I'll be taking the train from Brussels to Paris and want to know the best (fastest, cheapest, easiest, etc) way to get to my hotel. The hotel is off the Ecole Militaire metro stop and we'll be arriving Paris around 7pm. Is it better to take the metro or bus at that time of day? We'll have small suitcases to handle and there are 3 of us. Should I be buying any kind of pass for use on the bus or metro to use over the 3 days we'll be there? Thanks!
Remember fastest, cheapest, and easiest do not always go together well. The cheapest probably would be the bus/metro and walk. The fastest and easiest would be a taxi. The marginal cost over the metro would be reasonable. You can buy a discounted packet of ten metro tickets which can be shared. So buy them as you need them.
Take metro line 4 from Gare du Nord to Strasbourg-St Denis. Transfer to metro line 8 and take it to Ecole Militaire. The fare is one t+ ticket. For only three days in Paris do what Frank suggests: Buy ten-ticket carnets as needed and share the tickets. A carnet costs 12.00 EUR, making each t+ ticket cost you only 1.20 EUR. (A single t+ ticket bought separately costs 1.70 EUR.)
If there are three of you, why not take a taxi and share the cost. Metro means at least one change of lines and not all buses operate in the evenings.
Gale, I'd also suggest the Metro. It's quick, easy and not affected by traffic. Tim provided excellent details on the tickets and route. Which Hotel are you using? I generally prefer the Metro, as it works so well, and I've never had a problem even when travelling with two Backpacks and a Camera case! Happy travels!
Frank's idea has a lot of merit, especially if you're pooped. Metro for the mob will stiff you six bucks, a taxi for a crowd and luggage at the time of day might run around twenty bucks - - not a bank-breaker. The other thing to consider is how far from the metro stop you have to hump your stuff to get to the hotel......On the other side, the Strasbourg/St Denis station is a small one and the change is easy. More importantly, you don't have too much of the day left and you might as well use it getting a feel for the metro; you're staying on the west side of most of what you'll want to visit - - you might walk toward the center once, but you'll take the metro home - - the rest of the days will probably involve a couple of metro rides. Buy a couple of packets of tickets that first time (no additional savings except for convenience) since you'll go through them in a heartbeat due to where you're staying. The same tickets are also good for the buses (no line changes, however) and the Montmartre funicular.
Thanks all for suggestions. Yes, taxi is always the easiest (and usually most expensive) and can take longer if there's traffic at that time. As far as taking a taxi and splitting it, well, it's me and my two teens so I'll be paying the whole fare! Just curious about the t+ ticket, is that for a transfer and do I have to specify I want that when I board the first train (line 4) before transferring to line 8? Or is that just one of the tickets in the pack of 10 (if so, do I get on the second metro without using another ticket?) The hotel is only a two minute walk from Ecole Militaire so shouldn't be a problem.
One ticket from the packet per person will get you the whole way. Hang onto it until you're finally above ground. And keep the one in use separate from the fresh ones.
As Ed said, one ticket will get you all the way. A single t+ ticket is good anywhere the metro goes (some lines end in zone 3) and on the RER in zone 1 (central Paris). The ticket gives you unlimited transfers until you exit the system. The t+ ticket is now also good for bus transfers up to 90 minutes after boarding the first bus, but not for metro-to-bus or bus-to-metro transfers. Single bus tickets bought from a bus driver do not allow for transfers.
Thanks Ed & Tim - very helpful info. I was going to do another post, but will first ask if you guys are also knowledgeable about the Oyster card for London - is it worth it for 4 people (another son joining me!) for 3 days, and does it work from Heathrow to Paddington station??
I'm ducking on the oyster since I never use it - - just a day ticket.
The Oyster can be used to pay for travel to Heathrow to central London by the slow Piccadilly Line underground service, but cannot be used on the faster above-ground rail services to Paddington station. As to whether to get an Oyster card or not, the choice is whether to get Oyster cards, which are stored-fare tickets that you can store money on and pay as you go, or to get a One-Day Travelcard each day. In each case you will need one for each person, you can't share them.
Gale, Since there will be four of you in London, you can take advantage of 2for1 deals offered by National Rail. Go to www.daysoutguide.co.uk to see a list of the offers and to print vouchers for the ones that interest you. To qualify for the vouchers you must buy travelcards with the National Rail logo on them at any National Rail station, not a Tube station. They cost the same as travelcards bought at a Tube station and are good on the Tube, bus, Docklands Light Railway, trams, and National Rail trains in the zones covered. I suggest that you buy one day, zone 1-6 travelcards at a Tube station at Heathrow to cover your ride into London and all your rides the rest of that day. Visit free museums that day. For each of your next full days in London buy one day, zone 1-2 National Rail travelcards. If you're going to take a morning Eurostar train to Paris and won't be taking any other rides in London that day, buy individual tickets to get you from your hotel to St Pancras International.
We took a taxi. We found that Taxis were not that expensive in Paris.
Tim, hope you don't mind a tiny correction. The individual must have a ticket issued with the BR double arrows logo which is valid on the day the offer voucher is redeemed. Tim, you are correct that many folk choose to make that happen by getting a paper Travelcard issued by a National Rail station and using that around London instead of an Oyster Card. ¶ Any rail ticket will work (as long as valid on the day) so if, for example, you have an Oyster Card and take a train for a day trip from London Marylebone to Oxford you could, on return, (if any energy left) go 2 for 1 at Kew Gardens by showing the voucher and the train ticket. ¶ It comes down to the arithmetic.
Nigel, You are welcome to correct me anytime!
Thanks again for the great info. Tim, it seems to me that for the 2 for 1 specials you have to travel on National Rail on the day you want to use the special, right? That means not arriving by tube or bus, right? If the hotel is near that attraction obviously we won't be taking a train, and as far as printing the voucher I won't have access to a printer there. Planning in advance I"d have to print everything that we'd possibly go to not knowing if we'll need to take a train (National Rail) to the attraction. Is there something I'm missing to know if this is doable, or is it really for people who are traveling in for the day from nearby to go to a specific attraction?
Gale, To use the 2for1 offers you have to have National Rail travelcards that are good for each day you plan to take advantage of an offer, but you don't have to take any rides on National Rail trains at all. Use the travelcards for the Tube, bus, etc. Print the vouchers now for any attractions that you think might interest you. Or pick up a brochure that includes vouchers for all the offers at any National Rail station.
Cheers, Tim... ;-)
My husband and I just spent 4 nights in London. We both got an oyster card. Told the ticket agent how many days we would be traveling and he told us how much to put on it. We turned them in just before boarding the eurostar to Paris and got our deposit and remaining money back. We couldn't buy it to use when arriving at Heathrow because it was earlier than 9:30. Spent 6 nights in Paris and only used 1 carnet between the two of us. We stayed in Rue Cler (7th) near Ecole Militaire. We walked everywhere and were there for the strike which meant some buses weren't running.
thanks Carol!! That was very helpful :)
If you can handle your luggage, take the Metro. We used it every day, changed lines frequently. Definitely get the carnet bulk tickets. Having just returned from Paris, we found taxis the most frustrating aspect of our time there. We either couldn't get one, or waited for ages at stations, as they trickled in one by one, or they refused to take us because of the short distance. They charged an extra Euro 2 for each trip to handle our bags.