Parking in Paris

If you think it was difficult previously, it is now officially much more difficult to park on the street. In my visits there over the years, I frequently observed Smart cars and other micro vehicles parked sideway in tiny spaces, and I also saw cars parked (illegally) on traffic islands. Now that some Covid-related outdoor dining terraces are being made permanent, anyone who wants to park on the street in Paris is in for a major challenge.

Paris Will Keep Its Covid-Era Cafe Terraces - Bloomberg

Good. Cars really do need to be reduced in large metropolitan areas. I live just outside of Minneapolis, which is not a major metropolitan area but thinks it is. :wink: But it’s dense enough that driving a car downtown during rush hour is an exercise in frustration and delay. I never do it if I don’t have to. I’ll drive to a light rail station and take the train in. It’s much easier.

Sure, I have to walk to get where I’m going but walking somewhere is OK, and I should be doing more of that anyway. And if it’s during rush hour or it’s a game day, I’ll get where I’m going faster if I take the train in and then walk 10 blocks.

When I’m in a real major metro area, like DC, I never drive at all. I take the Metro everywhere. It’s better, and even cheaper. I don’t have to pay for parking. I don’t have to stop what I’m doing every hour or two to go feed a meter. I don’t have to drive through all that ridiculous traffic. When I lived in Northern VA, the only time we ever drove into DC is if we were picking up furniture or something else that we absolutely had to have our van for. Otherwise we’d drive to the farthest out Metro station and hop the train.


Not just in Paris. I just got back from San Diego, they created a lot of sidewalk/parking space dining areas over the last year, now they’re going to keep them, fewer spots to park.

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Each time I see our Mayor I ask him about building a parking garage. Before, during, and after the pandemic parking in our city has been a problem. During any event, parking is nonexistent.

I drive through maybe a couple of times a year, it is a rare trip with no construction delays on 94, 694, 10 etc.

When we spend several days in Amsterdam, there was virtually no parking in town. We parked our van in front of the hotel just long enough to unload the bags and check in, then returned to van to the airport. Like NYC, it seemed that most people with cars parked in a multilevel parking garage and then walked or took public transportation. Tokyo is that way too, although they have a much better public transit system than Amsterdam does.

I have to admit that I have never had the courage to drive in foreign cities. Even in the countries where they drive on “the right side of the road”, I didn’t want to negotiate the unique local ordinances regarding both driving and parking.

Mass transit in every European capital was so good that there was really no reason for me to want to drive within the city limits, and for forays into the hinterlands, it was pretty easy to hire local drivers at rates far lower than would have been charged in The US.

I drove just long enough to drop off the family and baggage, then went to the airport to return the van. Then we took the train back to downtown Amsterdam. That’s all I cared to drive there.

We usually stayed where the B&B offered a parking lot or at least street parking when the family toured in the north of England, mainly leaving the rental parked and walking to dinner. in Ireland we had a Nissan Micra which is the smaller cousin of the Versa Note and even with such a small car we had to fold in the mirrors to get through a few streets. Picked up the car on the edge of Dublin from a storefront office that left the car in the little lot behind the building. They gave us a Ford Mondeo to start with and the Nissan was the only other Auto they had ready but had a lot more rear legroom than you might think.

For the few times I’ve been in Paris, the bus had to drop us off a block from our hotel because the street was too narrow. t other times it was walk or cab. I think it’s best to stay out of the big cities if you can.

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Same in NH. Several cities have done it.

Big cities don’t want your car. And driving in a city you don’t know, and in a country with a language you can’t speak, is just foolish. American cities that are spread over large land areas are driveable (LA, Houston, etc.) but go ahead and drive in Boston. You’ll wish you had left the car at the T station in the suburbs.


Haven’t been to Europe. In Manila, Tokyo, and Miami FL, Park your car, use taxis. Orlando isn’t too bad depending on where you are going. I did go to a concert at the Amway Center, after reviewing all the options, decided to use a limo service.

We’ve taken several vacations in NYC. Never ever have I driven to NYC for vacation. I’ve said this before in this forum…I have relatives in NYC who don’t even have a drivers license. Never needed one.

When ever I go into Boston I take public transportation. Far easier and SAFER then trying to drive in. And Boston is a very very walkable city.

Some cities are easier to drive in then others. Indianapolis is very easy. Buffalo is also easy.

Public transit in Paris is great. It’s also a great city to walk in. I wouldn’t want a car.

I saw nifty moving vans that had conveyor belts that they could raise to the 2nd or 3rd story, move the contents of an apartment through the window.

I have driven in the outskirts of Paris… been driven in the city center… NOT doing that myself! Take the train. Take a taxi! Parisian drivers are crazy! Crazier than any big American city I’ve ever driven in (including Boston!). I’ve driven in the French country outside the city. No issues.

Driving in Frankfurt and Munich Germany as well as in quite a lot of the country. No problems… except finding parking. Traffic signs are pretty easy to understand once you get the hang of it. Autobahns are absolutely amazing!

I’ve been to the UK and New Zealand… Right hand drive countries…I did not drive. Just sitting in the left seat was a bit of a trip. Hard to wrap your head around it. I can see how the tourists screw up.

the first time driving a mail truck was a strange feeling and then getting back into your personal car. but after doing it for a few days you get use to it real quick. it becomes second nature and you dont even think about it.

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I can understand where you are coming from with getting used to a right hand drive vehicle but the thing I always wonder about is every mail truck I have seen has a automatic transmission 90% of my driving is with a manual and I think it would be hard to get used to shift gears with the left hand even though I am left handed. :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

yes all the mail trucks were automatics. the older small 2wd jeeps had the shifter on the floor on the left side. then after that the all were on the column. and a manual shifter on my left side would be really strange to me too especially that im right handed.

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Like I said I am lefthanded but have always shifted right handed for obvious reasons so it wouldn’t matter if you are right or left handed in that situation :smirk: :smiley: :smiley:

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