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Jeffrey
Los Angeles

Paris, France, Europe

A month in Paris

Hi all, we are wanting to try something new to us.  We are going to travel to one location and really try to experience the place, meet people, live a mini-life for a month. 

We are thinking Paris would be a great place to experience.  It will be my wife and my 6 year old traveling.  We are going around March or April of 2018.

I was hoping to get information on a few things:

  • What neighborhood to stay?
  • How do get around?
  • Day or weekend trips close to the area?
  • Local traditions/customs?

 

Anyone have any thoughts on Paris?  Has anyone done a month in one place; would you mind sharing your thoughts about your experience?

Cant wait to hear others thoughts!


15 Answers

top answer by
Míriam

Hi Jeffrey! I have lived in Paris for one year and a half and I´m glad to help you.

On the one hand, it´s true that March and April is not the high season, so you will find fewer tourists than in summer but the weather is less pleasant, so be sure that you wear warm clothes.  

I think that in a month you have enough time to visit Paris so if I were you, I would take the opportunity to visit other places around: Palace of Versailles, GivernyFontainebleau… These places are close from the city and you can see them in one day, renting a car or taking a train to go there.

If you are planning to visit other cities a little far away from Paris, I would recommend Normandy (2h 35 min more or less from Paris). It´s a very beautiful area where you can visit: Le Mont-Saint-Michel, Omaha BeachCemetery TrouvilleEtretat

In Paris you will have a lot of things to do; it really depends on your hobbies and interests.

Let´s talk about food… For sure, there are some things that you need to do before leaving Paris:

-       Taste a crepe in the street (Au P'tit Grec is a good choice)

-       Taste a cheese and charcuterie platter or an éclair (la rue des petits carreaux is a good option)

-       Taste the french onion soup and the escargots

In terms of accommodation, I recommend you to stay in the center of the city. It can be a little more expensive but you are closer from the main attractions and you can save time too.

The best areas to stay are:  Champs-Élysées, Tour Eiffel - Parc du Champ-de-MarsPalais GarnierPlace de la Concorde and The Louvre but these areas are also the most expensive in Paris so it really depends on your budget.

Paris is safe but as all cities have some less desirable neighborhoods like: Barbès - Rochechouart or Gare du Nord

If you are looking for a hotel, I can recommend you TRYP Paris Opera Hotel.

Well… I hope this information helps you and if you have questions, do not hesitate to contact with me, I will be pleased to answer and try to help you!

I hope you have a good trip and enjoy Paris because it´s a beautiful city (you will see…)

Best regards!!! 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Paris (city)
  2. Versailles (city)
  3. Giverny (city)
  4. Fontainebleau (city)
  5. Normandy (region)
  6. Le Mont-Saint-Michel (city)
  7. Omaha Beach (attraction)
  8. Cemetery Trouville (attraction)
  9. Etretat (city)
  10. Au P'tit Grec (restaurant)
  11. Champs-Élysées (attraction)
  12. Tour Eiffel - Parc du Champ-de-Mars (neighborhood)
  13. Palais Garnier (attraction)
  14. Place de la Concorde (attraction)
  15. The Louvre (attraction)
  16. Barbès - Rochechouart (attraction)
  17. Gare du Nord (attraction)
4 thanks


answered by
Peter from Vienna

You already got some good answers but I have to add, that I always liked the area around the Sorbonne (the big university in the city). There are a lot of cafès close by and I really like the people in this area. It is not that full with tourists, more with local people, lots of students. 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Sorbonne (neighborhood)
2 thanks


answered by
Martine from France

Hi, I think we need more infiormation on what you like and how you like to live.What  kind of neighborhood are you looking for…chic, quirky, bohemian, festive? For typical parisian "life", look into renting an appartment on the left bank like around Quartier Saint-Germain-des-Prés. You'll love the open markets, the small shops and the atmosphere. No need of a car in Paris, we use the metro to get here and there. I f you do decide to hire a car, make sure your lodging has a parking space, it's nerve wracking to find a parking space in Paris and driving in Paris is nothing like in the US! Plenty of places to go for a day trip, you'll find many blogs on internet to help you with that and as for week-end trips, go to Normandyand see HonfleurDeauville, (less than 2 hours from Pari) . There are many sites, museums and memorials relating to 6th June 1944 and to the Battle of Normandy that followed, in Normandy. Visit Rouen.See the town of Giverny, where Monet lived for many years, a village on the banks of the La Seine has become a very popular place to visit for art lovers.

I love Paris, but then I lived there for 35 years. Have a great trip!



Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Saint-Germain-des-Prés (neighborhood)
  2. Paris (city)
  3. Normandy (region)
  4. Honfleur (city)
  5. Deauville (city)
  6. Rouen (city)
  7. Giverny (city)
  8. La Seine (attraction)
2 thanks


answered by
Hazel from Port St. Lucie

How much cash are we talking? $6-700 Taxi rides to no where? My family travels there on business. My niece lived 4 blocks from the Eiffel Tower. Re think this. My husband worked in Bordeaux. From there you can travel easily. I would feel safer for you there.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Eiffel Tower (attraction)
  2. Bordeaux (city)
1 thanks


answered by
Steve from Honolulu, Hawaii

Look on airbnb for a place on il st marie or nearby. You can't go wrong. Get a metro/bus card. A tour at Normandy may be a bit much for a 6 yr old.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Normandy (region)
1 thanks


answered by
Sophy

We spent some months in Paris also. We loved the 14th district Montparnasse. Had everything you needed and we found we could get to almost anywhere quickly. Close to organic markets, a few streets away from the Beautiful park. I think Paris is very much like Nyc ,., you walk you discover and you live it. Just be mindful of who’s around but in general I felt safe.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Paris (city)
  2. Montparnasse (neighborhood)
1 thanks


answered by
Gethrel

Gare du Nordarea is nice. located near train/metro. Versailles is a day trip. I evny you!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Gare du Nord (attraction)
  2. Versailles (city)
1 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Janice from Toronto, Ontario

Hi Jeffery:
You mention that you want to have a month in Pariswhere you can meet people. I don't think Paris is the best choice. I love it and travel there often, but Paris is a big city and very impersonal. You may have more difficulty getting to know people than if you were in a smaller town. I have debated living in France for 3 months and while I would stay in Paris for a while, it would only be for a few weeks. (The most I've done is 2 weeks).

However, if you are set on Paris, there is certainly a TON to see and do. I just got back from my 29th trip. In answer to your questions, I can suggest you take a look at some of my posts on Paris: 

What neighbourhood? Overall I feel the LEFT BANK is more down to earth. The Left Bank has the The Louvre and more pricey restaurants and hotels.  

If you have more questions, don't hesitate to contact me. 

Jan


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Paris (city)
  2. LEFT BANK (attraction)
  3. The Louvre (attraction)
1 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Yvonne from Brooklyn, New York

I've visited Paris many times and mostly stayed in hotels and because of the cost involved, this time I decided to rent an apartment with Airbnb. I'm actually here for a month, just having arrived yesterday. I'm located in the 2nd arrondissement very close to the Louvre. If I were you, I'd check out apartments on this website. I happen to love this area but also love Saint-Germain-des-Prés area.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Paris (city)
  2. Louvre (attraction)
  3. Saint-Germain-des-Prés (attraction)
1 thanks


answered first by
Michelle from Oregon

It's a great idea - our favorite way to travel is to settle for 3-6 weeks in one place. And Paris is one of our favorite cities - studied there and have family who live in the heart of downtown. My favorite things to do in the city can be found in this post.

As for where to stay, I would aim to be central and close to the river (like 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, or 8th arrondissements), but it's not going to be cheap. Landmarks to look for when you’re booking would be Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the Latin Quarter, Ile Saint-Louis, Le Marais, Quai d'Orsay, Invalides… You'll find cheaper things by Montmartre and out in the suburbs but those areas are not as nice. 

As long as you're in the city, getting around by bus and metro will be all you need. My uncle owns a car in Paris but he only uses it to drive out to the countryside on weekends - and the parking garage is super tiny and incredibly expensive. You can do weekend trips by train - I would head to the Loire Valley and see some castles and vineyards.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Saint-Germain-des-Prés (attraction)
  2. Latin Quarter (attraction)
  3. Ile Saint-Louis (attraction)
  4. Le Marais (neighborhood)
  5. Quai d'Orsay (attraction)
  6. Invalides (neighborhood)
1 thanks


answered by
Alan

We stayed in Le Marais in an Air BnB, Fantastic area full of little restaurants, bistros and little specialty stores. Some Parisian friends of ours in Alfortville took us out to dinner in a neighbourhood restaurant called The Cook and The Lab. It was the best meal that either of us have ever eaten,




answered by
Marion from British Columbia

Hi,  I spent a month in Paris June 2017 and had a fabulous experience.  I stayed in Montmartre close to Sacré-Cœur Basilica.  I googled markets etc and then hopped on the metro.  The metro is extremely easy and fast.  Being an adult on my iwn my wants were different from what yours will be with a 6 year old but the art museums were great, a day in Versailles, A few afternoons in the Luxembourg Garden.  If I'm lucky enough to go again I will stay closer to the Seine next time.  Have a wonderful trip


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Paris (city)
  2. Montmartre (attraction)
  3. Sacré-Cœur Basilica (attraction)
  4. Versailles (city)
  5. Luxembourg Garden (attraction)


answered by
amy from New York City

I personally think Montmartre is the perfect neighborhood. Close enough to everything you want to see but also quiet and less touristy. Plenty of local cafes and restaurants where you can simply sit and watch Paris go by, and also wonderful weekend outdoor markets full of amazing local foods.  

I've only ever needed the metro to get around, and Paris is also an incredibly walkable city. Definitely invest in metro pass and a comfortable pair of shoes, and you'll be good to go !


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Montmartre (attraction)


answered by
Courtney from Los Angeles

First of all, I SO envy you! What an amazing experience! I lived there for a while a long time ago but I go back a lot so here's my two cents:

As far as families go, the 10e Arrondissement has kind of become the Brooklyn of Paris. It's still (a little bit) cheaper than other quarters and is still close enough to things that you won't feel as if you're isolated. That said, I'd also consider the Latin Quarter for sure. This is where I lived and it has a great, community-minded feel to it. It will also put you a bit closer to everything if that's a concern. I think it also holds more appeal for your 6-year-old as it's very, very lively and close to museums like Museum National d'Histoire naturelle and the Luxembourg Garden which is a fantastic place for kids! 

As far as getting around--one word: Metro. It's so insanely easy your six-year-old can probably have it figured out in a day. 

My favorite day trip is always to Giverny to see Monet Garden. No words to describe how beautiful it is. And very, very kid friendly. 

As far as customs go--I'd say nothing is more French than to hit the food markets. If you do stay in the Latin Quarter, there is a great one on Rue Monge (but there's really one in every neighborhood so I wouldn't worry about it too much). Also, just find your local cafe, order a coffee and stay for hours and people-watch. Walk everywhere. Take a hour and sit in one of the iconic green chairs in the Palais Royal and just relax. Spend hours at one of the Fnac Paris - Forum des HallesFnac Paris - Forum des Halles bookstores. Really, there's nothing more Parisian than to just be. 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. 10e Arrondissement (neighborhood)
  2. Latin Quarter (attraction)
  3. Museum National d'Histoire naturelle (attraction)
  4. Luxembourg Garden (attraction)
  5. Giverny (city)
  6. Monet Garden (attraction)
  7. Rue Monge (attraction)
  8. Palais Royal (attraction)
  9. Fnac Paris - Forum des Halles (attraction)


answered by
Courtney from Los Angeles

First of all, I SO envy you! What an amazing experience! I lived there for a while a long time ago but I go back a lot so here's my two cents:

As far as families go, the 10e Arrondissement has kind of become the Brooklyn of Paris. It's still (a little bit) cheaper than other quarters and is still close enough to things that you won't feel as if you're isolated. That said, I'd also consider the Latin Quarter for sure. This is where I lived and it has a great, community-minded feel to it. It will also put you a bit closer to everything if that's a concern. I think it also holds more appeal for your 6-year-old as it's very, very lively and close to museums like Museum National d'Histoire naturelle and the Luxembourg Garden which is a fantastic place for kids! 

As far as getting around--one word: Metro. It's so insanely easy your six-year-old can probably have it figured out in a day. 

My favorite day trip is always to Giverny to see Monet Garden. No words to describe how beautiful it is. And very, very kid friendly. 

As far as customs go--I'd say nothing is more French than to hit the food markets. If you do stay in the Latin Quarter, there is a great one on Rue Monge (but there's really one in every neighborhood so I wouldn't worry about it too much). Also, just find your local cafe, order a coffee and stay for hours and people-watch. Walk everywhere. Take a hour and sit in one of the iconic green chairs in the Palais Royal and just relax. Spend hours at one of the Fnac Paris - Forum des Halles bookstores. Really, there's nothing more Parisian than to just be. 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. 10e Arrondissement (neighborhood)
  2. Latin Quarter (attraction)
  3. Museum National d'Histoire naturelle (attraction)
  4. Luxembourg Garden (attraction)
  5. Giverny (city)
  6. Monet Garden (attraction)
  7. Rue Monge (attraction)
  8. Palais Royal (attraction)
  9. Fnac Paris - Forum des Halles (attraction)
  10. La Seine (attraction)




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