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where to stay in paris

SO! I know there is a LOT to consider in where to stay in paris. Basically, I am comparing hotels with AIRBNBs. I am kind of on a budget but don't mind spending a little to be in an enjoyable neighborhood. I will be in Paris with my family for 4 nights and I think only 3 full days. We don't have to experience all of the museums and tourist attractions. I would like to do some of the main tourist attractions and otherwise enjoy some small charms of the city. I have started to educate myself on the differences between the arrondissements. I have found an airbnb in the 2nd arrondissement for my family of 4 for about 160 a night which I considered to be pretty decent considering thatd be about 80 a night for 2 hotel rooms if we were to be in a hotel. I know the 2nd arrondissement is a bit more expensive and I don't want to end up spending a fortune every time I want to lightly shop or eat or get coffee in the morning. I also found some decent hotels that are in the 9th arrondissement (ibis Paris Grands Boulevards Opera 9th) at about 80-95 a night per room depending on the rooms we pick. I have also found cheaper airbnbs in the 15th and 10th arrondissemets because they are further out.

Basically, my predicament is, I would like to be in a location that is not a long commute to tourist attractions but I also really would like to be in a neighborhood that if I wake up before my family (which I am sure I will do) I can venture out in the neighborhood and have a nice view and be able to sit and have coffee or lightly shop without it being too expensive. If there are any cute little neighborhoods that anyone suggests in any particular arrondissement I would appreciate the information. Though I am researching, I am not sure what to expect.

Posted by
368 posts

Hi Michele:

You might also want to look at hotels for family rooms. Some have adjoining rooms that can be used and are cheaper than 2 separate rooms.

The first time I was in Paris I stated at the Hotel Castex in the Marais. It was nice and you could walk to most places. The second time I stayed near the Eiffel Tower. The second area was much more residential and I liked I better.

What you can also do is research what is located around the hotel you are staying at. There are lots of cafe's and boluangries to get coffee and a pastry that are not too expensive.

Posted by
9429 posts

Of those 4 arrondissements, I like the 2nd best, for me, it has the most charm. Rue Montorgeuil, in the 2nd and 1st, is a nice, mostly car free, market street with fun shops, restaurants, cafés, etc. You'll find shops, cafés, restaurants, bakeries, pharmacies, etc all over Paris so don't worry about that. The 9th is more expensive (generally) than the other 3.
All that said, my favorite arrondissements are the 4th, 5th and 6th for the architecture, beauty, parks, outdoor markets, history, river, central location, shops, "atmosphere" and most fun, for me, to explore.

Posted by
2466 posts

If you are only staying 3 or 4 days, the owner or manager might well prefer someone who will rent a full week, if not longer. If he cancels on you last-minute due to a "plumbing problem", it will be up to you to find lodging on your own - not easy, considering the size of your family. The myth of "space" and having "real beds" in a Parisian apartment is not always accurate, so don't discount staying in hotels. Normally, you can't leave your luggage before the apartment is ready, so will have to haul it all over the place. Hotels are happy to store your luggage.

I'd suggest you look into Adagio or Citadines apart'hotels, which are legal and will have everything you need, including being more centrally located and convenient to transportation. I'd recommend the 11th or 4th arrondissements for convenient walking and central locations.
Or any of the other family-friendly hotels which were mentioned.

Posted by
1625 posts

You have to weight location with price, for only days I would choose location. You don't say when you are going, but if you do want to rent an apartment I would do so about 6-10 months before travel, the good ones go fast. We love the 6th because it has what you are looking for, close to lots of food options and it is close to the river and you can walk to Notre Dame and the Louvre.

Posted by
424 posts

See if Hotel Excelsior Latin fits your budget and location wishes. http://www.excelsior-paris-hotel.com/en/

We stayed there in a comfort room that fit our family of 5 well, considering the usual constraints of room size in Paris (just big enough!). It had two rooms split by a wall, but not a door, a good sized updated bathroom, and really comfortable beds. The location was very central, and breakfast was available, but we chose to go out to Maison Pradier each morning - one of many, many easy choices for a quick morning cafe, croissant, and juice. It had the benefit of AC, and ice machine and cappuccino/hot chocolate machine in lobby for guests, and luggage storage if you get there before you room is ready. It is within walking distance of Luxembourg Gardens, and right in the heart of Latin Quarter, so we walked everywhere easily.

Good luck!
Laurie

Posted by
2466 posts

If you're going to be there in August, you will definitely need air-conditioning.
Hotels have air-conditioning.
Some apart'hotels do not have a/c, but will lend you fans.
Apartments do not have air-conditioning.

Even budget hotels have air-conditioning, so I'd recommend staying there.
Try Ibis, Mercure, Accor, Best Western...there are locations all over Paris.

Posted by
16 posts

We're making our second trip next month after being there for the first time in August. Everyone told me it was the worst time to go but it was heaven. The hottest it got was 78 one day, but the evenings were cool. Keep in mind that coming from Cincinnati, it was 92 the week I was gone, so going between 68 and 78 was no big deal. The concierge kept apologizing for heat and we were like "Really it's fine and way better than home"

I wouldn't stress too much about where you stay. I would make sure you have a/c just in case. I stressed so much and dumped a ton of money at Hotel Regina and we were NEVER there. Left in the morning, got home late. The metro and public transportation is so cheap and so insanely easy to use you're never more than 10 minutes from where you want to be. We found hopping metros and changing lines actually fun.

Finally, we stayed in the first arr. which is the most expensive. We traveled to 7 of the arr's and the cafe and bistro food is totally comparable to midwest USA eateries, and downright cheap if you're used to living in a big city. Most places have a set petit dejeuner (breakfast) for anywhere from 8-15 E, tax and tip included. We would split one every morning which included a three egg omelete with ham and bacon, 2 croissants, 2 cafe and 2 fresh juice. Cheaper than Bob Evans and you're sitting on the sidewalk looking at Paris!

If you order a coffee to go "Un cafe a porte" it's like 3E, if you sit down it might be 4-5E but they also bring you bread. Wines come in like 6 sizes ranging from 3-10 oz (in centilitres) on the menu and they bring you complimentary bread, or nuts, or olives or tapenade. Always keep in mind that tax and tip are included. If a waiter was especially helpful, like giving directions, I left a little something extra. Learn a few basic salutations and words and you will be treated very well.

Posted by
2466 posts

"Un cafe a emporter" might get you what you want, without the waiter asking you three times : )
Usually, you get one of these little espressos at the bar for 1 EU or 1.20 EU.

For bigger, more complicated coffees to go, you go to Starbucks.

Posted by
9429 posts

I've been in Paris in August more times than I can count and it's always been in the 90s or 100s for at least 1-2 wks. You never know from year to year what you'll get but I'd never go again in summer w/o AC.

Posted by
14 posts

Thank you all for your input! I really appreciate it. I am pretty bummed out about that comment about airbnbs. I found airbnbs that are WAY more affordable than hotels. But I do not want to be canceled on because we are only staying for 4 nights. I was hoping to spend no more that 150 a night for 4 people. which was doable with airbnb but for hotels that is virtually impossible. Plus all of the hotel beds are singles??? I have no problem sleeping on a single but I don't think my dad and aunt will be okay with that. If anyone has any hotel suggestions that are in my price range Id really appreciate it! Or if anyone has any other airbnb experiences that are less than a week, let me know.

Posted by
14580 posts

Hi,

If you know your stay is definitely for 4 nights, I suggest the hotel option. Paying 80 Euro for a single is normal, even better if the hotel in question has a high rating score, depends upon what you are willing to cope with and to forego. I've been in Paris in August, both when it rained and when it baked, which is more often.

Posted by
9429 posts

Michele, try Hotel Marignan in the 5th (Latin Quarter). Very budget hotel that is nice, for budget hotel. I stopped in there a couple weeks ago and the owner was great and took me on a tour. They have a kitchen and free washer/dryer for guests (unheard of anywhere else). The location is great and very close to the river and Nôtre Dame, the most central you can get.

Posted by
2466 posts

You don't have to settle for single beds.
Two single beds are commonly clamped together to make a double, if that's what you require.
You just need to filter your search for "double rooms".

You can find double rooms that fit your budget easily if you use Google Maps or this site:
http://www.eurocheapo.com/blog/8-favorite-cheap-hotels-paris.html

Again, it would not be prudent to try AirBnB, due to the crackdown.

Get a hotel with air-conditioning and double beds and enjoy your vacation.

Posted by
14 posts

Thanks again for your guys input! Is it a normal request to ask for extra single beds? I can find plenty of rooms that accommodate doubles, but I have 4 people and that would be 4 double beds. Most of the good priced hotels I am finding that almost accommodate our sleeping needs are the aparthotels and a best western in the 15th and 13th arrondissiments. they say they sleep 4 but that is usually either a double bed and a sofa bed, or a queen and 2 twins. which is the best I have found thus far. I don't want my dad and aunt to have to share a bed or sleep on a twin. do you think hotels would offer an extra twin at an extra cost so they can each sleep on a double?

Posted by
1806 posts

You need to understand that in Paris the hotel rooms, unless you are staying in a luxury hotel, are typically going to be on the smallish side. So bringing in additional twin beds for your aunt and Dad to make 2 double beds for each of them is likely not going to work in a standard room that is outfitted with just 2 twin beds.

Consider staying in a hotel or apartment rental in one of the double digit Arrondissements that has good connections via public transit, or just get yourself the Uber app when you want to get someplace in the 1st-9th Arron and don't feel like walking or taking public transit. It's really not that expensive when you are splitting the cost among 4 adults and you are getting door to door service vs. having to find a taxi stand. Uber has a fare estimator tool so you can see the price - for example, a ride from the 10th Arron to the Eiffel Tower is about 16 to 22 Euro on Uber.

I stayed at the Ibis Gare du Nord Chateau Landon once in the 10th during the month of August and landed a really great deal online. I loved the 10th. The hotel was within walking distance to Gare du Nord and Gare de l'Est, multiple Metro lines, the RER and several bus lines. The hotel room had A/C, there was an elevator (handy if you are traveling with older relatives). I declined the hotel breakfast and opted to walk to any of a half dozen bakeries in the morning to grab something on the go along with a coffee - never spent more than 2-3 Euro total. That part of the 10th was a good mix of working families (blue collar and white collar) and young professionals. Lots of reasonably priced restaurants, groceries, delis and shopping nearby.

Although Citadines and other apart'hotels are great options, you can find other reputable apartment rental agencies if you are not wanting to gamble with whether your Airbnb choice is legal or the owner might decide to cancel your reservation to take on someone else who wants the place for a week or more. If you do a search of this board, you'll find the names of a number of agencies people have used for apartment rentals, but again, Paris apartments can be small and it's next to impossible to find one with central a/c or multiple a/c units.

To give you an idea, we rented a 3 BR 1.5 BA in the Marais last summer and spent around $425/night to sleep 3 adults and 2 older teens. Sure it's a single digit arrondissement, but we still had to walk anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes to get to the Metro depending what line we needed, or else we took an Uber. The building had an elevator (also rare to find in older Paris buildings), but it was the size of a phone booth. To get up to the 4th Floor where our rental was, only 2 or 3 of us could get in the elevator at one time (that was without any luggage). We did have an air conditioner, but only in the living room. Luckily for us, there was only 1 or 2 days where we needed to turn the A/C on and the temps dropped a lot after the sun went down - there were also ceiling fans or a pedestal fan in every bedroom. There is no way one A/C unit would have sufficiently cooled down the back half of the apartment where 2 of the bedrooms and the full bathroom were located. There was only one queen sized bed in the master bedroom. The other 2 bedrooms had twin beds, but they were bunk beds because the bedrooms were very narrow. The official check-in time was not until 3PM and the owner had said he would not let us in earlier but would be willing to hold our luggage provided he was on-site before 3PM. We had to pay a security deposit (refundable) and a non-refundable cleaning fee in advance. We knew all of this going into the rental, so there were no surprises for us, but for some people these things might put a damper on renting and make a budget/business class hotel a lot more appealing.

Posted by
2466 posts

Apartment agencies consider themselves to be reputable. The problem is that the apartments they list are illegal.

Citadines Paris Bastille Gare de Lyon has rooms that sleep up to 5 people in a double bed, 2 singles and a double sofa bed. Also has a kitchen.
You might scroll through this list, as well:
sleeps5.com/destinations/europe-south/france/paris/citadines-paris-bastille-nation-aparthotel/

Posted by
1806 posts

Chexbres: I am a big fan of Citadines and often sing its praises on this board as well as other apart'hotels as an option when someone needs the extra space, but also can benefit from the perks of some hotel services like daily housekeeping, ease of check-in/check-out and access to a 24/7 front desk to ask questions or get directions. Unfortunately, the OP is on a budget and is interested in paying about 160 a night for a family of 4 (not sure if the 160/night is supposed to represent Euro or USD) and Citadines is not anywhere in that price range - it's close to $300/night. It's up to the poster to decide if they want to pursue vetting whether the offerings of a rental agent (like Vacation in Paris) are legal or fall into a grey area. The same thing goes on with Airbnb in the U.S. I've seen at least 6 different apartment buildings that I have personally lived in offered on Airbnb and I know those places advertised are completely illegal because the lease document I signed for those 6 buildings very clearly stated that you could not be renting your apartment to others and if caught doing so, you'd be evicted.

Ibis Chateau Landon has rooms available that (depending on bed set-up) cost $67 to $80 per night - $67 gets a double room with 2 twin beds and $80 a double room with one double bed and a sofabed. At that price, I'd say the OP should get her Dad and Aunt each their own room. This way, everyone has A/C and their own bathroom and everything is on the up and up.

Posted by
81 posts

Pursuant to the Prior Prior: As others have indicated in many previous posts it appears to be the sole intent of a particular Parisian poster to try to steer readers away from renting in Paris.

If you rent through a reputable company or booking agency the mysterious "plumbing problem" the day before is unlikely to happen. If the agency agrees to such a short rental then they will honor.

As far as "the crackdown" - can we please STOP trying to unnecessarily scare people. I stayed last week at a lovely 3br 3bath apartment booked through an agency with several levels of protection on my end. It's a free market economy. Whether it was "legal" or not is, in my mind, not terribly different than people sub-sub-sub-letting rent control apartments in New York.

Let's worry about better things than trying to scare people away from temporary housing situations that might be right for their particular situation.

Posted by
2466 posts

If people want to rent apartments, that's fine with "a certain Parisian Poster". There are no hidden agenda or scare tactics involved, here.
If people want to take the time to investigate whether an apartment is legal or not, that's fine, too.

But, if people want to know the facts of the on-going crack-down - and make no mistake, the Mayor's Task Force is visiting apartments with no announcements beforehand - they might want to understand what's going on.

Posted by
776 posts

Donna

When you visit us in Paris I hope you will be as tolerant of other law breakers as you wish everyone to be of those who rent their apartments illegally. You won't fuss at all about people who don't pick up after their dogs, who throw their cigarette butts anywhere, who urinate in public spaces, who leave their picnic trash as food for rats, who smoke in areas where smoking is not allowed,

Posted by
9429 posts

75020 and chexbres: about the dog poop in Paris... Why doesn't the mayor's task force put as much energy into stopping people from not cleaning up after their dogs as you say they are about stopping property owners from renting their property to visitors?
Dog poop is all over the sidewalks throughout Paris and it is truly disgusting. Paris is the most beautiful city in the world but dog poop everywhere you walk significantly diminishes it's beauty. I am always walking looking down so I don't step in it and having to constantly warn my family and friends to watch out as we walk so they don't step in it.
I have no doubt you could find dog poop in any city, but nothing even remotely close to the massive amount you can see everywhere you walk in Paris.
Can you explain why this is tolerated? Why the "powers that be" are not serious about stopping it? Why do Parisians allow and tolerate this disgusting behavior?
Just curious to hear your insight on this.

Posted by
776 posts

"Why doesn't the mayor's task force put as much energy into stopping people from not cleaning up after their dogs as you say they are about stopping property owners from renting their property to visitors?"

You don't know that the mayor isn't. expending equal energy, do you? But as long as we have lots of people who feel that abiding by the law is a cafeteria like experience leaving them to pick.which laws they wish to honor, there will be
difficulties. As the mayor has said, attitude changes are necessary. Will that happen? The idea of my right to do what I want with my property is not far from my right to let my dog do its business anywhere, or my right to throw my cigarette butts anywhere or my right to urinate publicly or any of the other "rights" that disturb others quality of life.

Posted by
9429 posts

You did not answer my question 75020. You gave no insight as to why Parisians tolerate dog poop everyhere you walk. Yes, I do know the mayor's task force is not expending as much energy (none at all imo) to stop this behavior. I have friends that live in Paris, I visit as often as possible and I was just there (I also grew up there and love Paris).
I was just hoping for some insight... since you brought it up... not more ranting about apts.

Posted by
2466 posts

Susan - you make it sound as if Paris is positively paved in dog poop.
Perhaps it is, in some neighborhoods...but I contend that there is more human waste and garbage than dog poop.
But this isn't the case in the 4 arrondissements I've lived in, and dog walkers make a point of reminding people who do not pick up poop to do so.
I know a 78-year old woman who was given a 35 EU fine at 6 AM when her ancient doggie unexpectedly pooped in the middle of the street - not even on the sidewalk.

Posted by
776 posts

susan

You missed the point completely. Furthermore why would I have any insight regarding the attitudes of Parisians re dog.stuff? What makes you think many tolerate it? Your best source of information regarding "insight" would be your Paris friends. no? You said you grew up here . . . .you could best answer your own question and share your answer with the rest of us who wonder about this attitude.

Posted by
9429 posts

75020, I didn't miss anything. I was just hoping for insight from someone else who lives there. I know it's tolerated because it's everywhere. If Parisian residents wanted it stopped they could organize and effect change. If you have no insight, fine, that's fair. Just say so. No need for hostility and combativeness.
And my point still stands, if a mayor's task force seriously went after this problem it would be very different.

Chexbres, thank you for your response. I did see it all over from the 1st to 10th.
But I appreciate your calm response.

Posted by
776 posts

Susan, this was my point

"But as long as we have lots of people who feel that abiding by the law is a cafeteria like experience leaving them to pick.which laws they wish to honor, there will be difficulties."

This comment was regarding attitudes to The Law . . .period. You chose to extrapolate from the list of "bad" behaviors your peeve and go with it.

Your statement " I know it's tolerated because it's everywhere" is blatantly untrue.

If you see disagreement as combativeness and hostility . . . that will make discussion a problem for you

and some additional reading
http://www.paris.fr/actualites/objectif-paris-propre-de-nouvelles-mesures-pour-la-proprete-4629

Posted by
108 posts

I hope you see this comment and it is not lost in the argument that has ensued.

It looks like you are on the right track to finding good accommodations. Hotels, even the ones recommended in Ricks books, can end up being a little pricier than what a budget conscious person can afford in one of the most traveled cities.

Here is my recommendation on what to look out for. When looking at an Airbnb, just read the reviews. The nice thing about the platform is that you can see how long and the quality of service you are going to expect. Let the owners worry about their own compliance and Airbnb keeps themselves on top of it as well. So there is no reason to be scared. But it is not a bad idea to have a back up plan, and that is the case even if you book a hotel.

About the beds. Sleeping on a twin (single) should not intimidate anyone. A twin bed is the same size as half a kind (though some singles in Paris accommodations can be smaller) and is all the space anyone sleeping with a spouse would normally get. Paris is pretty unique in their norms of hotel sizing and it is something you will just have to accept when on a budget. That is not to say that you shouldn't mitigate as much as possible, but part of the experience of Paris is staying in a small place. Otherwise, stay outside the city and RER into town...but you will just swap accommodation costs for transportation costs.

We always Airbnb it. Paris, with their billions in tourism dollars, is still probably the most expensive city in the world to stay...and if they are not willing to offset that somehow, then eventually Airbnb will 'force' them to.

As far as neighborhood(s), that gets so complicated. Another poster mentioned that you will find cafes, bakeries, etc everywhere, so you are bound to find something that works. If you book the Airbnb, ask the host....I am sure they would be happy to tell you where they get their morning coffee...and there will always be something to see on a quiet morning walk. Might not be a monument, but there is something interesting on nearly every corner in Paris. Just soak it up...and try somewhere else next time.

Hope that helps.

Posted by
9429 posts

75020, this is my last response to you. My experience and observations are not "blatantly untrue." My experience and observations are absolutely true.

Disagreement is never a problem for me. Chexbres and I have disagreed many times. But the difference is chexbres has always been calm and respectful. You are the opposite. Disagreement is not hostile and combative, but you are. For no reason. Chexbres and I can respectfully disagree, and I admire and appreciate that. And many times, we agree.
I was simply looking for thoughtful insight from others who live there. That's it. Very simple.
Au revoir.