My daughter and I will take her dream trip to Paris in October for 9 days to visit museums, churches, markets, etc. In your opinion which arrondissement would you rent an apartment if you were two American women traveling and why?
Let me try even though I'm not two American women. If you use the Metro, any single-digit arrondissement will work fine for you. Closer to the river means closer to most of the sights you'll probably want to see, many in walking distance, but it also means more expensive. Use a guidebook or whatever to decide what sights interest you most, then plot them on a map and see if it tells you anything. People on this board seem partial to the 4th, 5th, and 6th, and for some people (not me) proximity to the Eiffel Tower seems to matter a lot. I've stayed in the 4th, 5th, and 14th and liked them all. Paris is filled with interesting neighborhoods, beautiful parks, street markets, cafes, and everything else you've heard about, so it's hard to go wrong.
I've stayed (and lived) in many areas but my favorite areas to stay are the 4th, 5th and 6th, closer to the river the better. My favorite neighborhood of all is Ile St. Louis in the 4th. It's the little island east of Ile de la Cite where Notre Dame is. Notre Dame is the center of Paris, so anywhere close is the most central and closest to many sites you'll want to visit. If you enjoy walking, Paris is the perfect city for that. And, you didn't ask, but don't miss the Luxembourg Gardens in the 5th/6th, my favorite place of all. Enjoy!
Put me down for the 7th near the Eiffel Tower. It is a little farther away from the museums, but I stayed there with my grand-daughter last summer, and we really enjoyed walking to the Tower every single night for the lighting. It's also very close to the Trocadero Park which is beautiful. We loved Rue Cler, and the Invalides area. We took a bus to the museums, and the Rue Cler has beautiful markets.
Well I am not two American women either.. but as a Canadian woman who has visited solo, with a friend or two, and alone with both a 13 yr old and 11 yr old...I would ( and did) ususally stick to the 4th 5th and 6th. I also have enjoyed the 14th.. and have stayed in the 1st , and 9th.
So I suggest stick closer to river then further.. and 4th 5th and 6th. I find the 7th too residential for me. I prefer a few more open cafes in the evening when walking home alone at night.. plus I can see the Eiffel Tower sparkle from many other places in Paris. When I stayed in the 1st I used to walk to the Pont Neuf bridge every night.. buy an ice cream bar from a nearby store,, and wait till 10 pm( in the summer thats when it first lights up ) and watch it sparkle from the bridge.. loved it.
I like the 4th, 5th, and 6th arrondissements also - beautiful areas and quite lively, but the 6th and 7th, are great also. They are somewhat quieter, more residential areas, though there is a lot to see and do as well. Rodin Museum, Eiffel Tower, Invalids, etc. Rue Cler, overrun with Rick Steves loving Americans though it is, is a nice, easy-going place to stay your first time in Paris. There may not be a lot of cafes open at night, but perhaps you and your daughter will not be out later in the evening, and this will not be a concern. I have also stayed in and enjoyed the 9th and upscale 16th (at the charming Hameau de Passy, hotel) and would recommend these as well. I also think the Bastille area would be fine.
Arrondisments can be big and varied; the top of the 10th is different than the bottom. I like the 10th and the 12th because, like some of the others less favoured by tourists, they give off more sense of actually being lived in. But it doesn't matter so much as choosing accommodation within easy reach of the Metro. A station serving two lines is a particular advantage since it can offer more connections. Just about everything in central Paris, except perhaps the Eiffel, is easily reached by the Metro.
Hi, my husband and I rented an apt. In the 5th after much research for a week. Le Maraisse (sp?) was perfect for us because it has a large pedestrian area with eateries, you can walk to many sights and two metro stations are within walking distance. It was safe and delightful. ( stay alert in the metro however). We kept some food in the apt. But walked to dinner each evening. We found our apt. On vrbo.com. No A/C but we did not need it in April. Have a blast! We did.
For a first trip the classic touristy central areas are IMHO best. The 4th (Marais), 5th (Latin Quarter) or 6th (St. Germaine) are all lively, full of cafes, bakeries and shops and beautiful classic architecture. That said you do have to pay attention to the actual location. Many owners use Marais to describe things that are rather far afield from the central areas of the Marais that most people think of. All these areas also have tourist trappy low quality eateries and shops aimed at tourists, so you do need to do a little homework on restaurants.
Near Eiffel Tower close to metro, it's a nice area not too busy and not too quit. Love walking to the park and just taking in the Eiffel Tower. Metro and bus's are close buy to get you where you want. They have bike stops everywhere now day's and it's a great way to get around.
A comment on Museums. My last visit I went to The Cluny, it is near the Sorbonne . I really enjoyed it. It was such a departure from all the Impressionist art. Highly recommended! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musée_national_du_Moyen_Âge
After two trips we have stayed in the 5th near Rue de Buci and in the 7th near Rue Clear. I liked the apartment in the 7 more but the location of the 5 was great. We used Vacation in Paris units 74 and 249