Walk all over Paris?

Old Jul 9th, 2002, 04:36 PM
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Yes, Paris is a very walkable city. I went once in December 1996 to spend a couple of weeks with my daughter who was finishing up a semester abroad and we pretty much road the metro everywhere. I went again last summer with my husband and we walked everywhere! The walking was a much better way to see the city. Also nice to be able to stop at a cafe and get a feel for the different neighborhoods. An added plus -- we ate like crazy, but walked all over and I was able to come back to the US about 5 pounds thinner after 3 weeks in France! I go to NYC often and also walk there, but I found Paris a much more "walkable" city than NYC...It seems smaller; there is more diversity over relatively small areas and therefore more to see.
Old Jul 9th, 2002, 06:44 PM
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Ok folks - you are getting me even more excited about my trip!
Old Jul 9th, 2002, 06:54 PM
dan woodlief
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Yes, Paris is a place to walk, but it seemed much larger than the guidebooks indicated. You will walk and walk and walk, and Paris can wear your feet down to stumps. So - take the advice to break the city down into sections to make better use of your time and save your feet. My feet have never hurt more than they did in Paris, so make sure to have very comfortable shoes that allow for swelled feet. I found Vienna and Florence much more compact than Paris. The only problem with the subways in Paris is that you have to walk a long ways inside the tunnels to get to the tracks, so even this will result in a lot of walking. Still, I would rather be on bloody stumps in Paris anyday than with perfect feet most anywhere else.
Old Jul 9th, 2002, 07:03 PM
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Betty: I wish I'd bring a pedometer with me to guage the exact mileage I cover walking in Paris every year, but I always forget. It is the most walkable city in the world, even though it has fabulous métro and bus systems. I would venture to guess that last week, as in many previous years, we walked 6-7 miles a day in Paris, and that's not counting the in-store walking we did while shopping. We always start out thinking we'll hop the métro at a certain place, but then there is so much of architectural interest, so many lovely shop windows to gaze into, so many little courtyards to peek into, that we keep walking and walking and walking. We often walk from, say, La Samaritaine department store down the right bank to the Champs Elysées and then over to the Place Victor Hugo and then across the river to the Tour Eiffel and then down the Champs de Mars and over to the Place de l'Ecole Militaire - this is not a short walk!
Good shoes are a must. But Paris is also easily navigable on the métro and the buses (I've come to love the buses in recent years because they allow you to see the city from above ground and because the routes are SO ingenious - they take you from one congested part of the city to another by way of small streets that you'd never find on your own but that get you where you're going fast!)
Bring good shoes and plan to walk and walk and walk - but be aware that the buses and métro are always a block or two away if your blisters are acting up.
Old Jul 9th, 2002, 07:05 PM
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The advice to "walk, walk, walk" all over Paris is excellent. Paris is chock full of architecture, shopping, restaurants, cafes, and otherwise fantastic scenery ALL over. To me, however, it's best not to plan on walking from one destination to another. You'll be worn out by the time you get there. For example, it's best not to WALK to the Louvre, as there are miles and miles of hallways and exhibits once you're in. And, if your time in Paris is limited, a few days as opposed to a couple of weeks, walking will just wear you out. You know, when visiting Washington DC, all those Smithsonian buildings are side by side on the map. But, it's a hike from entrance to entrance and, once inside, several stories of miles and miles of corridors. On our first trip to Paris, we'd look at a map and figure where we were and where we'd like to go next and realize "it's right over there"! Well, "right over there" is quite the "walk". If you live "close" to Atlanta, you may be used to hopping in your car and parking not too far from your destinations. If you don't do all that much walking at home, "walking" all over Paris will be quite exhausting.
Old Jul 10th, 2002, 09:33 AM
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I saw on the web for "Go To Paris" I could get a 2 day hop on hop off bus ticket (for $30.00), but they charge $12.00 to mail the ticket to me! So, where do I go and buy it after getting to Paris?
Old Jul 10th, 2002, 09:43 AM
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I'd suggest buying a carnet of tickets (about 10) in a Metro station. You can use them to ride the Metro or the bus. And the maps at bus stops pretty clearly tell you which buses go where and even how often they come by. Much less expensive than the hop-on-hop off tour bus, and you'll feel more like a Parisien than a tourist.
Old Jul 11th, 2002, 12:58 PM
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Totally agree with Diane--just say "oon karnay silvooplay!"
Old Jul 12th, 2002, 12:14 AM
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can't be more than 2 - 2 1/2 miles from the Arc de Triompe to the Marais down the Champs des Elysees continuing on the Rue de Rivoli. awful lot to look at on that stroll. you can use the main east-west metro line to shorten most journeys while seeing many sights close up. doubtful you'd want to see anything more than 4 miles fron Notre Dame in any direction.
Old Jul 12th, 2002, 03:16 AM
M. J. Hindman
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My wife and I returned yesterday from a week in Paris. The weather was ideal (72-75 every day), and we walked everywhere. Because we stayed within two blocks of the Seine and the Louvre, we were easily able to walk amost anywhere we wanted to go. From the Louvre, it is about a 5 minute walk to the Musee d'Orsay, a ten minute walk to Isle de Cite, a 20 minute walk to Place St. Michel in the Latin District, and another few to Jardin de Luxembourg, 15 minutes to Montparnasse / Blvd. St. Germaine, and a 30 minute walk to the Eiffel Tower. We took a cab to Montmarte and Musee de Picasso, either of which would have been at least an hour walk from our hotel area. If you aren't staying in an area that is pretty central, I'd recommend that you just have a cab plop you off at Jardin de Tulieres / Louvre for Right Bank activities (except Montmarte) or Jardin du Luxembourg for Left Bank activities and wander around from there. Take a book that isn't too cumbersome and has a one-page map for each arrondisement. Don't get stuck in a strictly highlight-hopping mode because you will really miss out on what we loved most about Paris, which was simply immersing ourselves in the city's nooks and crannies. If after a day or two you notice that you are constantly surrounded by large groups who seem to be together, or that everyone around you seems to be speaking English, reevaluate your approach to Paris. Just jump in and see where the flow takes you.
Old Jul 12th, 2002, 05:22 AM
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Hello again Betty,
You can buy the tickets for the "hop on, hop off" Open top bus as you get on the bus at any of the stops.
We really did find that this was a marvellous way to get around the city.
You can also pay for them by credit card on the bus.
Old Jul 12th, 2002, 05:51 AM
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It is very walkable but there are a few areas where using the metro is better/easier. If you are staying in the Marais, you probably don't want to walk to the Eiffel Tower. If you go to your nearest bookstore they have plastic fold-up maps that typically indicate not only the streets & sights but also the metro stops,etc. As one of the prior responses stated, take the metro to the neighborhood you wish to explore & walk that area. I won't even comment on Atlanta.
Old Jul 12th, 2002, 08:58 AM
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We are staying at a hotel on Rue de Rivoli, so it sounds like we can walk everywhere we want to go from that area without any trouble. Thanks again everyone. Hey - Atlanta is my capital, but wouldn't to walk around the city, sorry to say!
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