Paris/Amsterdam Parking??

Apr 21st, 1999, 07:14 PM
Posts: n/a
Paris/Amsterdam Parking??

Hi all,

In May we are driving a hire car from London to Paris then on to Amsterdam. My question is, once you arrive in the city, where the hell do you leave the car??? I am assuming that our cheap hotels don't offer complimentary valet parking....

Thanks in advance
Apr 21st, 1999, 08:09 PM
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Parking in Paris? I believe that is an oxymoron. You don't park. You just keep driving around.

It's getting late and I am punchy. Please exscuse me.

Seriously, you can park. However, some parts of the city are easier than others. The center of Paris is close to impossible and gets easier as you get away from the center. Also depends on the time of the day. Where is your hotel located?

Parisians usually don't use their parking brakes which allows the car to move a little when nudged. So you nudge the car in front of you and then the one behind you until you fit between them. It takes a little practice, but it does work.

You can ignore parking tickets, but don't ignore tow-away zones. You either will not find your car ... the police will tow you ... or you will find a "boot" attached to one your tires which prevents you from driving away.

The only place I could never park was in the 5th and 6th arrondissiments at dinner time. You could drive for hours and never find a spot. You have to go early to find a spot or leave your car someplace else and take the metro. Good reason to go to other places to eat where parking is less of a problem.
Apr 21st, 1999, 08:25 PM
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Thanks for your reply John, you are 12 hours behind me so I can see why you are getting punchy!

Our hotel in paris is the lovely Hotel Esmeralda which I believe is in the Latin Quarter.

So your advice is to just try and find a park as close as possible to the hotel on the side of the road not in a tow away zone?
Apr 22nd, 1999, 06:18 AM
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Kane, yes. The hotel can advise where to park and about the difference in times.

I am not familiar with the Hotel Esmeralda so I will have to check exactly where they are located and let you know. In general, as you probably know, the Latin Quarter and St Germain areas are heavy tourist areas. As I indicated, in my earlier post, these 2 areas can be as close to as imposiible to find a parking spot. However, that experiene is based on dinner time. Later in the night after the crowds have dispersed or during the day can be entirely different.
Apr 22nd, 1999, 07:06 AM
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Kane: We've driven twice in Paris in recent years and had trouble finding a spot near our budget hotels. Once you do find a spot, I'd leave it and take the Metro everywhere you want to go. You can always drop your bags at the hotel, let one person check in while the other tries to find a spot a within a few blocks. If you cannot find anything else, you might try the undegground parking at the main train stations (Gares). Can't remember the cost, but they are always near a Metro stop. Amsterdam can also be tricky. We arrived after dark one night, found a spot in front of our hotel, and were told at breakfast to move it because a street market was going to be held there shortly. Have you thought about taking a train from London to Paris and picking up your car on the way out of Paris to Amsterdam? The drive from Paris to Amtsterdam (if you go via the big 'expressways') can be tiring, tense, and smelly (exhaust fumes). If possible, take the smaller roads --- slower but less stressful.
Apr 22nd, 1999, 07:07 AM
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Kane, ok, I know where your hotel is ... right in the thick of it on 4 Rue Saint Julien Le Pauvre near Rue Saint Jacques just down from Place Michel and opposite of Notre Dame. I could be wrong, but I would guess parking could be a problem. Ask the hotel for recommendations. Also consider parking further away and taking the Metro. You will be near Metro St Michel and Metro Cluny La Sorbonne which could be rather busy, by the way. Other posters on this forum have discussed and stayed at the Esmeralda. Do a text search on "Hotel Esmeralda" and "Paris Hotels" for some first hand reports.

Here is one poster's remarks ....which you can email if you have other questions:

Author: Donna ([email protected])
Date: 11/27/1998, 11:31 am ET

Message: Hi, Carl: This is going to be a long post, because I'm going to help you out with three PARIS hotels.

First hotel, you can all be in the same room. Five years ago four of us girls spent a week in Paris, and it was my job to get the hotel, which I found in the child's book "Linnea". (Linnea and her grandfather stay at the Hotel Esmeralda, then take a train to visit Giverny, Monet's home.) So, we chose the Hotel Esmeralda because of a child's book. This book can be purchased in English and in French, and your children may enjoy reading it.

Our room was at the very top floor of the hotel, with ONE big window facing Notre Dame. You will have a breathtaking view, especially at night when the monument is illuminated.

The hotel is across the Seine from Notre Dame, in the Latin Quarter, close to St. Julien le Pauvre church. Ithink it is a 2 star hotel, and they lock up at 11:00 so you have to have your key to get back in.

There was one bathroom shared by the four of us, and 3 beds: one double and two twins. No elevator, so you will be schlepping your bags up and down a circular staircase about 5 floors. Older furniture in the room, phone in room, plenty of linens. Reminded me of my grandmother's attic. You'll hit your head on the doorway between the bathroom and bedroom, tiny opening.

We burned out our hairdryer on the first try, and they loaned us one for the rest of the week. We were okay to moderately happy there for the week . . . it is not necessarily the room you stay in, but the sights you see and the memories you make. We still talk about the Esmeralda (as a Parisian experience) even though we have decided to stay in 4 and 5 star hotels from now on.

For restaurants .....
Le Bar Huitres is on St Jacques for fish.

Le Bouitelle D'Or is on Quai de Montebello with a view of Notre Dame as you dine.

Further up on Montebello is the L'Ange Gourmand right across from the La Tour D'Argent.

I always consider the parking in Paris when selecting a hotel. If you had the choice and didn't mind, you might want to consider the 7th where there also some nice, inexpensive hotels and the parking is easier. It is also quieter which a s middle aged man I prefer, but it's a personal choice.

I have read some good reviews for the Esmeralda so it's not a bad choice by any means. Just more difficult for parking.
Apr 22nd, 1999, 07:59 AM
Posts: n/a
There's a spot I like to park to in central Paris : on the bridges of iles St Louis, specially the one that runs behind notre-dame -not pont st louis, which is pedestrian, the other one.
That one is forbiden during the day, but at night people start to park there, until it's full, and I think the police don't care. The main hint is to check that you are not in the middle of the way, especially near rive gauche, where the road narrows.
BTW, when you are on that bridge, look behind you, on top of the building on the left of the street, on rive gauche : this is la tour d'argent, the most expensive restaurant in Paris. But don't eat there, food is good, but not really original.

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