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Trip to Paris

I will arrive in Paris from Toronto, ON at 7:30 AM on Sunday September 14. As I have to check in my hotel around 2:00 PM, I need some advice regarding some train reservations that I would like to do. First at all how can I get from the Airport to the Gare de Est. I hold a French German Pass, & the seats that I would like to book right away are as follows:
Paris - Stuttgart on 17 September at approximately at 9:00 AM

Stuttgart to Reims on September 22 around 9:00 AM.

As I will be a little tired due to the flight & time zone, it will be hard to do it in French. Do you know where is the English Speaking Information desk for reservations. I have an idea which trains I want so I can show them. I will appreciate any help.

Mrs. Pilar Harrietha
Toronto ON Canada

Posted by
4132 posts

Sounds like you have a little French but (understandably) don't want to rely on it under the conditions you describe.

Before you go, write down your reservation request and other information (for instance, that you have a rail pass and you are not buying a ticket) on a small card and put it in your wallet. If you do run into difficulty on the ground, just take the card out, say "S'il vous plait?" and pass it over.

By the way: you do not need to go to Gare de l'Est to get these reservations--any train station that sells tickets can do this for you. So you might consider getting them at deGaulle.

I do think getting them early is wise, as long as you are sure of your departure times.

Posted by
506 posts

From CDG to Paris Gare de l'Est - take the RER B to Gare du Nord and change to Metro line 4 (direction Porte d'Orleans (1 stop) to Gare de l'Est. Travel time approximately 40 minutes.

I am unaware of any "English Speaking Information Desk" - this is not typical in France. You can always ask if the reservation agent speaks English - which can be hit or miss.

I would suggest you try the following (you could print it out and show the agent)

Je suis désolé, je ne parle pas français. J'ai un passe "Eurail" et je voudrais une réservation pour un place de Paris à Stuttgart le 19 (dix-neuf) septembre à 9 heure et Stuttgart à Reims le 22 (vingt deux) septembre à 9 heure, s’il vous plaît.

Posted by
5677 posts

Also, the Rick Steves phrase books are pretty good. They helped me with my high school French and college German on recent trips. If you make an effort it's amazing how many people will suddenly speak English--even in France.


Posted by
27 posts

Thanks Adam for your reply, it helped, I did my 2 reservations in French & showed them which trains & it worked very well.

When I had to change trains in Stratsbourg to go to Reims, I waited 2 hours, so I had to buy a return ticket from Reims to Paris, I did my best in French, but the lad in the window saw my French Phrase book, & he switched to English.

In the end I had a nice trip, managing with my limited french, as I told people that I was from Canada, they though that I spoke french too.

Mrs. Pilar Harrietha
Toronto ON Canada