Where to stay in Paris

Old Jan 18th, 2004, 01:29 PM
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Where to stay in Paris

We are going to Paris in September and have been getting different adivce on where to stay. Any ideas as to whether the Marais area or the Rue Cler area would be better for the first time visitor? We will be spending 4 nights in the city and would like to explore the city ans surrounding areas. The only requirements for a hotel is clean, safe, near metro, and helpful staff.
Thanks!
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Old Jan 18th, 2004, 01:40 PM
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Well, thanks to Rick Steves, Rue Cler is a bit crowded but is still atmospheric. The Marais is becoming more and more popular and is also a good place to stay. For a first time visitor, either area would be completely acceptable. Go to www.ParisHotels.com for a good selection of hotels in all areas.

I'd probably opt for the Marais on this trip if I were you. However, if you go in late September the crowds around Rue Cler will probably be a lot thinner, too. And if you are there at that time, you'll enjoy the neighborhood feeling of rue Cler a bit more. With the Paris metro, no place is more than a short walk or a short metro ride away. Having said all that, I will also say that my motto is "where you stay is less important than where you go." I think that applies as long as you stay in any safe area, and both are as safe as any in Paris. Good luck.
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Old Jan 18th, 2004, 01:52 PM
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These two neighborhoods are very different, though both have nice hotels. To me the Marais is hipper, livelier and more like LA. Rue Cler is a lovely old style neighborhood, you could compare it to Boston I guess. Rue Cler is closer to Les Invalides, and Eifel Tower. The Marais has some interesting shopping and is the historically Jewish quarter. It is near the Centre Pompidou and the center of Paris. The Picasso Museum is in the Marais.

Paris is unlike most American cities in that it is easy to get from one place to another using convenient and cheap public transportation so either will be a convenient place to be.
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Old Jan 18th, 2004, 02:19 PM
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I think you could get 40 opinions, all valid, on where to stay in Paris.
It all depends on what you want. To me the hotel comes first, then I worry about where I am going.
We seem locked into certain "gotta go there" type of anwers that tout one location over another.

I would not say myself because I have a very limited sample of 4 or so places in Paris.
Given the dozens of good, small hotels, in at least 5 different arrondiseements, I don't see how any small-sample answer can be authoritative.
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Old Jan 18th, 2004, 02:27 PM
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What do you want to see and do while in Paris? The answer to that question will help you narrow your choice of neighborhoods so as to spend the least time getting to the sights that interest you. Both the 6th and 1st arrondissements are close to the major museums and somewhat to the primary shopping venues, for example. In 4 days you can barely scratch the surface of central Paris; I wouldn't plan on seeing much of the surrounding areas this trip. What's your hotel budget?
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Old Jan 18th, 2004, 07:29 PM
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Bob Brown is certainly right when he says that most opinions (which are the small samples) aren't worth much. On the other hand, as he also says, there are so many choices available. And the only way to get a bigger sample is to spend the time combing the travel guidebooks, researching on this forum, and reading travel magazines. Regardless of the fact that individual personal opinions might not carry much weight, I still believe they are better than just throwing a dart. And if the person offering an opinion has personal experience with even just a few places, his/her recommendation is probably better than drawing a choice from a book.

By the way, there is another thread on this forum that mentions the Marais as a gay area, in addition to its being considered a Jewish quarter. If either of those things bothers you for some reason, then by all means stay elsewhere. I have personally never had an unpleasant experience in the Marais or in the Rue Cler area, unless crowds in the middle of the summer could be considered unpleasant. Pick a good hotel in either place and you won't be disappointed. Good luck.
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Old Jan 19th, 2004, 01:12 PM
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We stayed in the Marais, but too far North, near the Conservatoire des Arts et Metiers, and it was a pleasant neighborhood, but quite a walk from the areas near the Seine, so we didn't get to go there as often as we had hoped, such as for an evening stroll. In retrospect, I would have preferred being in the 4Arr, rather than the 3Arr, just to save some walking. My suggestion to you would be to get a map, highlight the places you will definitely want to see, and find a neighborhood that is most convenient to those sites. Don't forget that any site that is far from your apartment is probably easily reached by Metro.
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Old Jan 19th, 2004, 01:21 PM
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All of Paris is pretty special, but I've never understood the fascination for the rather dull and dead Rue Cler area, except it does have a nice market. Go for the Marais!
 
Old Jan 19th, 2004, 03:30 PM
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We love the Marais. We love Hotel de la Bretonnerie. Spacious rooms...affordable...close to restaurants and museums and bars.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2004, 10:40 AM
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My wife and I have been there 2 times in the last couple years and have stayed in the 6th. If you want to check out our last hotel it was the Hotel Pas de Calais- right off Blvd. St Germaine and close to Metro but, then again, most hotels are close to a Metro stop. Wherever you stay makes no difference. It is easy to get around town!
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Old Jan 22nd, 2004, 01:30 PM
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Oberost has a good point.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2004, 01:50 PM
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Where to stay is as individual as you are. There is a great website that lists all the arrond around Paris and the characteristics of each. Our first trip we stayed in the 7th and once we got there and went around the city we knew we had picked the right area for us. One of my husband's coworkers stayed in the 5th and it was just right for her and her interests. Remember, you are going to be visiting the whole city, and it is easy to go from one section to another. Keep in mind where you want to relax at night and unwind.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2004, 01:53 PM
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Opps - forgot to say I can't find the posts with the terrific arrond. website - if somebody else can find it, please help out. Sorry!
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Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 10:53 PM
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I debated over this issue as well. My husband and I stayed in the Marais during our 1st trip to Paris in 2000, and we stumbled upon the Hotel de la Turenne on Rue de Turenne. The hotel room was small, but clean and comfortable, and they were running a special. The staff was helpful too. We were close to the Metro, and walking distance from the Louvre and Pompidou. The Marais has cool shops and cafes. Very hip area. It was a great location, and we took in a ton of sights in 2 days.
I am returning to Paris this March with my mom for one week, and I have chosen the Rue Cler area. I've read and heard lots of good things, and I thought it would be nice to choose a different area as a home base. I've chosen the Hotel Muguet. Mom is just fired up to go to Paris, as this is her 1st trip to Europe. Again, we will be walking distance from some sites, like the Eiffel Tower, Les Invalides, and close to the Metro to get to other areas. We'll have shops and restaurants in the neighborhood as well.
I read some guidebooks, did searches here on the 2 areas, and considered how we want to spend our time. Proximity to a Metro station is key for exploration. Once I pinpointed the area, then I listed 3 hotels that were within my budget, looked at them more closely, contacted them, and made a selection. Hope this helps.
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Old Jan 24th, 2004, 05:09 AM
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My husband and I also plan to visit Paris for a week in late September to celebrate our 20th anniversary. We are late 40s early 50s. I have not been to Paris, he was once, as a student 30 years ago. I am trying to start with a hotel, but am suffering from some type of paralysis -- don't know where to start, and reading the postings on this site has me even more confused. Does anyone know what is the website that Donna is referring to that describes the Parisian arrondissements and their attractions? Although I cannot say that money is no object, we would be something a bit more upscale than "moderate," "comfortable" or "affordable."
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Old Jan 24th, 2004, 07:22 AM
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Hi Barbara,

For a start. click on www.venere.com. Click "Paris", click "Search".

You will get hotels listed from 4* down. Find a few that look interesting and come back for input.
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Old Jan 24th, 2004, 10:48 AM
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I don't know what website Donna is referring to, but there are several around on the web that are pretty good. One I think the best is www.jack-travel.com He gives excellent and thorough information on the various areas. Another one with a map and more capsule summaries of areas is this one:

http://www.parisnet.net/parismap.html

Most guidebooks (at least good ones) give you broad descriptions of the areas of Paris. I don't think trying to find a hotel and booking it is the best first step to plan a trip. I think getting one or more guidebooks and reading some of the basic parts on Paris is the best thing to do. You are going to need a guidebook, anyway. If you don't want to buy one right away, just go to your library and check out a few. I just think you are going in blindly to start with booking a hotel and there is plenty of time left so you don't need to do that yet. At least review some materials first and get some logistical idea of the city and where a hotel would be if you don't remember much about it.

September is a very busy hotel month in Paris, however, so you might want to start booking a hotel room in Spring to get the best selection.
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Old Jan 24th, 2004, 02:05 PM
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Yes, September is busy in September--book your hotel room ASAP before what you want is full up. You might check out the Hôtel Madison; it's in the 6th and right across from a métro station, with many restaurants and cafés near at hand. It's a 3* hotel that would be a 4* if it had expanded room service, I suspect--anyway, it's quite charming, the room rates include a lavish buffet breakfast. If you stay there, we might see you in September.
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Old Jan 25th, 2004, 12:17 AM
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hi heed,

I want to suggest a site that may help you decide if the hotel and/or neighborhood is right for you. I
bookmarked this site for research on what paris neighborhoods actually look like:

http://photos.pagesjaunes.fr/x/home_paris.htm

someone (who knows?) took photos of all of paris streets and businesses and put them together on this site. you can search any street address and come up with photos of that street and quickly navigate to other photos and streets in that neighborhood.

In 2001 when we went to paris we had been given a recommendation of a hotel off of victor hugo but could not find any info about the area except for the website. the hotel was "hotel du bois" on rue du dome. someone here gave me the site and told me to look up the address and I would be able to see the hotel and all the area around it. it was wonderful to be able to scope out the neighborhood. I wish london had a similiar site.

one caution though, remember that the photos have been taken over a period of several years and I am sure they are a couple of years old, so if the hotel has done any recent renovations that may not show. but you will be able to get a general idea of your neighborhood.

If you are staying in late september and the weather predictions are cool, I would recommend this hotel, but it is in the champs elysees area around the Arc.

We ended up staying at the hotel and it was wonderful. 3 star only because it did not have air,elevator or room service. double and or twin rooms were huge compared to most paris hotels and very tastefully decorated. I would not recommend the single rooms because they are quite small, but all other rooms are great.

I would recommend it, but september normally is still a "hot" month and I probably would not stay in a hotel without air, especially since last years heat wave in paris. this hotel was great in late october/november, or any cold/cool months, say oct-early may.

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Old Jan 26th, 2004, 06:09 AM
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I finally found some websites that list the different areas - they aren't as detailed as the one I was thinking of, but they may be of help: http://www.parisnet.net/parismap.html and http://www.frumious.demon.co.uk/paris3.html
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