Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Paris Trip and Tricks

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته and good day!

As my sister is in London for two weeks, we had planned for a trip to Paris on Friday. The first few days when she arrived, she went to Stonehenge, Windsor Castle and stayed overnight in Bath. They went by themselves because I didn't have any break and had to go to the lab.

We went to Paris by flight (easyjet) because it is the cheapest way on the day that we wanted to go. There are other ways such as eurostar (train), euroline/megabus (bus) and by car. Sometimes you can get a cheap price to Paris by train. Bus will definitely be cheap but it'll take you about 8 hours to arrive.

The flight was about 45 minutes to Charles De Gaulle Airport (CDG) from London Gatwick Airport. We took a cab to Gatwick which costs us about £50 and it took 1 hour to the airport from my house. After we arrive at the airport, we have to take the metro (train) to Paris city centre. There's a counter that you can go to buy the tickets to Paris. You can buy from the ticket machines too if you are using credit card. A single ticket to Paris costs €10. There's actually a few tricks that you can do to save money for transport. I'm going to share a few that we learnt while we where there.

People say London tube map is confusing, I say Paris metro map is even worse.

The first thing is, you don't have to buy a return ticket from the airport to the city. Just buy a single ticket. If you are travelling like me (3 adults and 1 child, children under 4 travels for free), you can buy the carnet (pronounced as "car-nay") tickets which is a package of 10 tickets for €14.10. A single ticket cost €1.80 and the tickets are valid for:

  • Paris Metro (subway)
  • Paris RER Train (within Zone 1-2)
  • Tramways
  • RATP Paris city bus
  • Noctilien buses (night bus)
  • Optile buses (Paris suburban bus)
  • Montmartre Cable car (Funiculaire de Montmartre)

The tickets can then be divided for each trip per person. If you have 3 person travelling, then you can travel to any stations in zones 1-2 for three times using these tickets because you have 10 tickets.

Another trick to save the usage of your tickets is by cramping either 2 or 3 or more (if can fit) to go through the barrier with one ticket. I have seen 5 guys do this (5 large guys went through at once). This is possible because you don't need the tickets to exit. You just have to push the exit door.

Another thing is, for transfers between metro, it is free. So you can transfer from RER line to any other metro line for free. So for our journey back to the airport, we don't have to use our return ticket that we bought earlier but instead we used the carnet tickets which cost a lot less to take the metro, and transfer on the RER line.

This is the RER tickets. They look almost the same as the metro tickets.

You definitely don't need to buy the travelcard or Paris Pass because that costs more than €20! Just buy the carnet tickets and you will be set for an entire day in Paris.

There are a few things to see in Paris. The most famous is of course Eiffel Tower. Then there's The Lourve and Notre Dame Cathedral. All these are along the Seine river. A lot of the attraction you can see via the Seine river cruise which is convenient.

If you want to buy cheap Eiffel tower key-chains or models, it's fine to buy from those selling by the street. Although they are illegal, the quality is not that bad. Especially for 5 for €1 price. Definitely not going to get the same price elsewhere.

This is all that I've gathered for my day at Paris. I hope it is beneficial for you.

Until next time...

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