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Need advice on Paris May 1 transportation, closures, restaurants, etc

Need advice on Paris May 1 transportation, closures, restaurants, etc

Sep 4th, 2012, 09:55 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 997
Need advice on Paris May 1 transportation, closures, restaurants, etc

Hi all, I'm trying to meet family members in Paris. I saw some older posts and would appreciate recent advice on closures, transportation, etc on May 1st.

My BIL and SIL will be flying into Orly from Florence around 4:45, staying at the Hotel Scribe right next to Opera. We'll be flying in late (6:15) to CDG from Vienna, and tentatively staying at the Hotel Brighton next to the Tuileries Metro (and Angelina, yum).

I was thinking that we could take the Air France bus to Opera, then get a cab to our hotel. Are there usually cabs there? We did take the train into town to les Halles last time, when we were near Chatelet, but I am figuring that the Metro will be jammed and it's too many connections with luggage. To walk from Opera, it's about .6 km, not sure if that's too much with luggage or possible rain (we're used to some walking, and are good shape in our 60s).

Any advice for them, considering it's a holiday schedule ? Just take a cab? I know there's a way to take the RER but am not sure what's easiest for someone who is not familiar with Paris.

I have read that many restaurants are closed that day, and am thinking we should book dinner for 8:00, not too far from our hotel. I was estimating CDG arrival at 6:15, get into our hotel by 7:15 - 7:30 - Roissybus says departures every 15 minutes, and I would imagine that traffic would be lighter, not heavier, than usual. We prefer to eat earlier, but do you think that timing is too close for comfort?

Any ideas for close-by restaurants in a budget of $100-150 per couple. Seemed to me there was someplace in the Palais Royal gardens that was nice and had a prix fixe. I'm not familiar with the immediate area around our hotel. We will go to nice places the next two days so it doesn't need to knock our socks off, just be good.

And will most stores still be closed - I got the impression the larger places like Galleries Lafayette are open but not the boutiques. Carousel de Louvre stores?

Many thanks! I hope this isn't too much under one heading.
Iwan2go is offline  
Sep 4th, 2012, 10:31 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,464
Yes, most stores will be closed, it is Labor Day or Workers Day(fete du travail). I have never heard of any major store being open on Labor Day in Paris, except maybe some small family-owned shops like grocers or something. A big dept store like GL? I don't know how they could get away with that, especially given their labor problems this year. They aren't even open on Sundays (I think they might be open some minor holidays, though, but this one isn't minor). This is one of the biggest holidays in France in terms of closures due to what it represents. Most museums are closed, as well as stores. I do believe the shops underground in the Carousel du Louvre are open every day, though. This year, I think GL opened with a sale on 5/2 after the closure for the holiday. Even the shops on the CHamps-Elysees are closed on Fete du Travail and they are open all the time.

Transportation is always open on holidays in Paris, just reduced schedules. I would say you are not likely to get to your hotel by 7:15 if your plane arrives at 6:15, sounds impossible to me, regardless of the public transportation issues. If that is when your plan lands, you can be out of the airport security area and immigrations and luggage, ready to find some transportation method by 7:00, most likely.

Sorry I don't know restaurants in that area. I agree traffic should be lighter than normal.
Christina is offline  
Sep 4th, 2012, 10:36 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 6,628
Well, I wouldn't worry about the stores given your arrival times on the 1st.

.6km is 600 meters, roughly 1/3 mile.

I can't help with restaurants in that area but others will. Closer to the date, either hotel would make reservations for you.
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Sep 4th, 2012, 10:36 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,464
I'm sorry, I just realized you are asking about shopping but aren't going to be in Paris until the evening anyway. I'm not clear when you would do shopping. The major dept. stores close at 7-8 pm on normal days, anyway. They are open until9-10 pm one day a week but it's not Wednesday, when may 1st, 2013 is.
Christina is offline  
Sep 4th, 2012, 10:39 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 21,411
May 1st in not really a problem anymore. 10 years ago, I would not have written that.

Frankly, what scares me is the idea of somebody worrying about where you are going to eat on May 1st when it is only the beginning of September.
kerouac is offline  
Sep 4th, 2012, 10:48 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,927
The buses from ORY into Paris will not be convenient for your in-laws because the buses (AF or Orlybus) do not arrive anywhere near Opéra. The RER B via Antony will take longer than a taxi and for two, will not save much money (taxi about 35€, RER from ORY about 11€ each). From ORY, a taxi is usually the best option to most addresses in Paris, particularly when more than one person is traveling.

For a CDG arrival at 18h15, I should think it next to impossible to be in your hotel room much sooner than 20h00 (are you not checking luggage?), particularly if you are waiting for and subsequently taking the next available bus, only to catch a taxi from Opéra, which by the way will be the Roissybus as no AF bus goes to Opéra.

In your position, I would take a taxi directly from CDG which will probably get you to your hotel 30 minutes sooner than your hybrid plan and will probably cost no more: 55€ vs 35€ (or 20€, two 10€ tickets on Roissybus, plus a follow on taxi, approximately 15€).

It´s really too early to nail down a restaurant but 20h30 would probably be a more realistic reservation time.
Sarastro is offline  
Sep 4th, 2012, 11:11 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 653
We discovered during two month-long visits to Paris in May that there are (usually) three major holidays in that month: Labor Day (May 1), V-E Day (May 8), and Ascension Day (almost always sometime in May). On those days, there are a variety of closures, and if one occurs on a Tuesday or Thursday, expect "le pont" (the bridge) when visitors come to Paris from all over France to have a four-day holiday.

We wondered, if Labor Day were, say, on Tuesday and Ascension Day on the Thursday of that week, would le pont be nine days long? LOL.
d_claude_bear is offline  
Sep 4th, 2012, 11:21 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 997
Thanks, all. Appreciate the info about the relative cab costs VS Roissybus for us, sounds good, and I'll tell them to take a cab as well. Mainly wanted to get some sort of idea of what's going on. We've been to Paris many times, but my in-laws have not, and I wanted to get an idea of stores in case they decided to come a day early. I know that there is plenty to do - in fact, the first and best time we went to Paris not only all the museums were closed, but the Metro was on strike and it was raining. I'm going to suggest Paris Walks to them as well.

We will be arriving from Vienna, so I thought that we did not need to go through immigration and that would speed it up versus our usual arrivals from the US. Helpful info, thanks! I have a choice of flights, one of which is at something like 6am VIE - 8am CDG, another reason I was asking for general info, to aid in making the decision of which flight to take - staying longer in Vienna or leaving early in the morning.

Had to laugh, Kerouac, I'm not worried about where to eat in 6 months, just more of a stream of consciousness thing. People love to list restaurants so I threw it in there. No big deal.
Iwan2go is offline  
Sep 4th, 2012, 11:23 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,168
Public transportation will be on a Sunday-Holiday reduced schedule, so the advice you have gotten to take a taxi is probably good for that reason alone.

There won't be any shopping open in the center of Paris anyway, but you are all getting there too late to do any shopping anyway.

Most cafes will be open, but will open later in the morning than usual. Many smaller restaurants, especially owner operated, will be closed. Most big brasseries will be open, though you may have to wait. So a hotel restaurant may be your best bet. If you want to lay in some bottled water or juice, you will probably find a North African operated alimentaire (small grocery shop) but you will not find a supermarket open.
Ackislander is offline  
Sep 4th, 2012, 12:26 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 21,411
There is no immigration and customs arriving from Vienna. Schengen flights arrive exactly like domestic flights.
kerouac is offline  

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