Getting around Paris and France

Old Sep 13th, 2011, 05:33 AM
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Here's something to investigate for hotels under $100 in Paris: http://www.anyportinastorm.proboards...ad=3582&page=1
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Old Sep 13th, 2011, 06:39 AM
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RidgeRose...don't worry about the troll comment...listen to Kerouac, he lives in Paris and is always encouraging us to get outside of the most central, tourist areas of Paris!
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Old Sep 13th, 2011, 09:36 AM
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Ridgerose, Perhaps you didn't plan carefully, but your trip is important to you and your husband and worth this last minute change. Most of the members above are very experienced and I believe them when they say, CANCEL this hotel! I don't even know where it is and would never waste a trip to Paris in such an obscure location.

Here are four hotels IN Paris that meet your budget and have consistently excellent reviews for their price range:

1. Hotel de la Herse D'Or,(Marais, 4th Arrondissement)
economy double, 79 Euros/ comfort double, 109 Euros.
http://www.parishotelherseor.com/hotel-herse-dor-paris/

2. Hotel de la Porte Doree, (12th Arr.)
doubles start at 57 Euros.
http://www.hoteldelaportedoree.com/

3. Hotel le Laumiere (19th Arr.)
doubles start at 64 Euros.
http://www.hotel-lelaumiere.com/htgb/0001.htm

4. Hotel Armstrong, (20th Arr.)
doubles start at 64 Euros.
http://www.armstrong-paris-hotel.com/pages/hotel_1.html

Instead of 'wandering around France', you may want to consider basing in Paris and taking some beautiful day
trips. Within an hour you can be in the countryside, enjoy the day and the shift in culture from big city to village, yet have a base to come home to at night...much cheaper, yet satisfying.

Two great books:

'An Hour From Paris', Anabel Simms, (with great detail about how to get there by train),
http://www.amazon.com/Hour-Paris-Ann...5931432&sr=1-1

'Paris to the Past: Travelling through French History by Train', Ina Caro,
http://www.armstrong-paris-hotel.com/pages/hotel_1.html
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Old Sep 13th, 2011, 09:58 AM
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For public transport to your hotel from CDG, try this:

http://www.ratp.fr/itineraires/fr/ra...pe/plus_rapide

Your choices are beyond regular posters omprehension here. Not the best choices for what you state you want, but public transport IS available to within 4 minutes walk of your hotel. As you can see, it's not simple either, with no French language capabilities.
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Old Sep 13th, 2011, 11:08 AM
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Also try

http://www.hotel-paris-orient.com/ (in the 8th)

www.paris-hotel-lion.com (14th)

www.paris-hotel-7art.com (4th)
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Old Sep 13th, 2011, 12:25 PM
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You don't want to break the news that the hotel is a dump and located miles from Paris? I thought this was his dream trip... why doesn't he have a look at the interwebs and get involved?

Nobody can be THAT busy they can't even do s bit of research online. I hope this works out for you.
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Old Sep 13th, 2011, 02:35 PM
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But that itinerary shown involves taking 3 buses just to get near the hotel from CDG. And it isn't clear what bus schedules would be available at any particular day and time. And it doesn't solve the main problem of how to get to/from Paris easily from the hotel.

Those choices are not beyond my little brain's comprehension, I knew there would probably be some circuitous bus route. I just don't see that as very realistic for the OP who is not even comfortable with regular public transport in their native language.
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Old Sep 13th, 2011, 02:56 PM
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Of what value to the OP (who will be carrying luggage and be extremely tired after an all night transatlantic voyage) is a bus route requiring multiple connections over a route they have never seen in a country they have never visited? There is no way the OP will be able to recognize the transfer points where they will need to descend from one bus to catch another.

It´s quite clear that this poster is not sufficiently versed in public transportation to successfully complete such a trip and to even suggest it illustrates a complete lack of sensitivity to the unique transportation issues this poster will face.
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Old Sep 13th, 2011, 03:05 PM
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As I said before, even attempts to use MUCH simpler transportation will leave them lost and frantic. And even if they DID have the know-how about public transport and good French skills - maybe even PARTICULARLY if they did, like many of us here - why on EARTH would they want to do all that schlepping around?

So it's possible, yes. So is walking from the airport to wherever that boon-town is...but why would anyone do it?
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Old Sep 13th, 2011, 04:01 PM
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RidgeRose, I think you should cancel your trip until you can have a better plan. I would also suggest doing a guided tour (although I know most Fodorites like to travel on their own -- myself included). But in your situation and since you are a first time visitor with very little knowledge of the region you are going to and you don't know the language or have friends who live locally, it's not a good idea to just show up on your own.

You should cancel your trip until you figure everything out or else you will be wasting your money and have a horrible time!
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Old Sep 13th, 2011, 04:10 PM
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I think we've been all the help we can be at this point.

Frankly, I think canceling her trip would be an overreaction. Paris is a fun city to do without much of an itinerary, and really is not that hard to do even without any French.

IF she can find a new hotel, which I think is totally possible.
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Old Sep 13th, 2011, 04:50 PM
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Only thing need to cancel is hotel. We will get you into the city and help plan the sightseeing. No need to worry, it can be worked out.

If I had to simplify, I would say plan to have a hotel near a RER trainstop. That way , you arrive at airport, get return ticket for into and back from central paris, hop on train, get off at specific station, walk to hotel. No switching to metro line. If you feel comfortable, take a cab.

The RER line B starts at CDG, only one line so no need to choose. Going back just be sure it is the CDG stop, not Mitry (fork in the line!)

For example, ideally something near St Michel or Jardin de Luxembourg stops would work fine. Can walk to a lot of sites, near Seine, Notre dame, etc..
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Old Sep 13th, 2011, 05:46 PM
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I am suspicious that many of my follow posters have never actually look for hotel vacancies for September during the month of September. What RidgeRose needs, and needs quickly, is a hotel; anywhere within the 20 arrondissements of Paris. This will not be easy and I recommend she uses consolidators and she should try some of those basic hotels listed by Kerouac (though many of the names on his list are very well know and are normally booked months in advance; Hotel Chopin is an example).

At this point, any other suggestion is a nuance and a distraction from the main objective - a place to stay.
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Old Sep 13th, 2011, 06:23 PM
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To add to Sarastro...because the public transit system is good within the city boundaries, you don't have to feel that if you are not in the central districts that you are "way out". My last trip I stayed in a nice area beyond the Eiffel tower, and it only took me ~20 minutes to get to teh heart of the city.

September is a busy month in Paris.

have a look at this hotel chain. Basic, some good locations (I stayed at their Jardin des Plantes location, very good area)

http://www.timhotel.com/en/home.htm
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Old Sep 13th, 2011, 08:15 PM
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We are definitely NOT cancelling our trip but we ARE DEFINITELY cancelling our original hotel. I've been researching for hours and finally understand the different districts and have many options all printed out. We're ranking our choices tomorrow and will start calling. One place that looked and sounded interesting was Hotel Henri IV which was supposedly renovated in 2009. Any opinions?

Thank you all so VERY much. Once we have a place to stay, we'll start hitting all the other research links.
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Old Sep 13th, 2011, 09:33 PM
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Congratulations, RidgeRose! You have definitely stirred up this community!

You've gotten some really excellent help so far, these are good people!

Here's a fast intro for when you go hotel shopping in Paris.

Paris is made up of 20 "arrondissements" (which I'll translate loosely as "townships"). The arrondissements are arranged in a curling, snail-like pattern. Look at this wikipedia article with it's associated map and you'll get the idea.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrondissements_of_Paris

The smaller the number of the arrondissement (numbers 1-7), the closer you are to the center of Paris and to its main attractions. Obviously, the hotels here are more expensive.

The less expensive but decent hotels are more in the second circle; there are quite a number of hotels in the 13th and 14th arrondissements.

What the above posters have advised is that you should find a hotel within these arrondissements, preferably, of course, the smaller the arrondissement number, the better for your purposes.

I went into Tripadvisor and looked under "Paris Hotels" and I took the price space bar arrow to allow for a range of "$0 - $100". I also read the negative reviews first.

Here are a few that didn't get some bad reviews:

Hotel Manet (13th arrondissement)

Hotel Agnor (14th)

Ermitage Hotel Sacre Coeur (18th)

If you go on the Tripadvisor.com website for the Paris Hotels and then click on the "B&B" circle, you'll get a list of B&Bs or small apartments.

B&B VIP Champs Elysees

B&B Delareyne

Apartments assume that you are more independent travelers and you may feel more comfortable in a hotel with a service desk available to you at all hours. Paris hotel rooms are generally quite small, so don't carry too much luggage with you.

The suggestion to base in Paris is a good one. I would second that and suggest that, for this trip, you do not go too far afield.

How long is your trip again? There is so much to see i nParis that 3 or 4 full days would be good. Then you could go to Versailles and, if you have more travel days, go to the Loire Valley to see the Chateaux (castles) and one of the wine regions of France. You should probably book a tour of the Loire Valley.

Once you've decided how long you are going to spend where and once you have your Paris hotel set, then come back and we'll offer more suggestions and tips.

Just one step at a time and you'll have a great trip planned!
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Old Sep 14th, 2011, 02:55 AM
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Even if you arrive without a hotel reservation, you will not sleep in the street. Although September is the busiest time of year for hotels of the category of 3-stars and above (and even 2-star chain hotels), there remain hundreds of hotels in Paris that will have rooms in the outer arrondissements -- because they are not in the guidebooks and not on the internet. For example, near my metro station (Marx Dormoy), there are about 8 hotels within a 300 meter radius, and I have almost never seen any of them use their "no vacancy" sign -- but these are very modest hotels which charge 40 or 50€ and are not of much interest to a lot of tourists from North America (but of plenty of interest to tourists from the rest of Europe). You need the metro or bus to go to any of the major sights, and even though it's only a 15 minute ride in most cases, such areas get crossed off the list of people looking for maximum convenience rather than maximum economy.

A technique that I used in olden times when I arrived in a city with no hotel reservation was to check my bag at the train station and just explore until I found a hotel that suited me. When you are not lugging baggage around, you are a lot less likely to fall prey to the first crummy hotel that has a room. I would often inspect 4 or 5 hotels with my hands in my pockets and tell them "thank you -- maybe I'll be back later" -- and I usually would indeed go back to one of them.
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Old Sep 14th, 2011, 04:57 AM
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Several of you have put me more at ease and Kerouac, your words were really encouraging. Before meeting my husband, I used to plan and book every hotel in any area we were traveling in the US. He likes to walk around and see what's available which has really proved to work over the last 23 years. But again, that's in the US. We really don't require much, so smaller hotels will definitely work. We're packing one roll-around carry-on each, so we won't be bogged down with luggage. With everyone's help, we've found about 15 hotels that could work and he's going to start calling hotels in a few minutes. My #1 is Hotel Henri IV which is right in the center, offers breakfast with the room and includes a bathroom in your room. The reviews on Eurocheap were good, but I'm hoing someone knows this place before we call!
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Old Sep 14th, 2011, 06:39 AM
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Hotel BOOKED! It wasn't easy. Called almost all of them before booking at the Hotel New Orient, 16 Rue de Constantinople,75008, Paris. It's way more than we have in our budget, but feel fortunate to have a place to stay at least for the first two nights. We heard back from
hoteldirecteurope.com and they know we want to cancel our reservation. I attached the reviews from Trip Advisor so they could read them. I'm hoping they're going to agree not to charge the $30 cancellation fee because it's a personal safety issue.

We are now ready to concentrate on using all the wondeful links everyone has sent us to figure out how to get around, etc. Once again, I could not have done it without you all. My sincere thanks to everyone!
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Old Sep 14th, 2011, 06:51 AM
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In anticipation of your next question, and in an effort to make your travel into the city as easy and as cost effective as possible, take the RER into Paris (follow the signs at CDG to either of the RER terminals), disembark at Gare du Nord, there is a long tunnel to la Chapelle métro station (but it´s an easy walk), take the up escalator (there is an elevator as well) and hop on the next train going in the Porte Dauphine direction. Exit at Villiers and walk east towards and down rue Constantinople to your hotel.

Price - 9.10€ each. Keep your tickets until exiting Villiers

For travel about Paris, purchase 10 individual tickets t+ (called un carnet) for 12.50€. You may share these tickets and purchase more if you need.
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