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A few ( stupid) questions 1st time to Paris

A few ( stupid) questions 1st time to Paris

Old Oct 22nd, 2014, 01:29 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Metro-Underground-Subway-BART-MBTA etc are all great ways to go comparatively long distances in a hurry.

When I am on vacation, I am not in a hurry, so I find it more interesting to take the bus (or tram/trolley). That said, no one who uses public transportation at home should worry for one second about taking the Metro in Paris.

As to pickpockets, they are not equally distributed throughout the Metro any more than they are equally distributed throughout the city. Pickpockets go where tourists go. Thus the Line 1 Metro has lots, and other lines have few or none. Ditto stations: thousands of overseas visitors pass through Gare du Nord and Chatelet. A much higher proportion of those passing through, say, Gare Montparnasse are likely to be French, and I would be surprised if the crime statistics weren't lower. By the way, I was not at all aware that Gare du Nord itself was troubled by pickpockets as opposed to the lines running through it.

Again, people who live in cities with public transportation are prepared to deal with all this.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2014, 01:43 AM
  #22  
 
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If you need familiarising with the public transport system, this is a pretty good overview:

http://goparis.about.com/od/transpor..._and_Buses.htm
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Old Oct 22nd, 2014, 06:34 AM
  #23  
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Thank you all for the information. I will try and post a trip report when I return, although I swore off reviews after I posted a report of a cruise we took on Carnival Cruise lines. Boy, people sure get worked up if you criticize something they think is great!
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Old Oct 22nd, 2014, 07:16 AM
  #24  
 
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LOL!

BTW, my advice about the Metro is the same advice I give about all subway systems: Avoid them at rush hour, especially avoid attempting to buy tix at that time, and you'll be fine.

Enjoy. And I can't wait to tear apart your trip report.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2014, 07:23 AM
  #25  
 
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Museum pass is a good way to avoid long queues if you go through specially designated entrances at the Louvre.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2014, 08:04 AM
  #26  
 
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By the way, I was not at all aware that Gare du Nord itself was troubled by pickpockets as opposed to the lines running through it.>

No the Grandes Lignes or main part of the station is not IME a problem - only when crowding at turnstiles or boarding trains, etc and there is a problem worse than on the Champs-Elysees there for sure - anyone who knows much about Paris would say that. Just because of very crowded areas where folks can easily move up behind you in a seemingly normal way but as I have actually seen try to take something out of someone's bag, etc.

Again not to make a big deal - just be careful in mob scenes - once aboard the train it's fine - getting on and off is the only problem.

This is what the American Embassy says about the metro and pickpockets:

<On the metro: The most popular is the crush and grab. You will be swarmed by several people all trying to get on or off. While they are pushing you, they are also picking your pockets. Another trick is to grab the purse of someone sitting right by the door and to hop off just as the doors are closing. To avoid being a victim, try to find a seat away from the doors. If you can't sit, back yourself up against one of the sides. Try to minimize access to your pockets and purses.>

again common sense and precautions = no problem = saying there is no problem can lead to a false sense of total security.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2014, 08:08 AM
  #27  
 
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I also wonder who said to avoid the metro as it was too dangerous -- especially when they were speaking to a New Yorker?

However, there is some crime on the metro, of course (muggings, not just pickpocketing), but it is more in certain lines and late at night. For a typical tourist, it isn't a problem.

It is not true that you are no more likely to be pickpocketed on the metro than in otehr spots, even the Champs-Elysees. You most certainly are, and some lines in particular have more pickpocketing (line 1, for example). Of course the Champs-Elysees if full of tourists so there is pickpocketing there, but the metro is still more likely because you are closer to people. It is not helfpul to dismiss the pickpocketing problem, and pooh pooh it--maybe the OP is a savvy NYer who takes the subway there, but many tourists act very carelessly and are pickpocketed. And I bet there is more pickpocketing in Paris than NY, also, just seems to be a more popular crime in Europe for some reason.

I would take a taxi if it is late at night and you are rather far from your hotel and it could take a long time and transfers to get home.

Don't buy any Paris pass. Buy the museum pass if you want to, no one can tell you what to do on that one, it depends how many of the museums you plan to visit per day as to whether it makes sense.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2014, 09:25 AM
  #28  
 
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Central Paris is very walkable - many major sights are in a compact area - you may ride the metro much less than you think and walking is so so fun - it is often what I stroll by in between the blockbuster sights that is the most interesting - the street shops, cafes, even the many clochards!
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Old Oct 22nd, 2014, 09:43 AM
  #29  
 
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the Museum Pass I always find a bargain for my plans - I only buy it if I am visiting several museums during the coverage time I buy - and just a few major museums can make the pass pay off - and a big plus is sidestepping the oft long lines at places like the Louvre or Versailles (also covered) - buy it at a lesser museum to avoid waiting in line but no need to buy it in advance.

And there are many neat museums that I pop into with the pass that I would not have sans having one - even places like the Pantheon can cost a lot but with the pass I marshall all such sites into the few days I will have the pass. Plus you can come and go in places like the Louvre - a few hours one day a few another, etc.

Transit passes are more problematic as yes most will find they need to take the metro far less than they planned - the Mobilis Pass though can pay off with just several normal rides in the week-long coverage period which unfortunately I think is still Monday to Sunday only - so if it comports with your time and you know you will ride the metro once or twice a day or several times then it may actually be cheaper than buying carnets - tickets sold in groups of 10 (can be shared with anyone else) that equal the price of about 6 individual full fare tickets.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2014, 09:58 AM
  #30  
 
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1. I don't think anyone who lives in NYC needs as many warnings about pickpockets as have been given here by people trying to be helpful but who have perhaps never heard of NYC and conditions there.

In any case, just for the record, the crime rate on the street is six times greater than the crime rate in the metro. Neither rate is very high, but it just goes to show how wrong perceptions can be. There are two reasons for this: 1. People are a lot more cautious about their surroundings and their belongings in the metro. 2. Criminals do not feel safe in the metro because it is under total video surveillance and they are just as afraid of getting trapped in a narrow corridor as anyone else. Out on the street, they can run in any direction.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2014, 10:12 AM
  #31  
 
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>>It is not true that you are no more likely to be pickpocketed on the metro than in otehr spots, even the Champs-Elysees. You most certainly are, and some lines in particular have more pickpocketing (line 1, for example). Of course the Champs-Elysees if full of tourists so there is pickpocketing there, but the metro is still more likely because you are closer to people. It is not helfpul to dismiss the pickpocketing problem, and pooh pooh it--feel more threatened on the Metro . . . but will be more threatened on the street. But like kerouac says . . . both places will be very safe.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2014, 10:37 AM
  #32  
 
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You are simply wrong Christina. (maybe read kerouac's post)>

despite your high dudgeon to prove you are right you are not quoting kerouac correctly - he said on the streets not on the Uber Safe Champs-Elysess with cops everywhere and you naively IMO compared the metro to. I guess the American Embassy just issues those advisories without any basis?

anyways to say it is silly to worry about crime on the metro is the ultimate terrible advice based on ignorance - kerouac says crime on metro is lower than on streets in general because in part people are super vigilant - tell them they are silly to be super vigilant and they may be victims.

https://www.google.com/search?q=pick...w=1455&bih=977

Note the easy targets who do get victimized - day packs on your back - anything in a back pocket, etc. Even a little over exaggeration of the problem is better IMO than saying there is none.

That said the problem with street crime in Paris is often due to folks who find a gem on the ground or a watch and then pcik it up to sell to you - the old scams - or like my friend in a McDonalds getting his I-phone stolen by a ruse with two young Romani gals - one distracted him with some pleading hand-written note whilst the other stole his phone - this can happen IME when buying metro tickets from machines - locals may offer to help you thru it even without being asked - you may be victimized or get useless tickets, etc.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2014, 11:22 AM
  #33  
 
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Jeeze PQ (!). . . I simply used the Champs as an example (one the OP may have heard of) . . . Pick any old street you want.

This is getting sooooooooo tiring.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2014, 12:56 PM
  #34  
 
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While I was browsing in the gift shop of the Musee D'Orsay last week, an announcement was made over the loudspeaker cautioning visitors about pickpockets.

DH said he saw about a half a dozen people immediately feel their pockets for their wallets! Open season for the pickpockets in the Musee D'Orsay that morning!
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Old Oct 22nd, 2014, 12:59 PM
  #35  
 
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There may be 6 times as many crimes committed on streets than in the metro but we are talking about pickpockets and bag snatchers not crime in general - statistics can be misleading and all streets or like in our big cities is such street crime localized to a few areas?

statistics or not there is a threat of being pickpocketed in crowded metro stations or mobs boarding or de-boarding as the U S Embassy seems to think is serious enough to warm about. It is not a silly concern as the clueless may say.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2014, 01:27 PM
  #36  
 
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The reason people sometimes say "silly concern" is that it is blown completely out of proportion by the alarmists, not because it should not be taken into consideration.

Back to the OP -- I would recommend "Chez Papa" which is close to your hotel on rue Gassendi, which borders the Montparnasse cemetery near Denfert-Rochereau. All of the Chez Papa restaurants are very popular, so I recommend eating early if you go there -- before 1pm for lunch and before 7:30pm for dinner unless you don't mind waiting in line for 15-20 minutes.

http://www.chez-papa.com/
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Old Oct 22nd, 2014, 02:36 PM
  #37  
 
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We HAVE experienced the gypsy girls on the metro and I yelled at them to get out of my way--they pushed onto the car at the last minute--and when "outed" jumped off. Bunch of thug girls
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Old Oct 22nd, 2014, 03:59 PM
  #38  
 
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Metro is great...so are the buses...and, as stated above, walk, walk walk!

Depending on what days you will be there, a 1-week pass (zones 1 & 2) can be very good...BUT...it only runs from Monday to Sunday, not any 7 days. I've found that if you can use it for four days, it's worth it.

With it you can hop on/off buses at will and take the Metro all over the main "tourist-site-rich" parts of the city (which are in zones 1-2).

The only way to determine if the Museum Pass is worth it is to make a list of which museums you are going to see and do the math. Even if the pass is a little more costly than individual entry fees, it may be worth it for the ability to stop in any time, leave and return, and do quick visits to minor museums that you might not otherwise visit...and in some cases skip the long lines.

SS
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Old Oct 22nd, 2014, 04:12 PM
  #39  
 
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We were just in Paris and climbing the steps out of Metro stations was more difficult for me than it had ever been in the past.

I hailed a taxi on the street, not for the first time, just the most recent time. He was a few yards away and I called "taxi." He stopped.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2014, 04:23 PM
  #40  
 
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You can hail any taxi in Paris if you more than 50 meters from a taxi station.
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