Bring The Girls To Paris And Find An Apartment
A reader wrote about bringing her girls to Paris. She asked advice on two neighborhoods.
Haussmann and Sentier Neighborhoods
Neighborhoods change atmosphere from one street to the next in Paris. Unless you are given a specific address, it is difficult to tie down where you are exactly. Paris streets are lit and safe and each street has atmosphere. With central locations such as Metro Sentier and Gare Saint Lazare you are not far from anything. Both areas are close to grocery stores.
Around Metro Sentier, for example, if you stay on the north side of rue Réamur, it is quiet because the shops are clothing wholesalers (like my neighborhood in the 11th/Bastille). Thirty-seconds away south of rue Réamur and rue du Nil (where the locator arrow is on the apartment map) is Petits Carreaux/Montorgueil, a street full of shops and cafes and a grocery store. At night, only the cafes are open on the street and lively during nice weather with lots of patrons sitting outside — like last night when I visited the area.
The apartment description mentions Place de la Victoire and Passage des Cerfs. I pulled up the Google map for an idea of these locations in relation to Metro Sentier. Those two points are a five minute walk from Metro Sentier. Fifteen minute walk to Louvre.
The apartment Haussmann Saint Lazare is in a livelier part of town (but still relatively quiet) not far from the train station. (Trains are a popular form of transportation in France. If you are coming from the States, there is no comparison). I cannot tell you whether the apartment is on rue d’Amsterdam or Caumartin. If it is Caumartin near the RER this is a pedestrian street.
The area is close to the departments stores (minutes) Galeries Lafayette and Printemps (open late on Thursdays till 9 p.m./8 p.m. the other nights – closed Sunday). It is close to the (5-10 minutes) Opera and Madeleine. Half hour walk to Louvre. You will find Galeries Gourmet (upscale Monoprix – very nice) for grocery shopping in Galeries Lafayette, Monoprix grocery and small department store combo right next to the RER Haussmann Saint Lazare. Use Google maps to find the distance between Haussmann Saint Lazare and Palais Garner – opera house, Cafe de la Paix, Champs Elysees, etc.
Paris is a walkable city, full of light at night, safe, and fun to look upward into apartments that have not been turned into offices.
Depending on where you live now (city, suburb, farm, etc.), what you plan to do in the evening with the girls determines your evening neighborhood.
Some things to do:
Palais Garnier provides visits in English – worth the time! (Pull up the page in English and click on the “Visit” section
Jacquemart-Andre Museum has Tea Time for children – contact them for more details – I also mention it on my “Colleen’s Paris Likes” Restaurants page.
If you are considering day trips, read about Auvers-sur-Oise and Chantilly .”
Are you familiar with the Jardin d’Acclimatation with its rides for children? They have a guide in English for downloading.
Three suggestions since you and the girls will be living like Parisians:
An excellent book for Paris streets is the small format l’Indispensable , which can be found in any newspaper kiosk, book store, map store, etc. This is just to show you what it looks like.
A great transportation map to use for transportation is the Number 2 Grand Plan de Paris. Pick it up free at any metro station. Here is an RATP link to show you what it looks like. On the hard copy, the buses are on one side, the metros on the other.
The Paris Tourist Office has enough information that you may require an additional suitcase to cart it all back! Look for their address and other addresses on my “How to Find” page.
A cute little cheesecake, crepe cafe (Princess Crepe) is open in the Marais, decorated in the “Hello Kitty” style. Find the address in my cheesecake post.
Bonpoint has a tea room to consider trying. David Downie wrote a review in another Paris blog/newsletter.