Hello, i wanted to know if there is a downloadable map of the metro and rer? i email my hotel for directions from the eurostar to the hotel and they told me to take the rer b. My hotel is by the louvre. i thought i could take the metro from the eurostar but i guess taking the rer is faster? my other question is i am confused about paying for transportation. once i get off the eurostar in paris. do i go to an atm and get cash so i can pay for metro/rer tickets because the ticket machine dont take american credit card? im only in paris for the night. are there special cards that will allow me to ride the metro/bus/ rer? i see the #69 bus passes by my hotel. i feel like once i arrive i will be only taking the bus to the eiffle and i think im walking distance to notre dame. Please advise. thanks
While you are waiting to board the Eurostar, "airside" at St Pancras you can go to the service desk on the far wall. The staff member there will be happy to sell you a carnet of Paris Métro tickets for a small commission. She can also give you a free Paris map which has the RER and Métro lines on it. On the train during your journey you can read the "in-flight" magazine which also has hints. Yes, getting to a French ATM and snagging a few Euro is a good idea. The RS Paris guidebook goes into detail.
The Man in Seat 61 has a great page on Paris travel including a clickable Métro map. Have a look.
For a zoomable map of the metro and RER system, go here: http://tinyurl.com/6xmvms4. Take metro line 4 from Gare du Nord to Chatelet and metro line 1 from there to either Louvre Rivoli or Palais Royale-Musee du Louvre, whichever is closer to your hotel.. My guess is that you really wouldn't save any time taking the RER B to Chatelet-Les Halles, walking to Chatelet, and taking metro line 1 from there. And you won't have to walk through the "maze" of tunnels from the Chatelet-Les Halles RER station to the Chatelet metro station which, taken together, comprise a huge transportation hub.
Why don't you try Google maps and the satellite view. For someone who has spent so much time online I'm surprised you aren't aware of what a great travel tool it is. Will give a bird's eye and may give a street view as well. Do you know the address of your hotel? Type it in the search box. When the map comes up, click on Satellite. Lo and behold an overhead view of Paris with a little blue icon pointing to your hotel. You easily be able to see just how close you are to Notre Dame, The Siene, Invalides and Le Tower Eiffel. Will also show you how close you are to public transportation. BTW the American Express card is pretty worthless in Europe.
these are the hotel directions given to me: RER B to CHATELET, you have to take the street SAINT HONORE for 5-10min walking to the hotel. i read in rs that the rer is a little faster because it skips a bunch of stops and i can transfer between the metro. i read about the one day pass. since im there for the night. i guess that will be my best bet. is it only good for using between metro/rer only, or metro/rer and the bus. i rather ride more on the bus once i leave my hotel, so i can see paris and not be underneath it. but i wonder if its only good to midnight or if its good for 24 hours from the first time i use it? stupid question? lol thanks for the link. i will have to check it out.
@ tim thanks for the link. i wanted to print out that map so i can have it on hand but idk how to print out that map. its too big. i guess i will have to wait until i get there and ask for a map that i can read with out squinting my eyes. lol
@claudia i know how google maps work. i know where my hotel is an there are a bunch of metro stops around it. google map is not going to give me train directions to and from my hotel only driving directions. lol
i found a printable wallet size map on their website http://www.ratp.fr/en/ratp/c_21902/maps/ i hope it prints out nicely :0)
Mel, I second the suggestion by Nigel to buy the Metro tickets or RER ticket if possible at St Pancras, ie., before boarding the EuroStar, even if it should cost a bit more. You don't want to arrive in Paris cold turkey since you're pressed for time and unfamiliar with the "system." Yes, it's true the ticket machines in Paris won't take US credit cards. Across the street from Gare du Nord is an ATM, I can't think of one inside the station. The street to the right of Rue de Saint-Quentin (don't know the name just know how to get there) has a bank ( BNP ) where three ATMs are located. I know the hotel suggested RER B instead of the Metro. But I personally would avoid Chatelet, use the Metro instead. Another possibility: Two major bus stations are at Gare du Nord, one right in front as you exit on Rue de Dunkerque, probably 5-6 buses stop there and the same on Rue de Saint-Quentin (in front of a restaurant)...see if bus #69 stops at either (I don't know) for you to get to your hotel. ("My hotel is by the Louvre." ) If it does, you avoid the RER and the Metro. I've used these two bus stops to get to Gare de Lyon and St Lazare instead of the Metro.
google map is not going to give me train directions to and from my hotel only driving directions. It does if you click the icon which looks like the front of a bus. It'll even do it for walking if you click the stick figure.
"google map is not going to give me train directions to and from my hotel only driving directions." You THINK you know how Google Maps work. You don't. If you'd taken a moment to learn what a valuable tool it is you would have learned that besides mileage estimates it can give you directions on foot, by car AND by public transit.
'You THINK you know how Google Maps work..................AND by public transit.' Not in Paris it doesn't. In fact in works in very few places. Even when the public transportation icon shows up, you often get a null when you click it. It does work pretty well in England. In France it only works in a few places depending of the agencies involved.
Mel, Now that you have told us that your hotel is on rue Saint-Honore, I'll rescind my suggestion that you take the metro. I just checked viamichelin.com and learned that the east end of rue Saint-Honore is right by the Chatelet-Les Halles RER station. Metro line 1 served by the Chatelet metro station is farther south than you need to go. Take the RER B from Gare du Nord to Chatelet-Les Halles and walk from there to your hotel. A one-day, zone 1-2 Mobilis pass (€6.40) is only good on the day you take your first ride. It's not good for a 24-hour period. The same is true for a one-day, zone 1-3 Paris Visite pass (€9.75). The passes are good on the metro and RER in the zones covered, on buses, and on the Montmartre funiculaire that goes to Sacre-Coeur. Even though you'll only be in Paris part of one day and part of the next and won't be taking rides all day long on either day, buying two Mobilis passes will cost you only €0.10 more than one ten-ticket carnet (€12.70) and will allow you to take as many rides as you wish.
@Ed, Thanks. I stand corrected about Google Maps usage in Paris.
What Claudia said, me too. Thanks Ed..
www.viamichelin.com is a viable alternative to Google maps (like the pun?) The site includes attractive 3-D drawings of landmark buildings en route to your destination.
I bought a carnet at St Pancras a couple of years ago and thought the premium price was expensive. Maybe it is more in line now.
I use Google maps a lot, but I find them terrible for step by step driving directions in most cases. I use them to get distances and time, and also a general idea of the route alternatives. Then I use a printed map. They are frankly so often just wrong or impossible to follow.
so i should buy 2 Mobilis passes.? i would rather take the buses than metro, because i have a bad knee and i try to aviod stairs as much as possible. will the mobilis pass give me the option to take bus/metro/rer as much as i like, just in case it seems faster to take the train than the bus to certain locations? so it sounds like its hard to find a atm once i arrive at the paris station. so my best bet is to get my metro pass in london?
If you have a iphone then get the Paris Metro Zuti app - costs 1.99 or 2.99 and is OFF LINE! It's wonderful. Read the description so you can get familiar before you purchase it.
Mel, Yes. Buying two zone 1-2 Mobilis passes will only cost you 10 eurocents more than one carnet. A Mobilis pass will give you unlimited rides on the metro, RER, bus, trams, and the Montmartre funiculaire all day long in the zones covered by the pass. While you can buy ten-ticket carnets at St. Pancras International, I don't think you can buy Mobilis passes there. If you buy both Mobilis passes when you arrive at Gare du Nord, be sure to keep them separate and put one safely aside to use the next day. If you accidently mix them up and use them both on the first day, neither one will be good on the second day. There certainly are ATMs at Gare du Nord. The reason people suggest buying carnets at St Pancras International is to save time by not having to stand in line at Gare du Nord.
thanks. i will buy my pass in paris. it shouldnt be too crazy waiting on line. it will be on a wed. but then again it is a hot tourist destination.
Mel, I recommend also, as suggested above, to buy the Metro carnet at St Pancras, not only for the purpose of saving time, but, in case of any problems,..whatever,... you won't have a communication problem if you need to call upon an attendant. The times I've had to stand in line at St. Pancras and deal with their helpful personnel, it was always very satisfactory. In 2009 at Gare du Nord at a Metro ticket counter to buy a carnet, US credit card in hand, I found the guy behind the counter didn't want to help me and points to the machine. So I go to the closest machine, it wouldn't work, no matter how I followed the instructions. (The machine was defective). I was prepared to wait him out. Luckily, another attendant took over from this useless guy not too long afterwards. I got my carnet using the credit card. In coins I was just short of the needed 11 something Euro. I did try a second machine, it worked but I didn't have the coins needed. Buy it St Pancras, use the credit card...save time.
@ fred can i buy the mobilis pass at london station? or do they only sell carnet?
no mobilis cards in London.
Mel, In Paris I use Metro tickets for buses and the Metro, if I am not walking to get around, usually buy a carnet (they don't expire), a few times individual tickets.
so they only sell carnet in the london station?
so they only sell carnet in the london station? Sorry, Which part of "no mobilis cards in London" is unclear? No, they sell many other things too, such as transportation passes for Brussels, tickets to Disneyland and other things as well. They probably would not interest you, although if you want to go to Disneyland or Brussels they may. They do not sell things for other countries, so no Spanish things there. They do not sell Mobilis cards. They do sell carnets.
Fred and Nigel are right -- once you arrive at the Gare du Nord and see the mass of humanity waiting in line to buy tickets/passes, you will wish you had bought a carnet at St Pancras.