We are 2 seniors traveling back to Paris. We have stayed in the Latin Quarter, the Marais, Montparnasse and under the Eiffel Tower. Should we try Montmartre next? And should we rent an apartment for our 5-7 day stay? We have never done so but realize that maid service and a concierge are not necessary for us. Certainly not breakfast either. Any advice would be very appreciated. Thanks!
Montmarte as you know is hilly, you like walking hills, lol . I also don't consider it super central .. but hey, thats just my opinion. Sure rent an apartment if you wish, i have and it was nice, but I missed having my bed made and fresh towels everyday,, and I don't cook on vacation , a mini fridge in room for wine and cheese and yougurt is fine for me. If one is staying a week though an apartment is nice for more space.. but for 5 days I personally wouldn't bother, its more hassle , you absolutely must do more research on apartments, its not like a hotel you can just cancel or walk away with a few nights notice, nope apartments are usually alot more money up front, and you have to read ads carefully.. unless you want to end up in an apartment over a nightclub with no elevator, a loft bed, etc.. I have never stayed in a hotel with a concierge so perhaps you stay in different sorts of places then I do. An apartment agency I can recommend is Parisbestlodge, they were so easy to deal with, they meet you there, they speak perfect english, Thierry is a gentleman and he and Eric get right back on all email inquiries.. they are however VERY busy and I have heard many of their places are already booked for next year!
I stayed 3 nights in Montmartre and wouldn't really consider it again, just because it was so time-consuming to get anywhere from there. We were on a metro line, but it was such that we needed to connect at least once to get to any place we wanted to go, which resulted in very long transit times around the city. Unless you're just going to stay mostly in Montmartre I don't think it's the best option.
Thanks for the quick replies. I seem to have jumped back 'on the fence' with regard to Monmartre and apartments. I guess I better rethink my reasons for staying in the various arrondisements we have in the past. And you're both right. Mass transit works well but I truly love to experience the city on foot. And an apartment? Hmmmmm
On our next stay in Paris, we'll be on Ile St. Louis. We loved the area (we were staying in Le Marais), a vibrant area (and we're seniors, too).
I have rented apartments throughout Europe, including 2 in Paris. The shortest rental was for 2 nights in Verona. There are pros and cons to apartments, but for me the pros win. When I rent an apartment I make sure it has a washer (sometimes there's even a dryer) so I can do laundry without taking away time from sightseeing. For apartment rentals I use vrbo.com and homeaway.com. Recently some posters have mentioned airbnb as a good website for apartment rentals. I would not recommend Montmartre for the reasons others have mentioned. Some areas there can be a bit sketchy too.
We have used Cross-pollinate.com for lodging in Italy and Paris and have always been very pleased. They are an American couple living in Rome (The Beehive is their hostel in Rome). They have quite a listing of places that they have checked out personally. We had a small studio in Paris 3 years ago that was under 70 Euros, also have stayed in their places in Venice, Florence, Rome and we are leaving in a week for one of their places in Barcelona. They only do 8 cities but they have contacts elsewhere if you email them.
We prefer staying in apartments because we get more room, enjoy kitchen facilities, have a clothes washer (and usually a dryer), and we feel more a part of a neighborhood than when we stay at a hotel. Oh, and an apartment almost always costs less money, sometimes substantially less. We look for apartments that are in quiet yet convenient locations within a few blocks of public transportation. We haven't been disappointed so far! This summer, we stayed in an apartment in London (Soho--not so quiet an area but our apartment was very quiet!), Paris (on Rue Montmartre in the 1st Arr.), and Bologna (in old city center). Each had their charms but all had the perks I listed in my first sentence. If either of you have trouble with lots of stairs, be sure to ask if the apartment is above the 1st floor and/or if it has a working elevator. And I always ask how safe the neighborhood is, and then I verify by searching the area online. Good luck, and happy traveling!
By all means rent an apt for 5-7 days. If you don't need daily maid service or breakfast, I don't see the downside of an apt and they're most always cheaper for that time length than a hotel. I agree with the others that Montmartre is out of the way as a base for Paris. Is there a reason you want to stay in a different area? If you really like one the neighborhoods you stayed in before why not stay there again. If it's convenient to metro you can get anywhere in Paris in a short time. I stayed in a studio apartment in Paris this summer and I don't think I'd do a hotel again. I was there for quite a long time and the convenience of the washer/dryer was worth it and I'm a cereal & yogurt for breakfast kind of gal so I had that in the apt each morning. I used VRBO for my apt and would do it again. Also have heard good things about Homeaway. I looked on Parisbest and the apts looked nice but prices were out of my league, maybe not for 2 of you splitting and probably still better than hotel (depending on what type of hotel you're used to).
For the 5-7 days, I would definitely recommend an apartment. We have actually just rented one in Montmartre for the first week in April. There is plenty in Montmartre to keep one's interest, especially if you've spent significant time in other arrrondissements. Prices are lower; we're spending half what we spent last trip staying in the 5th arr. We've had good success in France with Homeaway.com, with apartments at various price points. Look for positive reviews to help ensure a positive result. Other websites to try: Homelidays, Lodgis, VRBO, OwnersDirect.uk. Have fun!
Check on these rentals. They have various locations. I have not used, but they seem highly recommended. Lots of pics on Facebook, too. I hope to stay in one on our next trip. http://cobblestoneparis.com/
We rented an apartment on the Ils St. Louis and loved it.
Although I love visiting Montmartre, I'd rather stay in a central location instead. Montmartre is 30 mins away by metro from pretty much all the other major sites in Paris... I'd rather stay central so I can walk to most places.
In May we rented an apartment in the Marais, right next to the Georges Pompidou, and it was super nicely located. Could walk to the islands, to the heartf of the Marais, to the Quartier Latin... I rented it through friendlyrentals.com and it was a reliable source. I stayed at the "Taureau" apartment but we were in a group of 5, it is bigger than what a couple would need. But they have other apartments in the same area, you can check the friendlyrentals.com website. Later this month I will be returning to Paris with my husband and we rented a studio in the Ile-de-St.Louis. It is super cute, was renovated 2 years ago and it is pretty much across the street from Berthillon. I found it through homeaway.com; the owner is called Patrick Bernier, you can also find this studio at www.airbnb.com. I havent stayed there yet but I am super looking forward to staying in the Ile de St. Louis, I can't think of a more charming location. I would advise you to look into this island for your next stay too. Another website I came across while researching apartments this time around was parisbestlodge.com. They have amazing apartments in the Quartier Latin, in St Germain and in the Marais, and the company is very, very well reviewed. I almost rented from them, but ended up choosing the Ile de St Louis instead. Hope this helps! Thais
We've rented two apts on Ile St. Louis and loved the location. It's my favorite neighborhood in Paris. It's like a village unto itself, surrounded by the Seine... beautiful views, and in the heart of Paris.
Stayed in apartments after first trip to Paris many years ago. Have stayed in the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 6th and 9th. Just returned from two weeks in the Marais. Rented a 1 bedroom remodeled apartment from myparisvisit.com. They have lovely, most remodeled apartments for very reasonable rates.
As most people have said, apartments are cheaper and have more space. I highly recommend an apartment over a hotel! Happy Travels!!
Do the apartment route, real easy, nicer than staying in a hotel. We rented the past two years in the 15th, but about a 10-15 walk to the Eiffel Tower. We use VRBO.com but there are many other companies. We like getting food and 'self catering' our meals. Lots of great cheap food options, Monoprix has a great deli type food, etc. Have fun and give it a try.
I rented an apartment in Monmartre a year ago, and while I liked the apartment, and even the neighborhood I felt like I simply missed The City of Lights!
We took public trans. every morning into the city, enjoyed all the sights, but returned to Montmartre at night, missed enjoying the nights and we were four seniors. I'd stay in a more central location next time, and visit Monmartre during the day if I had it to over again, and hopefully I will!
Love Montmartre but don't recommend staying there. Hilly and not centrally located. Last month we had a great apt in Les Marais. Booked through parisbestlodging.com. Have rented apts twice in Paris. If you are there several days its the best way to go. All the comforts of home. Also fun to shop and eat locally. Usually no elevators of stairs are an issue.