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Confused with tranportation in Paris-need HELP PLEASE!

Confused with tranportation in Paris-need HELP PLEASE!

Old May 2nd, 2005, 09:34 AM
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Confused with tranportation in Paris-need HELP PLEASE!

Arriving via Eurostar to Gare du Nord. We are a family of 6 with all carry-on size luggage and want the least expensive but not too complicated way to rue du Champs de Mars. Taxi was suggested by concierge but we will need two and it sounds a little pricey. Would it be too difficult to use the metro?

Also, we will need to get from rue du Champs de Mars to Gare du Lyon for a TGV train to Geneva. Any suggestions on the best way (other than taxi unless this is really the best option)to get there?

Thanks so much. I've printed out maps for the buses and RER as well as have a Streetwise map of Paris, but I'm very confused!
Nancy45 is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2005, 10:01 AM
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If you plan to acquire transport passes, the trip to the hotel will be virtually free of cost. Look for threads about Carte Orange and Paris Visite.

I'd take the #42 bus (just outside Gare du Nord on the northeast side). It goes right through the scenic heart of the right bank, over the river to the Eiffel Tower.

You will alight at the stop named "Rapp-La Bourdonnais" and walk a block south.

If your destination is closer to the east end of Rue du Champ de Mars, there is a bus connection that will get you a little closer. What is the address you are going to?

Gare de Lyon is also accessible by bus by taking the #82 to the #91. If this option appeals to you, you can get the exact routing at


(Choose &quot;Bus, Tramway&quot; instead of &quot;All modes&quot;.)
Robespierre is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2005, 10:03 AM
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My family of five arrived at Gare du Nord and took a cab to our apt near Champs de Mars. Very easy, which was key with young ones and luggage (even though ours was also carry on).
DanM is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2005, 10:15 AM
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How old are your children (I'm assuming by family you mean 2 adults and 4 children)?

The Paris Metro has lots of stairs and you may have difficulty with the children and luggage.

Do you have 6 pieces of luggage? If so, and if some of your children are young, I would suggest cabs (sometimes there are station wagons and you can fit into 1 cab). Sometimes it's best to do the easiest thing and safest thing and economize elsewhere.

You could ask your concierge for a mini-van service. Perhaps this is less expensive than cabs.
adrienne is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2005, 10:25 AM
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Nancy: You'll get some good advice, but let me suggest that the one time to &quot;splurge&quot; on taxis is upon arrival and departure. (Ignore any of my previous posts that may suggest otherwise; I've learned the hard way). Besides, with 6 people a taxi may be comparable in cost to 6 metro tickets.
Bitter is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2005, 10:26 AM
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Taxi is the easiest, but with 6 you would need either a minivan taxi or two taxis.
With only carry on bags you should be able to negotiate public transport. From GdN take Metro 4 (direction Porte d'Orleans) transfer at Strasbourg St Denis to Metro 8 (direction Balard) and get off at Ecole Militaire, walk just a couple blocks up Av Bosquet.

From Ecole Militaire to GdLyon, take Metro 8 (direction Creteil) transfer at Concorde to Metro 1 (direction Ch. de Vincennes)to GdLyon.
Seamus is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2005, 10:50 AM
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I think advice might differ based on the makeup of that group in terms of age, abilities to tote luggage, familiarity with metro systems, etc. Even how much that luggage really is, as most any luggage is carryon size to a train, but what I carryon a train is nothing I would want to lug around Paris metro/RER systems or the bus, especially not multiplied by 6 people. There is a big difference in a single weekend duffle or totebag vs. a 22&quot; rolling suitcase plus large hand totebag plus purse, for example. The latter is normal luggage to me, but I carry it on.

There is a compromise--folks with the most luggage or children or oldest or whatever could take a cab and two others go by metro who are best able to deal with that. I really don't think that cab ride is expensive considering what you are doing, even with two cabs (which you will need with 6), since that is a cost split between three people I don't consider about 5 euro per person really expensive for transportation when arriving in a city, and wouldn't go through so much hassle to avoid that minor cost.

Actually, if you are really very confused just by thinking about this, I think it is not the best option for you, as it's not particularly confusing or difficult in concept--any large city with buses and metro is fairly similar in you read a map, follow the line, etc.
Christina is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2005, 11:00 AM
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The #42 bus as Robespierre said or a taxi.If you ended up in 2 taxis it would probably be about 10E each one. I would not try the Metro.
Gretchen is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2005, 11:12 AM
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With four teenagers, I wouldn't hesitate to take public transport. The M&eacute;tro option is slightly more rigorous, because it requires going up and down and changing lines adds some (but not a lot of) walking.

The bus is more attractive to me because it affords a more scenic view of the city and the changes (if required) don't usually require walking further than across a street.

If you print out the &quot;&Eacute;cole Militaire&quot; map at


you will see your street at the top left. The #80 and #92 buses come right down Avenue Bosquet, crossing Rue du Champ de Mars just off the top of the map. They both stop at Rue de Grenelle. These details are visible on the &quot;La Tour Maubourg&quot; map at the above URL.
Robespierre is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2005, 11:25 AM
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I always take the Metro, kids and all, but you should do what is easiest for you. The concierge idea is a good one.
SAnParis is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2005, 11:34 AM
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24, rue du Champ de Mars is on the northwest corner of the intersection with Avenue Bosquet.

Bus #42 will get you within a 5-minute walk at Rapp-La Bourdonnais, but if you'd rather not hike that far, get off at Alma Marceau and grab the next #80 at the same stop. It will drop you at Bosquet-Grenelle; r. du Champ de Mars is at the far end of the block where you alight.
Robespierre is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2005, 03:51 PM
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I have to agree with Bitter unless you are already familiar with the Paris Metro and/or bus system. I would at least opt for the taxi ride upon arrival. Once you are familiar with the public transportation system, you might opt for it for your departure.
KathrynT is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2005, 04:45 PM
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For the benefit of anyone reading this thread who might be daunted by the alleged complexities of the bus and M&eacute;tro networks, may I recommend an excellent on-line primer on the subject:


Print it out and take it along; it explains <i>everything</i> (from how to read signs to buying tickets) down to the tiniest detail.
Robespierre is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2005, 05:05 PM
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Good guide, Robespierre. Do the buses have special areas for luggage? I'm trying to imagine six people with &quot;stuff&quot; getting on and off a bus. Looking at Metro, seems like longer route, while busing it would be scenic and convenient (~door to door). Part of the answer is how comfortable you feel when arriving in a new city, and whether you want the first &quot;interaction&quot; with transport to be easy (grab a cab) or bit more adventurous (find ticket booth, buy ticket, find bus, directions on when to get off bus....)
Either way, enjoy Paris!
Michel_Paris is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2005, 06:15 PM
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There's plenty of room on the buses for each person to shepherd his/her luggage.

If I were going from &Eacute;cole Militaire to Gare de Lyon by M&eacute;tro (my second choice), I'd take Ligne 8 to Op&eacute;ra and RER A from Auber to Gare de Lyon (2nd stop) rather than slugging it out on Ligne 1 (8th stop).
Robespierre is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2005, 06:15 PM
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Our family of 5 and plenty of luggage arrived at the Gare du Nord off the Eurostar in January this year. There were a number of minivan taxis outside waiting and we took one of these to our hotel. They were obviously hoping to pick up passengers off the Eurostar.

One word of warning, the price charged was fairly exorbitant. They did tell me the price before we got in and I knew it was too much but, as one of the children was sick, I was just grateful that we didn't have to travel by metro as I had originally planned. If this hadn't been the case I would have haggled as there were a number there to compete against each other.
shandy is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2005, 07:08 PM
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I also meant to add that if you wanted to &quot;haggle&quot; a bit with the driver regarding price, a bargaining point could be that if his cost is reasonable you will book him again for the trip to Gare du Lyon when you leave. We have done this before and it has worked well. The taxi driver has just given us his mobile number to call him direct when we are leaving.
shandy is offline  
Old May 3rd, 2005, 02:54 AM
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Then you didn't take a taxi Parisienne--they would have charged you only what was on the meter, not a set price before. There is also a small surcharge for being picked up at the Gare and for each piece of luggage and for the 2 (in your case) extra persons over 3. But these charges would be added to the meter charge.
Gretchen is offline  
Old May 3rd, 2005, 05:24 AM
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Would those mini-van cabs fit 4 adults comfortably? Thanks.
wliwl is offline  
Old May 3rd, 2005, 05:25 AM
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Great link! Thanks!
wliwl is offline  

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