Where to stay in Paris
Paris, the French capital, oozes style and charm at every corner
and the history and culture of the city is evident on virtually
every street and river embankment. Even regular visitors and locals
are sometimes overwhelmed at the choice offered by every quarter
and every arrondissement (district) of this gem of a city
- so where is the best place to stay if you're a first-time
visitor to Paris?
It's not such a stretch of the budget or the travel itinerary
timeframe to include a
trip to Paris in with a trip to the United Kingdom. Visitors
to London, for instance, can make the most of their time and have
a truly cosmopolitan experience by travelling between the two capitals.
There is no need to fly or drive, as the high-speed
Eurostar train makes the journey a pleasant occasion, linking
visitors from their London hotels to the 'City of Light'
all within a mere matter of hours, and all is accessible via the
comprehensive public transport networks in each city.
Yet on arrival in Paris it's convenient to have done your "homework"
and figured out where exactly you'd like to stay in advance.
Though Paris has largely kept its traditional boundaries, and the
city is now enclosed by the peripheral motorway, the Périphérique,
there is such an abundance to do and see within the city you'll
certainly be left scratching your head as to where to stay. Starting
from the centre of the city and the first arrondissement,
hotel accommodation is of exceptional quality, but this comes with
the territory. The first arrondissement is home to popular
attractions such as the Louvre and the Tuileries Gardens. It also
includes the western tip of the Île de la Cité, the heart of Roman
Paris, and areas such as Les Halles that date back to the Middle
Ages. If you're looking to walk straight out of your Paris hotels
into a charismatic and bustling Parisian street scene, then the
Marais (on the right bank of the Seine), the Latin Quarter (on the
left bank) or around Rue Mouffetard is your best bet. The Latin
Quarter was the traditionally academic quarter of Paris, and it
is still the location of the École Normale Supérieure, the École
des Mines de Paris, the Schola Cantorum, and the Jussieu university
campus. Situated between the fifth and sixth arrondissements,
the Latin Quarter owes its perculiar name to the fact that Latin,
the international language of learning in the Middle Ages, was spoken
widely in this area.