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What Neighborhood in Paris?

My wife and I have sort of a last minute European trip in late November. We are going to spend two nights in Paris. What neighborhood should we stay in? We are planning on doing most of the typical things; Notre Dame, Louvre, Eiffel Tower ect and we will be arriving and departing from Gare du Nord. Good Metro access from Gare du Nord is a good thing.

Any suggestion as where in Paris to stay?

thanks in advance.

Posted by
3122 posts

I can highly recommend Hotel des Grandes Ecoles in the Latin Quarter, about 15 minutes' walk from the left bank bridges to the Isle St Louis and Isle de la Cite (Notre Dame). Their booking system only allows booking 4 months ahead, apparently because they are so much in demand. http://www.hotel-grandes-ecoles.com/

They were listed in the Rick Steves 2014 guide to France, before RS decided to limit Paris lodgings to just a few neighborhoods, the Latin Quarter not being one of them (regrettably, IMHO).

The nearest Metro stops are Cardinal Lemoine and Place Monge. It is a fairly quiet neighborhood just northeast of Place de la Contrescarpe and there are plenty of small restaurants on every street. About 10 minutes' walk to the southwest takes you to the Pantheon and immediately beyond that is the Sorbonne.

Posted by
9436 posts

i stayed at Hotel des Grandes Ecoles for a month and enjoyed the hotel but it's too far from the heart of Paris imo, the area I like best.
I recommend farther west in the 5th - between the Pantheon and the Luxembourg Gardens and north to the river. My favorite neighborhood of all is Ile St. Louis in the 4th arrondissement, the little island next to the larger island where Notre Dame is. It's the very heart and center of Paris and is like a charming village surrounded by the Seine river and amazing views. Hotels there are reasonable, email them after checking prices on Hotels.com. There are four very nice hotels there: Hotel de Lutèce, Hotel des Deux Iles, Hotel St. Louis en l'Isle and Hotel Jeu de Paume. For a less expensive hotel in the 5th, I recommend Hotel Diana on rue St. Jacques. Other good hotels in the 5th that I've stayed: Hotel St. Jacques, Hotel du Pantheon and Hotel des Grands Hommes. Another good area is the Marais (4th arrondissement) as close to the river as possible. From all these areas you will be able to see and walk to a majority of the sites you'll want to see.

Posted by
3791 posts

You may want to consider Hotel Brittanique (on Avenue Victoria) -- great location for getting to the Louvre and Notre Dame and right near the Chatelet metro stop on Metro line 4. A person I know stays there every time he goes to Paris and he loves the place. I have not stayed there but I have seen it and it is in good central spot (not a quaint, charming spot but nice) and is a clean, well-kept property. I love Hotel des Grandes Ecoles but I agree that it is a bit far to the east for a 2-day trip.

Posted by
5260 posts

Another vote for Hotel Diana, which is very close to the Cluny Museum & La Sorbonne.
It's a reasonably priced hotel with comfy beds, a small elevator, A/C, good Wi-Fi, and helpful, friendly staff.

Enjoy Paris!

Posted by
14580 posts

The first hotel I stayed in Paris, ie, not a hostel, was a small hotel on Rue Monge just down the block from Metro Cardinal Lemoine. That was in Aug. 1977. It's gone, came back ten years later and saw it was no longer there. Then I stayed at Gare du Nord.

Posted by
8212 posts

Hotel Grande Ecole is fine in winter -- it is nightmare in hot weather due to its lack of AC especially in the upper floor rooms. Location is okay -- easy walk to the river and Notre Dame and the Luxembourg Gardens. Somewhat more central and a nicer hotel is Henri IV Rive Gauche -- when we book a hotel for short stays in Paris (we get apartments for long stays) this is our go to. Near the river and Notre Dame and good transport; around the corner from Shakespeare and Company. Our favorite thing in Paris is a nighttime stroll around Notre Dame and this is the perfect location for that.

I would in any case stay in the 5th or 6th in winter weather..

Posted by
2466 posts

If you don't have much luggage, you can get to Gare du Nord in about 15-20 minutes by Metro, including walking time, from most of central Paris.
If you have lots of luggage, a taxi will get you from central Paris to Gare du Nord for around 25 EU, possibly less, in about 25 minutes.
I'd look for a hotel in the Postal Codes 75004, 75005 or 75006. There's absolutely no reason to confine yourself to the area around the train station.

Posted by
9436 posts

Fyi... postal codes 75004, 75005 and 75006 are the 4th, 5th and 6th arrondissement.

Posted by
9436 posts

Fred... "Then I stayed at Gare du Nord"... on a bench? Must have been noisy in that train station... : )

Posted by
35 posts

Thanks everybody, lots of great info. What I'm really curious about is what areas one neighborhoods in Paris have convenient connections via Metro from Gare du Nord. Thanks in advance for any info.

Posted by
3791 posts

Hotel Brittanique is in a neighborhood that is an easy Metro ride on Line 4 from Gare du Nord. The western portion of Les Marais is easily reached from the Chatelet stop on line 4. Another easily reached neighborhood with lots of accommodation choices is the area near Odeon Metro station which is also on line 4. The area around the Bastille metro is also easily reached by mass transit from Gare du Nord -- you can get to Bastille on Metro line 5 straight from Gare du Nord. How do you define convenient? No need to change trains at a station? If you are willing to change trains once then just about every neighborhood is convenient to Gare du Nord -- it is one of Paris' transit hubs, after all.

Posted by
14580 posts

"on a bench" No, I never had that luxury. In Aug. 1987 ("tens years after" as in the Dumas novel), as you do know, Nord was going through construction, sand on the floor, a real mess, I saw lots of backpackers sitting on the floor most likely waiting for the night train. I got to Nord at ca 2300, solo, no hotel reservation, on the train from Boulogne. First thing was to get a hotel as a walk-in, I picked the hotel where the Kyriad is located today right outside, across the street from Nord.

If I am solo in Paris, I stay at Gare du Nord, though the Kyriad is a bit pricey relative to others. Ibis is now at the end of the block where the Kyriad is...never stayed at a Kyriad.

Posted by
5260 posts

Steve,

What I'm really curious about is what areas one neighborhoods in Paris have convenient connections via Metro from Gare du Nord. Thanks in advance for any info.

To answer your question... The public transportation system is very extensive in Paris & you can get to any neighborhood via Metro, RER, Tram or bus from Gare du Nord.

Here are a few helpful websites:

Enjoy Paris!

Edit to add...
I forgot to mention that you can get the RATP app on your smartphone too: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ratp/id507107090?mt=8

I also found this app very helpful: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/next-stop-paris-visit-paris/id660175477?mt=8

Posted by
5697 posts

Adding to Priscilla's excellent advice -- you may well find that taking a bus with your bag(s) is far easier than maneuvering up and down Metro stairways/escalators.

Posted by
1825 posts

I wouldn't base my hotel location on Metro access to the train station. If you have your luggage just take a cab and stay where you want. I've stayed in the Marais and Rue Cler and next spring chose Isle St. Louis based on Ricks' and many members here suggestion. It would be a short cab ride without dealing with the Metro which I avoid anyways.

Posted by
2466 posts

I'd recommend this hotel, on a quiet street near Metro Odeon. Centrally-located, you can walk to a lot of places, transportation very convenient.

4 minutes' walk to Odeon, then 15 mins to Gard du Nord on Ligne 4, with no transfers and another 4 mins walk to Gare du Nord. Easy-peasy.

http://www.residencehenri4.com/en/

Posted by
9851 posts

Yes, if you stay anywhere along the "spine" of the line 4, or the RER B (e.g St Michel), you'll have a direct shot to/from Gare du Nord. That's why a hotel near Odéon station, as Chexbres mentioned, would be a good idea. Anywhere near any of those line 4 stations in the 6th (south of the river) would be good - St Michel, Odéon, Saint-Germain des-Prés, St Sulpice. Good both in terms of a pleasant place to stay, central, and ease of return to Gare du Nord on the line 4.

For RER B stations south of the river, St Michel or Luxembourg stops would make for an easy return to Gare du Nord when the time comes and are also in nice areas to stay in for such a short visit.

Posted by
9851 posts

Yes, if you stay anywhere along the "spine" of the line 4, or the RER B (e.g St Michel), you'll have a direct shot to/from Gare du Nord. That's why a hotel near Odéon station, as Chexbres mentioned, would be a good idea. Anywhere near any of those line 4 stations in the 6th (south of the river) would be good - St Michel, Odéon, Saint-Germain des-Prés, St Sulpice. Good both in terms of a pleasant place to stay, central, and ease of return to Gare du Nord on the line 4.

For RER B stations south of the river, St Michel or Luxembourg stops would make for an easy return to Gare du Nord when the time comes and are also in nice areas to stay in for such a short visit.