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RER around Paris
Until this trip I had only used the RER to get to Charles DeGaulle airport and to Versailles but we found that from our hotel that it was faster to get where we were going using the RER, there are stops near the Musee d'Orsay, Invalides and the Eiffel Tower and we used it frequently. For central Paris it costs the same as the metro and you can use the same tickets and transfer from one to the other, 1.70€ per ride or you can buy a carnet of 10 tickets for 13.30€ that can be shared with your entire group. From Gare du Nord to our hotel in the 5th, the RER was a direct quick route taking only about 10 minutes to the St. Michel Notre Dame station.
If you go outside the central area you have to get a different ticket, some places that are outside central Paris are Versailles, Orly airport, Charles de Gaulle airport and Eurodisney.
There are 5 RER lines running through Paris lettered from A-E
Transilien has a good planning feature in English, you can exclude buses but you can't exclude RER or metro so playing with the times may get you different routes.
Transilien also has a good map of the RER system along with other train lines.
Châtelet Metro and RER Station
On our trip to Paris in 2012 we arrived from London at Paris Orly and had to make our way out to our hotel in the La Defense area. After reviewing several option I decided that a series of trains was our best and least expensive option. The only concern I really had was making the switch over from the RER to the Metro at the Châtelet station.
The station serves 5 lines of the Metro and several lines of the RER and is in the center of Paris and the 1st arrondissement. The station is made up of two parts connected by a long corridor. Châtelet is connected by another long underground corridor to the southern end of the RER station Châtelet – Les Halles, the northern end of which is again connected to the Métro station Les Halles. The walking distance from Line 7 at Châtelet to the RER lines at Châtelet – Les Halles is circa 750 metres. It is the ninth busiest station on the Metro system.
We actually arrived at this transfer point just at the start of rush hour on a Friday afternoon about 3:30 p.m. local time after having traveled from Chicago via London and were about 17 hours into our trip after leaving our house. We were a bit tired, but having been to Paris once before in 2008 and having at least at bit of familiarity with the Metro and RER stations were able to negotiate this transfer just fine even with our luggage.
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- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
The former Billet Ile-de-France has been replaced at the end 2010 by a BILLET ORIGINE-DESTINATION (still valid in 2012).
Please find here the explanation on its use which is the same as the former Billet Ile-de-France. The RATP website is not providing (2010) a translation in English of the above, they write:
"There is no English translation for the content you're about to read.
The content displayed below is the original document version."
ON THEIR RENOVATED WEBSITE 2011 THEY PROVIDE A TRANSLATION.
" Le billet Origine-Destination permet de réaliser un voyage entre 2 gares du réseau ferré d'Île-de-France : RER et trains de banlieue*. Il est utilisable dans un sens ou dans l'autre, par exemple : Paris - Antony ou Antony - Paris.
Les billets à destination ou au départ de Paris permettent d'utiliser la correspondance métro et RER dans Paris.
Où l’acheter ?
Le billet Origine-Destination peut être acheté aux guichets et sur les automates, dans la gare ou la station de métro de départ ou d'arrivée.
Le coût de ce billet est variable selon son origine (gare de départ) et sa destination (gare d'arrivée).
Son prix n'est pas lié aux zones, celles-ci étant réservées aux forfaits de transport."
Here my own translation in the VT lingua franca:
The origin-destination ticket allows for travel between two stations on the rail network in the Île-de-France RER commuter train. It is used in one way or another, for example: Paris - Antony and Antony - Paris.
Tickets to and from Paris can be used for the Metro and RER in Paris.
Where to buy it?
The origin-destination tickets can be purchased at the counters and ticket machines in the railway station or subway station of departure or arrival.
The cost of the ticket varies according to its origin (departure station) and destination (destination station).
Its price is not related to areas, these being reserved for transportation packages.
For Paris to Versailles Rive Gauche the price increased on 1/01/2012 to 3,25 €.
Billet Origine-Destination former "Ile-de-France"
The former Billet Ile-de-France has been replaced at the end 2010 by a BILLET ORIGINE - DESTINATION (still valid 2012).
See my new tip.
This is now the ticket most visitors of Versailles use as they have to travel outside Paris with the RER line C Versailles Rive Gauche.
- The "billet Origine-Destination" enables you to travel between 2 given stations on the Ile-de-France network, either Transilien or RER. In Paris itself, a "Ticket t+" is enough.
The "billet Origine-Destination" is also valid on the Noctilien buses. However, in this case, it needs to be bought in advance (not on sale in the bus).
If the departure or arrival stop is in Paris, the "billet Origine-Destination" enables you to begin or end your journey at any RER or metro station in Paris.
The "billet Origine-Destination" is valid in both directions, for example: Paris-Melun or Melun-Paris.
The "billet ORIGINE-DESTINATION" is a ticket for occasional trips between Paris and the banlieue (like Versailles) combining Metro and RER or train. Price is calculated (by the selling desk or the machine) depending on place of departure and destination. One can use the ticket in one sense or in the other, of course for a return trip you need to buy two tickets.
For Versailles the single fare is 3,25 € (since 1/01/2012) from the centre of Paris what includes the Metro to the RER C station and the 30 minutes trip to Versailles Rive Gauche.
The ticket has no date for use.
- Castles and Palaces
Paris by train
Paris has one of the best train and metro networks. as far as I know the best and least expensive mode of transport out of CDG is by Train and the simplest route to Franklin D Roosevelt Hotel is the RER (A) it cost about 10 euro for the one way ticket to your destination I bought mine it July 2010 and went to a hotel in that area.. So from CDG take the RER (A) it's about 45 minutes ride get off on Station Charles de Gaule Etoile, your less than 2 miles from hotel. look for signs to metro # 1 direction Chateau de Vincennes the very next stop is Franklin D Roosevelt Station.
you can print your own map of the all the trains and metro in Paris below
I also heared but did not try it nor do I know how much it cost or where do you board them from there are buses every 20 minutes search The air Frnace buses direction Arc Du Triomph I can't imagine your hotel being more than 10 minute walk from there.
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If you have a return ticket on the RER, be careful to keep your tickets separate from each other. On the face of it, the tickets are identical and you must feed a ticket through the barrier to enter the station, and feed it through again to leave the station. When leaving, it's important that you leave with the same ticket you entered with. I got stung when I'd exited with a different ticket than I'd entered with, rendering all my tickets useless for the return journey. I had to explain the situation in my broken French to the non-English speaking ticket clerk. After I'd explained myself she suddenly developed the immediate ability to tell me off at length in English, before sternly issuing me with a replacement ticket. You have been warned!
Don't bother with the ticket machines at RER stations. They are desperately confusing and only appear to show a very limited number of stations at first glance, and you really have to know what you are doing to get them to do what you want them to. It's much better to wait in the queue and deal with a real person, who was happy to help me even with my broken French.
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Don't get caught
RER trains do not necessarily stop at every station on the line. Above the platform, there is a sign that lists all the stations. If your station is lit up, then you can get on the next train. Otherwise, wait or else you're in for a detour.
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I'm stuck on the subway
Be VERY careful with the subways. If you travel outside the region you've been ticketed for, you'll have to get back on the subway to go back to the region. Sometimes you have to have a separate ticket to get off the subway and there won't be a place to buy that ticket either. The subways also aren't well defined. There are no colors to indicate which line you're on or where the train is going. I had a subway map and it was absolutely useless. We ended up using taxis instead. It was much easier and not as expensive. (35Euro from Arc de Trompeii to Charles de Gaulle)
Route Finder in Paris - www.ratp.info
If you are looking for a door to door itinerary guide in France then using the RATP website is the solution!
I found this extremely useful, it tells you not only about the line changes but also the distances and times it takes.
(its available in other languages too!)
The RER stands for Réseau Express Régional, meaning Regional Express Network. It is a second network of metro-trains that works exactly the same. The RER-network, that was opened in 1969, only covers bigger distances, connecting all the suburbs around the city centre. Inside the périferique the RER-trains go underground, just like the metro, but as soon as they get outside of this ringroad, they go on above the ground. The lines are also visible on the normal metro-map, but there are separate RER-map too.
Within the citycentre you are also allowed to use the Metro with a 1-3 zones metro-ticket. But the connections are slower and more complicated, so it is wise just to take the metro here. But if you are planning to visit Disneyland Paris or Versailles, or if you are coming from the Airports or heading there, than you need a RER-train.
For these further trips you most of the times need a ticket that is valid for 1-5 zones. One last important thing about the RER is that it always has more possible routes. For example the RER towards Versailles is RER C. But towards the end of the line the trains choose different routes. The one going to the Chateau de Versailles is RER C5. So before you get on the train you should first look which of the connections you need. Don't only look at the letters, but also pay attention to the number behind them!
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Les Halles is an area of Paris, France, located in the 1er arrondissement. It is named for the large central wholesale marketplace, which was demolished in 1971, to be replaced with an underground modern shopping precinct, the Forum des Halles.
It is notable in that the open air center area is below street level.
It is like a pit which contains sculpture, fountains, and mosaics.
Beneath this lies the underground station Châtelet-Les-Halles, central hub of Paris's express urban rail system, the RER.
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The RER (Réseau Express Régional) is a train system covering Paris and its outskirts. Its stops are much more spread out than those of the metro so it can save you time if you need to get across Paris in a hurry. The RER has over 246 stops though only 33 of these are within the city boundaries. You can take the RER to places outside the city such as Versailles, Disneyland Paris and Charles De Gaulle Airport.
RER line A - the Red one
The Paris regional Railway (RER) is a highly effective transport network that internonnects, yet runs completely seperately to the Metro system. For one thing the trains run on the opposite of the tracks to the Metro.
Some years back it was claimed that line A was the busiest single railway line in the world. It is certainly true that it can get quite crowded, and you can be greeted by the rather surreal site of a train arriving at a station before the previous one has completely left the platform area (see the French can organise things when they want to). The Japansese however had a thing or two to say about that claim. In a country that accounts for some 40% of all the train journeys in the world they pointed out that some lines in Tokyo handled more than twice the level of passengers in a day.
All I know is, is that that Chatelet station makes you feel very much like a rat in a very large colony burrowing underground.
The Fast Track through Paris
One of the easiest, fastest ways to get around in Paris is the RER, the express train through Paris that also takes you to regional areas such Chartres or Chatou. If traveling solo, have one suitcase & want to save a bit of cash, the cheapest way to go is via the RER-B train from CDG. It stops conveniently at a few stops in Paris such as Gare du Nord, St-Michel-Notre-Dame, Luxembourg, Port-Royal, & Denfert-Rochereau. Because it stops at fewer stations it gets you quickly to where you need to go. I've taken the RER into Paris every trip including when I came into Paris via the Eurostar to Gare du Nord. But be careful in Gare du Nord as it's notorious for pickpockets.
The other thing I'd caution you on is that many times the ticket machines are difficult to use; this past trip I stood in line with a long line of people as person after person got exasperated when the machine refused to accept his or her credit card. So I just went to the long lines to pick them up in person. This turned out to be a good thing as I was able to get my Metro pass, a carnet of tickets and the return fare to CDG. I believe round-trip fare from CDG to Paris centre is about 15 euro - not a bad deal at all. Remember to keep your ticket with you as you're likely to need it to exit the station. At least it's that way going into CDG. Also, there are Metro cops that may pull you aside to check if you've got your ticket with you. I'd been lucky prior to this trip in that I'd never seen them but ran into them late one night at Barbes Rochechouart stop. I flashed them my Coupon Jaune Metro pass and all was well. I asked if I could take a photo of them for you good folks here at VT to see but they politely declined.
If you're traveling with other people and can split the cost of a taxi, then that is a much more convenient and cost-effective way to go. Also, taxis are a good idea if you're traveling with young ones or have more than one suitcase.
Photos: February 2006
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