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Need help with transportation in and around Paris

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State of Washington
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Need help with transportation in and around Paris

My husband and I are planning a 30 day trip to Europe in 2007. Our first stop is Paris and we are booked at the Hotel de Champ de Mars in the 7th Arrondissement. A concern I have is getting from Charles de Gaulle to the hotel. I am afraid to fool with the metro ect when arriving tired (and my husband has limited patience in ANY circumstances) and in a strange city. Does anyone have any ideas for us--including how to make the arrangements?

We are also headed toward Venice, by train, I guess, maybe via Lucerne. Has anyone done this before and have any helpful information?

Paris, France
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1. Re: Need help with transportation in and around Paris

As usual, if your first stop is Paris, you might want to spare the RER (commuter rail) trip and spend to 60 euros of a taxi. But if you want to take pulic transportation, here are the options I'd consider :

RER : Line B from the airport, change at Saint-Michel-Notre-Dame for Line C westbound ( directions Pontoise/Versailles Rive Gauche/Saint Quentin en Yvelines ), get off at Invalides and walk the 400 yards to your hotel. 8,10€ pp

Bus combos:

- Roissybus from your terminal to Opéra, then Métro Line 8 towards Balard, get off at Etoile Militaire, the closest Métro stop to your hotel. 8,50+1,40 € pp.

Or a taxi from the Opéra to your hôtel (10-12€)

- Air France bus from your terminal to Charles de Gaulle Etoile - Arc de Triomphe, then bus line 92 towards Gare Montparnasse, get off at Bosquet-Grenelle (the closest bus stop to your hotel). Or, again, taxi from Charles de Gaulle Etoile to your hotel (10-12 €).

CA
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2. Re: Need help with transportation in and around Paris

For a tax [Taxi Parisien], proceed to the taxi line--do not accept offers from anyone approaching you on the way. Have the address written down to show to the driver. You will pay the metered fare plus 1€ per bag.

Ohio, USA
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3. Re: Need help with transportation in and around Paris

First thing to do is take a deep breath and relax. Planning your trip is going to be really easy, especially now you have found this site, and the only thing that will be more enjoyable is the trip itself.

As SHD says, the answer to your first question is dead easy. Just take a "Taxi Parisien" from the taxi stand outside your terminal direct to your hotel. Cost probably somewhere in the 50€=60€ range. Time perhaps 45 minutes, though both time and cost will vary a bit depending on traffic conditions. No fuss, no muss. No need to make prior arrangements. No impatient husband stomping around. Quick, clean and easy.

You cetainly *can* get to Venice from Paris by train by a variety of routes. Unless you actually want to visit somewhere along the way, your best bet might be to take one of Europe's many reliable budget airlines, in this case MyAir from Orly to Venice.

If you actually would prefer to travel by train, I wiould recommend stopping along the way as there are NO direct daytime trains. The trip would take somewhere between 13 and 15 hours. The only direct train is the night train that takes about 13 hours. Frankly not my idea of fun though I might have felt differently when I was 20-something...

I hope this helps — and I hope you will find these forums very useful as you plan your trip.

One question for you: When in 2007?

State of Washington
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4. Re: Need help with transportation in and around Paris

Thank you for your prompt reply AND valuable information!

We arrive in Paris in late May, and return from Rome in mid June after a cruise in the Greek Isles.

We are thinking of stopping in Lucerne on our way to Venice. Do you have any experience with this or perhaps another idea. We have about 5 days before our cruise departs from Venice. We wish to consider only options that are "on the way" to Venice.

Paris, France
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5. Re: Need help with transportation in and around Paris

>> We are thinking of stopping in Lucerne on our way to Venice. <<

The Paris-Venice train does not wander through Lucerne (even if it does transit through Switzerland). Paris-Lucerne by train is at least 7 hours with a change in Genève. Are you sure that it's what you really want ?

Stavanger, Norway
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6. Re: Need help with transportation in and around Paris

Hi

My wife and I went to Paris in April this year and we used the RER and metro to get to our hotel. But we have been to Paris before so I guess we had an advantage there. So if you want to make it easier it would of course be better to grab a taxi or similar to get straight to the hotel :-) Send me a mail if you want to take a look at my Paris trip report by the way...I can be reached on gardkarlsen@hotmail.com . We also went to Venice a couple of years back and I also have a trip report from that trip :-) How long are you staying in Paris?

Good luck with the planning. I'm sure you will have a great trip :-)

Regards

Gard

Paris
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7. Re: Need help with transportation in and around Paris

For some reason, Lucerne, a quaint, but common by European standards, town, has now made it into the collective American tourist psyche. It is out of the way, expensive, and one of thousands of medieval towns in Europe. Provins or Senlis, both an hour or so from Paris by train, are as "picture postcard perfect" as Lucerne. And I am sure there many such towns in the Venice area. So forget about Lucerne.

Ohio, USA
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8. Re: Need help with transportation in and around Paris

julianneandbpb -

Sometimes it is best to simply ignore Bob_S who believes among other things that only a fool or an American — sub-sets that, it appears, often overlap in Bob's mind — would rather travel by train than plane to any place where both options are available.

I do tend to agree that Luzern is perhaps not the best place to interrupt a journey between Paris and Venice. For one thing it is off the direct route and will therefore add a good bit of time to the trip. Second it will probably involve more transfers than other options. Third the most magnificent scenery along the various rail routes through the Alps is along the line from Geneva to Milan via Brig and Domodossola. The Luzern-Venice route travels via Chiasso, a less scenic route IMO. And while Luzern is a pleasant enough place, I think you might find it does not really have enough to offer for a five day stay.

My suggestion would be either Montreux on the shore of Lake Geneva, a lovely town with splendid views, or the smaller town of Martigny, a little ways up into the foothills of the Alps, both on the direct Paris-Venice route via Geneva. Martigny has a splendid art museum somewhat oddly combined with an equally fine car museum (Fondation Pierre Giannada), a fine open-air sculpture park, and an interesting Gallo-Roman museum, among other things.

Montreux would allow you to make easy day trips to Lausanne, Martigny, or Geneva, among other places. Martigny would give you good access to some of the nearby Alpine villages (e.g. Troistorrents and Champéry, not to be confused with ChamBéry, and I think also Chamonix, though I'd have to check myself on that one...) as well as Montreux of course. The high Alpine villages will be lovely when you are travelling and I would probably opt for that area. If you are staying several days you might want to rent a car, though Switzerland has very good public transport, but it is not cheap and may not have service to the places you want to go at convenient times.

It would take you about 6-7 hours to get to Luzern with at least one change, probably more, and 7-8 hours to get from Luzern to Venice again with one or more changes. You can get to Montreux in 4.5 hours from Paris, and from there to Venice in 6.5 to 7 hours. Each leg of the trip would probably require only one change. Martigny is about 40 minutes farther from Paris/closer to Venice.

Finally (and I should have known this) the fastest daytime train from Paris to Venice does not go through Switzerland but via Chambéry, Turin and Milan, with a change of trains in Milan and takes just over 10 hours. The train to Milan, is one of the Artesia trains using TGV rolling stock. If you took this train you could break your journey in Milan, about 6.5 hours from Paris, 3.5 from Venice, but obviously Milan would be a completely different experience from the other places.

The best place to explore all the possible train routings and timetables would be the German rail site, bahn.de. It is much easier to use than the French and Italian sites. Also when it comes time to buy train tickets (not for a few months yet) you will probably save quite a bit of money by using the European rail web sites for online bookings rather than raileurope.com

Hope all this long screed is helpful.

USA
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9. Re: Need help with transportation in and around Paris

>>>The best place to explore all the possible train routings and timetables <<<

Does anyone recall the name of a British publication(??) that listed all of the various train schedules and rail routings throughout Europe ??

Ohio, USA
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10. Re: Need help with transportation in and around Paris

Not precisely but is is a Cooks publication. Something obvious like International Rail Timetables - Europe.