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    Thread: Paris Trip

    1. Member
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      06-09-2012 06:15 PM #1
      Next March I'm taking my daughters to Paris. I searched the topic here and have read a lot of encouraging responses in other Paris travel threads. I have a few questions...and will add others as they come to me. There seems to be no shortage of people here who have been.

      Metro; An old friend used to live in London, I've been a few times. The tubes are easy. Is the Paris Metro about the same? If I get the Underground, will I get the Metro? You know how the terminal station is on the first carriage of every Underground train (Northern line, Edgware goes north), how are the Metro trains set up?

      As it stands now, the plan is to rent an apartment for a week rather than staying in a hotel. I really want to stay off the beaten path. The challenge is going to be finding an apartment in a neighborhood with a convenient market and a Metro station nearby. What's the common grocery store type market in Paris? Like Tesco or Sainsbury's in the UK?

      Nothing is set in stone for me yet. If anyone has a hotel recommendation feel free to pass them along. There's going to be 3 or 4 of us though, I'm thinking an apartment might actually be cheaper.

      I've read about getting from CDG into the city via the RER. Do I understand correctly that the RER B line is Paris' version of the Heathrow Connect? That it is more of an airport shuttle rather than a regular commuter train? For 8 or 9 euros it seems like a really good deal. I could never bring myself to pay for Heathrow Express tickets.

      I've read about buying the "carnet' packs for the Metro. Also read about the "Navigo" card, like the Oyster. I read a travel blog by a guy who said a station clerk wouldn't sell them Navigo cards. They were told the card was for Paris residents only. This ever happen to anyone? For a week's stay should we buy Navigo cards or stick with Carnet ticket packs.

      Sorry for getting long-winded.

      TIA

    2. 06-10-2012 02:39 PM #2
      These are some very detail oriented questions!

      For the metro- yes, if you can use the tube in London the Paris metro should be no big challenge. The lines designated direction by the terminating station just like in London. As for the carnet packs vs. a navigo card, it has been years since I was in Paris and am not positive. I'll be there next weekend though and will try to find out and report back!

      As for supermarkets, monoprix and super U are two chains that are usually quite easy to find. If you are staying in an apartment and not a hotel, finding a supermarket won't be all that difficult in the Paris metro area.

      I've never rented an apartment in Paris so I'm afraid that's where my experiences stop helping. Best of luck!

    3. Senior Member NoDubJustYet's Avatar
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      06-14-2012 07:53 AM #3
      The metro system is easy... You should be able to figure it out just fine. They sell a pack of 12 tickets that can be used for a few hours at a time - those should be good for getting around. You don't want to spend too much time underground, so make sure you get out and walk!

      The train from CDG is AWFUL! The Roissybus (http://www.ratp.fr/en/ratp/r_28065/roissybus/) is a million times better. There are no stops, it's not crowded and there's climate control. It drops you off at the Paris Opera metro stop. It only cost 1€ a person extra.

      Not sure about renting an apartment - decent hotels in good areas can get pretty expensive. You shouldn't have a hard time finding a grocery.

      ProTips:

      - If you want to go up in the Eiffel Tower, make sure you get there at least 1.5 hours before opening.
      - In order to not stand in line for hours waiting on getting a ticket to get into the Louvre you should buy your entrance tickets in the tobacco shop underground in the mall/metro stop at the Louvre.

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      06-16-2012 01:06 PM #4
      Thanks

      Thanks especially for the bus tip

    5. Senior Member NoDubJustYet's Avatar
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      06-16-2012 01:25 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by kroberts View Post
      Thanks

      Thanks especially for the bus tip
      No problem, we found out the hard way. I'm glad it was May and not August - I can't imagine how much more hot it could have been on that damn train!

      Have fun!

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      07-01-2012 06:28 PM #6
      Any idea off the top of your head what the distance is between Opera and the RERB stop St. Michel - Notre Dame?


      Paris/Bordeux/getting engaged sometime while over there starts on Tuesday!

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      07-07-2012 09:01 PM #7
      Unless time is tight I'd stay several weeks and head out of Paris too. France is a stunning country and everything is a short train ride or days drive away. With 3 or more of you driving may be cheaper. Our next trip to Paris will be include an aPpartment rental. Even if it costs as much as a hotel we'll save money by cooking a few meals. Eating out is damn expensive while the grocer has good/great food well priced. There is a great street market in the Marais that we walked through daily and purchased good fruit and other snacks.

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      07-07-2012 09:08 PM #8
      Unless time is tight I'd stay several weeks and head out of Paris too. France is a stunning country and everything is a short train ride or days drive away. With the cost of airfare included two weeks in France is far less than twice the cost of a week. If your handling many of your meals I'd wager tyat a month is about twice the price of a week if your smart about lodging. With 3 or more of you driving may be cheaper. Our next trip to Paris will be include an apartment rental. Even if it costs as much as a hotel we'll save money by cooking a few meals. Eating out is damn expensive while the grocer has good/great food well priced. There is a great street market in the Marais that we walked through daily and purchased good fruit and other snacks.
      Last edited by garageless; 07-07-2012 at 09:11 PM.

    9. Member bzcat's Avatar
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      07-11-2012 08:56 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by NoDubJustYet View Post
      The train from CDG is AWFUL! The Roissybus (http://www.ratp.fr/en/ratp/r_28065/roissybus/) is a million times better. There are no stops, it's not crowded and there's climate control. It drops you off at the Paris Opera metro stop. It only cost 1€ a person extra.
      It's not so bad if you take the Express RER B train. The local RER B train is slow. However, RER has the advantage of transfers to the Metro so depending on where in Paris you are staying, it makes more sense. Roissybus is ok but it's a long bus ride. Between long bus ride and long train ride, I always choose trains.

    10. Senior Member NoDubJustYet's Avatar
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      07-12-2012 03:29 AM #10
      The lengths of the trips are just about the same... I'd prefer to be on the bus because you're not getting piled on at each and every stop (because there are no stops). The bus also has AC, unlike the train.

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      08-21-2012 08:13 PM #11
      Another Question; I found an apartment I like. It's description says it's very near the Gare du Nord station. I thought I read somewhere that this area is a little rough, especially at night. Is this true? I've been doing a lot of reading lately and could be confused.

      TIA

    12. 08-22-2012 03:13 PM #12
      When I went to Paris last year I stayed @ a hotel near CDG and took the train (RER) into Paris and back everyday/night, it wasn't bad or crowded (I was there over a weekend, so weekday traffic might be different)

      Iirc I bought a transit pass at the Airport that covered travel around city using buses, trains and the metro, and they sold them in different varieties (2 days, 3 days, 5 days).

      My friends and I literally downloaded an app for the phone that had the whole paris metro system.

      or just keep this image on your phone..



      pretty easy to get around.

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      09-14-2012 11:16 PM #13
      I can recommend renting an apartment through:

      Paris Perfect

      We rented the "Grenache" apartment. Perfect location. Not cheap, but nothing in Paris is.

    14. Member HI SPEED's Avatar
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      10-10-2012 06:48 PM #14
      Two websites with a great selection of apartments are

      Wimdu.com

      Airbnb.com

      Another tip is to apply for this credit card

      http://www.britishairways.com/travel...s/public/en_us

      For two reasons. First you get 50,000 miles which may subsidize one of your tickets (although they have a bs transatlantic fuel charge). Secondly, and most importantly it has a RFID chip in it. You will be in for some bad surprises without a chipped card in Paris.

      For instance if you are planning on taking rer from CDG during peak time you will either need exact change in euros or a chipped card. Paris has a a amazing bike rental system that also requires a chipped card.

      Trust me it saved us. We were traveling around unencumbered and saw many Americans getting rejected and frantically searching for ATMs.

      The RFID is the standard in Europe but as of this summer this was the only American card that offered it.

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      10-15-2012 09:30 AM #15
      Hi Speed, Thanks. I had read a little about the european credit cards and ran into this problem a couple times in London last year but I had never thought of applying for a "foreign" credit card.

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