I'm sorry if I'm adding to the redundant questions, but I'm having a hard time getting my mind around how Paris is set up and where the best place to stay is. We love to walk to as many places as possible, so we'd like to stay somewhere central. I found a hotel called Hotel Pas de Calais in the 6th arrondissement in the St. Germain area. Has anyone stayed here? It seems fairly central, but is this a safe area for doing a lot of walking? The website says it is in walking distance to Notre Dame and the Louve, but that does not necessarily mean it is a good/safe walk. Any tips would be appreciated - this is our first trip to a country that speaks a language we aren't familiar with, so I'm a bit intimidated. Thank you! :)
It's always been sort of a pseudo intellectual area and was fairly fashionable until it started to become overrun with tourists. It's central and there's nothing wrong with it. Walk your heart out. I don't know squat about the hotel.
Well if you stay in Saint Germain, you won't need to know French. Other than the occasional Metro clerk, I have not met anyone working in that area who did not speak English. I have not stayed at the hotel but I have walked past it and it looked fine from the outside. It will be a beautiful and safe walk to either the Louvre or Notre Dame. It's also an easy walk to the the d'Orsay and Rodin museums and Luxembourg Gardens.
I recently booked an apartment in the 5th on Blvd St Germain, My daughter studied in Paris during college and said anywhere in the center, 1st-7th are good for staying if you want to be central. We rented an apartment in the 15th and stayed in a hotel in the 9th on previous trips. 9th was pretty good for walking, the 15th we used the metro a lot. On the map it looks like we will be able to walk to most places, the metro is very good for getting around also. I've never felt unsafe walking or taking the metro in Paris.
Tamara very safe area, relax, most of central Paris is very safe to walk, even alone at night. I have gone solo and walked in the area alone many times. I like the 6 the as it is easy to walk to many sites!
Thanks for the replies everyone! You put my mind at ease :)
I don't know anything about that particular hotel. But I checked its location on Google Maps, and that's a GREAT area to stay for a first visit. You will have an easy walk (or short Metro ride if you are tired) to lots of sights; you'll see that the Seine is relatively narrow, so you can walk to sights on the Right Bank too, like the Louvre. The Boulevard St. Germain is busy day and night (as are all but the tiniest streets nearby), and there are tons of restaurants and shops in the area. The Rue de Buci is filled with all kinds of food stores (produce, bakery, pastries, butcher, cheese shop, etc) as well as a supermarket.
The 4th, 5th and 6th arrondissements are the most central you can get in Paris. The 6th is upscale and a very nice area. And extremely safe. As all of Paris is where a tourist would go. I'd suggest getting a good map of Paris which also shows where the arrondissements begin and end and familiarize yourself with the geography before you get there.
St Germain is a great area to stay!