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Paris for 3 days/nights

There will be 3 adults visiting Paris April 1 - 4, 2018. We'd like to be centrally located ...definitely seeing the Louvre, Eiffel tower, Notre Dame and would also love to be near a lively neighborhood for shopping & dining.
We usually use VRBO or Air BnB when we travel.
We would love recommendations for places/arrondissemnts to stay, places to eat, shopping ideas or really anything else anyone would like to tell us not to miss. We realize it really is a short time, but do greatly appreciate any and all information.
Thanks so much!
We now have a new wrinkle in our trip. We are flying out of the Beauvais airport. Has anyone ever use that one before? Is it hard to get to it from Paris? Should we stay in a certain neighborhood in order to be closer to Porte Maillot bus terminal?

We are traveling to Bulgaria after Paris with our former exchange student to visit his parents :-)
Thank again for your patience and help!

Posted by CJean
Ontario, Canada
1436 posts

I'll agree with Joe. RS Paris guidebook book is my first source for suggestions.

Have no experience with VRBO or Airbnbs (we prefer hotels), but be sure that whoever you pick has a REGISTERED apartment to rent. We prefer staying in the 5th, but just about anywhere in the central part of the city is fine as long as you're close to a metro station.

The guidebook is great for planning itineraries when you're short on time. Read through them and omit what doesn't interest you, add in something from his "lesser sights " that do interest you. He has a huge section devoted to dining, as well as a chapter devoted to shopping.

Posted by chexbres
2466 posts

The problem with apartments is that you can't drop your luggage off, if you do not rent the room beforehand. This might ruin your trip, since you have to lug your stuff from cafe to cafe, before it is time for the apartment to be ready - normally, it is around 2 or 3 PM.

On the other hand, a hotel or an apart'hotel will keep your luggage.

I'd look for the 13-digit registration number on the AirBnB website. It is tied to the property owner's financial information and cannot be faked. Beware that AirBnB will "wipe the calendar" when the 120 days of the property owner's vacation time is approaching.

You will be in Paris such a short time, that I wouldn't bother even unpacking.
I would consider a hotel or an apart'hotel.
Here are two options: ( This is on a quiet street, good transport and you can walk anywhere from there - 6th arrondissement );label=gog235jc-hotel-XX-fr-leNroiNdeNsicile-unspec-fr-com-L%3Aen-O%3AwindowsS81-B%3Achrome-N%3AXX-S%3Abo-U%3AXXH%3As;sid=1f2826f547cb46e5dffb2c06c2cb0758;dist=0&sb_price_type=total&type=total&
(This is on a noisier street, but does have double-glazed windows, good transport, and you can walk anywhere from there - 4th arrondissement)

Posted by TC
2906 posts

For that limited amount of time I'd forget the apartment and just get a hotel. Don't discount staying in the very heart of Paris on Ile St. Louis. There are times, depending on vacancies, that their rates are very comparable with other parts of town. We've stayed at Hotel des Deux-Iles and would not hesitate to stay there again -- and probably will. It is a quiet place with friendly and helpful front desk personnel. Very well located -- cross the river one way and you will be in the Marais -- cross it the other way and you'll be in The Latin Quarter. We emailed them directly with a request for rates, booking, and such and they responded the next day. We did not eat breakfast there as it seemed a bit expensive for what was offered. At the end of the street in the direction of Notre Dame is a corner place named St. Regis. Great little breakfast for a good price.

If they can't accommodate you, they have a sister hotel a few doors away named Hotel de Lutece. Based on our experience at Hotel des Deux-Iles we wouldn't hesitate to stay there.

There is another hotel on the island named Hôtel Saint-Louis en l´Isle, but we haven't stayed there. I think they have a dedicated shuttle that will pick you up at the airport, but I'm not sure what the charge is. Of course the taxis into the city from the airport are now a flat rate price so that may be the way to go.

Posted by janettravels44
4365 posts

I have been booking apartments in Europe since before the internet; we stayed in one on our first trip to Europe nearly 40 years ago. In those days you had to find them in catalogues. BUT for a stay of 3 nights, the disadvantages of an apartment outweigh the advantages. IN particular, with so little time you want to not have to fuss over check in times and luggage and such. You want to hit the ground running. And with so little time, it is not worth stocking up a kitchen. And if anything is wrong with the place (rather common in my experience with AirBNBs) having to waste time waiting for the plumber or whatever eats up a hung of valuable vacation time. For only 3 nights, and especially given the crack down on illegal apartments (most of them) in Paris, I'd book a hotel and not have to worry about apartment logistics.

Posted by Dick
Olympia, WA, USA
3106 posts

Janet is right, as she so often is! A hotel will work better for a short stay like yours, even apart from the possible legal complications with apartments.

Use to search by arrondissement, price range, other features, then look at the websites of candidate hotels and book through one of them for better service. Look at some guidebooks for recommendations but there are many other good choices. The search feature on this board, though not the best, can help you find the dozens (hundreds?) of prior posts about Paris hotel choices.

Generally closer to the river will be more convenient and will cost more. Look for a location near a Metro station, preferably one where two lines intersect so you can go in four directions from your base. Use the Google Earth "street view" feature to check out immediate surroundings.

Posted by chexbres
2466 posts

Hotel Ile-Saint-Louis is a fine hotel. Was renovated about 2 years ago.
Just get in a taxi at CDG and wait in line. There is a flat fee - 55 EU, no luggage fees apply, and is good for up to 4 people.

Posted by nhoover54 OP
34 posts

Thank you so much everyone for your time and advice! We will let you know how we do!
I love using this resource! Take care!!

Posted by Carol
1653 posts

If you choose to go the Hotel route, I can recommend Hotel Relais Bosquet.

Posted by nhoover54 OP
34 posts

Hi everyone,
Which andrroissment would you recommend as being the most to enjoy for ease of seeing top sites, walking, restaurants, shopping etc. We have heard the 2nd or the 7th?
Merci beaucoup!!

Posted by sharon
1032 posts

We stayed in the Marais this past summer and loved it ( 3rd/4th) So many great shops, restaurants, cafes etc. Walked a ton and was also very close to the metro

Posted by Diana
Michigan, United States
677 posts

We just returned from a short 4 night trip in Paris. I would not recommend an apartment for that short stay. We stayed at Crown Plaza Paris Republique and enjoyed it very much. Its a lively area with lots of shopping, restaurants, bars & cafes. Plus the Metro is literally steps away and that will take you anywhere you want to go.

The two places in our neighborhood we ate at were Leon de Bruxelles which specialize in seafood and Pizza Pino where we shared a delicious very Italian pizza and appetizer of shrimp & avocado. We also had crepes at a local creperie, lunch at Galleries Lafayette and a croque monsoir at Cafe Louise in St Germain des Pres.

Lots of places to shop in Paris. The aforementioned Galleries Lafayette, Printemps department store, BHV on Rue de Rivolie and many more. Really it depends on what you want to shop for but you can find it all in Paris.

As far as don't miss - goodness there is so much to see. With only 3 days you'll have to be very selective but I'd say don't miss Notre Dame Cathedral, Palais Garnier (go inside, its beautiful), the Louvre, Musee d'Orsay, the Orangerie museum, a cruise on the Seine and seeing the Eiffel Tower lit up at night. Enjoy your trip. We just got back & I can't wait to return.

Posted by Barbra
Burbank, CA
575 posts


Why would a renter have to wait for the plumber or any other service person? Isn't that on the owner/host?