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OT: Paris Accommodation
Buggering off to Paris for a couple of days in two weeks, and would love some first hand recommendations of CHEAP places to stay(student here. not looking for luxury). Obviously there are web resourses, but a lot of them are paid adverts, not to mention there are only about 5000 hostels to choose from. Just thought I'd use the opportunity to ask as I know a lot of you out there are fairly well traveled. Thanks in advance.
Sat. Dec 30, 9:13am
I have done a couple European trips, several cheaply (hostels) and one my mom paid for. I highly recommend Rick Steves (Europe Through the Back Door) as your travel guide. He has many great recommendations in lots of price ranges. More are listed in his books than online. The books are worth it though.
I have found there is almost no difference between a nice hostel or small hotel ($50-$60 a night) and a standard hotel ($150 a night). With hostels, you really get what you pay for. If something is really cheap (under $30), it is probably dorm style beds with a shared shower. If it is a little more, you may be able to get a private room. If you travel with someone else and share a room, this makes it significantly cheaper.
If you stay just outside the city, you can take the suburban rail line (RER) into Paris and save quite a bit of money on the hotel. I stayed once in Amboise which is beautiful (very Beauty and the Beast) in a tiny hotel which was clean and quaint. Rick Steves talks about this little town in his France book. Staying in Paris was quicker to get places, but it was noisy at night and pretty costly.
Saturday, December 30, 2006, 11:35 AM
OP here. Thanks for the suggestions. I am totally expecting the dorm-style scenario. As it's just for a couple of days (10-13 January), we (travelling with at least two other people) want to stay in Paris proper. I'll definitely check out the sites.
Saturday, December 30, 2006, 11:40 AM
I stayed at the Hotel Rubens which is in a very non-touristy part of Paris (we met quite a few German and Italian tourists) yet close enough to the city center that it's just a short metro hop anywhere (Gobelins is closest stop). We slept 3 to a room so it ended up costing $35/night which included a simple breakfast in the morning. However the room was private, clean (but older furnishings), reasonalby secure and had a bath/shower in it. It's a charming old building and we had a lovely courtyard to look upon. That was several years ago though, so I don't know their rates now, but would recommend them. The following link contains their info among others.
I woke up every morning, opened my large windows and just looked out and breathed, unable to believe I was really there. The building is very typical 1800 French arcitechture with dormers, slightly ackward corners and a central courtyard which was monitored by a nosey eccentric old lady. I went to a different patisserie every single day for lunch (most of them have a lunch special) and to try a different pastry. If I didn't get a sandwhich I usually had bread, cheese and fruit in a park - which is about as cheap as you can get. I did so much walking that not only did I not gain weight - I lost a few pounds! I highly recommend the museums and monuments pass if you didn't already get one - not only does it save you a boatload of $$, but sometimes it means you get to skip the lines and go straight in. Cluny Abby was my absolute fave, followed by some of the older Romanesque churches in the city center, and Versailles was a very special experience. I would consider avoiding Monmartre - it's a complete tourist trap and there were always a lot of pickpockets there, but lately there have been more muggings and assaults. Always count your change ('accidentally' shortchanging the tourists seems to be a fave past-time in some areas).
Sorry if that's rambing, but that was a fun little trip down memory lane :-) thanks! Enjoy your trip and have fun but be safe!
Saturday, December 30, 2006, 1:23 PM
Ramble away! It just gets me more excited. Thank you so much for the info. This is exactly the kind of stuff I was hoping to get.
Saturday, December 30, 2006, 1:42 PM
I love Paris and enjoyed reading the ramble above ... but I must disagree with the advice to avoid Montmartre! At this time of year it is not very touristy or crowded. Sacre Coeur is wonderful and the view of Paris from the steps is not to be missed - particualrly at night. You should always be careful whenever you are travelling, whereever you go.
My favorites: Saint Chapelle (esp. concerts there at night), Musee Carnavalet (history of Paris), Musee Rodin. Before you start to use the fabulous metro system - take the boat ride on the Seine as well as the touritsy double decker loop bus - they both give a good orientation to the city and it's just beautiful to move along the streets and waterfront that way.
Saturday, December 30, 2006, 3:00 PM
OP here: this won't be my first trip to Paris, so I have done the "biggies" before. I guess this time I'm going to sit back and see what Paris throws at me. Although the EIffel will definitley get a repeat vist. It's one of the most surreal moments standing on top of it. Love the museum rec's. I've only made it to the Louvre before, so I'm hoping to hit some others. Excited to be going at this time of year. It was April before, which wasn't too bad. Addicted to the Metro as well. So easy to learn. Thanks.
Saturday, December 30, 2006, 3:10 PM
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