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Where to Stay and transportation in Paris

Hello,

My husband and I are traveling to Paris for the first time. We are wondering the best ways to stay (hotel, Airbnb, BnB), and also where to stay. Our hopes are to go to the Effiel Tower and the Louvre Museum.

Any places to avoid in Paris?

What is the best way to get around in Paris?

Thank you

Posted by
123 posts

We personally like the Saint-Germain-des-Pres area. We normally stay at Artus Hotel on Rue de Buci. There are thousands of choices when it comes to hotels, Bnb, etc.

"Best" way to get around to us is the metro. We have the navigo decouverte card we reload every time we are in town. For some though, best would be by Taxi/uber. Just depends on your budget.

We will need to know a few more things to help: how long will you be in Paris? Budget?What time of year? Mobility issues?

Edit: Also, this is the section for reviews. You may get more responses in the France section for questions.
https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/france

Posted by
1094 posts

A good place to ask about Paris and lodging is on the Paris forum on Tripadvisor.com. All the queries there are specific to the city and surrounds. Lots of helpful experts there including locals with good advice.

Posted by
8889 posts

Best way to get around Paris:

  • Fastest: métro
  • To see things as you go, slower: bus, on foot
  • If you are made of money, still slower than the métro: taxi
  • No way, you just can't get around Paris this way: rented car
Posted by
407 posts

There are so many areas of Paris to see.....we will be seeing another part of it for the 4th time this spring. Don’t try to do and see too much....know you can go back and see more on future trips. On our first trip there we did all of the tourist sights.....we stayed in the Rue Cler area at Hotel Empereur. It was nice for a first visit to be in a community that had a local grocery, bakery, laundry and easy access to the metro. We walked a lot but depended on the metro to get all over Paris to see what we had on our “first visit” list. It was nice to get familiar with the city and get our bearings. We enjoyed researching the bakeries and finding places to eat local delicacies that were a must to try. We have also stayed at Hotel Lutece on the Ile St. Louis and the Westin Vendome near the Tuileries Gardens. We like the Ile St. Louis location the best because of its central location. David Lebovitz has a wonderful blog on Paris and its food that is very informative...you might want to read it. Have fun...its a marvelous city!

Posted by
10 posts

Thank you everyone! Super appreciate all the pointers, and the reminder to not try to see everything.

Posted by
106 posts

We love The Lenox Montparnasse Hotel on Rue de Lambre. If you book on the hotel’s website you can get breakfast included... well worth it. Full breakfast buffet with hot and cold items.. eggs, breads, fruits, juices, cheese, ham, bacon or sausage, etc.

Posted by
68 posts

The last 2 times I went to Paris I in the Rue Cler area recommended in RS guides. Loved the area (as you can guess by the fact I went back to the same area.) First time we stayed in a hotel and second an Airbnb apartment. I've decided I'm sticking with hotels outside the US. The random small bits of help, advice, etc. (like printing my boarding pass) you get from the hotel staff are what I want. Also making the meeting with the Airbnb manager on a time schedule and when you don't have cell phone capability is too much a hassle. I got an Airbnb with the idea we would save some money by eating in the apartment, but after all worrying about bringing the food in, cleaning the kitchen and all is not what I want to do on vacation--especially in Paris.

Rue Cler is a charming market street and a real neighborhood for Parisians not just tourists. It's busy/lively but not overcrowded. There is a small Carrefour grocery, others shops 3 bakeries, cafes, restaurants, bancomat, Metro entrance, and major bus routes all right there. It is quite close to the Eiffel Tour (make sure to book that ahead).

The best way to get around Paris is to walk. The city is beyond compare. I like buses for longer journeys as I like to see the city. Of course, the metro goes everywhere. Just grab your RS guide and pick the kind of neighborhood you prefer from his suggestions. Though Rue Cler will always be my 'home' in Paris.

Posted by
407 posts

Like Cindy I use hotels when we stay outside of America......my children all swear by VRBO and Airbnb but I like dealing with people at a desk and knowing it is their job to get my room clean and make sure I am happy. I have heard too many horror stories of bad instances where Airbnb expectations have not met up to your standards......managers not there to get you into your room late at night, owners staying next door in another room and making noise.......just like dealing with the hotel folks. Do make certain you make early reservations for the Eiffel Tower.....if you cannot get in when you want sign up for a tour and let that be your way in! We saw it at night when the lights come on.....it was magical!

Posted by
943 posts

We really enjoyed the Hotel des Grandes Ecoles in the Latin Quarter.

Posted by
3931 posts

I'm sticking with hotels outside the US. The random small bits of help, advice, etc. (like printing my boarding pass) you get from the hotel staff are what I want.

Cindy, I'm with you on this. I know lots of folks enjoy apartments and AirBnBs, but I like having someone handy to answer questions, share tips, and handle any problems that arise. I fell ill in Palermo, and the hotel arranged for a doctor to come. The next day when the doctor wanted me to go the the hospital, the hotel arranged a taxi and alerted the hospital.

On another trip, my DH had lost his billfold with credit and debit cards. The hotel in Haarlem bent over backwards to help us get in touch with the card providers as well as the place he thought he had lost it (Heathrow!)

Posted by
68 posts

@Jane, not that we plan around getting ill when traveling--but last summer in Poland one of my friends took a small trip down a staircase and twisted her ankle badly. The hotel in Warsaw was very kind and helpful to her (and she was traveling alone)--bringing food up from the restaurant, free run of the mini bar, help with taxis, etc. When you need a bit of assistance, having a hotel staff there to help is a welcome thing.

Posted by
11389 posts

Please note - many rental
Apartments are illegal ! Do not rent them - if there is no registration number it is illegal and since city is cracking down in the owners people have had their reservations cancelled last minute as owners get caught .

For a first time visit a hotel is a good idea anyways - and you are not missing out on the “ living like a local “ baloney - my relatives are locals and your 7 days in apartment is nothing like their lives -

Rue Cler is generic - there are many cute market streets in Paris - it is not unique or special . And worst of all , it is not very central to anything but the Eiffel Tower and it’s not like you’d be going there everyday .

The 4,5,and 6 th are my favourite recommendations for first timers - but there are some other great areas .

Posted by
23 posts

Both Hotel des Grande Ecoles in the Latin Quarter and Hotel Du Champ de Mars just of Rue Cler are wonderful.
We combine walking with the Metro (underground) as our main modes of transportation. The buses are good, however we have rarely used them in Paris.
I tend to agree with those that prefer a hotel to other options. After researching the actual total costs for alternatives verses an the actual cost of hotels, I have very generally found that the alternatives do not save enough money and are often as or more expensive.