We will be staying in Paris in mid-Nov. we will be arriving and departing by train. Not knowing Paris, we have no idea where we should be looking (or not looking) for accomodations. How do we figure out the best area for our family to stay?
You may find this website helpful: http://europeupclose.com/article/paris-arrondissements-where-to-stay/
I prefer to stay near the city center so I can walk to some of the sites.
We recently stayed in the Latin quarter ( 5th arrondissement) & we were very happy with our accommodation (Hotel Diana), which is very close to a Metro stop & several bus stops.
I'm sure you'll get many helpful suggestions from the Paris experts here :-)
You have to read a guide to Paris and learn about the different neighborhoods and see what appeals to you and think about what you want visit while there because that can help you decide where to stay. Are you planning to walk a lot or take mass transit? What's your budget? How long will you be there? How many are "we?" Ages? What are your interests? What do you want to see and do while in Paris? As you read a guidebook, keep those questions in mind and some neighborhoods will appeal more than others.
You decide by deciding what you want to do most in the off hours and by deciding how much cental transport and noise matter, not to mention cost. We have stayed within walking distance of Notre Dame on the Left Bank near the Cluney. That had good transport links, was not too pricey, but meant we heard street jazz and cafes all night. We were happy. We've also stayed by St Martin's Canal which was quieter but less convenient and even less pricy.. Walking along the canal at night was romantic. We were happy there too.
We've stayed in both the 1st and the 7th, always right near the river. Both are quite nice. But your choice will depend on a lot of things you haven't mentioned like budget, group size etc. You'll get more room in an apartment but then you're more on your own without a front desk. I opt for apartments as I like space to spread out. What's your budget? How many people in your group?
Without a doubt, the 4th or 5th. As long as your within 10-15mins walk of Notre Dame.
My default position is to stay in the area near the train station we're leaving from. The only time I wavered from that policy in Paris is when we stayed in the Rue Cler area. This turned out to be my least favorite part of Paris. In October 2015 we stayed near the Gare de l'Est at the Le Citizen Hotel on the Canal St. Martin. We didn't bother with the major sights, but loved strolling through the neighborhood - with an occasional view of the Eiffel Tower - and exploring Pere La Chaise cemetery.
If your family wants to walk to the major sights, this area wouldn't work for you. But it was perfect for us.
I prefer to stay in the 4th or 5th Arr. w/in walking distance to Saint-Michel Metro/RER station. This gets you on Metro Line 4: North & South, RER-B: CDG & North & South, & REC-C: East & West & Palace Versailles. This area is also within walking distance to many of the sites.
Enjoy your trip.