Please sign in to post.

PARIS accomodations

We are looking for a quiet, clean place to stay in paris for 4 nights. All the talk of pickpockets, thieves, etc is making me re-think Paris as a destination. Is it really that bad? I am travelling with an army veteran who may not take kindly to this situation. Issues of PTSD in crowds and people pushing may not bode well. Is it possible to enjoy Paris in september without the drama? Need all the help I can get! Many THANKS for advise.

Posted by
11450 posts

Julie, rethink any large city in Europe then, especially Rome and Barcelona,, seriously, what is it with Americans and France, .. geesh. The pick pocket problem is a problem but hey millions of us do not get pickpocketed so its not that YOU are going to be a victim its just you need to be AWARE.. People do not push me in Paris not sure where you are getting your information. I would let my 18 yr old daughter go there tomorrow, but I would beg them not to go to Miami or Orlando as I am paranoid about all the crime and guns in Florida.. but I bet you are saying " its not that bad here !!".. well you see how that works now don't you. Paris is fine but if your travel companion has serious PTSD then any large city may be a problem,, perhaps a visit to a small town is more in order,, how affected is person.
Metros may be crowded, perhaps sticking to buses is better , you can jump off next stop if he feels overwhelmed, and you are above ground. Museums are not all crowded, just Louvre and ORsay and I can guarantee you that both have areas that are much less crowded, in fact at Louvre there are rooms with few people in them, they are all crushing around the Mona Lisa! lol At this point I will add this, September is a busy month and your hotel choices are now limited. If you could go late August you will likely have better luck finding a room then in September ( which is trade show season in Paris )

Posted by
922 posts

A person with PTSD in unfamiliar surroundings and circumstances could be a unique situation, potentially affected differently than other travelers. I would say that unless there's someone reading the boards who has actually dealt with traveling with someone under those circumstances, it would be better to discuss your concerns with a health care provider who has either been treating your friend or is specifically trained to give advice about his/her condition. Even being cooped up with a few hundred strangers and not able to move about entirely freely on a long-haul international flight could be an issue. Probably best to seek and take advice from a professional, rather than random opinions on an Internet message board.

Posted by
11450 posts

Rose is very correct.. I guess it depends on the individual and how affected they are.. best to talk to doctor..
Paris would be no worse then any other large city, but perhaps a large city is not a good idea.. and Rose is also correct, and 10 hour flight might in itself be stressful.

Posted by
9 posts

MANY THANKS to you all for your wonderful comments. I guess I just got a little paranoid with the pickpocket thing. My travel companion has challenges for sure but I am able to forsee any issues he may have and we are very adaptable at finding quiet spots, or arranging ways around the crowding issues that cause him discomfort. Pat.....thanks for the time tip....we are able to go in august and we will certainly look into that. Also..Orlando and Miami. I agree with you "not too bad" if you pay attention. Rose...you are very correct about "how affected" a person is. To all....we have spoken to the doctors and other professionals and have carefully thought this out. I have gotten lots of experience with plan b and other methods to make it as easy as possible. Thank you for your kind words. You must have some experience with such things. All in all the advice you all have given is wonderful! Many thanks to you all and all tips are very appreciated!!! Now....which part of Paris is a good place to stay? Any particular hotels, B&B's anyone would recommend?

Posted by
2353 posts

Its a shame that boards like this blow some things way out of proportion - you will not be accosted on every corner. Be aware of your surroundings, look alert - pickpockets usually target folks who are not paying attention. Are there crowds? Sure, they are not unruly hoards but generally civilized folks all trying to see the same thing. Patience is key.

Posted by
922 posts

Christi, there is nothing 'out of proportion' about a person suffering from PTSD related to military service, or Julie's concern for her friend's well-being. She is completely to be praised for taking her friend's circumstances into consideration in how she plans their trip.

Posted by
8293 posts

In all fairness, I think Christi's phrase "out of proportion" was referring to the OP's remark , "All the talk of pickpockets, thieves etc. ..." in Paris. We who have been to Paris often really need to disabuse others of this unkillable myth that the evil ones are waiting to pounce as soon as you arrive.

Posted by
3580 posts

To avoid the jostling of crowds avoid buses, trains, and Metro at rush-hour. Museums are sometimes crowded. Choose a smaller hotel. Walk as much as you can. Enjoy the parks and churches (Notre Dame can be crowded). Visit some places, such as Versailles, late in the day when the day's crowds have gone home.

Posted by
922 posts

I would think about choosing a neighborhood to stay in where you could find a hotel in a quiet side street where there would be less sensory overload. It's been several years since I was there, but the Hotel Castex is on a very quiet street in the Marais. Yet it's very close to the Bastille Metro stop, from which you could easily get to every place you wish to visit. And it's easy walking distance, too, to explore the Marais, to Notre Dame and all the sites near there, as well as across to the Latin Quarter and St. Germain on the Left Bank. Reach the Eiffel Tower via Metro (Trocadero stop). One thing that could be a potential impact - those who live in or frequent Paris may have a different opinion - in my experience on the Metro it's not unusual for people who appear to be locals to stare at other people. I've often glanced up in the Metro to see both men and women staring at me or at others. There's nothing unusual at all about my appearance, so I think it's just what they do. If this would bother or arouse apprehension for your friend, maybe discuss it ahead of time, or do something while with him in the Metro to distract him from possibly noticing he's being looked at. I find this quite different from NYC or London, where people tend to avoid eye contact - again in my experience. I'm not trying to create a stereotype or generalization.

Posted by
8293 posts

Julie, I was in Paris last December/January with my adult step-daughter. For some reason best known to herself, she insisted on wearing a goofy furry sort of Daniel Boone hat. She looked totally mad and didn't mind in the least that we giggled at her. Believe me when I assure you that she drew some looks but not a soul stared.

Posted by
11450 posts

Julie not sure of your budget , but look at this place, Hotel de la Place du Louvre, it has some good rates on for mid late August, and I like the location, its in the 1st, which is not my favorite area, BUT its literally less then 1/2 block from the Louvre and only one block from the Siene and the Pont Neuf that will take you over to the busy and bustling areas of the Latin Quarter.. so you are in a quiet spot just mintues out of the busy areas! Don't get the duplex rooms at bathroom in on different level then bed area, I just like the normal rooms. If budget is tighter you can look at : Hotel Diana Hotel Saint Pierre, both are in great areas, I have stayed at both. Both are clean and have a/c ( important for August) and on quiet side streets. Those hotels are well known good budget picks and may be booked up. If budget is a bit higher I liked Hotel Des Grand Hommes. Overlooks Pantheon. Also, on a road that is queiter in evening, less then 5 minute walkd to the lovely Luxembourg Gardens.. a great escape.
Ten minutes and you are in busy areas if you wish ..

Posted by
3336 posts

As far as crowds go I wouldn't say that pushing is so much the issue. Really the difference in Europe is that there is more of a lack of personal space. Here we tend to not get too close to someone we don't know and we hesitate to stand directly in front of someone. In Europe, personal space really doesn't exist in the same way it does here. It seems to be worse the further south you go - in Italy all bets are off! With the PTSD issue that may be something that your army friend may want ot mentally prepare for. Maybe just avoid places with large crowds such as museums? There is plenty else to do and see.
I think that the metro might be a challenge in this respect - avoid it at rush hour because it is quite a crush of humanity!

Posted by
8975 posts

The little Roma kids can be a problem with their fake "petitions" but not pickpockets. Those little Roma kids are pickpockets. The deal with the petitions is that while you are distracted signing the paper, one of their partners is lifting stuff out of your pockets or bag.

Posted by
9 posts

Thanks Brad! It is so important to hear a kind word for him (and all others as well). He is taking a big leap of faith on this trip but we want to fill the "bucket list". As for your hotel...how expensive is it? this is the last go around for us so we are willing to do it all the way.

Posted by
9 posts

Michael, I hear you. It seems to be an international problem. I was in rome and London a few years back and had no problem. They have to try but I was careful. also, New Paltz? Lived in Kingston, Woodstock for over 20 years. When were you last in Paris??

Posted by
8975 posts

I was in Paris May of last year. Didn't spot a single Roma child gang during my visit. But on a previous visit two years prior they were all over the place. While Paris is certainly one of the pickpocket capitals of the world, it not a big deal. Either use a money belt type device under you clothes, or utilize the hotel room safe an you have defeated the problem. I was in Woodstock over the weekend...it hasn't changed;)

Posted by
9 posts

That was my next question. Is the money belt a good idea? I am one of the fumbling travelers always pulling stuff out of my bag or my pocket. Is it considered a necessity or just a nuisance?

Posted by
8975 posts

Money belts work like a safe. You keep your passport, cards, and excess cash under you clothing....never to be accessed in public. In your purse you just keep a days spending money and perhaps one credit card if you have multiple cards. They don't prevent you from being robbed, they simply cut your loses. Instead of everything being stolen, and wasting a couple of days arranging replacement passport/cards/cash, you just loose a days spending money and won't ruin your trip.

Posted by
9 posts

thanks!!! Sounds like the perfect plan! The money belt it is! I am getting a Passport card to use as ID and leave the book one in hotel safe. I cant even imagine trying to replace everything overseas. Having lived in foreign countries most of my life I am familiar with the nightmare of getting these things in a hurry.

Posted by
8189 posts

Hotel des Grandes Ecoles is a nice, quiet hotel with a lovely garden in the 5th. My favorite area of all to stay is Ile St. Louis, and my favorite hotel there is Hotel de Lutece. Another good hotel 1/2 block away is Hotel des Deux Iles (same owners).

Posted by
9 posts

Thanks Susan!!! I will be looking into them right away. I am now officially excited about making plans. Bucket list item to be checked off.

Posted by
8255 posts

Get "Hidden Gardens of Paris" by Susan Cahill. You'll find quiet places to get away from the bustle all over town. One of my favorites is the Jacquemart Andre Museum with its quiet courtyard and restaurant under a ceiling painted by Tiepolo. Very calming.

Posted by
1729 posts

Is your Army veteran a former officer? For a fee he would be eligible to join the Marine Memorial Club in San Francisco and then get reservations at officers' clubs nationally and internationally. There are two in Paris.

Posted by
1729 posts

Is your Army veteran a former officer? For a fee he would be eligible to join the Marine Memorial Club in San Francisco and then get reservations at officers' clubs nationally and internationally. There are two in Paris.

Posted by
1501 posts

Re your $$ Michael is spot on. I use a neck wallet that goes under my blouse, and keep some cash/coins usually under 50eu in a coin purse in my purse that I use for the day's lunch, etc. I just returned from Paris where I was alone (61 years old) with my 11 year old grand daughter. At the advice of our former French exchange student who has lived in Paris his whole life, we stayed near the Eiffel Tower. Two hotels to look at Hotel Eber Mars, and Hotel Bourdonnais. Pretty quiet area, within walking distance to the Eiffel Tower, which we went to every single night for the lighting @ 10PM. Also the park surrounding the Eiffel is very calm, with ponds, ducks even a beaver! The roses are incredible now! The Architectural Museum @ Trocadero Park has THE BEST view of the Eiffel Tower in all of Paris (French Student turned us on to this) and you can sit in their café and enjoy the view while having a snack/drink without even paying the admission price! We saved lots of $$ on taxis by using the Yellow Bus Tour two days are only a couple of eu more than one day and you can hop on/hop off at anywhere they go and they are the only bus that does the entire city, including Montmarte. Taking the hop on hop off bus allowed me to skip the Metro (underground, dark, smelly, dirty) and the bus which is inexpensive, and lets you actually SEE the city, but because I was alone w/grand daughter, felt the eu38 was worth it for two days of transportation and no worries re pickpockets! Two years ago, while sitting at a sidewalk café with two adult friends, we were robbed of a brand new Iphone by three Roma Children the OLDEST of which was probably 9 years old. Previous poster was correct! If they put a paper on the table, they want something under it, money, phone, etc. If they push a paper in your face, the other has their hand in your pocket/purse. Sad, but true.

Posted by
262 posts

I love Paris in September! The weather is beautiful and the summer crowds are
gone. I also love the 1st, not as popular as the 3rd-7th. It really is central Paris, close to the Louvre and so many places you will want to see. Lots of places still available, especially apartments. Pickpockets are in every city,no more in Paris than other place. Just be careful, like any other city. Go and enjoy. I am going this September as I did last September! Happy Travels!!

Posted by
12 posts

I have had no issues with pickpockets in Paris on any of my three trips there, including one that was over a month. I have been using the money belt since 2005 in most major cities, and my passport, drivers license, credit cards and some back up money are in there. I still carry a day's spending money in my wallet. When I'm on the metro in Paris, I wear my backpack slung off of one shoulder off to the side, so that it's not completely out of my field of vision. I also tend to put my hand in my pocket that has my wallet, while I use the other hand to hang on (if standing).