a VirtualTourist member
Any thoughts on the La Villette area ( 19th Arr. )
It's nice enough but quite far from the center of town. There is the marvelous Parc de la Villette and the Parc des Buttes Chaumont, but I assume you will want to see the major Paris sights while you're there. If you don't mind spending time on the noisy, busy (but efficient) Metro (subway) or buses, you will be fine, but we prefer to stay in the center so we don't have to waste vacation time in transit to sights. In the center, you can walk nearly everyplace. The sixth (St. Germain) district is usually pretty quiet and you'll be safe nearly anywhere. The 5th (Latin Quarter) does tend to be a bit noisy at night in the very central parts, but even it has it quiet places and you can find hotels in all price ranges in any of the districts. We look for a postal code of 75001, 75004, 75005, 75006 or 75007 and the 75006 and 75007 might be the quietest of these. If it's your first time, the center might be more fun and you can find a quieter area.
Good luck and enjoy my favorite city.
As I have often posted before, we like to stay near the Latin Quarter so that we are "on the doorstep" for the major sights and there is plenty going-on at night. The hotels we have used are quiet (albeit on a fairly main road) and well-away from the hussle and bussle, but still within an easy walk of the Notre Dame area.. We like Rue Des Ecoles for this reason.... the hotels all look OK to me - we have stayed in the Hotel Moderne St Germain, and (recently) the Hotel Quatier Latin. We would stay in either of these again next time. Nearer to the Arc De Triomph, we once stayed in Residences Kleber - a VERY quiet street but firther to walk to the Seine and the important sights along there.
If you mean the area around La Villette station itself, you would be wise to steer clear of the area, especially the evening. But there are other parts of the 19th where you have no risk at all, notably towards the Buttes Chaumont.
Last year I spent a week up at that end of Paris in a hotel called Abricotel, near the Métro station Jaurès. Apparently this used to be a dangerous area, with drug dealers and whatnot, especially around the Stalingrad Métro station, but I didn’t see anything like that. There has been some upgrading and urban renewal in recent years, and the drug dealers seem to have gone elsewhere.
As the others have said, this is not a central location, but I found that after I knew the way it only took me 22 minutes by Vélib’ bike to get back to my hotel from Place de la Bastille. From the Louvre or the Eiffel Tower it took more than half an hour, so I just docked my bike at the Bastille, waited two minutes and took another one (or the same one again, it doesn’t matter). [original VT link]