Gare du Nord Station, Paris at 10pm is a rather dark and sketchy situation. It was the perfect setting for a murder or theft, but I was no longer thinking about movies; it was a current possibility. I was expecting to see the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre or maybe Notre Dame Cathedral; instead, I saw lots of homeless people, several run-down buildings, three dingy restaurants, and two hotels.
Paris – the city of love and lights is said to be the city of lovers… the most romantic place on earth; unless your idea of “love” is two people feeling each other up while holding a bottle of wine, each, than try to avoid Gare du Nord Station at night.
I arrived in Paris via Gare du Nord Station with no knowledge of what to expect and nothing booked for the evening. My hotel room had a single bed with dirty sheets and a balcony door that opened to a 7 story drop to the ground. The shower was black with mold and I’m still not sure what color the towel was suppose to be. The only thing I took with me from the hotel was a bad rash from bed bug bits and pessimistic view of Paris.
If you have the option to use any other station in the city, spend the extra money and avoid the disappointment and possible mugging.
Yikes. Sounds bad. I would definitely say to avoid Gare du Nord at night. There is always a lot of people traffic and or homeless people. Sorry to hear about your bad hotel situation. There are some really good hostels in the city if you still need suggestions let me know. Paris is doable, even though it’s rosy reputation may be a bit exaggerated.
Thank you for your response.
After the first night of mishaps in Paris, I really enjoyed my stay and the city. I loved all of the touristy spots like the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, and Notre Dame. The cafes were a dream and the romantic side is definitively there. Even the way the French speak is so beautiful, as long as you are talking to the right person.
I hope to return someday with my husband, but my next visit will be more planned and will allow for a bit more of a budget.
I guess the saying, “you get what you pay for” really applied to my first night in Paris.
I’ll be sure to check out your blog and I appreciate the comments. 🙂
Paris can be tricky and it has a lot of big contrasts as a city. I’m sorry to hear about your disappointment, but somehow I’m not surprised…Paris is full of good and bad surprises. Regarding the hygiene: for my standards is not really on a high level nowhere, if I compare it our country. But Paris is Paris and I think is unique and unforgettable. Thank you for sharing all your nice trips and adventures!
I live in France and Gare de Nord is a no go unless you’re taking the train to the north of Europe. Otherwise keep it moving! All the hotels are dodgy too. I hope you enjoyed other sites in Paris more. Interesting blog! Thanks for liking my post!
Ahaha. yeah, gare du nord is a nightmare! it takes so long to get from the train station to the subway station, and its crowed with lots of people you dont want to be alone with… (like a lot of places in paris actually) glad to hear you enjoyed your stay though!
Paris is my favorite city on this planet.
Thanks for popping by on my blog – I’m enjoying yours 🙂
I remember visiting Paris as an independently-minded University student. The hotel room sounded similar to yours, and the hotel owner chased me down the road to try to make me pay for the room a second time. I then got followed around the Centre Beaubourg by a wierdo in a pink suit who seemed to think he was being subtle….. All in all, I didn’t really get the romantic side of Paris till I went with my husband years later!
Oh yes, I despise Gare du Nord…When we lived in Paris I only went through it a handful of times and always with my hubby in tow. Chatelet (RER/Metro) is another weird one.
Hi Lesley –
Thanks for the warning – I’ll be passing through Gare du Nord on Oct 16 (arriving at 12:30 PM – lunch time) via the Thalys train down from Amsterdam, NL. Then I’ll hit the station again to catch the RER B train to Charles deGaulle Airport some days later. I’m heading over to your Netherlands page next.
haha… that is spot on. great post!