Getting around Paris and France

Old Sep 12th, 2011, 09:19 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 22
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Getting around Paris and France

My husband and I are flying into Charles de Gaulle airport very soon. We are both EXTREMELY inexperienced, don't speak or understand anything but English, and have very limited experience using public transportation. We are traveling with one carry-on bag each because it's my husband's dream to be very mobile and use the Metro system to get around everywhere. His primary interest is to explore non-tourist types of food places and eat local fare. We have our 1st 2 nights booked, and plan to book the rest as we wander around.

First huge challenge is trying to figure out if it's SIMPLE to get from the airport to our hotel at 1, Rue de Lisbonne, Rosny-sous-Bois by public transportation. I've spent hours trying to figure this out. It talks about walking but doesn't show me where I need to walk and I'm very nervous I won't be able to find the next connection place because I can't speak the language. If it's not practical, does anyone know how much a taxi will cost? We will appreciate any advice (other than saying "stay home") or help so VERY much! Thank you.
RidgeRose is offline  
Old Sep 12th, 2011, 09:30 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 24,301
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You could take the Air France bus into central Paris, then a taxi to your hotel. In your situation I would not want to attempt public transportation right off, especially if it will be after a long flight.

A taxi would cost somewhere around 60 Euros.
Underhill is offline  
Old Sep 12th, 2011, 09:43 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,911
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Most hotels have a website with a map and/or directions. Or you can call and ask.

When giving locations in Paris always use the arrondissement in addition to the address. Few people, even the pros at Fodors, will have any idea where your noname hotel is.

The Air France buses go to only a few locations in Paris. The cost is €15 per person.
spaarne is offline  
Old Sep 12th, 2011, 09:44 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,886
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Um, you are aware that your hotel isn't in Paris - aren't you?

It's in a totally different town - called Rosny-sous-Bois out past the west side of the city - towards disneyland. I'm not sure what sort of train service it has - but it isn;t served by the Metro at all. (There is a planned extension beyond the current end of the line - but not unitl 2014.)

I would look at the hotel web site - or contact them - to find out abou t transports form the airport to the hotel - and from the hotel into Paris.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Sep 12th, 2011, 09:58 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 49,560
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Why did you book a hotel in Rosny-sur-Bois? Do you realize you'll be spending a good part of every day getting into and out of Paris and will totally miss out on the experience of lovely evenings in the city? I can see deciding to stay in a suburb if you've been to Paris a bunch of times before and want to try something new, but for a first visit doesn't make sense.

There are two RER stations in Rosny-sur-Bois: Rosny-sur-Bois and Rosny-sur-Bois Perrier. I have no idea which one is closest to your hotel, but using Google maps you should be able to figure it out.

I would imagine that any place to eat in Rosny-sur-Bois is non-touristy.

If I were you I'd cancel this hotel and book a room that's actually in PARIS.
StCirq is offline  
Old Sep 12th, 2011, 10:03 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 20,952
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It is quite a way from central Paris, near the Rosny stations on RER line E4 and suburban trains (Réseau Est) from the Gare de l'Est. Access from the airport by train would involve a messy change, and the walk from the Rosny stations looks a bit of a pain with luggage, so it might well be worth booking a car service to meet you at the airport and take you direct to the hotel. There are local taxi services, but you would probably need French to deal with them direct. Does the hotel or whoever booked it for you have any contacts? They must have dealt with this situation often enough.

http://www.ratp.fr/plan-interactif/
http://fr.mappy.com/map#d=1,+Rue+de+...France,+France
http://www.pagesjaunes.fr/annuaire/r...-bois-93/taxis
PatrickLondon is offline  
Old Sep 12th, 2011, 10:07 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,179
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
nytraveler is correct, your hotel is far from Paris with virtually no public transportation. The closest RER terminal, Rosny-Bois Perrier, is almost one mile away on foot.

Unfortunately, if you are leaving very soon, you are near Paris in the absolute most difficult time of the year to find hotels. September/October is peak season in Paris and hotel vacancies will be very difficult to obtain. However, I would make every effort to change from this hotel to one within any of the 20 arrondissements of Paris.
Sarastro is offline  
Old Sep 12th, 2011, 10:08 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 34,926
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think you have made a mistake, that is a hotel near Disneyland Paris. You need to change hotels, if possible. It appears to be an industrial or commercial zone.

Otherwise, it looks that the RER station Val de Fontenay is the closest and that will take you into Paris easily enough (on the A or E lines). There is probably a bus that goes from near the hotel to that RER station, but this is going to be a big nuisance, in particular for someone who doesn't typically use public transportation. Perhaps the hotel can tell you more about the bus and where it stops and what line number it is. If you get the line number, you can find the route map on www.ratp.fr

I saw some hotel website saying it was a "13 minute stroll" to the RER station. Hard to tell what speed they are using, but I might guess around 3 miles per hour walking speed, which means it would be over a mile away.

It appears to be about 10 miles from CDG, so a taxi is probably the best idea. That is less distance than to Paris, so I'm guessing it might cost around 30-35 euro.
Christina is online now  
Old Sep 12th, 2011, 10:35 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,179
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Getting back to your original question, virtually the only way to reach this hotel from CDG will be by taxi, about 35€ to 40€.

Secondly, if you only have 2 nights booked, you will want to firm up your accommodations immediately if you want to stay in Paris. Start with the big consolidators such as www.venere.com or www.parisby.com. You might also check with any of the Accor sites:

www.ibis.com
www.novotel.com
www.mercure.com

Expect to pay more than you possibly planned for what will possibly non-optimal locations but anything near any of the 20 arrondissements can work for you.

Again, do this now. You could not be looking for a hotel during a more difficult period of time, this is peak convention/trade show time in Paris.
Sarastro is offline  
Old Sep 12th, 2011, 10:41 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,455
Likes: 0
Received 11 Likes on 4 Posts
I am confused about whether you are going to travel in Paris or in the rest of France or both. The heading says "getting around Paris and France" and you talk about your husband wanting to use the metro system to get around. The metro is only in the city of Paris. There are suburban trains such as the RER from Paris to places such as the town where your hotel is located. And there are other trains to other areas in France.

Did you choose this hotel because you are planning to see things in that area first? Are you planning to take the train to other parts of France? You say you have the first two nights booked and then plan to wander. Where are you planning to wander? General direction? Time frame?

For whatever time you plan to use seeing Paris itself, it is a very good idea to stay in Paris, as the replies above indicate. And you should book a hotel ahead in Paris rather than wander around trying to find one, as that can be difficult and frustrating, especially since you are unfamiliar with the city.

When do you leave?
Nikki is offline  
Old Sep 12th, 2011, 11:14 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,969
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
While exploring non-tourist types of food places and eat local fare is an attainable goal, you need in possession of a different kind of resources to accomplish it.

At touristy places, there are usually infrastructure to handle tourist transportation and those who cannot speak the language. There will be many guide on how to visit these places, which buses to take, where to eat, etc.

Further away from these places, there will be less or non existent infrastructure to support tourists. Trains and buses, if any, will be set to be convenient for commuting to school and the cities with jobs. In order to visit these places, people have to perform independent researches on their own --something incompatible with just wandering around without a sufficient command of the local language.
greg is offline  
Old Sep 12th, 2011, 11:22 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,786
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
While you sort out where to stay, take a look at this blog www.parisbytrain.com a very reassuring blog that guides you through the complex but extremely useful regional transportation in the Isle de France -- no, not an island, but the region surrounding the capital city.
Southam is offline  
Old Sep 12th, 2011, 11:31 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,886
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
IMHO to just wander around France with no plans and no reservations - plus little knowledge of public transit and no French - is going to be quite difficult. And even more so if you are on a strict budget.

If I were you I would put together a rough itinerary, start organizing some hotels and plan - in the big picture - how you will get from place to place. Many smaller towns in France have very limited transit services and to be spending the best part of a day looking for a hotel when you can't speak to the people there will be a challenge.

Don;t misunderstand me, I'm all for wanderng - but within a sttructure. We don;t plan every meal and every minute - and sometimes we decide to stay in a small town for 2 or 3 nights to see what's in the vicinity. But we always do it with a hotel booked, with a car for transportation and with high school French - so we can at least order a meal and understand signs and directions.

Staying on the major tourist trail without any French is very easy - wandering off it could be a big disappointment.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Sep 12th, 2011, 11:40 AM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 22
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you all so much. I am now thoroughly sick to my stomach but it's better to find all this out now instead of when we get there. I'm up to my eyeballs in a community service volunteer effort and just haven't any time to work on this trip. We don't have lots of money to spend and this place seemed like a reasonably priced hotel within a short distance from Paris. Yes, I'd like to stay IN Paris, but, just as all of you are saying, the prices are very high. I'd also like to see some of the basic tourist sights, but this trip is my husband's dream. He doesn't care if he sees nightlife, and would be just as happy outside the hussle/bussle of a city as long as the area is clean and the food good. He wants to look at the architecture, walk the streets, eat french cheese, pasteries, and chat with the regular folk. It's my goal to try to make this trip everything he's ever dreamed of. For that, I don't believe we need to concentrate on Paris.

We leave in about a week. We planned on seeing a couple basic sites in Paris for two days. Then we thought we could jump on a train or the metro until we saw something interesting, then get off and book a room--this wouldn't be IN Paris, but places outside of Paris. I realize there's nothing to see where we're staying so sightseeing there isn't our plan at all. It was a reasonable hotel, which seemed near enough to Paris.

This is the location blurb from the hotel site:
"The hotel is 5km east of Paris and just a 25 minute drive from Disneyland Paris and Charles de Gaulle airport. The hotel is served by Rosny-Bois-Perrier station which is a 10 minute walk. A 15 minute train journey takes you to Paris Centre." A km is less just a bit mroe than half a mile, so it seemed very close to Paris.

Okay, so give all that, how do I rescue this trip?
RidgeRose is offline  
Old Sep 12th, 2011, 11:50 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 934
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
What's the name of your hotel and how much per night are you paying? Is that your limit? Do you know the cancellation policy, i.e. if you could get another hotel IN Paris, would you/could you cancel your current reservation?
hazel1 is offline  
Old Sep 12th, 2011, 11:53 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 934
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
And frankly, you DO need to be in Pairs if you want to accomplish what your husband's goals for this trip are.
hazel1 is offline  
Old Sep 12th, 2011, 12:05 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,179
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Trying to stay outside of Paris to save money on hotel expenses is a false concept of economy. Any savings on hotel, and there will be really very little, will most likely more than consumed by increased transportation expense not to mention time lost to travel.

The RATP website travel estimates do not coincide with those offered by your hotel, plan on 30 minutes once you are underway but that does not include walking to the station and waiting for the next train. Effectively, you should plan on 1 hour from this hotel to central Paris:

www.ratp.fr

What you should do next is attempt to find an hotel in Paris using the steps I provided in post #8. Do not underestimate the power and rewards of being in Paris vs stuck in the suburbs. Do this today.
Sarastro is offline  
Old Sep 12th, 2011, 12:06 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,911
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
<i>
RidgeRose on Sep 12, 11 at 3:40pm
He doesn't care if he sees nightlife, and would be just as happy outside the hussle/bussle of a city as long as the area is clean and the food good. He wants to look at the architecture, walk the streets, eat french cheese, pasteries, and chat with the regular folk. It's my goal to try to make this trip everything he's ever dreamed of. For that, I don't believe we need to concentrate on Paris.

We leave in about a week. We planned on seeing a couple basic sites in Paris for two days. Then we thought we could jump on a train or the metro until we saw something interesting, then get off and book a room--this wouldn't be IN Paris, but places outside of Paris. I realize there's nothing to see where we're staying so sightseeing there isn't our plan at all. It was a reasonable hotel, which seemed near enough to Paris.

This is the location blurb from the hotel site:
"The hotel is 5km east of Paris and just a 25 minute drive from Disneyland Paris and Charles de Gaulle airport. The hotel is served by Rosny-Bois-Perrier station which is a 10 minute walk. A 15 minute train journey takes you to Paris Centre." A km is less just a bit mroe than half a mile, so it seemed very close to Paris.

Okay, so give all that, how do I rescue this trip?</i>

I suggest buying a Michelin Paris Green Guide and Michelin Plan de Paris, map #10. Do your homework before you are put to the test. Amazon.com is your friend.

Just jump on a train? Be prepared. It's not exactly like jumping on a city bus. See http://tinyurl.com/eym5b for an illustrated introduction to European trains.

Seeing as how you only speak English you will primarily be speaking with other American, British, and Australian tourists, and a few Kiwis.

For the best food and wine on the planet take a train out to Burgundy. Dijon and Beaune are my favorites. Get the Michelin Green Guide for Burgundy and map #243.

These maps are readily available in Paris at the bookstores on Bd. Saint Michel. The Green Guides over there are probably French language versions.

The activity of Paris is what I like. It is addictive, like Chicago and Amsterdam.
spaarne is offline  
Old Sep 12th, 2011, 12:08 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 962
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
hazel is right. You need to find a hotel IN Paris within your budget. While it may be high season, it should still be doable. There are lots of perfectly functional lower-priced hotels---my favorite still lists double rooms for 85E.

How long is your trip total? If only a week, day trips from Paris would be better than leaving the city and then returning.
christycruz is offline  
Old Sep 12th, 2011, 12:09 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 4,849
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Oh, boy! I don't know Rosny-sous-Bois, but I looked it up on Google Earth, and you are out in the middle of nowhere! If your husband's dream is to wander around and chat with real folks, and he has no French he may be in for a disappointment. His chances of finding English speaking folks increase exponentially as one leaves the city center.

If you count both the cost of transport into the city, and the cost of your vacation time lost during the commute, you may find it pays to apply this money to a more expensive place to stay in Paris itself.

A frequent poster on this Forum, Kerouac, often speaks of low priced accommodations in his part of Paris; not in the center, but close in. Perhaps he could repeat some of his recommendations.
nukesafe is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -