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Torn between districts for 3rd Paris trip

TX
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Torn between districts for 3rd Paris trip

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!

Paris, France
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1. Re: Torn between districts for 3rd Paris trip

For a change, you could try the 4th and around (Marais or Bastille areas), or Ile St Louis, so that you'll be between left and right banks and could alternate the visits to one side or the other; it's a very safe area and many TA members love it.

Paris, France
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2. Re: Torn between districts for 3rd Paris trip

I'd go for upper Marais area near Republique, or canal Saint Martin, or rue de Bretagne...

And I'd trun my attention toward the northern and eastern districts of Paris.

the big blue marble
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3. Re: Torn between districts for 3rd Paris trip

Some of the least pretentious areas are Right Bank. I agree with Flore, I really like the Upper Marais near Republique/ St Martin areas.

Denver, Colorado
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4. Re: Torn between districts for 3rd Paris trip

I think you would enjoy the 12th . Metro stations Gare de Lyon, Daumensil, Diderot, Ledru-Rollin for example....Quiet peaceful, untouristy, close to nighlife around Place de la Bastille and walking distance to the center. Lots of green spaces and parks, cafes, etc...

Houston
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5. Re: Torn between districts for 3rd Paris trip

I agree that you might try the Marais for this trip. Also, maybe think about renting an apartment. If you like to buy food and eat in your room, an apartment lets you have more freedom with this.

You'd have a refrigerator, microwave, stove, etc.

For more than 30 years I stayed in hotels in Paris. Several years ago I rented an apartment and have done so ever since. The extra space and convenience makes a world of difference.

TX
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6. Re: Torn between districts for 3rd Paris trip

Thanks everyone. I almost was going to stay at a top Trip Advisor rated hotel near Gare de Lyon and Bastille, but ultimately got "untorn" and chose another top rated hotel near Montparnasse close to several stations, yet a nice walk to Luxembourg garden, a favorite spot I come back to time and time again. Looking forward to it!

Hayti, Missouri
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7. Re: Torn between districts for 3rd Paris trip

I love the 12th - I stayed there for my last trip and am returning. Lots of great cafes and very few tourists. It feels more like "real" Paris. I also found it extremely quiet at night (so sleep was never an issue). I stayed near the Gare de Lyon station, so getting anywhere was an absolute breeze.

I also prefer an apartment over a hotel.

Edited: 03 March 2012, 17:38
Metro Vancouver
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8. Re: Torn between districts for 3rd Paris trip

Pity you weren't a little more adventurous! may be next time?

Pigalle is not unsafe. tacky yes, not unsafe. I went there for the first time as a 14 years old skinny boy and, while the rest of our tour group from a very provincial town slept, I went on my own to have a look at Place Pigalle, Place Blanche etc. in the evening.

There were some prostitutes and a few "friendly" old gentlemen hanging around but we had them in my home town too, so I knew enough to be careful.

Paris, France
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9. Re: Torn between districts for 3rd Paris trip

No need to be torn. I consider the areas of the northeast right bank to be the least pretentious part of Paris: arrondissements 9-10-11-18-19-20.

10. Re: Torn between districts for 3rd Paris trip

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