Getting around Paris and France

Old Sep 14th, 2011, 06:24 AM
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Great. You are on your way.

Some of the famous large departments stores (Lafayette, Printemps)are nearby.

Also, there are the Passages:

www.parisbestlodge.com/passages.html

There are also a couple of smaller 'mansion' museums around there: Jacquemart-Andre and Cernuschi. Could also stroll over to Parc Monceau.

You have a few Metro lines near you. Viliers will get you to Champs Elysee, as well as the larger department stores and Opera. Liege will get you over to the Left Bank and easy walk to Eiffel, Seine, Orsay museum. With transfers...go everywhere.

www.ratp.com is the official public transit site. A good guidebook will have metro/RER lines in it.
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Old Sep 14th, 2011, 06:50 AM
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RidgeRose

We stayed at the Hotel New Orient some years ago. Looking at the photos online it's been refurbished which is always a good sign that someone cares. The managers are the same and we found them to be very helpful and pleasant. The room was small but the location good. I would stay there before going back to the much more expensive Hotel La Perle.

Definitely visit the Jacquemart-Andre while you are there and time your visit to have lunch in what used to be the dining room. It was lovely. And the Parc Monceau is a gem.

Let us know how you like the New Orient.
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Old Sep 14th, 2011, 06:59 AM
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I love the location of the New Orient. You won't regret choosing it over the out of town hotel. Well done.
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Old Sep 14th, 2011, 07:21 AM
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Good job!

The 8th arrondissement is very good.

Now, the next step, is to get you from the airport to your hotel, as Sarastro has anticipated.

You will find a lot of information on parisbytrain.com.

Another great resource is google maps for Paris.

1)Go into the google search bar and just type in the address of the hotel. The google map for Paris will come up and the location of your hotel will show up as a green bubble.

2)The Paris metro stations are marked with a blue "M" in a circle. If you look to the northwest of your hotel location, there will be the nearest blue circle. Click on that. A square box will appear. It will give you the name of the metro station, which in your case is "Villiers" and also which metro lines stop at this metro station, here it's metro lines 2 and 3.

3) As you click on the blue circle and the box appears, the actual metro lines will also appear on the map. Follow the line for M2, this is the line you want.

4) seven stops to the right is the "Chapelle" station. This is the metro station that you will need.

OK, so here's how to get from CDG to your hotel:

a) As you emerge in CDG terminal, look for the "RER" sign. RER is the local trains for Paris, not the long distance trains that take you to other cities.

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

http://goparis.about.com/od/transpor...dTransport.htm

Get tickets for this train and ask for directions if you are unsure, but this local train will take you from CDG which is about 30 miles outside of Paris right into central Paris to the GARE DU NORD train station.

The GARE DU NORD is a huge train station which services both local and long distance trains.

b) Once you arrive at the Gare du Nord, take the tunnel as Sarastro has suggested to the "Chapelle" metro station. The metro system is different from the local train system. It is very extensive and runs all through Paris, making it very easy to get from place to place within Paris. Try and get a MAP of the metro system as soon as you can.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_M%C3%A9tro

c) There is usually a manned ticket office. Go there in the Chapelle metro station and ask for a "carnet" of 10 metro tickets. You can share these tickets. Tear off two, one for each of you. Keep the other 8 for later use.

d) Get on the correct M2 metro. you want to go in the direction of "Porte Dauphine", which is the final station for M2. Each metro line will be identified with the LAST stop and does not say "north, west, etc." So you must know the name of the last stop of whichever metro line you take.

e) Take the M2 seven stops to the "Villiers" station and get off.

f) Get to street level and walk to your hotel.

Question: what communication device will you have with you? A cell phone? A laptop?
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Old Sep 14th, 2011, 07:33 AM
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The above information is incorrect referencing ticketing from CDG to Villers. Your initial 9.10€ ticket will take you all the way as long as you do not exit the RER/métro network before Villiers (you will only connect at Gare du Nord).
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Old Sep 14th, 2011, 07:41 AM
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You're correct, Sarastro. I was focused on getting them metro tickets and not from the machines. Where would you suggest that they get the metro tickets?
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Old Sep 14th, 2011, 07:46 AM
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Something else I forgot to mention on google maps:

Once you have located your hotel, you can drag and drop the little yellow figure on the left over to your hotel and the street view will appear. I like to get a previous of a place, so I know exactly where I'm headed.

sometimes clicking on the green bubble will bring up information relating to that address, including the street view. This is not always a given, so use the little figure if you don't get a street view from the green bubble.
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Old Sep 14th, 2011, 07:55 AM
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It should be possible to obtain un carnet at the ticket office at CDG. The ticket machines will accept US magnetic strip credit cards but the ticket choices may be limited (I can confirm that it is not possible to purchase a child fare ticket from the machine).

None the less, if the OP asks at the window, she should be able to purchase the RER tickets (technically called <i> billet origine destination</i as well as a book of 10 ticket t+ which they can use later to move about the city.
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Old Sep 14th, 2011, 07:56 AM
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Congratulations, RidgeRose on getting that hotel reservation for at least your first two nights. Looks like a good choice, but I still don't understand why anyone would want to waste precious vacation time searching for another hotel once you're there. Given that September is a busy season, and you've already experienced how many hotels are either already fully booked or out of your budget, I think you're seriously deluding yourself that you will just stumble across something better once you're there, "walking around". You're not likely to just be "walking around" the outer arrondisements that kerouac noted may have available unadvertised hotels.
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Old Sep 14th, 2011, 08:08 AM
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I'm so glad that you persevered and didn't listen to the advice to cancel your trip. You're going to be fine. I would agree with hazel1 that my preference would be to just stay in one hotel, get comfortable with the neighbourhood for the time you're there and take some daytrips to areas outside Paris. Still, having taken care of the first two nights, you may now be able to find a cheaper hotel for the rest of your stay - I 'd act quickly as they do book up fast.

Have a great time in Paris.
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Old Sep 14th, 2011, 08:35 AM
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The trouble with the 8th is that the cost of beverages in cafes approaches double the price in the 5th and 6th. Walk across the Seine to the Quartier Latin for the real Paris, tourists and all.
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Old Sep 14th, 2011, 09:48 AM
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I owuld not want to be in Paris, for the first time, for not a long time, and have to spend time looking for another hotel. Extend your stay before going.
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Old Sep 14th, 2011, 10:51 AM
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RidgeRose, when are you arriving in Paris? I'm a sucker for desperate cases such as yours and you seem like a really nice person. Your posts really got me with the whole thing that this is your dream vacation and I see you're on a budget and you do community work and your whole dilemma is really tugging at my heartstrings. If you need a little help when you get to Paris I'd be happy to meet up with you and show you the ropes.

I totally get your "wander around and see what happens" approach to travel since that's more or less my style. If you want some one on one counseling on places to visit outside Paris that would suit your interests and desires I'll be happy to help. So if you need some help when you arrive let me know.
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Old Sep 14th, 2011, 11:02 AM
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RidgeRose, I will vouch that FMT is a great person who can provide valuable assistance.

In any case, congratulations for finding an acceptable hotel -- and it is indeed a good location. I lived in that area for 2 years and loved the rue de Lévis market street.

And if for some reason you don't like the hotel, never forget that you can change starting the very next day -- just walk around and see what's available.
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Old Sep 14th, 2011, 11:35 AM
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RidgeRose,
Look at this website and print out aist of ALL the Paris hotels within your budget. Either contact them now or check them out after you arrive.

www.eurocheapo.com
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Old Sep 14th, 2011, 12:32 PM
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It's all gonna be OK! Glad you found a hotel! The rest will fall into place! Paris is an easy city to enjoy!
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Old Sep 14th, 2011, 02:09 PM
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Please know I have copied over and am now studying all the valuable information you all have posted! I bought a small (5"x7") guidebook today called "Knopf Mapguides" Paris the city in section-by-section maps. It breaks the city into 10 maps and I've marked the arrondisements I recognize from the regular city map. It's really coming together for me now. This has a small version of the metro map, but I'm going to print out a larger copy and mark our route. I'm going to spend the next few hours on google to help get my bearings. I'm good with maps and my husband has a great sense of direction, which makes us a good team!

More GREAT news: we just found out hoteldirecteurope.com refunded the TOTAL amount charged to our card, including the cancellation fee. That was really very decent of them and I want to be sure you all know they treated us well.

My husband asked me to be sure to thank all of you for objecting so strongly about that first hotel. We never would have know if you all hadn't been so vigilant!

We arrive on the 21st and leave on the 27th. We asked the hotel Orient for more nights, but they were booked. Looking for a second hotel won't be a chore, but rather part of the adventure... We're only packing one rolling carry-on bag each (no computer)so we won't be burdened with too much luggage. I've made note of the metro station kerouac mentioned (Marx Dormoy)and will be sure we know how to get to that area in case we have booking problems for our remaining nights.
And thank you, FMT, for your very generous offer! Do you offer tours as your name suggests? If so, where would I find you if we decide to go on a tour? We will have one cell phone with us, but with the rate of $1.30/minute, we won't be turning it on unless we need to call someone. Our hotel has a computer in the lobby, which will be extremely useful.

You all have been amazing. I keep checking back every few hours to see if there are new suggestions/ideas and will let you know how things are going on this end.

My husband and I know several different parts of the US, and, once I return from this trip, if I can ever help any of you, PLEASE be sure to let me know!
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Old Sep 14th, 2011, 02:30 PM
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Also, I would have gotten the books you all recommended, but it's too late to order from Amazon (I also like Alibris.com)and sad to say, the one book store (Borders) within 50 miles of my house has closed. But this little book seems pretty good and the maps are really handy.
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Old Sep 14th, 2011, 02:43 PM
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In a pinch, there is a good english bookstore (Galignani) at 224 Rue de Rivoli, across from the Louvre, under arcade.

There are Relay stores at CDG with mags and books, not sure if they have travel guides. This would be a good spot to pick up Pariscope (or Officiel des Spectacles). This is weekly magazine of upcoming events in Paris. Concerts, tours,etc.. I believe Pariscope has an english section (I am bilingual so I don't always notice)

If you are in transit, could always get a guide at airport.

I've liked my Michelin Blue Guide to Paris for maps/metro/etc.. Not a guidebook, but gets lots of use.
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Old Sep 14th, 2011, 02:43 PM
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Glad you got your refund in full!

I was going to suggest booking a few more nights at the hotel Orient, which additional nights you could probably cancel the first night of arrival if you felt you didn't need them.

However, this leaves you with having to find a hotel(s) on arrival for the rest of your trip. As the others have said, you really don't want to do this. Look at how much time it has taken you to get a room for the first two nights. You really don't want to waste your first two days in Paris looking for further accommodations.

The other thing is this: do you have an old laptop or netbook that you can take with you? Even if you were going to postpone finding a room for the later dates, how are you even going to work on further reservations without your own laptop/netbook?

I would suggest, if at all possible and since you are travelling so light, that you bring some kind of portable device that will allow you to access the internet while in Europe. Personally, I can't do without that access while travelling and most places now offer free internet access.

One other very important thing: if you haven't done so already, notify your credit card company that you are going to be going overseas and plan to use your CC while abroad. Depending on the credit card, you may have to fill out a special form while here in the US and have to provide information, such as which countries you are going to, what dates, etc. If you don't do this, you will not be able to use your credit card overseas. Make very sure that you can use your card overseas.

Do this NOW as you have only a week to get things cleared with your CC company.
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