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Where To Stay in Paris
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Where To Stay in Paris

Paris is the dream destination for almost every one who loves fashion, art  and the french cuisine besides the standard tourist who just wants a selfie with the Eiffel Tower. It is not easy to seek accommodation in this sprawling city more so if you do not know French.

But then the City doesn’t disappoint; it has something for every one – the backpacker to the ultra rich; everyone has a place to stay. Having said that it is not really cheap to stay in Paris, at the same time it is not exorbitantly expensive.

A little bit of research will help you land the right deal to suit your budget. Paris has one of the best transport systems in the world. The City is well connected by a very affordable metro, trams, trains and buses. A few minutes in the metro is definitely worth the huge chunk you save from your accommodation budget( you do have one right?)

It’s also important to note that like the rest of Europe, hotels in Paris have a no-smoking policy. You can’t smoke in rooms or in public places. It’s best to carry something like TBX Free to help with your cravings.

Primarily accommodation in Paris can be split into

  • Hotels
  • Hostels
  • And others.

Hotels

Whether you are considering Hotels in Manhattan or hotels in Paris, you always have the choice to choose between the most expensive to the most budget friendly hotels in the place. But if you want to avoid the beaten track and in the process save some money then you need to know where to go and which hotels to choose.

Paris has some of the finest five star hotels in the world; at the same time there are several budget friendly and decent three star and four start hotels that are equally good and worth every penny.

Click here to compare prices of hotels in Paris.

Five star accommodations

Opulent interiors, palatial style, gastronomical delight rejuvenating comfort comprise the Parisian five star hotels like anywhere else in the world.

Champs Elysees, the Louvre, the Opera Garnier and the L’arc de Triomphe are the tourist hubs and hence most of the luxury hotels are located around that area in the 16th and 8th arrondissement.  The St. Germain-des-Pres area is another location on the Left Bank for premium hotels.

The five best hotels according to the Telegraph are ( I never dared stay in these places because I feel cut off from the rest of the world; all five stars all over the world are the same till you switch on the TV according to me!)

  • Four Seasons Hotel George V
  • Le Bristol
  • Mandarin Oriental
  • Hotel Lancaster
  • Le Royal Monceua Raffles Paris.

Mid Range accommodations

With an excellent transport system, it is more prudent to stay a little away from the action; not only will you save money but you will get the feel of the city when you travel in the public transport of the place. To get the pulse of the place travel in their trains, the metro, the bus and get to know the city intimately because Paris is magical.

The hotel districts of Grand Boulevards and Bastille near the Marais District are famous with tourists for their decent mid range accommodation. You can also consider Le Defense and Bercy districts especially during weekend for excellent deals.

A few of the hotels that I can vouch are:

  • Mercure: Any of the Mercure is good to stay; be it the one near Eiffel tower or the Montmartre Sacre Couer, though the Sacre Couer is a good deal cheaper because of its location.
  • Hotel du Champ Mars: Located just a kilometer from the Eiffel tower, this lovely hotel has decent sized rooms, is clean and well maintained. It is close to the Rue Cler which is home for several up market shops and pavement cafes.

 

The hotel is within walking distance of museums and serves continental breakfast. Wi Fi is free. Sadly it is not a family friendly hotel.

  • Hotel de la Mare: It is Located 200 meters from Parc de Belleville, and has studios and suites. All the rooms are provided with an LCD television and Wi-Fi access is at no extra cost. The hotel is just a kilometer away from Père Lachaise Cemetery.

The rooms are spacious and come with a kitchenette, refrigerator, microwave, electric kettle and kitchenware. They have a private bathroom too. The ground floor rooms share bathroom.

The hotel is close to the Menilmntant Metro Station and has direct buses to Notre Dame Cathedral.

There are several others mid range decent hotels that you can browse the internet and discover. I can only talk about places that I have been to.

Hostels

Paris has a long list of hostels that are frequented by travelers. These hostels are spread over the entire city but there are a few areas that have greater concentration than others.

For Backpackers and single travelers hostels are ideal; they provide an opportunity to socialize with other travelers and most importantly they are cheap. A few that I have stayed in are:

  • St Christopher’s Inn Paris Canal: Located close to Montmartre, this former warehouse now has nice clean dorms and private rooms. It overlooks the Bassin de la villette – an artificial lake in the middle of the city. You can choose female only dorms too here. Free Wi Fi, breakfast and a free walking tour of Paris is included. There is a night club in the basement for the party goers.
  • Oops! Hostel: No you won’t say “Oops” once you step into this very interesting and unique décor comprising of bold colors and prints. Located in the Latin Quarter you can enjoy Bohemian Paris and also enjoy live entertainment close by. Both dorms and private rooms are available. The rooms come with attached bathrooms making this place a great value for money. Free Wi Fi is available.

Airbnb

World over Airbnb has caught up like wild fire. This is a unique way of understanding a nation’s culture and way of life. It is budget friendly and safe for most part.

But sadly there has been a crackdown by the French Government on errant landlords who have been breaking the rules and renting out their property for longer than the stipulated period of 120 days.

Therefore check the property reviews before you book in any Airbnb.

Whatever be your budget, don’t miss the magic the city weaves around the millions of people that come here every year.

My guide to Paris
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My guide to Paris

Paris is a city that’s very close to my heart.

When I was younger I thought Paris was really overrated and not what everyone made it out to be. Then in 2010, I was in Rome on holiday with a group of friends, and a serendipitous disaster occurred. A volcano started spewing out ash in Iceland, and the majority of the European airspace was closed. There was only one option. COACH.

While horrendous and not an experience I would recommend, this long journey home did afford us a little detour for 24 hours, to Paris.

With a hostel in Montmartre booked and a ‘let’s make lemonade from our lemons’ attitude, we set out on the day that would become the one that I finally fell in love with Paris.Not such a ‘tourist guide’

Kind of like my post about New York, if you want to be filled in on the super touristy sites of Paris, this blog isn’t going to help you – because my advice, again, is just go out and do it. L’Arc de Triomphe, La Tour Eiffel, Le Louvre – they are all really well-known because they are good things to go and see.

These monuments have no particular secrets (unless you’re a student – in which case bring your passport and Student ID along and you can do these things for free or at least at a heavy discount). I can’t illuminate anything else about them, other than if you haven’t done them do them.

Unless it’s raining… Then give the Eiffel tower a miss. It’s fucking miserable up there when the weather isn’t on your side.Against all odds

 

I’ve had some pretty bad times in Paris is the past. It’s heavy woven into my personal tapestry, so to speak. But sometimes some places are so worth knowing about, and loving, that you have to forget the bad memories they bring up.

My first recommendation is one of those places. Le Pont des Artes is quite well known now, but when I was taken by a walking tour guide in 2010 I was mesmerized and loved the fact that it had been in Sex and the City.

The lock bridge is a pretty well-known and widely exercised European city-staple now, but if you’re an ‘accept no substitutes’ type – this is considered as the original and best.

If you have someone special in your life you can add a lock to the bridge and throw the key into the river Seine. But my best memories have come from walking along the bridge, seeing people paint or play instruments, and looking at the locks of love past.

There’s a lot of love here. Whether it lasted, who knows, but it’s a beautiful thought that at one point these people were that in love. These locks are now symbols not only of romantic love, but platonic, life-long and familial love. What’s not to love about that?The new Eiffel and other amazing views

If like me you like to go up tall buildings, and you’re interested in a skyline that includes the most iconic building in Paris (the Eiffel tower, duh) a great alternative with a better view is Montparnasse. It’s almost as tall as the Eiffel tower and gives a much more iconic glance of the city’s skyline.

If you’re a sucker for a good view my favorite ever place in Paris is Montmartre; specifically taking the spectacular walk up to the Sacre Coeur.

If you can stand all the Parisian scam artists trying to sell you friendship bracelets for prices that push the term extortion to its limits, you’ll be rewarded with what I believe is the best view of Paris, especially during sunset.

Walk around up there and you’ll see different angles of Paris, some including the Eiffel tower for those iconically Parisienne pics.

Around the side of the Sacre Coeur you can follow the road up to a little place with bistros and a couple of small tourist shops. The food here is cheap and standard French fare. That with a glass of wine and you can’t really go wrong.

In the evening often the square is taken-over by outside dining, but during the day come here to watch the local artists paint and buy their work from local artists.Dirty, sexy, Paris

If you’re in Paris for a laugh with friends, while you’re in the Montmartre area you can saunter down to the Moulin Rouge and our favourite as Erasmus students: PIGALLE!

Back in the day Pigalle was a hub for aspiring, and later influential, artists like Toulouse-Lautrec and Picasso.

Nowadays it’s full of hilarious sex shops, complete with scantily-clad, promiscuously placed mannequins. Pretty hilarious all in all.Celebrity haunts

For some odd celebrity spotting, you can also pay a visit to Pere Lachaise, a cemetery which contains a lot of famous people, including Edith Piath and Oscar Wilde.

I’ve heard that since I last went back in 2011, they’ve put perspex around Wilde’s grave. Before, and I hope still, the tomb was adorned with the lipstick kisses of, I’d imagine, thousands or women (and probably a few men as well!)

People would go armed with a bright shade of lipstick and kiss the great bard’s grave.I’m on a…

My biggest tip for Paris – however touristy – is: go on a boat tour of the Seine. Some of the best memories of my life have been on those frickin’ freezing boats at night with my friends. The scenery is amazing, the photos are amazing (if blurry) and the memories are for a life time!

I have some really incredible memories of Paris, with some of the best people I’ve ever known. Go make yours.

Happy travels.