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Need advice for 30 hours in Paris and where to stay

Need advice for 30 hours in Paris and where to stay

Old Oct 9th, 2022, 03:41 PM
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Need advice for 30 hours in Paris and where to stay

We've planned a trip to Europe for May 2023. The original plan was time in Norway (Oslo and fjords) and then time in Belgium (Brussels/Bruges). An airline change forced us to add a day to the trip and our Brussels airbnb couldn't add a day (and we didn't want another day in Norway) so we're adding a night in a city close to Brussels. The family chose Paris so we've purchased the airline ticket from Oslo into Paris. Our plan is to then take the train from Paris to Brussels the following day.

We'll be coming into Garde du Nord around 3pm on a Sunday (flight lands at 1:20pm) and then taking the train to Brussels from Garde du Nord the next day, late afternoon.

So here's my question...where would you stay? We've been to Paris multiple times so we're not looking to repeat some many of the obvious tourist spots this time. The one given is a night boat ride on the Seine. We've tried to do that on 3 past trips and failed for various reasons every time. My wife has wanted to do that forever.

The two obvious choices to me are stay close to Garde du Nord since we're arriving and leaving from there. On Monday we'd check out of the room and ask if they can hold our bags. Then we return there, grab the bags, and have a short trip to the train station.

The other option is to stay down closer to the Seine. We may hop into a museum we've seen before but want to repeat, we'd like to see the progress on Notre Dame, we'll do the river cruise. So it might be nice to stay where we'll likely be doing the most stuff in our short time. Plus it seems the hotels might be nicer down there. Once we're ready to leave we'd grab our bags and head to the train station. It would be a further trip than staying closer to the train station...but realistically it's just hopping on the subway, so not a real problem.

So, if this was you...where would you stay? Pros/cons of each choice? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
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Old Oct 9th, 2022, 04:14 PM
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On my last visit in Paris I had a similar situation, a 1 night stay back in town before leaving on the Eurostar from Gare du Nord. I found a small hotel south of the stations on a quiet street off the main boulevard, close to the Canal Saint-Martin. It’s a pleasant neighborhood I hadn’t been in before & its proximity to the station but not on a busy street, plus some interesting restaurants, made it a really attractive option & one I’d choose again.

The hotel was a modest one, modern, which I’m happy to share though I suspect you might be looking for something more upscale when you say “nicer.”

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Old Oct 9th, 2022, 04:38 PM
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Great suggestion MmePerdu. I guess I should clarify "nicer". From other things I'd read I thought the area around Gare du Nord wasn't the best place to stay, mainly touristy, not as Parisian, maybe I misunderstood. We're not looking for anything real fancy...likely in the $2-300 range.
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Old Oct 9th, 2022, 05:10 PM
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Having come & gone from Gare du Nord over the decades, while I wanted to be walking distance away I'd never liked the look of Bd Magenta. So I did what I usually do these days, take a "walk" around prospective neighborhoods using Google Streetview. That's how I found the street, Rue des Vinaigriers and the Soft Hotel, well under your budget on the hotel's own website. https://www.hotelsoftparis.com/ I found the staff to be especially kind.

I'm a big fan of regional Chinese food & another draw for me was a restaurant almost across the street, La Tavern de Zhao. The little hotel & the little restaurant on the little street leading to the canal were winners, for me. But you may want more Parisian ambiance so I won't be in the least insulted if you look for a different sort of hotel.





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Old Oct 10th, 2022, 10:55 AM
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That's an odd impression you had of the area around Gare du Nord, that it was too touristy. Compared to where? St Germain? I know some people may not like it for various reasons but I never head of that one. There is an Indian quarter around there, and some crime, I thought that's what you meant. I suppose you could say it isn't upscale and as pretty as some other areas, either.

But your comment referred to the hotel, not the area so I'm a little confused as to what you mean. I'd probably stay at a place in an area I liked but that was on a direct line to Gare du Nord. Which could be the area around Chatelet Les Halles (which I'm not crazy about), or St Michel/ND RER stop or Luxembourg stop. I prefer the latter myself. In terms of direct metro lines, not RER, you could add Etienne Marcel, Oberkampf, Republique, Bastille, etc.

I'd pick near place de la Republique or Bastille on the line 5 or Luxembourg on the RER myself. given you have so little time, I'd probably pick Republique as it's closer.

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Old Oct 10th, 2022, 11:20 AM
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When I was wandering on Google Streeview there were some I considered in nice-looking neighborhoods that were walking distance west of the station across Bd Magenta. I find it more relaxing to walk than to wrestle luggage onto & off transport if possible. So you might have a look there, too.

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Old Oct 10th, 2022, 12:32 PM
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Christina, good points...and the type of advice I was looking for. I just thought the area around train stations weren't usually the nicest, most popular places to stay. I wasn't good at articulating why. The main question was stay by the train station (easier access to arrival/departure trains) or more central to the sites where may be nicer to stay but a bit harder to access Gare du Nord. Good point about looking at areas that are on a main line to GDN.
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