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Old 03-17-2015, 09:51 AM   #41
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We're staying at the Hotel Brighton in Paris. Anyone ever stay there?
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Old 03-17-2015, 06:23 PM   #42
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This seems to morphed into a "how not to get pickpocketed thread" :P Useful but back to the OP original question.

Paris I cannot help you with and I think since you are with Trafalgar some of your time is booked already. I would definitely recommend the Vatican tour if you can in Rome. We did self tours of the Coliseum and Pantheon as was as Ostia Antica using podcasts downloaded from Rick Steves Website for free and those worked out well but I don't think it would work as well for the Vatican since there is just sooo much there. Plus we had a very outstanding guide who clearly loved her job which also makes a big difference. The rest of the 4 days we had in Rome were spent wandering around. For me the coolest thing about Rome was you could turn the corner on a non descript street and find a 2000 year old obelisk there with a few guys having a smoke in front of it. Not a tourist attraction at all but it was.

Oh and the food ....yum. We did however do a fair bit of research ahead of time and have some idea of where we wanted to go to eat on every night but the first when we were pretty jetlagged
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Old 03-17-2015, 06:37 PM   #43
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OK - Man, the pickpocketing stories are pretty bad. This one has amazing poster comments, many of whom had been victimized, and recently too. It's very well to walk rapidly away from people brandishing clipboards, but the RER and Metro sound very difficult to avoid cluster/close situations. Paris: Tackling the Problem of Pickpockets - TripAdvisor

I guess I won't be carrying much when we go out in Paris. I think we'll also use taxis for when we are coming from the airport or leaving with our luggage. Sheesh!

Avoiding Pickpockets | Embassy of the United States Paris, France
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Old 03-17-2015, 07:07 PM   #44
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I think we'll also use taxis for when we are coming from the airport or leaving with our luggage. Sheesh!
Last time in Paris (2014) we rented a little (and I mean little) place at Mairie des Lilas, (last stop on one Metro line, followed by a 1/2 mile walk with our luggage)............got there from the airport with no problem, went in and out to the middle of Paris, no problem......it's a breeze. Don't panic.
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Old 03-17-2015, 07:07 PM   #45
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Paris is not that bad. Spain and Italy are worse.

You can take shared shuttles from the airport. Or the commuter train or the Air France bus.

I would not take a taxi all the way, you'd be paying over 50 Euros.

You can take the train or the bus to a central station and take the taxi from there, especially if you're toting a fair amount of luggage. Otherwise, if it's the middle of the day, you can probably get away with taking a subway train with luggage, though you would have to lug it up and down the stairs of the stations.

A shared shuttle will get you right to the door so that's not a bad choice for a first time trip since you're not familiar with the city. But depending on the other passengers, you may have to wait while the shuttle stops at a few other hotels first. It's usually been 60-90 minutes between the time the driver arrives and the time he drops you off.

All other forms of transport besides taxis require changing to another form of transportation at some point, which is a hassle with luggage.
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Old 03-17-2015, 07:22 PM   #46
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We took the train from CDG to the center of town. Even during rush hour too. No problem. But one time when leaving, the early morning flight required us to leave the hotel at 3AM, and the train was not running, so we took a taxi. It's been a while, but 50 Euros sounds about right.
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Old 03-17-2015, 07:27 PM   #47
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The RER trains stations are along the left bank of the Seine. Such as the station under the Musee d'Orsay or St. Michel in the Latin Quarter.

From there, you would probably have to switch to a subway line and then walk some distance with luggage to the hotel. It could be close or it could be a couple of blocks.
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Old 03-17-2015, 07:51 PM   #48
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OK - Man, the pickpocketing stories are pretty bad. This one has amazing poster comments, many of whom had been victimized, and recently too. It's very well to walk rapidly away from people brandishing clipboards, but the RER and Metro sound very difficult to avoid cluster/close situations. Paris: Tackling the Problem of Pickpockets - TripAdvisor
Wow those stories are terrible but I wonder if there's an internet amplification effect going on? I spent a week walking all over the city and riding the metro and didn't have any problems or saw anyone having problems.

The worst I encountered were people trying to sell ticket in the metro (easy to ignore), annoying vendors of trinkets near the eiffel tower (mostly legitimate), and the bracelet guys near sacre coeur (everybody just walks around them). However we tended not to ride the metro during rush hour and maybe it would be worse then.

I took my camera gear everywhere but just kept it in a nondescript backpack when not using it (zippers locked off).

The nice thing about paris is that none of the museums seemed to care if you brought your DSLR in to take pictures.
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Old 03-17-2015, 08:16 PM   #49
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Paris is not that bad. Spain and Italy are worse.

You can take shared shuttles from the airport. Or the commuter train or the Air France bus.

I would not take a taxi all the way, you'd be paying over 50 Euros.

You can take the train or the bus to a central station and take the taxi from there, especially if you're toting a fair amount of luggage. Otherwise, if it's the middle of the day, you can probably get away with taking a subway train with luggage, though you would have to lug it up and down the stairs of the stations.

A shared shuttle will get you right to the door so that's not a bad choice for a first time trip since you're not familiar with the city. But depending on the other passengers, you may have to wait while the shuttle stops at a few other hotels first. It's usually been 60-90 minutes between the time the driver arrives and the time he drops you off.

All other forms of transport besides taxis require changing to another form of transportation at some point, which is a hassle with luggage.
I don't mind paying €50 from the Paris airport for the two of us after an overnight flight and feeling jittery. It would cost €34 for the Air France bus and then we would have to get a taxi anyway - or ride the not-so-safe section of Metro 1.

That's what our travel budget is for - comfort, security, relaxation, and avoiding major hassles.

We survived Milan twice, even with some gypsy kids harassing us near and in the metro, but that was back in the 90s.

We had no trouble in Vienna, or Amsterdam, and other major European cities, but Paris sounds a little more challenging in the tourist areas.

Fortunately most of our trip is outside Paris.
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Old 03-17-2015, 08:27 PM   #50
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Wow those stories are terrible but I wonder if there's an internet amplification effect going on? I spent a week walking all over the city and riding the metro and didn't have any problems or saw anyone having problems.

The worst I encountered were people trying to sell ticket in the metro (easy to ignore), annoying vendors of trinkets near the eiffel tower (mostly legitimate), and the bracelet guys near sacre coeur (everybody just walks around them). However we tended not to ride the metro during rush hour and maybe it would be worse then.

I took my camera gear everywhere but just kept it in a nondescript backpack when not using it (zippers locked off).

The nice thing about paris is that none of the museums seemed to care if you brought your DSLR in to take pictures.
That's good to know.

I'm only taking extra precautions when we are traveling with luggage. We've done trams/metro/buses with luggage before with no problems.

And I may leave my iPad mini and any bag/purse back at the hotel while in Paris. And just carry the camera.

We'll see how it goes.

I don't know if there is an internet amplification effect, but I did research about Vienna and Amsterdam in recent years and I found warnings, especially about Vienna, but I didn't find this level of stories.
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Old 03-17-2015, 09:12 PM   #51
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The RER trains stations are along the left bank of the Seine. Such as the station under the Musee d'Orsay or St. Michel in the Latin Quarter.

From there, you would probably have to switch to a subway line and then walk some distance with luggage to the hotel. It could be close or it could be a couple of blocks.
There are RER lines and stations throughout the city, not just along the left bank of the Seine. The RER B line runs from CDG airport south through the city and continues to southern suburbs. I've taken it dozens of times. In order to get to the Hotel Brighton (which is across from the Tuileries on the right bank and along Metro line 1, one would transfer from the RER to Metro line 1 at the Chatelet station (which is on the Right Bank). That transfer is usually quite long, but there are moving walkways for the longer transfers. Chatelet is probably the busiest RER station in the city, and the Metro station may also be the busiest because so many different lines go through it.

With reasonable precautions, I think both the RER and the Metro system are pretty safe. I've taken literally hundreds of trips on the Metro over the past 35+ years, including last year. In all that time, there was one unsuccessful attempt by gypsy kids to steal from me. I was seated on the metro and I shoved the kids away forcefully the moment they attempted to distract me by waving a crumpled piece of newspaper in front of me. Immediately after I shoved them away, the Parisian man sitting next to me did the same. The kids got nothing from either of us. I haven't seen gypsy kids in Paris for about 10 years. I hope that the authorities finally cracked down on them. BTW, you get a free transfer from the RER to the Metro. You typically need your RER ticket to enter AND exit from the RER, and you'll use the same ticket to enter the Metro system. You don't need the ticket to exit the Metro, however.

Map of the Metro & RER network: http://www.ratp.fr/plan-interactif/
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Old 03-17-2015, 09:29 PM   #52
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IF the taxi is only €50, that isn't bad for two people.

If you hit traffic though ...
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Old 03-17-2015, 09:57 PM   #53
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IF the taxi is only 50, that isn't bad for two people.

If you hit traffic though ...
Right, I know it goes up. But I don't expect we'll be leaving the airport until about 11am so hopefully well past rush hour.
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Old 03-17-2015, 10:00 PM   #54
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There are RER lines and stations throughout the city, not just along the left bank of the Seine. The RER B line runs from CDG airport south through the city and continues to southern suburbs. I've taken it dozens of times. In order to get to the Hotel Brighton (which is across from the Tuileries on the right bank and along Metro line 1, one would transfer from the RER to Metro line 1 at the Chatelet station (which is on the Right Bank). That transfer is usually quite long, but there are moving walkways for the longer transfers. Chatelet is probably the busiest RER station in the city, and the Metro station may also be the busiest because so many different lines go through it.

With reasonable precautions, I think both the RER and the Metro system are pretty safe. I've taken literally hundreds of trips on the Metro over the past 35+ years, including last year. In all that time, there was one unsuccessful attempt by gypsy kids to steal from me. I was seated on the metro and I shoved the kids away forcefully the moment they attempted to distract me by waving a crumpled piece of newspaper in front of me. Immediately after I shoved them away, the Parisian man sitting next to me did the same. The kids got nothing from either of us. I haven't seen gypsy kids in Paris for about 10 years. I hope that the authorities finally cracked down on them. BTW, you get a free transfer from the RER to the Metro. You typically need your RER ticket to enter AND exit from the RER, and you'll use the same ticket to enter the Metro system. You don't need the ticket to exit the Metro, however.

Map of the Metro & RER network: Plan Interactif des transports en Ile-de-France
Good to know.

What is your definition of "reasonable precautions"?

I wasn't planning on taking the RER on arrival, though, because I think we'll be too tired.
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Old 03-17-2015, 10:18 PM   #55
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You can Google CDG to Paris to see what people are paying for taxis recently.

Some cities, you have to only take certain types of taxis.
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Old 03-17-2015, 11:18 PM   #56
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Audrey - fwiw - I travel with a "safer" purse that is big enough to hold my tablet - but has all sorts of special features - metal mesh sewn into the bottom (so they can't slice the bottom and have the contents drop out without you being aware), metal cable built into the strap, special loops so that all zippers can be locked or twist tied to slow down thieves, and a strap long enough to wear it cross body.

This is an updated version of the purse I have.
Pacsafe - Metrosafe 200 GII anti-theft shoulder bag
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Old 03-18-2015, 12:33 AM   #57
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Hey I think that's the same purse my wife has. In fact she got it when we spent several weeks to visit Prague, Berlin and Paris.


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Old 03-18-2015, 06:23 AM   #58
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We're staying at the Hotel Brighton in Paris. Anyone ever stay there?
Never stayed there but it's in a good spot. Right Bank, across from the Louvre and near everything.
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Old 03-18-2015, 06:25 AM   #59
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Folks going to Paris should remember to KEEP your RER/Metro ticket with you. You'll likely need it to get OUT of your arriving station and Metro police do spot checks on the trains. Big fine if you don't have your ticket.
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Old 03-18-2015, 06:45 AM   #60
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Never stayed there but it's in a good spot. Right Bank, across from the Louvre and near everything.
Yes, I loved the location. I was looking at what was close to the Musee de l'Orangerie and the garden. Tripadvisor reviews were great. We're supposed to have a view of the gardens and the landmarks across the river from our room.
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