2016/06/08

Paris: my favorite city

Paris – always worth a visit

Paris is my favorite city by far. When I was a bit over 20 years old, I stayed there for 5 months in order to improve my French skills and since then I absolutely have been devoted to this wonderful city! I frequently visit Paris, certainly every 2 to 4 years I spend some days there.





Paris and its hiking trails

When I am in Paris, of course I go sightseeing, but I do this in a different way compared to regular tourists. I pick out some attractions that I especially like, that I have not visited in a long time or which are new. As I think that cities always should be explored by foot in order to get a feeling for it, I always spend hours and hours walking around in Paris. In case you are a frequent traveler to this city and at the same time fond of discovering it by foot, I highly recommend that you should do the city hiking trails. There are 3 crossings through Paris: one from west to east, one from north to south and one from west to east, but only on the right bank of the Seine and crescent-shaped. The trails follow scenic routes without neglecting the big sights. They are listed in a guide called Paris… à piedAs far as I know, this book only exists in French.


Montmartre

Paris and its best locations for hotels

When it comes to where to stay when being in Paris, I think that you should look for a hotel that is centrally situated. You may be aware of the fact that this city is divided into 20 districts called “arrondissements”. They are numbered from 1 to 20 and go from the center of Paris in a clockwise spiral. In my view 1st to 8th district are good to stay at, also 16th district may be a favorable choice as it is considered as a preferred residential area. My favorite district to stay at is 1st district where Musée du Louvre, Place Vendôme and Palais Royal can be found. Hotel stays in Paris have always been quite a costly affair and prices were considerably increased in the last 10 to 15 years. I stayed at various kinds of hotels – from more traditional, bigger hotels to newer, rather smaller ones. In the last 5 to 10 years I preferred the more modern hotels over the more outmoded ones, but of course this is always a question of taste. As you may know, I am always looking for the best addresses, but only if they offer value for money, and this certainly also is a subjective thing.

Hotels visited by me and considered as good

Hereafter, you find a list with all the hotels I stayed at in the last years that I liked and still have good reviews at TripAdvisor.

Grand Hotel du Palais Royal (5 stars/TripAdvisor #18)
This hotel is a relatively new addition to the hotel scene in Paris. When I was there in 2014, it had been only open for a year. The location of this luxury hotel is favorable, only a minute away from the Louvre Museum, but idyllically tucked into a quiet courtyard (1st district). The hotel’s 68 rooms are tastefully decorated and well-appointed, albeit rather on the small side. Be prepared to spend about 650 EUR for a room with good comfort.

Hotel Park Hyatt Vendome (5 stars/TripAdvisor #32)
The Park Hyatt is located a few steps from – what I think – the most beautiful square in Paris, the Place Vendome in the 2nd district, and features more than 150 luxurious, contemporarily furnished rooms. When I was there in 2011, I felt pampered throughout my stay. Staff is exceptionally warm and helpful. A good quality room costs about 1,000 EUR/night at many times of the year, quite a bit more than 5 years ago!

Hotel le Petit Paris (4 stars/TripAdvisor #83)
The small hotel – housed in a historic building – is situated on a small, but quite busy street in the Quartier Latin in the 5th district near the Luxembourg Gardens. The 20 rooms are small, but functional. They are attractively decorated in a stylish way and moderately priced (about 300 EUR/night). When staying there in 2010, I had booked 3 rooms.

Renaissance Vendome Hotel (5 stars/TripAdvisor #287)
This hotel belonging to the Marriot group is conveniently located on a quiet street 1 block away from the Tuileries Gardens (1st district). It offers about 100 modern, nicely furnished rooms. My stay dates years back (2008), but reviews are still good. For a room with a good comfort you have to spend between 600 and 700 EUR/night.

Hotel Le Meurice (5 stars/TripAdvisor #34)
This 18th century palace (160 rooms) that was turned into a hotel combines historic charm and contemporary chic. It is situated in the 1st district just adjacent the Tuileries Gardens. For a fairly good room (no view) you have to dig deep into your pockets (at least 1,500 EUR/night). When I stayed there in 2004 it was much more affordable!

As you may have noticed, 3 out of 5 hotels are situated in the 1st district. This is not by chance as almost everything can be easily reached from there. In addition, it is the home of landmarks such as the Louvre, the Tuileries, the Palais Royal and many other tourist attractions.

You find separate reviews of the presented hotels on my blog, and this under the category of France (with the exception of Hotel Le Meurice). The review of Grand Hotel du Palais Royal will soon be posted.


17th district


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