The 3 of us will arrive from London with baggage and have directions via metro but are considering a taxi, is that a better mode to use? And what are average costs? Any tips and advice is appreciated
Well, a taxi should be between 10 and 15 euros plus, depending on how much luggage you have that goes in the trunk 1 euro per bag after the first piece. Metro is going to be less than 6 euros -- possibly less than 5 if you buy a carnet of metro tickets and get the volume discount. It's really question of how much luggage you have, whether you want to save about 10 euros and where exactly in the Louvre area your accommodations are located. Will you have to transfer on the metro? If so, my suggestion is that you take a taxi unless you have very manageable luggage. If you decide on a taxi, just follow the signs at GdN to the official taxi stand and do not accept rides or help from anyone who approaches you in the station. The latter is especially true if you decide to go by metro and anyone offers to help you buy your metro tickets in the station. In fact, if you decide to go by metro, buy your tickets on the train from London.
Yes, it's worth a taxi fare to get you door-to-door. When you get from the tracks into the main station, go right. The taxis are through the doors on that side of the station. They should be lined up, take your turn. You'll get a fun introduction to Paris streets, a pretty short ride, and minimal baggage hassle.
After that, get around on Metro and buses, they're easy and fun without luggage.
Any trip on the metro is probably going to involve going up and down stairs, very few stations have escalators. So unless you are prepared to haul luggage up and down stairs, and possibly walk quite a ways in the station, I would suggest taking a taxi, it's worth it - particularly if this is your first time in Paris. After you are settled, you can use the metro later to get around.
I agree with the others that there are two basic options.....
- TAXI - the easiest solution, especially with luggage but will cost more than going by Metro. One advantage is that it will provide door-to-door service.
- METRO - probably the cheapest option, but somewhat more awkward with luggage. I can't remember the details, but there should be Escalators at Gare du Nord which will make the process a bit easier. However if you're travelling with several items of large luggage, getting them through the fare gates in a timely manner can sometimes be challenging. There may not be Escalators at your arrival station so you'd have to haul your gear up a flight of stairs. I've seen people with all kinds of luggage on the Paris Metro, so lots of people seem to be comfortable with that.
You'll have to decide which method fits best with your budget and comfort level.
You will be at the hotel using the metro before you are at the head of the taxi line at Nord. if you travel with easily managed luggage so hauling it up and down stairs is not difficult then that is the way to go. If you do be sure you are pickpocket proof. all these central tourist infested metro stations/lines are heavily targeted by organized pickpocketing.
The only time I've had my pocket picked was years ago on the Métro at École Militaire station, en route from the Rue Cler to the Gare d'Austerlitz with our bags in tow after trying and failing to get a taxi (even our hotel's "Madame" was unable to get us one). We were two flustered, frustrated, distracted, semi-frantic travellers with a train to catch, and this made us pickpocket bait of the first order. Not to mention that, stupidly, I still had my wallet in my pants pocket, ready to pay the driver of the cab we never got. That little lesson cost me the equivalent of $75 (it could have been much worse-- they took only the cash and left the wallet on the floor with my credit card still in it). Never again! Arriving in or leaving Paris? Take my advice and take a taxi, if one's available. What price peace of mind?
One more tip about taxis. Print off the home page of your hotel, complete with address, to hand to your taxi driver. Even if you speak a little or a lot of French, what's that phrase again.... a picture is worth a thousand words? The ride across central Paris with the famous monuments in view is easily worth the price of the taxi. We always take a taxi from Gare du Nord even though we travel light and have been to Paris many times, always via Eurostar.
Take a taxi. Divided by three, the extra cost per passenger (above what it would cost you to get there on the metro) is negligible.
Without knowing the exact destination, and due to the way the lines run along that part of the right bank, it's hard to support a metro/rer/bus scheme. There might be a longish walk to the initial departure station (there could be choices), there will line changes along the way, and there might be a longish walk once you come off the transportation system. Even if you had to wait for a bit for a taxi, it'd still be faster.