I'm traveling to Paris for the 3rd time (last time was nearly 7 yrs ago) for 5 nights and I am torn as to where to stay this time.
The first time I stayed in the border of the 7th and 15th districts so spent lots of time in the 7th district and saw the major sights (Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Louvre (lightly), Musee D'Orsay, Musee Marmottan (love impressionist art), made RER trip to Versailles, Sacre Coeur, Notre Dame, Sainte Chappelle, Jardin de Luxembourg)....
On the 2nd trip, I stayed on the 6th between St Germain and Jardin de Luxembourg and repeated nothing I did on the first, but lounged at the Luxembourg garden again, visited Montparnasse area/tower, saw the skaters on the streets on Friday night, walked alongside the skaters route, went shopping at Galleries Lafayette and Printemps. Rode the buses instead of taking metro, on the way back to St Germain which proved to be quite convenient (a metro strike was on at the time). Visited the Latin Quarter, exploring its streets, Bastille, and walked around the areas between (east of) Invalides and Rue de Bac, checking out Bon Marche store, plus took a booked a tour to Giverny and on the way back the driver took us by La Defense and drove through Champs Elyssees.
For the 3rd trip, I want to see the Musee de l'Orangerie which was closed back when I last was there and visit Orsay again and get a tour of Opera Garnier, but otherwise I am open to new discoveries. I travel alone so safety is a concern (not interested in Pigalle for example). I liked the 6th, but found the cafes in the area to be too "touristy". I was somewhat turned off by the "famous" cafes. Too much hype. I liked the 7th district, but it does seem to get too mellow at night. I liked the area of the 6th near Montparnasse. Perceived it to be less touristy. Don't care to go shopping at the big stores this time. The right bank seems pretentious so haven't considered staying there, but any suggestions would be appreciated. A lot of popular hotels seem to be filled up, running rates of 200 Eur a night for a double room. Would be nice to get a better rate in a different and safe location, but will pay 200 Eur if the hotel is really worthwhile. I like to buy food to take to the room so a hotel that frowns on that (especially if paying 200 Eur for it!) would not be first on my list. Thanks in advance for your input!