Sunrise over Notre Dame de Paris: the vibe of Paris neighborhoods

The Vibe of Paris Neighborhoods, Episode 199

The Vibe of Paris Neighborhoods, Episode 199


Each part of Paris has it own feel and understanding the vibe of Paris neighborhoods is important so you can be in the best position to choose where you stay. The question of where should I stay in Paris comes up a lot especially for first-time visitors.

Those of us who have been to Paris several times have our favorites, but that doesn’t mean that the rest aren’t any good, it just means that you like to stick to what’s comfortable to you!

The neighborhoods we consider today are the Latin Quarter, Saint Germain des Près, Saint Michel, Le Marais, Montmatre, Montparnasse, the Eiffel Tower, La Défense, the Champs Elysées / Arc de Triomphe area.

There are some Annie loves and others she does not. In this episode you hear exactly why with examples of what’s wrong.

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Café de Flore in the Saint Germain neighborhood
Photo Annie Sargent

What You Will Hear About in this Episode with Timestamps

[00:22] What Paris neighborhood is best to stay in?

[01:32] This episode is for people who don’t have a favorite Paris neighborhood yet.

[02:56] Annie recorded this episode behind Notre Dame in Paris, recording in public is a first for this show!

[04:03] Annie just completed the Versailles, Giverny, Paris and Normandy tours, they were great with great customers again.

[04:26] What is the vibe of various Paris neighborhoods and how can knowing about that help you choose the best place for you? Let’s start with four neighborhoods on the left bank: Latin Quarter, Saint Germain des Près and Saint Michel.

The Saint-Michel Neighborhood

[05:06] Saint Michel is great for people who aren’t staying in Paris very long because it’s close to everything first-time visitors should visit, but it’s a loud neighborhood.

Saint-Germain-des-Près

[06:35] Saint Germain des Près is a little further, but not by much. It is quieter (fewer sirens) but still busy and very popular with visitors. A great place to rent or apartment or book a hotel, although it’ll be a bit more expensive than Saint Michel.

The Latin Quarter

[07:11] The Latin Quarter is a lot more subdued because it is the home of the Sorbonne which takes up a lot of the space.  It is a wonderful neighborhood but be prepared to walk a little more.

The Luxembourg Garden Area

[08:07] The Luxembourg Gardens are also a lovely area for you to choose as a place to stay, it is usually attractive to repeat visitors who have visited the area before. It is a little further out, but peaceful and upscale.

Le Marais Neighborhood

[08:46] On the right bank (I misspoke and said left bank in the audio) you can stay in Le Marais, a wonderful lively area, especially around the Saint Paul metro station.

Montmartre, Watch Out!

[09:58] Montmatre is a popular area that I don’t recommend. Why not? Because it takes too long to get to and from Montmartre, because it’s hilly, there are lots of stairs to deal with, and the elevator at the Abbesses metro station hardly ever works, it hasn’t gotten any better since the renovation.

Montparnasse, More Genuinely  French

[12:37] For those of you who would like to stay in a neighborhood with more French people than visitors, Montparnasse is highly recommended (I misspoke and said Montmartre several times, but I meant Montparnasse). The area has a lot of offer and is “real”.

La Défense Area

[13:38] Some people stay at La Défense when they get free hotels due to miles. There is nothing wrong with staying at La Défense but be aware that the area is lively during the day (when presumably you’ll be away enjoying Paris) and completely dead at night. I don’t recommend you stay there unless you’re going to Paris for work.

Delacroix painting in the Saint Sulpice church
Photo Annie Sargent

The Eiffel Tower Area

[14:20] The Eiffel Tower neighborhood is wonderful with good hotels, great apartments, a little bit out of the way, but not so much that it would become a problem.

Champs Elysées / Arc de Triomphe

[15:39] The Champs Elysées and Arc de Triomphe area is nice, but not as well served by public transportation because the people who live there are wealthy and never take the bus. This is a great area for people who take taxis everywhere they go.

Episode Conclusion

[16:24] Recap of what I covered in the episode and the vibe of Paris neighborhoods.

[18:59] Thank you new Patreon supporters!

[20:01] Quick recap of how the tours went, more to come in subsequent episodes.

[21:31] Annie is going back to Paris to spend time with her sister-in-law and her two children and will be trying kid-friendly attraction.

[21:44] Annie is getting a labradoodle puppy!

[22:36] June 2017 was stifling hot and June 2018 has been really wet.

Rant: Do Not Walk on the Road!

[23:05] RANT: do NOT walk off into the road to take a picture of the Arc de Triomphe!

[24:44] You can listen to the show on the Amazon Alexa, on Spotify, iTunes, Google Play and any podcast App you may wish to use on your smartphone.

Beautiful building in the Marais neighborhood
Photo Annie Sargent

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