Taking the Metro

Oct 17th, 2000, 11:43 AM
  #1  
Leila
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Taking the Metro

Hello


My best friend and i are traveling to Paris for the first time. We are taking French classes this summer, and we are also doing alot of research about the city.
Well anyway...my question is about the Metro. I have heard that the best way to go is to get a weekly pass instead of buying tickets in bulk. We will be staying in paris for 2 weeks. I have also heard that pick-pocketing is common on the metro. I was wondering if anyone had any tips on taking the metro or any expirences that they want to share. Thanks for your time.
 
Oct 17th, 2000, 12:05 PM
  #2  
elvira
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The weekly pass is cheaper than carnets (10 tickets for the price of 7) **IF** you will use the metro several times a day. I find I usually take the metro just twice a day, so the carnet is cheaper for me than the weekly pass. Tickets are good indefinitely, so if you have leftovers, and return to Paris, you can use them.

The real advantage to the weekly card is for buses: there are no 'transfers' on Paris buses, so if you take a bus, then want to transfer to a metro (or vice versa, or bus to bus) you must use a NEW ticket, which can get expensive.
 
Oct 17th, 2000, 12:26 PM
  #3  
Annie
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Leila:
Regarding pickpockets. They are anywhere there is a crowd and the Metro is no exception. I always remember to use common sense. Be aware of your surroundings always! Carry your purse close to you. Don't carry alot of money. Leave your tickets and passports in the hotel safe,etc. Just have fun and stay alert. Enjoy Paris!
 
Oct 17th, 2000, 12:35 PM
  #4  
Art
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Leila, Don't carry a purse at all. Get a pouch that you can wear in your front and keep your valuables in that. Get a money belt if you don't have one and use that. Only carry enough money for your use each day. A small ATM charge is cheaper than getting ripped off.
 
Oct 17th, 2000, 12:39 PM
  #5  
Richard
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I too find the carnet to be the most useful. Tip: hold on to your cancelled ticket (you put it into a slot on one end of the gate and retrieve on the other end) the police do spot checks for your cancelled ticket, gate jumping as well as someone squeezing against you to get through on your ticket is not unknown. My pocket was picked years ago, guy dropped a pack of cigarettes at the top of the escalator, stopped to pick them up, big muddle as people coming up (his accomplices) ganged up and voila! one wallet neatly lifted from my jeans. I don't think it's "common", it does happen but use common sense. For a map of the Metro go to subwaynavigator.com, maps of the Paris Metro and others are shown.
 
Oct 17th, 2000, 12:42 PM
  #6  
donna
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I am a public transport neophyte, but when I was in Paris this summer, I used the metro exclusively, and found it 'tres' simple to use. I had a Paris Visite pass which was good because you could use on the 'train' lines as well as the 'subway' lines. It is so, so easy to use. Have a great time--Paris is so lovely!!!
 
Oct 17th, 2000, 01:03 PM
  #7  
Christina
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You'll have to figure out the ticket cost based on your own habits and the prices to figure out which is best for you, but usually a weekly pass will be economical for s long-term stayer. On the other hand, if you can walk from your residence to the classes, it may not be--I met a fellow once who had lived in Paris seven years working for UNESCO and when I asked him whether I could use my two-year old Carte Orange passcard and just buy a current coupon, he had no idea and said he'd never bought a Carte Orange and didn't know anything about them. So, there you go--he said he lived near his work and just walked there. Personally, I think the pickpocketing alarms are exaggerated and I would advise you not to buy a fanny pack to wear around all the time (they are really ugly); they are mugging and theft targets as it's like wearing a big sign saying "I'm a tourist and all my valuables are right in here!!!" I've never been pickpocketed in Paris and I ride the metro a lot all over the place at all hours and carry a purse and do not wear a money belt; I've never come close to being pickpocketed (it's not that hard--you just don't let someone stick their hand in your purse). Pickpockets target tourists and, unfortunately, older and unalert ones, so there are more of them around sites and stops with lots of tourists, and if you're not paying attention to your belongings, leave purses, bags, etc at your side hanging open, you will be a target. If you wear a money belt around your hometown or large American city when traveling around, then wear one in Paris, otherwise it's not necessary. Surprisingly, I have a German friend who loves fanny packs when being a tourist, also; I always thought they were an American style. They are definitely a tourist style, though, as she would never wear one at home, either.
 
Oct 17th, 2000, 02:42 PM
  #8  
Bob Brown
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Hi Leila. My wife, Pat, and I have visited Paris a couple of times just recently. Because it was so easy to buy the carnets of 10 tickets for 58 francs, that is how we financed our Metro and bus riding in Paris. We quickly learned that we preferred the bus to the Metro for oodles of reasons. So if the bus was going to our destination, we opted for it. The Metros are full of long tunnels, steps, crowds, heat, and smells. The bus is above ground and you can see where you are going. We also found that people who ride the buses were more prone to talk to us than the Metro riders.
We had several unsolicited offers of assistance from fellow passengers so that we could get to where we were going. And, as a tribute to my advancing age, more than one courteous younger person offered me a seat, one which he or she could have easily claimed. I was pleasantly surprised, because that rarely happens in the US of A anymore in my experience.

My wife carried her items in a waist pack (not a "fanny" variety one -- and be careful with that word "fanny" because the British definition of the term "fanny" is at substantial variance from ours) However, she had an under the shirt holder for her passport and credit cards. (Also treat your driver's license like a credit card -- it is invaluable if you intend to rent a car later on!!! It is far easier to get a replacement credit card than it is to get a replacement driver's license. Come to think of it, the only way I know to get one is to return home.)

I for one tend to tell people to take the pickpocket threat seriously. I do not mean that you should walk about in fear, clutching your hands to your pockets. But, pickpockets exist and we are obvious targets. If someone says I don't know what I am talking about, my response is likely to be profane. I was targeted by a very slick operator. As I boarded the Metro, a young man pretending to be reading the route map over the door bumped into me as if he was tracing the route. The bump was the distraction while he fingered my pocket.
As it turned out, he decided I was too poor to rob. My hip pocket contained my wallet, but it had the total of $6.00 and a voter registration card - pretty thin. How do I know this happened?
Another passenger told me what had happened. Pat said at the time, "What's with that guy?" Well, he was trying to rob me. That was what was with that guy!!
 
Oct 17th, 2000, 04:02 PM
  #9  
Leila
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thank you for all of the info
 

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