I will be in Paris in April 2010 for 4 nights. Trying to decide on an apt and would like some feedback on the best arrondisement. I am considering renting an apt in 3 or 7. I do want to be within walking distances of all major monuments and close to markets etc. 7 seems best? Would like a real Paris experience! I will be traveling with my Mom (75) and 25 yr old niece-3women so want a safe area as well. Thanks.
I'm with Susan on this! Ile Saint Louis has a "real Paris experience" feel to it! Nice restaurants, lovely hotel options, quiet in the evenings, near several metro stops and a great location for visiting the major sites! It feels safe and it's where I stay if I travel to Paris by myself.
My favorite neighborhood is Ile Saint Louis, the little island behind Notre Dame, it's in the 4th. It's like a little village in the heart of Paris. It's an especially beautiful area with the river surrounding it, Notre Dame and it's little park and wonderful views everywhere you look.
Carla, I stayed in the 6th arrondisement this fall and thought it was a great location. I don't really think there is any place in Paris that is within walking distances of all major monuments, and certainly the 7th is not. The 6th is pretty centrally located to most of the big sights and has plenty of markets around. We actually walked every place we went except Montmartre. But we have no problem walking two miles to get someplace. We love walking. I'm guessing your mom would prefer less walking than we do. But Notre Dame, Ile St. Louis, the Louvre and Latin Quarter are all an easy walk from the 6th. And of course you can take the metro from pretty much anywhere.
My favorite is the 7th, but there's no arrondissment that allows you to walk to all the monuments. Check out a map and see how far it is from the Eiffel Tower to Sacre Coeur to Pere Lachaise. We have walked from Notre Dame to the 7th, but we like to walk. Like someone else said the Metro is so good, that as long as you aren't on the very edge of the city, you will easily get to where you can't walk to via the Metro.
I have stayed in 1st ,5th, 6th, 9th, and 14th. I think they were all pretty good,, but think 5th and 6th are most central and fun. I did find a great place in the 1st where I only had a 1/2 block walk to Seine to walk over to 6th right on border of 5th.. loved it. I also stayed in one area of the 1st that was pretty boring,, so even within areas there are better areas.
Personally I don't think 7th is central,, but I haven't stayed there.If I was going to ,, I would at least stay near the border of the 6th/7th.
I often wonder how some people can recommend one area over another,, when they have only ever stayed in one area.. I tend to try different areas,, but have stayed mulitiple times in my favorites. I also change hotels every year,, although this year I know one I do plan on visiting for a second time .. it was just so convenient.