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Advice on getting to different attractions?

Wigan, England...
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Advice on getting to different attractions?

Hey everyone

Can somebody please advise me on what would be the best way to get to and from certain attractions in Paris please?

I'm 20, ( turning 21 on the 23rd Jan in Paris! Sorry but I'm excited at the awesomeness :D ) travelling with my mother; who has arthritis in her hip so, please bare that in mind when giving advice. She is able to walk some distance, but after 2 - 3 hours of continous walking she cannot walk anymore.

We will be staying on Rue du Sommard at the Hotel Marignan. We would like to see, the Notre Dame, St Sulpice, The Eiffel Tower, and the Arc de Triomphe. I would love to walk down the Champs Elysees but would she make it? :)

I'm fine with walking, but like I said, I worry about causing my mother pain. Would it be more suitable to get the metro or do you think the walking distances would be reasonable?

Also, I may aswell ask, since I'm travelling on a budget, does anyone know of relatively cheap places for meals during the day? Cheap cafe or something? I've read somewhere it can cost like five euros for a can of coke!

Thanks a lot for all advice / info.

Denver, Colorado
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1. Re: Advice on getting to different attractions?

I think the metro is not a good idea for your mom - it involves a lot of staircases, and sometimes long corridors, so I think it may be difficult.

Have you considered a Hop on Hop off bus for sightseeing? Maybe for the first couple of days? It will take you to the major tourist attractions:


Public buses are also a great way to get around - it takes more time than the metro, and is a little harder to figure out the route, but definitely less pressure on your mother's hip. I would avoid rush hour (on ground traffic is horrible, and the buses can get packed out).

You could also take a river cruise one evening so that you can enjoy the lights at night.

Places to eat - don't go to the places on the main streets and "with a view", usually those are more expensive. BUT, my favorite splurge for a "five euro coke" (or coffee, which is amazing in Paris!) is to sit on one of the cafes at Champs Elysees and watch the tourists pass by. I think it's interesting to guess where they are all from, and it also makes me feel like I really am in Paris! In all of Paris, they arrange the outdoor seating "theater style" so that the customers can enjoy people watching. I love that.

Your hotel is in a very convenient location for sightseeing!

Oh, and I would add a picnic at the Luxembourg Gardens, and a slow stroll through the Tuileries to your list of activities (if you walk from the Louvre towards Champs-Elysees, you will have nice views of the EIffel Tower too. There are chairs around the fountains where you can have a rest)

Oakville, Canada
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2. Re: Advice on getting to different attractions?

I can understand your problem as I have had some walking issues as well when visiting Paris. While the metro is excellent, most stations have a minimum of one flight of stairs. I would recommend using the bus. They are excellent, easy to get in and out of and quite efficient. Each bus stop has a map of the buses arriving to that stop, they also indicate when the next bus arrives. You don't mention how long you will be staying, as there is a Navigo Decouverte pass that is valid from Mon. - Sun. which you can use as often as you like for the bus as well as the metro. The other alternative is that you can purchase a 'carnet' of 12 tickets that you would use for each time you get on the bus or metro. With a bus map in hand and helpful local people you can both have a great time.

Notre-Dame Cathedral is within walking distance of your hotel. Your Mom could definitely walk along the Champs Elysee, you wouldn't have to do the whole street but could start at the Arc de Triomphe and walk down the C-E for as long as she wanted to.

Ottawa, Canada
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3. Re: Advice on getting to different attractions?

Have a look at the locations you wish to visit using Google Maps... here's a link to one with many attractions marked: http://tinyurl.com/7jkpz83 If you click on the red dots you'll get more info...

You can use the directions feature in the left menu to get walking routes. You'll be given the distance and a time estimate based on a brisk pace... not a sightseeing saunter. ;^)

The idea of hop on hop off might be ideal for your mother. Regular Paris buses have easy entry. You can get bus routes at http://www.ratp.com

Chicago, Illinois
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4. Re: Advice on getting to different attractions?

you can get a very complete bus map book at news stands -- it has a big foldout map and then individual pages of bus routes. you want to meter out her walking and so a pass that allows you to grab a bus for a few blocks is a great idea -- with a pass you don't weigh the cost of a short trip

she can also sit and sip while you walk around a more ambitious area -- most cafes offer a great view of the world passing by -- and the cost of a drink seated on the terrace is best thought of as 'table rent' rather than a 5$ coke. Other great places for people watching for free are parks like the Tuilleries or Luxembourg gardens where there are ample chairs and beautiful vistas.

look into a wheel chair for the Louvre (there are hidden elevators everywhere so stairs which are also everywhere can be avoided) even if you decide against an elevator in the Louvre, knowing that you never have to climb stairs is helpful.

there is a little amusement park type train that winds up Montmartre so you can view these charming streets without walking them. the HOHO bus system can be used to survey the city while seated. the river boats -- one at night, one during the day are also great ways to see the beauty without walking. Some of the launch points are very accessible (avoid Vedettes Pont Neuf near Notre Dame which has steep stairs)

Edited: 15 January 2012, 16:53
Paris, France
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5. Re: Advice on getting to different attractions?

Paris has one of the best public transportation systems in the world. The standard choice for getting around is the Métro (subway). However, since many stations still require negotiating stairways, a person with mobility problems might prefer to take city buses instead, which use the same tickets. Virtually all Paris buses today are designed without steps, so you can walk right on and off, and they are wheelchair friendly as well. The buses will take you anywhere you want to go, although they are a bit slower than the subway and you have to read the bus map carefully.

Wigan, England...
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6. Re: Advice on getting to different attractions?

Thank you for all of your replies and advice :) I shall look into the links provided. I think you may be right; sounds like the bus would be a more beneficial idea for my mum. We are going for three days :)

Paris, France
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7. Re: Advice on getting to different attractions?

The bus is probably the best solution. Any métro tickets/passes you have or buy will work just as well on the public bus network. Here is a bus map you can download:


Brighton, MI
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8. Re: Advice on getting to different attractions?

My teenage daughter and I were in Paris for a few days and we used the hop on hop off bus and it was great several years ago.. I am terrible with directions so this bus was perfect for us. It was very safe and the stops were very easy to find. They went to every major site.

My husband and I are going in the spring and I plan to again use the hop on hop off bus. You used to be able to use it for two days.

Have fun!

Victoria, Canada
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9. Re: Advice on getting to different attractions?

To avoid the 5 euro cokes,, do not order them out,, I usually pick up a six pack at a grocers for a few euros max,, and if I do have one at a cafe,, I never choose a "cute cafe with a view" you will pay extra for everything at a cute cafe with a view.. think of it as renting the seat ,, find a little place on a side street, or get one from a street vender ( crepe cart for example) ,, likely 1-2 euros max.

Menus are posted outside everywhere, so check out prices before you sit down, everyone does .

The Champs is long, I suggest you only walk a portion. The view from the Arc is great, you do have to ASK for an elevator, one is there, but they save it for those with mobility problems, you don't have to have any sort of special pass for it, you just have to ask and say your mother cannot do stairs.

The Hop on and Off buses are easy, you and your mom can tour around alot and just stay on when she is tired, but have the option to jump out when you wish.. the two day pass is only a few more then the one day pass.

A cruise up the Seine is nice too, and not too expensive for a treat.

Dress warmly.

NE Victoria...
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10. Re: Advice on getting to different attractions?

You can also get a free bus and metro map from the information counters at metro stations - ask for "un grand plan de Paris, s'il vous plaît" and you should get one without much fuss. Bus lines on one side, colour-coded and showing routes and stops, metro and RER lines on the other. I use buses most of the time in Paris and the map is invaluable!

If you're in Paris for three days, you might like to buy Mobilis tickets for 6.40 euros, which give you a day's unlimited access to public transport in zones 1 and 2 (central Paris); if you're there for a longer time, the Navigo Decouverte mentioned above is a good deal at 19.15 euros per person - it lasts for a week, starting on Monday.

A good place to go for a cheap meal is the cafe at the top of BHV department store, opposite the Hotel de Ville on rue de Rivoli. Nice views over the city, lift access and reasonably priced food!

Have a great time in Paris, I hope that your mother's hip doesn't cause her too much pain whilst she's there. And Happy Birthday for the 23rd!