I work with a lovely young lady who is marrying her sweetheart next year. And, in what I consider to be an excellent decision, they are honeymooning in France.
I was chatting with her the other day and she mentioned that they have not yet chosen their Parisian accommodation.
That hardly surprised me – there are just so many options. Even if you have made the decision between a hotel or an apartment, how do you choose which of the twenty arrondissements to stay in? Especially when they are all so fabulous?
So in an attempt to help my colleague out, I thought I would give a mini run down on the arrondissements we’ve stayed in on our visits to Paris. It’s not that we’ve stayed in all that many but I thought that sharing my thoughts on the arrondissements we have stayed in might assist someone trying to make that tough decision.
I stayed in the first when I visited Paris on my own – which was during our last trip to Paris. If you want to stay in the heart of the action, the first is for you. You will be within walking distance to so many highlights including the Musée du Louvre, the Palais Royal, the Tuileries Gardens, Angelina (go the hot chocolate) and excellent, albeit high end, shopping.
The Marais, in Paris’ third arrondissement, is loved by so many travellers. But, to be perfectly honest, it didn’t do it for me when we stayed there during our second visit to Paris. I’m not entirely sure why. Over time, I’ve grown to truly appreciate the charms of this district. It buzzes on a Sunday, when much of Paris rests, and it is nice and close to the BHV.
You get to play make believe when you stay in the seventh arrondissement. By this, I mean that you get to pretend that you are actually living in Paris. The seventh feels a little bit residential (I saw my first Parisian gym here) yet at the same time, it provides excellent access to the Tour Eiffel, the Musée Rodin and Les Invalides. Food is also fun in the seventh with excellent market streets and Le Grande Épicerie within walking distance. We’ve been lucky enough stay in this lovely area on two of our visits and I always consider it when I am booking Parisian accommodation.
The ninth will always hold a special place in my heart as it was the very first Parisian arrondissement we stayed in. Wedged between the second and eighteenth arrondissements it provides easy access to the entire right bank. And it is excellent to explore on foot.
The eighteenth provides you with excellent views no matter where you look. Turn one way and you see Sacré Coeur. Turn around and there is all of Paris. Use your imagination and you are transported back to the time of artists and Bohemians. I love Montmartre and all the eighteenth has to offer.
After much deliberation, we’ve decided to try out the fifteenth on our next visit. Please share if you have a favourite arrondissement – I’d love to read about it. And I’m sure it will help my colleague and her fiancé with their decision.
Until next time – au revoir.
2 thoughts on “So Hard To Choose”
When I worked in Paris, I lived in the 9th. Since then I’ve always stayed in the 17th or 18th. This is the part of Paris I know best and where I feel most at home. Mind you, one of my best friends is about to move to the 3rd, so I guess I’ll get to know that area even better.
Thanks Graham – I’ll have to check out the 17th soon! Good luck with the 3rd.