Which Area to Stay in Paris?

Apr 20th, 2000, 12:04 AM
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Which Area to Stay in Paris?

I got so many kind replies to my question on what is a wonderful Paris hotel, but people asked which area I wanted to be in. Latin Quarter, Marais, etc.? As a first time tourist, I'm not sure. I want to be able to walk to as many sites as possible. I like old, character, sidewalk cafes, small shops, etc. Don't like swarms of tourists, overtly modern, etc. I will do more reading and research before I go in June, but was wondering what the consensus is for the right AREA in Paris.
Apr 20th, 2000, 02:43 AM
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Everyone has an opinion on this for sure. I have been to Paris 5 times and am on my way again on monday. I have always preferred staying in the 6th/St. Germain des Pres area personally. I love the proximity to many museums like the Louvre, D'Orsay, Rodin,Cluny,etc. I love the street cafes, markets on the rue du Buci, great little restaurants,people watching etc. It is a little more artsy than the very posh 1st and 8th. I am not dissing those areas it is just that the 6th and somewhat the 5th are more lively in a parisien way. More down to earth maybe. There are a number of well priced hotels that are in superb locations to get almost anywhere on foor or one the metro and are clos to the seine that you can just walk across one of the bridges and be at the louvre, jardins des tuilleries or Notre Dame.I discover more and more each time I visit and my favorite thing to do is just sttart walking around.I have discovered many things just walking the streets with my little map for sure.Where we are staaying this visit we will be able to walk all over the 7th as well as the 5th and 6th very comfortably and I plan to walk all around the 1st and 2nd also.You can email me if you want more info. It will be certainly interesting to see what everyone else has to say on the subject!Have a wonderful trip.
Apr 20th, 2000, 04:49 AM
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I would recommend the Marais/Bastille area.I did it recently to a British friend of mine, and she was perfectly happy. It's a very Parisian, reasonably hip neighborhood, very central, lots of metro connections. The left bank is OK, but the 5th is tourist hell - you'll hear more Italian and English spoken than French - and some areas can be a little dangerous at night (the only time I got mugged in Paris was at the Saint Michel metro). And if you want cafes and street markets, you'll be spoilt in Bastille !
Apr 20th, 2000, 04:53 AM
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Rick Steves recommends the Rue Cler area and his guidebooks cite several hotels. I have not stayed in this area, but I have walked through it. It seems to be what you are seeking. You may be able to find information on the Rick Steves web site. I have been in Paris several times and stayed in several different areas. The area around the Eiffel Tower is another area that may appeal to you. You would not like the hotels where I have stayed because they are large and modern. Last year I stayed at the Paris Suffern near the Eiffel Tower which is very convenient to all sites and to the Metro and RER. Even though you probably would not like this large hotel, the area around it is charming. I loved it.
Apr 20th, 2000, 04:57 AM
Bob Brown
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Hi Sheryl. I am not sure there is an answer to your question. There are going to be as many different notions as there are responders probably.
But over the last two years the consensus of opinion seems to cluster around the 7th because it is close to the Hotel Invalides and the Eifel Tower; the 6th because it is a lively area, the 5th because of the university and other attractions, the Marais, somewhere on the Isle St. Louis, the 8th, the 1st, the 2nd, etc. Even the 14th, 15th, and 16th have their adherents even if they are far out. I am staying in a hotel that is technically in the 14th,but is just off of Boulevard Montparnasse and is close to the Montparnasse Tower and train station. Some like the 7th because of its relatively residential nature; others say don't go there for the same reason. It is easy to get around Paris, so take your pick.
About the only areas I was told not to stay in tend to be on the east side - 12 I think was one and 20. Personally, I would not want to stay in the Montmartre area, but others say it is alive and active.
Apr 20th, 2000, 06:49 AM
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I also like to stay on the Left Bank in the 6th which I find much livelier than the 7th in the evenings. The 7th is truly a residential area and pretty much shuts down at night, except for the restaurants, of course. The 6th has lots of sidewalk cafes, etc. and really jumps after dark. I would pay attention to Vincent's suggestion, however, as he's a vrai Francais and knows whereof he speaks. I may follow his advice the next time I'm in Paris.
Apr 20th, 2000, 08:27 AM
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For a first-timer to Paris, the areas mentioned (Marais/Bastille, 7th near the Eiffel Tower, the 5th/6th near the river) are great - in the midst of all the things to do/see, lots of restaurants and cafes, convenient metro/bus stops. It's my thing, but I like to be close enough to Notre Dame to wake up and see it in early morning light, so I stay near the Boul'Mich and quai Grands Augustins.

Apr 20th, 2000, 08:40 AM
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The 4th is wonderful. We've stayed twice on the Ile St. Louis and were able to explore the Marais and Bastille areas. The energy on the Rue St. Antoine at twilight is incredible - cafes, shops, chickens roasting outside the butcher shop, and drooling at the food in the Flo Prestige window.

We've also enjoyed staying in the 7th - definitely quieter that the 4th - but the Rue St. Dominique and Rue Cler are charming. It also makes it very easy to take an evening stroll to the Eiffel Tower and see those lovely twinkling lights that have been there since New Year's Eve.
Apr 20th, 2000, 10:52 AM
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Sheryl -

I've only been to Paris twice but agree with much of the above.

Both times we stayed in the 5th which, as Vincent Says, has lots of tourists. However, that's part of what is interesting at times. Watching everyone struggle with the language, cultural differences, etc.

However, on our next we will try the 6th. We've walked through many times and it is very charming. Rue du Buci market is great.

If I were to recommend something to you based on my only slightly advanced experience, I would say the 6th. IMO, the 7th is much too quiet at night. Downright boring except for the Eiffel Tower but you probably won't want to stand there looking at it all night, every night. And I went to the Bastille area but not at night so I can't really speak to it. However, I do know the 6th has a much less "touristy" feel than the nearby 5th but still hums with activity day and night. My aunt has stayed in the 6th a few times and she loves it.

Good luck!
Apr 20th, 2000, 11:27 AM
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My vote is for the 4th (Marais), hands down, especially for old, character and small shops (you'll think you've died and gone to heaven on the Rue des Francs Bourgeois and I'm not even that much of a shopper). And walking through the Places des Vosges, especially at night when it's quiet, just puts me into a blissful fog, imagining all the royalty and intrigues that spot has seen. I've stayed all over Paris, and that's where I go back now, again and again. If I HAD to stay somewhere else, then the 6th. I agree that the 5th is too touristed and the 7th too quiet. But heck, it's all Paris--you'll love it no matter where you stay!
Apr 20th, 2000, 02:33 PM
julia wells
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Having been to Paris many, many times there is clearly only one location and hotel to stay in. The Hotel Sacre Coeur Roma at the foot of Montmartre (that's the artists' quarter) it offers many interesting walks and shops. The hotel is only four hundred francs per night including breakfast and allows you to access all parts of Paris easily. I stay at this hotel twice per year and have done so for the last ten years and have yet to be disappointed. Have a great time.
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