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7th Arrondissement?

My husband, 2 young children and I are traveling to Paris in April for a week. I am thinking of renting an apartment in 7th arrondissement. I would like to be near major sites (I have been to Paris a few times but my husband has not) but would also like to stay in an area with markets, restaurants and cafes that are not solely for tourists but more for locals. Is this a good area? Any other suggestions?

Thank you.

Posted by
11503 posts

The 7th would not be my first choice. I would find a quieter section in the 4th 5th 6th or 14 th.

The 7th is not as central as some areas , and if looking at the Rue cler area it is very touristy .

Posted by
7175 posts

The 7th would perhaps work for me in areas close to the Seine, but I'm not sure how these parts fare when it comes to markets and restaurants. Like Pat, I prefer the 4th (Marais), 5th (Latin Quarter) and 6th (St Germain).

Posted by
9 posts

Thank you! You both confirmed what I was thinking. I will look in the 4th, 5th and 6th. any suggestions for holiday apartment rentals besides Airbnb?

Posted by
2018 posts

Okay, I'm the ambassador for the 7th. I like the neighborhood. We like to walk and it's a reasonable distance from the Eiffel Tower, Napoleon's Tomb, the Rodin, and D'Orsay. We walk to the Champs Elysees and the Louvre. There are many cafes and restaurants in the area and it's an easy stroll down Rue Cler. The 7th is clean, quiet, and feels safe to me. Our current favorite is the Hotel Empereur and there's a metro station on the corner. Hope you have a great time in Paris, wherever you choose to stay!

Posted by
2020 posts

With 2 young children, I think the 7th would be excellent. It is a little less central and busy than the 4th, 5th, 6th arrondissments. There are plenty of restaurants and sites as described above. There is always a merry-go-round at the base of the Eiffel Tower that kids love, as well as a lot of grassy area to run around in. I like to take the #69 bus that runs from the ET along rue St. Dominique and takes you right to the center of the city. Easy to get to a Seine boat cruise from there too. But you have been to Paris before and probably have an idea what the other recommended central areas are like. In any case I would recommend trying to be near a park (the Luxembourg Garden in the 6th is great for kids). I always use VRBO or HomeAway to rent apartments in Paris and have had good luck with them. Though right now I'm hearing that Paris is cracking down on apartment rentals by owner. Lots of discussion about this on this site you may want to search for.
Wherever you stay, I hope you and your family have a great time.

Posted by
10937 posts

Another vote for the 7th! We have not found it to be any more touristy than elsewhere. And it is so convenient!

Instead of AirBnB (see discussions over the months about Paris crackdowns on illegal apartments) and instead try VRBO, HomeAway, or Vacation in Paris. Make certain you are dealing with a legal vacation rental agency.

Posted by
81 posts

I have an apartment rented through Vacation in Paris in April 2017. A great company to work with and have apartments in all of the arrondissements mentioned.

Posted by
20 posts

I used to stay in the 7th and enjoyed it, but now that I've stayed in Saint-Germain and the Latin Quarter, I realize how much I missed out on all these years. I also loved the area near Place de Vosge in le Marais. There is a feeling of charm that can't adequately be explained, that is missing in the 7th. Your children would really love being near enough to the fantastic playground in Jardin Luxembourg to be able to play there often! Shops and cafes abound there, but sometimes are blocks and blocks apart in the 7th. This is my experience in general, but it depends on the particular neighborhoods you choose.

Posted by
7209 posts

Staying in the 7th is almost like not leaving the good ol USA. You'll be surrounded by other American newbie travelers who think the 7th is centrally located (not) and close to the landmarks (not many). But it is rather glitzy and oh so chic to be in the 7th and you'll find lots of Rick Steve's paraphernalia dotted around. But I'd personally rather be in the Latin Quarter.

Posted by
793 posts

I like the 7th as I am in love with the Eiffel Tower. You could consider the 15th closer to the tower too, great little parks for children between the metro Ecole Militaire and Motte Piquet Grenelle.

Posted by
660 posts

Well said Donna!

Condé Nast Traveler identifies St. Germain as "touristy"!

I am as likely to see my American friends in the Marais as I am in my suburban haunts. Rick Steves is fond of Rue Cler but do other agencies direct travelers to other areas? Hotels in the 7th are ideal for walking to the Musee Rodin and it's beautiful garden or heading west to the Marmottan. I'd rather do a walking tour of Art Nouveau architecture in the 7th than "shop" in another arrondissement.

Posted by
37 posts

I am currently making my third visit to the Rue Cler neighborhood thanks to Rick's description and wealth of advice on staying in the area. I do not find it any more "touristy" than the Marais, the 5th or 6th, etc. I am staying in a rental in an apartment that is accessed thru one of those huge doors that one sees when walking down the residential streets. You enter a courtyard before climbing a curved staircase to the apartment. The features are basic but there's abundant hot water, a comfortable bed, a kitchen in which to enjoy your morning coffee, and Paris at your doorstep. Affordable restaurants are just around the corner including many that are open on Sunday. We had dinner last night at Le Petite Cler -- tables side-by-side, happy, efficient waiters, great food including a 13.5 euro plat of the day and a terrific creme brûlée, sidewalk seating for people watching, dinner for two with wine was 44 euros. You can easily access all of the tourist areas and one of the greatest delights is suddenly seeing the Eiffel Tower pop up at the end of a street you are passing.

Posted by
2466 posts

Depending on the address where you plan on staying, the 7eme arrondissement is extremely quiet at night, and during the day, there can be long, long stretches where there won't be any cafes if anyone needs a toilet or anything to eat.

On the other hand, there are loads of little parks all over Paris, many with free playground equipment for kids to use. So, you don't have to limit yourself to the 7eme or in the areas where there will be just one or two major monuments. You can get anywhere you want to go in about 20 mins by Metro.

As someone mentioned, I wouldn't recommend using AirBnB, and it's becoming difficult to find legal apartments since the new laws were passed this summer. It is possible that you might risk a last-minute cancellation unless you are certain that the rental is legal - then you'd have to scramble to find another place to stay.

If you want the best and biggest market in Paris, you might think about staying in the Marais, near Bastille. Market days are Thursday and Sunday from around 9:30 to 12:30 PM. There is a playground at the end of the market opposite Bastille, as well as one at Place des Vosges, a short walk away. Both are open every day.

There are legal apart'hotels in this area - what they might lack in charm is redeemed by having clean sheets and towels, a kitchen, laundry facilities, real beds and a little more space.
CitadinesBastilleMarais would be the closest to the Bastille market.
AdagioParisBastille is another legal apart'hotel which is quite near the Marche Aligre (open every day except Monday) and in a much less tourist-oriented neighborhood.
Both of these apart'hotels are convenient for transportation via Metro and Bus.

Posted by
323 posts

We rented a wonderful place from sabbatical homes. It was right on the edge of the 7e and 15e and close to two Metro stations. It had a bedroom and an office, only one bathroom, but a living room and dining room. But it was wonderfully spacious and in a very quiet neighborhood with a market on Thursdays and Saturdays right around the corner about two blocks from the apt. We are traveling now so I am not sure what we logged into except sabbatical homes, and asked for the 15e, I believe. If you want more information you can send me a separate email and I will try and get you in touch with Susan.
We are in Colmar now and will be traveling on Wednesday to Dijon. We won't be home till November.

Posted by
9099 posts

I agree with others that the 4th, 5th and 6th are my favorites. Agree very much with CoraWheeler about the Luxembourg Gardens playground... it is beyond wonderful. With young children, I'd stay as close to the LG as possible.

Posted by
972 posts

I like the 5th because there are always people on the streets and you can take the train in from CDG to Lux. Gardens easily. The Latin quarter also has a variety of prices/places for meals; my experience is that those restaurants are quite friendly to children.

Posted by
12 posts

Everybody likes their own unique cup of Paris tea. I prefer the quieter, more residential areas for markets, restaurants and cafes frequented by locals. I've stayed in the 15th and enjoyed it as it was not near anything touristy (tradeoff is a few more stops on the metro). The 7th is more touristy but it is a compromise to be closer to the center of the city. I found the 7th to be a quiet oasis at the end of long days in the busier, LOUDER, parts of Paris. Lots of families with children around. Loved seeing the little perfectly dressed preschoolers getting walked to school in the mornings by their (rather harried looking) parents.
I will be returning to Paris this spring and am considering staying in the 16th because I enjoy that refined, residential area. "Refined" is a pretty big (and attractive) departure from my everyday life where I live way out on Cape Cod in a rough and tumble, bohemian, off-the-grid world (hence no desire for the 10th or 11th, plus I hail from NYC where we invented hipsters years ago). I will gladly ride the metro a few more stops to be out of the center city fray in the early morning and at days end.
St. Germain feels as touristy, if not more, to me as the 7th. But Luxembourg Gardens for small children will be lovely, although April can be a miserably cold and rainy month, so don't make your decision based on thinking you will be spending lots of time playing in the park. One thing Paris definitely is, is a child-friendly city.

Posted by
101 posts

As you can see, it's pretty much a matter of personal taste. All of central Paris is touristy and full of Americans. The 7th is no better or worse than any of the other areas. It certainly isn't the only place to stay in Paris, but you won't be unhappy if you choose it. Metro access is convenient. It has a full range of services, and I enjoy being able to walk over to the Eiffel Tower at night. Rue Cler is a (mostly) pedestrian street and quite lively at night.


Posted by
2314 posts

My impression for the past decade or so is that professional young families tend to settle in the 15th if they can.

If you hit the Metro (line 8?) at the right hour, it is full of young immigrant au pairs and cleaning women in identical white sneakers making their way back to their own apartments after servicing the flats in the 15th.