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Paris 2 days, catching train at 9am from Gare de Lyon

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Massachusetts
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Paris 2 days, catching train at 9am from Gare de Lyon

Dear TAers,

I'm looking for advice on a good location to find a hotel from which we can easily get to the city and touristy spots, and importantly, easily checkout and get to the train station (Gare de Lyon) to catch a TGV to Montpellier at 9am. This is our first time in Paris and our French does not go beyond niceties.

Arrival/Departure: 5th May - 7th May

We have a 2yr old toddler with us and from reading forums I understand that Metro stations involve lots of steps? No lifts anywhere?? We plan on using public transit whilst in Paris - what are our options? Is there such a thing as a day pass for use on all transits? Ideally if we can just get to one location we don't mind walking around from one tourist spot to another.

Denver, Colorado
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1. Re: Paris 2 days, catching train at 9am from Gare de Lyon

Actually the immediate area around gare de Lyon would work well for you. There are several moderately priced hotels there.

Line 14 or line 1 will take you to the Center. Just avoid rush hour times and you will be fine!!

Personally I don't think you need French to enjoy Paris. Tons of tourists get by with limited English so you definitely will be able to explain yourself :-)

Massachusetts
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2. Re: Paris 2 days, catching train at 9am from Gare de Lyon

Thank you Rasteriasha! Is an inclusive breakfast not the norm for hotels in Paris? What are breakfast options if not available (or rather too expensive) at hotel? We have a 2yr old with us so if we can plan meals it would save us last minute craziness with a hungry child :)

Denver, Colorado
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3. Re: Paris 2 days, catching train at 9am from Gare de Lyon

My very first trip to Paris we stayed at College du France at Gare de Lyon. Breakfast was included (croissants, coffee, juice, cereal, yogurt).

If you do not wish to pay for breakfast, there are plenty of bakeries to grab a croissant, although I found the ones close to the station to be of inferior quality (I actually ended up living in that area for a bit later on). In desperation, there is even food you can grab inside Gare de Lyon station. It's very large, but the escalators always work, and there are lifts available too.

Try sites like booking.com or venere.com.

Another option for breakfast would be a Monoprix (grocery store) - and then a park (like Promenade Plantee) for some al-fresco dining :-)

Le Bugue, France
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4. Re: Paris 2 days, catching train at 9am from Gare de Lyon

IF a hotel offers breakfast, it is usually at a seriously inflated price. There is hardly any hotel in Paris that doesn't have a café nearby that will serve you breakfast for a fraction of the cost of a hotel breakfast. Most hotels also have mini-fridges where you can store fruit, yoghurt, milk, or whatever.

As for the métro, there are supposed to be elevators in many stations; unfortunately, they are not always working. Use the buses.

You don't need to stay near the train station, though you may choose to. Paris transportation is excellent, and you can get to the Gare de Lyon from anywhere.

You don't NEED French to get by in Paris, but you should certainly know the basic formalities and pleasantries so you don't offend anyone.

Massachusetts
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5. Re: Paris 2 days, catching train at 9am from Gare de Lyon

Great stuff! Thanks!

Massachusetts
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6. Re: Paris 2 days, catching train at 9am from Gare de Lyon

St. Cirq, on advice, I did a quick search and found quite a dense presence of hotels in the Gare de Lyon area. We do not mind staying elsewhere but I think we'd want to be at the train station at least an hour before departure time to avoid any mess ups or confusion. That, and we'll have luggage and a child so all things considered it feels like a safer bet if we are closer to the departure point for so early in the morning.

Please do share if you feel there are more worthwhile but not more pricier places to stay.

Denver, Colorado
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7. Re: Paris 2 days, catching train at 9am from Gare de Lyon

In the Gare de Lyon area, if do decide to stay there (and I think it makes sense), some food options that may be of interest:

- Creperie Au Beurre Sale: tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g187147-d2…

- Bakery Ble Sucre: http://www.yelp.com/biz/blé-sucré-paris-2

- Bakery Basin: www.yelp.com/biz/boulangerie-bazin-paris

- Promenade Plantee park

- Bastille market (open on Thurs and Sun)

- Place des Vosges

- The Line 14 stop of this metro station has a tropical garden, which is cool

Note this station is very busy between 8:00 and 9:30 am. It's also a very pretty building from the outside.

Again, do not try the bakeries on the side streets branching out of the Gare de Lyon, cross the avenue Daumesnil and you're "safe" for Parisian baked goods at awesome quality!

Le Bugue, France
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8. Re: Paris 2 days, catching train at 9am from Gare de Lyon

Sure, if you've found places you think are suitable, do stay near the Gare de Lyon. If you have tickets in hand already, you probably don't need a full hour there before the train leaves, but if that's your comfort zone, go for it.You can always grab a coffee, or a sandwich to eat on the train, if you have an extra few minutes.

Massachusetts
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9. Re: Paris 2 days, catching train at 9am from Gare de Lyon

Thank you once again!

Boston...
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10. Re: Paris 2 days, catching train at 9am from Gare de Lyon

I just recommended this hotel yesterday here, and it's one you may find suitable as well. It's called L'Hotel Particulier on the rue Cremieux, which is a five-minute walk from the GdL. No frills but inexpensive and the metro connections from the Gare de Lyon are very good for touring the city.