Paris is a really big city full of culture, wonderful architecture and history. We stayed there for more or less 5 days and I still think it is not enough. We did take things slow however, because we had two very demanding little buggers and taking slow is the chubby hubby’s idea of a holiday. And I do agree that taking things slow is really the best way to go about exploring a city.
For first timers, location is a BIG FACTOR. As a matter of fact, I think it should be the primary factor on deciding where to stay. We stayed on (at?) the 4th arrondissement (Administrative district) of the city which is in very close proximity to a lot of the must see sights of Paris. No, we did not have a view of the Eiffel tower and it was not a few blocks away. If you have never been to Paris, you have to realize that the Eiffel tower is not the only major sight to see.
Our hotel- Hotel Flor Rivoli, although a very old budget hotel, is right in the heart of Rue de Rivoli which is a commercial street full of international and local brands. It is located a few steps away from the Chatelet metro station, a few blocks away from the Louvre, and Palais Royale, and a few minutes away from the Latin Quarters. If you like theatre and like watching it in French, there are also theatres within walking distance of the hotel. Countless restaurants and cafes are also within walking distance. There is also a supermarket right next door.
When I say budget hotel, it really is a small hotel. The bathroom is small and the room is small. But since we are a small family accustomed to small spaces, we managed. If you prefer bigger and fancier rooms, there are a lot of other hotels in the vicinity. The hotel serves breakfast in the room for a fee and has free wifi.
We spent a big amount of time just walking around and drinking in the Parisian life. The chubby hubby didn’t want to cram itineraries that would leave us too drained. So our location was just perfect for our first time in the city.
I would definitely look for a hotel in the same vicinity when I go back to Paris.