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What Paris neighborhood should I stay in for maximum walkability?

I know Rick lists 3 central Paris neighborhoods in the Paris book: Rue Cler, Marais, and the Luxembourg Garden Area. This will be my first trip to Paris, so I'm most excited about doing more of the typical tourist things, especially going to the art museums (Louvre/Orsay/Pompidou being at the top of my list) and cafes/pastry shops. I think it would be nice to be able to walk to as many of the major sights as possible. We will be spending a whole week in Paris. Exciting!

Posted by
18 posts

Hi Judey. I would recommend the Rue Cler area. Parents lived near Invalides (which is about a 10 to 15 minute walk from Rue Cler) for 4 years[INVALID]it's charming, clean, safe, and I walked EVERYWHERE. I regularly walked to the Musee D'Orsay, Grand/Petit Palais, the Louvre from their apartment. There are some great restaurants in the Rue Cler area...be sure to try Il Sorrentino (Italian, I know...but it literally sits in the shadow of the Eiffel tower, and it was astoundingly delicious). Also, Le P'tit Troquet is truly amazing. Tiny place that's super quaint, and all dishes were always sooooo very good. Try the lemon tart. Have fun!!!

Posted by
1700 posts

I would recommend the Latin Quarter, as close to Notre Dame as possible. From that location, you can walk everywhere except Montmarte. (I am assuming you are willing to walk a mile or two away from your location, then return.) You could also get day passes for the Batobus, which runs in a continuous loop between the ET and the Marais, with eight stops. You might want to consider what we did this summer on our second trip-split your time between two locations. We stayed at Relais Bosquet which is an easy walk to the ET for nightlights and then moved to the Latin Quarter which is an easy walk for Notre Dame, strolling the two islands, visiting the Louvre, and Luxembourg Gardens. Changing hotels took about an hour out of one afternoon-no big deal-and cost us about 20 euros for the cab fare.

Posted by
11450 posts

Although Rick only highlights three areas in Paris,, ,, there are many more areas,, actually Paris consists of 20 arrondissmonts( neighborhoods) , and of those these three are only PARTS of three of them. I agree with Cynthia, stay in the Latin Quarter or ST Germain or Marais, not the 7th , which Rue Cler is in, is not really the most central area.. the 4th( knowns as the Marais) , 5th( Latin Quarter) or 6th( St Germain) are far more central in terms of walking. And, the closer to the river the more central. If you are planning on using metro alot, which you said you are not , then you can stay pretty well anywhere.. but for walking. I like RS books,, but I sincerely hope you look at a few other guides,, I like Eyewitness and Time Out. I took a Rick Steves tour a few years ago,, we did not stay in ANY of the areas RS focuses on, we stayed in the 14th( near Montparness Tower) ,, and my friend took the same tour a year later and also stayed in different area on tour( Bastille) so even the RS organization realizes there are many other lovely places to stay then Rue Cler. Edited to fix the "19" to "20" LOL

Posted by
1986 posts

The most central we stayed at was in the vicinity of the Opera, you are literally tripping over the tourst sites,restaurants, cafes etc. I dont know how the prices compare now, or what your limits are. Left bank or the islands as close to Notre Dame as you can, would be my next suggestion.

Posted by
782 posts

Hi Judey. My favorite area is near Rue Cler, the main reason being the Eiffel Tower is by far the best part of Paris in my opinion. It is fantastic to see the Tower first thing in the morning, for picnics and to see the twinkling lights after dark. A lot of good restaurants in the area. I usually walk to most sights, though some are far and metro or bus back, or the other way around (take the metro to a specific site and walk back along the Seine). I have seen a lot of Paris by walking through neighborhoods.

Posted by
8643 posts

I agree with Cynthia and Pat...I think the 4th, 5th or 6th would be good for you. And Pat beat me to it...the closer to the river the better...My favorite neighborhood is Ile Saint Louis (in the 4th arrondissement), the little island behind Notre Dame...Very convenient to walk to so many places from there...I don't like the rue Cler area, and I especially don't like rue Cler.

Posted by
3551 posts

Rue Cler gets my vote. You can walk to a doz or more sights espec Eiffel tower and the Seine River. Also you can catch a bus to take you around to the farther ones w/o the high cost of the metro.

Posted by
8643 posts

The bus costs the same as the metro.

Posted by
83 posts

Thanks for the suggestions! My husband is really into the idea of doing 2 hotels (me not as much, but we will be there for a week, after all). In this case, what two places would you stay? (Either specific hotels or neighborhoods/areas, it's up to you. I already have one suggestion for this, thankfully.)

Posted by
1986 posts

two hotels in different areas is a great idea. We have done it in London- about 3 pr 4 nights in each. We tied these in with the key sights we wnte to see. Also swanked it up a little on the last hotel before we flew home

Posted by
8643 posts

I like Hotel de Lutece on Ile Saint Louis.

Posted by
14 posts

Hi Judey - On our first trip to Paris, I worried greatly about 'where to stay'. We eventually landed with the Marais and though it wasn't bad - I realized after walking the city extensively, that it probably wouldn't be my first choice of where to stay. Each area changes just a bit from the last, so there are different flavors all over. The best way to choose where to stay is to figure out where you're wanting to walk to, then zero in on an area central to all of that. If you stay near the rivier, you'll most likely 'be central'. All of the areas are lovely, just different (google the streets and you can see how they change slightly by area) and you can see what food options you have near where you stay. For our upcoming trip to Paris we will be bringing my Mom and my sister for their first visit to the city. My Mom is in good health but I don't want to walk her all over town like we do, so we're staying near St. Michel, about a block off the river. Lots of cafes, eateries, close to two metros, etc. It's very central, and we can just go downstairs and walk our block to some bistros. We can also walk to everything on the islands, a few of the museums we want to go to, etc. No matter where you decide, I think you'll find that you'll be happy but if you're like me, you'll see other areas and think 'next time....'. Happy travels

Posted by
2023 posts

We really like the Latin Quarter and have stayed many times at Hotel des Grandes Ecoles (128 E for room in May). This hotel has the feel of a countryside stay with a lovely garden landscaped with trees and beautiful flower beds. Very good location for ND, restaurants, etc. That said, I must say Hotel de Lutece looks like a super hotel and we may try it next time.

Posted by
31620 posts

Judey, I've always stayed in the Rue Cler area, and would certainly recommend it. Some might feel it's too "touristy", but I've found that many areas of Paris are filled with travellers walking around with blue and yellow books. ¶ Rue Cler is within easy walking distance to the Eiffel Tower, Rodin Museum, Musee d'Orsay and other sights, has good transportation (Ecole Militaire Metro) and good restaurants and Hotels. ¶ Although it's not exactly "walking distance" to other sights in Paris, with the Metro that's not a problem. I find it a convenient "home base" location for touring. Happy travels!

Posted by
166 posts

For a first time in Paris - definitely The Latin Quarter. Great central location and beautiful area.

Posted by
262 posts

I love the 1st, close to the Seine, the Louvre, Pompidou Center, and close to the 3, 4 and 5th! No matter where you can really walk anywhere! Enjoy, I am sure you will go back many times over. It's really a magical city. You can stay in a differant area every time you go to Paris and probably never stay in all arroundes. Happy Travels!!

Posted by
4379 posts

Pat, the 20th arrondissement is going to be sad to hear that you've lopped them off LOL! No "The Red Balloon" (Menilmontant), "The Triplets of Belleville" (Belleville) and no Pere Lachaise cemetery...8^0*********Judey, the great thing about Paris is that the entire city is so walkable and has such a fantastic metro system, so even if you stayed away from the very center of the city, you're always close to everything.

Posted by
7 posts

I would recommend staying near Luxembourg towards St Germain. I think the area has all you need, plenty of activity, shops, plenty of restaurants and cafes, sites such as Sulpice and walking distance to Orsay the Louvre etc. We just got back from a week in the city and would always try to detour a walk through Luxembourg. There are also many great take away shops, bakery's (Poilane, etc) and high end chocolate shops in the area. You'll also be on main Metro lines and multiple bus lines to get around to other areas quickly. I would recommend getting a bus map right away and learn the lines and where they go. We took the metro as well but the bus proved to be very convenient. Knowing both can save you lots of time and riding a bus is a great way to see the city.

Posted by
83 posts

Well, this has certainly given me a lot of options to weigh! I think I will draw up a loose itinerary and choose where to stay. We will be arriving at Paris on a Sunday (which will probably just mostly be a rest day because neither of us can sleep on planes) and leaving on a Monday. So the beginning of the week might be a good time to stay in the Rue Cler area since Louvre/other closures will be going on. We can do Champs Elysees/Eiffel Tower/other stuff. Then maybe move over closer towards the 4th, 5th, 6th area a few days later?

Posted by
11450 posts

Eileen, I go now to beat myself with a wet noodle,, LOL ooopss, sorry, 20 Arr.

Posted by
166 posts

My daughter and I were in Paris for the 1st time in July, and we stayed at the Hotel Champ de Mars in the Rue Cler neightborhood, and loved it!! The owners, Fransoise and Stephane were great hosts, and the area can't be beat. Literally, a 10 minute walk from the Eiffel Tower, great cafes and resturants. We particularly liked the Italian restaurant down the street, La Taverna which was incredible !!! Also, for the 7th distrct, for the hotel, it was quite reasonable. Even had an elevator which we didn't expect. have a great time !

Posted by
4379 posts

Pat, I was thinking more along the lines of a soggy crêpe...;-)............I'm glad to see that Paris has been made whole again.