Vacationing in Paris? How To Decide Where to Stay
You’ve always dreamed of visiting the City of Light, and now that dream is almost a reality. Planning your trip to Paris means seeing to a thousand different details. Not the smallest or least significant of these details is figuring out where you and your family will stay during your visit. Should you rent an apartment or go Air BnB? What kinds of accommodations are best to avoid? If you decide to get a hotel room, what parts of the city are best to look in for the best rates and a great experience? Well, it’s time to do some homework; the information below should be helpful in making some of those important decisions.
Advantages of a Hotel
There are several reasons why staying in a hotel might be the best option for you and your family:
- Breakfast, laundry, and other services are sometimes available
- Wide range of choices
- Convenient check in
- Available assistance for day to day needs
- Short stays can cost less
There are some advantages to renting an apartment when you travel, as well. These can include the comfort of home living and the ability to cook your own meals. This can often be cheaper than eating out regularly. Next, it is important to consider carefully which parts of the city are best for finding accommodations. Some are touristy and convenient, but pricey, while others allow you to experience more natural Parisian living.
Best Parts of the City
Now comes another important question: where in the city will you stay? The city of Paris is divided up into 20 different arrondissements, or administrative districts. They are not huge city sections, and in addition to the arrondissements within the city, there are many suburban areas that many would still consider to be part of Paris. These, however, lay outside the périphérique (périf for short), which is the highway that surrounds the city itself as a kind of border. The city is also divided by the Seine River, which runs directly through the city. Everything that lies north of the river is called the Right Bank (rive droite), while everything south of the Seine is called the Left Bank (rive gauche). To keep yourself within the city limits, be sure you’re inside the périf’s loop and on either the Left or Right Bank. A helpful hint: if you have an address, check the zip code. If it’s starts with 750, then you are within the city limits.
The first through the fifth arrondissements make up the center of the city. That is, they constitute the most touristy section. Many important sight-seeing destinations and museums are in these districts, so there are benefits to finding accommodations nearby. However, with it being the center of town, the prices can be abnormally high. Staying in one of the arrondissements further out of the city center would likely have its benefits, too. For example, if you want to do some of your own shopping and cooking during your visit, this may get you closer to a supermarket. You may also have more opportunities to see daily life in Paris if you are outside the tourist sections.
Safety and Security
Paris is a safe city. There are pick pockets, for instance and certain outside neighborhoods you would be wise to avoid. However, the amount of violent crimes committed there is very low. Still, when you choose a certain neighborhood in which to stay, you may be able to put your mind at ease by doing some extra research about that specific area.
Obviously, there are many factors to consider wen planning your Paris dream trip. The above tips should be helpful in deciding where to stay during your next trip to Paris.