Hello, I am planning a trip to Paris this year and want everyone's opinion on where exactly to stay. I was in Paris once before for 2 days but was more on the outskirts and did not have an enjoyable stay (other things let to that as well) so essentially this will be my first 'real trip' Here are a few things that I am looking for: quiet at night, central to many sights, safe area, close to grocery and some cafes, things to do at night/nightlife without traveling too far, not too far from public transportation, and not too many tourists. I know this is a lot to ask for and I may not be able to get them all so any help would be nice. I will be there with my husband and be there from 4-6 day. Thanks in advanced.
Central Paris is covered by a dense network of Metro stations, so your hotel will always be near a Metro station. In Paris, unlike many US cities, the suburbs are dangerous slums whereas the central core is prosperous and safe. There are cafes everywhere. So really, your choice of Paris area will rest on more intangible factors, primarily the ambience and character of a given area. Get RS Paris 2011 book and study his descriptions of the neighborhoods he prefers. Then come back to this helpline and ask specific questions including whether helpliners suggest neighborhoods other than the ones RS likes. Personally, I prefer one of the neighborhoods he likes, the Marais. The Marais is on the Right Bank, running roughly from the Place de la Bastille to the Pompidou Centre. Other posters here will have other suggestions. It is hard to go wrong as long as you are in the central core of Paris.
If you do not have RS Paris guide book, you should get one right away. It has lots of helpful information about staying in Paris that we have used several times.
Thank you both for your response. I actually have the 2011 RS France book but wanted other opinion since he only lists a few areas in his book. I guess my problem is I am looking for the best of everything that I am unsure if it exists; village-like charm and quiet (I am a light sleeper) but with nightlife and entertainment options.
I think you can't go wrong in the 4th, 5th or 6th. All very central areas. I like the 5th. Do you specifically want a hotel, or is an apartment a consideration? If you are considering an apartment I can give you a recommendation.
I agree with Andrea, I prefer the 4th (Marais), 5th (Latin Quarter) and the 6th. My favorite neighborhood of all is Ile Saint Louis, it's very much like a small village, and only two blocks of it is touristy. The RS Paris guide has more info on Paris than the France guide. Maybe you could get the Paris one from your library.
I'd add the 7th to the other groups as a possible arr. Good food, cafes, and easy walk to sites.
Have stayed twice near the Sorbonne/Lux. Gardens because lots of the people out at night, ( but not noisy), lots of restaurants, plus ease of transport to /from the airport. Easy walk to Notre Dame/Concergerie or along the Seine.
Suzanne, we stayed for 2 wks in Paris this past spring, in the 7th right near Rue Cler- a wonderful, livable neighborhood with plenty to see right there. It's a "chic" neighborhood but people live there; although we met some Parisiens that said "oh, you're staying in a touristy area" because it's right at the Tower. But gorgeous, safe, great little shops, plenty of metro stops. Yes, there were americans there, but mostly, honestly, Parisiens. Felt like we got the fairytale version of living in Paris while we were there. Can't say enough good about it. Although, on another trip, I'd love to stay near the Luxembourg gardens or the Marais or Ile St Louis, so it's such a matter of taste and what you plan to do, and the lifestyle you like to live when you're on vacation.
I would try to stay near the river in the Fifth Ar. (St. Germain) or if possible on Ilde St Louis. In my view, it really is where you want to be - not just to explore one time but to revisit over and over on a evening stroll when you can take your time (its romantic). It is especially central, and close to everything that you'll remember as Paris. The Marias is also nice. Rue Cler is safe, close to the tower, and has reasonable food and lodging but other attractions are a long walk or a ride on the metro.
As to quiet, I think this is a concern you have to address with your selection of a hotel. Some of them are right on a busy street in a central location but in your room you won't hear a thing. Others are not. When you are ready to decide return here and also visit tripadvisor.com.
Ile St. Louis is quiet at night and seems to meet all your other requirements. Hotel Lutece would be my choice here.
We usually rent an apt from iloveparisapartments.com on Rue St. Andre des Arts -- which is primarily a pedestrian street -- very quiet at night. Close to the jazz clubs in the Latin Quarter. VERY convenient to so many wonderful bistros and restaurants! So convenient to Notre Dame, St. Chapelle, the Seine, the Louvre, the Orsay, the metro, the RER, etc.
Suzann, I'd also suggest having a look at the Rue Cler area in the 7th (sometimes facetiously referred to as "Rue Rick" here on the HelpLine). It's relatively close to the Eiffel Tower and some other major sights, so of course it's a bit "toursisty". However, there are lots of nice restaurants and small shops and also good access to the Metro (Ecole Militaire station). The restaurants are often busy well into the evening (except for Sunday, as I recall). As you already have the France 2011 Guidebook, you'll have a good idea of the Hotels in that area. There are some good Hotels in that area, but of course which to choose will depend on your budget. Happy travels!
Andrea, could you post your apartment recommendation? Thanks
Thank you all for the help and suggestions. I have narrowed it down to either St. Germain or Marais. Now is the fun part, choosing the hotel or apartment. Any recommendations other than what is in Rick's book would be appreciated.
These are all great suggestions. Last time there in September we stayed at the Hilton Arc de Triomphe. Each day we picked a different area of the city to explore. But what made this area special was the chance to walk in the nearby Parc Monceau about the time the neighborhood schools let out and watch the mothers and nannies collect the kids who then had a ball playing in the park,.. It was a real slice of Parisian life but still close enough to all the tourist stuff.
Try (vacationinparis.com) apt. #201