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Advice for getting to Avignon from Paris

Arriving CDG on a Tuesday morning. Option to meet friends in Paris or go direct from airport to Avignon. Confused by train options and comments on the internet. Prefer to get from CDG to Gare de Lyon to meet up and go from there. Read comments that it will take over 3 hours from landing to get to that station. Seems excessive.

What is the best overall option?
As it seems traffic is an issue and flights are often not on time don’t want to buy a train ticket in advance. Is this a problem? Appears there are many each day.

Thank you.

Posted by
3197 posts

You can never be sure of how long it will take to clear immigration/customs at CDG. It might take 30 minutes. It might take 90. So your plane arrives at the gate. It might take 15 minutes to deplane, 15 minutes to get to the lines at immigration and then 15 minutes to get to the RER station. Then you can purchase your ticket, wait for the train - another 10 or 15 minutes - and then about 40 minutes later, arrive at Gare de Lyon. So don’t think 3 hours is excessive.

Easiest thing to do is take the TGV directly from the airport to Avignon. If you’re a gamblin’ man, buy the tix in advance. If not, buy them at full price on arrival in France.

Posted by
20309 posts

As it seems traffic is an issue and flights are often not on time don’t want to buy a train ticket in advance. Is this a problem?

Exactly why it is not a generally recommended to buy advance discount train tickets for the day of arrival at the airport. Not only can the flight be delayed arriving, there could be a jamb-up at immigration if arriving from outside the Schengen Treaty Zone, when many big flights arrive at the same time. Maybe you will have to hang out and file a claim for a bag that didn't make it. I do it if I can get a BIG discount on the train ticket over the walk-up price, like 75%. And then I leave a lot of time as a cushion.

So meeting friends in Paris for a few hours before moving on works pretty good.

Posted by
9766 posts

Read comments that it will take over 3 hours from landing to get to that station. Seems excessive.

It's not. It seems to take me an hour from landing until I'm out the front door of the airport and on my way into town; about an hour (or more) to get into town. Allowing for time to get into the Gare de Lyon and figure your way to the train, one is easily at 2 hours 15 to 2 hours and a half, if not 2 hours 45 minutes. And that's on a day when your flight has arrived on time (not late), and traffic isn't especially problematic (various modes of transport will be more or less successful on any given day.

Three hours is absolutely reasonable, and the bare minimum I would give myself to make a train at the Gare de Lyon. And then only if I decided I were comfortable eating the cost of that ticket and buying a new one at walk-up price if I missed the one I had pre-purchased for.

Posted by
20309 posts

Actually, the shortest time is to take the RER B to Les Halles and walk across the platform and take the RER A to Gare de Lyon. Problem is the RER A is shut down from late July until August 26 for track rebuild this year.

Posted by
10289 posts

RER B changing to RER D at Gare du Nord is the fastest and solves the problem Sam brought up about track work at Les Halles. The only time a taxi is fast is on Sunday mornings or at night; any other day or time is unpredictable.

Posted by
2916 posts

The real problem is not whether to take a taxi or the RER or Le Bus Direct (my usual choice) from CDG to Gare de Lyon. The major issues, as some have noted, are whether the flight arrives on time and the time getting through immigration/passport control, as well as freakish things that can happen, such as a lost baggage claim (which I dealt with at CDG a few years ago).

Posted by
100 posts

Look at the TGV from CDC terminal 2. I took it north last year and assume it goes south as well.

Posted by
20309 posts

Not really. Escalator at CDG. If not in August, just walk across the platform at Les Halles to get the train to Gare de Lyon (the next stop), escalators at Gare de Lyon up to the main platforms. You can't miss em, everybody will be taking them. One 10.50 EUR ticket covers it all.

Posted by
4132 posts

Re advanced train tickets: I argue it depends on the price. Enough in advance it can be cheaper to buy tickets for 2 trains--and optimistic and a later one--than to buy a single ticket day of. So you buy 2, use 1, and save money.

Also of course it takes time to buy a ticket at the station; there will be lines, and you could miss a train while standing in one. That's less a concern in your case, since there are so many trains to Avignon.

As for getting to the train, it's all good. The RER will beat a taxi if traffic is bad, also there is a bus direct to Gare Lyon that is a good value but that runs less frequently than the train.

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you so much for advice. Will be arriving on July 17th. Planning on taking the train. Will both RER B and A be running?

Posted by
10289 posts

Take the B to the D, changing at Gate du Nord.

Posted by
20309 posts

The A will be running on July 17. The RATP gives identical travel times for a 9:13 departure from CDG, 55 minutes using either the transfer to the A at Les Halles, or to the D at Gare du Nord. I do know that it is cross-platform at Les Halles, maybe Bets can confirm that it is also cross-platform at Gare du Nord.

Posted by
10289 posts

I haven't done the RER B to D Gare du Nord switch but a friend who lives in the Vosges surprised us at a Gare du Nord rendezvous, arriving 15 minutes early having taken D to B and said it's non-stop. On-line TA says it's cross platform but no personal experience. But a cross platform switch is definitely a deal maker.

Posted by
5 posts

So it sounds as though A or D will get me there. Cross platform option would be the best choice. Is that correct? I so appreciate everyone who has helped with advice.