Places to Stay and Places to Avoid in Paris

Places to Stay and Places to Avoid in Paris
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JULY 2024. There are some areas you want to avoid in Paris, and it's important to choose your hotel location carefully.

It's important to choose where you stay in Paris, since you'll be walking around that area a lot, entering the metro there, and eating dinner there. I have visited Paris six times, and the most recent time we stayed in a nice hotel but it was in the Place de la Republique area, which added an edgy tinge to our trip. This area is dirty! There is the smell of pee every few feet. There are people sleeping in tents. And the square where you enter the metro, Place de la Republique, has dozens of suspicious characters. In fact, every evening, police arrive with sirens in ten or more vans full of policemen with guns, prepared for whatever trouble is about to happen next. The smell in this square is unlike anything you have experienced! Wow. Just avoid!! 
We tried to look for a restaurant on the side streets away from the square but with the smell of pee at every doorstep, it is unappetizing. The restaurant we ate at, across the street from the square, was unpleasant, with incredibly rude waiters, and when we got back to our hotel after dinner we read lots of reviews about rats. Our stay in Paris would have been more like the Paris you dream about if we had chosen a different area! 
There are other areas to avoid too. If you can avoid arriving at Gare du Nord, which we've experienced twice as very seedy and incredibly unpleasant, avoid it! I have heard the same about Gare de l'Est. Gare de Lyon is nice, and so is Gare Montparnasse.
If you can avoid Orly Airport, you should! It is mayhem as it is filled with budget carriers, and will leave you with a bad feeling about Paris. Also, I suggest avoiding French Bee Airline, because their seats are 16 inches wide instead of 18 (making passengers turn aggressive), and their aisles can only be walked facing sideways, therefore if you are in an aisle seat everyone will bump into your shoulder. Fly a legacy airline, like Delta or United! You can also check the seat width of the particular airplane online before booking. If you fly into Charles de Gaulle airport on a legacy airline, you can take the RER metro line B into the city.
If I could visit Paris over again, I would not fly into Paris though. I would fly into a different, smaller city, explore it for a while, and then I'd arrive in Paris via train at Gare de Lyon or Gare Montparnasse. I will let you know if I do this on my next trip, and how it's done.
I would also avoid the yucky metro and RER as much as possible and just walk everywhere, especially along the Seine River! It's still better to catch the metro than to take a taxi though, as there are often long lines for taxis at train stations (especially Gare du Nord, where you will be waiting while criminals hone in on your purse), and taxis often get "lost," driving you around in a hair-raising, speeding, braking frenzy for longer than necessary and charging you more than you anticipated.
More people live in Paris now than in the times when it gained its fame as a romantic, glamorous place. It is very crowded now, with lots of crime. This makes it important that you plan carefully if you want a pleasant stay. If you want to still feel dreamy about Paris when you leave, you will have to hide a lot of things from your sight and smell haha. 
I would stay in the Left Bank, around the Odeon metro or Saint Germain des Pres area, in the 6th arrondissement. Place d'Italie, in the 13th arrondissement, is cheaper to stay, and peaceful, but far out from the attractions. And I would spend most of my time walking the banks of the Seine River, where Paris is still wonderful like it used to be. I also would not miss Jardin du Luxembourg.


Place de la Republique, an area to avoid, is in the 11th arrondissement. It's better to stay in the lower numbered arrondissements if possible, 8th or less. The zip code of a hotel tells you the arrondissement it is in- check the last two letters of the zip code.
Have a good stay!


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Last Updated: Fri, 05 Jul 2024 17:28:57 GMT

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