Louis very quiet.
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Jan 24th, 2013, 11:54 AM
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I strongly doubt that anyone posting so far is confused about the 2 islands.
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Jan 24th, 2013, 11:58 AM
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I stand corrected - except for nukesafe who has confused the islands.
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Jan 24th, 2013, 01:20 PM
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Thank you one and all for your candid responses - both bitter and sweet. I really think we haven't been on the island, which is why I value all of these "boots-on-the-ground" replies. YankyGal and adrienne both give me confidence that the 4th is hardly the hinterlands of the city. Thank you for that encouragement! PalenQ gives a thorough, balanced analysis - and I am grateful for the live link as well. paris1953 offers a reasonable approach - stay where I know, and fan out each day; adrienne suggested something similar. Christina flat out said YES - try something new! These are such thoughtful considerations, THANK YOU for giving me additional ideas and guidance. StCirq and kerouac, your strong negative opinions were also welcome - I wanted both sides of the story so I can have a variety of positions to consider, but I notice you didn't offer advice or options.
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Jan 24th, 2013, 01:33 PM
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StCirq and kerouac - what would YOU do?
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Jan 24th, 2013, 01:35 PM
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VictoriaRose

i think that i might want to strike out a bit further - what about staying in the Marais, or Montparnasse, or Montmartre? - you don't have to go that far to get a different view and a different feel. Personally I feel that the Isle St. Louis might be too busy in the daytime and too quiet at night, but it may suit you of course.

in recent years we've stayed near the gare du nord [not my favourite], in the 1st, [liked that, so convenient] near the Luxembourg gardens [nice but i got fed up with walking up and down that darn hill] and just off the Place St. Michel. [favourite so far]. Each time we get a different perspective and get to know a new neighbourhood. Next time I've got my eye on somewhere near the rue Cler in the 7th.

I can see the attraction of staying in the same place, and of course if one were living in Paris, there would be the opportunity to explore a great deal more. as it is not given to us to get everything we want, by moving around we can learn more about it that way.
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