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beachwriter's avatar

What's the best neighborhood to spend a week in Paris?

Asked by beachwriter (361points) October 13th, 2009

2 women in Paris—we like shopping, eating, museums, scenic walks, maybe a little night life. We’re staying a week. Suggestions welcome!

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8 Answers

dunkin_donutz's avatar

You should pick up a copy of the Lonely Planet guide.

O's avatar

How long are you in Paris for?

ben's avatar

I really recommend Le Marais. I was in Paris for a month this summer and found myself often heading to there for amazing food and incredible charm. It’s close to everything (though the transit is so good in Paris everything feels close).

Also, you have to go to the rue de Rosiers and try the falafel.

Finally, if you’re into food you should check out David Lebovitz’s blog. Lots of great local recommendations.

Cartman's avatar

My absolute favourite is staying in Saint Germain at La Perle located at 14 , Re des Canettes. Just around the corner at Rue Récamier is La Cigale Recamier, one of the most fabulous restaurants I have even been to, very nice but still completely homey in a very un-French way; there you can have soufflés right through your meal, it’s their thing, appetiser, entrée and desert. I’m not a soufflé person per se but I absolutely adore going there.

Convenient, traditional, Paris shoping in close by and Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré is a nice two mile walk away.

Maybe this is not your thing? Anyhow I wish you the best of times!

Harp's avatar

The public transportation network is so easy to use, and Paris is so geographically compact, that you can stay just about anywhere and get to all of the things you want to do in short order. Lodgings in the hot spots are going to be more expensive and quite noisy at night.

Personally, I’d rather use a nice quiet typical Parisian neighborhood close to a metro line as my pied a terre, buy a metro/bus pass, and get any where I wanted to be within a half hour. That would also have the advantage of giving you a glimpse into the life of the ordinary Parisian.

The 6th, the 7th, and the 15th arrondissements have their fair share of tranquil ,typical neighborhoods without lots of seedy areas. But even the grittiest arrondissements have some nice pockets. Take advantage of the “street views” feature of Google maps to look around the neighborhoods of any hotels you’re considering.

janbb's avatar

I’ve been to Paris several times this year. In June, I stayed in the 7th arrondissement near the rue Cler. It’s a great location, you can walk to the Musee D’Orsay and the Eiffel Tower, and the rue Cler is a lively market street with reasonably priced cafes and restaurants. In August, we rented an apartment for a week in Montmartre – a wonderful artsy neighborhood on the Right Bank (18th arr.); it is quite touristy around Sacre Couer but has magical side streets and views out over Paris. It is a bit away from the central Paris sites but as Harp say if you are near a Metro stop like Abbesses you can be in the center of Paris in about 25 minutes. The area around rue Mouffetard in the 5th would also be a lot of fun; it is a market street not far from the universities and also has a number of cheap restaurants and lively cafes. As Ben says, the Marais is a great area too and near all the Right Bank sites.

You might want to consider renting an apartment if you are staying for the week. We did in August and it didn’t cost more than a moderately priced hotel.

Two sightseeing suggestions; one of the hop on-hop off bus tours that make several stops in a loop around the major central attractions is a great orientation and a boat ride on the Seine (many leave from in front of the Eiffel Tower), preferably at sunset so you can see the Eiffel Tower lit up on your way back. And take plenty of time to walk, people watch and sit in cafes.

You’ll have a great time!

lifeflame's avatar

I second Ben. I actually lived in the Marais (3e) for a year—it’s close enough to the center without actually being there and surrounded by tourists. It’s also close enough to the 10e (Faubourg Saint Denis, etc) are within walking distance. Also you have the canal around the back….

Ah, Paris…

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