Budget hotel in Paris
by PG Tips - Leeds, United Kingdom
29 Jul 2008
We were lucky with bargain basement Jet2 return flights from Leeds/Bradford to Paris. It therefore made sense to look for a good budget hotel and the Armstrong was the best value we could find within the Paris boundary (20th Arr).
Paris is actually smaller than you think and the hotel isn’t that far from most of the major attractions (eg Notre Dame 2mls, Eiffel Tower 4mls, Louvre 2mls, Theatre district 2mls, Champs Elysees 3mls). The Metro system is brilliant (just round the corner from the hotel) - we bought a carnet of 10 tickets for 11.1 Euro which gave us ten rides anywhere in Paris and you rarely have to change from the green line on the doorstep - even if you do change it still counts as the same ride. Trains were every 2 minutes.
The hotel was an ideal base for us -rooms have either a shower cubicle/en suite or a bath shower/en suite and have lcd tv, hair dryer and heating. Location was something we worried about initially having seen the Trip Adviser comments but this actually worked very well for us. The iffy bit is the big multicultural Rue D’Avron which is on one side of the hotel and is the quickest way into town. This is packed with shops, ethnic take aways/bars, MacDonalds etc and is very interesting - majority of the locals are very friendly if you make an effort with French language. We were befriended by the staff at a nearby ‘Algerian’ bar which served large glasses of Kronenbourg at cheap prices (half the price of city bars). If your on a tight budget the food here is cheap and there’s a big Carrefour nearby - also good for presents.
On the other side of the hotel the area is going upmarket and we found absolutely superb gourmet French restaurants within walking distance eg Cafe Noir on Rue Saint Blaise (about 65 Euros with a good bottle of Pouilly Fume). Also try Les Allobroges, 71 Rue des Grand Champs which is mind blowing food although you only get to pick from a couple of dishes the chef has created that day - no tourists when we went and they wanted to know how we found out about them! Good welcome if you make an effort with French again.
Prices are absolutely stupid in the tourist areas (expect to pay about 7.60 Euros for a pint and 19 Euros for a cafe lunch without wine).
Best bits for me with camera were Notre Dame and Pere - Lachais cemetery (near the hotel). Cheapest market in Paris on the Sunday morning in Montreuil - near Carrefour.