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Which arrondissement would best suit our needs?

Gore, New Zealand
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Which arrondissement would best suit our needs?

Hubby and I are embarking on our first trip to Europe in March.

Which area would you suggest is a good place to stay for people who are 50, wanting to walk to a lot of the major landmarks. ( we are reasonably fit) want to soak up the atmosphere, and not particularly want to be surrounded by high rise.......would prefer somewhere where there are more period buildings, and would love to stay in an older hotel with more ambience......but would need to be three star ish.

I guess cafe and restaurants are near to all the hotels?

As for hotels......we are wanting a room with its own bathroom, is this the norm?

Is public transport really accessible in all the arrondissement ?

Thanks for you help!

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Le Bugue, France
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1. Re: Which arrondissement would best suit our needs?

Pretty much everything you are looking for is in every arrondissement.

There are historical buildings at every twist and turn. It would actually take some hefty research to be surrounded by highrises. Older hotels are everywhere. The star rating system for hotels is not the same in France as it is in the States, so you might not need a 3-star. What is your budget in euros?

Private bathrooms are totally the norm in hotels, though you CAN find bathrooms down the hall in some of the very inexpensive places. You can't swing a cat in Paris without hitting restaurants and cafés. The public transportation system (might as well learn about it now: www.ratp.fr) is vast and will get you anywhere.

Now you need a guidebook or three, and a map.

Paris, France
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2. Re: Which arrondissement would best suit our needs?

Agree with StCirq. You could read these booklets: …parisinfo.com/practical-paris/our-paris-cit… (at least the first two) to know a bit more about Paris and prepare your trip.

Also, the 'sticky' threads on top of this board ( What do you wish someone had told you?, Not what I feared...needless worrying and Paris trip reports - past, present and future!) are full of practical info from TA members and well worth reading as soon as possible.

Paris, France
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3. Re: Which arrondissement would best suit our needs?

You have plenty of time to do some research and read those guidebooks suggested by StCirq since you are not traveling until March. From the guidebooks you will learn more about the different areas of Paris and will be able to decide what appeals to you. You'll also learn about the hotel rating system and the fact that the *stars* have little to do with the luxury of the hotel, but are awarded based on amenities. You might find that a 2-star hotel is quite acceptable.

You'll also learn that there are no high-rises in central Paris. Most of the buildings were built before skyscrapers existed. A good guidebook will also have maps of the city and metro maps. You'll see that you're never far from a metro stop, and the nearest stop(s) will uaually be listed on a hotel's website.

Have fun with your reaserch and planning, it's one of my favorite parts of a trip

los angeles
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4. Re: Which arrondissement would best suit our needs?

Paris isn't much about the "high rise," but you may want to avoid the Opera area, Grands Boulevards, etc.

If you stayed in the 6th--which sounds like it would suit you well from what you describe--you are looking to spend probably 180 euros per night, give or take, for a 3 star. (Thinking Millesime, Danube, etc.) You can pay way higher, of course.

If you think that 120ish euros is a more realistic number, check places in the 5th.

Edited: 5:41 pm, September 16, 2013
Gore, New Zealand
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5. Re: Which arrondissement would best suit our needs?

Paul, thank you for those guides. They are just what I am looking for to help make plans :)

Val-de-Marne, France
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6. Re: Which arrondissement would best suit our needs?

It's true that Paris is not a vertical city but there are still plenty of high rise buildings in most of the 2-digit arrondissements, some of the ugliest being near the Eiffel Tower along Quai de Grenelle (15th). Bercy (12th) and a good chunk of the 13th are also to be avoided if you don't want to be surrounded by tall and/or modern architecture. But even in those arrondissements you will find large districts that are typically 19th century Haussmannian and lots of cute neighborhoods. So it's not so much about arrondissements as districts.

Colorado
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7. Re: Which arrondissement would best suit our needs?

I always have a vote for the 11th. Less tourist and more neighborhood feel(?) Seemed to be less English speakers than the lower numbers but they didn't mind our bad French speaking. Lots of places to eat and have a drink. Lots of chocolate and pastry shops. And yes we are the same age group.

Puget Sound
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8. Re: Which arrondissement would best suit our needs?

The 6th -- as close to the river as your budget will allow.

Metro Vancouver
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9. Re: Which arrondissement would best suit our needs?

Especially NOT the 6th...too many North-Americans...charming as many are, I would feel I am back home..

I like the 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th...

Edited: 12:44 am, September 17, 2013
Paris, France
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10. Re: Which arrondissement would best suit our needs?

I agree with 3CONILS. Additionally, I think that the Grands Boulevards area is one of the best places to stay in Paris -- it certainly has the preference of most French and other European tourists.