Paris transportation

What's the best way to get around Paris? My grandmother and I will be going for two days in July and we plan to make a stop in Versaille. We're looking inexpensive options!

Posted by Ray
Portland, Oregon, USA
1341 posts

hi, im not sure youve have an idea on the size of Versailles ? use Google Maps and type in Palace of Versailles. you will have a better idea on the size of the grounds and how much walking you will have to do. happy trails and happy feet.

Posted by Sam
Green Bay
2268 posts

Paris public transit. Bus, Metro, RER train. The RER train to Versailles is in the neighborhood of 6.50 Euro each way. You can buy a Carnet for 13.30 Euro for 10 individual ride tickets within Paris.

Posted by Chelsea
Detroit, Mi, USA
4 posts

We plan to spend the better part of the first day in Versaille at the palace and gardens. There's never enough time for a city like that :)

Posted by Ray
Portland, Oregon, USA
1341 posts

hi, i think the "best" (fastest) way is the local tube system. I used mostly the tube but i did use a bus in the AM and depending on where you go, it can get slow due to delivery trucks double parked or parked half on the sidewalk/street. if you GM is able to do alot of stair climbing, then i would use the tubes. If not, the busses can get you there too. happy trails.

Posted by gerri
lexington, il
349 posts

Chelsea, If you're staying at Hotel Chopin, the easiest route is to take metro Opera line 8 to Invalides, change to RER C direction Versailles Rive Gauche.
As you exit the staation in Versailles turn right Entrance is a block or two can't miss it

Posted by Southam
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
910 posts

I hope you, and especially grandma, are in good shape. Flying from Detroit, you will reach Paris in the morning. By the time you get into the city and settled in your hotel it will be getting towards mid-morning or even past noon, six time zones from Michigan. You then want to go back out of the city to Versailles for a tour that probably will require plenty of walking and consume the rest of the afternoon at a minimum. Remember, you will be doing this on the few hours of sleep you managed to catch on the eight-hour nonstop flight. To me, that's an endurance test, not a pleasant experience.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17745 posts

Chelsea, I definitely agree with the points that Southam raised. You'll likely arrive in Paris the day after you depart, and will be jet lagged and tired for the first few days, so won't be up to full "touring speed". I'm in the same age range as your grandmother, and there's no way I'd head for Versailles on the day after a long international flight. To answer your question, the "best way" to get around Paris is undoubtedly via the excellent Metro system. Many here just use a Carnet of 10 tickets, which covers most of central Paris. A different ticket will be required for the RER to Versailles. You may find it helpful to have a look at the Paris Guidebook (should be a copy in your local Library or larger bookstores, if you want to pack a copy along). Also, have a look at the excellent Paris By Train website. Happy travels!

Posted by Justine
Paris
5 posts

Maybe not the cheapest option but maybe considered taking a cab from the airport to the hotel, to be able to get some rest and avoid the crowd. There is some app, like Taxibeat that will allow you to find a cab while waiting for your luggages, to avoid the waiting line ;)
Enjoy your stay!

Posted by Bets
Bloomington
1967 posts

FYI, it is illegal for cabs to pick you up ouside the cab line at the airport or a train station in France. If taking a cab, just get in line for the cab like anyone else. Any driver who would try to pick up outside the official line is not to be trusted. At CDG drivers wait two hours or more in a holding area before being cleared to get into the taxi line up at the different terminals. Therefore, a legal driver wouldn't jump the line. If you are going to a local airport hotel, there are totally different cab services that serve only the airport hotels.

Posted by Elaine
Mission Viejo, Calif., USA
773 posts

Both times my husband and I were in Paris, we had our hotel order a taxi service for us. It was a prearranged price, so there weren't any surprises at the end. We just paid the driver. The driver met us at either the airport, after we got our luggage, or at the train station. We then walked a short distance to the car. When we left our hotel, the taxi was there as we had arranged the night before. It was wonderful not having to lug our luggage around. We used the buses also. We took a Gray Line day tour out to Versailles. It was wonderful. I can't remember if we did half a day at Giverney (Monet's Garden) and half at Versailles. As everybody has stated, it is huge. We went in June and it was miserably HOT.

Posted by Swan
Napa, CA
2858 posts

There are taxi stands scattered around the "tourist areas." Look for one near your hotel and go there to catch a cab, save a little on the fare. If you or your grandmother have any mobility issues, I think going around Paris by taxi makes the most sense. You will encounter stairs on all or most Metro trips. If you take taxis, have your destination written so you can show the driver. It saves on communication. I money is the issue, take buses or the Metro. Buses are easiest if stair-climbing is difficult except during rush hours when seats may not be available.

Posted by Bets
Bloomington
1967 posts

It's only at the airports and train stations that cabs aren't supposed to pick up fares outside the lines. You can hail a cab anywhere on the street that you want. Elaine's airport pick up was functioning as a fixed price limo or shuttle and probably used the same door as the limos. Fine line distinction.