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Recommendations for my mother, travelling alone

Surfers Paradise...
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Recommendations for my mother, travelling alone

I'm sending my mum to Paris for two weeks in October. For part of the time my brother will also be there for a competition, but for the most part she will be alone.

Can anyone recommend somewhere nice for her to stay as a single traveller? I am paying for all her accommodation, so would prefer somewhere that includes a decent breakfast and is close to other food options for her.

Any other hints/tips would be great too.

Limerick, Ireland
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1. Re: Recommendations for my mother, travelling alone

Is your mother active? What are her interests? Have you considered an apartment rather than a hotel?

A bit more meat on the bone will get you better answers.

Surfers Paradise...
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2. Re: Recommendations for my mother, travelling alone

She's an active 60 yr old. She will likely do a lot of walking and I'll book her some day trips outside of Paris too. I'll also look into some cooking classes if she is interested.

The last trip we took to Paris two years ago was with three children under 5, so my knowledge of where to stay differs vastly to what she will need.

Limerick, Ireland
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3. Re: Recommendations for my mother, travelling alone

Your mother may enjoy an apartment in a secure block in Montmartre …federal-hotel.com/hotel_pierre-et-vacances-… I stayed here a few years ago with my family. It is in a quiet area close to the Sacre Coeur and attractions of Rue des Abbesses. There are a number of small super markets close by where she can buy food/drinks for her apartment. There is also a lovely theatre out side should she speak French. The area has plenty of restaurants and cafes for dining. The Anvers metro is around the corner. Pierre Vacances also have similar comlexes in other parts of Paris should Montmartre not suit. The main advantage over private apartment rentals is that there is a 24hr desk.

Bolton, United...
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4. Re: Recommendations for my mother, travelling alone

Dear andybeeb

It's very kind of you to pay for your mothers accommodation, If it was me I would be thrilled. But as others have said it is very difficult for us to give you ideas for somebody else. Second hand as it were.

I think your mum would be wise to do a bit of research of her own, maybe by guide book or by reading trip reports of people on this forum. I'm sure she would enjoy this to get a "feel" of Paris and also to inspire her. For me this, discovery and anticipation is all part of the trip

I travel alone sometimes as does" In love with Paris" and "Gittek." (read her website.) we have all posted trip reports. We are all ladies of a certain age. Although for me age is totally irrelevant, especially in Paris and I get annoyed when people treat 60+ as somehow different. If you search for solo trip reports she will get plenty ideas.

This is Gittes website.


Although I like Montmartre and the 18th I did not like staying there, when we stayed for a month last year. Far too much travelling on the metro/bus each day for me. The Marais arrondissement 4, near metro line one would be my choice for a first solo trip. Quintessential Paris, lots of other tourists like myself, safe. English spoken. Lots to interest her within the immediate area, walk to the river...... But there again your mum may be more adventurous!

Gitte on the other hand loves staying on Rue Clignancourt in the 18th all the time, becuase she likes to get away from the bustle of the city in the evenings. So it takes all sorts.

For my first solo trip I stayed in a small hotel in the 19th Le Laumiere.


Right opposite the metro station, two stops from the Gare du Nord. so Easy to get around Run by two sisters. Breakfast is plentiful and it is clean and comfortable.

I felt more secure for some reason and had that daily human contact. Since then as I have become more confident I love the freedom of apartments

I really enjoyed my trip to Provins last week , easy to get to on the train from Gare d'Est. ( although read my trip report.!) and in winter I get a four day museum pass to allow me to visit as many indoor places as I wish.

Just a couple of suggestions.


love from England

Edited: 10 June 2011, 11:45
Paris, France
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5. Re: Recommendations for my mother, travelling alone


First of all, I hope that my son takes a page from your notebook when I'm 60. I would love for him, or anyone, to send me on such a trip. Your mother's a lucky woman.

One thing that your mother may enjoy is a walking tour with a Parisian. The group, "Parisian for a Day" organizes tours with local volunteers (many of whom are retired) who share their favorite spots in the city with small groups of no more than 6. The tours are free but they do ask for a small donation to help offset their administrative costs. If this sounds like something that your mother may enjoy, here's the link for a blog post that I wrote about the experience:


And rest assured, I see women of all ages who are alone in Paris and having a wonderful time. It's really not a city where you need to have someone with you to enjoy it.

I'll think about it some more and get back to you with other ideas for your mother.

Chicago, Illinois
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6. Re: Recommendations for my mother, travelling alone

For two weeks a nice well located studio would be the right idea IMHO -- it would give her a little more space than a hotel room and she would not be forced to eat every meal in a restaurant -- which is tough on the stomach as well as tedious for two weeks. It is also fun to go to local bakeries for fresh morning bread and pastries -- and to be able to keep wine and cheese and fruit on hand even if the major meals are taken in restaurants.

A location near Plas des Vosges might be nice or elsewhere in the Marais or the 6th.

Parisbestlodge gets a lot of positive reviews here and they have small well located places. A lot of people also recommend Vacation in Paris.

For Montmartre which is also a nice area we use Perfectlyparis.com and feelslikehomeinparis.com and have been very pleased with their hands on management and the quality of their places. Montmartre has a village feel and if you are in the area near Lamarck-Caulaincourt rather than Blanche and Anvers you are away from the less agreeable touristy parts.

What a nice gift.

los angeles
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7. Re: Recommendations for my mother, travelling alone

You have such great suggestions here, and very valuable ones, as they come from experienced solo women travelers!

The only thing I want to add to this great advice is that I think it's a good idea to ask your mom what her preference in lodging would be. For a two-week trip, the apartment definitely has its advantages as far as space, privacy, kitchen in which to prepare or at least reheat small meals/refrigerate food items, etc.

On the other hand, a small hotel with a nice, helpful front desk staff can be really comforting. I've not traveled alone, but I have traveled with just my young daughter, and I definitely took advantage of having help at the front desk--finding my way around, getting suggestions for activities, tossing my ideas out to another adult. Since the hotel was small and I chose it based on their reputation for helpful "service," I became familiar with the regulars at the front desk and really enjoyed it. I was only there for a week, tho--two weeks could have been a bit long for a hotel room!

So it depends upon the individual, and that's why your mom should probably take a few days to think about it.

I know she'll have a wonderful trip!

I can definitely

Toronto, Canada
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8. Re: Recommendations for my mother, travelling alone

What a lucky mum you have, and I'm sure she appreciates you and your kindness. I agree with previous posters, and they have given many helpful ideas. I'll hit 60 this summer, and have loved every trip to Paris, including the most recent; we are home 3 days. I was with my husband, but while he was in business meetings for 2 days, I walked for hours and felt very safe. Our hotel was Grand Hotel des Balcons, and I posted a review. For a single traveler, it might be a possibility, although I'm not sure about a two week stay. Good luck with your lovely gift planning.

Victoria, Canada
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9. Re: Recommendations for my mother, travelling alone

Well, I would talk more to your mom. I personally love hotels, I have visited alone , and stayed in hotels for 2 weeks or more,, I like having my bed made and I don't mind eating out. . I cook and clean at home, getting away I have no urge to cook or clean at all! I do however always try to get a hotel with a mini fridge so I can stock it with some snacks for evenings when I am tired and just want to lay in bed, watch tv and snack.. great especially if one has a dinner at lunch that day and are beat.

I think for a first timer staying central is nice, I recommend the 5th or 6th..

Have a look at these places:

Hotel Eugenie

Hotel Pantheon

Hotel Le Regent( get deluxe room, standards are too tiny)

Hotel Du la Place de Louvre( in the 1st but 1/2 block from the river and bridge to 5th)

None of these places include breakfast although they offer it, personally I only take breakfast at hotel if it is included in a special rate, so normally its better to just go to a cafe and pay half of hotel breakfast price.

Destination Expert
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10. Re: Recommendations for my mother, travelling alone

I agree with what others have said. One other possibility, should she prefer to stay at a hotel, is to stay a week in one hotel and then move to another one, in a different area.

That is what we do and find it more interesting that way. I do not want to start and end each day with metro rides, so changing areas to then explore different surroundings is part of the fun for us.