The upbeat 12th arrondissement of Paris is in a constant process of reinventing itself and today constitutes one of the city’s most modern districts, with several upscale urban renewal projects to its name. A predominantly business and residential district, the 12th was traditionally regarded as one the less touristy quarters of Paris. Today, however, visitors are coming to this area in increasingly large numbers for varying, but very good, reasons.
Easy to reach
First, the 12th is home to some very important transit hubs for the Metro, the RER and even the TGV. The busy Gare de Lyon and its annex, Gare de Bercy, as well as the Place de la Nation and the iconic Place de la Bastille all play host to swarms of travelers, commuters and tourists on their way to and from Paris and its many sights.
Second, the emergence of numerous affordable quality hotels and the large number of good restaurants and cafes in the peaceful neighborhood provides visitors with very attractive gastronomic and leisure options. And these are only growing as an increasing number of business travelers choose to stay in the 12th.
No shortage of entertainment
Third, various places of great artistic, “green”, historical, sporting and commercial appeal add some interesting allure to the 12th. For example, the avant-garde Opera Bastille, the Cinémathèque Française in Bercy; the Musée des Arts Forains; the unique combination of the Viaduc des Arts and the Promenade Plantée; le Bois de Vincennes (the largest public park in Paris); the Palais Omnisport de Bercy; the Bassin de L’Arsenal and the cozy shopping center Bercy Village are all in the radar of locals and visitors alike.
Unique shopping options
The arrondissement is also renowned for its specialized commercial quarters that mix modernity with history. These are devoted either to the fabrication or restoration of certain traditional crafts (i.e. furniture at the Faubourg St. Antoine) or to shops selling more contemporary items (i.e. electronics and computer items at Boulevard Diderot and rue de Charenton; hip boutiques at rue de Charonne).
The number of very good affordable hotels in the 12th arrondissement is indeed high and, I believe, deserving of perhaps attention by EuroCheapo’s editors. Here are some of my picks (which I’d encourage the editors to check out for consideration in their guide to cheap hotels in Paris):
Hotel du Printemps
80 Boulevard de Picpus
Doubles from €108
Its past guests have justly called Hotel du Printemps “the hotel with the best value around Paris.” How else would you label a hotel “de charme,” with such an outstanding staff; offering comfortable, clean, and nicely decorated rooms; situated in a leafy boulevard near the Metro, RER and numerous restaurants? And all this with prices starting as low as €92 for singles and €108 for doubles?!
Hotels with half of these qualities in Paris typically charge two or three times those prices. Additionally, whenever you need to write to hotels requesting for rate information or reservations, the Printemps is among the first to reply, in a thorough and transparent fashion, along with its neighbor, the Lux Hotel Picpus.
Lux Hotel Picpus
74 Boulevard de Picpus
Doubles from €60
This little gem of a hotel is one of a select group of properties in the city that always ranks at the top of “quality/price” rankings by guests. It provides room service, minibar, ensuite bathroom, hairdryer, safe, free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TV and phone—all in an ultra-clean and charming environment. Additionally, the Lux has one of the most professional staffs of any property in its category.
And would you believe that its rates start at €60 for singles and doubles? Indeed, there’s not a better candidate for the “SuperCheapo” category.
Hotel De La Porte Dorée
273 avenue Daumesnil
Doubles from €126.
Located in the vicinity of the Bois de Vincennes and just outside a Metro stop, the Hotel De La Porte Dorée is rightly celebrated for its comfortable rooms, which are individually decorated, air-conditioned and soundproofed as well as equipped with free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV and ensuite bathroom. This tastefully decorated property also has an elevator.
Grand Hotel Doré
201 avenue Daumesnil
Doubles from from €130
Close to Daumesnil Metro station, this is another comfortable property staffed by courteous, friendly and resourceful people and equipped with a lift. Fully renovated, it’s run by one of the oldest families in the Paris hotel business and offers a 24-hour reception and rooms with private bathroom, free Wi-Fi and a satellite TV. Rooms from €130 per night.
Hotel de Reims
26 Rue Hector Malot
Doubles from €100
A favorite budget place of travelers who use the busy Gare de Lyon, the quiet, friendly and recently renovated Hôtel de Reims offers all the customary creature comforts and consistently gets laudatory comments by past guests on account of location, service, and staff. A very good value for money, its doubles start at just €100.
258 Avenue Daumesnil
Doubles from €111
The Sport is a very sought-after hotel in the Bercy quarter, close to a Metro station. Regularly praised for its location and overall comfort as well as its superb breakfast, cleanliness and peacefulness, and professional (even “fantastic”) staff.
Le Quartier Bercy-Square
33 boulevard de Reuilly
Doubles from €98
A stylish property, close to a Metro station and to the Omnisport, this hotel receives high marks for its comfortable and modern rooms, its helpful and professional staff and its overall tidiness. Double rooms start at €98.
Hotel Bel Air
6 rue de la voûte
Doubles from €135
This comfortable design hotel is also located in the Bercy quarter and within walking distance of the Bois de Vincennes and the Château de Vincennes. Each soundproofed and stylish room is equipped with a flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi, a safety deposit box and an ensuite bathroom with free toiletries and a hairdryer. In addition, the property has a nice garden and its guests can access a kitchen area with various useful facilities.
Alfa Hotel Nation
12 Rue Guénot
Doubles from €47
This hotel—officially located in the 11th arrondissement but geographically gravitating resolutely towards the Place de la Nation area—is a popular budget sleep in the “SuperCheapo” vein. Located on a quiet residential street, it’s not only cheap but cheerful. All of its rooms are accessed by a lift and have ensuite bathrooms. They are all equipped with free Wi-Fi as well.
Doubles start at the astonishing price of €47 (those with TV are slightly more) and triples at €65! Its faithful clientele commend its excellent value, relaxing atmosphere, cleanness and special deals (for example, a seventh night is offered free to those guests that stay for six nights). And we thought it couldn’t get cheaper!
The list doesn’t stop here. Below are several more hotels in the 12th that consistently get high marks:
1 Rue Parrot; Doubles from €124
Exceedingly well located, just a five-minute walk from the Gare de Lyon, this clean and comfortable hotel is another find in the area. Guest rooms at the Viator have a private bathroom and are equipped with flat-screen satellite TV and a telephone. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel.
4 Rue Emile Gilbert; Doubles from €105
Another good, tidy budget hotel with a prime location near Gare de Lyon. A great value.
24 Avenue du Bel air; Doubles from €98
A charming and comfortable little hotel near Place de la Nation, the Nouvel has been run by the same family for three generations. Among other nice details, its garden provides a quiet oasis. A real bargain.
Hotel Jules Cesar
52 Avenue Ledru-Rollin; Doubles from €111
This tidy and snug little hotel with soundproofed and air-conditioned rooms, located between Gare de Lyon and Place de la Bastille, offers a solid value.
28 Boulevard Diderot; Doubles from €80
Yet another convenient budget option near Gare de Lyon, the serviceable Helvetia offers en suite accommodation, an elevator, and rooms equipped with TV and free Wi-Fi.
23 Rue de Lyon; Doubles from €95
Praised for its professional staff and low rates, this is another cheap option near the Gare de Lyon.
6 Bis Rue de Lyon; Doubles from €85
A popular budget hotel in the proximity of the Gare de Lyon and the Place de la Bastille. A solid value.
Do your stay in the 12th?
Do you enjoying staying in Paris’ 12 arrondissement? Tell us why you choose it–and where you choose to stay. Leave a comment below.