We will be in Amsterdam for three nights, then Paris for three nights and then want to travel the normandy countryside and possibly spend some time in the Champagne region to end the French part of our trip. We were thinking of renting a car for these last three days. We will be going back to Amsterdam by train. Any suggestions for renting a car, where to pick up, drop off, etc? Thanks for any help, Dusty
The obvious thing to do would be to pick up the car in Paris and drop it in Reims. The agencies at Paris Nord give you the easiest escape route out of Paris. If you use a stupid gps or stupid mapping software, it'll probably route you right back down through Paris over the same stupid freeway you drove a couple of days earlier. If you go via Rouen, Amiens, and Saint Quentin it'll take you less than another half hour, give you something different to look at, and give you a couple of pretty decent potential stops.
Thanks ed, agree with the stupid gps, we are also considering renting in Amsterdam after our three days there, parking the car in paris for three days while we hang out there, then driving over to normandy for a night, up the coast, through Amiens, to Rhiems, Epernay area for a couple days, then drive over through verdun, up to sedan,see some ww1 battlefields for a day, then make our way back to Amsterdam over the next two days. Comments or suggestions about this idea would be appreciated. FDM
A couple of thoughts about Paris: People complain about driving in Paris, but I'm so used to it that I guess I don't notice. I think what throws them is the unpredictable street pattern and the one-way streets. Getting in and hiting a specific point could be testy, I guess. Getting out is easy - - pick a fat road going in the general direction and stick with it until you hit the Peripherique beltway and you're gone. The reason I quit driving around the city, once I'm there, is that it's too stinking hard to find a parking place, and once you've found one it usually has a two-hour limit before you have to feed the meter again or even move the car. Which leads me to the next thought. It sounds like you might be right on the cost border between one long-term and two short-term rentals. Factor in that a parking garage will cost twenty-five bucks plus per twenty-four hours. Don't even think about a second-country drop-off, that'll bust the bank.
Thanks for the insight, I have a bit of experience driving in Third world cities and countries, so I am not that worried about the driving. Logistics are my main concern, we are thinking of renting in amsterdam at the end of our stay there, driving the coast to Normandy for a few days, then to Paris. I am thinking that we just need to park the car while in Paris and use the Metro, etc. I have found an underground parking garage that offers three day stay for around 70 euro near our hotel in the 14th Arr. Do you have any experience with these garages? Should I reserve a space? Thanks again for your help FDM
That's a bit on the high side of what I'd have guessed, but in the range. Could be season, area, owner, who knows. It's close enough that I wouldn't spin my wheels looking for something better. I've never been aware that you could reserve places except for an annual discount or something. Also, out on the fringes like that I've never seen one full.