I’m taking MB back to Paris in April for her 60th birthday. Rather than a hotel, she wants a neighborhood experience. Over the years, we’ve stayed mostly in the 5th, 6th and 8th arrondissements. We have no set plans yet other the Musée d’Orsay, and she wants to see the Dior Exhibit. We plan to walk miles every day, find small local restaurants, and plan very little.
What’s your favorite arrondissement to stay and why? Do you have any specific apartments, VRBO’s, AirBnB’s to recommend for two?
Later this week, I’m going to read @Andrew_Kotowski’s excellent thread on Paris, which has five years of advice.
Warren, not trying to steal your thread, but I have a semi-related question. This Spring, my wife and I will be going to Paris for the first time. I have been looking at various restaurant websites and have been surprised to find that most of the ones I’ve looked at don’t provide English language versions of the site - only French.
Neither of us speak French - will restaurants in Paris have menus available in English?
@Warren_Taranow - thanks for the kind words! We miss living in Paris on a pretty much daily basis.
@Bob_Hughes - the majority of restaurants (in Paris, at least) have English menus, and generally have staff that are fairly fluent. If it’s a bistro with a chalkboard, somebody will usually help you get through it. I genuinely wouldn’t even think twice about it.
If you’re looking at places online, you can usually toggle the language for most places from French to English in the upper right corner of the page.
But we found many waitstaff spoke English. Google translate app also does real time image translating. And there aren’t “that” many food words…
Just don’t order andouiellete unless you really mean to.
I speak “menu” french and can usually puzzle out what the dishes are. That said, for a couple of trips before I was comfortable, I made sure my first dinner was at Willi’s Wine Bar where I knew there would be English spoken.
Hopefully neither of you have allergies. If you do best to create a list and don’t forget an epi pen.
I’ve never had a problem in Paris, unlike Brussels.
There should be some type of app specifically for food.
This is the reason my wife brings me. I do wine lists, too.
The majority of restaurants we choose have English speakers. I often find that the best way to bring them out is to speak fractured French to them. It’s less painful for them to speak English to you than to listen to my French (thankfully, my wife and kids are fairly fluent in the event that doesn’t work)
We like to stay in the 7th at the Relais Bosquet Hotel, which is a block from the pedestrian market street Rue Cler. Also in the 7th we have stayed at Paris Perfect apartments, which are very nice.
Last December we decided to change up and stay in the 6th, near the St Germain du Pres church. This is close to many tourist sights and lots of restaurants and shopping, but it’s a bit busier than the 7th.
In March of 2022 we stayed at an apartment in the Marais - too busy where we were but again it was near lots of sights to see.
Most restaurants in central Paris will have English speakers.
I lived in Paris for 3/12 years as a chef and I would say the 3rd arrondissement is my favorite neighborhood in Paris. It’s like Soho(NYC) but the Paris version. The shops are high end and the neighborhood is less touristy and calm, it’s a beautiful place to walk around.
To eat, there are great restaurants all over Paris. It depends on your mood. A good place to start looking is on the website, Le Fooding. Their reviews lean towards younger, cooler restaurants but they have a pulse on what’s happening in the city.
If you’re visiting Paris soon, I recommend going to Le Doyenné. It’s outside of Paris, you can take a train there and it’s situated on an organic farm.
I can’t make recommendations but we’re going in April with the kids for the first time and staying just off of Rue de Rivoli, near the Louvre/ Tuileries.
I wanted to be walking distance from Wilis Wine Bar, based on a recommendation from my father and their book. Also walking distance from the cultural sites, but let’s face it, I’m there to eat and drink!
This is my youngest from a trip in 2011. Our first night in Paris (overnight flight from NJ) we ate at Willi’s. I’m pretty sure she was asleep in the car on the ride from the apartment to the restaurant.
We rented an apartment in the Marais in the 3rd for one of the best trips I’ve ever had. Great for walking around with fewer tourists in the immediate area, but within walking distance of most things we wanted to do.
Since I insisted on ordering it, I choked it down out of pride washing it down with copious amounts of cider from Normandy. When I came up for air, my wife asked how it was and all I could reply was, “I feel like I just ate the men’s room.”