My hubby and I will be flying into Charles DeGaul le airport next week. We have a hotel booked near the Eiffel Tower. How should we travel to our hotel from the airport? We are considering a taxi or shuttle service....the Metro with our luggage after an all- night flight sounds daunting for two 60 year-olds. Thanks!
We are in the same age group. Go with the taxi - if you trip or twist an ankle you could ruin your expensive vacation!....Be sure you take a print-out listing the name and address of your hotel and a map of the neighborhood showing the hotel's location - the streets in the center, especially the Left Bank and Marais, are a twisted warren.
I hear you, Jane! In five trips to Paris, we have tried to do the shuttle bus or train only one time - and gave up because we were just too tired to think straight! It was easier to hail a cab and start the vacation right and let someone else do the navigating. However, once you get into the city center - the Metro is super easy for any age (as long as you don't have any physical limitations affecting your ability to walk.) Enjoy!
Air France has a bus service called "Les Cars," http://www.lescarsairfrance.com/en.html, leaving every half hour from various CDG locations. Line #4 goes to Gare Montparnasse, line #2 goes to the Etoile (Arc de Triomphe), one-way fare is 17 euros each, round trip a little less. A map will tell you which is closer to your hotel. You can get a taxi from there to the hotel. Total cost should be considerably less than taxi all the way from CDG to hotel. Might take a little longer as you make an intermediate stop, and you have the hassle of switching from bus to taxi. But much easier than the RER and metro with luggage, and you get a nice aboveground introduction to the world's most beautiful city. And probably have dinner for what you save. If you're not toting luggage, the metro and bus lines are easy and quick, don't be dependent on taxis. And Paris is very walkable. Enjoy Bastille Day!
Taxi, taxi, taxi! It'll cost you but it's completely worth it. If there is not too much traffic it'll cost you $80 - 100 at best...if there is traffic all bets are off. Usually I'm too jet-lagged to care and I just pay and I'm glad to. Lots of stairs in the metro so I'm glad to hear you are not considering that option!
The Air France Les Cars bus service is excellent. It's an easy, comfortable and safe way to transition from CDG to central Paris. The driver will help stow your baggage in the hold under the bus and set it out for you when you reach your stop. Only be sure to board the correct line - for a hotel near the Eiffel Tower it would be Line (Ligne) 2, which would drop you at Étoile-Champs-Élysées, near the Arc de Triomphe. There's a taxi stand near the bus drop-off point, allowing you to easily transition from bus to taxi for the last bit of your journey.
We recently took a taxi from the Eiffel Tower area to CDG, but the cost should be about equal as in reverse. The hotel estimated it would cost €65. It actually cost €47. The cost of the private shuttle our hotel recommended was €75 fixed. So we came out better, but the traffic was not heavy. Also, our hotel called a taxi company they use regularly.
I would without a doubt take a taxi. It may cost a little more but the ease of it make it all worth it. Just give your driver a written copy of the address and he will take you right there. Just be sure to take a taxi from the offical stand and not a chauffeured private car. (See Rick Steve's Paris guide book for details). On the way home, just have your hotel call you a taxi and they will take you strait to the airport.
We're leaving in a couple of hours and haven't made any plans yet. Though in our sixties, I can handle my luggage ok and my husband always offers to help. We'll probably take the RER because it's walkable to our apartment. But if one of us is tired, we'll catch a cab. For you, the bus is even easier than the RER. I'd forget the shuttle service and see how you feel when you land.
Ok Jane we got here. We took the "Paris by Bus" or "Roissybus" to the Opera for ten euros each. We then walked to our apartment. At 7am it took an hour with backed up traffic. I knew it would be jammed and didn't want to watch a taxi meter spinning in place. Shuttles are ok if you are the first or second dropped off. So, if you take a taxi after ten in the morning or on the weekend you should be fine. If it's early on a weekday, I'd get into town on a bus and then grab a cab to get you to your hotel. I have to admit that we've got an easy six hour direct flight and have done this for decades, allowing a higher level of energy upon arrival than someone coming from the west coast or someone who has connecting flights.
I, too, am leaving in a few hours to France and just printed off my Les Cars Air France ticket. Woohoo! Excitement will kick in once I've reached the hotel and have showered!
We 'splurged' on a car service thru LinkParis for our arrival and were glad we did. The driver was there when we arrived , helped with the bags and we didn't worry as we sat in traffic. Dad had made the arrangements and had said the woman had correctly estimated the differnece in cost from a taxi without traffic and the car service. We took a taxi out to the airport on our return and didnt hit traffic.
As I said to my dad - when you hit a certain age, its worth the extra money for the lack of hassle and schlepping.
I must be the odd person out here. I always just use the RER from CDG to Paris center and then if I need to I just move over to the metro and I can usually get within 2-3 blocks of my hotel. Since I only have a carry-on/backpack it seems pretty effortless for ~10 euros. Also, I don't have to worry about traffic jams and I can take the extra money saved (40-50 euros)and that will buy me 2-3 meals. I must be a "cheap date"!
Thanks so much for some great responses. Hubby and I are still trying to make the decision.....we arrive at CD airport at 8:10 am on Monday morning....because of that we are thinking that the taxi may take a lot longer than just getting the RER train in and then using the Metro or a taxi.
Take a taxi. The drivers have nice cars and are friendly and helpful. I wouldnt travel from the airport to the Eiffel Tower area any other way. In case you have a driver that does not speak English well, have a printed address with your hotel and/or destination name and address. Happy Travels!
My sister and I (30 and 32, so there is an age difference) took the RER from CDG when we arrived in Paris last fall. My jet lag seems to get worse as I get older so I was worried about being awake enough to figure it out, but I was fine. Our flight got in at 7:00 and we left the airport between 7:30 and 8:00. We bought RER tickets from a staffed window and took the RER B (which was empty at the airport and then filled up as we approached the city) to the St.-Michel Notre-Dame stop. We didn't have to transfer but would have been okay doing that. The Metro is amazing easy to navigate. You may want to plan your route on public transit in advance, so you know where to go. If you feel up to it when you arrive, take the RER and Metro. If not, take a taxi.
Donald, you're not the odd man out. I've taken the RER in to town and back to the airport many times. I am considering two things for these folks. First, the Gare du Nord has become a pigsty outside. I just walked in front of it an hour ago (11 pm here) and it stinks like piss, people are camped on the sidewalk across the street in front of the restaurants. That's one reason I chose the Roissybus over the RER at the last minute. Second, we don't know how much luggage they have and the metro is full of stairs. It's easy at CDG, especially if the elevator is working, but in town lots of metros have flights of stairs. Some have escalators but not all. we don't know which stations they might have to use for changes. I'm a woman in my sixties too, and my days pulling carry on bags up and down stairs are limited. I hate to admit but it's not the same for some of you young ones and muscular supermen. ;)
Bets, that's why I avoid the Gare de Nord as much as possible, and I think we should be mindful of that when giving people advice about how to travel in from CDG. The cheapest option is often not the best or most appropriate option for some people. We do unseasoned travelers a disservice when we advise them to do things in a way that may not be uncomfortable for a highly experienced traveler who can easily cope with the crap, vs advising them to take a more genteel route, even if more costly and a bit slower.
Amen Rose. I've lived here and traveled here for the last forty years and have pnever seen it so filthy in certain areas. We just walked through Les Halles tonight too and remarked that the overflowing garbage wouldn't be happening in the wealthier areas or more touristic areas such as the Champ de Mars. Budgets have been cut so we're seeing fewer street cleaners at work. I haven't been to the touristic areas yet, just Musee de Quai Branly, so I can't compare.
Honestly, London gets better and better, while Paris declines. Sad, very sad, but I admit I'm losing my desire to spend my precious time there.
THis helpline is the best....I do so appreciate your advice. If I had been to Paris before I think I would not hesitate, even at 60, to do a more aggressive route without flinching. Because we are totally new to this city we have opted to use a shuttle service that was recommended by Rick Steves in his Paris book...they will pick us up at the airport and deliver us to our hotel.. .we may pay a bit more but for our peace-of-mind it will be worth it!