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Paris transportation -- best way from airport to hotel

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Mar 30th, 2009, 10:12 AM
  #1
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Paris transportation -- best way from airport to hotel

Hi everyone,

My husband and I are traveling to Paris for the first time in mid-April. We're flying in from Washington DC on Air France (arriving mid-morning on a Friday) and staying at Hotel Jardin le Brea, at 14 Rue Brea in the 6th Arr. It's very close to the Vavin metro station.

I'm comfortable with public transport and would like to avoid spending lots of money on a taxi. But I'm confused about the transportation options. I hear that there's an Air France shuttle stop close to our hotel, but it also looks like we could take the RER and come out fairly close to the hotel without switching lines (although "close" can be a relative term when you are tired and carrying a heavy suitcase). I also don't want to start the trip on a stressful note, as this is DH and my first international trip together outside Mexico and Caribbean. DH is a little less adventurous than I am and nervous about logistics.

So, which public transportation option offers the best combination of affordability and convenience? Or should we bag affordability and opt for the easiest option of a taxi? Any advice?

Thanks much!
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Mar 30th, 2009, 10:20 AM
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A frequent contributor on this page, GraceJoan3, recommends a limo service, shuttle-inter.com. We used a similar service through our apartment, very efficient. I do not have a name however.
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Mar 30th, 2009, 10:27 AM
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I stay in that are a lot and know where that hotel is. What is your idea of what close is? The RER isn't that close at all to the hotel by my definition, nor the AF shuttle (which drops off at the Meridien hotel behind gare Montparnasse. YOu mention carrying heavy suitcases, so I don't think that is a good idea. It's about .75 to 1 km between that hotel and the RER stop or the AF stop. The RER is a little closer. So that's about one half mile to 2/3 mile or so.

What can you afford? I think a taxi is affordable, it is to me, but may not be to you.
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Mar 30th, 2009, 10:34 AM
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Thanks for your responses. Christina, it's helpful to know that the RER really isn't that "close." I don't think 1 km is very close either, at least not with luggage! I'm not very good at judging distances on maps so I'm glad I asked.

We can certainly afford a taxi if that is the best way to go -- I was just thinking it might be a good place to cut costs if there were an easy alternative. And we can still consider taking the RER and changing trains to get to the Vavin station. Maybe we'll just wait and see how we feel when we reach the airport.

Thanks!
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Mar 30th, 2009, 10:41 AM
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A taxi will be about 55-60 euros. It is worth it, in my opinion for less aggravation, especially if there are two or more of you.

Another thing you could do is to take the RER from CDG to Gare de Nord and transfer to line 4 of the Metro to get to
Vavin.

The RER gets VERY crowded after it leaves CDG and picks up riders in the suburbs of Paris. And when I write "crowded," I mean JAM PACKED! So beware, sweetie darling.

Thin
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Mar 30th, 2009, 10:43 AM
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Oh, that is very good to know! These are things you can't learn from tour books. Thank you.
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Mar 30th, 2009, 10:55 AM
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The Great and Powerful Thingorjus is BETTER than any old tour book.

Like Blackgama, I am a living legend.

Thin
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Mar 30th, 2009, 11:35 AM
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My wife and I have taken the RER from CDG to Gare du Nord on our last four trips to Paris. It was about 15€ for the two of us in November 2007, which is hard to beat. It also gets us right into the Paris public transportation scene, which is one of the aspects of life in Paris that we enjoy. Note that we travel light, so hauling our luggage up or down stairs and escalators doesn't really bother us.

Take the express RER from CDG to Gare du Nord, labeled KROL on the front of the train, to avoid most of the stops in the suburbs. At Gare du Nord, follow the signs for Metro Line 4, which will take you right to the Vavin stop.

Enjoy!
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Mar 30th, 2009, 12:02 PM
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Thank you! We'll keep our options open to both taxi and train. I'll try to convince my husband to pack light
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Mar 30th, 2009, 12:08 PM
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The www.shuttle-inter.com mentioned above is a private vehicle service. They will be outside security exit door with your name on sign, take your luggage to nearby vehicle and you will be off. They check for delays and adjust when necessary. Mention my name and you will recieve a 5 euro discount on your return trip(I think). Cheaper than a taxi and no meter running if you get stuck in traffic. I use them all the time, along with many friends. They will be picking me up on 4/14 and returning me on 5/13. They do not have CC capabilities. Make you R/T reservation online...enjoy..

Joan
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Mar 30th, 2009, 02:40 PM
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ira
 
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Hi G,

Shuttle vans run about 18E pp and provide service to your door.

http://www.paris-blue-airport-shuttle.fr/index_en.php
www.beeshuttle.com
www.parishuttle.com

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Mar 30th, 2009, 02:55 PM
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grommet19 - I know your dilemma about judging distances and making these kind of decisions based on how it looks on a map!
In my planning, I've built up a bunch of little 'walking distance' maps to places from the apartment we are renting, and from place to place that we think we might want to walk to. I've used both google maps and viamichelin, who both provide "walking distance" to and from maps. We have now started taking to kids on little "in town" walks, both to get in shape for our trip and to make those distances meaningful (i.e. park the car 1.7 KM from the library and then say "ok we are now walking home to the apartment from the Louvre") We are finding this is really helping us figure out how "close" is "close" for various things!
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Mar 30th, 2009, 03:31 PM
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Wow, 18E for a shuttle vs. 55-60 for a cab! That's a huge difference. I'll check out the shuttle services.

Canada_V, I applaud you on your walking training! We're planning to walk A LOT on this trip to make up for all the eating we plan to do. Just maybe not on the very first morning, with luggage. Our tendency to overpack doesn't help matters.
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Mar 30th, 2009, 03:53 PM
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You could also ride RER B to Luxembourg and get the N°82 bus to the Brea-Notre Dame des Champs stop at the end of your street.

That would avoid the line change at Gare du Nord. And getting out of the Métro at Vavin. And save about ten minutes of wretched subway stops.
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Mar 30th, 2009, 04:03 PM
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grommet - shuttle price is per person, and those are shared shuttles, ie, there will be other passengers on the shuttle and you may be the first one to be dropped off or could be the last.
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Apr 28th, 2009, 07:02 PM
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Apr 28th, 2009, 07:59 PM
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Only you can judge trade-off between paying for convenience or not. Consider also a need for a contingency plan. If you choose to go with RER, consider a possibility of escalators not working - pack light. I can't tell you how many totally exhausted tourists I have seen struggling to take heavy luggage up stairs from subway stations.

To actually visualize the path to the destination, I use maps.google.com. It works very well in big cities like Paris. In case you have not used it, once you have a map of the vicinity, you can drag a man to the street and see the photo of your intended route.
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Apr 29th, 2009, 05:38 AM
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Grommet - are you back yet? How was your trip? I'm eager to hear what you decided to do and how it worked out.
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Apr 29th, 2009, 05:46 AM
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Apr 29th, 2009, 06:38 AM
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I have recently posted on this board about the same issue. After exhausting all possibilities I have decided to take the shared van shuttle service from CDG to my hotel (5th) when I go to Paris next week. Expense-wise, it is a compromise. More expensive than public transport but less than a taxi or private limo service. My concern about public transport is having to lug a heavy suitcase up flight(s) of stairs from the metro stop. I believe the shared van services need to be booked in advance and they have websites where you can do this. Personally, I'd rather spend my money on a wonderful souvenir from one of Paris' wonderful boutiques than on getting to/from airport. Enjoy!
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