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Backstory: My wife and I are in Paris for a week (this week) and looking to travel around and see the sites, are we in district 14 and looking at some of the site's we want to see are all best traveled (seemingly) by car/moto. I have had my Motorcycle license in the states for 8 Years.

Question: What is required to rent a scooter/motorcycle in France (Paris) and what are the dangers? I've seen a lot of information online stating number of scooters stolen (1 Every 5 Minutes). Should I taxi instead or use the train? It seems scooters are cheaper if we can both ride one together. What is required to ride with a passenger?

Destinations: Versailles (33m by car, 1h 10m by bus, 3h 45m walk), Marmottan Monet Museum (15m by car, 45 by train, 1h 15m walk)

Thank You!

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What kind of sites are you talking about? Because a week isn't a whole lot of time, and there's plenty to see within Paris, which can be crossed on foot from one end to the other in under an hour :-). That said, all of what's considered 'suburbs' is easily accessible by train (metro if nearby, RER if further, like to the airports, and finally 'trains de banlieue' from all the major train stations). If you're American only New York can begin to compare in terms of frequency and accessibility. Unless your tastes in sites is very esoteric, I'd prescribe a whole lot of walking interspersed with a few train trips. Walking through Paris is worth any site imho..

There are a few things to supplement though. The RATP is your main metro/bus resource for in town/close suburbs transportation. Check out the 'forfaits' which are illimited passes https://www.ratp.fr/en/visite-paris/english/preparing-your-trip-tickets-and-travel-passes-designed-you

And another thing is that if the wind in your face is important, Paris is stuffed with bike rental stations. You can use your regular credit card right at any of the hundreds of stations to buy a pass ranging from one day to a year. It's cheap, it's fun, it's very practical (but don't expect to get a bike at the top of Montmartre..). http://en.velib.paris.fr/

Traffic in Paris is scary. Motorized 2-wheel vehicles have a death rate 150 times that of cars. But it's better for bikes. And both cars and pedestrians are much more used to bikes than in the US. So if you're careful, and used to traffic as not-a-car, I wouldn't entirely advise against biking.

  • added some destinations, for example Versailles via Google maps seems best traveled by car. – Jacob Evans Jun 17 '17 at 8:20
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    Versailles is an easy journey by RER (long distance subway). You can drive or taxi it if you want, but you'll first have to escape central Paris traffic – CMaster Jun 17 '17 at 8:43
  • CMaster is entirely right - the difficulty is not getting to Versailles by car, but parking there. You're likely to succeed only so far from the castle that you may as well walk from central Paris :-). And it'll set you back enough for a very good meal elsewhere. bienvenue.chateauversailles.fr/en/overview/train-stations – user61942 Jun 19 '17 at 16:39
  • PS: the musee Marmottan is the 16th, so maybe half an hour by foot from the 14th arrondissement where you're staying, or a 10mn metro ride. You should have already noticed that every single museum website in France describes how to get there by public transportation... – user61942 Jun 19 '17 at 16:42
  • actually ended up renting a scooter for the fun of it, but limited to 50cc without an international permit. Versailles was kinda far, but we enjoyed the trip, parking in front of the Eiffel tower was easy too. I figured I just got lucky – Jacob Evans Jun 22 '17 at 3:36

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