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Solo in Paris, mid April, first time .. accomodations

Title about says it all I guess. I have no idea about the 'format' of Paris, and am nervous about ending up in a neighborhood that is somehow too distant or otherwise inconvenient to the common sites that a typical first-timer would be thrilled to finally see. I am an older (I guess) independent traveler, and my question is simply that I see all of the 'numbered neighborhoods' and wonder if any one or some of them would be preferable to pursuing lodging in than any others. For this first trip I'd simply like to know that I'll be able to see the most common museums and attractions. My budget is somewhat limited so I'll likely be utilizing something like airbnb or ???. Hope this is clear. ANY little tidbit would provide more than I know now!
Thank you!

Posted by
3792 posts

You can start by reading the Destinations information on this and other travel websites. Central Paris is compact but you will not understand the spiral layout of the numbering without doing some research. And these "arrondisments", as the sections are called, are fairly large and will each have a variety of neighbourhoods. More important than the arrondisment is taking accommodation near a Metro subway station, preferably one that serves more than one line. The subways allow you to get anywhere fairly quickly and cheaply. Many if not most hotel rooms are priced by the room, not per occupant. Paris has an official star rating system which describes the services provided but does not judge quality. Some agencies and properties impose their own star system, so shop cautiously. And shop soon; Paris fills up quickly almost any time of the year. Here are some tools:
http://www.aeroportsdeparis.fr/en/homepage

http://www.ratp.fr/en/ratp/c_21879/visiting-paris/

http://www.parisbytrain.com

You can also search for many official and private information sources on-line and most of the big attractions maintain their own pages too. After all, Paris is the world's most visited city.

Posted by
16964 posts

Paris transport system is excellent, so anything in arrondisements 1-10 will be in the central core. I've used hotwire to find single rooms, but I'm not too particular if I'm by myself. There are plenty of transport options like carnets (10 pack of subway/bus tickets) or a weekly decouverte (Monday to Sunday only). The Museum Pass is a good value.

Posted by
3551 posts

It would help to know your budget for Paris lodging. Also check some hostels may have private rooms if u require it. You could also check Ibis budget hotel which is part of Accor hotel chain. However u would need to use subway.

Posted by
2254 posts

Are you talking about mid April this year? It is pretty late to be shopping apartments, as a lot of people tend to reserve 6-12 months away.
For a first trip, this April, I'd suggest looking for a hotel in the 5th Arrondissement-it's central and has areas that can be fairly affordable at €80-100 per night. Note that the closer to the Seine you are, the higher the price, generally. Get a good map in front of you and identify key sights you'd like to see, and get a feel for what's where in the city. Just about anywhere you land in the 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th Arrondissements will be quite central for easy sightseeing, and very walkable with easy to find and use transportation.
Most hotels have an English speaker taking phone calls, so don't hesitate to just call them to reserve and ask specifics.

Feel free to post back with more questions.

Posted by
9 posts

wOw! A fantastic set of replies .. and so quickly! GREATly appreciated. This actually begins to hone my picture appreciably. I've now got my eye on a little single apt. for 6 nights or so in the 10th Arrondissements. Without these few comments I would have had no idea whether that place might have been 'good' or not in terms of location. (my only 'uugh!' about this place is that it's literally a 6th flr walkup!!)
I'll have to check back in again tomorrow -- right now I'm in SE Asia before flying west to the EU .. and it is LATE here tonight. And yes .. I'm talking 'April' (someone asked) as in a few weeks from now! Late planning .. I know.
So THANKS again!

Posted by
1 posts

Hei,

I am travelling solo in first week of april- firsttimer as well, I have lived in london before so pretty comfortable with tubes(subways/metros), transportation shouldn't be an issue. For the budget accomodation after 3 months of research and planning I have made reservations in 10E - Generator hostel paris. they have opened up new I guess last year in paris. it worked out pretty nice for me aroun 120 $ for 4 nights and its near gare-du-nord, so pretty easy for me to take the RER from airport and also board thalys to brussels. Hope this helps.. GD LCK n have fun!

Posted by
10344 posts

April?!
You understand, right: 6th floor walk-up means you will have to drag all your possessions up, and down, 6 floors?

Posted by
6587 posts

C'mon Kent, they'll only have to carry it up once and down once. When I stayed in Paris it was a 5th floor walkup and I was there for a month so I went up and down 30+ times albeit without luggage (except for 1st and last day), it was not horrible. I was 67 and pretty out of shape when I got there but in much better shape when I left. ☺ I'm sure lots of people couldn't (or wouldn't want to) do it but the OP didn't mention any mobility issues.

Posted by
11450 posts

If that place doesn't work out or appeal on second look.. look at this hotel, I have stayed there solo.

Hotel St Pierre near the Sorbonne. Cheap, clean, small rooms.. but excellent location.

www.saintpierre-hotel.com/en/

Posted by
10344 posts

:-)
I think I'll take something with a lift versus, the 6 floors. Maybe it's just me.
And next month?! Time's a-wasting.
:-)

Posted by
16964 posts

I've stayed in the 10th and loved it. It is an "up-and-coming" district. Kinda like the lower east side of NYC 20 years ago. Lots of subway lines around Gare de Nord, Gare de L'Est, Place Republique. Lots of new restaurants due to lower rents in the district. Definitely a younger (and louder) crowd.

Posted by
2254 posts

If you intend to find an apartment, find one with several (or many, or a ton of) strong, favorable reviews, and take those reviews with a grain of salt. You can post a link or two here and get opinions.

Posted by
120 posts

You might want to keep in mind that if this is your first time in Paris, you might have a lot of questions once you get there. If you are in a hotel, there will always be someone there to help get you on your way and explain how things works. They are also helpful making reservations.

My personal preference, after going twice, would be to stay somewhere in the 5th, 6th, or 7th, but that is just me.
I feel these places are central to what you might want to see on a first time and should have hotels in your price range.
I like Hotel Beaugency in the 7th. They are very nice and very reasonable. However, as stated by another contributor, this is very late for making reservations so your choices might be limited. Get on it quickly.

Metro is VERY easy to use. Once you do it the first time, you will feel very comfortable.

Posted by
784 posts

The 6th floor is actually the 7th floor in Paris as they do not count the ground floor. That's a long haul when you've been walking around Paris all day and have a bag of goodies from the market to carry up.

I traveled to Paris solo at 66 in 2013 - you might get some ideas from my blog at www.cjtparis2013.blogspot.com.

Yes, you are planning late, but because you are alone, you should still be able to find a place to stay. Do be careful with AirBnB, VRBO, and other listing services -- do your homework -- there are some issues with private apartment rentals. You would be better served with a rental agency such as Cobblestone Paris (I have used them & can recommend them), Vacations in Paris, Paris Best Lodge, etc. There are quite a few that get good reviews. The advantage is that usually someone greets you at the apartment and shows you around, and they supposedly pay the necessary taxes which keeps them under the radar as far as the City of Paris is concerned.

Have a wonderful time.

Posted by
5697 posts

Agree with Pat about St Pierre -- SMALL rooms but well located near Louvre, Notre Dame, Metro stations and helpful front-desk staff to assist with your questions. Don't overthink the lodging -- most places will be close to good transportation.

Posted by
6908 posts

For a first trip I'd try to be in the 4,5th or 6th near the river to easily walk to major sites. The 10th is okay but for a first trip I'd try to be more central. And as to the 6 floor walk up (7th floor American) -- well it does keep you in shape and you won't gain weight chowing down on all the good french food. We have done 5th floor walk ups and are old and lived to tell the tale, although we usually look for an elevator if we are more than 3 floors up.