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# of nights in Paris and other questions

I am starting to plan a trip to Paris for next August. Right now I have 9 nights and 8 days (not including travel days). Planning on 2 day trips (one to Loire valley and one to Reims). Is that too much time? We mainly like to wander around and stop at whatever looks interesting. We love art (not necessarily in museums), we'll go to museums but don't want to spend a ton of time in them, we love taking a couple hours each day and just take our books to a park and relax. And we'll want to see most of the usual tourist attractions. We also prefer to walk over taking a train or a bus.

If we do spend 9 nights, should we spend it all in the same hotel or move locations? I was thinking same hotel, but my husband thinks we should move. We're looking at the Hotel Regina by the Louvre. The other arrondissement we were looking at is St. Germain, but all the hotel rooms look pretty tiny (Regina is 344 sq ft and St. Germain hotels are half that) Hotel must have AC.

On a side note, we are doing 4 nights in Amsterdam after Paris. Is 3 full days enough? We'll be doing a day trip to Haarlem. We could take a day from Paris and move it to Amsterdam.

And lastly, do we do Paris first or Amsterdam. I was thinking Paris because we can take that first travel day and just relax and not see any sites since we have so much time.

Posted by
23431 posts

Always have trouble with responding to this type of questions because of your personality and many other variables. Personally for us there is never enough nights in many cities like Rome, Paris, London, etc. I would recommend a good central hotel because once you are there you learn the subway and bus system to where you want to go and return. Why pack up and have the hassle of checking in and out?

For us, the best attitude we have is to always assume we will see that next time. On our first trip, my young wife expressed that attitude when I was trying to see everything in two hours. The next trip was 22 years later but now we go as frequently as twice a year. And still have the attitude of seeing it on the next trip. Everything is a trade off or compromise. We have spent nearly a full month each in London and Rome and still go back to see new things. We were just in London and Paris last month. We have been in Amsterdam three times and always stay in Haarlem. Ten min train ride between the two.

The point??? Anything works as long as it is want you want to do. There is no incorrect or correct approach to travel. We prefer a min of three days anywhere. Part of the reason we travel is just to relax and enjoy the surroundings. Cannot do that if running point to point. But there are others who enjoy the drive by approach. We don't but you might.

Good luck

Posted by
9429 posts

For me, as Frank said, no amount of days in Paris is enough. I've spent days, months and years there and am always sad to leave. I agree with all that Frank said. There is so much to see and do you will never be "done". You can be very busy or you can go slowly and enjoy the amazing beauty, the wonderful parks, relaxing hours sitting outside at cafés enjoying food, wine and the best people watching anywhere.
I'll be there again soon for 15 nights and I already know it won't be long enough.

I'd go to Paris first (based on what you said) and I would not change hotels. Total waste of precious time and energy.

I recommend staying in the 4th arrondissement (Marais and Ile St Louis), the 5th (Latin Quarter) or the 6th (St. Germain).

Posted by
2466 posts

Some people do get bored with staying in the same neighborhood and the same hotel.
But if the hotel is nice, you might as well stay there, because you can get to any different neighborhood in about 15 minutes by Metro, or by just walking around and "getting lost on purpose".
Use the hotel to shower and sleep - no sense in running around looking for something that might not be as perfect as you hope it will be.

The different arrondissements that tourists tend to stay in really aren't that much different, anymore. There are the same stores, the same type of cafes, the people may dress a little better, but that's about it.

I wouldn't change hotels unless I were staying more than 2 weeks.

Posted by
11507 posts

First I consider you visit to a a short one , ( only allowing 6 nights in Paris ) so no way would I bother to change hotels . If you had two weeks might be different .

Secondly are you flying into Paris and out of Amsterdam , or vise versus , I would choose the first option . That determines order if stay .

Also are you taking Thalys to Amsterdam or flying ?

Posted by
1062 posts

On my last trip to Paris, I spent 9 days and never got bored We stayed in one hotel and I preferred that rather than staying in multiple hotels as I had done on previous trips. I really recommend taking a day trip to Normandy and seeing the American cemetery at Omaha Beach. It was the highlight of my trip and was very moving. I booked an all day tour thru Paris Vision. The tour had many stops associated with the D Day invasion and included lunch at the Caen Peace Museum.

Posted by
82 posts

We are taking the train to Amsterdam from Paris.

I decided to just stay in 1 hotel all 9 nights. I'm looking at the Hotel Regina in the first and Hotel Pont Royal in St. Germain. The plus of the Hotel Pont Royal, is that we can get a balcony with Eiffel Tower view for about $700 less than Hotel Regina. It's a small room, but the balcony might tip things in it's favor.

Does anyone have experience with either of these hotels?

In Amsterdam, I'm thinking the Banks Mansion.

Posted by
4171 posts

With 9 nights, have you considered renting an apartment?

We rented one for 8 nights in the Marais in 2012 using VRBO. Since then there have been some issues in Paris over illegal apartment rentals, but I'm sure many folks can give you suggestions for good sources.

I think Booking.com is a good resource for finding options of all kinds. I'd trust them to list only places that are legit. The filtering options are listed down the left side of the page. They appear after you get your initial results by filling in the yellow box with your location, dates, number of rooms and number of people. They're a great way of helping to get a good idea of what you can find with the characteristics you want, including District. There even is a way to limit to places that have AC which I agree would be important for an August visit.

One suggestion, if you're inclined to seek places with stars, don't. Use the review score option instead. I pick 8+. This goes for all the lodging listed, but especially for apartments which tend not to have any stars.

Another suggestion, change the $ at the top right of the screen to € to start getting used to thinking in €.

For 9 nights, I'd never consider a hotel. I find the rooms too small, the breakfast schedule and selections too restrictive, the daily cleaning an annoyance and the price too expensive.

We prefer one bedroom apartments, largely because I'm an early riser and my husband isn't. There's much more space and we have more freedom to be on our own schedule. We can make sure there's a washing machine. Dryers are rare, but most places have a drying rack. For a brief time we can get to know a neighborhood.

With the wonderful transportation system in Paris, no matter where you stay, you'll be able to get to just about anywhere you want to go. If you stick to the low numbered arrondissements, you'll probably be able to walk to many places you want to visit.

Posted by
1309 posts

Hi Kerri --
I just returned this week from 21 days in Europe which included 4 nights in Amsterdam (I actually stayed in Haarlem) and 7 nights in Paris.
I'll echo what some others have said -- you can't have too many days in Paris! I've been 4 or 5 times before and my week wasn't enough.
I think that 3 full days in Amsterdam is enough. It gives you time to see the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and Anne Frank House if you want to, and still have time to wander around. Be sure to order on line and print out your timed entry tickets. Otherwise you will spend hours in line and still might not get in.
I liked staying in Haarlem because it was a comfortable place to get over jet lag (9 hours from the west coast) but I'm not sure I'd recommend it as a day trip when you really have only 3 days in Amsterdam for a first visit.
Be sure to make your Thalys reservation 3 months in advance if you can commit to a particular time. My ticket between Amsterdam and Paris was only 35 Euros ($39.) That was second class but it was perfectly comfortable.
Enjoy your planning!
SharYn

Posted by
2466 posts

The OP is trying to decide between two hotels, it's apparent that they don't want to stay in an apartment.

The Regina is OK, but if you want a balcony and a view, that's what you should choose.

At the Pont Royal, you will have to "insist" on a room with both a balcony and a view of the Eiffel Tower, since these go fast in any hotel that has them.
Since it will be the month of August, you'll be sure to enjoy getting a lot of use out of the balcony - then can go into your air-conditioned room when you've had enough heat.

Posted by
9429 posts

Of the two hotels you're asking about, I'd choose the Pont Royal based on the neighborhood and the balcony. I don't know either hotel but I prefer the 6th arrondissement vs the 1st, and a balcony is always a bonus for me. Especially in Paris.

Posted by
11507 posts

Hotel with a balconies and views , Hotel BRIGHTON., We had a " Tuileries View " room , it had two small balconies , great views , its close to hotle regina.

Lo, if i could afford to spend every night in a nice hotel , i would , i love the maid service, fresh sheets and towels , not having to take out the garbage or make my bed.
I do stay i apartments too, but they are not my first choice at all!

Posted by
703 posts

No 8 days is not too much time for Paris. In my opinion, its a nice amount to see the highlights of the city plus you shouldn't feel too rushed every day to see sights. Time to relax & enjoy the city. I would also take the balcony hotel room. I do like to rent apartments in Paris too but we always try to find one with a balcony. So yes, the balcony room. I would not switch hotels in the same city. Seems a waste of precious time.

Posted by
1920 posts

I wonder what others think of a day trip to the Loire Valley or Reims?

For the Loire Valley you need a car because it is in the countryside and the Chateaux are far from one another. It seems to me it would be better to take a bus tour from Paris and not do it on your own, since it would be very time consuming getting there and renting a car for a day and then getting back to Paris. Not sure what your idea was?

We spent 5 nights in Paris and 3 in the Loire Valley with a car. As much as we loved Paris, it was nice to see the countryside too.

Posted by
82 posts

We will be doing a bus (or small group) tour from Paris for Loire Valley. As for Reims, my friend went and took a train and then she said everything was walkable so we're going to do that on our own.

I decided on a hotel, not one of my original choices. We're going to book the Relais St. Germain. Seems like decently sized rooms in a good location.

Posted by
2466 posts

This is a very convenient location, lots of stuff to do around the neighborhood and a nice hotel.

The restaurant downstairs gives priority to guests who want to reserve dinner - it's a tasting menu and totally worth it, if you don't mind a little splurge.
Otherwise, you can reserve for the a la carte lunch if you're a guest, or just stand in line like we common folk do : )

Posted by
107 posts

A contrarian opinion if I may 😳
For us, more than three days in Paris is tedious. Rather, we much prefer the small villages and town. Or as an alternative daytripa bo train to surrounding towns.

In my view changing hotels burns up valuable time ..... well..... changing😀

Posted by
308 posts

I would start the trip in Amsterdam and add one extra day there if you are worried about jet lag. Amsterdam is a softer landing for me because the transportation from the airport is easier and there is no language barrier because the Dutch are generally such great English speakers.

I agree that the more time in Paris the better.

Posted by
287 posts

I always make it a practice to stay at the same hotel for the length of my stay in any location. I'm able to feel more "settled" and "at home" in one place. I find it to be more comfortable than moving around every few nights. I don't see the virtue of moving from one neighborhood/hotel to another, just for the sake of moving, especially in Paris or London, etc. where all the major sites and good neighborhoods are accessible by Metro/Tube/bus.

Posted by
1806 posts

Agree with woinparis that you can get some very good deals on hotels in Paris during August, even "last minute", so you may not want to rush into booking something this far out in advance. I had found a great rate for a 2 week stay in August in a modern business class hotel that had A/C, but it was in the 10th Arron., not in St. Germain. Still, it was an easy 10-15 minute Metro ride from most tourist sites.

Not sure where you are from, but 344 square feet is actually a pretty good size for a hotel room in Paris. If you feel that is too cramped, you will want to look into apartments (like Vacation in Paris, VRBO or Airbnb) or professionally managed apart'hotels (like Citadines), but expect to find some not so spacious features even in apartment rentals. Ex. we stayed this year in a 3BR 2BA in the Marais which overall was really spacious, but both the bathrooms and the elevator were very small (think phone booth sized).

Posted by
650 posts

I will buck the trend and vote for adding a day or two to Amsterdam. Not because nine days in Paris is too much, it isn't. But ttwo days plus a daytrip in Amsterdam is too little. There are almost a dozen good day trips from Amsterdam. Add another night and see somewhere other than Haarlem. We just spent a week in Amsterdam and were sorry to leave.

I too suggest beginning in Amsterdam. The airport connection is super easy and fast and it's a lovely place to walk off jet lag. It also feels a hair less foriegn to me.

Don't change hotels in Paris.

Posted by
9429 posts

We're all different and there's no right or wrong, but we spent 4 nights / 3 full days in Amsterdam and it was too long for us. Wasn't our cup of tea.