Bonjour! My grandmother and I will be arriving in Paris early in the morning. We will have two suitcases and carryons. Would it be a good idea to take the metro or a cab from the airport to Hotel Esmerald (across the river from Notre Dame)? My grandmother is in her 80's but very fit. I know she'll be tired from the flight, but we are also trying to go on the "cheap." I'm just trying to provide her with the best trip possible. Thanks for your help.
Hello Jenn, My husband and I just returned from Paris this week - and stayed right near where you are staying. The RER indeed goes from CDG to the area without need of changing trains, and the stop for us was just about half a block from our hotel, very easy. HOWEVER, on our return to the airport, we needed to be there by 6:00AM on a Sunday, and it turned out that the Metro station did not open until 5:30 which was not enough time for us to be comfortable getting there in time. I only mention this because you mention that you will be arriving early, but you don't say how early. The ride from the hotel to CDG (taxi) was 48 euro (they do not take american dollars so make sure you have euros when you catch the cab if you decide to go that route). The only other thing I would mention is that the distance from the baggage claim to the RER is somewhat long. As long as you are not rushing you should be fine though. I also had some issues using my card on some of the automated ticket machines so you will need to make sure you are arriving when the staffed ticket counters are open - just in case you have the same issue. Have a great time!
It'd be the rer, not the metro but it's a no changer. At the front end, the distance to the station is about the same as it is to the taxi rank. At the city end, it's about a quarter mile (five minutes?)walk. I can't picture anything but stairs to the street, but I'm probably wrong. The station is deep, however. The rer will cost about twenty euro total, a taxi a bit more than twice that, maybe more if you hit an early morning traffic snarl.
Hi Jennn, the RER from CDG to Paris is 9.5 euros each. The ride is aprox 35-40 minutes. The walk from St Michels to hotel, 5 minutes max. The only issue may be stairs, they do have escalators, but once in awhile they are out of order.. so,, can you both lift and carry your bags if you had to( you could lighten up on the packing you know, your hotel room is SMALL so you will apprieciate not having suitcases that are too large in it. PS Stayed right by your hotel in an apartment last summer, GREAT location. PS I don't think hotel has an elevator so hope you requested a room on lower floor by telling them you have 80 yr old with you who is not good with a lot of stairs. There will be no bell boy!
I think this would be a wonderful time to take a taxi/car service. It can be overwhelming (even if in a good way) to make that very.long.flight (and probably not get any appreciable sleep), have to stand in line at passport control, wander around and find the baggage carousels to collect luggage, find the correct train station, stand in another long line to buy RER tickets, find your train platform, ride into town, then deal with traffic and noise while walking to your hotel. All the while dragging and carrying your luggage. If she tells you later that you were a dummy for 'forcing' her to take a taxi, then so be it ;-) Have your hotel name and complete address written down to show your driver.
Thank you so much for all the help! It is sounding like we should take the taxi option, being the case with the steps and I'd love our trip to start off on the right step, without us being overly frustrated about lugging luggage around. You had mentioned the price for the RER, is that for two people? Thank you for all your help. I really appreciate all the little tips,such as making sure we have the money exchanged prior to arriving, for the taxi. Merci!
The rer ticket is actually 9.50€ per person. I rounded to make the comparison easier to see.
Jenn, don't listen to them! I say this is a no-brainer... take the taxi! Seriously, take the taxi! There are some things you spend $$ on, and taking a taxi from CDG to the heart of Paris is one of them. Don't pinch pennies on this. Repeat after me, "Granma, we're taking the taxi!"
I am going to second Jean-Paul's suggestion! TAKE A TAXI! You will be tired and it will be a lot easier for your grandmere! Even though she may protest, tell her that someone in their 60s says to "take a taxi". You can tell her that the person in her 60's is a wimp but put her and yourself in the taxi. You will appreciate it in the long run! Save a few euros someplace else.
Why not take a shuttle?
Thank you for all of your help! In Response:
-Get a lower level floor at the hotel. Thank you! We asked for a lower level with a few, yeah we want the both of both worlds, and they even volunteered to help us with our baggage. So far, they are seeming like a great hotel! -Taxi vs. Metro: We will definitely not be taking the metro as I believe it would just set us off on the wrong foot for our trip. She deserves the best (wish I could afford a horse and carriage, now THAT would be cool!)! -Shuttle vs. Taxi: The shuttle option shows about 38euros one way and the taxi is said to be about 48euros... if we can find a way to arrange for pick up for the shuttle it might just be worth not waiting in the taxi line. We come in about 8:30 am (which is amusing to me as we leave home at 8:30 the day before). Merci for all your help! Truly appreciate it!!
Jenn, Is this your first time to Paris? Our favorite vacation of all was our first time to Paris! Have you stayed in this area? It is fantastic! Let us know if you need restaurant/sightseeing ideas. Bring a small lock to lock to one of the brideges you'll be walking across ( http://www.bonjourparis.com/story/paris-love-locks-love-that-wont-die/ ) ; and bring a journal and pen to write poetry at Shakespear and company around the corner from you. Oh, and when your feet are tired, hop onto a BatoBus ( http://www.batobus.com/english/index.htm ) for a cheap city tour (this is where you can make up your cab fare... the batobus takes the exact same route as the expensive dinner cruises!)
It is my grandmother's second and my first! We would GREATLY love any and all suggestions you may have! I'm glad that it sounds like you had a fabulours time. We are very excited. We are staying for six days and then heading to the Sarlat area for nine. Thank you for the help!