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PARIS, first timers (with a well-behaved 5 year old) need help

We're planning a trip to Paris in mid June for 9 nights. Me, my wife, and our 5 yr old daughter. Plan to stay in same hotel the whole time, and take Metro to the major sights. Looking for a quiet, safe, clean area to find a hotel, that would also minimize overall travel time to the sights (and have bedding for 3)...any recommendations? Is it unreasonable to think we can find something for $100 a night? Also, any suggestions beyond the obvious big sights (Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Versailles, Arche)?

Posted by
1525 posts

You will not find a hotel room for $100/night. Consider yourself fortunate to find one willing to add a cot for your child and only charge $200/night.

However, you can get an apartment for $100/night. You can also save $100/day on food if you elect to shop & cook like a local. You can also let the child be a kid and run around a little in 3-4 rooms instead of shushing her every 5 minutes for fear of offending the people on the other side of your single cracker-box hotel room.

But hey, I understand. If you've never done it before, the prospect can be daunting. Our family of 5 spent a week in a small, but comfortable apartment literally 2 minutes from Notre Dame for a total of $1200 last July. Two rooms in a hotel and restaurant food would have cost us 4x as much.

Posted by
1357 posts

Daily stops for playgrounds and ice cream are a must. Keep guided tours to a minimum. It's been a while since I've been to Paris, but last time I was there, Luxembourg Gardens had a neat playground. She'll probably like the little village at Versailles and the fountain at Pompidou. The gardens at the Rodin museum might be fun for everyone, too.

Posted by
8293 posts

You might try the Hotel Campanile Nation. They have family rooms and you can do a deal for a 9 night stay. It is a 5 minute walk to the Metro (Place de la Nation)from the hotel. Because of its location, you could take Bus No. 351 from CDG to Nation for 3 tickets (less than 5 euro) per person which you can purchase from the driver. Probably the child would be free.

Posted by
4555 posts

As James said, look at renting an apartment. It's great to have a home base where you can go at any time of day, and cook your own meals if you want. We've had good luck with, a broker. You deal directly with the owners...look for ones with lots of photos and reviews. It's getting late, though......

Posted by
2349 posts

I don't unnecessarily alarm you. I just want you to be prepared. Your daughter should always have some identification and info on her in case you are separated. A card from the hotel, emergency #s, your cell # if you have one there. The metro can get very crowded at rush hour-you don't want her to make it on the train and you're stuck on the platform!

Posted by
689 posts

You actually can get apartments for that price--they can be more economical than hotels. There have been numerous threads here where people list reputable agencies, so start there. Don't sweat location too much--Paris isn't that big, the Metro is fantastic (just don't stay too far from a stop), and sights are so spread out there isn't a single location convenient to all of them anyway.

Posted by
151 posts

We took a Fat Tire tour to Versaille and my daughter still talks about it (It's been three years). They have tandem attachments that make it very easy for a little person to ride.

Definitely apartment. We stay in the Marais right on top of a Metro station. It was totally wonderful.

We are doing something very similar this summer but with both kids (5&9) Best of luck to you. You and your family with have memories to last!

Posted by
263 posts

I agree with the previous poster about the Luxumburg Gardens. There is a neat playground, but there are also pony rides, a small fountain/pool where you can rent wooden toy sailboats and sail them using sticks, plus lots of green space, people having fun, statues.....I loved the place! And when you leave your hotel, make sure everyone in your party has one of their business cards....easy to get confused and the card will help you and anyone else figure out where you are staying. If it's an apartment, make sure everyone has the address. It's a great city, but like all cities it requires awareness of surroundings and using caution.

Posted by
86 posts

here's an alternative. its actually off rick's map. "la perdrix rouge". its actually in a neighborhood that 'looks and feels' like a quiet little village. its safe and extremely quiet. to get an idea where it is, look at ricks map of paris (east). find the arrows pointing to "place de republic"; its above that about a mile.
finallt its acrossthe street from the mertro- ease of travel; quiet, safe, a residential neighborhood rather than a tourist n.
check out the website. oh and its cheap.

Posted by
73 posts

Apartment!!!! You won't regret it. You will be able to walk out for your baguette and pain au chocolat each morning, and you'll make coffee right in your own kitchen. Eating in a hotel restaurant can cost as much as 15 euros pp for breafast. Even if money is no object, you don't want to spend yours that way.
And in the afternoons, when your daughter is tired, she can hang out and watch French tv while you and your wife open your apartment windows and have a glass of wine. You won't have to leave at a certain time each day for maid service, so if you want a slow morning, you can have it. And you might find a place with a washer and dryer, so you can bring even less stuff.

We rent from They have apartments in all areas of the city, in all sizes and prices. Their agents speak excellent English and will meet you at the airport if you wish, and you can conduct the entire transaction via e-mail.

Posted by
463 posts

well, since there's only five apartment replies so far, i'll add a sixth and you'll be halfway to the dozen predicted in post #1! ;-) my husband and i are renting an apartment this summer (3e) and are spending $1400 for two weeks--that's $100 a night. and we'll have a kitchen, which should reduce food costs (i hope) and allow me to actually buy beautiful food items i see in markets (probably 50% of the reason we're going to paris!)

Posted by
717 posts

Hey Dylan,
As I'm reading your post out loud, my wife is emphatically insisting that you go to Versailles on a nice day. And she's right. Get picnic supplies from the local market is Paris before you leave, then head to the chateau. The palace itself may bore your daughter, but once outside in the gardens, she will love it. Especially the Domaine du Marie Antoinette. It is a tiny medieval village with thatch roofs, towers, swans, a tiny farm with vinyard, chickens, goats, cows, etc. I can't think of a better place in Paris for a kid.

Posted by
108 posts

yes, go for an apartment rental, it's cheaper and much more comfortable, especially with kids.
As for what to see in paris, don't forget the Pont des Arts (the loveliest Paris bridge!), the Luxembourg Garden, Place des Vosges, the Latin Quarter, the Père Lachaise cemetery... the list would be endless. Walk and enjoy the atmosphere, also go to the Marais and Ile saint Louis.

Posted by
69 posts

If you are looking for a day trip, Disneyland Paris is an easy one with kids. Go to Metro: Opera and pick the RER A train out of Paris. There is a combo ticket in the station which give you some savings if you buy a separate train and Disney ticket plus it saves you the line at Disney itself. It is about 30 minutes or so train ride from Opera to Marne-la-Valley-Chessy station which bring you directly to the metro steps that takes you up to the Disney entrance.