Where to stay when visiting Paris is a tough question to answer because there are so many fabulous places. Probably the best way to begin to choose is to decide what district you would prefer to be in. Paris has twenty districts to choose from so to keep it from becoming cumbersome you should probably divide your choices into the two most popular areas, the right and left banks. Then whittle it down to districts based on the hotel or inn that best suits you in a specific district.
The right and left banks, as you probably have guessed, refer to the right and left side of the Seine River which flows through central Paris roughly dividing it in half. The Seine flows westward which means when referring to the left bank one usually means the southern half of Paris and the right, the northern portion of the city. These directions will be handy when deciding where to stay when visiting Paris. You will find that even though both banks are the staple and hear of Paris, they are very different from each other in culture and feel.
If you are into art, fashion, and the Bohemian lifestyle, the left bank is for you. It is the epitome of Parisian popular culture and offers many varied and interesting shops, buildings, historical sites, and funky architecture and people. Add to the list a plethora of interesting hotels, inns, and bed and breakfasts, making your decision where to stay when visiting Paris a tough but enjoyable one. On the left bank you can find the famous Latin Quarter whose liveliness thrives through its many bistros, shops, and learning establishments. The Sorbonne as well as many other universities are located in the Latin Quarter.
The right bank is where you will find the sophistication and refinement one thinks of when Paris is mentioned. It is also the business district where you will find the Champs Elysees and the L'Arc de Triomphe. Where the left bank is considered more easy going and bohemian, the right bank is considered very metropolitan. When deciding where to stay when visiting Paris, it is helpful to remember; the right bank can be very expensive, but also very entertaining. You find the neighborhoods of the right bank to be very affluent and beautiful with contrasting architecture from very historical to very modern. Either bank's a great place to stay.
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