Bonjour! My husband and I are going to Paris for a week in May 2014 (after we spend 6 nights in London) and I am having so much trouble deciding on an apartment. I have (finally) narrowed it down to the top two - one is near Luxembourg Gardens on Rue de Vaugirard and the other is near the Eiffel Tower on Rue de la Federation near Av. de Suffren. I love the location & the view from the balcony of the first one and I love the actual apartment of the second one! I just can't pick...so those of you that know more about Paris & the pros and cons of the neighborhoods there please weigh in. With the apartments being close to equal, which area is more desirable? My husband really loves music and I think we will probably want to find a bar with music for maybe a couple of the nights we are there. I just love Paris and the beauty of the city. Both apartments have balconies, are about the same size (1 BR with LR & kitchen area & separate bath). Please give me some feedback so I can pick one SOON! Merci bien!
Congrats on your future trip. You will love Paris!
Im not going to be of any help to you here other than to give you my feelings and experience on my first time in Paris.
I CHOOSE to stay near the Eiffel Tower (ET) even if it cost me more to stay there. Why you ask?. Because it Paris for one and the Eiffel Tower was the second. In my opinion nothing says Paris more than the Eiffel tower. I know is cliche, so shoot me or chop my head off. EVERYDAY when i would go out the door of my hotel and see the ET there, i had a huge smile on my face. Even now when writing this, i am reflecting on that and have that same smile.
i know that for most or some locals its probably a Pain In the ....Since i dont live there or go there everyday, its a special treat for me and i approach it that way.
I can understand the ET is not just Paris, but for me and how long it took for me to get there, it was worth it. I studied art/architecture in school and if someone told me back then i would be able to see and stand on it, i would have said BS. So, when it came down to staying somewhere in Paris i choose someplace where i could see it everyday.
you and others may have different ideas on it, but thats how i did it.
By the way, when i go back i will stay someplace else. Maybe on the one of the islands near Notra Dome or maybe in Old Paris on top the hill. Sometimes you have to treat yourself to something good since no one else will.
Having stayed in both areas, I definitely would choose the first one near the Luxembourg Gardens. Yes, the Eiffel Tower is iconic, but in my opinion that area is not very central. I like to stay in areas that allow me to walk to the places I want to see as much as possible. To me the location trumps the interior decor of a place, as long as they are fairly equal in other ways. How much time will you be in the apartment, as opposed to the convenience of being in a better location?
Luxembourg Gardens. Much more accessible to sights and multiple transportation.
The Luxembourg Gardens is my favorite place in Paris, so I'd choose the 1st one. The 4th, 5th and 6th are my favorite areas of Paris so I'd choose the 1st one based on that as well. I love being able to step out the door of wherever I'm staying and being in my favorite area. I like being within walking distance of that part of the river, Notre Dame, Ile St. Louis, Ile de la Cite, and as said, the LG. Not fond of the 7th.. too boring for me and too far from the heart of Paris.
I agree with Andrea, Bets, and Susan, who all know Paris well. Vaugirard will be closer to more of the places you're likely to want to see, saving you travel time and making it easier to stop at the apartment in midday if you want. The Luxembourg Gardens are probably the best park in Paris (which is saying a lot). Many would agree with Ray about the Eiffel Tower, but I'm content to see it at a distance from other parts of the city, pretty much anywhere in fact. Going up it is a great experience but once should be enough for one trip, so locating near it doesn't really help much.
You might consider transportation connections. The nearest metro stop from Federation/Suffren looks like LaMotte-Piquet, which isn't all that close, but it is a junction of three lines which would help you get around. On the other hand, Vaugirard is close to more stations so you could pick one nearby on the line you need for a particular day's sightseeing. Using different stations would also expose you to more streets and routes in your own neighborhood. Also, if you're coming from London on the Eurostar, you could take the RER "B" train from Gare du Nord to Luxembourg and then a short taxi ride to your apartment on Vaugirard. Ditto from CDG airport. Nothing that easy or inexpensive for the Federation/Suffren location.
This is a good problem to have -- choice of two good apartments in good locations. I'd go for Vaugirard but you can't really go wrong, can you? Have fun!
Just wanted to thank you all for your ideas & suggestions and let you know I have decided to rent the apartment near Luxembourg Gardens. Looking very much forward to our trip to Paris! Thanks again.
Excellent choice! I always stay in either the 1st, 3rd, 4th or 6th.
Enjoy the city of lights!
Agree with the Eiffel Tower location! I know it's too late, but you'll have a wonderful trip. I walked to the Eiffel Tower every single night for the lighting, and saw the other sites during the day.
DO take the Batobus ride after dark, so you can see the City of Lights after dark, and the Tower all lit!