Using Uber in Paris: worth it?

We arrived in Paris a few days ago after a ten-hour flight from China. We had actually planned to take the metro into the city from the airport, but once we were facing that feat in real-time, it didn’t seem like a good idea at all. We were exhausted, we had luggage, and we were traveling with our kids.

So we played the Uber card.

Since we hadn’t planned on using this option, we had no idea how much it would cost, where to meet the driver, or any other details. We just went for it.

It turned out to be totally worth it to us. The cost was 70 Euros (around $90), and it took about half an hour, door to door. Although we normally use public transportation to get around a city (or we walk!), this was a time when I am VERY happy that we splurged on an Uber car.

However, if you are planning to use Uber when you are out of the country, I do have some tips. These are things that we didn’t necessarily consider, but that could be useful to you.

1. Make sure you can connect to the internet.

This sounds like a big “duh!” moment, but believe me – when you stumble off an international flight at an ungodly hour, this might be more of a challenge than you think. In my case, I actually couldn’t connect, but luckily Josh could.

This is also something to consider if you’ve turned roaming off on your phone while you are traveling.

2. Be prepared to speak a foreign language on the phone.

Luckily, I speak French, so I was able to answer the phone when the Uber driver called to tell us where he would be meeting us. Our driver did not speak English, so this could have been a problem, especially because we had to go down a level in the airport (from arrivals to departures).

3. Know that any Uber credits you have may not transfer.

Our ride was on the pricey side, but I thought that it would be offset by a few referral credits that I have in my account. This was NOT the case. When I emailed Uber to ask why my credits had not been applied to the cost of the ride, they informed me that since my referrals were from the United States, they were in dollars – which meant that they “couldn’t” transfer them to Euros.

Uber did give me a 10 Euro credit as a courtesy, however, which was nice.

We ended up right in front of our hotel. The driver helped us unload our baggage, and then we were just…here.

Really, this was what we saw.

eiffel tower

Have you used Uber in a foreign country? How did it go for you?

Comments

  1. Are you staying at the Radisson Blu Paris Eiffel?

  2. I had the same experience as you when regarding the credits when I used them to take me to the airport in Zurich. My credits would have cut the fare in half so it was disappointing. And they didn’t offer me a 10 CHF credit either!

  3. Marilyn B says:

    No comment on Uber, never used it. But is the hotel the Radisson Blu Le Metropolitan? Can’t wait for your review.

    Have a wonderful time in Paris. Be sure to go to Berthillon on rue saint Louis en l’ile for ice cream! (not far from Notre Dame)

    • Points Pixie says:

      Marilyn B – The hotel we started at was the Radisson Blu Paris Eiffel. I’m looking forward to my review as well (it’s taking a long time to finish it!)

      Thanks for the tip about the ice cream!

  4. Certainly looks like the radisson blu le met view from the front door. I stayed here 2 months ago and think its a great value on points. My review:

    http://pointspinnacle.com/2014/06/22/trip-report-paris-part-12-radisson-blu-le-metropolitan/

  5. Just returned from Paris Monday (Stayed at Intercontinental Paris LeGrand). Wish I’d known Uber was there. Have an awesome time; so much to do and not enough time. If you get time, take a trip to the Champagne region. It’s beautiful and they have tours of Tattinger, Moet and Dom facilities (with samples)!

    • Points Pixie says:

      Stuart – We are having the same problem – SO much to do, definitely not enough time. We will be back!

  6. Marriott Marty says:

    I stayed at the Radisson Blu Metropolitan July 23-25 – nice view from the Place de Mexico. They were redoing the pavement while we were there so it looked nice for you…We also stayed simultaneously at Radisson Blue Champs Elyese [which is one street over actually]. I used Uber from several accounts multiple times [used a total of 66 Euros credit] I have some Belgian mobile phone numbers as well which I used [on mobileviking.be] which gets you 2 gig of data for 30 days and 15 Euros of calls [10 Euros which I credited for an additional 300 mb within Europe which I used for Uber and email in France]. If you are in Belgium and have an unlocked smartphone order a mobileviking.be sim card to arrive at where you are staying. If you know someone who have mobile viking they can get a 15 Euro referral [or you can on a second phone number]. I also was able to use Uber VAN a few times in Paris for the 5 of us, very nice. I used Uber primarily for the short hops and the last trip to Gare du Nord for our train back to Beligum. Hope my info helps. I think the neighborhood near the Metropolitan is nicer with more economical food options than the Radisson Blu Champs Elyese [which is 80 meters from the Arc of Triumph by the way. The advantage of the Radisson Blu Champs Elyses is that their business rooms sleep 3 [and include a nice breakfast – but not worth adding someone for 30 Euros a person…

  7. Marriott Marty says:

    Oh, if you want to eat an American style meal in Paris which is very economical go to Blushi’s 5 Dunkirk a 2 minute walk from Gare du Nord and next to the Youth Hostel – Youth Hostel guests get 25% off food [and a deal on drinks]. Ribeye steak 15 Euros, Big US style cheeseburger 10 Euros and FREE water!

  8. Marriott Marty says:

    I did use an Uber account with $20 credit from a while back and the ride was 12 Euros and by bill was applied to the credit…It is perhaps the more recent Uber credits that are USA only….

  9. Marriott Marty says:

    Belushi’s 5 Rue de Dunkerque, which is the same street that Paris North Station is on. On line

  10. Marriott Marty says:

    For Clarification, the Radisson Blu Champ Eyleses is one street over from Champs Eyleses, it is about a mile from the Radisson Bue Metropolitan – or about 3 metro stops, or perhaps 2.5 Bon Voyage. I did not have too much trouble with language [ I do not speak French] but sometimes I showed or texted the address of where we were going to the driver. So it is nice to have the address of where you are going…

  11. Marriott Marty says:

    btw, for those wondering, if you have multiple Uber accounts, you CAN use they from a single smartphone by just changing the Uber account – it is not tied to a specific telephone number [each account needs a separate mobile number, credit card and email]

  12. This one is a no-brainer for me. Long flight, tired me (much less kids) – public transit, no thanks. Cab or Uber for certain. Have used Uber in the US not Int’l with great delight.

  13. LauraPDX says:

    We used uber to go from our hotel to the airport and found it totally worthwhile not to schlep all of of our cases/carryons etc. up and down the metro steps during a free transport day (due to smog) and at a time just before a big soccer match!! (but did use public transport the rest of the time and the bus in to town). I too was disappointed that my USD credits didn’t apply, but it was still cheaper than a cab (and I still have those credits to use in the US some time).
    We liked Les Philosophes in the Marais, for food that was fresh and provided with a smile when we wanted to eat before 1930 one evening.

  14. My recent cab ride to the same general area was 50 E, so Uber might have been a little on the pricy side. Leaving the airport is one spot where Uber strengths dont help much.

    • Points Pixie says:

      Scott – Yes, Uber is usually on the pricey side. I thought I could use my credits to offset the cost, so I was definitely disappointed that didn’t work out.

  15. Papa Smurf says:

    Why was it so much? Uber in Paris chrges flat fee of 35 euro for CDG to downtown. We just used it few weeks ago and got a ride in a brand new C class AMG.

    • Points Pixie says:

      Papa Smurf – Hmmm. Maybe it was because we needed a larger car since there were 4 of us with luggage? I don’t know. I’m going to ask them.

  16. Would über van in Paris be able to fit 7 people?

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