Monday, February 28, 2011

Arrondissements/ Districts in Paris

When choosing accomodation in Paris you really need to see a map of the city and work out which arrondissement is going to suit your "tourist" needs.

Arrondissement 1:

This is the historic district where The Louvre lives on the Right Bank of the Seine. This is the centre and a great place to stay, you can walk to alot of the tourist sites from here.

Arrondissement 2:

This is the business district (not as touristi, but quiet and more affordable accomodation).

Arrondissement 3:

You will find the Musee Picasso in this district.

Arrondissement 4:

The Marais district is Medieval Paris, the area you will find Notre Dame, St Chapelle and
the Conciergerie.

Arrondissement 5:

The Latin Quarter is beautiful and quiet. It is very a very pretty area (I visited a friend staying in this area). Jardin des Plantes is in this area it includes a museum and zoo. The park Jardin des Plantes has lovely tree lined avenues.

Arrondissement 6:

St. Germain. Once the hangout for bohemians and intellectuals, this neighborhood has undergone gentrification and is now one of the most expensive in Paris. Trendy upscale boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants can be found throughout this district.

Arrondissement 7:

The Eiffel Tower is in this area. Alot of retirees and international residents stay in this area.

Arrondissement 8:

This upscale neighborhood is in fact quite diverse. The area around Champs Elysèe, has lots of shopping and lots of tourists, while in the area to the East, between the Champs Elysee and Place de la Madeleine you will find a mixture of 19th century buildings intermingled with businesses. This area is in someways similar to parts of the 16th, but is generally less pretentious.
You will find Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Cartier and other fashion stores.

Arrondissement 9:

A diverse residential area popular among an artistic crowd. The Southern portion is similar to the 2nd arrondissement, with a mix of residential and business buildings. The Paris Opera is located here. Farther North is Pigalle, the fading Red Light district as well as the famous Moulin Rouge.

This is the area I stayed in with my family, we found it a little daunting at first but then fell in love with the area. Heading up to Montemartre area you will see the "real" Paris.

Arrondissement 10:

The two great train stations in Paris are here, the Gare de l'Est and the Gare du Nord. This multi-cultural neighborhood also contains a bohemian element. The cafes and restaurants along the Canal St Martin make it a popular destination for both Parisians and tourists.

Arrondissement 11:

Place de la Bastille and the New Opera are found here. This is a primarily residential district.

Arrondissement 12:

Residential neighborhood bordered on the east by the Bois de Vincennes ( a nice park ).

Arrondissement 13:

Residential neighborhood, as well as Paris' Chinatown.

Arrondissement 14:

Montparnasse and the Cité Universitaire are found in this residential district traditionally known for its lively cafés and restaurants around the Blvd. Montparnasse.

Arrondissement 15:

This large primarily residential neighborhood ranges from very upscale in the area bordering the 7th arrondissement and the Seine, to relatively safe and affordable in the more outlying areas.

Arrondissement 16:

Bois de Boulogne, Trocadero. Although it is not as exclusive as the 7th arrondissement, the 16th is widely regarded as the neighborhood for the wealthy.

Bois de Boulogne is a gorgeous very large park with lakes and cafes and a water park. I recommend hiring a bicycle here to see everything (look for the horses, rabbits, ducks and squirrels).

Arrondissement 17:

This diverse district really contains more than one neighborhood, with the portion, in the west, near the Arc de Triomph and Parc Monceau, being very upscale.

Arrondissement 18:

Montmartre. This artsy residential neighborhood situated at the top of a hill overlooking Paris has a small village feel. The view across Paris from the Sacre Coeur church is breathtaking and the nearby Place de Tertre is a popular tourist destination.

This is a "must see" area and the Sacre Coeur church is so beautiful. The view from this hilltop position is wonderful.

Arrondissement 19:

The Parc des Buttes Chaumont. A residential neighborhood with many ethnic restaurants and shops. Parce de la Villette is located here with its Cité des Sciences et de L'Industrie museum and cultural center.

Arrondissement 20:

Belleville and the Père-Lachaise cemetery. An outlying residential area that is becoming yuppified.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

My Mum, Dad and Pauline are going to Paris...

Sooooo jealous!!!

Anyway because my Mum and Dad are heading to Paris with their friend Pauline where their river cruise starts, I am going to blog on what I know about Paris.

This will be a little series of posts.

First of all, I LOVE Paris!!!

Air Asia from Australia flies to Paris with an overnight stop in Kuala Lumpur from $500 each way (this is for the budget conscious).

Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Cathay Pacific, QANTAS etc... all fly to Paris.

Accomodation in Paris is different to accomodation in Australia. The ratings are different.

If you are looking for 5 star you will pay $350 + per night.

If you just want a bed and bathroom you can book 2.5-3star hotels/b&bs/apartments.

When we went to Paris we used to find a self-catering apartment in the Moulin Rouge district, it cost 440euro for 7 nights in the 2nd week of September 2010. The apartment was on the 3rd floor (stairs) it had 2 rooms and a bathroom. We walked in the door to the front room, it had a double mattress on the floor and a chest of draws (I know what you are thinking, but it was clean and we were comfortable). The 2nd room was a kitchenette, TV, double sofa bed and dining table. In between the 2 rooms was a bathroom (really old with a bath and shower hose with the hot water system over the bath). The views from the apartment were great.

Ok Ok you are thinking the apartment sounds awful but in Paris the buildings are old (really old) there are not many apartments (other than the new ones) that have lifts or new interiors. If everything works I am happy and saved alot of $$$. Now if you know that you cannot climb several flights of stairs to get in and out of your accomodation look for apartments on the ground floor or buildings with lifts. Just remember that you are not going to spend all day in your accomodation, you want to bathe and sleep.

Food is next...

Friday, February 18, 2011

Have you heard of Portmeirion in Wales, United Kingdom?

I was watching a documentary on travelling the other night and they went to a town called Portmeirion in Wales. 
I thought it looked amazing and would share it with you all.
photo courtesy of