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Where To Stay In Paris

At the beginning of October I will be winding up a 21 day solo trip (my first) that starts in Rome and ends with four nights in Paris. For a low stress departure for home I have booked my last night at the Hilton CDG and I'm looking for somewhere else to stay for the other three nights. I plan to use the hop on hop off bus tour for two of those days (did this 10 years ago with family), getting off where there are things to see and do, and also walk the Champs Ellysees and other landmarks along the river. I'd also like a Seine dinner cruise if you know of one. Rick says stay in the Rue Cler area, but many on the forum say otherwise, so I'm confused. I am open to small and large hotels, B&Bs and even an apartment and money is not really an issue on this trip. Culture, history and people watching are the focus. I'd appreciate any suggestions or advice that you may have to offer from your experiences there. My dates are October 2-5. Thank you.

Jim

Posted by
1384 posts

I stayed last October at the Hotel Europe Saint Severin, http://www.hoteleuropesaintseverin.com, and others have talked about Hotel le Regent, http://www.hotelleregent.com. I chose Europe St. Severin mainly due to location. Just around the corner from Saint-Michel Metro & RER stop. You have the Metro-4, North & South, RER-B, North & South & direct to CDG as well as the RER-C, East & West (Invalides, Eiffel Tower & Versailles) all at the St.-Michel stop. Notre Dame is a 5 min. walk, Saint-Chappell the same. Plenty of bakeries, restaurants and shops all around. For my return trip in May 2016 I will try an apartment, since I will be there for 7 nights, through Cobblestone Paris, www.cobblestoneparis.com, on Isle Saint Louis. If I return to Paris again for shorter periods, I will most likely stay at Europe Saint Severin.

Posted by
1976 posts

My sister and I stayed at the Hotel Cluny Sorbonne in a room for 2 people that cost around 100 euros per night. It was near the Sorbonne and just off Boulevard St.-Michel so there were a lot of young people around, and it was a 5- or 10-minute walk to the Seine and 2 Metro/RER stops. If you want something fancier, we also stayed at the Hotel Londres Eiffel, 5 minutes from the Eiffel Tower, in a room for 2 people that cost around 200 euros per night. That hotel is on a quiet one-way street.

Posted by
1806 posts

I like the 10th Arrondissement, but if you want to be somewhere more in the middle of all the big attractions where you can walk to everything and not have to rely too much on public transit, the 4th, 5th or 6th Arrondissements are all good options and infinitely more interesting than Rue Cler which is not the only game in town to find a decent place to stay. I also feel like for a short visit, the Champs-Elysees stroll is a waste of time. Aside from the Arc at the end, it's just a lot of retail - most all of it chain stores (some high end, some not) and mediocre, over-priced restaurants for tourists. I love to go shopping and my first visit to Paris I was there for several weeks so felt like I should stroll the length and in the end I felt it was just average and I could have used that time in a better way.

Posted by
2145 posts

Hi Jim, I like the 7th arrondissement which is near the Eiffel Tower, Seine River cruises, Rue Cler, Napoleon's Tomb, and Rodin Museum. It's a 20 minute walk to the D'Orsay Museum, maybe 30 minutes to the Champs Elysees. I think it's a good location. I've stayed at the Londres Eiffel Hotel and the Hotel L'Empereur. Both hotels are nice and I recommend checking them out if you are interested in that area.

Posted by
15649 posts

Many of us think the Rue Cler area is very residential, too far from too many of the main sights, and not very lively. The Left Bank's Latin Quarter, 4th & 5th arrondissements, is excellent and you've been given a couple of recommendations for hotels there. It's very lively, lots of shops, cafes, easy walking to many of the top sights and has a combination of broad boulevards and tiny side streets. I wouldn't bother with the HOHO bus, just get a map and use the local buses and metro when you really need them.

The Vedettes du Pont Neuf are the outfit I recommend for Seine cruises. I don't recommend a dinner cruise, though. If you're eating, you're not really seeing the views and you can get much better food at a restaurant for less money. Grab a seat at the prow and just watch the city slip by for an hour. My favorite time is to start around sunset and watch as the lights go on.

There's not much to see walking the Champs Elysees. There are nice views from the top of the Arc de Triomphe, but then take the metro to your next sight. On the other hand, walking along the Seine is great, daytime or after dark.

Also look at Fat Tire Bike Tours, which are very good. They have after-dark tours too. And their Segway tours are lots of fun.

Posted by
560 posts

Thanks to all of you. Good choices to look into. I wonder how much French will I need to know to survive in Paris. I have the RS French and Italian books but would like not to look foolish trying to communicate there.

Posted by
1384 posts

I was in Italy and Paris last October and was worried about the language. I had a RS Italian phrase book and had some translations Aps on my phone. Never used them. Was able to order food and shop without any issues, even ate dinner at a few restaurants in Italy and Paris where there were no other Americans nor where the menus in English. I did know the translations of certain foods in both languages, selected my food and enjoyed the meals. Don't be surprised at the amount of English that is spoken by the host country. As most folks say on this site, it is important to know how to say Please, Thank you, Excuse me, Hello and Goodbye in their native tongue. Enjoy your trip.

Posted by
31 posts

Jim,

I would recommend the Hotel L'Empereur or its sister hotel, Hotel Muguet, a few doors down the street. We have stayed at these locations more than once and had good experiences. These hotels are spotlessly clean and are located in the 7th district. The rooms are not huge, but are attractive and have nice bathrooms. Rooms with views are available. You are a few blocks from Rue Cler, across the street from Les Invalides and a metro stop. The Eiffel Tower is a 20 min walk away. The neighborhood is quiet, yet has plenty of restaurants. The staff at both hotels are helpful, some are more warm and fuzzy than others. I think these hotels have made Rick Steves' guide book since I lasted stayed here. http://www.hotelempereurparis.com/

Have a wonderful trip!

Posted by
31 posts

Jim,

Leslie here again. You will, in reality, not need any French in Paris. However, when entering a store or cafe always greet employees in french. The more french you attempt the more the French open up! They really seem to appreciate an attempt to try the language.

Posted by
4554 posts

Europeans have been hosting foreign tourists for centuries, you can always get by in English. It's more fun if you speak French and can be helpful if you get in a jam, but that's not likely. If you see something on a menu that you don't recognize, either ask or don't order it.

I had to negotiate a tip with a Parisian cabbie and because I spoke some French I didn't get hosed, as he had hoped.

Posted by
49 posts

Jim, we recently stayed at the Hotel Relais Bosquet in the Rue Cler neighborhood in the 7th, and we would highly recommend it. Convenient to the Ecole Militaire and Le Motte Picquet metro stops and Rue Cler is a very nice, mostly pedestrian street. Within a very short walk to the Eiffel Tower, Invalides, Rodin and D'Orsay. Rooms are spacious and have automatic blackout shades that cut out all the light and sound - very quiet and reasonably prices (we paid 195 euro in mid-April). Hotel staff was very friendly and helpful. You could not go wrong.