We are four adults traveling to Paris mid-April next year. Can someone reccomend the two or three best areas to stay? Looking for a quaint hotel in an interesting area of the city. Any thoughts or ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
I don't care for the rue Cler neighborhood, which RS focus' on. I like the 4th, 5th and 6th arrondissements the best. My favorite neighborhood is Ile Saint Louis and my favorite hotel is there... Hotel de Lutece. Look at a map of Paris so you can see how everything is laid out.
Anywhere in the heart of Paris the transportation is excellent (I love the Metro but prefer a bus even more) and there will be lots of cafes, restaurants, and shops for picnic stuff.
RS recommends the Rue Cler area and most folks on this forum agree. We prefer the Latin Quarter or St Germaine area. For us, just seems more convenient to our interests. It is really a personal preference for most people. You will be happy almost anywhere in Paris!! It is a very easy city to navigate and get around with public transportation.
Tom is right that (barring strikes or other unrest), Paris is easy to get around. Really, even without the superb Metro, almost any part of central[INVALID]tourist[INVALID]Paris has lots of advantages. Each neighborhood has its own character and special sights, restaurants, etc. My own personal favorite is the Marais district, on the Right Bank from the Place de Bastille west to the Pompidou Center. It is lively, with tons of places to eat, boutiques, narrow medieval streets, and abundant charm. Our favorite hotel in that area is the Hotel Castex (see their website). It is in an old building beautifully renovated and modernized on the inside, and easy walking distance from Bastille and the Isle st Louis. The staff is very helpful and the prices are reasonable. You really should buy RS 2011 Paris, as you will find its advice on restaurants, sights, hotels, etc invaluable.
I also would focus on the 4th, 5th & 6th. We stayed in the Rue Cler area our first visit, primarily because I learned about the area from Rick Steves. While there is nothing "wrong" with the area, I found it to be a bit out of the way. I much preferred staying in the Latin Quarter.
And for a completely different view...we started staying on the outer edges of the city several years ago. The metro stop and major bus lines are in front of our hotel, but the swarming masses of (in!)humanity aren't. Being more residential, there are tons of laudromats, pharmacies, (non-touristy) restaurants, supermarkets, etc., everywhere. And a short ride to the center of Paris if we want. So if you see something you really like but think it's too far from the center, look it up on Google Maps and find the nearest metro stop and play around with Google Street View and see how the area looks to you. Paris and its places of interest don't stop just outside of Rue Cler ;-) It's Paris; it's all good!
HAVING said that, if it's the first trip for all of you, you might prefer being closer to the center of town, but straying out a bit is by no means a problem.
You can't go wrong with the Latin Quarter. Lots of nightlife and restaurants plus within walking distance to Notre Dame, the Louvre and more!
I've stayed in Rue Cler on my first 2 trips to Paris (once while on the Rick Steves tour) and found the area to be perfectly fine, and probably good for a first time. It's walking distance to the Eiffel Tower and there isn't a lot of noisy nightlife. But on subsequent trips I've stayed in and enjoyed the 1st, 9th, 16th, 2nd arrondisements, and have recently stayed in Neuilly-sur-Seine, which technically is not in Paris, but I liked it a lot. I liked being in the center of the city for the incredible action and the ability to walk to many sights, including strolling the Seine - but also like to explore more out of the way neighborhoods. I agree you can metro anywhere easily, but it involves a lot of metro rides that can get wearing after a while....depends on what you are up to.
I also like the Rue Cler area, as I find it convenient to many of the major sites. The Eiffel Tower and Invalides are both within walking distance, and the Musee d'Orsay is not really that far either. There's also good Metro access via the Ecole Militaire station, lots of restaurants in the area, and some good Hotels.
It's difficult to know your ideas in terms of a "quaint Hotel", but you might have a look at Hotel Duquesne Eiffel or Hotel Muguet (both in the Rue Cler area). The Grand Hotel Leveque is another choice, but the facilities are a bit more "basic". Which one to choose will probably depend on how much you want to spend?
I just recently returned from Paris and stayed at the Warwich Champs-E hotel which was a 4 star hotel and the best one I have stayed in Paris. I have stayed in small quaint hotels like L'Abbeye and find these rooms are to small and the elevators are claustophobic. Most important thing in finding a hotel is having a metro stop within a block or two. The 2 Hilton's hotels I have stayed in Paris are a good walk to the nearest metro.
You should know that you will be unlikely to find a room that will house all four adults. You will probably need two rooms. A double does not mean two queen or double beds-it means two people.
Just got back from Paris today. My husband & I really liked staying in the Rue Cler area at Hotel du Cadran. It's within walking distance of everything, but you still have the French markets. I'm sure there are other great areas to stay in also. I stayed two enjoyable nights at Hotel Academies des Artes near Montparnasse, which was also within walking distance of everything; it was just a little more expensive. However, having grown up near a big city (Chicago), I would not advise picking out a hotel without some recommendation from Rick Steves, Trip Advisor, or even a friend. There are just too many bad areas and bad hotels out there.
Eileen - What hotels/area is that?
I'm with Eileen: stay at the edges and enjoy yourself. For years, i generally stayed in the Latin Quarter, but no more. I left Paris the night before last after having spent three nights there and never heard english spoken once (but I go to really obscure museums).
We love the 6th - so close to great sites, excellent cafes/bistros/restaurants, parks, Notre Dame, St. Chapelle, the Seine, Latin Qtr, etc.
We did visit the Rue Cler area once and couldn't imagine actually staying there. Too far from our interests. We prefer to walk to most things instead of having to take the metro.
We like to rent an apt which is about a block off the Seine very near the St. Michel plaza. We love the location and convenient access to so many things.
Grier, the last several times we've stayed in the 12th at the Hotel de la Porte Doree. It's literally above the Porte Doree metro stop, and across the street from the entrance to the Bois de Vincennes. An award-winning boulangerie is directly across the street...(eyes rolling to back of head)
Great; now I want a pain au lait...;-)
I would not stay in the Rue Cler area myself,, dead boring at night, but many like the quiet. I also prefer the 4th, 5th, or 6th,, I find them more central( I did just stay in the 8th this past June, and it was fine,, but , boring at night),, you can literally walk anywhere from the 4th , 5th and 6th,, except maybe Sacre Couer. I am very comfortable taking the metro, so the convenience of being in walking distance is not the only factor for me,, I just like being in those areas,, since I often visit alone I prefer to be in busier areas,, I like the vibe of people around me etc. I do choose hotels on slightly quieter streets in those arr. as no one really like street noise all night, but there are many such quiet corners in bustling areas.
For four adults, I would most definately get two rooms. I stayed at the Hotel Le Regent in the 6th a few years ago,, and loved that area. Took a friend for her first visit and she loved it too,, said it was exactly what she anticipated.. We did book the deluxe room , the standards in that hotel are insanely small, and I mean small.
I can also recommend the Hotel Du Place de Louvre, it is actually in the 1st, but, right across from Louvre, and literally only 1/2 block to Seine and Pont Neuf, on a quiet street steps from the fun.
I also liked the Hotel Des Grand Hommes , right across from Pantheon in the 5th. Its sister hotel , right next door is good choice also( Hotel Pantheon) .
I have a few other cheaper places I like too, both in the 5th.
I hope you already have Rick Steves Paris Guide Book. It has lots of suggestions for the different neighborhoods that I found most helpful. But now I am staying in the Rue Cler neighborhood whenever in Paris as I like the lack of noise at night.
I have to disagree with Janis about the Rue Cler. It is withing walking distance of many sites: the Eiffel Tower, Invalides, D'Orsay, Bon Marche, etc. (At least it was last week!) I would suggest that you look at a map and decide for yourself what's within walking distance for you. That being said, I am sure that any of the areas recommended in Rick's book would be fine.
We have stayed at the Etap on Rue Dr. Babinski 4 or 5 times. It is 1 block from the famous St. Ouen Flea Market. There are 2 bus lines within a 10 minute walk and the St. Ouen Metro is 12-15 minute walk. Walking towards the Metro, or past the bus stops, there are several cafes and brasseries. My favorite is LaPergola, which is close to the metro.
Etap is insuite. Beside it is a hotelformule1. Bath and toilet is down the hall, but is 10E cheaper. Many tour groups use the Etap, so it is not really too bad. You just have to walk a bit. Once on the bus or metro, Paris is everywhere.
This summer we stayed near the outer edge, in the 14th (Montparnasse), RER and metro station close by, walking distance to the Luxembourg gardens. We loved it. There are some good and not overpriced restaurants, groceries store, cafes, pharmacy, everything nearby. We would definitely stay in that area again. We stayed at the Best Western Nouvel Orleans, very good hotel.
Marais is great. We stayed at. Hotel Relais Du Marias right next to the Metro. Rates are 89 Euro a night, we loved the place. The Marais area was great, good food, our metro was Rue Temple.
Check their website... Best.