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Driving to Paris from Calais.

Portsmouth, England
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Driving to Paris from Calais.

Hi there

I was planning a trip to Lyon by way of Folkstone (le Shuttle) but my friend now wants to go to Paris instead. I popped my Paris cherry last year and LOVED the city so that's okay but I'm a little worried about driving in Paris as I've heard it can be quite hair-raising!

It would only be for one night so we'd be driving to a hotel hopefully in St Germaine area and parking up until we left the following day. I drove to Bruges last year and found it fine but know Paris is much more congested. It would be a weekday rather than a weekend so not sure if that matters.

I'd really appreciate any feedback and advice on this plan. I've looked at other options but this was meant to be a fairly cheap trip and other travel is more expensive.

Thanks in advance.

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Ottawa, Canada
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1. Re: Driving to Paris from Calais.

If Paris is your only destination why not take the EuroStar? No worried about driving a car with the wheel on the wrong side and expensive parking. Surely the train for 2 must be cheaper than getting a car across the channel, fuel, tolls and parking? Non?

Portsmouth, England
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2. Re: Driving to Paris from Calais.

Unfortunately not. The tunnel is fairly inexpensive as it is per car not per person and the dates of travel on the Eurostar is huge for our travel dates. I did take a look but the prices seemed excessive.

Maybe I'll take a look at parking costs and recalculate. I love a road trip and Lyon didn't present a problem. Maybe I should try and persuade my companion to go there?

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Lyon
Lyon
Rhone, France
Limerick, Ireland
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3. Re: Driving to Paris from Calais.

We've driven in Paris on a few occasions - one of the most recent being an unintentional trip through La Defence and the Bois de Boulogne due to my confusing a left and right turn. We arrived at 5pm on a Monday.

Now we can laugh about it (Divorce is no longer on the cards lol!!) but it was stressful at the time.

Its a difficult city to drive through. If you want to drive through Paris then a Sunday is best..

Lyon is nice but why not head down the A16 (as you were probably considering) and then take the A28 towards Bayeux and Normandy? There is some lovely scenery. And Bayeux is a fabulous town.

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Lyon
Lyon
Rhone, France
Paris, France
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4. Re: Driving to Paris from Calais.

If it's just for one night, you should know that street parking is free from 7pm to 9am.

Paris, France
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5. Re: Driving to Paris from Calais.

Plan to arrive at the outskirts of the Paris area either after 10am or a bit before 4pm (or after 8.30pm if arriving late). As said above, street parking is free during the night and is typically limited to 2 hours to non-residents during the day in weekdays. However, finding a place nearby will be very difficult and is a bit hit or miss. Be prepared to walk up to 1km from a parking spot to your hotel.

If you plan to be in Paris after 11am the following day, then some private underground parking lots may be worth considering. Some do an all-night special which is good value (9€ from 6pm till 9am), but in general count around 25-36€ for 24-hours.

London
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6. Re: Driving to Paris from Calais.

>>> travel on the Eurostar is huge for our travel dates. <<<

It's a pity you don't say what those dates are as we could check them for you.

Edited: 23 March 2014, 15:59
Portsmouth, England
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7. Re: Driving to Paris from Calais.

Thanks everyone for your input.

I'm planning on going in April, I've checked prices against flights and against the tunnel and the Eurostar comes up as most expensive. I can get return tunnel for £60 (£30 p/p!) but thanks to helpful posters here now realise there are tolls and parking fees to add on and might just go for flights that look about £100 return.

The initial idea was a roadtrip and I even considered leaving my car at Calais and getting a train into Paris but not sure that would be work out any cheaper/easier than a flight.

*by tunnel I'm referring to Le Shuttle by the way.

Edited: 23 March 2014, 21:10
8. Re: Driving to Paris from Calais.

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