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Which arrondissement in Paris for first trip, and why

Which arrondissement in Paris for first trip, and why

Old Nov 14th, 2003, 11:42 AM
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Which arrondissement in Paris for first trip, and why

A girlfriend and I are plannig a trip to Paris next late Sept. We are in our 40's, occasionally feel like 21, well past backpacking and disco days, and want a little quiet and a lot of charm in our hotel. I've done some reading about Paris neighbourhoods and am a little overwhelmed - so many appeal, such as St. German-des-Pres and Ille St. Louis. Our budget tops out at E 150. Any suggestions as to arrondissements and/or, even better, specific hotels? Merci.
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Old Nov 14th, 2003, 12:24 PM
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www.webscapades.com/france/paris/paris.htm limited hotel selection, good descriptions of arrondissements

a better one is at http://www.concierge.com/paris/resou...hborhoodguide/


The single-digit arrondissements are the most centrally located, and among those I would say the most popular areas to stay in are the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th. The Right Bank in general has more modern buildings and wide-open avenues, like the Champs Elysees. The Left Bank is more charming, more residential in its central area, more students, more like Greenwich Village or Soho if you know New York City. Its streets are mostly narrow, and they don?t run in straight lines. There are more bargains in shopping and restaurants and hotels to be found within walking distance.

The 1st is on the right bank and is very central. I have most often stayed in the 1st and I like it for its walking proximity to the Louvre and Place de la Concorde where I can catch a metro to anywhere else. The disadvantage of the 1st imo is that there are fewer budget or moderately-priced restaurants than in some other areas. But I happily go all over Paris to eat!

The 3rd-4th is also right bank but looks very different because Ile St Louis and the Marais section are two of the oldest areas in Paris. Very old-world looking with charming streets and shops. Less touristed. Slightly less convenient in metro terms, but on the other hand walking distance to Notre Dame,
The 5th is left bank, heart of the Latin Quarter because the Sorbonne is there. Lots of budget choices in hotels and cafes. A youthful, busy, congested atmosphere.

The 6th also has some charming, narrow streets and buildings, but some would say that on many streets its old world charm has given way to expensive and trendy shopping. It is very convenient in terms of metro, and walking even to right bank locations like Notre Dame and the Louvre (which would be healthy walks). The 6th is a very popular area to stay in, both for the economy-minded, and also those who like small upscale boutique hotels. Rue de Buci has great food shopping if you?re looking to picnic, even in your hotel room, but bring your own paper plates and utensils.

Many people like staying in the 7th; I don't especially because imo it is too quiet at night but for some that can be considered an advantage. Rue Cler has great food shopping during the day.

I have a long file on Paris; if you'd like to see it, email me at
[email protected]

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Old Nov 14th, 2003, 12:35 PM
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Elaine, how well you know Paris !!

I just returned a week ago from Paris and we stayed in St. Germain des Prés; loved the location, it is also walking distance to Musée d'Orsay and close to Pont Neuf across of which is La Samaritaine, great department store.
I plan to return and stay in that arrondissement in the future..... I had my coffee close to Buci every morning and I never felt like a tourist in that area during the day; I experienced the hustle and bustle of early morning parisians going to work.
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Old Nov 14th, 2003, 12:50 PM
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Wonderful advice, Elaine and Mitch/Desi. Thank you.
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Old Nov 14th, 2003, 12:57 PM
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BowenLinda--I picked a hotel on Rue Jacob in the 6th because like you I wanted a little quiet and a lot of charm, but I didn't want to be far away from activity when my inner 20 something surfaced (my outer person is over twice that age). Most of my younger and somewhat hiper friends stay in the Marais, but I really liked the 6th near the Seine.
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Old Nov 14th, 2003, 01:03 PM
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We also love the 6th and stay there always. Our favorite hotel is the Hotel des Sts.-Peres on the Rue des Sts-Peres, very close to the Blvd St Germaine which should be close to your price range. Our favorite cafe in the neighborhood is the Cafe Bonaparte. The 6th is so centrally located and so full of things to see and so much to do within walking distance and the ambience is just right for us - lively at night but not noisy, especially on the side streets.
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Old Nov 14th, 2003, 01:26 PM
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Hi mamc,

Hope you didn't take my little joke as seriously as grasshopper did.
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Old Nov 14th, 2003, 01:31 PM
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Hi BL,

elaine has given you a very good description of the districts of Paris.

My wife and I always stay at the Hotel Bonaparte, 61 Rue Bonaparte, in the 6th. Doubles are 115E w/bkfst.

See http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34415371
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Old Nov 14th, 2003, 02:01 PM
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ira, do you have any special rooms you try to reserve there? Any to stay away from? I'd like to leave my usual sheet of half inch plywood at home - are the beds pretty firm? Remember, we're talking xx-large here.
 
Old Nov 14th, 2003, 02:13 PM
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Hi Degas,

I have back trouble, too, and have had no problem with the beds.
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Old Nov 14th, 2003, 03:24 PM
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Elaine's file on Paris is great (thanks again, Elaine). Funny side-story...having never downloaded somebody else's file before and in a hurry packing for departure I told my husband to "just go ahead and print it for me"...EIGHTY pages and an ink cartridge later...we got a laugh out of it. From now on I LOOK first!

I'm in my forties and my husband just turned a "young" sixty. We really like St. Germain area. Can't beat it for convenience and ambiance and if there are some other tourists around, oh well. Most were not Americans when we were there this fall...lots of Spanish speaking and German speaking folks it seemed.
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Old Nov 14th, 2003, 04:08 PM
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We like the 5th. We stayed at the Best Western Jardin du Cluny (near the Cluny Museum). (The back rooms are much nicer than those in the front.) It's not a fancy hotel but it's quiet and comfortable.
Lots of places to eat on nearby Rue Mouffetard. Also, the 5th is very convenient to the Ile de la Cite (Notre Dame et al).
I like the area because it's comfortable and not "fancy" (we're California casual types).
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Old Nov 14th, 2003, 06:25 PM
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Thanks everyone for your great suggestions. I've got some fun investigating to do, and am counting the days til I'm in Paris!
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Old Apr 3rd, 2005, 09:41 AM
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If you want a lot of charm, stay at the Duc de St. Simon in the 7th. Very conveniently located to St. German-des-Pres.
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Old Apr 4th, 2005, 12:42 AM
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I personally love the V and VI arrondissements (I used to live in the VI) I have a hotel list, which I have to find for 3 star hotels at a decent price in the Saint Germain des Prés area and the left bank. The left bank has really good subway and bus access and its less touristy than the right bank.
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Old Apr 4th, 2005, 03:57 AM
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I wouldn't say the Rive Gauche is 'less touristy' than the Rive Droit...
I would say arrondissements 10-20 are less touristy than 1-9.
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Old Apr 4th, 2005, 06:18 AM
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Hi BowenLinda,
I am heading for Paris late September to meet up with two family friends who have never travelled anywhere - let alone PARIS!
We are thinking about flinging those long French windows open every morning and stepping out onto our very own little balcony with the lady herself Ms. Eiffel taking up some of our view!
A hotel which meets our requirements seems to be the Hotel Duquesne, 23 Ave., Duquesne. Twin Rooms vary in price from about 140E up to 165E.
Another choice could be the Derby Eiffel, 5 Ave., Duquesne, which boasts "every room has a view". Twin room 149E.
This is where we have started to look because of Rue Cler, Eiffel Tower view,
Trocadero, River trips and open top bus nearby and all very walkable. The Metro stop is also very near.
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Old Apr 4th, 2005, 06:28 AM
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I would place the Duquesne before the Derby, based on Tripadvisor reviews...

did you know there are lots of photos of the Duquesne on parisby.com ?
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Old Apr 4th, 2005, 09:57 AM
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Travelnut - Thanks a mil. I will check it out but so far have seen photos on Venere.com which impressed me. The Duquesne did look the better of the two.
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