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Paris - An Introduction for Travelers
Get to city center from De Gaule Airport: A taxi is expensive! The fastest and least expensive way is by Roissy Rail... a train-bus combination. The bus leaves from outside the exit of the terminal. Get on the bus (no charge) and it will take you to the train. The train goes to Gare du Nord... about 30 min. You can take either the Metro or a taxi from Gare du Nord to your hotel. (You can also transfer from the train to the Metro with the same ticket). The RER Train continues on to Chatelet-LesHalles, St.Michel, Luxembourg. The Air France Bus, outside the Arrivals Terminal goes to Porte Maillot or to Etoile... about 45 minutes to 1 hour. From either of these stops you can take a taxi to your hotel. The buses run about every 15-20 minutes.

From Orly Airport: The Air France bus goes to Invalides. You can take a taxi from there to your hotel.

City transportation: The only way to travel is by the subway, called le metro. Buy 10 Metro tickets ("Un carnet"... say "oon-car-nay") and save 50%. To use the Metro system, look at the large map posted inside each station. Decide which Metro line you need. To make sure you're going in the right "direction", check the name at the end of the line. Remember this name because it will guide you through the tunnels from one line to another. To change train lines, look for the orange "Correspondance" and for your new "direction" signs. Blue signs reading "Sortie" mark the exits. To enter the metro, insert your ticket in the automated turnstile and don't forget to collect it, as you pass through. Locate your "direction" sign and start walking. You'll be an expert after one trip.

Please be considerate of the Parisians. When the Metro car stops at the station where you wish to get off, step quickly out on the platform and move toward the wall before you stop. When you are away from the moving crowds you can then pause to look for signs. If you pause at the door of the train you are blocking the person(s) behind you who may be rushing to work.

Caution: Pickpockets thrive on crowded subways. Be very alert and keep your wallet in your front pocket. They can have your pockets stripped before you know they're next to you.

Walking: This is the next best type of transportation in Paris. You'll walk until your feet won't support you anymore, but you'll experience the real Paris. And you can always stop at an outdoor cafe for a refreshing drink. No one would think of rushing you.

A tourist ticket can be purchased for 2,4,7 days (Passport required). The "Carte Orange" is a weekly pass, which can be purchased Mon-Wed. A photo is required. There are also Museum passes - the "Carte Intermusees". The museum pass may seen to be expensive but it lets you go ahead of the long lines and saves valuable time.
About the Author
Author of this article is Gene Gill. For more information visit his website: Gene Gill Miniatures.
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