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Staying in Montmatre or Pigalle?

Philadelphia
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Staying in Montmatre or Pigalle?

Can anyone advise about some of the pros and cons of staying in either Montmatre (18th) or Pigalle (9th) as opposed to the more central areas?

I will have a 6 day stay.

San Francisco
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1. Re: Staying in Montmatre or Pigalle?

I would not stay in Montmartre and certainly not Pigalle but rather take a day trip there. Parts of Pigalle can be downright unpleasant IMHO (full disclosure : I've lived in the 6eme and Le Marais so I am biased). The nice parts of Montmartre are quite nice, cute and picturesque but Montmartre is so far from the center of Paris that if you are doing other things in Paris, you'll spend a lot of time on the metros. I love going to Montmartre to take pictures and to just visit. One of my favorite things is to take the metro there, visit and then take the veliB back downhill to Le Marais.

Be certain where your apartment / hotel is located in Montmartre as there are places labeled as Montmartre but they are just a block or less from Tati, etc.

If this is your 3rd or 4th time to Paris and are exploring Paris arrondissement by arrondissement then staying in Montmartre would be a good choice as is staying in other non-central areas.

Paris
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2. Re: Staying in Montmatre or Pigalle?

Elzevir, define "center" in Paris. Is it grands boulevards? Opéra? Les Halles? Bastille? In my book, the 9th is more central than the 6th that's out of the way on the other side of the river. IMHO staying in the Abbesses area is one of the most pleasant experiences one can have in Paris, with a real neighborhood life. Pigalle is more bourgeois, and a bit more stuffy and dense. But of course all these nuances go out of the window, since it's the actual apartment (surface, exposure, quietness, equipment, etc. ) that makes the difference.

San Francisco
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3. Re: Staying in Montmatre or Pigalle?

As I said, I'm biased. As vacationer, I would pick a home base in parts of arrondissements 1 through 7, parts of the 8th. Further refining that, I would picks parts of the 6eme, 3eme and 4eme as my top choices. They are comfortable, have great restaurants, good facilities, approachable, right amount of gentrification (IMHO) and easy to get to all other places including Montmartre.

In any case, anything close to metro Pigalle would be not a great place to stay for me or my wife. Montmartre is charming but not my preferred home base for a vacation unless, as I said, you are on a mission to vacation in all the neighborhoods.

There are pockets (some of the "cites" or the area near the Musee de la Vie Romanique - http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=la+vie+romantique,+paris,+france&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=62.098123,107.138672&ie=UTF8&ll=48.880846,2.333264&spn=0.005771,0.026157&z=16&layer=c&cbll=48.88085,2.333255&panoid=9tJdl_LNvHB_kEpII1k04g&cbp=11,20.45,,0,5) of Pigalle area that I enjoy but the overall experience being there 6 days is not ideal in my opinion especially if you are close to main road in Pigalle.

It all matters what you want and what makes one happy. I know a lot of people love to base themselves in Belleville, Okerkampt, Sentier, etc. Just not my idea of home base.

San Francisco
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4. Re: Staying in Montmatre or Pigalle?

Just to add (and I agree with the other poster). It is all about location and apartment. A specific address helps make the tradeoffs easier along with knowing the vacationer's budget, thing that they enjoy, concerns and preferences.

North Berwick...
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5. Re: Staying in Montmatre or Pigalle?

I would have to say I totaly agree with RendezVous Paris, having been to my favourite city 36ish times, 37th in August. I have by far enjoyed staying in the Abesses area far more than anyother. It is very easy to get to and the area has a village feeling to it where you can comfortably mix with the locals. In this area there is plently to see and do and also lots of cafes and bistros to eat in.

Montreal
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6. Re: Staying in Montmatre or Pigalle?

We've stayed in Montmartre last July for two weeks, just off place du Tertre, and we loved it! I know a lot of people are turned off by the crowd, but Montmartre has a charm of it's own that you will find nowhere else in Paris. If you're an early riser go out in the morning before the crowd gets there. Then you will truly be able to see for yourself how beautiful Montmartre really is. Granted the beauty sort of gets lost with the big crowds, but on the other hand when it's busy there's always something fun happening. Where else in Paris can you open your window and hear an acordeon playing and someone singing an Edith Piaf's song! Despite the crowds not once were we disturbed at night and we always slept well with the windows opened.

On a more practical level, if you decide to stay in Montmartre make sure to wear good comfortable flat heeled shoes or you will regret it. Also make a point to familiarize yourself with the "Montmartrobus" schedule. You will appreciate it after a day walking around Paris... unless you enjoy climbing. There's always the funiculaire of course just off the Anvers metro station. To follow up on previuos comments while I was there we never felt that we were far off from other places to visit in Paris. I do not believe we spent more than 20 minutes in the metro wherever we went.

Well That`s about all I can think of for now. If you have any questions I can help with don't hesitate to ask I will do my best to answer you best I can.

Enjoy your trip, I envy you, wish I could go back!

London
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7. Re: Staying in Montmatre or Pigalle?

We stayed on the north side of Montmartre (Rue Marcadet; Lamarck/Caulincourt metro) for our first visit a few years ago, for 3 days/2nights. We love to walk so only caught the metro home a couple of times, tending to walk different routes into the centre each day taking in various sights along the way. We found several good places to eat & drink very close to home and free from tourists (except ourselves doing our very best school French, failing miserably to blend in!).

On our second visit we were in town for just 2 days/1 night, so stayed more centrally (near Opera metro). The advantage of this was being able to walk to the Louvre in 15minutes and to an upscale restaurant for dinner even in heels... and maximise our short time.

With more time I'd stay further out and have a less touristy experience; especially if it's not your first stay.

Toronto, Canada
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8. Re: Staying in Montmatre or Pigalle?

We just got back from 7 nights at the Mercure Montmartre a couple of blocks north of Place Clichy on Rue Calincourt. It's not the first place we'd choose but we came across a air/hotel package that was just too good to say no. We were right around the corner from a fabulous part of Montmartre full of great non-touristy restaurants bistros and patisseries: Rue Lepic, Rue des Abbesses etc.

I'd definitely stay away from Pigalle though... not dangerous but definitely tacky and a little seedy.

If you choose to stay in Montmarte be prepared to get to know the Metro/bus system... you'll be using it a lot.

For the full on Parisian charm right outside your front door I'd definitely prefer to stay in the more central areas... but at the right price Montmartre will do just fine.

Perth, Australia
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9. Re: Staying in Montmatre or Pigalle?

We stayed in Montmartre 7 weeks ago. We stayed in a cute little b&b. Montmartre is beautiful and once you go down a side alley or walk a street away from the "tourist" route you are IMO the real Paris.

Getting into Paris central is very easy, catch the metro. It took us on average .5hr to leav eour accom and be on the Champs. We had friends staying near Notre Dame and we caught up with them very easily. Pigalle is a great place to go at night if you love jazz. You have to be a bit alert but its not like the Bronx. I can give you details if you want. Just PM me.

chers

HP

nashville
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10. Re: Staying in Montmatre or Pigalle?

I like Montmartre and have spend a week there the past two summers BUT it is a terrible location for a first trip to Paris -- it is too far out in the fringes and too long a trip to most of the places you are going to want to see on a first trip -- a lot of the pleasure of Paris is strolling in the evening along the Seine -- viewing Notre Dame at night -- visiting the museums along the Seine etc -- Montmartre is at least half an hour by metro and often longer to get to most of the most popular sights

I'd recommend the 5th or the 4th for a first trip -- spend one afternoon/evening in Montmartre (some of the 9th is nice but the area around Pigalle definitely is not)the view from the terrace in front of Sacre Couer is spectacular.