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Several Paris related questions

Chicago
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Several Paris related questions

I am in the midst of planning a summer trip in Paris, and stumbled on some questions.

I am looking to rent an apartment and have found one in the the 9th, on Rue Cardinal Mercier . Is this a nice area? I am a first time visitor to France and will most likely be on my own.

Also after 2 weeks or so, I'd like to travel around France a bit more.

Probably at least Strausburg, Lyon, and a city near the Alps.

This would be a quick go round, but I was hoping someone would have recommendations on how to go about it. Also is the Loire Valley a day trip from Paris, or should I include that in my additional week of train travel?

Thanks in advance!

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1. Re: Several Paris related questions

You can 'see' your neighborhood around that address on

www.pagesjaunes.fr

by entering your address and using the 'photo' feature and the arrows for navigation.

Also you can use the "proximitie" feature to find what's nearby, by entering "boulangerie", "supermarche", etc. into the search field.

You can plan your travels by train using www.sncf.com, the French rail system. I actually 'play' on the German one, though, it's easier to see the timetables... www.bahn.de

There are bus trips that take you to Loire Valley as a day-trip, but it's a very long one and of course you are on a strict schedule. If you want to train to Tours / St Pierre des Corps and rent a car, that's a good way to get around. Or you can visit Amboise, Blois on the train system.

For a week of countryside, I wouldn't try to do both Loire -and- Lyon / Alps / Alsace... pick one region and explore it well.

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2. Re: Several Paris related questions

For your travel to other parts of France, much will depend on how much time you have available for travel ??? A couple of days?...a couple of weeks ?? What sort of budget do you plan on?? Will you be traveling alone?....or with others? Do you prefer driving yourself via rental car?...or do you prefer train travel??

As for the Loire Valley--or at least the chateaux, you can do this as a day--long, escorted tour from Paris...or...as a semi-independent day-trip via TGV train to TOURS and then hooking up with a local tour group...or...wholy independent via rental car from either Paris or a Loire 'gateway', like Tours ( St. Pierre des Corps)....or if you were planning an extended driving tour, then work the Loire into your route / itinerary.

Chicago
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3. Re: Several Paris related questions

I am planning on a week of additional travel beyond Paris.

My budget is on the lower end, (recent college grad by then). I will be on my own, and would prefer not to rent a car.

I definitly would be able to work in the visit to the Loire Valley in my first 2 weeks, so that I have more time to spend in other parts.

And thank you for the webistes and links about trains and the location of the neighborhood!

USA
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4. Re: Several Paris related questions

You might also be able to work in day-trips to cities like LYON or DIJON via TGV trains from Paris in just under 2 hrs. as well. You could also do the trip as a PARIS / LYON / STRASBOURG (approx 5+hrs from Lyon) / PARIS itinerary.

SNCF Train Schedule Info---

www.voyages-sncf.com/dynamic/_SvHomePage…

For the remainder of your France traveling itinerary, you can use the SNCF rail system to get about. You probably need to have some idea of a proposed itinerary first though. If the Alcase region is your priority, it's possible that you could use Strausbourg-- http://www.strasbourg.com/ --as your base (there is direct SNCF train service from PARIS-Gare d' Est..approx 4 + hrs.) for the week and travel out and about from there (Mulhouse, Colmar, Sélestat, etc)---either on your own via regional trains or buses or with locally based tour groups--as daytrips.

http://www.cts-strasbourg.fr/cts2.html

You have a couple of choices for transportation. The first is individual point-to-point tickets from SNCF. The cost of these will vary depending on whether you pre-purchase, non-refundable tickets prior to your trip (which presupposes a fixed itineray...or purchase tickets as you go. The are substantive discounts available through pre-purchase. The second choice is some sort of multi-day Rail Pass product...but for a limited itinerary..you should definitely COMPARE individual point-to-point ticketing vs. Rail Pass,

Paris
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5. Re: Several Paris related questions

Rue du Cardinal Mercier is a perfectly acceptable area of town, central, lively and not too touristy. And, since the question is likely to pop up, yes, it's "safe", even "safe for a single female traveller" .

Melbourne, Australia
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6. Re: Several Paris related questions

While in Paris I would stay in the 4th Arrondisment. Paris is small enough and the metro is fabulous, but if you want to be right in the centre of Paris stay in the 1st or 4th or neighbouring arrondisment. I stayed in the 4th (The Latin QUarter) whihc was great. I was 10 minutes walk from the Notre Dame and the Siene, and the famous gardens and the Louvre, and about 25 minutes from Arche de Triomphe.....just fabulous because you can walk everywhere and that to me is the best way to see everything and to really feel Paris.

Paris
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7. Re: Several Paris related questions

The 9th is as, if not more central than the Latin Quarter. Which, BTW, is in the 5th and 6th arrondissements, not the 4th - unless our Australian friend thought he/she was in the Latin Quarter when he/she was actually staying in the Marais (4th) !

Chicago
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8. Re: Several Paris related questions

Thanks so much for the information KDKSAIL!

And thank for all those who posted about the area.

This is my first solo trip to Europe and I have several good friends worried about me! :P

I found a nice apartment in the 9th that is within my budget so I'm pretty excited.

One more question, what town/towns near the Alps is most worth visiting?

Paris
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9. Re: Several Paris related questions

Alps: first, don't fall into the tourist trap by going to Chamonix. Must have been lovely in the 1920s, but now it is at the beginning of the Mont Blanc tunnel, with 3,000 trucks a day on this busy thoroughfare between France and Italy. Pollution is heavy, as heavy as the tourist flow: if you want to hear English and Japanese, it's the way to go!

As far as quaint French Alpine towns are concerned, Americans usually love Annecy, which is nice enough, with a lake, and old town, the whole display of provincial bourgeoisie and all. Chambéry is ugly, Grenoble too big and characterless. Or you can go for a ski resort (nice in summer too): Morzine, Megève, Les Arcs, Courchevel. They are all easily accessible by TGV + 30 mn bus ride.

Chicago
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10. Re: Several Paris related questions

Thanks for the info Bob!