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Trip to Paris

My sister and I (in our 60's but in very good health) are bringing our two granddaughters to Paris at the end of a trip to Europe in July, 2018. My sister and I have been to Paris before, but it was with a tour so all was planned for us. Our granddaughters have never been, and we are excited to show them a little bit of Paris. We will have 3 nights there, 3 1/2 days, and hope to stay in a location that enables us to walk to as many attractions (Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Arc de Triomphe), as possible. Our greatest necessity at this point is to find a centrally located hotel which is safe, with hopefully helpful desk & general staff, as none of us speak French. Since we will spend minimal time in our room, we hope to find accommodations as close as possible to transportation from a TGV station (we are arriving from Switzerland) and then also transportation to the airport when we leave, and a safe hotel, rather than fancy lodgings. We can be 4 in a room, or it sounds like we may need 2 rooms. ANY help from Paris travelers who have stayed in a hotel you would recommend, or with advice, would be greatly appreciated!

Posted by
8061 posts

Which train station are you arriving in Paris, Gare De L'est or Gare du Lyon? That makes a difference since you "hope to find accommodations as close as possible to transportation from a TGV station."

Posted by
15679 posts

Consider that you will have 3.5 days to sightsee and only 1 trip from the arrival from Switzerland and one departure to the airport. It's more important to have a location convenient to the sights, especially since the train stations are spread out in Paris and the airport (which one?) is nowhere near any train station. With 4 people, it's probably not much more to take a taxi from train and to airport than public transportation. I prefer the Marais quarter (3rd-4th arrondissements) but the 5th and 6th on the Left Bank are also good. Rooms for 4 are rare. Double rooms are common, but twin beds are not as common as you'd think. Double beds are the norm so when booking be sure you are getting two beds per room - or be prepared to share a bed. 2 rooms is a big plus since it also means 2 bathrooms. 4 peope with one bathroom may not be worth the savings of a 4-person room (almost invariably with a double bed).

Posted by
1244 posts

Hi. Suggest you not limit yourself to staying near a train station or any other specific site. The sites you list, and others you will want to see, will be spread out, so any hotel will be near some sites and not others. But anywhere in Paris is close to the Metro, so very easy to get to / from any train station, site, or back to your hotel when needed. Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
16094 posts

We will have 3 nights there, 3 1/2 days....

Just so you don't overextend your plans, I'm not thinking that you can squeeze 3.5 days out of only 3 nights? That usually only provides 2 FULL days of sightseeing plus partials of two others, depending on what time you arrive and depart.

Arrival day 1 (partial) + night 1
Day 2 (full day) + night 2
Day 3 (full day) + night 3
Depart Paris (partial)

Posted by
237 posts

Hi, that sounds like such a fun trip for you and your sister and granddaughters! The museums and sights in Paris are spread out in different areas, so no matter where you stay, you probably won't walk to all of them (that's when the metro comes in handy). That said, I prefer the 6th arrondissement because it is very central, walkable to a lot of places, and just a very lovely neighborhood. I certainly consider it very safe.

I've stayed at Hotel Signature Saint Germain (http://www.signature-saintgermain.com/en/) and Hotel Baume (https://www.baume-hotel-paris.com/). Both have very welcoming and helpful staff.

Posted by
8889 posts

If you are coming by train from Switzerland, there are two routes, via Basel or Geneva. Both arrive in Paris at the Gare de Lyon.
But, as the others say, I would not be over concerned about getting a hotel near to the station. Nowhere in Paris is suitable for walking to all locations, it is to spread out. Just concentrate on getting a good hotel you like, and use the métro and buses for transport.

the current timetable is here, expect similar next July: https://www.tgv-lyria.com/sites/default/files/pdf/BROCHURES_CO/lyria-horaires-france_suisse-02.07_09.12.17.pdf

Posted by
8225 posts

With 4 of you take a cab to the airport; it is 50 from the right bank and 55 from the left to CDG; it is 30 from the left bank and 35 from the right to ORY for 4 people and luggage. You pay an extra fee to book the night before (which you should) but no tip or other charges required. It would cost you 41+ to take the train lugging your bags up and down stairs to CDG; to ORY, public transport would cost about 51 Euro for the 4 of you much more than a cab.

So don't stay near the train station. You have 2.5 days at most as the day you leave is pretty much shot. Two rooms means 2 bathrooms. The time saved getting ready to go is worth the expense.

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks to all who have responded to my inquiry. All of the tips and information is very helpful. Thanks for the train schedule to get an idea of times for travel from Geneva.

Has anyone stayed at the Eiffel Kensington Hotel: 9 avenue de la bourdonnais? Again, thank you for all the helpful replies.

Posted by
6 posts

My wife & I have stayed at the Hotel Londres Eiffel (http://www.hotel-paris-londres-eiffel.com/en/) and loved it! The building was actually built as housing for the workers at the Eiffel Tower and is now a small hotel. It is a very easy walk to the Eiffel Tower and a very easy walk to the Ecole Militaire metro station. (While you might walk to the Louvre, I'm willing to bet you'll want to take the metro back to the hotel!) We were extremely pleased with the hotel staff as they were very helpful and spoke English. We always felt safe even when we were out past dark. I see on their website they have family connected rooms which can accommodate four people. Even if you got two rooms that were not connected, it is such a small hotel that I don't think there are more that 3 or 4 rooms on a floor!

Posted by
2147 posts

Hi dm, sounds like a wonderful trip! The Londres Eiffel is a good recommendation. We also like the Hotel Empereur (right across the street from Napolein's Tomb). Both hotels are in the 7th arrondissment, a very nice, safe neighborhood. Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
2466 posts

The hotel you mentioned will not leave you much time to explore Paris - other than the Eiffel Tower, Napoleon's Tomb or the Rodin museum - if you even have time for that. You will not be anywhere near the other attractions you want to see.

I would choose something in the Latin Quarter, so you could make better use of your limited time. You will need someplace centrally-located, for certain.

Here's a very nice, safe hotel, if it suits your budget:
http://hotelparisodeonsaintgermain.com/fr

Posted by
5055 posts

Many people don't consider the possibility of a hotel on Ile St Louis because they automatically assume it will be too expensive. But, depending on their vacancies, the prices can be very competitive with other areas.. It is as centrally located as one can get, and with the Metro one can go anywhere with no trouble at all. Check out Hotel des Deux-Iles and Hotel de Lutece (they have the same owners) and see what you think. You can also check out Hotel Saint-Louis that is on the same street. Rooms might be a bit small by American standards but there is nothing like staying right in the heart of Paris. Most hotel breakfast in Paris are (in my opinion) overpriced but there is a lovely local place for breakfast named St. Regis on the same street as the hotels mentioned.

Posted by
2466 posts

I would stay in the 6th arrondissement, because you will only be able to group Notre Dame, Sainte-Chapelle and the Marais, if you stay there.
I agree that the island is very nice, but it's not really practical - and they would need 2 rooms, which is about 400 EU, total.

Posted by
5 posts

I've stayed several times at the Hotel Valadon, 16 Rue Valadon. I just checked their site and noticed that the name has been changed to the Hotel du Cadran. They have a family room that sleeps 4 (a double bed and 2 twins) and a junior suite that sleeps 5. It is located one block from Rue Cler - a market street - and is close to Ecole Militaire metro stop. We always liked this neighborhood as it is an easy walk to the Eiffel Tower and the Ecole Militaire. There's no single area that you would stay in that would be close to all the sites. Use the Metro - it's very easy. We've also stayed at the Hotel Londres du Eiffel and it was a lovely place. Have a great trip!

Posted by
5 posts

I've stayed several times at the Hotel Valadon, 16 Rue Valadon. I just checked their site and noticed that the name has been changed to the Hotel du Cadran. They have a family room that sleeps 4 (a double bed and 2 twins) and a junior suite that sleeps 5. It is located one block from Rue Cler - a market street - and is close to Ecole Militaire metro stop. We always liked this neighborhood as it is an easy walk to the Eiffel Tower and the Ecole Militaire. There's no single area that you would stay in that would be close to all the sites. Use the Metro - it's very easy. We've also stayed at the Hotel Londres du Eiffel and it was a lovely place. Have a great trip!

Posted by
4065 posts

https://www.ratp.fr/en

Making the most of your very limited time practically requires you learn how to use the rapid-transit system, particularly the Underground. This site includes an interactive route planner. Buy carnets of tickets -- a packet of 10 individual tickets -- to share. Combining the transit link with Google Maps will help you locate hotels with good access to the transport. A station with two lines running through it is more helpful than worrying about a precise geographic location. Hotel booking sites (booking.com, hotels.com and plenty of others) usually link to maps too. Coming by train from Switzerland will probably put you down in the huge Gare de Lyon. That neighbourhood, from the station through to Place de Bastille, is very lively and with access to the Metro, especially at Place de la Bastille (although the plaza is noisy.) At least three Ibis hotels between the station and Bastille might serve your purposes although adjoining rooms could be iffy.
As to your other concerns: Safety is not an issue if you take sensible and widely known precautions; anyone dealing with tourists will speak enough English to get by (and buy). Paris has many on-line information sites with suggestions for airport transport. If the kids are older than 10, get them involved in the planning, particularly on the Internet.