Table of Contents for this Episode
Discussed in this Episode
- Best way between the airport and Paris [00:31]
- What are your options when you land in Paris? [02:33]
- I've tried them all
- but I don't have a dog in this fight [03:18]
- Public transportation options: the RER [03:35]
- Le Bus Direct[04:26]
- Private Van or Limo [05:44]
- Paris is not the same as the Caribbean [06:07]
- Only hire official taxis! [06:38]
- Maybe you should use Uber? [07:37]
- Best practices for Uber at Paris airports [08:23]
- Uber cannot use Taxi areas in Paris [08:53]
- Most Uber drivers in Paris do not speak English [10:40]
- Your best option between the airport and the Paris city center is the TAXI [11:19]
- Taxis have set rates to and from the airport [11:51]
- How much will a taxi cost in Paris? [12:24]
- The taxi line is civilized at Paris airports [14:35]
- You can ask for a taxi driver that speaks English [14:51]
- Car seats and taxis in Paris [15:11]
- Can the taxi handle all our luggage? [15:48]
- Taxis in Paris can accommodate up to 8 persons [16:17]
- Trying to save a buck? [16:49]
Annie Sargent 0:00
This is join us in France Episode 202. Bonjour, I’m Annie and join us in France is the podcast where we talk about France. Its many quirks, its history, its language, and of course destinations in France you want to learn about because hopefully, you’ll be visiting soon on today’s episode because I just got back from my vacation and I only have 24 hours to put out an episode to get back to my Wednesday release schedule. I will keep it short.
Annie Sargent 0:31
The other thing is Uber is not necessarily cheaper. Because there are times when Uber gets a lot more expensive than taxis. This happens when there is a spike in demand for some reason. So someone on our Facebook group reported paying 96 euros between the airport and Paris, which is really, really high. For reference, a taxi will cost you at most 55 euros.
Best way between the airport and Paris
Annie Sargent 0:34
So for today, I will answer a burning question that comes up all the time on the Facebook group. What’s the best way to transfer between the Paris airport and your hotel in the city center? It turns out there is an answer a definite answer to this question!
Annie Sargent 0:52
If you’re interested in this topic, you should also check out Episode 151 tips for using Uber, Paris and Episode 142. Paris Metro or Paris bus show notes and photos for this episode are on join us in france.com forward slash to go to the number 202 on the brand new join us in France website, which looks fabulous, if I dare say so myself.
Annie Sargent 1:21
Folks who are subscribed to the mailing list have not heard from me in a while. Fear not, that’s another thing I need to get back to soon.
Annie Sargent 1:30
Join us in France is brought to you by Patreon supporters and addicted to France, the small group tour company for people who want to enjoy France to the fullest with zero stress. I’ll be taking off for our Dordogne tour in a month. I really look forward to it. And that tour is sold out. But we’ll announce more soon.
Annie Sargent 1:53
Join us in France need your support to see all the ways you can support the show visit join us in France. com for slash support.
What are your options when you land in Paris?
Annie Sargent 2:33
So I’m excited today to tell you about the best ways to get between the airport in Paris and the city center. Because hopefully, well, I think there is a one best way and I will argue that but I will also list all the other ones. Because I’m hoping to never have to answer that question. Again, it comes up all the time.
Annie Sargent 2:57
And I don’t know why people agonize over that so much. It’s such a simple thing to do. But for those of you who don’t travel as much as others, I understand it’s you know, if I was going to India, I’d worry about it. Because I just don’t know India at all, so so I get that I get that.
I’ve tried them all, but I don’t have a dog in this fight
Annie Sargent 3:18
All right. So today, I’m going to tell you my, in my experience, what works for me, and I’ve tried pretty much all of them. And of course, it’s important for me to say that I don’t have a dog in this fight, whatever you do, changes nothing for me.
Public transportation options: the RER
Annie Sargent 3:35
I just want you to have the best and the most comfortable experience in Paris. So let’s look at public transportation options. The first is the RER that’s the regional trains in Paris, it’s the cheapest option per person it It costs 10 euros and 30 cents per person. And it’s also a huge pain in the behind because even if the surface is running smoothly, which is it doesn’t always, you have to deal with stairs and gates, and possibly lots of them. So you have been warned, this is not an exercise for people who are older, or have any sort of mobility problems, or are carrying too much luggage. Are you just yeah, you want to avoid that if you can.
Le Bus Direct
Annie Sargent 4:26
Second public transportation option is called Le Bus Direct. And on the show notes, join us in France, com forward slash two or two, I’ll give you a link to what I mean. These are the bus lines that go between CDG, which French people often call Roissy, that’s CDG, Charles de Gaulle, it’s called Roissy Charles de Gaulle or the other airport in Paris, that’s Orly.
Annie Sargent 4:56
Okay, so you have this bus that goes and it’s direct between the airport and and the city, but they only stop in a few places. So if you’re staying at the Eiffel Tower, or L’Etoile, which is at the top of the Champs Elysees, or Montparnasse, well, that’s great because they go there, they stop there.
Annie Sargent 5:15
But if you’re not staying in those areas, while you’ll be stuck transferring to a metro or a bus, and the cost per person for these buses is 12 euros per person as of today. One advantage that I see for the bus rather than the Metro is that the bus make it easier for luggage, you don’t have to haul up and down, you just put them into in those big trunks that buses have. And then you’re done. But really, you shouldn’t come to Paris with a lot of luggage.
Private Van or Limo
Annie Sargent 5:44
So okay, the the other option that you have is a private van or a limo. And I won’t say much about this option, because there are thousands of different providers. And the quality of service varies greatly between them. So if you’re inclined to go that route, then all I can tell you is do your homework. You know, check them out.
Paris is not the same as the Caribbean
Annie Sargent 6:07
I know that hiring a private driver is really common when visiting some countries in the world like India, for example. But in Paris, we don’t do that in Paris, we rely on either public transportation or taxis for the most part, these are better and simpler options. But that’s just my opinion. And it might be just my local bias. It wouldn’t occur to me to go you know, searching for, for a private driver when I can just get a taxi.
Only hire official taxis!
Annie Sargent 6:38
One thing is for sure, you should not let random drivers talk you into a ride on your way between the plane and the taxi station. This happens at all Paris airports. As soon as you’ve exited. And you’re in the public area of the airport, you will start seeing guys who will stop you and ask you if you need a ride. And some of them tell you Oh, you can have an exciting ride on my motorcycle or whatever, do not hire these people. They are totally unlicensed, and everything they do is going against the law. Just don’t hire them.
Annie Sargent 7:17
There are again, places in the world where that’s how things work. You know, you just have guys standing outside of the airport and offering their services. This is not how it works in France, it is not normal France, they can’t put a cop behind every one of them. But it’s against the law don’t hire these people.
Maybe you should use Uber?
Annie Sargent 7:37
Another possibility is that you call an Uber. Uber is legal in France. But Uber drivers are under restrictions that do not apply to taxis. For example, Uber drivers cannot pick up or drop off near the taxi areas. Secondly, Uber drivers are not supposed to drive on bus lanes, whereas the taxis and the motorcycle and bicycles, they are allowed to that changes a lot of things when it’s when you arrive at 8am in Paris, which if you’re coming from North America, that’s usually what happens. Well, being able to get on the bus lanes makes a huge difference. And you’ll get to your hotel a lot faster if you get a taxi rather than an Uber.
Best practices for Uber at Paris airports
Annie Sargent 8:23
Now, let me remind you of some best practices for Uber. If you’re planning on using Uber in Paris, I recommend that you listen to Episode 151 tips for using Uber in Paris before you go. And as you probably know, best practice is to call your Uber from the exact location where you want to be picked up. So you don’t move. What I’m saying is once you’ve called your Uber driver don’t move.
Uber cannot use Taxi areas in Paris
Annie Sargent 8:53
But where are you supposed to stand before calling your Uber driver at the Paris airport? I just told you that they can’t stop in the same places as the taxis. So here’s what the Uber site says today, it says from terminals, one to A to C to D and to F exit on the departure level, from terminals to e to G and three exits on the arrivals level, head outside and wait at the curb.
Annie Sargent 9:26
So it’s a bit complicated because it depends on exactly where you exit. So I recommend that you check what the Uber site says right before your trip just in case this changes. But what I would do is, you know, as I walk out of the plane, I’m I have the Uber app on my phone because I use Uber in Paris just not to and from the airport, I will check the price and see if it’s really a lot better than the taxi.
Annie Sargent 9:53
And if that’s if I’m going to get an Uber then I look I would look for the right pickup place, go there and then place my Uber order. You have to do this in the right order, or your Uber driver may never find you, which has happened to me. And they’ll just give up on you.
Annie Sargent 10:14
Most airports in the world and Paris is no exception. They have this like one ways system. So if they miss you, they have to do a complete go around. And it’s a huge waste of time. Just you know. So Uber that’s that’s honestly the biggest reason why I don’t use them in Paris so much is because I’m never sure where I’m supposed to pick them up. And also they are not as fast as the taxis.
Most Uber drivers in Paris do not speak English
Annie Sargent 10:40
And also be warned that Uber drivers in Paris don’t tend to speak English. And you don’t get to specify if you need someone who speaks English. It’s not like there’s a checkbox, you know, oh, I need somebody who speaks English. No, you don’t get to do that.
Your best option between the airport and the Paris city center is the TAXI
Annie Sargent 11:19
So what’s my choice? Let me argue for the taxi, the lowly taxi, the boring taxi.
Annie Sargent 11:27
I recorded this episode, like I mentioned at the beginning because I don’t want to repeat things like a broken record. The best and smartest way to get between CDG or ORL and Paris is a taxi. I hereby make a solemn oath that I will never answer that question again. I will just link to this episode and be done, unless things change of course.
Taxis have set rates to and from the airport
Annie Sargent 11:51
So why am I so sure that the taxi is the best choice between the airport and Paris? Well, first thing, taxi prices between Paris airports and the city are now fixed. Getting a taxi used to be a bit of a gamble. You never knew how much it was going to cost. These days are gone. This change happened on January 1, 2016. And it is pretty clear to me that strong competition from Uber is what made it happen because taxi drivers fought it tooth and nail.
How much will a taxi cost in Paris?
Annie Sargent 12:24
So how much will the taxi ride to the city cost you? Okay? If you’re arriving in CDPG, which is what most of you will do because CPG is the International Airport in Paris. And you’re going to the right bank, you pay 50 euros, right bank means Louvre, Opéra, Châtelet, Beaubourg, Hôtel de Ville, Le Marais, les Grands Boulevards, and the Champs Elysées.
Annie Sargent 12:50
If you’re going to CDG to the left bank, you pay 55 euros. That’s the most expensive possibility. And by left wing, I mean, the Latin Quarter, Saint Germain des Prés, Montparnasse, Mouffetard, La Butte aux Cailles, etc. Okay.
Annie Sargent 13:06
If you’re arriving into Orly, which will happen if you, I think it’s Wow Air that flies into Orly. And if you’re going to the right bank, you pay 35 euros. And if you land in Orly and go to the left bank, it’s 30 euros. Mostly its domestic flights within France that land at Orly. So yeah, French people pay less. But that’s because Orly airport is a lot closer to Paris than Charles de Gaulle.
Annie Sargent 13:37
So the maximum you will pay per taxi is 55 euros. Compare the costs per person of public transportation. If there are three or four of you in your party, well, you do the math. Taking the RER will cost you the same or maybe two or three euros less than the taxi. Why would you do that?
Annie Sargent 13:58
You know? Well, no, not two or three euros, it would be what, nine, eight and something euros less. I really wouldn’t mess with the RER just to save eight euros. One of the reasons why I favor taxis is because taxi stands or taxi stations are easy to find. It’s as easy as reading the signs really, you start walking towards the exit. And you will soon see signs that show you where the taxis are. Once you get to the taxi stand, you’ll probably see a line but it will move quickly because there are a lot of new taxis arriving all the time.
The taxi line is civilized at Paris airports
Annie Sargent 14:35
And this is one place where French people actually line up pretty nicely. So we don’t do that for buses. But we do that for taxis. And in Paris, they have like they have a roof over your head as you wait for the taxi for the line. And so it’s it’s pretty civilized.
You can ask for a taxi driver that speaks English
Annie Sargent 14:51
If you must have a driver who speaks English, you can ask the taxi station manager for that there’s a person that manages the taxis, you can ask for that. It is customary to take the next taxi that comes along. But if you don’t like the next available taxi, for some reason, wave your hand or you know, and just wait to the next one.
Car seats and taxis in Paris
Annie Sargent 15:11
Nobody will care because there’s lots of customers coming you know arriving all the time. If you are traveling with a baby, the taxi driver will install a car seat. If you brought one, taxis are an exception to the law in France, you can take a baby in a taxi without a car seat. And passengers in a taxi don’t have to wear a seatbelt. It doesn’t make it a good idea. But you won’t get in trouble for it. I think you could ask if there’s a taxi that has a car seat coming along. But I would be extremely surprised if that was one of the possibilities.
Can the taxi handle all our luggage?
Annie Sargent 15:48
What about luggage? Well, taxi drivers, believe it or not, they know that people who are going to and from the airport have luggage, a lot of it sometimes. And so they usually if they work the airport, they will have a bigger car. Most cars are smaller in France than they are in the US. But we you know, unless you went nuts, they’ll fit at all and they’re used to this. And if not, you can wait for a taxi that will accommodate all of you and your luggage.
Taxis in Paris can accommodate up to 8 persons
Annie Sargent 16:17
There are taxis in Paris that can accommodate eight persons. Talk to the station manager who will have you wait for the next big taxi.
Annie Sargent 16:27
So in conclusion, there is no doubt in my mind that the easiest and fastest way to get between the airport and Paris is a taxi. It can also be the cheapest way depending on how many of you there are. Now we all have our preferences. And if you are set in your ways, and you just love doing it this one way have at it.
Trying to save a buck?
Annie Sargent 16:49
But having tried most of the options discussed above, I can tell you that the taxi wins every time now you’re going to say, and you know you’d have a point. What if I’m trying to save a buck? Well, to that I will be my normal, blunt, French self and say there are smart ways to save a buck and not so smart ways to save a buck. Now I can’t I can’t write that on the Facebook group because somebody will necessarily take it the wrong way. I can say it on the podcast because you can hear my tone of voice I’m trying to be funny he he!
Annie Sargent 17:24
You can you can save on wine, you can buy wine bottles around four or five euros into instead of your normal $20 at home. Don’t lie to me, I know it’s really hard to find wine in America for less than 20 bucks. So, you can also never order bottled water at a restaurant, right? You can say un pichet d’eau ou une carafe d’eau and it’s tap water it’s free.
Annie Sargent 17:47
So just don’t let them bring you the Vichy water, which tastes exactly the same as all the other water in France. And you’ll save you know, five euros every time. Don’t buy at the open air market. If you love open air markets, go see them but don’t buy there because it’s a lot more expensive. Go to the grocery store instead, you see?
Annie Sargent 18:09
So there are lots of ways to save money in Paris. But don’t try to save money on the ride between the airport and the city. The RER ride will make you miserable. It makes everybody miserable.
Annie Sargent 18:23
So for tips on saving money in Paris, listen to Episode 141 Paris on a budget and also food prices at French grocery stores. That’s Episode 197. You learn those money saving tricks, but don’t don’t skimp on the taxi. All right. Thank you very much. Merci beaucoup. And I’ll talk to you next week.
Annie Sargent 18:48
Thank you, Spencer Keywood, Golda Gabriel, Samuel Sadler, See door, Phillip Guimont. See, I can’t even I have no idea how you say that guy Mont chemo. Given this French name. I’ll say it in French Shelley Rohrer, Kimberly Mason for pledging to support the show on Patreon this week. And my thanks to all the other patrons who support the show month after month. Thank you for giving back to support the show on Patreon. Go to patreon.com forward slash join us and you guys rock and you’ll get new extras. Coming up very shortly, I have some great ideas of things I want to share with you. And thank you, Amy Mason, Roberta Gould and Kari Tenney, for your one time donation, you guys are still my one and only form of advertising for the show.
Annie Sargent 19:46
So thank you for putting out the word about join us in France, to all the people you know are going to be visiting France soon, I’m sure they would enjoy to learn about things and to be better prepared for their own trip. So you know how to listen to the show. Most people by now podcasts are so hot. They’ve heard the word podcast, but they might think it’s a little intimidating. So help them out.
Annie Sargent 20:14
Let them know that there is a podcast app by now on all smartphones. So if they have a reasonably recent version of a smartphone or have the OS on their smartphone, then they already have an app, they can already play podcasts. They don’t need to do anything. They don’t need to install anything. And the other thing that people think is that podcasts might eat up all their data. Well, let me tell you an average hour long show on of the part of join us in France travel podcast will eat up about as much data as about two minutes of a YouTube video.
Annie Sargent 20:57
So an hour long show is about the same weight as a two minute video on YouTube. So tell them they if they’re going over their data, it has to do with their video consumption and not their podcast consumption. Anyway, you can find the join us in France travel podcast on your Alexa smart speaker or on your smartphone using Spotify, iTunes, Google Play or any other number of podcast apps. And you can even listen on the website join us in France. com.
Annie Sargent 21:33
Because now it looks good due to connect with me email Annie at join us in France. com or leave a message at 1-821-806-1215. And you can also ask to join the join us in France close group on Facebook, where I go hang out a little bit every day. And when you do please answer all the questions because the spammers are making life miserable. If it’s not the Illuminati, it’s going to be some guru or something like that. And you know sometimes people answer the questions and they lie. But if if you write a little bit if you tell me a little bit about yourself when you’re filling out the question the answers to the questions, then I can tell you’re a real person. Thank you so much. I will talk to you next week. The join us in France travel podcast is written and produced by Annie Sargent and copyright 2018 by addicted to France. It is released under Creative Commons Attribution non commercial no derivatives license