I have read many posts on this forum and spoken to a friend from Paris who recommended that we should rent an apt. in the Marais for our first visit to Paris. We are in our 50s and interested in both contemporary and historic art, as well as historic architecture. I saw a video online of the 4th Arr. and the the Rue des Francs-Bourgeois, and it looks too crowded for our taste. So, I have several questions:
1) Is the Haut Marais (specifically near the Rue du Temple and Rue Pastourelle) a safe and central area with nice bistros, interesting historic architecture, etc, but less busy and crowded than the Rue des Francs-Bourgeois area?
2) I'm confused if there is a big difference between the left vs right bank. I assume it's not as different as Manhattan vs Brooklyn and not as far from each other? Is there a significant difference in the "flavor" of the left and right bank? We are also considering the Saint-Germain-des-Prés area or the Latin Quarter, so would appreciate feedback about those neighborhoods (how crowded, safe, central, historic architecture, bistros, etc.).
3) We are also considering staying in the Ile Saint-Louis, which looks very charming, but would like to know if it is too isolated and if it is an easy walk to restaurants, bistros, etc?
Thanks in advance!