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Solo travel to Paris with some questions

Columbus, OH
6 posts
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Solo travel to Paris with some questions

I will be travelling solo to Paris very soon and I have a few questions I was unable to find answers to after searching the forums for a while. I'm embarrassed that they're silly questions but I've got a little bit of anxiety about going on my own. I'm the type to worry too much about the little things so I figured I'd just ask now rather than do these things wrong and feel even more silly when I'm there..

1. To get to the place I'm staying from CDG I'm planning on taking the RER B to Chatalet-Les Halles, and then from there getting on the M7 to Place Monge. Will I need to buy a separate metro ticket when I make the transfer or will I just use the same RER ticket?

2. When ordering in a cafe, if I want to sip my coffee at a table, do you usually order at the bar and then sit, or sit at the table first.. What is the process? Again I know this is silly, and it may vary between different cafes, but I just want to be sure I don't look like an idiot when I get there.

Thanks so much in advance for any help.

Pjk
New Jersey
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1. Re: Solo travel to Paris with some questions

For #2 if you order at the bar you will also sip your drink there, usually standing. If you sit at a table, a waiter will come over to take your order and bring it back to you.

Pjk

Columbus, OH
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2. Re: Solo travel to Paris with some questions

Thank you Pjk!! This is very helpful.. and now I feel more silly for worrying!

Boston...
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3. Re: Solo travel to Paris with some questions

As you come to a café, you'll likely see some tables set with placemats and silverware and some without. If you only want a drink or coffee, sit at a table with no place settings. The ones with place settings are for those who want to eat.

The waiter will see you and come serve you directly.

Brussels
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4. Re: Solo travel to Paris with some questions

<Will I need to buy a separate metro ticket when I make the transfer or will I just use the same RER ticket?>

You can use the RER ticket for the whole journey.

minneapolis
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5. Re: Solo travel to Paris with some questions

Ordering coffee at the bar vs. a table ... good question to ask because little things do matter. This is the same for all cafes. Prices are cheapest when you stand at the bar so you would never order at the bar and then move to a table. If I am going to sit at a table, I always ask where I can sit. It's not always necessary but since I don't know all the subtle nuances, it seems like a polite thing to do. Also for outside tables (have never noticed whether this applies to inside tables as well) some tables are set with napkins and cutlery, others are not. The set tables are for meals; if you just want a drink you sit at an empty table.

Sorry to repeat this information - I was writing at the same time that #3 was posting.

Edited: 09 December 2013, 17:38
Columbus, OH
6 posts
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6. Re: Solo travel to Paris with some questions

Thanks so much for all of your extremely helpful answers! Especially about the place settings, I wouldn't have known otherwise.

And thanks for the answer about the RER, Colin58!

Thank goodness for TA. :)

Anacortes...
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7. Re: Solo travel to Paris with some questions

One other small point, keep your RER ticket as you will need it to exit the RER portion of the station and enter the Metro system. Just run it through the slot on the turnstile. As a matter of fact, hold on to the ticket until you leave the Metro at your final destination just in case an inspector asks to see it.

Victoria, Canada
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8. Re: Solo travel to Paris with some questions

Good point made by nukesafe.. always keep any metro or RER ticket till you exit the station completely.. inspectors can ask at any time for you to present the ticket used.. without it you will have to pay an on the spot fine.

los angeles
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9. Re: Solo travel to Paris with some questions

I think you are totally awesome for taking a solo trip, and you should try not to speak (or think) of your self as "silly" and "nervous." There's no way you would be doing this if you weren't pretty adventurous and clear-thinking and confident!

You may have a tendency to get caught up in the little "embarrassing" details, but that's just because you don't want to offend or be uninformed abut the subtleties.

I find that when I am anywhere "new," it makes it a lot easier just to admit my lack of certainty and ask. "This is my first time in Paris, so I am confused. May I sit here?" Attitude goes a long way, and when someone can see that you wish to comply with local customs, you will be treated with kindness. Sure, there are always those who are having a bad day or are naturally gruff, but my experience has been overwhelmingly the opposite.

Redefine "worried" and "silly." You are detail-oriented and curious. You are putting yourself out there to learn. You are adaptable and conscientious! Have a great trip.

Paris, France
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10. Re: Solo travel to Paris with some questions

Excellent post mcal!!