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Getting around in Paris, tricks and tips

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You come from the airport. What to do ?

If you're arriving via Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle airport and you're traveling light, the quickest and cheapest option is the RER. Furthermore, you're guaranteed to get a seat, since the airport is the terminal. Buy a single ticket (€10).

If you're arriving via Orly airport, again traveling light, it's best to take the Orlyval at Orly with an easy transfer at Anthony to the RER B, getting off at Châtelet-les-Halles (€9.30).

If you leave the airport before 7 AM, it's not a bad idea to take a taxi because traffic will be light.

The fare from Roissy-Charles de Gaulle to the center of Paris is at least €65. Waiting times can be long and if you don't have cash, ask the taxi driver if he or she accepts credit cards. You'll see that "yes" is not a very common answer...

If you're arriving via Roissy, staying at the Relais du Louvre and would like a ride, it's best to book a shuttle through the hotel when you make your reservation. The package is €65 for one or two people and €80 for 3 or 4 people. There's no waiting; your driver will be waiting when you get off your flight and the price is fixed. For larger families, this service is also available at €95 per night for 5-6 people and €1215 for 7-8 people with no extra costs.

What to know about Parisian taxis

Is it easy to find a taxi?

No, especially not at certain times.

New Yorkers use taxis six to seven times more frequently than Parisians because there are many more private passenger car services in New York. In Paris, when you look for a taxi in the street, it's not always easy to find one, especially late at night. 

Why don't taxis always stop?

First, you need to check that the indicator light on the taxi roof is on (green or white). Then, if the taxi stops, the driver is likely to start by rolling down his or her window to ask your destination. Can he or she turn down the fare?

Yes, if:

  • you want to be driven to a distant suburb
  • you are in a group of 4 people, meaning that you are probably over the maximum capacity allowed for the taxi
  • you have a pet
  • your destination will take the taxi away from its garage, and the driver's shift ends in the next half hour.

Is it customary to tip?

No, not really. A tip isn't an obligation - just an acknowledgement of your satisfaction. 

How do I ask about the destination?

The taxi driver is required to ask you if you have a preferred route. If you don't know, you can ask the taxi driver his or her proposed route, which you can then choose to agree with or not. This is always the best option.

At the station

It is forbidden for taxis to take on passengers within 50 meters of a station. At a taxi station, you're allowed to choose the car you want, but that won't make you very popular with the drivers... A good trick is to choose a car that accepts credit cards. In general, they are more comfortable than others, and it helps you avoid taxis that refuse to take your fare.

Rates

The rates for Paris taxis are complicated. In the simplest terms, what you should know is that the price displayed on the meter may be increased if a 4th person is being transported (+€3) and if you have more than one bag (+€1 per bag after 2 bags)

Pricing details: http://www.taxisg7.com/more-taxis/paris-taxi-fares?tg7=0m488bo6hq3270dmrdb5tts3i0

You would like to order a taxi

It can be a smart idea to order your taxi in advance. From March 1, for an immediate pick-up, there will be a €4 surcharge - and €7 for a reservation made in advance.

You can also install the Paris Taxis application, provided by the city of Paris. 

So, what's the best way to get around in Paris?

Paris is not a very large city. You can walk across the city on foot in just over two hours. This means that getting to the outskirts of Paris from the Relais du Louvre doesn't take more than an hour.

If you'd like to use a method of transportation, the best option is to take the metro or a bus. Buy tickets in books of 10 rather than choosing a tourist package or a package.