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menachem Nov 9th, 2012 08:35 AM

I totally second the Paris Pratique suggestion.

Also, transport, don't worry, and don't overlook the fact that you can go by bus too! Takes a bit longer, but will get you anywhere and is where tourists never go, so if you want to blend in, as a seasoned bus traveler you will.

A few bus tips:

Line 38 runs north to south through the city center and provides memorable views of the Latin Quarter, the Seine river, or Notre Dame Cathedral.

Line 68 offers a vantage of the Musee d'Orsay, Saint-Germain des Pres, the Seine, The Louvre, and the Opéra Garnier.

Line 28 offers lovely views of the Ecole Militaire, the Assemblée Nationale, the Seine River, the Grand Palais, and the Champs-Elysées.

Line 96 winds through beautiful spots on the right bank, including Hotel de Ville, the medieval Marais neighborhood, and trendy Bastille.

The 96 bus is especially nice. Much better than the hop on hop off thing.

denisea Nov 9th, 2012 05:20 PM

Jeez have the internet. Order the adapter you need and a currency converter, if you need it. You don't have to settle for what they have at the local Radio Shack. Check Rick Stevees site for reasonably priced ones. Again, it's likely you don't need a currency converter but you have to check the items you plan to change to know if you do. If they are dual currency, you won't need a converter.

Just so you know, don't bother trying to use a converter for items that really pull electricity like hair dryers (use the one at the hotel) and flat irons. It usually just doesn't work and I had a flat iron fried by trying it. I bought one that I use for travel in Europe.

StCirq Nov 9th, 2012 06:36 PM

I cannot imagine why you'd need a converter. Just go online and order a two-pronged French adapter (here's what they look like:, or wait until you get there and go to a FNAC or Phillipe store and buy one (maybe 2 euros) or any quaincaillerie.

I know you want to be prepared in advance for this trip, but I'll say it again - there's really no need to be buying up a whole lot of stuff ahead of time and hauling it across the ocean.

The French word for adapter is adapteur...and most sales people at French stores will speak enough English to understand you. These little excursions to get ordinary stuff accomplished while in Paris usually enhance my experience and afford me opportunities to engage with Parisians. Different from the sightseeing experience for sure, but life-enhancing nonetheless.

DebitNM Nov 9th, 2012 06:57 PM

Bus 69 is also a great route to see lots of popular sites:

passionfruitdrink37 Nov 9th, 2012 07:23 PM

To be perfectly honest, I don't even know what a currency converter does. I know what an adapter is, and I've seen some for 5 dollars. What's the converter do exactly?

StCirq Nov 9th, 2012 07:39 PM

A CURRENCY converter or an ELECTRICAL converter? A currency converter tells you, e.g., how many euros you'll get for an American dollar on any given day. An electrical converter is a heavy little gadget you buy that makes sure that if you plug, e.g., your hairdryer into a European outlet and it doesn't have the right voltage setting, it won't blow out the electricity in the hotel. But the likelihood of you needing an electrical converter is slim - just look at the markings on your electrical stuff. If they show two different voltage settings (I think they're 110 and 220, but don't quote me), you're fine and don't need one. I've never, ever needed one in Paris.

passionfruitdrink37 Nov 9th, 2012 07:45 PM

Someone mentioned a currency converter above.
Anyways, i only need the adapter to charge my computer, camera and phone. I dont need anything else.

DebitNM Nov 9th, 2012 07:50 PM

Current converter is not the same as currency converter - electricity vs. money.

janisj Nov 9th, 2012 11:17 PM

"<i>Someone mentioned a currency converter above.</i>"

I think denisa is a bit confused. Back on Nov 4 she posted about a 'currency converter' when she was quite clearly talking about an electrical (<i>current</i>) converter. She then repeated that mistake a few posts ago.

Ignore "currency" . . . In this context it is a "current" converter . . . And you won't need one.

passionfruitdrink37 Nov 10th, 2012 07:57 AM

Okay, thanks.
Shopping wise, what are some good stores to go to?
I would like to buy some clothes while I'm there. What are some fun, affordable shops to visit?

MonicaRichards Nov 10th, 2012 08:19 AM

There are French chains like Naf Naf that sell inexpensive fashionable clothes. I actually found the clothes in France cheaper than here for what you get. Also Desigual, it's a Spanish chain but the prices in France were better than here and their stuff (bold patterns) is really distinctive. They are all down the Champs-Elysées (not Desigual though), near your hotel I presume.

kerouac Nov 10th, 2012 08:47 AM

I have never heard a visitor report that they didn't find any places to shop in Paris. However, all of the chains for young people can be found in the Forum des Halles in the center of Paris (it is a 3-level underground mall). I guarantee that it is a place that your uncle would not recommend.

passionfruitdrink37 Nov 10th, 2012 11:25 AM

Oh awesome. Le forum des halles hosts both Naf Naf and Desigual.

passionfruitdrink37 Nov 11th, 2012 06:25 AM

For luggage, I've been advised by a friend not to get anything colorful(which is what I want) as it will make me a target for theft. But won't black luggage be more likely to get taken, since almost everyone carries black luggage?

And for transportation from CDG to the Friedland, what's the best option? I know I could taxi, but that's probably going to cost around 70 euros, so no.
A shuttle from the airport would cost about 20 euros

And finally, i went on the RATP website and used the itinerary option. It tells me to go from Aéroport Charles de Gaulle 2 TGV( What's the difference between that and Aéroport Charles de Gaulle 1?)
to the rer b stop, take the one headed to Massy-Palaiseau and get off at Chatelet-les-Halles. And then take the rer A one, towards la defense and get off at Charles de Gaulle étoile. And then take bus 52 towards Opéra and get off at Friedland-Haussmann. Now, this trip will take an hour. For those of you with experience, how many bus tickets will that take me? I know I can do transfers in some instances, but can one ticket allow me to go between rer lines and a bus? Or do I have to use a different ticket once I get on the bus? And if that's the case, the bus 52 is only a 3 minute ride, I'd rather walk.

I wonder, can I download the RATP itinerary builder on my phone? That would really come in handy once I'm in Paris.

StCirq Nov 11th, 2012 06:41 AM

Aéroport CdG 2 is Terminal 2 - the TGV station (train station). Aéroport CdG 1 is Terminal 1. There are two airport terminals, so the first thing you need to determine is which one you're arriving at, then get yourself to the RER station, which may involve taking a shuttle to the other terminal.

An RER ticket will cost more than a regular métro or bus ticket. I don't take the RER into Paris from the airport normally, so I can't say how much, but it won't be too expensive. Personally, I wouldn't go through Châtelet-les-Halles as a first-time visitor to Paris. It's the largest subway station in the world, literally miles of underground passageways, very confusing . I'd take the Air France shuttle or the Roissy Bus, then get on the métro.

annhig Nov 11th, 2012 09:10 AM

passionfruit - the ticket that you buy at CDG will take you from the RER station at the airport ALL THE WAY to your last stop on the metro, and will cost you a bit less than €10 each way. but as I understand it you'd need a new ticket for the bus so your idea of walking is a good one.

however i do agree that Chatelet les Halles is one of Paris's most confusing stations, so getting the Roissy Bus, at least on the outward journey might actually be a good idea. you can make your mind up about what to do on the way back when you've had some experience of the metro.

passionfruitdrink37 Nov 11th, 2012 11:11 AM

How confusing is Chatelet les Halles? I mean there are signs everywhere, I imagine, and if worse comes to worse, I can ask for directions?
Ill see what other oprtions I have for public transportation.

paris15 Nov 11th, 2012 11:58 AM

Considering your hotel is near Place de l'Etoile, the best and easiest for you would be to take the Air France Bus.
The pickup at the airport is well indicated, and there is one line that will take you directly to Etoile. Then, you'll just have to walk less than five minutes (it's a big avenue, with large sidewalks).
Have a look at this:

kerouac Nov 11th, 2012 12:29 PM

There are indeed signs everywhere at Châtelet-Les Halles so it is all quite simple to transfer to the RER A and go to Charles de Gaulle-Etoile for 9.25€.

However, considering the location of "your uncle's" hotel, you might find it easier to take the Air France bus from CDG to Charles de Gaulle-Etoile. The terminus is avenue Carnot, just 2 streets from avenue de Friedland.

FrenchMystiqueTours Nov 11th, 2012 12:37 PM

The part about having colorful luggage making you a target for theft is nonsense. Bring whatever color luggage you want.

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