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This will be our first trip to Paris. Planning on spending 3 days prior to getting ship at LeHavre.

What is the best area to book a hotel? Is Paris walkable or quite spread out?

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

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Paris is quite walkable, has an excellent subway system, and a great set of Hop on Hop off buses. That certainly took care of our needs for getting around town for our 4 night stay.

 

We stayed at the Hilton Paris Opera, a very nice hotel.

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We could probably have quite a discussion about the "best" arrondissement (neighborhood) to stay. Personally, we prefer the 5th or 6th.....but others might prefer the 2nd or 4th. There is no right or wrong...and really no best (there are several bests)...but a matter of personal taste. Paris has an amazing Metro System....so getting around on foot with some help from the Metro for longer distances...should suffice for most folks.

 

Paris is both very walkable and also spread out (hard to explain). DW and I will walk miles per day...when in Paris. But if we are not in the mood for very long walks, or if the weather is lousy....we head for the nearest Metro station :). For our last few trips we have developed a real affinity for the St Germain des Pres area (its in the 6th).....but there is a lot to say for staying out in Marais area (especially if you are going to be in Paris on a Sunday). We prefer to avoid the large hotels in favor of smaller inns/hotels or renting an apartment (this has become a very popular option).

 

Hank

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We just stayed in Paris for a week.

 

We walked everywhere we wanted (other then Versailles) and never even needed public transportation.

 

There are many nice areas to stay.

 

My advice is to go to a site such as trip advisor and start looking at hotels. You can then see them on a map and look at their proximity to places you want to visit.

 

We do like to walk. Our longest walk would be about one hour and much of the walk was near the Seine River which makes for a very pleasant walk.

 

Keith

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Thank you for your kind advise. We are also avid walkers. This is our preferred method getting around in a new city, as we feel we see more & get a feel of where we are visiting better.

I guess getting from airport to hotel schlepping luggage is an important factor in the area we will book our hotel.

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Thank you for your kind advise. We are also avid walkers. This is our preferred method getting around in a new city, as we feel we see more & get a feel of where we are visiting better.

I guess getting from airport to hotel schlepping luggage is an important factor in the area we will book our hotel.

 

Getting to your hotel, inn, etc. is not much of a problem. You have a few options including the RER (like a subway), shared shuttle (easily arranged online), or taxi. If you look at a map of Paris, you will see that the Arrondissments are arranged somewhat like concentric circles. Since you like to walk, and its your first trip, you should probably stay somewhere in the inside ring which is the 1 through the 7th. The 8th and 9th are also workable..although a bit further from the Seine.

 

Just going to Tripadvisor (as somebody suggests) is not a solution since you still need to figure out which Arrondissement.....after which it becomes much easier to do research on which place. There are more then 1500 hotels in the city, thousands of rental apartments, etc. Among frequent visitors you will often have folks fall into 1 of 2 schools...which is Left Bank or Right Bank. We used to tell folks that the Left Bank was the more Bohemian part while the Right Bank is more commercial....but that is a generalization which does not always work. DW reminds me that on our first visit to Paris (about 35 years ago) we stayed in a typical hotel in the 1st...right near the Place de la Concorde and in the heart of the city. On subsequent trips (and there have been many) we have never (ever) returned to the 1st..and never will. We prefer a somewhat quieter more laid back area that is still within walking distance of many things. So we get back to the 3rd 4th (the Marais area on the Right Bank), the 5th (Latin Quarter on the Left Bank) of its neighbor....the 6th (St Germain des Pres). The last is probably our favorite area (part residential, part commercial) but its also a pricey area with fewer hotels (its a great area to rent an apartment for a week). The 5th (Latin Quarter) might be the best compromise (in our mind) because there are plenty of smaller medium price hotels, the area has charm, and its near places like Notre Dame. In that area we have stayed in a small very Parisian type hotel called the Hotel des Grandes Ecoles. While this residential area may not appeal to all, that old hotel is usually full of frequent travelers. As is typical of many older small hotels, this place is not air conditioned...which would cause us some concern if visiting in July-August. But if you pull this up on the internet...you will see what we mean when we talk about charming places in charming neighborhoods.

 

Hank

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We like the 1st and 8th arrondissement (district) - very central for your walking. Would advise you not to pick the 9th or 10th as these can be less salubrious.

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We like the 1st and 8th arrondissement (district) - very central for your walking. Would advise you not to pick the 9th or 10th as these can be less salubrious.

 

A few months ago I was at a luncheon where somebody asked for my help on choosing a place to stay in Paris. Since this person was en ex New Yorker (as am I) I thought it would be fun and helpful to equate Paris neighborhoods to NYC. So I told them that staying in the 1st was akin to staying near Times Square. The 5th was somewhat comparable to the Village (Greenwich Village). The St Germain des Pres part of the 6th was akin to staying in Gramercy Park. And I tried to equate the Marais area to the trendy part of the Upper West Side although perhaps a better comparison would have been Tribeca;

Hank

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Better than Trip Advisor, go to Trivago. It lets you search hotels by arrondissement. Click on "Distance from" and the drop down menu lets you pick the district (arrondissement). Then, if you wish, double check reviews in TA.

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Hank - how can you compare the centre of Paris to Times Square? It beggars belief. As yet I haven't seen anyone dressed as Minnie Mouse or a scantily dressed Cowboy outside the Ritz !!! These have been spotted by us frequently in Times Square however LOL. The only thing the 1st Arondissement and Times Square have in common is that they are central.

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We skipped the hotels and stayed in a VRBO on our last visit. It was nice having more room. We loved our location, on a side street near the Eiffel Tower. And, since it was a neighborhood area there were small markets with wonderful to go food - so many of our meals were picnics in the park in front of the Eiffel Tower. Just one warning...if they say they have a washer, it may be very tiny. We expected to wash all our clothes, but that washer would only take a few socks at a time.

 

 

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We like to walk. We also like small boutique hotels. Check out Hotel Vernueil. We walked from the hotel to the Eiffel Tower after the over night flight from NY. It took about an hour but no better way to see Paris than by walking. We also walked to Notre Dame, Louvre, Orsay museum, Latin Quarter from the hotel.

 

 

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Hank - how can you compare the centre of Paris to Times Square? It beggars belief. As yet I haven't seen anyone dressed as Minnie Mouse or a scantily dressed Cowboy outside the Ritz !!! These have been spotted by us frequently in Times Square however LOL. The only thing the 1st Arondissement and Times Square have in common is that they are central.

 

Yeah....OK,.,,,,you win this round. Must admit that we are in NYC every few weeks (our DD and grandson live in NYC) but we spend nearly all our time in an upscale neighborhood of lower Manhattan. I cannot even remember the last time we saw Times Square! On the other hand, on our last few trips to Paris I don't think we ever saw the Arc de Triomphe. But since you did use the word "beggers" we have seen plenty in both cities...although many more in NYC since the election of their current Mayor. But besides both those areas being "central" they are where a majority of tourists go..on their first visit (until they know better).

 

One final laugh. We had recent visitors from the UK (we met them on a cruise nearly 25 years ago) who spent a few days at our home. They then had to drive to Brooklyn to catch the Queen Mary 2..home. My friend (who is well traveled) drove from Central PA to Brooklyn (via lower Manhattan) but never spent any time in Manhattan. When I told him he could take the subway from Brooklyn to Times Square...he just laughed and said he had no desire to see Times Square. But I did not tell his wife about the naked Cowboy....or I bet they would have taken the subway :).

 

Hank

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The only place I stay in Paris: hotel Montpensier which is maybe 2 blocks from the Louvre. And it won't break the bank!! You won't be sorry. I was just there again in May. Love.

 

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Yeah....OK,.,,,,you win this round. Must admit that we are in NYC every few weeks (our DD and grandson live in NYC) but we spend nearly all our time in an upscale neighborhood of lower Manhattan. I cannot even remember the last time we saw Times Square! On the other hand, on our last few trips to Paris I don't think we ever saw the Arc de Triomphe. But since you did use the word "beggers" we have seen plenty in both cities...although many more in NYC since the election of their current Mayor. But besides both those areas being "central" they are where a majority of tourists go..on their first visit (until they know better).

 

One final laugh. We had recent visitors from the UK (we met them on a cruise nearly 25 years ago) who spent a few days at our home. They then had to drive to Brooklyn to catch the Queen Mary 2..home. My friend (who is well traveled) drove from Central PA to Brooklyn (via lower Manhattan) but never spent any time in Manhattan. When I told him he could take the subway from Brooklyn to Times Square...he just laughed and said he had no desire to see Times Square. But I did not tell his wife about the naked Cowboy....or I bet they would have taken the subway :).

 

Hank

Good post Hank - made us chuckle!!!

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Thank you so much for all the helpful advice. The more time I spend looking at hotels (of which there seem to be hundreds) the more confused I get. We really appreciate the tips on specific hotels. This will really narrow my search. Again thank you.

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Thank you so much for all the helpful advice. The more time I spend looking at hotels (of which there seem to be hundreds) the more confused I get. We really appreciate the tips on specific hotels. This will really narrow my search. Again thank you.

 

 

 

We have stayed at Astotel Hotel 34B. Very affordable. Very nice. Free breakfast and snacks all day. Free drinks in mini fridge. Walkable to all areas and metro across from hotel. Staying again in September. Read the great reviews on TripAdvisor. Also connected to other Astotels around the city....you can go to any of them to use their facilities(snacks,drinks, coffee, restrooms).

 

 

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Not sure if you've booked a place yet or are still contemplating - there are indeed a lot of hotels and differed ideas, preferences and reasons on why to stay in any given place! Price, location, amenities, first time to Paris or return trip, type of experience desired, neighborhood vibe sought (if any) etc. For many it's (or was!) usually a first time & the main interests are the standard first three, price, location, amenities.

 

I've stayed in the 1st, 5th, 7th & 12th. Only stayed in the 12th after many trips to Paris & as a pit stop en route to Epèrnay/Reims with Paris friends so location was unimportant on that trip & I knew the métro quite well.

 

First and return trips I stayed at Hotel Mansart in the 1st on rue des Capucines near Place Vendôme & Opèra mètro station. Love it here, quiet street, center of city, close to Louvre, Tuileries, if interested. I also don't liken 1st to Times Square & lived in NYC for decades. 1st *might* be more like Union Square (14th Street) area but even that is a poor parallel. For me not much in Paris compares to NYC, lots of London does and yet I immediately felt "at home" in Paris, without any words to explain why. It just did. They've just always been wonderful here, some of the staff became friends but they treat everyone as special and personal.

 

I stayed at Hotel Agora St Germain in the 5th for a change to be on the Left Bank in a less quiet area & I liked it too. (Ok for sleeping at night!) Also convenient to a métro stop (Maubert-Mutualité) and the Latin Quarter, St Germain arrondissments. Healthy walk to Eiffel Tower depends on stamina levels. Also felt great here, owner on premises.

 

If you wanted to be near the Eiffel Tower, Musèe d'Orsay I stayed at Hotel L'Alma in the 7th. It was nice being able to walk to the Tower for photography shoots and it was on a quiet street, close enough to métro but the area is quiet although that might not matter if you plan to be out and about all day. If you want to return to the room often, this isn't the place although no mètro ride is ever more than 5-10 minutes unless you're heading to arrondissment further out of of the center or out to the banlieu. Very accommodating staff.

 

 

I concur in that Paris is quite walkable and it's the best way to see/experience the city. Use the mètro only as a time saver or say if you wish to go suddenly from Sacre Coêur to Eiffel Tower, maybe Arc du Triomphe or even if your just tired. It's easy to use. Paris in the daytime can be clogged with traffic so buses can be slow, I've tried taking just the regular RATP buses. Just so much faster underground. I think it was just hot and I didn't want to go underground! I do the same thing here at home ;) But this is home not Paris though I love my city :)

 

 

Lastly my aunt and uncle just returned from their stay in Paris where they were at Hotel Indigo in the 2nd I believe but also close to the Opèra metro station. The Hotel had been recommended to them by well traveled friends and they loved it; this was not their first trip to Paris but it had been awhile. Had an amazing concierge.

 

Let us know how you did with selecting a place. The government rating system ensures you'll receive what is stated be law so it then just becomes a matter of décor, service, location, X factors. That's where we come in. Bon chance!

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We just got back from Paris a few months ago. Stayed a week after a cruise.

 

We stayed at La Clef Louvre. LOVE it. In the first arrondissement (sp?) right in from of the Palace and a few steps from the Louvre. Easy to get everywhere.

 

Combination of a boutique hotel, but with kitchen area, dishes, laundry in the room etc. Absolutely wonderful

 

The staff were fabulous, the breakfast very good and the room/suite (wouldn't call it a suite per se) but it was roomy with separate area for sleeping, living area and kitchenette area.

 

If you join their "club" and you have a birthday coming up, I discovered much to my delight a 25% discount which made the whole thing quite affordable for us.

 

To be honest I'd stay there again in a heartbeat whether I had the discount or not.

 

Well rated on tripadvisor and for a very good reason.

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We went & stayed at Hotel Napoleon, in Champs Elyseee area, 1 block from Arc de Triomphe & subway. Found an excellent deal on sky auction.

 

 

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Hotel Tourville in the 7th.......easy walk to Invalid, Champs de Mar, Eiffel Tour. Quiet very upscale neighborhood, plenty of bakeries, restaurants on Rue Cler. Between two metro stops that connect to the rest of Paris. 10 minutes to St. Germaine and shopping......very Parisienne.

 

 

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I LOVE Paris. I leave next Friday for my 7th trip in 4 years.

I like the 6th near the Luxembourg Gardens.

 

If I am going to Montmartre or Canal Saint Martin I take the metro there.

Canal Saint Martin if I'm heading to the very far end I take the metro there and back.

Montmartre it depends how exhausted I am. I might take the metro up there and back.

Other than that I mostly walk. My average is 10 miles a day.

A few times in a trip I'll do 13 miles.

 

Lots of people have a fear of the metro but it is easy to use and very efficient.

 

Do yourself a favor and book your hotel as far out as possible. Hotels and apartments book up and they normally get more expensive.

 

Have a great time!!!

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We will be staying in Paris for several days before a British Isles cruise next August. My 85 year old mother in law will be traveling with us. We would like a convenient location so that we wouldn't have to do a whole lot of walking. Plus, having a HOHO stop near our hotel would be perfect. Any suggestions?:)

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We have stayed in three different areas. First time was in Marais, the 5th/6hth (or even just inside the 13th), twice in Montparnasse, and once in Port Mailot. Most times it was based on Priceline winning bids. We preferred the 5th and Montparnasse because of proximity to RER and the metro. We typically take the RER to and from Paris because we only have carry on.

 

We enjoyed Montparnasse and area. We stayed once near the rail station (very handy for the train to Versaille) and the second time close to Eiffel. It was also good for HOHO access, as was Marais.

 

The Paris Metro is so good and so easy to use/get around. As is the RER and their rail system. I think your best bet is to narrow down the areas/hotels and then select the hotel that appeals to you most for whatever reason. Lots of fine places. We are members of the Accor Hotel chain. They sometimes have very good specials-especially for higher end business hotels during we weekends when business people are not travelling. You generally have to book, pay in advance w/no cancellation to get these rates. Having said that Priceline bidding has been very good for us in Paris and at the CDG area for those nights prior to an early flight.

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