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Where to stay in Paris?

My wife and I are going to Belgium and then Paris for our 10-year anniversary, and are looking for advice on where to stay in Paris. Firstly, what would be a good location (or good locations)? Secondly, experience using airbnb vs. a hotel?

We would ideally spend our days moseying about rather than joining tours. Our preference would be to enjoy food, wine, art and each other. Thanks so much in advance, and please ask questions if any clarification would be at all helpful!

Posted by
11 posts

On my most recent trip to Paris, I stayed close to Notre Dame and I thought the location was great. Only about a two minute walk to Notre Dame and Shakespeare and Company. I've stayed in an Air BnB on all of my trips to Europe and I have not had a bad experience.

Posted by
20 posts

Half the fun is planning the trip. I am partial to the Left Bank and either the St. Germain or Latin Quarter areas. You are walking distance to major sights and numerous cafes and restaurants. I have only rented apartments because of wanting to live like a local. It depends on how much independence you want versus a hotel helping you with info, tickets, reservations, etc. Both have great advantages.

Posted by
2619 posts

As a first-timer last spring I chose the 6th and was very pleased with the neighborhood, plenty of restaurants and bakeries, upscale shops, near Jardin du luxembourg and close to 2 metro stations. I stayed at the Legend St Germain, not interested in airbnb. Excellent hotel and my room was quite large, with a balcony that looked on Rue des Rennes.

Posted by
4998 posts

Don't ignore the possibility of a hotel on Ile St Louis. It is as centrally located as one can get, and with the Metro one can go anywhere with no trouble at all. Depending on their vacancies the prices can be very competitive with other areas. 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, and may not have a hotel bar, 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
88 posts

I should probably add that we're not looking to spend (too much) more than $100 per night, and hopefully less. We want a room to be private, but it can be basic (especially if basic = charming). I looked at the Legend St Germain, and while it was lovely, it was a bit too much and also more fancy shmancy than we need. French cottage is just fine by us!

Posted by
7061 posts

I stayed in the Marais area (4th) and found it very convenient for walking around, easy enough to walk to Notre Dame and also the Louvre, Bastille area (great market on Thu and Sun), West Bank areas, Luxembourg gardens, etc. I loved the area around my apartment because of all the shops, cafes, bakeries, and especially the Place des Voges and Place Hotel de Ville- great places to hang out and people watch. I found my apartment through VRBO, never used airbnb myself.

Any of the lower arrondissements, as close to the Seine as possible are great for new visitors. For either a hotel or airbnb (or other apartments) be sure to read reviews about activity - some areas will be quiet at night and others will be quite active late into the night.

Posted by
2466 posts

What time of year are you coming?
A decent hotel will have air-conditioning, while most residential apartments will not.
I'd look in the 12th arrondissement for good deals on hotels. Good transportation options, too.
If you are coming between October -December, the available inventory of short-term rentals will probably start to dry up, due to owners having to register their apartments to make them available legally on the internet.

Posted by
11 posts

Check out Hotel Henri IV, it's on the left bank. It's close to Notre Dame. I've been to Saint Regis Cafe as TC mentioned, it's great.

Posted by
15 posts

Last Spring we stayed in the 11th arrondissement not far from Rue Cler. We loved the location and would definitely stay there in the future. It felt like we were a little away from the tourist areas. Many of the cafes and restaurants near us seemed to be busy with locals in the evenings, which we liked. We could walk to Rue Cler and the Eiffel Tower and took the Red Bus hop on/off tours or taxis to get to other places in the city.

Posted by
3773 posts

"Last Spring we stayed in the 11th arrondissement not far from Rue Cler."
There must be a typo somewhere in this sentence. I am thinking the writer means the 7th.

Posted by
213 posts

Many travelers will disagree but I still love Montmarte - we have rented apartments there and truly enjoyed the area. Yes there is a huge touristy area - but a short walk takes you into small streets, lots of great food shops - one for wine, one for cheese, one for veggies, one for meat - we even frequented a shop dedicated to blue cheese only - yummy.
You are farther away from the big sites of Paris but the metro is very convenient and being able to end your day standing atop the hill looking over Paris is worth it to us.

Posted by
94 posts

We loved being on Ile St. Louis. It's central to everything and we felt safe walking around the area even late at night. My favorite thing about the area was being able to walk to the Notre Dame at night and see it all lit up. They also had performers most evenings in front of the church.

Posted by
2466 posts

The 3 moderately-priced hotels on Ile-Saint-Louis cost around €200.

Try Hotel Saint Andre des Arts in the 6ème. near Metro Odeon.

I'm afraid that your idea of "French cottage" really doesn't exist except in the minds of professional decorators.
You might get some exposed ceiling beams, though.

Posted by
784 posts

Expanding on Wayne's post regarding Hotel Henri IV: he is correct that it is great, but to avoid confusion, the complete name is Hotel Henri IV Rive Gauche and it is on Rue St. Jacques in the 5th arrondissement. There is another Hotel Henri IV that doesn't get very good reviews. Also, not far from the former is Residence Henri IV, which is also often recommended - I believe it is more like an hotel-apartment.

Posted by
2092 posts

Nicholas, you mention that you'd like to keep the nightly hotel rate at $100; do you mean USD or Euro? Do you have Rick's 2017 Paris book? Have you checked out all his recommended hotels? One hotel that was in his book about 20 years ago was Hôtel Esmeralda which I have never stayed at but that could possibly work for you. The location looks perfect for you.

Posted by
88 posts

We ended up with a really nice apartment rental just south of the Eiffel Tower in the 7th. It has everything we want, was affordable (though not cheap), and the owner received review after review affirming just how amazing they were and how nice the neighborhood was. Thank you all so much, and next I'll have to get recommendations for our anniversary dinner!

Posted by
22 posts

On three different trips we've stayed at the Hotel Tiquetonne at 6, rue Tiquetonne, in the 2nd. It's just two blocks from the wonderful market street rue Montorgueil. They serve breakfast in your room for I think 9 euros. Very nice.
It's not fancy, but has an elevator. Bath in the room was modern and not tiny. Room was ~ 80 euros with bath in the room. It's less if you do not need a bath in the room.
Some of the desk staff speak some English, but not all.
We'll be going back there next year.