Archive for December 11th, 2010

December 11, 2010

Sightseeing in Paris, by land and water

Over time I have read some folks claiming to want to be in Paris with limited time, sometimes even in between correspondance at the airports. Even thus I do not agree this is the best way to see the city, sometimes time and money comes into play. So if you are in Paris or near and want to take a quick look at the city general overview to perhaps get into the feeling to see more in depth later (believe me you will ::)) than do these suggestions.

Bateaux Parisiens are an institution in Paris (over 40 years),my first taste ever with the Seine river back in 1972 (as in Paris1972); It has been my favorite always. Day or night cruises, Lunch or Dinner, Enchanted cruises for children, romantic cruises for all.YOu get at Port de la Bourdannais just off the Eiffel tower on the river Seine down the stairs to your right. Site in English here

The perennials on the block or how river cruising was started by the Bateaux Mouches (over 60 years) ,lunch and dinner cruises, night and day cruises, you get on board at Port de la Conférence, Pont de l’Alma. Site in English here

The old fashion way of navigating the rivers anywhere, the Canal Saint Martin experts Canauxrama, 2;5 hrs of cruise into parc de la Villette, full day cruise to guinguette country (french country music), you get it at port de l’Arsenal at the bassin de la Villette, 13 quai de la Loire. Site in English here

the ride on the bridges of Paris by the Vedettes du Pont Neuf, at the square du vert galant near pont neuf of course. Site in English here

Batobus is a noble concept of taxi on the river, you can get on and off all along its route per day. 8 stops on the Seine river to discover Paris. Take at port de la Bourdannais near Eiffel tower on the river. Site in English here

Paris Canal, is a newer concept to take you beyond the city into the river Marne, and Canal de l’Ourcq, as well as Canal St Denis, etc, you can on it at bassin de la Villette ,19 quai de la Loire, or quai Anatole France just next to musée d’Orsay boat ramp, or inside the parc de la Villette in front of the folies des visites du parc. Site in English is pending, questions ask me ,

Vedettes de Paris , take it at the port de Suffren, near Eiffel tower once go down on the river stairs to your left. Its a ride under the bridges of Paris on the Seine, very nice indeed. You have it for children, night, etc.  site in English here

Cityrama is a world known brand of bus tours in cities, no exception in Paris you get excursions and transfer between airport and hotel as well as shopping to La Vallée Outlet Shopping Store. It can take you to other places in France too. At 2 rue des Pyramides, 75001 .Site here in English

Easy Dream, offer tours of Paris, Normandy, Loire, wine tours etc going on for a long time, reliable, site in English here

Euroscope, bus tours in minibuses with professional guides with pickup and return at your hotel,transfers to hotel/train/airport stations. at 27 rue Taitbout, 75009. Site in English here

France Tourisme, visit Paris main monuments, diner cruise on the Seine, or Eiffel towers restos ,also booking for cabarets such as Lido and Moulin Rouge. One stop shopping. Also, tours all over France . Its at Quai des Grands Augustins 75006, site in English here

Paris Authentic, a special way to see Paris in a 2CV car Citroën with chauffeur or driver. Many wonderful surprising places to go. You will be pickup at your hotel or train station in Paris for the ride, enjoy it ,its unique! Site in English

Paris Vision, city tours and also of Loire Castles, Mont Saint Michel, champagne area included with driver, guide tickets, lunch many choices, and centrally located office at 214 rue de Rivoli 75001. Site in English at

Les Cars Rouges, tourist coach/bus  service  for visiting Paris in English or Spanish. The original tour in double decker buses.  main office at 17 quai de Grenelle 75015. Site in English at

These have been over the years my favorites and some new ones added on lately like Easy Dream and Paris Authentic. You will enjoy your visit to Paris and or France with any of them. Cheers !


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December 11, 2010

Public transport and getting to Paris

Many visitors and even folks outside of Paris ask for ways to move about in Paris and to come in. Many guides abound on this ,and I will try to give you my five cents worth stemming from personal experiences over the years and now.

From the airports:

CDG is not in Paris but in Roissy-en-France a town in the department 95 Val d’Oise. It is now in zone 5 of the six zoning tarifs available for travelers in Paris. Ways to come in into the city are by RER trains or reseau express regionale. Its like a blend between a metro/subway and a regular train. The line from the CDG airport at Terminal 2 between wings CD and EF follow signs for TGV/SNCF to the platform direction Paris, and take the RER B. There is one almost every 12 minutes, and the travel time is about 30 minutes to Chatelet les Halles inside Paris.

If you arrive in Terminal 1 you take the the automatic airport metro train CDGVAL to terminal 2, the buses or navettes are the line 1 stops at level or niveau 5 or you can walk from the automatic walking escalators. The return out can be done on the buses to level or niveau 5 at portes or doors A5 and B6 stops TGV/RER. From terminal 3 on foot to Roissypole about 250 meters.

You can, also, take the Roissybus a bus service from all terminals to Rue Scribe on the side of the Opéra in Paris, place de l’Opéra. Every 15 minutes or so and it takes about 50 minutes travel time. All is done between 5h45 and 23h each day. At the CDG airport you can take at Terminal 1 arrival levels (niveau arrivées) porte or door 8, at Terminal 2 A and C at porte A9, 2B and 2D at porte B11, at 2E and 2F at porte 5, correspondance hall or galerie de liasons, and from Terminal 3 at arrival hall or hall arrivées. From 6h to 23h every day as intervals and duration as above.

information on roissybus, RER, metro etc in Paris at www.RATP.FR

Les Cars Air France, or air france buses you can leave on line 2 pl charles de gaulle in Paris Arc de Triomphe on the side of 1 av Carnot. or from Porte Maillot on the side of Blvd Gouvion-Saint-Cyr, every 15 minutes from 5h45 to 23h. Line 4, to Montparnasse at rue du commandant Mouchotte or from gare de lyon at bd Diderot, every 30 minutes from 7h to 21h30. You do the return into the city from Terminal 1 porte 2 level of arrivals on line 2, T2A,B,D porte 6 T2C porte 5 and T2EF porte 3, galerie de liason. Line 4, T1 porte 32 arrivals levels, T2AC porte C2, T2BD porte B1, T2EF porte 3 galerie de liason. For information on buses Air France see this

If you arrive very late you can take the bus Noctilien, from midnite to 5h.YOu have five points in Paris at Chatelet,gare de lyon,gare montparnasse,gare de l’Est,gare du nord ,and gare saint lazare. At CDG T1 porte 12, CDG T2F porte 2.03 informations at webpage

you can take regular bus services No 350 and 351 from the airports to Paris stopping at several locations by tapping the bus number at the RATP site as such as No 350

and 351 at

taxis stands are waiting outside terminals or main railroad station the best known are Taxi Bleus, Taxi G7, and Alpha Taxis.

From Orly airport,situated on the town of Orly in department 94 Val de Marne, the transportation is from Orly Sud sortie J or exit J and from Orly Ouest sortie A or exit A, level departures, take the OrlyVal until Antony then RER B to CDG or into Paris. You also have buses Air France on line 3 Orly Sud sortie K and Orly ouest sortie H arrivals level . all every 30 minutes from 6h to 22h30 ,(weekends out is 7h). Between terminals Sud and Ouest you have free connections on OrlyVal, navette buses at Orly Ouest porte A arrivals hall,and Orly sud porte G.

you can take to  Orly the RER C to pont de Rungis orly sud porte G quai 1 then bus navette to airport. Orly ouest arrival levels quai B, sortie H, every 15 to 30 minutes from 4h34 to Oh56, travel time is about 35 to 50 minutes from destination to or gare d’Austerlitz in Paris.

by bus on Orlybus depart from Paris at place Denfert-Rochereau in front of entry to RER station, every 15-20 minutes, from 5h35 to 23h05 travel time about 30 minutes. You can come into Paris from Orly Sud sortie H and Orly ouest, arrivals levels sortie H quai A from 6h to 23h30.
Air France buses at place des Invalides, at side of rue Esnault-Pelterie or at montparnasse at rue du commandant Mouchotte, every 15 minutes from 5h45 to 23h, travel time about 35 minutes.

Jetbus then metro line 7, leaves at station Villejuif-Louis Aragon, then line 7 of metro into Paris central. every 12 minutes from 6h15 to 22h15, travel time about 15 minutes from station villejuif louis aragon. Return to Orly Sud sortie H or Orly ouest sortie H quai B from 6h23 to 22h49.

best known taxis are Paris Bleus, taxi G7,and Alpha taxis all on stands outside terminal.

you can interconnect from CDG T1 and T2 airport to Orly Sud or Ouest  by taking the RER B from CDG T2 until Antony, then OrlyVal, frequency every 10 minutes from 6h to 23h OR buses Air France from T1 sortie 2 arrivals level. T2AC sortie 2 of T2C, T2BD sortie 2 of T2B, from TF sortie 3 of the galerie de liason, every 30 minutes from 6h to 22h30 weekends from 7h.

you can also take the TGV fast trains from Terminal 2 at CDG to north, south and west lines as well as Thalys. The airports of Paris information webpage is at

There are many shuttle private companies operating to suit must tastes, mine have been serve well by yellow van and continue to use them when need to. webpage at

you can purchase several options of tickets according to your lenght of stay and needs, I will compare all before deciding on the ones to purchase as per personal choices/needs. The single ticket in Paris zone 1-2 is 1,70 Euros on machines and counters ,on the buses is 1,80 Euros. then you have the carnet of 10 tickets for 12 euros, usually enough for most people. The airport prices are apart and different, these are from CDG to Paris 8,70 Euros, the Roissybus is 9,40 Euros, the Orlybus is 6,60 Euros, the OrlyRail RER C plus navette bus is 6,30 Euros, and the OrlyVal is 10,25 Euros.

you can buy for a whole week the navigo decouverte card  with a photo purchase at station machines usually 4 euros,then a card cost of 5 euros then for zones 1-2 weekly is 18,35 Euros. The zones to the airports is 4,5, to Versailles is zone 4, and to Disneyland Paris is zone 5 so the prices on the card will be higher, the RATP site will tell you the prices. You can buy a daily card call Mobilis for the whole day of travel on zones 1-2 Paris for 6,10 Euros. Then the touristic Paris Visite Pass is done on zones 1-3 for one day at 9,30  euros ,etc for information see the official site at

All these prices change by July of each year so its good to see the RATP site for updated information. IN addition to travel by trains in the Paris region you can look at our local site Transilien at

and for all booking in travel by trains, the official travel agency of the SNCF train organisation in France is voyages-sncf at

if you are coming out of the airports with a rental car, the best site to see traffic is at

for help on locating metro station and travel this site is pretty good at

just key in above the metro stations you are looking at coming and going and it will trace the itinerary for you. Then to know the metro/subway/tube with a  map, plan de paris or metro map at metro de paris or even sitting at the main stade de France stadium see here

In addition to come from Paris to Versailles you can visit me ::) take the metro to pont-Sévres on line 9 and from there take the bus No 171 leaving you right in front of castle!  The RER C line of trains from Paris takes you to Versailles rive gauche station as well as regular trains takes you from Saint Lazare to station rive droite and  Montparnasse  to station Chantiers. From the airports there is no direct line, you need to come to Paris then Versailles. Such as from CDG bus Air France to Montparnasse then train to Versailles chantiers or RER B to station notre dame saint michel then RER C to Versailles rive gauche station.  From Orly, take line 1 of Air France buses to Montparnasse then train to Versailles chantiers . From Beauvais airport take the regular bus connection to Porte Maillot in Paris then RER C to rive gauche in Versailles.

The above list could not be all inclusive but gives you a general details of ways into and out of the city. If any doubts you can ask me and will gladly help out.

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