Paris - Which Arr for a week

Looking to stay a week sometime in September or October and wide open as to which area. In the past we stayed in the 1st and the Latin Quarter (I think, its been a while, we are Italophiles I suppose). This time I’m thinking the 11th, something like the area of Hotel Les Deux Girafes. Food is the biggest reason for the trip, hence the question. Am I on the right track?

1 Like

We rented a place in the 11th the month of Oct this past year & thought it was the perfect location. We were off the Rue du Chemin Vert/Rue Popincourt intersection, so it was a 5 min. walk to the Bastille area, or the Marais or up to Rue Oberkampf restaurants. Also within a block of several Metro lines. Let me know if you want to talk about it. And come to a NYC group dinner, as Ninkat also goes to Paris pretty regularly & can share even more info.

I just wrote @Ziggy a message, as I am going to be in Paris for a week in the middle of his window. Was telling him that you would probably vouch for me.

Agree that something on the Right Bank would always be my preference for home base, although, as I said to him, I would want to be closer to the river than the hotel he mentions. But that’s a personal preference, for sure.

One can, of course, (and maybe “should” at least some of the time) get out of the 'hood?

1 Like

If you want to get out of the “hood” my sister and I spent a week in Montmartre, but we love Montmartre. We always stay at the Terrass Hotel. Metro, taxi, bus to anywhere you want to go.


Thanks everyone.

@SteveR - Yes please. Would love more details about the apartment. Hope all is well.

European here. Personally I always stay in the 6th or 7th, as close as possible to the Luxembourg Gardens and or Le Bon Marche. It’s a nice quiet area, full of locals, and near a few restaurants I like. In September the weather wil be pleasant enough to chill out in the Luxembourg Gardens. From here, any place of interest in the neighbourhoods you mention will be less than 20 minutes away by taxi.


We’ll be back from Florida in March & there’ll be meet-ups scheduled when Dean and Kay are in town the weekend of March 10-12 (I think) if you want to join. But, for this specific purpose, we can set up a separate lunch or dinner with us and ninkat, the way you did for me before I went off to Sicily several years ago. Speak soon.

1 Like

The blind man describing an elephant is probably an apt analogy for the answers to these kinds of questions.

Much depends on your own style and generation and how much a sightseer/ tourist you will be. The 11th, which includes several distinct neighbourhoods, is, by and large, pretty hip and all its neighbourhoods are much favoured by 20- to 40-something Parisians. I’ve heard it being compared to Brooklyn but the “bobo”-ization of the 11th predates the Brooklyn phenomenon by a decade.

For daily living, the location of the Hotel des 2 Girafes is very good. An easy walk to the twice-a-week (Tue + Fri mornings) outdoor and very neighbourhoody/ convivial outdoor food market Marché Popincourt on boulevard Richard Lenoir near métro Oberkampf, to the Oberkampf music and night-life scene, several iconic music venues like Bataclan, loads of good boulangeries like Utopia and gluten-free Chambelland. Lots of restaurants/ bars in a 10-minute walking radius… some better than others and not many good ones serve trad French cuisine other than Brasserie Martin and Aux Bons Crus. For a tourist, maybe inconvenient… just one métro line from Parmentier and it doesn’t go directly to many tourist attractions and will require a change or changes (lots of stairs and long corridors) at another station. I for one hardly ever take the metro (a waste in a city like Paris to be stuck underground like a blind mole) and much prefer biking and the bus, and there is the #96 bus from rue J-P Timbaud near Parmentier métro for getting to the trendy Haut Marais, the touristy lower Marais, Chatelet (for Les Halles and the Louvre), Ile de la Cité (for Notre Dame and Sainte Chapelle), Quartier Latin/ St Germain des Prés, etc.

Another good option is the Haut Marais in the upper 3rd. More trendy than hip, more concentrated than most neighbourhoods in the adjacent 11th, foodie paradise, a cluster of exceptionally good food shops on rue Bretagne, excellent pâtisseries (A++ for Bontemps on rue Bretagne, A+ for Pierre Hermé; A- for Philippe Conticini (on rue Notre Dame de Nazareth), a historic covered market Marché des Enfants Rouges with 7 or 8 mini-restos and eat-there or to-go deli-type food stands, good hangout cafés like Le Charlot and Le Progrès, a half dozen or so trendy cocktail/ speakeasy bars in a 10-minute walking radius, charming micro-quartiers like Temple centered on rue Dupetit-Thouars, very close to the République bus and métro hub for getting to other parts of Paris, a picturesque park for picnics or just hanging out on sunny days: Not sure about your budget or style but have a look at La Chambre du Marais and Hotel du Petit Moulin as hotel possibilities.

Option 3. The Faubourg St Antoine straddling the 11th and 12th. Very trendy in places and yet somehow rather “populaire” (in the French sense). The Aligre market area centered on the rue d’Aligre is a sample of the Paris food culture on steroids with a very popular (in the English sense) morning outdoor food market Tue to Sun, a very superior all-day covered market (Tue to Sun), a vibrant market street (Tue to Sun), and restaurant street (rue de Cotte) with a range of good to excellent restos ranging from a Michelin 1-star to hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese, around 8 (eight ! and maybe more) good to excellent boulangeries/pâtisseries within a 10-min walking radius, a neighbourhood riddled with 18th and 19th century passageways and courtyards left over from the time when this was the furniture making “quartier”. There was a recent thread with more info. Quartier D'Aligre recs bakery, patisserie, market stalls cheese, wineshop, bars


Wow, many thanks Daniel. More food for thought. I think the upper Marais would work best for us, but the prices I’ve seen in the past suggests it also works for many. Thats one of the reasons I got pushed to the 11th. I’ll check option 3 as well. I would rather stay below $300 if possible. Thanks again

Sorry, as a local, I’m not very clued in to hotels in Paris but I have, however, heard some good things about Hotel Boutet-MGallery on rue Faidherbe on the fringes of Faubourg St Antoine. 10-min walk to the centre of the action. If you don’t mind chain hotels, I know there is also a Mercure on rue Crozatier, and an Ibis (a budget brand) on the rue Trousseau, both much much closer to the action.

September/ October is high-season in Paris because of the return of business travel after the long summer hiatus. Plus some major events like the fashion week (end of Oct/first week of Sept) and, above all, the international car show in October (but only every other year and not a factor for you in 2023.

Typically, only June has a higher (and only slightly higher) hotel occupancy rate than September and October and so no bargains anywhere in Paris then. A 200€-a-night hotel in August can easily become a 300€-a-night hotel in September.


Oops. Too late to edit. Got my fashion week dates muddled. Last week Sept and/or first week of October, not “end Oct, first week of Sep”. I plead distraction on a train ride back to Paris after a ski weekend.

I’ve been in the Popincourt neighborhood for over 20 years. For tourism, the 69 bus is your friend, as is the Chemin Vert metro which is not too far a walk. FWIW, the 5 line connects GdN with Austerlitz and place d’Italie north to south too.


The 69 bus Popincourt stop (on Rue Chemin Vert) was right on the corner of our rental & it was perfect for getting around.

69 bus also stops at Eglise Saint-Gervais/Rue Vieille du Temple, five minutes from my flat. V. useful, agree.

The problem with buses currently in Paris is that they’re not running very frequently – often waits are 45 minutes or more, at least for my main lines (96 and 69). Presumably this is due to a shortage of drivers.

I rely heavily on the Métro because of the speed in getting me to my destination, and also on walking.


I thought maybe this was just me misreading time schedules! Thanks for clarifying this. I have also recently (like the last year or so) found that sometimes the bus just stops short of the end of its route, and makes everyone exit in the middle of their nowhere. No return fare either.

I have an app on my phone that tells me exactly when next bus is coming. Saves a lot of useless waiting at bus stops.

And I have a (heavily employer-subsidized) annual pass that allows me to use buses as almost a hop-on hop-off. In this respect tourists are very disadvantaged because all that is available to them for unlimited travel is, I believe, the weekly Navigo Découverte pass which is not always suitable for short visits or weekenders.

1 Like

If there’s a demonstration (manif(estation)) or some other kind of disturbance going on, the bus may not finish its route or may make a detour quite far out of its way. You may not realize that this is the case (especially if you don’t speak French) until the bus stops or starts to deviate from its usual route.

Métro stations are sometimes closed due to manifs, as well, but generally you’ll know that if you check the signs when entering the Métro.

The weekly Navigo pass is rather dumb — it starts on Monday and dies on Sunday night, invariably. So if you don’t purchase it on a Monday, you’re screwed. The equivalent on London Transport is far more clever; you can buy it on any day of the week and you’ll have seven full days of transport ahead of you. I always wondered why the RATP never decided to do the same thing. For a visitor of Paris, I think the best option would be to get a monthly Pass Navigo, provided that the visit isn’t overlapping on two months. Expensive, sure (it’s more than 80 euro now), but at least you’re good until the end of the month whenever your arrival date is.

Of course you should get the card first (have an ID picture ready), and ask for the Découverte pass which costs only 5 to 7 € and has no tracking system embedded in it. Then you charge your pass on one of those ugly purple machines

Oh and it’s the same basic card for weekly and monthly passes, you only choose a week’s or a month’s worth when you recharge the pass.

1 Like

Carmenere is absolutely right about the irrationality of the Navigo pass, and there’s no reason for the RATP not to do something about it. I suggest people write to the mayor, Anne Hidalgo, and the Paris tourist office.

I find that when I’m not in Paris enough to purchase a monthly Navigo, a weekly Navigo makes sense for me if I’ll be in Paris for a minimum of four days during a (Mon-Sun) week, but I’m out doing things virtually every day.

1 Like