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Where is the most centralized area to stay in Paris for sightseeing?

Where is the most centralized area to stay in Paris for sightseeing?

Jan 19th, 2012, 02:53 PM
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Where is the most centralized area to stay in Paris for sightseeing?

Bonjour Forum travel experts!
I'm so thankul to have stumbled upon this site.
I am a new 'traveler' who has always dreamed of visiting Paris. After 30 years of marriage I have convinced my husband to fly over the big pond. We're planning a trip in early June and I am feeling just a little overwhelmed with all of the available resources!
Therefore, I am seeking your expertise!
We are traveling with our 20 and 25 year old sons and would like to stay in a convenient area for quick access to all the must sees and dos! Reasonable accommodations would be nice. Would also love your input on organizingng sightseeing 'zones' for our 7 day stay. Any advice is greatly appreciated! Merci!
bucketlisttravels is offline  
Jan 19th, 2012, 03:03 PM
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Usually the 5th, 6th and 7th arrondissements are the most central to sights as are some other areas near the river. But...it depends on what sights you're planning to visit.

<< input on organizingng sightseeing 'zones' >>

I suggest getting a map of Paris and little post it flags and putting the flags on the sights you want to see. That way you will be able to see what places are near to each other and plan an itinerary that makes sense without needless zigzagging across the city.

Alternately, you can share your itinerary and folks here will help organize you. But nothing takes the place of a good map and a good guide book.
adrienne is offline  
Jan 19th, 2012, 03:10 PM
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Thank you Adrienne!
I will post our tentative itenerary soon.
Do you have any suggestions for accomodations near the Louvre and the Seine?
bucketlisttravels is offline  
Jan 19th, 2012, 03:25 PM
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These are the attractions which are currently on our list, which we have yet to finalize.

1. Musee d'Orsay
2. Louvre
3. Versailles
4. Eiffel Tower
5. Champs-Elysees
6. The Latin Quarter
7. Montmartre
8. St-Germain-des-Pres
9. Arc de Triomphe
10.Musee de l'Orangerie
11.Sainte-Chapelle Church
13.Luxembourg Gardens
14.Notre Dame Cathedral
15.Musee Rodin
16.Sacre Coeur Church (Sacred Heart Basilica of Montmartre
17.Jardin des Tuileries
18.Sidewalk cafes!
19.Night cruise on the Seine
20.Sidewalk artist's creations
bucketlisttravels is offline  
Jan 19th, 2012, 03:46 PM
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Since you will be travelling with your adult sons, you will probably need at least two hotel rooms. You might consider renting an apartment, rather than staying in a hotel. There are lots of threads on this Forum that discuss this, and it could save you money.

If nothing else, it is nice to have a small kitchen and living room so the family can gather in the evening to discuss the wonders you have seen.
nukesafe is offline  
Jan 19th, 2012, 04:27 PM
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Unfortunately, the numerous architects of Paris worked over many centuries building a city without any thought as to what 21st-century visitors might want to combine into a centralized visit. No one ever said "let's put it all right there so it will be easy for tourists." There are fascinating things to see in all corners of the city. Given your wish list, though, I would think that a place in the 6ème arrondissement would probably suit you best.

An apartment is a wonderful idea, but do know that as first-time visitors you wouldn't have the advantage of hotel staff to make recommendations for you; you'd be on your own to figure things out (which isn't hard if you do your research well).

Enjoy your trip!
StCirq is online now  
Jan 19th, 2012, 04:37 PM
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"REasonable" has no meaning in connection with lodging. You need to give us a nightly amount i $ or euros - and tell us if this is for 1 double room (I assume you will book 2 rooms - one for your adult sons). You should know that hotel rooms in europe are usually much smaller than in the US - and have one double bed - with not a while lot of extra floor room. You could look for a "family room" - but one that would hold 4 adults - and sharing a single bath - probably won;t cost a lot less then two doubles.

Also - it would help to know what you are expecting. Most hotels in paris are small, older (as in before 1900) even when updated. Modestly priced ones are likely to have shared baths, stairs instead of elevators and no air conditioning.

I would stay in the 5th or the Ile st Louis for a central location. But Paris is a big city and sights are spread out all over. You have the choice of using the Metro (inexpensive and easy) or walking many miles per day. (Not that you shouldn;t. Paris is a walking city - you really need to explore some of the quaint areas - and spend time sitting in a cafe sipping a glass of wine and watching the (very interesting) world go by.
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 19th, 2012, 05:42 PM
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Thank you for your input and information! I think I'll consider an apartment in the 5th or 6th arrondisements...especially traveling with two 6'2ft tall sons!
With transportation so convenient,I think these two areas will be perfect for our adventures and ideal for our first trip to Paris! Sidewalk cafes,city night lights, the Seine, the museums,the quaint neighborhood streets, the history...I just can't wait to experience it all! I'm going to invest in a detailed map and a fabulous guidebook. What a great adventure for our family, hopefully the first of many trips to such a wonderful city!
More questions to follow, I'm sure
bucketlisttravels is offline  
Jan 19th, 2012, 07:21 PM
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Since this is your first time to Paris I would begin with a free walking tour (give a good tip to the guide).


Some other good walking tours:


I like Streetwise maps. They're tri-fold and laminated and I can read them without my glasses!
adrienne is offline  
Jan 19th, 2012, 07:32 PM
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I have paid as little as 60 euros a night for a hotel in central PAris,, but mostly in 90-120 euros range, and I have never shared a bathroom or not had an elevator,, nytraveller when was last time you shared a bath in Paris, those days are gone.
justineparis is offline  
Jan 20th, 2012, 09:56 AM
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When I started planning my trip I had a "reasonable budget"of 75-100 $.so in doing some more reasearch and with help of this forum upped my budget 50$.Also was advised to go to Trip Advisor and entered my budget and made some choices for what I wanted to do and see.
tweezer is offline  
Jan 20th, 2012, 09:56 AM
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Sorry for the above post. I thought I hit preview to see if the map came up and submitted instead. This link is a map of paris with blue flags at each of the sites you listed above. It gives you a pretty good view of where everything (except versailles) is located in Paris.


I don't think I would consider the 5th "centrally located" to the sites you list, although the Luxembourg Gardens and the Latin Quarter are both in the 5th. All of your other favorites are away from the 5th. The 6th, 2nd, 8th or even the 3rd are all more centrally located. But I don't think you should get hung up on where you stay, the public transportation options in Paris make all single digit arrondissements "central".
apersuader65 is offline  
Jan 20th, 2012, 09:57 AM
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I think I'll consider an apartment in the 5th or 6th arrondisements...especially traveling with two 6'2ft tall sons!>>

great idea. if you will be arriving at CDG, and intend using the RER B line for travel into Paris, I suggest staying within walking distance of the St. Michel RER stop, as then you don't need to worry about changing metro lines. OTOH, with 4 of you, you might want to splash out on a taxi; the RER into Paris is now €9.10 and a cab is probably about €50 so there's not that much in it.

still ease of transport is a very valid consideration - you can end up walking for miles changing from one metro line to another through the "correspondences".

your plan to link sightseeing places together is a good one; the other thing to consider is timing - lots of places close on Mondays, [eg Musee d'Orsay] a few on Tuesdays [eg the Louvre] so make sure that a place you have timetabled is actually open that day.

you might like to search this forum for paris apartment recommendations.

good luck!
annhig is offline  
Jan 20th, 2012, 10:01 AM
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It is all a matter of preference...Paris is an easy city to get around in. The bus system is superb as is the Metro.

Since you are new to the city, take the buses so you can sightsee while getting to the next place. It will also help you learn your way around. You can use the same tickets on the Metro and the bus. Buy a few carnets of tickets at tabacs or at a Metro station (hang on to them until your ride is complete and then throw away the used ones so they don't get mixed up).

I love the 6th and find the area around the Odeon convenient to most attractions, transportation and there are lots of cafes around. It's Paris and you really can't go wrong.
denisea is offline  
Jan 20th, 2012, 10:18 AM
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The area around St Michel is convenient. We stayed at the hotel Notre Dame acroos street from RER entrance. I also stayed in the 5th at the chain hotel Timhotel Jardin des Plantes. One block from Seine, university area, and JdP across street. Bit more of a hike to the sites, but roman arena and market street nearby
Michel_Paris is offline  
Jan 20th, 2012, 06:04 PM
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I agree w/suggestion, an apartment's a great idea w/4 of you/sons, etc. Also not to get too hung up on being really close to all your desired sites. Some apts tout having on site managers who should be able to offer help/suggestions. Hotels are good too.
First you need a really good map, hopefully one that shows the sites, as well as Metro stations, AND ''metro station names'' listed on the map. Metro maps alone are very difficult to match up to street/site maps. You need to know which station to aim for by name.
I have a laminated map that has both: It's built into the back cover of my DK Eyewiness Guide-Paris, & could be torn free to carry w/out book. Laminated=important in the rain. Another choice, a smaller page laminated city map that folds out in multiple pages by districts. I've heard great things about Knopf City''map'' Guides, & just ordered one, although it skips some areas.
IMPORTANT HINT: I use different color pens to mark/prioritize my maps, & ''sharpie permanant markers'' would work on laminate.. HotPink for Must-Sees, Blue=Hopeful, Yellow=Of Interest.. Same marking system for Guidebooks..That makes it easy to look at an area, decide what you can fit in a day, or to use up some extra time nearby before a reservation.
Works for me, 33 Euro trips under my belt so far.
bitsy 1, Fullerton CA.
bitsy1 is offline  
Jan 20th, 2012, 06:21 PM
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You might enjoy Place des Vosges and the Marais, the Pompidou Museum, Ile St. Louis (have an ice cream at Berthillon).
Uma is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2012, 03:18 PM
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Merci! Your responses were so helpful!The input on HOHO,the RER,buses, taxis, and Arrondisements were all very informative...especially for a southern USA lady who has never experienced a Big city! The details can be a little overwhelming but I know it will be a fabulous trip and chance of a lifetime. It really doesn't matter where we stay because after all, with the convenient transportation options we'll easily be able to experience life in the City of Lights...Accommodation location won't be a problem at all. Just need a clean room with clean bedding! Thank you for all of your expertise and valued opinions. I'll be back for more Bonjour!
bucketlisttravels is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2012, 02:11 AM
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Hi Bucket: I put together a list of Paris apartment websites which are categorized by price. Some others added to the list in their posts. You can either search by my name or Paris apt websites. Good luck. You are sure to have so much fun.
CYESQ is offline  

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