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Advice for Paris - Hotel, public transportation

Advice for Paris - Hotel, public transportation

Old Dec 14, 18, 9:49 am
  #1  
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Advice for Paris - Hotel, public transportation

The family (Mr/Ms p_man + 16 year old son) will be in Paris for a week in January/February. We've never been there, so I was hoping folks could help out regarding:

1) A decent hotel for three people. Rooms seem to have a single king or queen or two twins. Ms. p_man is leery of a room just for the kid, so are there any decent options for a family of three? Chain doesn't matter a ton, but we have at least minimal status at Marriott and Hyatt. (We've been through the Mercure sleep sofa travesty a couple of times in Poland, don't want to recreate that in Paris.)

2) My son will need to be just inside the southern edge of the 13th arrondissement from 9-5 on a Wednesday and Thursday, quite close to the Porte d'Ivry station. That's fine, but he'll be hauling a fencing bag (roughly equivalent to a golf bag) back and forth. Is that at all reasonable during morning/afternoon commutes? (We'll need to be in a hotel in that area by Thursday night, but wanted to spend some time in the more "Paris-y" part of town first. We could just suck it up and go down there Tuesday or Wednesday, but wanted to avoid that if possible.)

Any general advice is always helpful - hidden gems, underrated museums (WW 1 or 2 things are always interesting), anything else.... Thanks!
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Old Dec 14, 18, 10:20 am
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Originally Posted by p_man View Post
Any general advice is always helpful - hidden gems, underrated museums (WW 1 or 2 things are always interesting), anything else.... Thanks!
The Museum of Hunting and Nature, which is infinitely more than its name suggests, is sure to captivate your son (and you, even if you're vegetarian).

I'll leave your hotel and transport questions to members with more direct experience.
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Old Dec 14, 18, 10:27 am
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Hotel du Cadran (3 *) - near Rue Cler - offers "Family Rooms" which are actually two connecting rooms. Pricing is Paris average, in other words pricey, but less than booking two separate rooms.
It's close to Ecole Militaire Metro, so transport is pretty easy.
https://www.cadranhotel.com
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Old Dec 31, 18, 9:43 am
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Originally Posted by p_man View Post
The family (Mr/Ms p_man + 16 year old son) will be in Paris for a week in January/February. We've never been there, so I was hoping folks could help out regarding:

1) A decent hotel for three people. Rooms seem to have a single king or queen or two twins. Ms. p_man is leery of a room just for the kid, so are there any decent options for a family of three? Chain doesn't matter a ton, but we have at least minimal status at Marriott and Hyatt. (We've been through the Mercure sleep sofa travesty a couple of times in Poland, don't want to recreate that in Paris.)

2) My son will need to be just inside the southern edge of the 13th arrondissement from 9-5 on a Wednesday and Thursday, quite close to the Porte d'Ivry station. That's fine, but he'll be hauling a fencing bag (roughly equivalent to a golf bag) back and forth. Is that at all reasonable during morning/afternoon commutes? (We'll need to be in a hotel in that area by Thursday night, but wanted to spend some time in the more "Paris-y" part of town first. We could just suck it up and go down there Tuesday or Wednesday, but wanted to avoid that if possible.)

Any general advice is always helpful - hidden gems, underrated museums (WW 1 or 2 things are always interesting), anything else.... Thanks!

I don’t know which hotel is best for you and your family, there are so many great hotels in Paris!

But I can suggest downloading the Citymapper app. Friends we stay with while in Paris suggested it to us and we’ve not seen anything more efficient in explaining exactly how to get around Paris.

Sure, you can call a taxi for every movement, but if you need any info on bus, subway or train travel in Paris, Citymapper is the best we’ve seen. You can even start mapping your routes before your departure and save them in the app for easy reference after you arrive.

Enjoy Paris!
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Old Jan 13, 19, 1:35 pm
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The 13th arrpondisement is very parisy depending where in the 13th you will be staying. Because of Paris spiral layout the 13th is right next to the 5th arrondissment aka the quartier latin, so it doesn't get any more parisy than that. You can stay at a beautiful area of the 13th which is La Butte aux Cailles, beautiful area with street market and bohemian style and everything parisian, or nearby at Place d'Italie, which is also the 13th, very near the 5th. The metro at Place d'Italie is a stop for many lines, and the area is very cool and lively with plenty of cafes and restaurants. I love the 13th. There is a Citadines hotel at Place d'Italie which might work for your family, and its right across from the metro station. From here you can walk into the 5th arrondisement via Rue Monge all the way to the river and across from Notre Dame. It really is a great area, I personally love it.
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Old Jan 14, 19, 1:03 pm
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We just got back from Paris. I was looking for room with 2 double beds too because we have a 12 years old. But pretty much all the rooms with 2 beds are 2 twin beds. We ended up just getting 2 rooms.

As for transportation, we used Uber everywhere in Paris. We tried Taxi twice. First time it was just a few € more than Uber. The 2nd time, I think we got the "tourist" special as they charged a €7 fee on top of the meter. I think it was like €17 to go about 1.2 mile. On the way back (same route), it was about €7 on Uber. The hotel was trying to give us direction on which subway line to take, but just about everywhere we want to go, it involved changing line. With the 3 of us, I don't think it will save much on subway on such short distance travel.... just increase travel time. We are from LA and used to driving everywhere.. I guess people from New York will think differently.
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Old Jan 14, 19, 1:24 pm
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Originally Posted by Need View Post
As for transportation, we used Uber everywhere in Paris. We tried Taxi twice. First time it was just a few € more than Uber. The 2nd time, I think we got the "tourist" special as they charged a €7 fee on top of the meter. I think it was like €17 to go about 1.2 mile. On the way back (same route), it was about €7 on Uber. The hotel was trying to give us direction on which subway line to take, but just about everywhere we want to go, it involved changing line. With the 3 of us, I don't think it will save much on subway on such short distance travel.... just increase travel time. We are from LA and used to driving everywhere.. I guess people from New York will think differently.
The €7 fee was for pre-booking the cab. Use the G7 app next time (I've linked to the Android version) and you'll have little trouble with cabs.

Better yet, take the metro. It's extremely fast and easy to use, though you might want to read up on it a bit in advance. Changing trains is trivial. The metro is nearly always the fastest way to get anywhere, often by a significant margin. I can think of a few gotchas:
  1. Trains stay in the station for only about sixty seconds. Have your party together and ready to board when you hear the train approaching.
  2. The doors on older trains are operated by a heavy manual catch. Be prepared to exert a fair bit of force to open them, from both outside and inside.
  3. You have to know which way you're going before descending to the platform. This is indicated by the name of the last station on the line, as in "La Courneuve - 8 Mai 1945". These names are usually long, polysyllabic, and hard to remember even if you speak French. Forewarned is forearmed!
My preference is to use the bus. It's usually nearly as fast as the metro and you get to see the city. It's harder to use, though. You can use Google Maps or the RATP app. The latter is, to be charitable, not the most user-friendly app on the market. The biggest drawback to buses is finding the bus stop. It's often easy, but sometimes you really have to hunt for it.

It takes a certain amount of time to master any transit system, but the millions of people who use them every day prove that it's doable.
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Last edited by ajGoes; Jan 14, 19 at 1:31 pm
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Old Jan 14, 19, 1:46 pm
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I agree in that the bus is really a good option in Paris, but like you said, it is sometimes hard to find the bus stop. However, I can't think of a best transport than the metro in Paris as in any other big city. It is quite simple and it gets everywhere. The RATP app can point you in the right direction, and if you won't have the app you can check online before leaving. It is really simple and effective.
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Old Jan 14, 19, 1:47 pm
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Originally Posted by ajGoes View Post
The €7 fee was for pre-booking the cab.
We didn't pre-book the cab. We walked on the street, saw a cab, and got on it. I think he just added the pre-booking fee knowing that we probably won't question it which I didn't. I have used subway in Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Washington DC, and New York. It is a learning curve especially in Japan. But it seems like it would be spending too much time to learn the system for 5 days in Paris.. and most of the trip is to go about 0.8 to 1.5 miles. I could probably walk there faster but wife and kid don't like to walk. Also before we left, I read this forum and just a few thread down was "Mugged in Paris Metro." I went thru the thread and decided I don't need to deal with that even if that happened rarely.
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Old Jan 14, 19, 2:05 pm
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Originally Posted by Need View Post
We didn't pre-book the cab. We walked on the street, saw a cab, and got on it. I think he just added the pre-booking fee knowing that we probably won't question it which I didn't. I have used subway in Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Washington DC, and New York. It is a learning curve especially in Japan. But it seems like it would be spending too much time to learn the system for 5 days in Paris.. and most of the trip is to go about 0.8 to 1.5 miles. I could probably walk there faster but wife and kid don't like to walk. Also before we left, I read this forum and just a few thread down was "Mugged in Paris Metro." I went thru the thread and decided I don't need to deal with that even if that happened rarely.
I've been following the mugging thread and noticed that almost none of its posts are about actual muggings. There is a risk of having your pocket picked, as the thread's post demonstrate. It happened to me just as I was entering a turnstyle. Having mentally rehearsed my response paid off, as I spun around and caught the miscreant. The kid hollered repeatedly Je ne suis pas un voleur ! ("I'm not a thief!"), but I had to wonder how his hand had happened to land in my (empty) pocket. We tussled for a minute and he eventually got away, hopefully never to try it again. I've never worried about the possibility of being mugged in Paris. I think it's much more likely to happen in L.A.

Using the Paris metro really isn't hard. It's cheap, especially if you buy carnets of ten tickets, and almost anywhere within the (non-existent) walls of Paris is within five hundred yards of a station. I really encourage you to give it a try next time.

Walking is great in Paris, of course, and by far the best way to get almost anywhere—if your party has the stamina.
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Old Jan 14, 19, 2:18 pm
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Originally Posted by ajGoes View Post
I've never worried about the possibility of being mugged in Paris. I think it's much more likely to happen in L.A.
I don't think it is possible to get mugged in LA... because if you don't walk, you can't get mugged. You can get car jacked.... maybe LOL.

Originally Posted by ajGoes View Post
Walking is great in Paris, of course, and by far the best way to get almost anywhere—if your party has the stamina.
We started out 2019 with lots of stamina....walked 50 miles in 10 days... by the time we got to Paris... we were done. I don't think I have walked 50 miles total in the entire 2018.
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Old Jan 14, 19, 6:58 pm
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I walked between five and ten miles a day the two weeks I was in Paris last summer, and still took several buses and metro trains most days. And when I'm in L.A. I often walk a couple of miles a day, though I have to confess I've rather tapered off the last couple of years. Climbing the stairs into Santa Monica is getting harder to face before coffee even when that coffee is some of the world's best, at Caffe Luxxe.

Bringing the conversation back on topic, we enjoyed the walk down the Île aux Cygnes this summer, even in the heat and the drought. The exercise park at the end brought my twelve-year-old grandson back to life after collapsing from jet-lag midway down the island, and the Statue of Liberty at the end was an impressive sight.
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