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Walking in Paris - Would this be feasible?

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We will be arriving from Bayeux via train at St. Lazare around 11:30 a.m. (with only small backpacks) and plan on taking the Eurostar back to London around 6:00 p.m. or so.

 

With only such a short time in Paris, we were thinking of walking from the train station at St. Lazare to the Arc de Triomphe, then to the Eiffel tower, and lastly to Gare du Nord to get on the Eurostar back to London. I've googled the walking times, knowing we'd be seeing more as we walk along to each place, but was just wondering if you can walk safely or if we should take a taxi (is it easy to catch a taxi anywhere on this walk?).

 

Any suggestions that you may have would be appreciated.

 

Thank you!

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We stayed 4 nights at the Hilton directly in front of Gare St Lazare, and walked all over Paris from there. Then, eventually took Eurostar to London from Gare du Nord. So we walked that area extensively, as we didn't have a car or use any other transit. Absolutely no issues with walking all of that area.

 

Going from Paris to London on Eurostar is a little like taking an international flight...passport checks, etc. So get to Gare du Nord at least 30 minutes prior to scheduled train departure.

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Posted (edited)

I would agree that it's perfectly safe to do the walking.  Protect your possessions as you would in any other city.  I would expect no issues.

 

I'd probably do some walking, but if you're comfortable with the Metro (underground trains) system, you could probably leverage that some.  This might let you add in something else to your plan, perhaps.  

 

Even if you decide to do mostly walking, I would use a taxi for the final leg back to Gare du Nord.  That also might let you add something else to prior to doing that.  You might be able to ask the driver to pass by one or two more sites for a quick glimpse too (i.e. The Louvre Pyramid, along the River Seine, the Opera, etc.)

Edited by MeHeartCruising

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Pretty similar thoughts.

Not sure if this will be an issue when you will be there but we were in Paris late June during a bit of a heat wave and the heat was pretty challenging due to the lack of shade in some areas from the wide boulevards and lack of shadows from trees and buildings.

 

We generally love walking through the neighbourhoods too.  Some areas I think are more interesting to walk through than others of course, so there might be some value in taking the metro/bus on some segments to pick up some speed to allow for more time in some locations or tack on some locations.  

 

We did a somewhat similar walk in the past from the Louvre to Arc de Triomphe, to the Eiffel tower.  It's an easy and relatively flat.  It's a nice walk starting from the Louvre through Tuileries Garden to the Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe so there might be value in taking the metro from Gare St Lazare to the Louvre as your starting point.  

While it was a pleasant walk, I don't recall the segment from the Arc de Triomphe to Jardins du Trocadero (viewpoint across from the Eiffel Tower) being that special viewpoint-wise.  

 

I'd probably want to take the metro for the last leg to Gare Nord, though I wouldn't consider it crazy if you wanted to walk.  There are some areas of interest from the Eiffel Tower/Champ de Mars on the way towards Gare Nord:  Rue Cler, Hotel des Invalides, Rodin Museum, D'Orsay Museum, (and I guess you can see Tuileries Garden on the way back instead).  We walked from the D'Orsay to Champ de Mars, exploring the area in between during a previous trip.  There are some narrow sidewalks depending on the route you take (eg. zig zag along some of the side streets to explore).  

 

I'd probably try to be more on alert in and around Gare du Nord because there's so much activity and people waiting/loitering so one can easily be distracted.  We ate at a place near Gare Nord called Brasserie Bellanger.  Friendly staff and great food.  However, I don't think dinner service starts as early at 6pm.  They will be serving drinks and likely small dishes.  

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Were you inquiring as to whether you had enough time to do the walking? That's what I got from your post and I thought it should be ok as long as you keep in mind the time wherever you are; so easy to get distracted by what one sees while walking in Paris but then...I wander and linger. You've got a train to catch at 6:00/18:00 and having also taken Eurostar to London, don't want to miss it. It's a cool journey. 

 

Keep in mind you can always hop on the métro to save time from anywhere in the city, a station is usually always nearby and it gets you where you need to go quickly. But you want to get to Gare du Nord ahead of time to check in especially...well who knows at this point what is going to happen with Britain and the EU. Probably another extension at this point but you'll still need to go through security which also means showing your passport these days.

 

I can't think of a time I ever felt unsafe in Paris, even when walking alone by myself at night, going back into the 90s when some of the arrondissments hadn't been gentrified and the city had a few edgy areas. That said, I understand everything is relevant and no one should ever place themselves in a situation where they do not feel comfortable. Coming from NYC, in the not so pretty years, I have my street sense but I also don't take unreasonable risks.

 

It's always sensible to be on alert in any busy area, anywhere. Mind that your backpacks are zipped, sealed, secure etc., know which general direction you need to go upon arrival into the station, of course Eurostar isn't on an ordinary track with all the other trains, and has its own sort of terminal, for lack of a better term. Maybe set a series of timers on your phone to keep yourself on pace throughout the day and then you'll know when/where/how to make the decision to make your way to the station. Métro can sometimes be easiest going to any of les gares, if only because they are hectic and busy outside and the métro gets you past all that and inside the station. It's how I've gone to every station, Montparnasse, Lyon, l'Est, St. Lazare or was it Austerlitz or both....anyway, it's always easy. No wait, I think I walked into Montparnasse...it's just sort of there. 

 

Don't do what you don't feel comfortable with. But as far as time, you have enough time for walking Arc to Eiffel to Gare. Whatever you decide, have a wonderful interlude in Paris and then, enjoy London and your Eurostar ride.  

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