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Where should a newbie and her 19 year old daughter stay in Paris?

My daughter and I will be staying in Paris for 5 or 6 nights in late May. Neither of us have been. I would love advice on where to stay. I'd like to primarily travel by foot. It's been recommended to stay near the Seine as it's close to so many places. I've spent some time today looking for places on Airbnb and I see that we still have some good options. I just can't seem to make a decision on what neighborhood would be best. As well, I am not tied to Airbnb.

I would love to be in a place where food is plentiful, buildings are beautiful, a grocer is near, things are worn with age and history. We don't need trendy, new or busy. I know we can find that as desired. If you can suggest a neighborhood for us that we will feel safe, is walkable and accessible, I'd really appreciate it. Our plan is to spend time together after her first year away at college, eat well, drink some red wine and wander the streets of Paris together.

Many thanks in advance.

Posted by
3798 posts

What is your budget? Are you wedded to renting an apartment? Between being a "newbie" and the issues around vacation rentals in Paris right now, I tend to think that a hotel would be a good choice. By the way, it may seem like you have a lot of time but late May is pretty busy in Paris and some of the better apartments and more budget friendly hotels may already be booked up.

Posted by
1229 posts

Hi Annie,
Ive been to Paris a few times, 2 with kids. We too have stayed near the Seine, on the left bank between Notre Dame and St. Germain. We also rented apartments, in spite of the conflict around airbnb, which seems to be growing but Im not sure (the bad stories are always present). Everything is very accessible by foot, and of course the metro is very easy to use too. The most recent time we stayed in the St. Germain neighborhood around the corner from Rue de Buci and a grocery store. There are also small markets everywhere. The Rue Cler area is nice too, as is the Marais (right bank). You will be near beauty just being in Paris! No need to seek it out. And if you are anywhere along the Seine it will be busy, but old, charming and special. As for safety, it is a city; I feel as safe there as I do in any other US city (Seattle, S.F. NY, etc...).


Posted by
210 posts

I would highly recommend HOTEL RELAIS BOSQUET which is a short block away from Rick Steves Rue Cler and near to the Eiffel Tower and a metro stop. I stayed there a few years ago with my daughter who was in college. At the time she was studying abroad at NYU Tel Aviv and we met during her spring break.

Posted by
9436 posts

My favorite areas are the 4th arrondissement (the Marais and Ile St Louis - the little island next to the bigger island where Notre Dame is), the 5th (Latin Quarter), and the 6th (St Germain). My all time favorite is Ile St Louis. It’s like a little village right in the heart of Paris, gorgeous, and surrounded by the river w amazing views. I think you both would be very happy there.

Posted by
11294 posts

"I would love to be in a place where food is plentiful, buildings are beautiful, a grocer is near, things are worn with age and history. "

That's pretty much all of Paris, so it's no wonder you're having trouble deciding!

I agree that for a first visit, a hotel is easier than an apartment, particularly given the current issues with rental apartments in Paris. It's very handy to have desk personel you can ask for information.

There is no single "best" neighborhood. Many of us do indeed favor the 4th, 5th, and 6th arrondissements, close to the Seine. Rick likes the Rue Cler neighborhood, but it's farther from most sights and very loaded with his readers; nothing wrong with it, but not where I'd choose to stay.

If you state your budget in euros, people can list their favorites.

For my past few trips, I've stayed at the Grand Hotel des Balcons: The rooms are more plain than the fancy lobby, and there's no air conditioning (probably not needed for May, but I'd be leery of staying there in high summer). It's a great value for the price. It's conveniently located near the Odeon metro stop.

Posted by
5060 posts

You didn't mention your budgeted amount for accommodations, but don't rule out staying in the very heart of Paris on Ile St. Louis because you assume the rates will be sky high. Depending on their vacancies you may find rates comparable to other parts of town. We've stayed at Hotel des Deux-Iles and will stay there again. It's quiet with friendly and helpful front desk personnel. Very well located -- cross the river and you will be in the Marais -- cross it the other way and you'll be in The Latin Quarter. We emailed them directly with a request for rates, booking, and usually got a quote within 24 hours. We did not eat breakfast there as it seemed quite expensive for what was offered.

If they can't accommodate you, a few doors away is their sister hotel named Hotel de Lutece. We wouldn't hesitate to stay there based on our experience at Hotel des Deux-Iles.

There is another hotel on the island named Hôtel Saint-Louis en l´Isle, but we've not stayed there. They have (I think) a dedicated shuttle that will pick you up at the airport. I'm not sure what the charge is, but with the taxis into the city from the airport now charging a flat rate price that may be the way to get to any hotel.

If you do stay on the island we can tell you about a local place where you can get a great little breakfast for a good price.

It should only take a few minutes googling to see if staying on the island is a possibility, or to rule it out.

Posted by
2466 posts

You should be looking for a 13-digit registration number, first, on AirBnB's website. This takes a lot of time, so you might have to give it up.

Or, you should go to a hotel within walking distance to the Seine. The Hotel Saint-Louis-en-Isle is a good one - renovated within 2 years. You'll have your own private island to explore.

You can eat (mostly) well, drink red wine and wander the streets of Paris together.

Posted by
1211 posts

I've stayed at Hotel Jeanne d'Arc, in the Marais twice, once with each of my then-teenaged daughters. It's a sweet, moderately-priced hotel (with a tiny elevator) and wonderfully located just around the corner from the Place Sainte Catherine (with several nice cafes), 10 minutes from the Place des Vosges (beautiful!) and about a 10-minute walk from the St. Paul metro stop. It's a very easy 15-minute stroll, also, to Ile St. Louis (in the river). The Jeanne d'Arc is charming, and perfect for those of us who really like staying in the Marais neighborhood with its cafes, coffee and tea shops, boutiques, and rich history. It does book up, so reserve now on their web page if you want to stay there... (caveat: I'm not sure if they have AC. In late May you may want to stay somewhere that does...)

Posted by
3342 posts

The 10th Arrondisement is under the RS radar - but I loved this hotel and the neighborhood. Check it out - and the neighborhood. Full disclosure - we were there in 2015, shortly before the terrorist attacks on our beloved Petit Cambodge.

Posted by
2466 posts

The Jeanne d'Arc does not have air-conditioning, unfortunately.

Try this one - renovated about 2 years ago, has air-conditioning:
30, rue de Turenne - Les Tournelles Hotel. In the 3rd arrondissement.

Posted by
2466 posts

I wouldn't stay near the Eiffel Tower, because it's just a monument, and you'll be sick and tired of looking at it.
Things are more interesting elsewhere.