Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Europe (
-   -   Transportation in Paris. Any advice? (

Keiran76 Nov 30th, 2012 01:47 AM

I should! I just need to find the time. Glad I could be of help!

StCirq Nov 30th, 2012 06:20 AM

Just a small addendum to Keiran's helpful post...if "all the menus are in English" you're probably eating somewhere overpriced, or at least beyond what a student budget normally is.

passionfruitdrink37 Nov 30th, 2012 03:45 PM

Language of the menu is irrelevant to me. All that I need is prices.
Has anyone been to Chercheminippes?

Keiran76 Nov 30th, 2012 03:59 PM

I should clarify...most of the menus had English translations on them. If they didn't, the waiters were very helpful. I got a chuckle at some of the translations. One of the specials was 'small piece of a butcher' Oh my!
We would look for the deals (a main and dessert for under 20 euros), take Rick steves or fodorites' suggestions for cheap eats, or just grab a crepe or bowl of soup for a filling and yummy meal.
Ahhh..I miss all that fresh food and the wine with no sulfites (and therefor no hangover)

denisea Nov 30th, 2012 05:21 PM

Agree- skip any place where the menu is in English. It is a guarantee you will be paying too much for poor quality food. Avoid if at all possible.

Just stick to carnets this trip...very simple to use for metro or bus. Remember just to start for the navigo it will cost 5 euro for the card plus a weeks's worth of fares which will be at least 19.15 euros ( depends on which zones you purchase for the week) and it only goes from Monday- Sunday, which may not work as well for your travel schedule. And you will need a photo. Keep it simple for the first trip. A carnet is 12.70 and plenty flexible for your first trip to Paris. We often buy the carnet at a corner tabac.

Nikki Dec 1st, 2012 02:39 AM

I see more and more menus in English, or at least with English translations, many at places I have liked. Although probably not at the least expensive places, and less likely in neighborhoods that don't see many tourists.

passionfruitdrink37 Dec 1st, 2012 07:38 AM

I just found out about a day pass for young adults on weekends and public holidays that sells for like 3,55 euros.

I will be getting that for the Saturday and the Sunday, and maybe for New Year's day, because I read somewhere public transport was free that day for certain hours, although I'm not too sure.

On the Sunday, I'll be going to St. Denis Basilica, although what zone is that located in? The day pass for 3,50 is for use in zones 1 to 3, and I'm not sure if it falls within those zones.

Again, language is a non-issue for me. I don't care what language a menu is in, all I care about our prices. I am cheap, but it's not like I have all this money to spend; I'm a student. So cheap recommendations are greatly appreciated.

passionfruitdrink37 Dec 1st, 2012 07:41 AM

wow. are* All I care about are* prices. English fail.

StCirq Dec 1st, 2012 07:55 AM

If you take métro line 13 to Basilique stop, a regular métro ticket will get you there. If you take the RER, it's more expensive.

The point about menus in English is that places that have them (and I agree with Nikki that there are more and more of them), they're likely to be higher-priced places in touristy areas (like the one you're staying in). So if you want cheap, you'll likely need to be eating in the outer arrondissements. Or buy street food or stuff from markets.

denisea Dec 1st, 2012 09:15 AM

Yes, exactly St Cirq....avoiding all English menus helps you avoid paying obscene amounts for food that is not very good! The point is not the language, the point is that it may be geared only at tourists.

PFD, also agree just take metro 13 to St Denis. You will find all kinds of conflicting info on passes and whether they are cost effective, what you want but after 6 trips to Paris, a carnet is the most flexible and easy way to get around the city when you will only be there for a week. It is much more simple than trying to get a day pass for some days and different ways to pay on others. What I am trying to get you to see, is that you want to focus on fun. This is your first trip and you will get a little overwhelmed and/or confused, so make it simple and easy wherever possible.

There will likely be some time on NYD that the metro will be free, there was on Christmas Day.

kismetchimera Dec 1st, 2012 09:36 AM

I love Saint Denis Cathedral..I try to visit it often when I go to Paris.

kerouac Dec 1st, 2012 10:05 AM

Every restaurant now has an English menu, so the advice about avoiding such places is completely outdated. It is also normal for menus to be in German, Spanish or Italian.

What you need to avoid in terms of tourist restaurants are the places with little flags and 8 languages. I have said it before and I will repeat it!

StCirq Dec 1st, 2012 10:12 AM

None of the places we visited in Ménilmontant on our recent trip had any menus in English (or any language other than French).

passionfruitdrink37 Dec 1st, 2012 10:55 AM

Ew. All restaurants now have English menus? That's pretty lame. But St. Denis is in which zone?

StCirq Dec 1st, 2012 11:02 AM

I believe it's in Zone 3, but it doesn't matter, as you can take the métro to it without any extra charges - line 13 to Basilique.

I haven't ever found all menus in English. Just in touristy areas, for the most part.

passionfruitdrink37 Dec 1st, 2012 12:14 PM

Alright thanks!
For this of you used to Paris, how cold does it get? I know I've probably as ked before, but I recently purchased a coat and I hope it will be able to keep me warm. What's the average temperature in late December?

denisea Dec 1st, 2012 12:31 PM

Plan on weather similar to NYC in winter and definitely check the 10 day forecast, right before you leave. You will need a warm coat, hat gloves and scarf plus a small travel umbrella. Layers are always good for travel. If you have boots or shoes that are weather resistent/water resistent....take them

If you expect to be outside alot, I like a very thin performance type layer to wear under clothes. The other favorite thing for cold weather travel is those hand warmers you get a outdoor/camping stores. They heat up when exposed to air and are great for your pockets, when you will be outside. They make them for hand, feet and body but I find the ones for your hands are all you need.

OK, I have been in Paris the past few years and have found almost no restuarants with English I do agree to avoid the places with flags and picture photos. We never eat anywhere near the major tourist spots.

We love St Denis and the 13 will get you there on a regular is a bit out there but worth it.

passionfruitdrink37 Dec 2nd, 2012 09:05 AM

I read that the weather in Paris this time of year ranges from 2 to 7 degrees, which isn't very cold at all, compared to what I'm used to anyways. That doesn't seem too bad, and I think my coat will keep me warm just fine.
I really hope I have a great time and I hope I meet new people!
The 26th cannot come fast enough!

kerouac Dec 2nd, 2012 10:39 AM

Part of Saint Denis (basilica) is in zone 2 and part of it (university) is in zone 3.

Please reassure me, PFD -- there is no possiblity that your cousin might bail on you at the last minute, is there?

kerouac Dec 2nd, 2012 10:42 AM

My mistake -- all of Saint Denis is in zone 3. Saint Ouen is in zone 2.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:36 PM.