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Rick Steeves suggestion: one hour taxi tour of lights of paris at night

Rick Steeves suggestion: one hour taxi tour of lights of paris at night

Aug 25th, 2012, 07:43 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
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Obviously, certain posters on this thread are going to think I've been ridiculous, but I've paid a taxi driver in several cities to drive me around at night, and wouldn't hesitate doing it again and again. I loved all my experiences.

I often travel for business and my free time is restricted. I love to see cities at twilight, and I happen to really enjoy photographing in low-light situations. I think some of my most artistic images were taken at night. But even without the camera, I still enjoy driving by and looking out the car windows to take in the scene, without the worry that comes with being the driver.

It would never occur to me to do this activity using public transportation. It would take too long, and I couldn't stop, go, and get in-and-out at will.

I don't rely on taxi drivers to play tour guide, but I've been lucky. I don't speak any foreign languages and many taxi drivers speak some English. The minute they realize how much I enjoy this experience, many have put their captain's hat on to lead the way on my visual adventure, talking up a storm. One recent guy in Florence told me he was grateful to have me as a passenger because he really loves the challenge of speaking English, and I provided that for him.

As for cost, much depends on your approach, and what you feel the experience is worth to you. In my experience, many drivers quoted a price that I thought was too cheap, so I increased the price and told them I may want to get out, take a quick photo, and move on to the next stop. I've never been told no, and with the increased offer, I've never had a driver not appreciate putting forth a greater effort. This has really worked well for me.

You can never judge these simple pleasures by what others think of their value. Some people will easily pay $100 for an article of clothing, while others will pay it for one night's dinner. Spending money on personal pleasure is personal. I really don't care what others think about my choices. I do and spend money on what pleases me.
wesleymarsh is offline  
Aug 25th, 2012, 08:06 AM
  #22  
 
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A few years ago my daughter and I were stuck at a hotel at CDG on our way to Vienna. Decided to take a cab into Pais and split it ($50) with a couple of American college kids who had never been there. Our driver was Vietnamese with no English. I had him give us a tour like Steves suggests with me acting as "tour director.". He was enchanted to be driving Americans around with one who was fluent in French. We got out at St. Germain, had a couple of drinks at the Flore, and then went back to our hotel at CDG to catch our flight in the morning. It was fun, but one would need someone who speaks French and knows Paris.
Bedar is offline  
Aug 25th, 2012, 10:10 AM
  #23  
 
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I've been to Paris a few times, and the easiest way for me to see the city is to go on a half day trip on one of those sightseeing busses and make a note of what I consider the best and most interesting sights, and then go visit them later on my own and at my leisure.
Waldo is offline  
Aug 25th, 2012, 10:33 AM
  #24  
 
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As for "gypsies," every European city has them, and as far as I know they don't just prey on Americans, and I've not heard of any incidents of injuries. I know one person's experience isn't really relevant in this context, but in 100+ trips to Paris, I've never had a problem.

Never heard of it - you participated in a long thread not long ago where someone said it happened to them - in a Starbucks their smart phone was stolen when two folks distracted them and in that same thread I said I knew a good friend who was in a McDonalds where a same thing happened - his I phone stolen when someone thrust a paper in front of him and the accomplice stole his phone.

Anyone who has been to Paris hundreds and plus times who does not know gypsies can be a real problem - well that is just incroyable IMO!
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 25th, 2012, 10:34 AM
  #25  
 
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http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel...dors-BR-1.html

Well St Cirq you've heard of it now - above link.
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 25th, 2012, 10:36 AM
  #26  
 
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<< in a Starbucks their smart phone was stolen when two folks distracted them and in that same thread I said I knew a good friend who was in a McDonalds where a same thing happened - his I phone stolen when someone thrust a paper in front of him and the accomplice stole his phone>>

Was anyone injured? NO.

Anyone who walks around Paris is likely to see/encounter "gypsies." That is not the same as actually having a problem with them, which I maintain I have never had.
StCirq is online now  
Aug 25th, 2012, 01:31 PM
  #27  
 
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I paid a taxi driver in Siem Reap, Cambodia to take me around, but that was for the entire day and the price was $20.
kerouac is online now  
Aug 26th, 2012, 07:24 PM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
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Agree with sentiments regarding gypsies. I would not consider Paris to be any different to any other large city as StCirq has suggested. If you were keen on using a cab for transport at night, one option might be to use the cab for drop off then another for return trip to your hotel. A cab from your hotel to the Trocadero gives a great view of the Eiffel tower at night (stick around for the hourly light show!on the hour from 9pm I believe???)
You could then walk across the bridge over the Seine to the Eiffel Tower. Allow at least 1.5 hours for a relaxing time
theotherside is offline  
Aug 29th, 2012, 01:26 PM
  #29  
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theotherside-souns like a good idea.. I have ordered some MACE. Is it legal to use in Paris if threatened, or will I be the one arrested
JackGlasser is offline  
Aug 29th, 2012, 01:55 PM
  #30  
 
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.. I have ordered some MACE. Is it legal to use in Paris if threatened, or will I be the one arrested

I usually go to the restaurants that use the more traditional spices and herbs. And I usually take a less aggressive attitude toward the waiter.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Aug 29th, 2012, 04:06 PM
  #31  
 
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How do you plan to get the mace from home to Paris? On the plane? In your carry-on? In your checked luggage? I don't think any of those are allowed.
suze is offline  
Aug 29th, 2012, 07:18 PM
  #32  
 
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It is illegal to bring mace onto an airplane, carry on, checked bag,whatever. Jack, you'll probably not even make it through US security. The consequences if caught will be far,far worse than any encounter with gypsies. All of those who have posted have considerable experience traveling overseas and all have made it quite clear that it is an absolutely inane idea to even consider carrying mace.
historytraveler is online now  
Aug 29th, 2012, 07:35 PM
  #33  
 
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Rick Steve's has a blog called travel scams where people write in the scams they have witnessed or experienced and where. The gypsies are prevalent around the train stations. When coming into Paris via train and catching a taxi to our hotel our taxi driver told us not to speak to any groups near the main attractions and warned us about gypsies. As it was someone approached my daughter's friend while walking down the Champs Elysees and a frenchman shooed her away, and then lectured the friend to be aware of gypsies (mothers with children especially) Always carry a money belt and never a backpack. With an ipad I would consider a crossbody messenger bag that zips and keep it in the front of your body.
Diane_Nelson is offline  
Aug 30th, 2012, 02:19 AM
  #34  
 
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It sounds like you have the feeling that all gypsies are aggressive? Most that I have come across are like the homeless in your home city or town. Nobody can guarantee 100% your safety,that includes your home city/town. I personally have not been approached by anyone in an aggressive manor. Ask yourself, would you walk around the touristy areas of San Francisco at night? That to me would be a similar experience to the area around the Eiffel Tower and Trocadero.
If you do get asked for money , just say no, look away and keep walking , they are used to that response!
theotherside is offline  
Aug 30th, 2012, 02:21 AM
  #35  
 
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Just to add
Certainly don't get into your head that Paris is full of gypsies, that is not the case! Enjoy your vacation
theotherside is offline  
Aug 30th, 2012, 02:53 AM
  #36  
 
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An hour?

Several years ago I took my 80+ yr old parents to dinner on the Ile St Louis. We walked around to the front of Notre Dame after dinner, which was my mom's limit.

We hailed a taxi, which can be done, btw; I asked the driver to "fait un petit tour"-- Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Louvre, etc., on way back to hotel.

My parents were thrilled, took maybe 15-20 minutes and about 12 euros.
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Aug 30th, 2012, 05:32 AM
  #37  
 
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It looks like Jack's thread on bringing mace to Paris has disappeared.
adrienne is offline  
Aug 30th, 2012, 07:48 PM
  #38  
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on the lights of paris: how about some buses? suggestions:#73 or #69 or mix with a cab. Hotel east of the Lovre
JackGlasser is offline  
Sep 1st, 2012, 06:00 AM
  #39  
 
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I was in Paris about 2 weeks ago and was approached twice by a "gold ring" scammer. One operates just outside Musee D'Orsay and the other was on Rue de Rivoli. Different skin colours, one dark one olive. There's also one near Four Seasons so I was told by an employee of the hotel.
I did the minivan illuminations tour which included a cruise on the Seine booked through Viator. Much cheaper than a taxi I would think, about 2.5 hours altogether.
Cilla_Tey is offline  
Sep 1st, 2012, 07:00 AM
  #40  
 
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Different skin colours, one dark one olive.

What was the color of their socks?
Aduchamp1 is offline  

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