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How and why the main campsite in Paris is back on the motorhome map!

04 Oct

We just got back from a two-night stay at the main Paris campsite. It has improved so much we just had to tell you about our experience!

The Eiffel Tower, with the Trocadero in the distance

Based on our previous visits and client experiences, we haven’t been too complimentary about the campsite at Paris, Bois de Boulogne. However, it has undergone a big makeover and we think it is now a great place to base yourself for a visit to Paris. The campsite is based just outside the infamous “Peripherique” (Paris’ ring road), so not too close to the city centre or too challenging to drive to in your campervan.

Now branded as an “Indigo” campsite, just about everything about Camping Paris Bois de Boulogne has improved. The grotty old sanitary blocks have been replaced with brand new facilities, the reception has a comfy seating area and Wi-Fi zone. At the entrance there is a grocery shop, bar/restaurant and even a shuttle bus to take you into central Paris every half an hour. (You used to have to battle into the city via complicated public transport making it a bit of a mission to get in and out, especially in the evening.) The campsite is open all year round too, so you can visit Paris in a france Motorhome Hire vehicle at any time of the year.

Bois de Boulogne, Paris campsite

The central area of the Bois de Boulogne, Paris campsite

We were in Paris for the annual motorhome show but went to the city a day early to take advantage of the “Journée sans voiture” (vehicle-free day) on Sunday. Because of the greatly reduced traffic, we decided to cycle into the centre. We rode in on a clothes shopping mission; it was an easy ride except for navigating the Arc de Triomphe, which you will never convince me to tackle on a bike again (and possibly not in a car either)! I don’t think I would recommend cycling into Paris with regular traffic, but you could if you don’t mind dismounting and using the pedestrian crossings to traverse the really busy, and typically bonkers, Parisian junctions, like at the Arc de Triomphe.

The Arc du Triomphe, Paris

The Arc du Triomphe: Hair-raising to cycle past at the best of times!

We stopped for an early supper on the way back to the campsite and had very good food and service at a traditional Parisian bistro called Le Ballon des Ternes. This restaurant is less than a five-minute walk to Porte Maillot (where the campsite shuttle bus picks up), so a great spot for lunch or supper. Needless to say, if you were sticking to a tight budget you can simply self-cater in your campervan kitchen and avoid restaurants altogether.

If you don't want to book a show, you will still bump into spontaneous musicians all over Paris

If you don’t want to book a show, you will still bump into spontaneous musicians all over Paris!

We paid €40 per night for a pitch at Indigo Camping Paris, which included electricity and access to all the other facilities. The shuttle bus runs every half hour from the campsite to Porte Maillot between 08:30 and 12:30 then again from 17:30 to 23:15, and takes about 15 minutes. They charge just €2 per person for the shuttle, so the experience makes for an inexpensive and convenient way to visit the city. It took us about 45 minutes to cycle into Boulevard Haussmann on the car-free Sunday, but I’d expect it to take longer if you were cycling through regular Paris traffic and having to stop to cross junctions. Do try to find a route avoiding the Arc de Triomphe if you do this!

Notre Dame, one of the many architechtural delights of Paris

Notre Dame, one of the many architectural delights of Paris that you can visit from the Bois de Boulogne campsite

With the shuttle bus service, Indigo Camping Paris at the Bois de Boulogne offers a great solution for visiting Paris in a campervan, and you can get to any city address easily using the Metro system once at Porte Maillot. However, if you are going to Disneyland Paris, which is the opposite side of the city, we would recommend either staying in the Disneyland car park (they charge about €30 per night) or at the very nice Jablines International campsite, if you go between April and November (€30 to €50 per night with shuttle bus to Disneyland).

Finally, a way to enjoy Paris with your France Motorhome Hire vehicle! Do watch the video below, it shows the shuttle bus, sanitary block, cycle paths and much more 🙂