would it be more economic to stay on the outskirts of Paris than in the city itself?...and would it be better to choose a B and B instead of a hotel?
Suzanne, I think you need to tell us what you would consider an economical rate. Staying in the outskirts is not a terribly good idea. There are lots of attractive 2 star hotels in Paris and maybe we can suggest the right one for you.
I just presumed that staying on the outskirts would be less expensive....Which hotels in Paris would you suggest?...and why do you say that staying on the outskirts wouldn't be a good idea??? thanks.
If this is your first time in Paris, I strongly suggest staying in the center of the city, where you can walk or take short metro or cab ride to all the sights. You will not be sorry. You will spend money and more importantly time traveling to and from the outskirts and miss the real feeling of being in Paris. You might spend less staying out there, but you'll get a lot less also.
Suzanne, Paris is full of lovely, inexpensive hotels located in areas central for sightseeing. Eurocheapo is a site that recommends great value hotels. We really enjoyed our stay at the Tiquetonne several years ago, a true bargain for just 55 Euro per night for a double with private bath.
Also read the reviews on Tripadvisor to see if this is the kind of place your're looking for:
You might also check Guidebooks, as they contain lots of listing for Hotels in different parts of Paris and in different price ranges. You might also have a look at TripAdvisor as there are always lots of suggestions there.
I'd suggest staying in a convenient location within the city (preferably close to a Metro stop), as you'll have far easier access to the sights that you'll want to visit, and will spend less in transportation getting back and forth.
Checking the Internet is a good idea. Personally I'm not too keen on impersonal hotels and I'd favor either a Bed and Breakfast if you prefer hosted accommodation or else a vacation rental apartment in Paris itself so you are more centrally located and do not spend time and money on commuting. You could check the Paris tourist office or New York Habitat at www.nyhabitat.com - I have used them in the past, and so have friends of mine, and they were extremely helpful and have a good choice of apartments, and it's cheaper than staying at a hotel, prices can be attractive but also you can save on food since you can cook at your apartment. In any case, I would not stay in the outskirts of Paris - it's really nice to be in Paris itself - some areas like Marais, Montmartre, St Michel or Notre Dame areas.
In December I stayed the in 6th I was 3 blocks from the metro and central to everything. While it was considered a pension, not a hotel, it was nice clean and surrounded by a lot of nice restaurants and I only paid 50 euro a night. It's defintely worth it to find a place in the center of the city and be close to everything.
Definitely do some guidebook reading and acquaint yourself with the city a bit. The "outskirts" of Paris are often quite poor, with lots of public housing (remember the riots in the suburbs?), not tourist accomodations. You would also be limited in your transportation options.
Paris has thousands of hotels. If you do some research, figure out what are of town you'd like to be in and what your budget is, people will be better able to suggest a hotel.
Some of the most fun we had and also the most romantic moments(if you are going to be with your significant other) are spending time in the city after dark. It would be very difficult to stay on the outskirts and enjoy this side of Paris. Kerri would you mind sharing the place you stayed in the 6th? We are going again in 2010 and would like to check it out with the others we are looking at..thanks. Happy travels Suzanne. Paris will grab you and you will end up going again.
I haven't been to Paris for years (need to return soon!), but in the late 1960's, when I was stationed in Germany in the Air Force, for a long weekend I would take the train to Paris. I stayed at the Hotel Amiot, which is an inexpensive hotel close to the Gare De L'Est. Great location.
I just looked them up with Google. They are still there. Only 60 Euros a night for a single, 75 for a double.
This is not a fancy place, but it's quite adequate for the budget traveler.
You can stay in the outskirts but you'll find Paris is not a small city. Outskirts can mean an hour train ride.
The most economical way I found was to rent an apartment. My last trip I was able to find one which broke down to 111 euros per day, and we had a one bedroom apartment near Notre Dame, with 3 of us sharing.
We had a full kitchen so we were able to have breakfast or experience the fresh foods like a local, and even did laundry (meaning less to pack).
Some of the outskirts (banlieus) of Paris are not safe areas..as other people have said, you will miss an awful lot of the Paris experience if you stay far
away. I recommend staying fairly near the Seine for lovely evening strolls. I find hotel in Oaris a better buy than restaurants!!
I stayed at the budget hotel Etap La Villette which is away from the city centre.
The good: The rates were cheaper and those no-frills motels are usually on the periphery. But since it's right beside a Metro station, it was easy to ride into the city centre each morning.
The not-so-good: After a few days, it was a little tiring to have a 30 minute subway ride with connections to where you want to go... you end up having to get ready earlier in the morning, but for us, it was worth the discount. Also, the outskirts areas are quieter and not as nice at night but it was fine since the hotel was right beside the station. Plus, you can't drop by your hotel mid-day - it was solely a place to sleep.
Overall: for us, since we were on a severe budget, it was worth it; plus the place was very clean
I was in Paris for 4 nights last April. In previous trips I'd stayed in the outer districts and regretted it at night. Especially one trip where we stayed at a Holiday Inn near Montparnasse. Oh, bad idea! This time we stayed at a 2 star hotel in the Marais called the Bretonnaire (they have a slightly cheaper version called the Chopin). It was about 130 euros per night, but the room was huge, beds were super comfortable, and the room had a separate sitting room and a really nice marble bathroom jetted tub. There was also free internet and a lending library in the lobby area and it was only a block to Starbucks (I know, I know). I think the reason it was rated as a 2 star is because the elevator is super tiny and stops aren't level with the staircases, so even after you get off, you still have to walk up or down one or two short flights of stairs with luggage. Needless to say, it was worth every extra penny to be 2 blocks from the metro and right in the thick of things. We made up for the higher room cost (I originally wanted to keep it under 100 euros) by getting most of our meals from street vendors and delis - i.e. falafel stands, baguettes with various extras, and because the Marais is a neighborhood, there was wine, fresh fruit and snacks at corner stores that we were able to bring back to our hotel room. I am going back next spring and will definitely return there.
Suzanne, my wife and I visit Paris every 3 years and have always stayed in an apartment in either the 5th or 7th adm area and have paid between 90-125 usd per night. We alwsys combine eating out with buying food from the many fresh food markets. Dorsey
Just got back from Paris, love Paris! We stayed in the Rue Cler neighborhood which I loved because we were minutes from the Eiffel tower! Also we walked to the Louvre, Notre Dame, and more! We stayed at the Hotel Royal Phare. The room was a basic room, small, but great for the 80 euro price. I would definately recommend staying here!
We followed Rick's suggestions and stayed at Relais Bosquet this past April. It was a terrific place to stay - the staff was wonderful and we felt it was very reasonable. The hotel had a warm, cozy feeling and we are anxious to return again next spring. I would not consider staying anywhere else. A terrific buffet breakfast was included in the price. The location was perfect for us. We were one block away from the Rue Cler market area. There was a great bakery right next door to the hotel. Several bus stops were nearby and we used them to tour all of Paris, thus avoiding tour costs. The Metro is also one block away but we preferred riding above ground so we could see more sights.
We were there in September last year and took RS' book advice and stayed at the Hotel L'Empereur. It's less than 5 minutes from 2 Metro stations & Rue Cler. It's 10 minutes to La Tour Eiffel.
Take Rick's suggestion and ask for a fifth floor balcony room - gives you a direct view of Napoleon's Tomb and the L'hotel Des Invalides (if you are there during a full moon it rises right over the golden dome - what a picture!).
This was a very reasonably priced hotel (I think it was less than 100EUR a night), in a great location. The room was on the small side by US standards, but very comfortable (especially with the balcony) by European standards and the bathroom was a good size.
We actually walked by some of the hotels closer to Rue Cler recommended by Rick and I was glad we were staying where we were - better views and quieter.
I would recommend that you try the ParisInfo website, which is the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau website (basically an association of hotels). They tend to offer great discounts, including sometimes 50-60% off stays in some hotels.