Paris Travel: To Cab or Not to Cab? | Marie Antoinette's Gossip Guide to the 18th Century: Paris Travel: To Cab or Not to Cab?

January 19, 2009

Paris Travel: To Cab or Not to Cab?

If you were visiting Paris in the 18th century, you would be in luck! It was possible to navigate the city by purchasing maps and following the clearly labeled streets. (Street names were carved into the buildings on corners.) Of course it was not a very wise idea to walk, as it was dangerous and dusty. The economical way to travel would be renting a cab!

Cabs were great because they were a steal at 1 livre 10 sous/hour! The cab system in Paris was pretty well pulled together. Every cab was numbered. There was a central station where you could go i you lost items on the ride, and they were usually there! necessaires, feathers, corsets...

The only cons of a cab were that they were not very safe. One might get that rush in their stomachs wondering "did I make the right choice" after the cab has taken off. If you are not second guessing whether or not you should have rented a coach, and a little danger doesn't bother you, then the only other thing you would have to get past is the lack of cleanliness! (grimy!) And I am not talking dust here. These cabs were infamous for being just filthy. But cheap and quick. Your call!


  1. Haha! I love losing my corset in a cab! Do you know if the floors of the cabs were laid with straw like the London hacks? Maybe absorbent is a good thing, I don't know. I think I'll stick to my private carriage and matching footmen. And outriders...and linkboys....

  2. Sticking to your footmen and carriage is truly the best choice here. Even if you always find your pink corsets at Lost & Found! :o)

    Now I don't know if the floors were lined with straw- I imagine they could have been! I guess absorbent could be a good thing if you are wearing good shoes. I know that you would be lucky to find a cab with glass panels in it - usually wooden planks replaced broken or lost glass.

    And if you got a cab with an old horse, you were not going to be getting anywhere fast. *keep an eye on the horses* And at rush hour, if two men see a cab, each jump in from opposite sides, the cab driver would take them to the authorities to determine who the ride belonged to. (drama!!)

  3. Geez, drama is right! Thanks for all the extra tidbits. Lost and Found can keep the corset. Now I need a bath. :)

  4. Just the part about losing your stuff in the cab and then going to the lost and found, is enough to imagine what kind of roller coaster ride this must have been! Talk about 'vivre à la Parisienne'!

  5. Ewe! I think I would just be a homebody and make my servents to all the work.

  6. Who knew they had cabs? They sound very much like the cabs in NY! :) Now let's see where did I leave my Duke...I'll check the lost & found!

  7. What a great post.I love all of your pretties and informatiom you put on this wonderful blog.You put alot of time into your blog and it shows.Hugs Marie Antionette

  8. At least with a cab you could avoid the pick-pockets. I would arm myself with an extra layer of perfume to conquer the smell!