Posts Tagged ‘Marais’

The Walkability of Paris

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

July Column, Place de la Bastille

A guest post by Matt Davids

As a city, Paris is notorious in terms of traffic and holds a reputation as one of the toughest cities to drive around in Europe. This is often typical of such historic cities and it more than makes up for this by providing a decent underground train network (Metro), as well as wide pavements for walking, cycling and roller-skating, and plenty of excuses to want to take your time and explore on foot.

There are several approaches to walking around Paris that are dependent on the type of traveller you are. For experienced visitors to the city, you can use your prior knowledge, French skills and the handy help of the many metro stations nearby to figure out where you are. Ambling along in this way, without a specific map helps facilitate the discovery of new side streets and shortcuts and travelling on a whim, guided by a loose sense of knowing where you’re going, and the many distractive sights, sounds and smells along the way.

For those less experienced, there are plenty of maps both print and online to help you get around and perhaps plan your route before you leave. Furthermore, booking an escorted tour is an excellent option if you’re a newbie to Paris or want to supplement previous trips with a little extra knowledge. These can be themed as well, so if you’re interested in a certain period of French history such as the French Revolution or WWll then go for one of these options.

Great locations around Paris for ambling around:

Due to its layout, with the Seine winding its way from East to West, a standard walking route can take in all the most famous parts of Paris, either as an action packed morning, or stretched out leisurely throughout the day, with walking time between 3 and 4 hours a good guide. For a few suggestions, or a less demanding stroll, the following areas are great places to focus:

The Marais

The Marais is a district in Paris very much a part of the city’s history. Full of buildings that were built by Parisian aristocrats as well as many dating back to the 16th century, it has an amazing historic feel as well as fashionable restaurants and a strong art scene. These buildings, as well as immaculately kept outdoor areas make this one of the most expensive places in Paris to live, and it is conveniently close to many museums, including the Carnavalet Museum which reveals the history of Paris.

Montmartre District

The Montmartre District is another area that is well represented by the art scene. Spending a few hours strolling around the Place du Tertre which is a square where artists paint and sell their works is delightful, and there is also the Montmartre Cemetery which is a popular tourist attraction and the resting place of famous artists. There’s also the Moulin Rouge, a cabaret that needs no introduction.

Les Bouquinistes, Paris 

Les Bouquinistes

For an authentic cultural experience, the Bouquinistes along the river Seine are stands that sell books, photos and various other unique souvenirs for tourists, that having been around since the 16th century consequently offer an authentic location for purchasing a little something to take home. Hours can be whiled away strolling amongst these with the River Seine as your backdrop, conveniently located in the Latin District which is home to Notre Dame, has a strong student presence and many winding, charming streets.

General

To orientate yourself generally with Paris, then make your way to the square in front of the Notre Dame, which has a bronze plaque which represents the point to which all distances in France are measured. From here, the Eiffel Tower is to the West and the Place de la Bastille, a square where the July Column stands lies to the East. Zigzagging between these two points will take you across Paris, allowing you to see the Louvre, Notre Dame, Champs Elysees, Parc du Champ de Mars, Parc Luxembourg and many other tourist sites, whilst discovering the little hidden delights along the way that you would miss on the Metro or tour bus.

About our guest blogger:

Matt is a frequent traveller who has just returned from travelling round the world. He plans this summer to explore much of Europe, starting in Paris and finishing with his Greece holidays.

We love to have posts written by our CobbleStay guests and other travel experts.  Feel free to share your insights about Paris and travel with us.  You can send your ideas to Cassie at Community@CobbleStay.com

Property Spotlight – Paris Vacation Rental CobbleStay 024 Marais Magic

Friday, January 6th, 2012

Property Spotlight – Paris Vacation Rental CobbleStay 024 Marais Magic


Refined. Open Air Market nearby. Unique and One of a Kind. Completely renovated in 2009 by a renowned architect, the “marais magic” apartment is now a destination for savvy travelers who want more than a typical one bedroom. And, the ideal location.

Perfect for 2-4 friends traveling together. Read on!

The owners have mastered the melange of classic Paris with design aficionados. You’ll love the postcard backsplash in the kitchen.

The owner takes pride in the property. Isn’t it obvious? There is attention to detail everywhere, from the holistic decoration to the thoughtful layout.

Two bathrooms : Let’s start here because this apartment can accommodate 4 guests with its split bathroom. The location of the toilet is in the 2nd bathroom. The master bathroom includes a luxurious sink and both a shower and a bathtub. Don’t miss the statuesque flower vase on the bathroom counter.

Living Room: A big closet and mirror, antique table and chairs, a fold out sofa to sleep the 3rd and 4th guest. You will look at the chandelier through the gorgeous mirror above the fireplace

Master Bedroom : There are 2 twin beds in the master bedroom. It’s perfect if you actually don’t want to share the bed (the whole night) with your partner. Yes, the beds can be attached together as well. Also, the master bedroom is completely private from the living area. The master bathroom is just off the bedroom. There is a filtered coffee machine, along with the other modern conveniences. Dishwasher, Convection Oven, Microwave, Range. It’s right next to the Living Room to make entertaining a breeze.

See the below for more information about other conveniences in the property. Note: Towels are by Ralph Lauren and sheets are by Jalla / Anne de solene 200 Thread Count.

The latest video virtual tour of CobbleStay’s Paris Vacation Rental Marais Haven 013

Friday, January 6th, 2012

CobbleStay Paris Vacation Rental Marais Haven (013)

Hotels vs. Apartments in Paris, Part 2

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Private Garden of Property #025 in the Marais

In Part 1 of our Hotels v. Apartments breakdown, we laid out the differences between these two options as they related to the freedoms and conveniences of Paris hotels and Paris apartment rentals. In Part 2, we will talk about a few more of these differences and also how they can affect the overall Paris vacation experience. As a reminder, if you’re one of those people who think this kind of thing is a little overboard and that where you stay doesn’t really matter, then maybe this article isn’t for you. But, if you’re the type that wants to feel at least OK with your decision and the potentially thousands of dollars you may spend when you check out of your room or apartment, read on!

Whether you’re talking about hotels or Paris vacation rentals, things like television, phone, and internet access can vary extensively from place to place. The need for these things can also vary depending on the travelers needs. A business traveler for example may consider things like telephone and internet access to be a “must have” and may assume that hotels would be the best choice. While most of the high end hotels will indeed offer different variations of television, phone, & internet packages, figuring out exactly what they offer is a must. If the Internet is 50 Euros per day, and this is not uncommon, travelers may think that they are better off with no internet at all. Surprisingly, one of the very best options in Paris for this type of amenity is found through CobbleStay.com. Many of CobbleStay’s Paris vacation apartment rentals come with free Wifi Internet access, free local calls and free calls to the U.S. & Canada, and a wide array of both local and foreign television channels. Yes, nothing is free as talked about in Part 1, but it is very uncommon to find this type of amenity at the price point offered in the select Paris rental apartments at CobbleStay.com.

Even though all of the varying amenities from place to place can be a big factor in a traveler’s decision, being able to read reviews and understand the real experiences of previous travelers can change your mind in a heartbeat. When it comes to hotel reviews, especially for the larger ones, it is important to remember that any reviews you read are most likely not about your specific room. While hotel amenities are typically a constant from room to room, things like the noise levels from the street or neighbors, the amount of light in the apartment, and the distance from the stairs or elevator can really be a big surprise. Because short term Paris rentals are typically individual apartments, reviews you read are about the exact unit and therefore give a much better representation of the true experience. Of course there is always the possibility of a biased review, so if you are weighting your decision heavily on them, be wary of the pitfalls. CobbleStay.com offers factual, unbiased descriptions and reviews and is therefore a great choice for if you can find Paris Vacation Rental that suits you.

Saving you money on your vacation

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

From our Marais Magic apartment, #024

When an article comes out that highlights ways to save money while traveling, it’s always worth taking a look. With rising cost of transportation and a million hotel choices, it can be overwhelming and expensive. If you can’t wait to take that long awaited European vacation, there are definitely a few things worth remembering.

You can save hundreds by hitting the pavement in the off season. The prices will be lowest in the fall and winter months. Also, who wouldn’t love springtime in Paris? The prices are also lower at the beginning of Spring. If you can schedule a trip during a less popular travel season, you will save money and save stress fighting smaller crowds. In addition to traveling during a slower month, you might reconsider your non-stop flight. Even one additional stop can save you a substantial amount of money. If I wanted to head to Paris August 1st, changing to a one stop flight could save me $564. That extra $564 could get me a very nice Parisian meal.

The best advice you can get: Rent an apartment.
For the cost of an average hotel, you can get a comfortable, private, spacious short term rental in Paris. You can save money with the ability to prepare food in house. The knowledgeable arrival managers can provide just as much information as the hotel front desk. You can really get the experience of what it would be like to live in Paris. With last minute discounts and overall lower prices, you can really get your moneys worth. For under $150 a night you can have your own private studio in the Marais for a week in the fall. Enjoy a glass of wine on your private terrace. For under $175 a night, you could also enjoy the view of the Eiffel Tower at night from your Bastille River view property. If you’d like to stroll the Champs de Mars, you could also stay across from the park for under $175.

When looking for the best Paris vacation rentals, keep these tips in mind to maximize your budget. Travel during a less popular time of year. Consider a stop on your flight over. Rent an apartment. Enjoy Paris!

Common Tourist Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Our Marais Magic Property 024

Common tourist mistakes can make the difference between the worst and best vacation, especially in cities like Paris with different languages & currency.  Here’s a list of some common mistakes & how to avoid them.

1. Making a short visit:  Paris is a huge city with thousands of things to do/see, so be mindful that shortening your visit to 3-5 days may leave you feeling too rushed and unable to truly enjoy the vacation. Instead, forgo the cheap hotel weekend & settle in a luxurious Paris apartment rental where you can feel at home and experience all Paris has to offer at your leisure.
2. Touring in high season:  If you’re a crowd-fearing traveler, visiting Paris (especially the first time) between June and August could leave you feeling smothered and possibly broke!  Yes, American summer vacation is also peak tourist season throughout Europe, so be ready for the crowds or travel during the winter and see the beauty of Paris in the winter.
3. Staying in the wrong area:  While there is hardly a bad place to stay in Paris, there are some to avoid in certain situations.  For example, staying in the 19th or 20th arrondissement with children isn’t ideal. Research each arrondissement thoroughly, or ask your travel agent which Paris vacation rentals or hotels are ideal for you.
4. Overdoing guided tours: Guided tours can be great for getting a feel for the city, but don’t overdo it. There are many hidden treasures around Paris that can be stumbled upon by just exploring on your own. Even avoiding cliché hotel accommodations and going for cultural Paris rental apartments will give you a more fulfilling experience of Paris.
5. Packing too much: Try to pack light.  European hotel closets are not as large as American closets, and you don’t want to feel squashed.  If you are planning for an extended stay, you may be more comfortable in a Paris vacation apartment where space is a little more available.  Besides, why bring a lot of clothes when there is Paris fashion to explore?
6. Renting a Car:  You don’t want to drive around in the mayhem of Paris traffic; after all you’re on vacation.  Paris is notoriously one of the most difficult and stressful places to drive in.  Taxis are even an unnecessary expense as the public transportation systems in Paris are easy and inexpensive.  Paris can easily be explored on foot as well and walking gives you a great excuse to indulge in chocolates and croissants!
7. Not being aware:  As with any busy city, pick pockets are common and they tend to steal from distracted tourists.  Keep your travel documents & valuables close in hand or even in a strap around your waste.
8. Avoiding the language:  You’ll find Parisian locals a lot more accommodating just by attempting to speak the language to them, even though it may elicit a chuckle or two! Even something as simple as asking a Parisian in French to speak English will help.  You can say “parler vous anglais s’il vous plait?” which sounds something like “parlay voo onglay see voo play”.  Try it out on your hotel concierge or your Paris rental apartment booking agent and see how you do!

Quick Guide: The Marais

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

Place des Vosges

Surprisingly enough, one the most intriguing and culturally rich districts in Paris actually rose from mere swampland. In fact, the word Marais actually means “swamp”.  For me, the best part about the Marais is that it is one of the few places in the Europe that successfully merges classical beauty with a sort of modern eccentricity.  Although over the years the area had its ups and downs as well as a few dark periods, the modern day Marais is a truly enjoyable place to be and an excellent place to find a Paris vacation apartment rental.

The Marais is mostly located in the 3rd and 4th arrondissements in the very center of Paris, on the left bank of the River Seine.  As far as landmarks and tourist attractions are concerned, it is walking distance to the Louvre, the Seine, the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Sorbonne University to name a few.  However, landmarks are really only the tip of the iceberg for tourists staying in one of the many nearby Paris apartment rentals in Marais.  In fact, you could easily spend an entire day just people watching as the area is probably the most ethnically diverse districts of the city as well.

If that’s not enough for you, the Marais also has one of the best selections of places to stay for visitors to Paris.  Hotels are typically pleasant and affordable, but for a truly Parisian experience, a privately owned, short term Paris apartment rental would be a great option as well.  Here at CobbleStay.com, we offer five Marais based Paris vacation rentals that have been hand picked to cater to the needs of both the first time visitor to Paris and the experienced traveler alike.  For more information, check out our “Apartments” page at bookings.cobblestay.com or contact a CobbleStay booking agent at 800-608-6548.  Stay tuned for more Paris vacation information to come!