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Why shouldn't I stay in the 19th arr. in Paris

I have a few days for a short trip next month to Paris.

I've usually stayed much closer to the Seine but for the days I have I'm finding it hard to find a place I'd like at the price I want to pay - under €100 a night including either breakfast or allowing for alternative breakfast, for a double in a room I can move around in and a shower I can fit into, in a neighborhood I'd enjoy, preferably in street with typical Parisian buildings of mid range height.

I'm really surprised at how much more expensive Paris is in mid February than I would have paid for much nicer places in Rome. Is there something special going on in Paris at that time?

Well, I broadened my arr. choices and found a (hold on to your hat, followers of the Blue Book) Holiday Inn Express in the 19th overlooking the Bassin and canal de la Villette near the Crimée bridge.

Looking at Google Earth shows me a lot of high rises and not particularly "Parisian" architecture, but the place gets pretty good reviews, it is under €100 a night including big breakfast buffet, 20 sqM rooms and big showers, and a view over the canal to boot. It is just a couple of minutes' walk to the Metro 7, 5, and 2 lines.

So... tell me why I shouldn't stay there. Is it a particularly bad neighborhood for crime or other problems? Is there a gem hiding under a rock in the inner 7 arrondissements with similar pricing? I've turned over many rocks unsuccessfully looking for one....

Or should I go for it this time?

Posted by
8293 posts

Kerouac, who sometimes posts here lives in Paris and often sings the praises of the 19th. Certainly he says it is much cheaper than some of the "inner" arrondissements. I will look for something in the 19th next year. In the meantime, Nigel, have you looked around Pl. de la Nation, or in the 15th?

Posted by
9110 posts

It beats the north side of the 18th. I stay in the north side of the 18th. I also stay in Barking. A bed is a bed.

Posted by
4671 posts

The only thing I can think of is further down the canal towards Bastille is a bit of a party zone - I don't know if the hipsters have got that far north but if they have there might be a bit of noise from revellers in the street.

Posted by
3571 posts

The area you describe is typically Parisien in the sense of mixing ethnicities, activitord and cuisines. Not a lot of tour buses, except maybe at the music and science museums. Being close to a Metro station is worthwhile since the ride into the centre of the city will be longer, around 20 minutes. It's certainly an area worth exploring. And if you don't like the hotel rates for February, check what they are asking for mid-summer.

Posted by
7882 posts

To the contrary, it's rather hip right there with one of the best cinemas on the same Quai, the MK2 Crimee Cinema. In addition to the eithnic mix mentioned above, it's also an area of artists. It's happening around there but still a bit undiscovered. Right under the overhead metro tracks at Stalingrad it's a bit smelly, but the very bobo Quai Valmy continues on the other side of the metro. I think you'll like it there. We stayed for six months in an apartment not too far away in the 10th.

BTW, all those new apartment buildings replace the ones that were bombed out during WWII. That part of Paris was distroyed.

Posted by
3313 posts

Nigel,

We took the canal boat tour from the Orsay to the Bassin and the Parc de Villete. Thought it an interestinhg neighborhood with a lot of open spaces. The Holiday Inn location looks great! I'd say give it a chance and explore!

Posted by
11450 posts

Nigel.. I wouldn't stay in the 19th myself.. I prefer to walk out and "be there" not always having to take the metro every single day.

Your dates in Feb are the swing factor.. I priced out using several different dates and there does seem to be cheaper and more expensive dates ( obviously Feb 14th being Valentines Day does affect hotel occupancy and rates at bit, ) but a hotel I have stayed at and will actually be staying at again this summer for a night before our apartment is ready is the Hotel St Pierre in the 6th. EXCELLANT location , quiet side street but just off Boulevard St Michel , within super easy walking distance of many sites, metro and RER stations. I do admit that the rooms are very small though.

I priced several dates at 91 for a single room 99 for a double , breakfast is not included( its 7 euros) but I usually don't take hotel breakfasts since cafes are cheaper anyways.

BTW Paris,, compared to London has nothing on high prices!. I have been trying desperately to find a decent centrally located hotel in London for under 100 GBPs.( thats about 120 euros) and it has been PAINFUL.. now mind you I am stupidly going in summer but its when I can go... I have booked hotels in Dublin, Paris, Majorcca, all cheaper then London!!
I finally found a hotel for 104 GBPS so relief.. but it was not easy at all!

Posted by
4909 posts

Why not? This isn't your first or last trip to Paris, you know how to get around, be comfortable and buy carnets to whisk you to the charming parts.

@Bets, I must have missed the part of WWII where Paris was bombed.

Posted by
15 posts

The Germans bombed Paris in 1940. The allies in 1944.

Posted by
8293 posts

Nigel, have you also tried hotels around La Defense?

Posted by
26452 posts

Thanks guys, hotel booked. Eurostar booked. Nothing to do now but wait.

I respect each of the replies and followed up where I could.

I had a look at the hotel you suggested, Pat, but the Hotel St Pierre didn't work for us.

I nearly fell into a real schoolboy error that would have been a disaster for us. I had been looking at the Hotel Jeanne d'Arc in the Marais as it has both decent reviews here, RS likes it, and the location would have been good. I even booked it on a cancelable Booking dot com booking that was much lower than I could find on their own website. My wife looked at the confirmation this morning and said, "I thought it was in the Marais?!". I replied that it is and she showed me the Place d'Itaia address. I had committed the fatal error of booking the Grand Hotel Jeanne d'Arc, one of TripAdvisor's worst - just off the bottom of the barrel - with infamous narrow everything including corridors.

That was a really simple error, with some lesser hotel only putting the word Grand at the beginning, and the fact that the hotel I did want not being in Booking dot com. ooops. Booking dot com had it canceled in a trice.

I took a couple of comments about go for it, so we did. Thanks, Dick, you hit it on the head.

Holiday Inn Express in the 19e it is, less than €100 a night, big rooms, big bathrooms, buffet brekkie inclus, a probable upgrade on arrival, and plenty of change to buy a couple of carnets and the occasional dinner left in my pocket.

Easy access to the Métro No. 7 really did it for me, as well as a Vélib stand near the hotel and the canal helped make the decision.

I wish I'd seen the comment about La Defense before leaving for the day. I've never stayed there, maybe one day.
Thanks to all for the comments...

Posted by
2081 posts

Nigel,

I would have book it anyway just to see what the catch was, if any.

let us know what happens with a report.

happy trails.

Posted by
6960 posts

Hi Nigel, I think you wouldn't like too much staying at La Defense, I think you'll be happier in the 19th than you would be out in corporate soulless haven.

Had I checked in time, I too would have suggested you look somewhere around Nation, in the 12th, there are a couple of hotels not far from where we live that look decent but not extravagant.

One problem you'll encounter, unfortunately, with your line 7 metro being your main line is that between now and early March the interchange with the line 1 at Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre is closed. So that cuts off one of your most logical, most useful transit connections.

If you still have cancellation possibility in the 19th, I can send you the names of the hotels around here.

I'm curious too if you're coming at a particularly busy time.

Posted by
26452 posts

Thanks, Kim. Is it just the Correspondance or are the station exits closed too? I don't mind making connections on the surface, and if all else fails the Rivoli and Pont Neuf would work, too. Usually once we have the bit between our teeth we walk use buses a lot...

reservations unchangeable, but would still like to know because I think we have a weekend in April to run over before our longer trip in late May, further east and south...

Posted by
4909 posts

I stand corrected re the bombing, a typical schoolboy error on my part! Thanks, Bets and Steven, for the history lesson. Photos no less!

So Nigel, have a good time and don't tell any Parisians they weren't bombed.

Posted by
3160 posts

@ Dick , Don't apologize . I was laboring under the exact same misconception as you were until I read Bets' post . It piqued my curiosity ,and knowing how sharp she is ,I looked further . I find this website invaluable in improving my understanding of things on a daily basis . I also checked into Nigel's query ,and the location he is looking at looks pretty good , I'd stay there in the blink of an eye . P.S. Kudos to David , he had it right also!

Posted by
3571 posts

Comparing mass bombardments is invidious; they're all horrible. But the damage should be remembered. More civilians were killed in Normandy, and in a shorter time, than during all the London blitz. Paris was a secondary mission until pushed by de Gaulle. There was enough suffering for everybody.

But the benign motivation the link above claims for the Germans "sparing" Paris needs more critical examination. Their leaders enjoyed basking in the glow of Western culture's star. Some scholars also speculate the Nazi psychological-warfare brass expected to lull the French into a situation-normal slumber. By allowing theatres to stay open and bistros to keep serving, they could build up support for their battles elsewhere. Those historians also suggest the Nazi propaganda masterminds thought that German culture could gradually be imposed by touring German orchestras and exchanges of playwrights. They were thinking long-term. Happily, they were wrong.

Posted by
3043 posts

This has been a fun post to follow Nigel. Thank you for posting your experience with booking the wrong Hotel Jeanne d'Arc. I could have easily made the same mistake! It's a reminder to really check the confirmation info including location to make sure it's correct.

Looking forward to hearing about your experience staying in the 19th! Sounds like a good plan.

Posted by
1068 posts

For what it is worth, we just got back from London where we stayed in a Holiday Inn Express - and we were REALLY pleasantly surprised. The rooms were spotless and spacious, and the breakfast buffet rocked. Saved us a ton of money to be able to fuel up for free.

So yes - realize NOT in Paris, but the chain itself surprised us with value for money. We'd stay in another Holiday Inn Express in a heartbeat.

Posted by
6960 posts

Hi Nigel. Re the Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre métro stop:

Line 7 you're fine to exit. You can go up to street level,take the bus, etc. that's all fine. Line 1 doesn't stop in the station at all.

Going to check out the names of the hotels when I go to the bakery tomorrow morning. . . Good to have some "research" to do! In the 12th, people consider us far out of the cente, but with the Line 1 to whisk you in, it's so convenient!

Posted by
6960 posts

Hi Nigel -- back with my Sunday morning report. The two hotels I'm thinking of are the
Hotel du Printemps and
hotel Lux Picpus

Both are in the 12th, on the Blvd de Picpus, just a couple of doors down from the other. both are 2-star hotels in the French rating system. The Printemps is clearly a bit nicer, more up-to-date, with accordingly higher price points for rooms; a quick review of TripAdvisor reviews in English, French and Italian show that both do what they do, well. Guests for the Lux mentioned parking,which I seem to remember maybe you all drive from the UK?

One funny thing about the reviews is someone saying 1) it's two stops outside of Paris and 2) it takes 30-45 minutes to get to the center by metro. Well I can assure you, not since the expansion past the Fermiers-General walls has this land been outside Paris, and I take the metro in every morning from one stop further out to Place de la Concorde on the Line 1, and it's 18 minutes. So don't let them lead you astray about the position!

As you know, from Nation metro, you have the lines 1, 2, 6, and 9, plus the RERA. In addition, you have a huge Monoprix just across the Cours de Vincennes, and you're literally around the corner from the wonderful market street rue de Rendezvous (both good for stocking up for heading out of town!). Also, market on the Cours de Vincennes Saturday and Wednesday mornings.

The Printemps may be nicer than you need just to stop in town, but take a look at them both!

And I'll be interested to hear how you like your stay in the 19th. There's so much reporting now about all the gentrification going on up there. You may find yourself in hipster arty heaven!!

Posted by
2 posts

I happened to stay at the hostel right next door to the Holiday Inn Express when I was last in Paris, and the area was just fine. So you have to take the metro everyday...it's fast and pretty convenient. You'll be in Paris! Does it really matter what area you're in? We were there for 2 weeks, so we got to know the neighbourhood quite well. There's some great bakeries (I don't think there's such a thing as a bad bakery in Paris though), and lots of cafes and restaurants. I'm sure you'll have a great time!

Heather
Ladysmith, BC

Posted by
26452 posts

Thanks Heather, that's great to know...

Posted by
26452 posts

Heather -

I'm a touch confused. The holiday inn express says to use Riquet Métro. If it is as close to the Crimee bridge as it looks, isn't the Crimee stop a better one? Closer? Or is there a good reason to use the Riquet? It also looks like the Laumiere stop on the 5 is almost just as close? Is one side of the canal better than the other?

Do either Riquet or Crimee stations have escalators (I'm doubting that they do)?

Your intimate knowledge is valuable.

Posted by
2 posts

When we arrived, we came by the Lumiere metro stop. After that, we almost exclusively used the Crimee stop. I think it's closer, and a more direct route. Just outside the Crimee stop is a Boulangerie where we'd pick up a sandwich for later in the day, or snacks. (Not that there's a shortage of places to eat, but sometimes if you're busy, it's just easier.) And if you do head the other direction to the Lumiere stop, just across the canal, there's a little patisserie, which doesn't look like much, but had the best Napoleons I've ever had (and my husband is a pastry chef!) I don't think we used the Riquet stop very much, if at all.

Escalators. Unfortunately, no.

Posted by
26452 posts

Heather,

I thought of you today when I was reading the new edition of Lonely Planet Paris and they were saying how great the St Christopher hostel is.

I'm really looking forward to seeing the district.

Posted by
670 posts

I just have to add my two cents - even though you're already set, Nigel. And this is also to agree with Kim...two years ago we stayed in the 12th at the Royal Regency (timeshare). The town of Vincennes is at the end of the yellow line which zips you right into Paris and all the primary attractions. Beautiful big park, picturesque city all, a castle to tour, great restaurants and bakeries. We loved the location and the Parisian family feel of the 12th.

Posted by
26452 posts

Had a very good time in the 19th, and enjoyed how convenient it was to everything we wanted.

The hotel, as discussed above, is just before the Crimée bridge and shares the building with the St Christopher Hostel, and the Belushi Café and a seafood restaurant, directly overlooking the Bassin.

Just a couple of minutes walk are 3 Métro stations, 2 on the 7 and one on the 5. Riquet exit number 2 has an up escalator, BTW. There is also the 54 bus from Crimée and Riquet. So easy access to Montmartre, Place de Clichy (where we found the best crepe so far), a lovely stroll along the Bassin and canal to Stalingrad where there's a double lock, Gares Est, Magenta and Nord, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd arrondissements, and easy to the islands. With a Navigo that we got we had fast access to wherever we wanted. Montparnasse was also very easy.

The hotel wound up costing about €350 for 4 nights including a pretty decent, fresh, tasty, plentiful breakfast buffet.

I'd stay there again.

Posted by
8055 posts

Thanks Nigel, great to read this and glad it turned out so well for you!

Posted by
7882 posts

You mean life exists beyond the 4th arrondisement! Sacre bleu.