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Thread: Tips on France + Paris

  1. #41

    Default Re: Budget

    As for visiting the Arc:

    I suggest that the view here is even better than at the Eiffel tower.

    You can see a 360 view, and see the lights come on at the Eiffel - usually at 10.30 or when it gets dark.

    Come around 8-9pm in summer, and wait for the sunset:

    View from the Arc:
    Nikon D750; FM2; FG; 55mm Micro Nikkor; 28-300 VR; 70-200 VR; Nikon V1 + 10-30mm

  2. #42

    Default Re: Budget

    Hi thanks! i just found out that the hostel that we booked is in region 4 so hopefully the RER tickets aren't too expensive & travelling time not too long :/

    will consider the Arc or the Sacre Coeur basilica!

    Does anyone has any experience flying Beauvris Airport? Are the queues especially bad meaning that i've to check in way before the usual 3hrs before flight. thanks!

  3. #43

    Default Re: Tips on France + Paris

    In case anyone is looking for a decent priced hotel ...
    Quote Originally Posted by petetherock View Post
    Hotel Elysee Etoile Paris **, Official Site - 2 Star near Arc de Triomphe Paris

    Hotel Features
    1 minute from Champs Elysees
    A 10 minute walk from the Porte Maillot.
    Free WIFI

    Hôtel Elysée Etoile5, rue de l'Etoile
    75017 Paris - France
    Tel : +33 (0)1 43 80 22 19
    Fax : +33 (0)1 44 40 09 89
    elysee.etoile@wanadoo.fr

    Elysee Etoile Hotel is situated in the heart of Paris. The hotel is exceptionally well placed for tourists, a stone's throw from the Champs Elysees and the Arc de Triomphe. You will be within easy reach of many places of interest within Paris, (the Palais des Congres at Porte Maillot, the prestigious Haute Couture shop windows in the Triangle d'Or district, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, etc) which you may visit, using the many direct transport possibilities.

    Nikon D750; FM2; FG; 55mm Micro Nikkor; 28-300 VR; 70-200 VR; Nikon V1 + 10-30mm

  4. #44

    Default Re: Tips on France + Paris

    Dear Pete,

    May I ask how do we buy the 10 tickets Carnet? I tried buying it online but I didn't get to choose the distance or range I wan to go?

    May I ask how are tickets being used? Is it each ticket can get you anywhere but for just 1 ride? Are the carnets usable for bus rides too?

    Thank yoU!
    Website: Flickr | 500px
    OMD-EM1|12-40mm F2.8 Pro

  5. #45

    Default Re: Tips on France + Paris

    Try this link:
    http://www.francetoday.com/travel/paris/practical/

    Transportation

    Plan your trip with RATP (for Métro, RER, SNCF, Bus, Tramway)
    Plan your trip with Hopstop (Métro/Rail, Bus)


    Métro

    RATP information for tourists in English

    About
    : The Métropolitain (Métro) is an extensive transportation network that runs throughout Paris and a short distance into the adjacent suburbs. Each station is clearly marked with a prominent sign like the one at right.
    Tickets

    • Buy "T+" tickets at the green "Vente" (sale) machine at the station.
    • Single trip €1.70. Unlimited transfers (correspondances) between lines per one trip. Packet (carnet) of 10 tickets for €13.30 (children 4 through 9 €6.65)
    • A ticket allows you to transfer to other Métro lines and commuter trains (RER, within Paris), but it does not permit transfers to buses.
    • Tourist passes (Paris Visite) with access to certain zones in the city, are available for both children and adults for 1, 2, 3 and 5 days. Fares can be found here.
    • Parisians often buy passes that permit unlimited travel during a particular period of time. These usually require photographs and applications.


    Use:

    Download the RATP Métro map

    • Each line is coded by number, color, and name of the stations at the ends of the line.
    • For your trip, find out which direction you should take.
    • For instance, if you are at the Palais Royal Musée du Louvre station on the yellow 1 line, and want to go to the Bastille station, take the train in the direction of Château de Vincennes (not in the direction of La Défense).
    • Trains run from about 5 am to 1 am. On Saturdays and the evenings before holidays, until 2 am.
    • Keep your ticket. An agent may ask to see it at any time, and there are fines for being without a stamped one.
    • The Métro can be stiflingly crowded during rush hour, and it is important to know that the trains are not air-conditioned. Of course, the great convenience of the system usually outweighs these disadvantages.
    • Download the RATP’s helpful illustrated user guide for the Métro and RER (bilingual French and English).

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    Nikon D750; FM2; FG; 55mm Micro Nikkor; 28-300 VR; 70-200 VR; Nikon V1 + 10-30mm

  6. #46

    Default Re: Tips on France + Paris

    RER

    transilien.com
    RATP information for tourists in English
    About: These are the commuter trains, run by the national rail system, that connect the suburbs to central Paris and also provide a fast way to get around the city and get to and from the airports.
    Tickets:

    • You may use your Métro T+ ticket to ride both the RER and Métro within Paris. Most basic tickets cover Zones 1 and 2.
    • When traveling farther outside the main city limits and past Zones 1 and 2 into the other 6 zones, the cost depends on the distance you are traveling. These 8 zones are spread out in concentric rings around Paris, which is Zone 1.
    • Keep your ticket. You will need it at the end of your trip to go through the exit turnstiles, and an agent may ask to see your ticket at any time.

    Use:

    • The RER has 5 lines: A (red on the Métro map), B (blue), C (yellow), D (green) and E (lavender). Each line has at least one "hub" station on the Paris Métro where you can catch the RER.
    • It runs every day from 4:45 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.
    • Be careful navigating the RER ; it is slightly more complicated than the Métro, because of the fare differences and service directions.
    • Download the RATP’s helpful illustrated user guide for the Métro and RER (bilingual French and English).

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    Bus

    RATP information for tourists in English
    About: Paris and its suburbs are served by an extensive bus network. Using the bus can be a picturesque way to experience Paris, compared to the all-underground Métro.
    Tickets:

    • The T+ tickets that work for the Métro and RER (within Paris) also work for buses, but you cannot transfer from a Métro to a bus or vice versa.
    • However, bus-to-bus transfers can be made with one ticket for 90 minutes after the ticket is stamped (validated) with the time on the first bus.
    • Remember, you can get un carnet (a packet) of 10 at a tabac or Métro station for €13.30 (children 4 through 9, €6.65). You may buy un ticket à l’unité (a single ride ticket) from the bus driver; these cost €2.

    Use:

    • Paris buses are marked by a two-digit number and suburban buses are marked by a three-digit number.
    • Bus schedules are varied—some lines run only during the day, others extend well into the evening, only a few run on Sunday. Generally, they run from 5:30 a.m. to midnight.
    • A very reduced network of night buses (Noctilien) run after hours. The same prices apply.
    • You have to signal to the bus driver when your stop is approaching by pushing a red button, located on various seat poles and labeled with "pour ouvrir appuyer," (press to open door) which will illuminate a red "arrêt demandé" (stop requested) sign at the front of the bus.
    • Always pay attention to the stops as the bus approaches them, since sometimes your stop may not be announced.
    • The bus can be equally as crowded as the Métro, especially during rush hour, but it certainly involves less wandering around long underground tunnels.

    Remember:

    • It is common courtesy to say “Bonjour” ("hello," used in the morning and afternoon) or "Bonsoir" ("hello," used in the evening) to the bus driver.
    • Keep your ticket. An agent may ask to see it at any time, and there are fines if you cannot produce a correctly-stamped one.

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    Nikon D750; FM2; FG; 55mm Micro Nikkor; 28-300 VR; 70-200 VR; Nikon V1 + 10-30mm

  7. #47

    Default Re: Tips on France + Paris

    Tramways

    RATP information for tourists in English
    About: There are four above-ground tramway lines: T1, T2, T3 and T4. They run around the edges of Paris, and you can use the T3 to travel in the outer 13th, 14th and 15th arrondissements.
    Tickets:

    • The same T+ tickets for the Métro/RER/bus work for the tramway.

    Use:

    • Tramway stops are indicated by the letter "T" displayed on a pole.
    • Keep your ticket to display if requested.

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    velib.paris.fr/Comment-ca-marche
    About: Vélib’ , also known as vélos libres (public bikes) or vélos à libre service (open-service bikes), is the city's system of rentable bikes. Users borrow a bike from one station and return it to another. Prices are reasonable, the service is eco-friendly, and, as the website says, "la ville est plus belle à vélo" — the city is more beautiful by bike.
    Price:

    • Unfortunately, you currently need a debit card that contains a microchip (puce). This is a problem for many Americans. Sometimes, American Express cards without chips do work.
    • The service authorizes 150 euros to be taken out of the user’s account for each type of plan. The money isn’t actually taken out, but the company is authorized to do so in case of theft or bike damage.
    • Long-term (annual) subscription : €39 or €29
    • Short-term (7-day) subscription : €8
    • Short-term (1-day) subscription : €1.70
    • For every plan, the first 30 minutes of each trip are free; the second half-hour costs €1, the third costs €2, and every half hour past that costs €4.

    Use:

    • All users must be 14 years or older, and for minors between 14 and 18, a parent or guardian’s permission is required to use the service.
    • The system operates automatically 24 hours and 7 days a week.
    • Download a map of all stations from the Vélib official site.

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    Ferries

    batobus.com
    Batobus

    About: Batobus (bateau [boat] + bus) is a ferry service on the Seine, making eight stops on a circular route in the center city: the Eiffel Tower, the Musée d'Orsay, Saint Germain des Prés, Notre Dame, the Jardin des Plantes, the Hôtel de Ville, the Louvre and the Champs Elysées (the Pont Alexandre III near the Grand Palais).

    Tickets:

    • One day: €15.
    • Two consecutive days: €18.
    • Five consecutive days: €21.

    Use:

    • Hours vary with the seasons, from 10 or 10:30 am to 4:30 or 5 pm in the winter and 7 or 9:30 pm in spring and summer. Batobus does not run in January.


    Voguéo

    About:
    Voguéo was a ferry service connecting the Gare d'Austerlitz to the Bibliothèque François Mitterrand, the Port de Bercy and the eastern suburbs. Unfortunately, this system of "floating buses" has been discontinued because of the high costs involved.



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    Taxi

    Price:

    • Parisian taxis are safe and reliable. The flag-drop charge is €2.30, and the minimum fare for any ride is €6.60. Surcharges apply for extra luggage and people (a driver is not obliged to accept more than three passengers; the charge for a fourth person is €3).

    Use:

    • You can catch a taxi by hailing one on the street or going to street corner taxi stations where they queue.
    • Taxis that are available to stop for passengers have a long white light on the roof.
    • Taxis that already have passengers or are on call have a small orange light.
    • Taxis can be called, but they will charge for the distance traveled to pick you up. The central number for all taxi companies: 01.45.30.30.30.
      A few of the main dispatch companies:
      • G7 - 01.41.27.66.99 (English speaking operator)
      • Alpha - 01.45.85.85.85
      • Taxis Bleus - 08.91.70.10.10

    • The Paris city website lists rules and regulations concerning taxis.

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    SNCF, Train Stations

    voyages-sncf.com
    Gare du Nord – Eurostar, northern French cities, Amsterdam, Brussels
    Gare de l’Est – Strasbourg, eastern routes
    Gare Saint-Lazare – Northwestern routes
    Gare de Lyon – Southern routes
    Gare Montparnasse – Western routes
    SNCF – The SNCF is the national rail company. France has invested heavily in its rail system, and the train is a great way to get around for both long and short distances. The SNCF has networks of commuter and local trains that connect smaller towns and villages to the larger cities and crossroads. The high-speed TGV trains (trains à grande vitesse) are renowned for their comfort and ease.
    If you plan to be traveling often via train, it might be a good idea purchase a discount card. Different discounts apply depending on your age and residency status. You can buy them at train stations and SNCF boutiques. Be sure to bring an I.D. photo.
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    Paris from Airports

    Paris airport information in English


    Taxis
    Available at stands at specific airport terminal exits:
    CHARLES DE GAULLE/ROISSY
    Terminal 1 - Sortie 20 at the arrival level
    Terminal 2A & 2C - Sortie 6
    Terminal 2B & 2D - Sortie 7
    Terminal 2E & 2F - Sortie 1
    Approximate cost to Paris Center: €50. Surcharges may apply depending on time and day, and heavy traffic delays will greatly increase the fare.
    ORLY
    Taxi stands are at the following locations:
    - Paris-Orly Sud, Exit M
    - Paris-Orly Ouest, Arrivals level, Exit I
    Approximate cost to Paris Center: €35 – surcharges may apply depending on time and day.
    Public Transport
    CHARLES DE GAULLE/ROISSY
    The commuter train RER B goes from CDG to central Paris. It can take between half an hour to an hour, depending on whether the train runs express or locally. It costs €9.25.
    The Roissybus runs between CDG and the Paris Opéra in 45-60 minutes and costs €10.
    Air France Buses Line 2 between CDG and Porte Maillot/Place de l’Etoile, €15. Line 4 between CDG and Gare Montparnasse/Gare de Lyon, €15.
    ORLY
    Bus + RER C
    "Paris By Train" bus from Orly South Gate F and Orly West Gate G connects to the RER C at the Pont de Rungis station. The RER takes 25 minutes to the Gare d’Austerlitz station in central Paris. €3.90 RER + €2.50 bus
    Orlyval + RER B
    Orlyval train from Orly South Gate K and Orly West Gate W connects to RER B at the Antony station. The RER takes 25 minutes to the Châtelet-Les-Halles station in central Paris. Combined ticket €10.75.
    Orlybus
    Leaves from Orly South Gate H and Orly West Gate G and goes to Denfert-Rochereau Métro station. Approximately 20-30 min, €6.90.
    Air France Buses
    Line 1: Between Orly South Gate L/Orly West Gate H and Etoile/Invalides/Montparnasse stops. Approximately 35 min, €11.50.
    aeroportsdeparis.fr/Adp/en-GB/Passagers/
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    back to Paris from Airports
    Disneyland Paris

    disneylandparis.co.uk
    Disneyland Paris is accessible by car or by commuter train RER A (station Marne-la-Vallée/Chessy).
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    Versailles


    • By train: the nearest station is Versailles Rive Gauche on Line C of the RER; the Palace is an 8-minute walk away.
    • By bus from Paris: take bus n° 171 from Pont de Sèvres Métro station; the bus stop is just opposite the Palace.
    Nikon D750; FM2; FG; 55mm Micro Nikkor; 28-300 VR; 70-200 VR; Nikon V1 + 10-30mm

  8. #48

    Default

    Thanks alot pete! Huge amount of information!

    Btw did u buy the Navigo weekly pass before?
    Website: Flickr | 500px
    OMD-EM1|12-40mm F2.8 Pro

  9. #49

    Default Re: Tips on France + Paris

    Quote Originally Posted by tomboy87 View Post
    Thanks alot pete! Huge amount of information!

    Btw did u buy the Navigo weekly pass before?
    No I didn't. As mentioned, I just used a carnet of tickets.
    Nikon D750; FM2; FG; 55mm Micro Nikkor; 28-300 VR; 70-200 VR; Nikon V1 + 10-30mm

  10. #50

    Default Re: Tips on France + Paris

    Fantastic thread & thanks to Pete for the details

    I've been to France & Paris several times including driving around in Paris, French Riviera & across the country but we were almost mugged by a group of 10+ gypsy teenagers in 2012 @ the corner of Louvre. Police were just 200m away sitting at the entrance chatting & doing nothing.

    We were walking on our way to Musse d'Orsay when a group of the boys surrounded us @ a traffic junction for money & attempted to cut/rob our bags but a local old lady helped us by telling them away in French but they scolded her to mind her own business so we had to dash across the road during red light but another group with girls were there waiting for us on the opposite side so we ran across the junction diagonally & left them behind. Wife was 4 months pregnant!

    That was a single most unpleasant incident I've ever experienced in France all these years as I've stayed in poorer quarters & taken Metro alone @ night without issues. Perhaps security has dropped over the years just like southern European cities where there are a lot of unemployed migrants now so please do be careful & always keep your eyes open.

    Naturally, Mrs was a bit freaked out of Paris but I do hope to bring her back for a better experience.
    "Like Moths, photographers gather at the sight of light" Robert Doisneau
    My Little Port

  11. #51
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    Default Re: Tips on France + Paris

    My 3 most precious tips for Paris...

    1 - Must join the FREE Sandamens Free Tour!!! They are awesome and this is the best way to briefly know the surface of Paris!
    Note: Just need to give the tour guide tips(I gave 10euros for myself and wifey) as they are volunteers with no pay from the company!

    2 - Make sure you have enough days at Paris cos you can't do all the shoppings and sight-seeings in just 3-4 days!!!

    3 - Do not queue for tickets from the glass pyramid for the Lourve!!!

  12. #52
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    Default Re: Tips on France + Paris

    Great information out here.

    I'm going to France in the end of April. I wish to take the photo of Eiffel Tower from Tour de Montparnesse. May I know which time of the day is the best to do so? Where else in Paris is the best place to take the photos of Eiffel Tower? Thanks in advance.

  13. #53

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by costa777 View Post
    Great information out here. I'm going to France in the end of April. I wish to take the photo of Eiffel Tower from Tour de Montparnesse. May I know which time of the day is the best to do so? Where else in Paris is the best place to take the photos of Eiffel Tower? Thanks in advance.
    I like to start from the Trocadero as it is a higher point to capture the Eiffel Tower & its beautiful surroundings. Then walk down towards the Eiffel, take more shots from the river side & bridge. Then go under and over to the other side of the Eiffel for closer ups and upward shots. Another view I like is from atop the Arc de Triomphe. The best time to take the Eiffel is when the sun is lower and shining on it with a beautiful glow. Also at night, depending on season, it is lit with lights upon the hour. For the several times I've visited the Eiffel, I still like the view from the Trocadero best; maybe you prefer another view?

    In Paris, you just have to be more careful with your belongings and be situationally aware at touristy spots & in the Metro subways. Some youths of different ethnicity can be quite intimidating; be careful & move away to other spots. In my experience, early years were much better, or perceivably safer (I felt), than recent times. But don't let that deter you. Paris is one of the best cities in Europe to visit :-)
    Hobbyist; Weekend SG Tourist

  14. #54
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    Default Re: Tips on France + Paris

    Quote Originally Posted by costa777 View Post
    Great information out here.

    I'm going to France in the end of April. I wish to take the photo of Eiffel Tower from Tour de Montparnesse. May I know which time of the day is the best to do so? Where else in Paris is the best place to take the photos of Eiffel Tower? Thanks in advance.
    Any photos to show us?
    Only Sony device mostly, haha!

  15. #55
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    Default Re: Tips on France + Paris

    Quote Originally Posted by BBTM View Post
    Any photos to show us?
    Just uploaded my photos few days ago. Here is the link:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/travel-2007/sets/

  16. #56
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    Default Re: Tips on France + Paris

    Quote Originally Posted by macVince View Post
    I like to start from the Trocadero as it is a higher point to capture the Eiffel Tower & its beautiful surroundings. Then walk down towards the Eiffel, take more shots from the river side & bridge. Then go under and over to the other side of the Eiffel for closer ups and upward shots. Another view I like is from atop the Arc de Triomphe. The best time to take the Eiffel is when the sun is lower and shining on it with a beautiful glow. Also at night, depending on season, it is lit with lights upon the hour. For the several times I've visited the Eiffel, I still like the view from the Trocadero best; maybe you prefer another view?

    In Paris, you just have to be more careful with your belongings and be situationally aware at touristy spots & in the Metro subways. Some youths of different ethnicity can be quite intimidating; be careful & move away to other spots. In my experience, early years were much better, or perceivably safer (I felt), than recent times. But don't let that deter you. Paris is one of the best cities in Europe to visit :-)
    Thanks for the advice. It's been helpful in my recent trip.

  17. #57
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    Default Re: Tips on France + Paris

    Quote Originally Posted by costa777 View Post
    Just uploaded my photos few days ago. Here is the link:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/travel-2007/sets/
    Nice photos. I going to stay at the Tour de Montparnesse for some time for time lapse of surrounding. Thinks it will be the best place to do so. Will "hide" one corner, haha!
    Only Sony device mostly, haha!

  18. #58

    Default Re: Tips on France + Paris

    I'm 'forced' to leave my DSLR behind and bring my Nikon 1 for my Paris trip end this month.
    I want to get a prime lens for the Nikon 1. Which lens should I get to take nice Parisian pics (of course also with ourselves in it with selfie stick or tripod)?
    CX format 10mm f/2.8 (equiv FX 27mm or DX 18mm) or CX 18.5mm f/1.8 (equiv FX 50mm or DX 35mm) ?

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