What if you were to arrive at Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) Airport tomorrow?
I would take the RER B3 train into downtown (historic) Paris, very near Notre Dame de Paris
Then I would take the Métro to my hotel.
In fact I already have extra tickets from my last visit
(They say the tickets never expire)
The trip from CDG (Zone 5) requires a RER Zone-5 Ticket
which can be purchased at the large CDG ticket office located in Terminal 2
Tickets can be purchased at the nearby vending machine, but they often require a european style credit card which contains a chip
A Ride within the city on the Paris Métro requires a single ticket, which can be purchased in stacks of 10 called a Carnet
No ticket is required when we return to the airport early New Years Day morning
Beginning late New Year Eve, and into New Years Day, Métro and RER rides are free
Paris for the Holidays, spends two nights (outside of Paris) in Versailles (Zone 4)
Four Zone-4 RER Tickets will be required for the rides back-and-fourth from Versailles (RER C5) and central Paris
We are still doing the math, but this combination of tickets might justify purchasing a weekly card named, the Paris Passe Navigo Découverte which allows for unlimited travel from Monday to Sunday. We arrive on Wednesday and prefer to ride Vélib’ when we can
A 7-Day Vélib’ pass costs 8 euros
For an unlimited amount of 30-minute rides
A reasonable surcharge applies to rides exceeding that time
(but part of the fun is skipping among Vélib’ docking stations, to ensure your ride doesn’t exceed the 30 minutes)
maybe even getting lost and discovering another piece of Paris
Laura asks us: “Who will be going?”
Tara asks us: “What is the avg. age of the group members?” (married, singles, size of the avg. group)
We finalize our roster later in the year
To join the group sign up on our Waiting List
We hope for a group of 5 to 15 travelers, creating a diverse and interesting mix for our week together. There are no quotas, our composition varies from year to year. When traveling with a group a reasonable amount and patience and tolerance is essential.
Our members might be active, as we change accommodations four times during the trip – packing up and traveling through the Metro system
(although you could certainly take a taxi)
Some of us are “early birds,” first in line at museums with our Museum Pass each morning.
(although if you prefer to sleep in, visiting museums during selected evening hours is another option – when they are also less crowded)
We go to the first Christmas Mass at Notre Dame, a great way to avoid the crowds;
It’s a beautiful time and place regardless of your denomination.
Afterwards we probably go to a popular big-name Left Bank cafe close-by (you-guessed-it, no crowds)
The evening concerts at Sainte-Chapelle are another way to “hack” the endless line at this medieval attraction. You won’t see much of the 13th century stained glass after sunset, but listening to chamber music in the cold-darkness of this Gothic structure is like-no-where-else. And the nice thing about Sainte-Chapelle: it is relatively small, not a bad seat in the house.
Our group will be not too big to gather at a cafe together or weather permitting, bicycle between attractions, markets and cemeteries.
The gardens of Versailles are a unique place for an early run (or walk) in the emptiness of the dawn hours.
Later in the week – a New Year’s jog on the morning of our departure is a tradition which provides one final look at Paris, before we pack our bags.
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