Friday, April 13, 2007

Can't Read those darn metro signs

When you ride the MTR (metro), in Hong Kong, the signs are clear and precisely written both in Chinese and English. Ok maybe that is because Hong Kong was once a British territory but I have to say that the metro system in Asia is amazing.

Paris is not that bad either, it is pretty easy to use once you get it. What does stink about it however, is that signs about construction work in the metro system are ONLY IN FRENCH. So countless lost tourists find themselves dismayed about why the train is not stopping at the stop they were expecting to get off at.

So, guess what! I am here to help. Here is what you can expect if you are goig to be in Paris over the next few months:

Good news! Since December 23rd, the metro service has been extended to 2:15 am on Saturdays and the eve of holidays. This is an improvement by 1 whole hour. Not to mention that they also have boosted the service so you only have to wait 5 minutes between trains after 9 pm (in theory).


Metro line 5 - BREGUET SABIN station closed from Monday march 5th till Tues May 15th

Metro line 7 - PLACE MONGE - closed from Feb 26- 22 May

Metros 1 & 8 - REUILLY DIDEROT - closed from April 2nd till July 1st from 9:30 PM everyday except Saturday and the eve of holidays. Line 8 remains accessible from FALDHERBE-CHALIGNY or MONTGALLET stations. Line 1 will remain accessible from GARE de LYON or NATION

Metro line 9 - VOLTAIRE from January 8th till April 8th

Metro lin 14 - the line is being extended to the future station Olympiades - expect the following interruptions:

between CHATELET and BIBLIOTHEQUE F. MITTERAND - Saturdays from 5:30 am- 9 am the 7, 14 & 28th of April; Sundays from 5:30 am till 10:00 am le 1st, 15, 22nd and 29th of April

between SAINT-LAZARE and BIBLIOTHEQUE F. MITTERAND - Sundays 25th of March and 8th of April from 5:30 am till 10:00 am

During this time a shuttle bus will be in place between GARE DE LYON and BIBLIOTHEQUE

Metro line 8 - OPERA the station is closed to the public all day between the 5th of March and the 18th of May 2007. The lines 3 and 7 remain open during this period

Metro line 7 - LA COURNEUVE to PORTE DE LA VILLETTE - traffic is stopped from Saturday the 7th till Monday the 9th of April. There will be a bus in place running every 5-10 mins

Metro lin 4 - CHATEAU D'EAU - Costs from Jan 22nd till April 3rd.

metro lines 4, 5, & 7 GARE de l'EST:
Renovating of the SNCF and RATP spaces, direct access to the metro within Gare de l'Est is closed to the public from September 19th 2006 till April 16th 2007

They advise the following alternatives if you are ARRIVING AT GARE DE L'EST

Metro line 4 (in both directions) and metro line 5 (direction PLACE d'ITALIE): follow the signs in the station that will lead you to the metro entrance outside the station.

Metro line 5 (direction BOBIGNY): Use the access at the CHAUTEAU-LANDON staion (at the end of the platform of the SNCF station), take line 7 in the direction of LA COURNEUVE and transfer to line 5 at the STALINGRAD station.

metro line 7 (both directions): Use the access at the CHAUTEAU-LANDON station for line 7 (at the end of the SNCF station platform).

Happy riding

Visit: for more metro details

A little metro know-how. Buyer beware.

Do not be fooled by random people who come up to you to help you get metro tickets. These people do not, most likely, work for the RATP (the Paris metro service company). If you are in doubt go to an info desk or the the guichet (counter).

I have had guests tell me that they spent 50 euros for a ticket that was supposed to be unlimited and reusable and all they had to show me was a one ride ticket worth less then 2 euros.

Visit the RATP site to plan your trip or to find out about the prices. You can view the page in English.

Our site's links' page is full of helpful links to help you plan you Paris holiday:

I want to stay in "Central" Paris

I am often asked by people for accommodations in central Paris. Though I know what they mean when they ask that, I almost feel like saying, "what is central Paris?" The thing is that most tourists don't understand the geography of Paris and overestimate the distances. If you go onto some of the Paris travel forums (I won't site them but I am sure you all know which ones I am talking about), you will find "experts" on Paris telling people to stay in the 5th, the 6th or 7th districts. I have nothing against these areas and have lived in the 5th and gone to school in both the 5th and the 6th (Junior year abroad), but Paris is so much more than just these areas and because of the escargot shape (snail shape), the 17th is just next to the 8th, and the 18th. The 18th is next to the 10th and above the 9th (where you have Opera), The 9th is just above the 2nd. So are you far? Not at all. I have taken a casual walk to the Marais from the 18th via the Champs-Elysee (in the 8th), through the Tuileries gardens (the 1st), past the Louvre (also the 1st) and I think it took me an hour or so. Paris also has a great metro system not to mention a great bus system. I think that all the districts of Paris merit being visited. If for nothing else but to experience Paris the way a Parisian does, going to local bakeries, pastry shops, bars and restaurants. Go to places where you might actually run into a Parisian. Ha, now wouldn't that be funny? I welcome your opinions on your Paris experience and would love for people to comment here about the interesting places they've visited.

Why a Paris rental apartment?

Paris has always been a major tourist destination and it is not about to change. However travelers are becoming more and more savvy as they learn that most Parisian hotel accommodations are pricey and small. This is why many people are turning to apartment rentals. Think of the added freedom, the larger spaces and the amenities that can't be beat, from cable TV (with more than just CNN), wireless internet access (some apartments with computers for your use) at no extra cost. Fully equipped kitchens and inside tips on making your trip that more enjoyable. When I discovered that you could travel the world renting apartments, I thought wow, "where have I been all this time?" I mean it is nice to splurge sometimes for a hotel but we've all slept in rooms that were simply laughable, on beds that were harder, lumpier or noisier that most beds you have ever known, so why fork over all that cash and get little in return. Live like a local and really have something to write home about. So, yeah I am advertising here so of course I am going to toot my own horn, but I guarantee you will enjoy your stay. Feels Like Home in Paris
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