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10 nights in Paris - May

I know it’s been over asked which area is best to stay in Paris. But, I’ve researched this forum, the most recent RS Paris book, as well as other books an blogs, and I’m still overwhelmed as I’ve never been to Paris. Honestly it all sounds amazing so maybe it doesn’t really matter. Im traveling May 4-14th 2020 (10 nights). I’m learning that as long as I’m close to metro I’ll be fine, but know I need to book soon. I’m a solo female traveler an I will be seeing most major museums but also just want to wander see different neighborhoods, eat my way through, and just enjoy the ambiance and architecture. So I’ve been drawn to either the Le Marais (looking at Hotel du Petite Moulin or Apartment at Roi De Sicile Collection) or Latin Quarter/St. Germain, or in the 2nd arr. (looking at Hotel Opéra Richepanse, Millesime Hôtel). I know that seems all over the place but really just looking for your opinion on place to be for my 10 days. Thanks in advance for your help!!

Posted by
194 posts

Highly recommend Hotel Diana, on rue St. Jacque in the 5th arr. I’ve stayed there often as a solo traveler — last May a single room was 98 euros. The location is fabulous — 5 minute walk to river, close to Luxembourg Gardens.
I can recommend some great food spots if you stay there, or nearby. Oh, but they may not have started taking reservations yet for May. Email them from hotel website and ask. Once rooms are available they go fast.

Posted by
904 posts

For my first time in Paris I specifically chose a hotel that was within walking distance to the Saint-Michel Metro/RER stop. At this stop you have Line 4 (North & South), RER-C (East & West-ish) & RER-B (North & South and direct line to CDG). Once I learned how to use the Metro lines I became more comfortable and now try to stay in a different location with each visit, but within a few blocks from a Metro stop.
Enjoy you trip.

Posted by
35 posts

Thanks so much for your quick responses. I know I’m probably overthinking things. Sounds like as long as I’m close to the metro I’ll be good. And to stay in the lower arr’s. Thanks again for the suggestions.

Posted by
31 posts

I'm staying at Hotel Diana in March as a solo traveler. Shelly, I'd love your restaurant recommendations! I'm not a fancy eater, and I don't drink, so a great wine list isn't necessary. So I guess ambiance is the most important for me :-)

Posted by
36 posts

Another recommendation for Hotel Diana! I stayed in late October as a solo female traveler. Excellent location, clean rooms, and very nice and helpful staff. Prices were less than I expected so I “splurged” on a double room to have a bigger bed and more room. Cost for this room was 130 euro/night.

Posted by
1526 posts

Also, I recommend the podcast Join Us In France. There is an episode where she talks about the vibe of the different Paris neighborhoods. We are joining a Rick Steves tour and will be staying in the 14tharr. Montparnasse. Podcast says it is a very French neighborhood, not touristy like some of the others. We shall see! I haven’t been to Paris for 36 yrs!

Posted by
655 posts

I would vote for the Marais or the Latin Quarter/St. Germain instead of the 2nd. Just an idea, and others may disagree, but you could split your time. Spend 5 nights in two different areas. That way you get a feel for two different neighborhoods. In November I spent 4 nights in the Marais at Hotel Jeanne d'arc, then went to Lyon, and then came back to spend another 4 nights in the St. Germain neigborhood at Hotel la Perle. I can recommend both hotels, and each neighborhood was beautiful and distinct!

Whatever you decide I'm confident you will have a wonderful time in my all time favorite city!!

Posted by
5700 posts

For a first trip I would do the Marais, Latin Quarter or St. Germain (4th,5th or 6th) near the river. they are beautiful and full of amenities and well connected by transport and by foot to most of the major tourist sites. The 14th east of Montparnasse station near Edgar Quinet and Vavin metro stops are another area we really like and yes, it is a tad less touristy than the first examples. First and second are too commercial for my tastes and filled with the unpleasant tourist tat I like to avoid.

Now that we have visited Paris numerous times we always stay in an outer arrondissement -- the l7th is our favorite and now we stay in the 13th as we borrow a friend's apartment, but on a first trip being central where you can stroll by the river at night and walk to the Louvre, Orsay, Tuilleries, Champs Elysses, Orangerie, Pompidou, Hotel deVille etc etc etc is IMHO best.

Posted by
3316 posts

Don't rule out staying in the absolute center of Paris on Ile St. Louis because you think the rates will be too high. At that time of the year you may find rates quite reasonable.

We stayed at Hotel des Deux-Iles and really enjoyed the location. It's quiet with friendly and helpful front desk personnel. Very well located -- cross the river and you will be in the Marais -- cross it the other way and you'll be in The Latin Quarter. Walk to the end of the island, cross the bridge, and you'll be close to Notre Dame -- such as it is now as some of the immediate area is closed off. The Metro is near enough that getting anywhere is not a problem.

We emailed them and requested rate and booking information and got a reply within 24 hours. We opted out of the hotel breakfast as it seemed, to us, expensive for what was offered. If you do stay on the island we know where you can get a great little breakfast for a good price.

If they can't accommodate you, a few doors away is their sister hotel named Hotel de Lutece. We would stay there based simply on our experience at Hotel des Deux-Iles.

There is another hotel on the island named Hôtel Saint-Louis en l´Isle. They have (or had) a dedicated shuttle that will pick you up at the airport . Not sure about the cost. It may be complimentary depending on the length of your stay. Now that taxis into the city from the airport charge a flat rate that may be the way to get to any hotel.

Spend a few minutes googling hotels on the island and that should give you an idea if staying on there is a possibility, or if you should rule it out.

Posted by
35 posts

Thank you all for your suggestions! I was leaning more towards the Marais area but also thought about breaking it up and staying in two different areas. But now staying on the island sounds very convenient too.
Thanks for all the hotel suggestions and your thoughts on the areas!

Posted by
5700 posts

FWIW. I don't think the time lost and hassles of moving merit breaking the trip into two locations. Get settled in a pleasant place and forget about logistics. The Marais is very pretty and the Isle is certainly central. You'll do great either place.

Posted by
2546 posts

I no longer stay in hotels in Paris but when I did, I would change hotels every 4 to 5 days. It is totally not a big deal to do that and I would organize my itinerary around where I was staying. So for example, one trip, I stayed at Hotel Bastille Boutet and Hotel D’Aubusson. For the first part of the trip, all of my activities were on the Right Bank and were within a 20-minute walk of the hotel. Then, I switched hotels and hung out in Saint Germain and the Latin Quarter for four days.

Posted by
201 posts

We booked through Cobblestone in Paris rentals based on another forum user's recommendation. We booked a small apt in Marais but our trip hasn't occurred yet. I really liked the owner's recommendations when I described what we were looking for and costs were less or comparable to AirBnb and definitely less than hotel and I'm getting lots more space and a kitchen where I can eat breakfast before exploring Paris. See my private message too, Sabes.

Posted by
5700 posts

The problem with illegal rentals -- and most of them are -- is that they can be withdrawn a day or two before your arrival if the owner is reported -- and then there you are.

Posted by
201 posts

Cobblestone in Paris has been around for 9+ years and endorsed by Rick Steves staff.

Posted by
122 posts

On illegal rentals in Paris: the world changed dramatically for Paris property owners in 2017 when the Paris city government cracked down with impunity on short term vacation rentals. I used to do AirBnB in Paris before then, but since then I do not trust any of the rental sites, at least I don't trust them with my money or my vacation plans. Just because the RS folks have "endorsed" an outfit - what is the date on this endorsement, anyway? - an old RS endorsement doesn't mean much to me for vacation rentals in Paris, so caveat emptor applies. Maybe someone at RS can comment on this?

Posted by
20 posts

Wally- we stayed at an airbnb last May and had a wonderful experience. However, I had read the warnings on these boards, and made sure to select a verified legal one with a registration number. I think if the place you choose is registered, then it is legal and safe to book. Not 100% sure but that's my understanding.

Posted by
122 posts

Not trying to hijack this thread and turn it into a debate of rental legalities in Paris, but my recommendation to anyone going that route would be to make a cancellable hotel reservation in addition to your AirBnb, just as a backup plan, in case the rental falls through as your trip approaches. This rec applies not only to Paris but to other cities where short term vacay rentals are under assault (like Berlin, Barcelona, etc). There has always been inherent risk involved in renting an AirBnb; renting an apartment from an owner has always been.a "one off" situation where owners sometimes capriciously cancel reservations at the last minute, or the property is not as advertised in the photos, etc. In my opinion there is much more risk today, certainly in Paris, than there was 3+ years ago, and not everyone is up to speed on these changes. Good luck to everyone, but I stick to hotels in Paris now. YMMV...

Posted by
487 posts

This may be veering a bit off topic, but for those who want a bit more space and the ability to make simple meals, Apart Hotels are a good solution. Citadines is probably the most well known chain in Paris but there are quite a few other options. Have stayed in a few of these on various trips to Paris. Most don't have a "true" full kitchen but with a refrigerator, microwave and coffee maker, I can do breakfast and eat in occasionally - which is perfect for those evenings when I am just too tired to go out - and it's really hard to beat a good roasted chicken, salad, cheese and baguette for dinner!

Posted by
35 posts

Thank you all for the help! I actually looked into the cobblestone rentals and got weirded out when I couldn’t get ahold of the verification code. So I thought better to be safe than sorry. I actually booked a place in the Marais area that is an Apart Hotel. I’m so excited, thanks again for all the tips and suggestions!

Posted by
7126 posts

Sabes, i agree with others, the Marais is fantastic and one of my favorite areas. You’ll be very happy there.

Posted by
3 posts

Over the years I have enjoyed many trips to Paris and have enjoyed staying in many different neighborhoods. When I visited recently with my husband, who had never been to Paris, we split our time amongst different neighborhoods. We started out in the right bank at the hotel Britannique which is incredibly close to the river and the Ile De La Cite. The rooms are small but well appointed. After 4 fun filled days there we rolled our suitcases across the seine to the Saint Germain district where we stayed at the Hotel Marronieres, a classic West Bank hotel situated around a beautiful courtyard. We then traveled to Spain for a week then returned to Paris and spent four more days in Momartre. We loved getting a feel of the different neighborhoods , but I would recommend staying at least four days in each, so there is not too much moving around.