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Calling in Parisian mnetters (and those who know the city!)

(10 Posts)
bambiandthumper Sat 04-Jun-11 10:34:54

I have also posted this in travel, but wanted to get an insiders pov grin

My neighbours 18yr old DD, and a few of her friends are going to Paris for a few nights in July, as an end of exams trip. My neighbour says they are struggling to find cheap accommodation, as they don't really know where to start looking, and there is a lot. They have all been to Paris she says, but with their families, so will be having a completely different experience grin, and all of us are proving useless.

Just realised the above is all rambling blush. But yes, if any of you have any recommendations for (youth)hostels or cheap hotels, in a good, central location (I thought maybe by the Grands Boulevards or the Marais, but that could be completely wrong!), close to nightlife that would be great. And equally, places to avoid with a barge pole would probably prove quite useful.

Actually, if I can be really rude now that i've grabbed your attention, if you have any recommendations for not too expensive things to do/ areas to visit to potter about in, that would be great! Ditto restaurants and bars...? They have done the majority of the museums and tourist attractions, but might go back and do a few.

TIA

MrsSchadenfreude Sat 04-Jun-11 12:10:46

They will get much cheaper hotel rooms a little bit further out - somewhere around the Peripherique. There is an Ibis in the 18th which is supposed to be good value - also hotels in Levallois, which is on the metro, so easy to get back to. Probably also cheapish hotels around the gare du nord. Or they might be better off renting an apartment for a few nights, rather than a hotel? Would probably be cheaper, and you could get in a more central area (you might try Bastille, which is lively).

WillieWaggledagger Sat 04-Jun-11 12:18:23

don't know how helpful this is but when I lived there a few years ago friends stayed in this hostel just behind the hotel de ville when they visited me

I don't know current prices unfortunately, but it's in the centre and was clean and reasonably comfortable when I saw it in 2007 - the two reviews in the link are ok too

Bonsoir Sun 05-Jun-11 07:33:58

They need to buy the Guide du Routard to Paris.

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Sun 05-Jun-11 07:53:10

You to look for "auberge de jeunesses" and avoid: Saint-Denis, Pigalle, 19eme, Gare du nord. I agree it will probably be cheaper outside Paris.

YOu can ask the "CROUS" if they have any short term student let. The "Cite universitaire" is great.

bambiandthumper Sun 05-Jun-11 11:07:34

Oh that is very helpful, will pass all that information on.

I remember that Monmatre seemed to have all the auberge's a few years back, is that still the case? Is it nicer (safer) than it used to be?

DoubleDegreeStudent Mon 06-Jun-11 00:09:48

I'm studying in Paris at the moment - bits of Montmartre are lovely but I wouldn't want to stay there. In terms of going out, they will find that clubs are very expensive (often 20euros for boys, sometimes the same for girls but sometimes free and then 12euros for drinks - including a single shot). The more French way of doing it is to go to bars - Rue Mouffetard is where my student friends and I all go and it's very lively. There's this hostel on the street which always looks quite jolly but I've never been in.

Lots of places are free for EU residents who are under 26, so with a driving licence or passport you will get in free (if you go to Versailles you don't even have to queue, just wave your ID and walk through). Versailles has fab fountains set to music during summer - it's easy to get to on the train, take a picnic and sprawl in the gardens all day (there is a bit where you can go on the grass).

The Marais is great for window shopping, but can be quite expensive. The Pantheon (in the 5th) is free with EU ID like I mentioned before and in summer has fab views over Paris.

When in July are they going? If they are there for the 14th there will be lots going on. Maybe not what their parents have in mind, but buying a few bottles of wine and then going to sit on the Pont Neuf, Pont des Arts or down by the river with your legs dangling over the edge is the best thing to do with a night in Paris! If they are all girls they might get a bit of unwanted attention after 2 or 3am but there's loads of people around until then so it should be safe.

And send them to this bakery at the bottom of Rue Mouffetard. Best place ever.

Other than that, my best advice to them is just to buy a little street map and just get lost until you find something you see that you like. Sorry this has been so long!

bambiandthumper Tue 07-Jun-11 00:10:58

That's great doubbledegrestudent!

Yes they are going over the 14th, Bastile day, non?

DoubleDegreeStudent Tue 07-Jun-11 11:10:30

Yes! There's normally a party in the Place de la Bastille the night before and then lots of fun during the day and fireworks at night.

worldgonecrazy Tue 07-Jun-11 11:20:28

oooh - I am so jealous they will be there for 14th July. Wherever they are, they need to find the local Pompieres station for the party the night before.

If they are sensible it may be cheaper for them to rent an apartment. If they are all happy to bunk down on sofa beds/spare mattresses, it is possible to find apartments very cheaply and quite central.

We're a bit older, but there is plenty of nightlife around Notre Dame, one of our favourite bars is Au Trappiste just opposite Chatelet Metro Station on Rue St. Dennis. It is open 24 hours a day, does great Moules too, and has an amazing mix of clientele at 3.00 a.m. - students, opera singers, party goers.

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