Car Pick-Up Near Paris?

Old Feb 4th, 2008, 06:54 AM
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Car Pick-Up Near Paris?

Hello,
Mom and I are going to France Sept 7-17. I'm debating on whether to do Paris (2-3 days) at the beginning of the trip or at the end.

We'd like to rent a car and focus more on areas outside of Paris (eg, Alsace) but want to give Mom a taste of Paris.

Is it better to go straight from the airport to Paris upon arrival, spend 2-3 days then rent a car and see the country? If so, should I pick the car up back at the airport or is there a convenient pick-up in Paris?

Or, should I rent a car at the airport upon arrival, see the country, then drop the car back at the airport then shuttle/taxi in to Paris?

Thanks for your help.
ambage is offline  
Old Feb 4th, 2008, 07:32 AM
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I would not drive in Paris. Where does your flight land? (CDG or Orly)
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Old Feb 4th, 2008, 07:40 AM
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Personally I would do to Paris first as you may be jet lagged and driving in unfamiliar surroundings might not be so fun. You can pick up a car at one of the train stations--Gare Lyon, is right near the expressway/autoroute and easy to jump on without having to drive through the city.

If you have driven in a city, it is not that much different in Paris, or other European cities with the exception of tons of one way streets and whether you can read the signs. That you can easily learn though.
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Old Feb 4th, 2008, 08:07 AM
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For ease of getting the rental car we prefer to rent at CDG upon arrival and do our driving, then return the car to orly and taxi to our hotel. The taxi to CDG for return home.
Why only 2-3 days to give your mom a "taste of Paris". She might well appreciate a bigger "taste". ANYone would.
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Old Feb 4th, 2008, 08:44 AM
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Linda,
Our flight lands at CDG.
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Old Feb 4th, 2008, 02:24 PM
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I would pick the car up upon arrival. It's easier getting out of Paris from CDG than getting to the city. (MHO) You could take your time in the countryside, then drop the car off on your way into Paris for your last few days.

I don't know what city Cherrybomb is accustomed to driving in, but Paris is the only city where I've ever seen 4 or 5 lanes of traffic with no lines in the road.

But since it doesn't sound like you're planning to drive within the city anyway, it's probably not relevant.

The only problem with doing Paris first, then taking the car for your countryside trip is what to do about that last night. You would need to either spend your last night someplace close to the airport, allowing a bunch of time to turn in the car, get the shuttle to the terminal, go through security, check in,...ugh. I'm getting stressed just thinking about it. We've done that once.

Otherwise, (still doing Paris at the beginning scenario) you would have to go back to Paris for the last night anyway, turn the car in in the city somewhere and take a taxi to the airport the next morning.

Assuming of course that your flight leaves in the A.M. If not, your options are more open.
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Old Feb 4th, 2008, 02:38 PM
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Last time we went to Alsace we rented a car upon arrival at CDG and spent our first night at the Chateau de Fere, a favorite hotel and one fairly close to the airport. Then we stopped in Reims and Nancy on the way.

There are also arguments in favor of seeing Paris first, then taking a train somewhere and renting a car. There is a very fast train from Paris to Strasbourg.
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Old Feb 4th, 2008, 02:47 PM
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I drive occasionally in NYC/ Jersey (we have a car that we rarely use and share with another couple), though have driven *in* Paris, on route to and through Beaune, Dijon, Avignon, Troyes, countless unknown French stop-offs, Lisbon--actually not so bad, Porto, Evora was tiny and a nightmare compared to city driving, several other towns in Portugal + autoroute and back roads there, Barcelona, surrounding areas, Vancouver, large US cites that are worthless to name but include Dallas, Charleston, Seattle, Minneapolis, Chicago, Boston, Kauaii. Anything on Long Island during high season is worse than hills and stick shifts and not understanding signs in a foreign country. Italy through Rome, avoiding Florence, out-skirting Siena...Um, that is all I can think of at the moment. I'm sure others have driven more.

Really, it is not so bad, you get right on the A route and drive. Stay on the right if feeling slow. Frankly, etiquette has you driving on the right anyhow.

I really would not suggest driving after a long flight, even if you know your city. Just my opinion. Take or leave. Also you save monet\y on the cab from the airport if budget is a concern.
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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 10:33 AM
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As RonZ mentioned, the fast train from Stasbourg. You could even drive to Alsace and leave the car there, taking the train back to Paris.
I have driven in Paris, long ago, and there is nothing fun about it. I have lived in NYC and driven there, but there is much more "rhyme and reason" to that city with the added plus of being able to read the signs.
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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 10:43 AM
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If one orders the tickets early enough, it would be cheaper to take the train from Paris to Strasbourg than to drive. I found a one way Paris Strasbourg for 19€, although this may be an off-season price. It may be best to consider round trip train tickets (or two one way tickets) ordered 90 days in advance for the best price.
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