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Paris in April!

My husband is taking me to Paris for my first time for my 50th bday in April. I've done a bot of research, and am thinking staying in the Marais, near the Louvre, or Inear Notre dame, as they seem like the most romantic, most walkably located areas. We are not afraid of the metro, but I adore walking. I want to see all the biggies, plus do a day trip to a chateau for some wine tasting. Loved doing a bike tour in Rome, so that's high on my list, too. But first I need to book a place! Where would you stay? I don't want it crazy noisy at night, but want to look at the window and be excited! Want to be able to get to new bars and restaurants within a few blocks. What do you guys suggest? Plan to book an apartment, not a hotel, as we will be there a week.

Posted by Alexandra
Lyons, CO
372 posts

How fun! My husband and I are headed to Paris in May. We were going to stay in an apartment but that fell through so we are now staying at the Hotel Diana which I have had recommended by a few people. It is a small hotel, reasonable and in a great location (I love the Latin Quarter) with sites, shops and restaurants all in walking distance ~ about 5 minutes from Notre Dame. There are a lot of apartments to choose from though you are not that far out now so there might not be as much availability and April is popular. Marais is also a great neighborhood. Good luck!

Posted by Philip
London, United Kingdom
3891 posts

The only wine area in France close enough to Paris for a day trip is Champagne - you can get to Rheims quickly with a TGV. The tastings aren't usually at vineyards, though, but wine merchant headquarters buildings in the city centre with old cellars.

Posted by acraven
Washington DC
8300 posts

Be careful about apartments in Paris. The city is now enforcing restrictions on short-term rentals. As I understand it, any legal rental should have a 13-digit registration number shown in its online listing. If you select an apartment without such a number, you are at risk of having the rental canceled at the last minute, leaving you scrambling for a replacement place to stay.

There have been numerous threads about this situation over the last few months, with contributions from Paris residents who are well-informed about the current enforcement procedures.

Posted by dnrtorres OP
6 posts

Thanks for the warning about the registration: I had learned about that here, so have reached out to all my possibilities and asked for the reg number!

Posted by Chani
Tel Aviv
10706 posts

Do you really want an apartment? That usually means no staff on hand to give you advice or directions or help you make reservations or just answer simple questions. That usually means making your bed, cleaning your bathroom, taking out your trash, and eating meals alone. Are you going to want to cook meals? Wash dishes? Have breakfast in the hotel and have a chance to chat with other guests, get tips on sightseeing or restaurants. Paris is full of great places to have breakfast while you people-watch and sometimes have conversations with the servers and other patrons. Any arrondissement from the 1st to the 6th will meet your needs. The Marais (3rd and 4th) is my favorite. I like to be farther east than the Louvre. . . more cafes and boutique shops, less traffic.

For a chateau, probably Fontainebleau is the easiest to get to. I don't know of a chateau that offers wine-tasting. Reims is a great day trip, tour 2-3 champagne caves with tastings and see the cathedral and the basilica. You say "all the biggies" - do you include Versailles? Then I'd skip Fontainebleau.

Look at Fat Tire Bikes - they have good bike tours and also really fun Segway tours.

Posted by aarthurperry
262 posts

I think the Paris/AirBnb issue is a bit overblown. There are by some reports more than 65 thousand temp rentals in Paris. 11 thousand of them are registered.

Paris is trying to convince ABNB to de list those not registered. AirBnb thinks this is a local issue not up to them to enforce. And frankly a rule like this in a place the size of Paris is the definition of unenforceable.

I think this is really a tempest in a teapot. I have reserved a great apartment through AirBnB in Paris for April.

If you want to do an AirBnb or any other platform I say go for it.

Have a great trip and enjoy yourself.

Posted by dnrtorres OP
6 posts

My husband and I can only stand a hotel for a couple nights -- we need room to spread out. I will definitely pick a VRBO that has good reviews for interaction/support with landlord!

Posted by nikkiagee
11 posts

My husband and I were in Paris a little over a year ago and stayed in a Cobblestone Paris rental in the Marais. It was a perfect location and fit the description you are looking for, close to shops, the Metro and right on a square with several cafes. There was a greeter/manager who met us there and gave us his number so that we could get in touch with him with questions or problems so we didn’t feel quite so on our own. They also offered several add-ons and we booked a photo session which would be perfect for your birthday! Highly recommend http://cobblestoneparis.com/

Posted by Carolyn
Seattle, WA, USA
660 posts

Another recommendation for Cobblestone Paris Rentals. I have rented with them 3 times and have been highly satisfied each time. It sounds like the previous poster stayed in the same Marais apartment as I did last September. It is a studio - Studio on the Square - but roomy enough for two and I really liked the location.

Posted by brushtim
Vacaville, Ca
676 posts

I have used Cobblestone Paris Rentals as well & plan on doing so on my return next year.
Enjoy your trip.

Posted by amyk
St Louis, MO
102 posts

I’m another that has stayed in a Cobblestone apartment. I stayed a week with my mother in law at this apartment:

http://cobblestoneparis.com/Terrasse-Sorbonne

I loved it so much that I will be returning to this apartment with my husband and kids in June.

And the greeter from Cobblestone - David - was amazingly helpful!

Posted by John
Madison, WI, USA
15 posts

For a nice apartment in the Marais, visit parisautrement.com. We have used them several times and they have lots of places available.

Great restaurant: Nicolas Flamel on Rue Montmorency off Rue Beaubourg. It's reputed to be the oldest building in Paris and the food is really good, including dessert. You need reservations. Reasonably priced.

Posted by Nate
Houston, Tx, USA
36 posts

Greetings!

We have booked at a nice place "Port Royal Hotel" in Paris. They run about 95 Euros a night, look them up on the web, they have pics and ratings. If you do book with them, you will have to do a electronic transfer for the first nights stay, they do not take credit cards.

Regards
Nate

Posted by dnrtorres OP
6 posts

Thanks all! We have booked an apartment in the 2nd. It's not exact;y where I would've picked, but I narrowed it down to 4 places and let my husband pick (he chose the most American apartment. Practical, but maybe not my first choice). I am sure it will be great no matter where we live, as we won't stay put! We are around the corner from Frenchie restaurant -- has so many good write ups. Has anyone eaten there?

Also: we arrive at our apartment around 3pm. My first hunch is to do the Eiffel Tower at sunset. Should we eat first (and where?) or afterwards. I was thinking we could walk around Pere Lachaise cemetery then head to the Tower, then eat. Probably wont be anywhere near the cemetery on any other day.

What do you guys think?