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RER vs Metro

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Vancouver
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RER vs Metro

I hope this isn't TOO dumb a question, but what are the differences between the metro and RER? I have been to Paris twice and am familiar with the metro, but have remained oblivious to the RER. This time I am arriving at CDG airport and heading for our hotel near Denfert Rochereau, so RER is on my radar! I realize the RER makes fewer stops, but are there other (e.g. physical) differences? Would the RER be easier than the metro for luggage transport? Thanks.

Aberdeen, United...
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1. Re: RER vs Metro

RER is like a proper full-sized train which happens to run underground through the downtown area, so they're a bit bigger and more space for luggage than the Metro, and you can even take bikes on them, I believe. They're not usually buried as deeply as the Metro, meaning access can be easier too.

Yes, they make fewer stops making them quicker, although they can be less frequent. The trains themselves can be fairly old, basic and grubby.

The RER's prime aim is to serve the outlying suburbs, but they're also great for longer journeys within the city. They also go to CDG airport, Versailles, etc..

Paris
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2. Re: RER vs Metro

To complement fletch's post, as far as I know, there is no RER station in Paris without any escalators, provided you are not connecting from the métro station. The RER at Denfert is on the East side of the place and actually looks like a small station, which is used to be a century ago when the RER was just the "ligne de Sceaux". Even though it is likely that your accommodation is more on the rue Daguerre/cimetière Montparnasse side, I would advise you to get out as soon as possible and cross the place in the open. If you cross it underground, plenty of turnstiles, stairs, etc.

Vancouver
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3. Re: RER vs Metro

Thank you fletch and largo winch for the info and tips. This gives me a clearer idea of the RER. Yes, our hotel is just west of Denfert Rochereau. We will heed your advice and exit the station asap.

Florida
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4. Re: RER vs Metro

I don't recall an escalator at Denfert R., but there is an elevator.

Where are you staying? Nouvel Orleans..? Been in this area before..?

Vancouver
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5. Re: RER vs Metro

Hi travelnutty,

I have been to Paris twice before but didn't visit or stay in this area. My wife and I will be staying at the Hotel Des Voyageurs on rue Boulard, just south of the Montparnasse Cemetery. It is a cheapo but was recommended by a neighbour of mine here in Vancouver who owns an apartment nearby (which she had unfortunately rented for the period we were going--early Sept). It looks okay on their website (hoteldesvoyageursparis.com) and the room is only 50 euros a night. As we are in Paris for 7 nights that means more money for food and wine! When we first went (over 30 yrs ago) we stayed at the Recamier right on Place St Sulpice, which was a great location (and nice little hotel). It is now 125 euros a night so beyond my budget as we will be in Europe for over 5 weeks. However, unbeknown to my wife, we will be staying there when we return to Paris in October the day before our flight home. She wanted a copy of our itinerary so I called the Recamier the Hotel La Mysterieuse. She bought it and thought it was a great name for a hotel! Anyway, if you have any info or tips on the 14th and thereabouts, feel free to pass them along! Needless to say we will be traveling all over Paris via the metro but I'm also looking forward to spending some time in an area not frequented by tourists and getting to know some of the shops, restaurants, etc.

Brian

USA
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6. Re: RER vs Metro

If you will be arriving at CDG and taking the train into Paris as your prefered mode of airport transfer, there's only one choice....and that's the RER 'B' ligne (ALL 'B' trains from CDG go into Paris and stop at Denfert-Rochereau) , with a stop at DENFERT-ROCHEREAU. If you are staying at the HÔTEL Le NOUVEL ORLÉANS--25 Ave. Général Leclerc (at rue Sophie Germain) 75014, Metro: Mouton-Duvernet.....I suppose you could change trains at Denfert-Rochereau from the RER 'B' ligne to the #4 Metro ligne (heading in the direction of Porte d'Orleans) there and take it one station to MOUTON-DUVERNET. But I suspect that given the relatively short distance down Ave Général Leclerc, that it might not take any longer to just come up to street level at DENFERT-ROCHEREAU (there are escalators here) and walk the few blocks (allowing for fair weather). You can print out a detailed local street map to carry with you as an aide memoire at the PagesJaunes site--http://www.pagesjaunes.fr/pj.cgi?lang=en

For the rest, it may be easier to think of the RER as the '..express / surburban commuter..' train and the regular Metro as the '..local..'...with more interconnecting ligne and more local stops.

Paris
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7. Re: RER vs Metro

This is a great, overlooked by tourists, area of Paris. The main attraction being of course pedestrian market street rue Daguerre. Now, we are talking real market! Move over rue Cler and your 70 year old UMP voters! One of the best fishmongers in Paris, great wine shops, bakeries, and even a Monoprix. There is a funky restaurant inside the RER station whose name I forgot. Cimetière Montparnasse is host to some biggies, including Jean-Paul Sartre. The Fondation Cartier on bd Raspail is one of Paris's top places for contemporary art exhibitions, again, one of those hidden gems known only by Parisians. And bd Edgar Quinet, with the strange silhouette of the Tour Montparnasse as a background, is worth a stroll (nice markets twice a week, can't remember the days). If, like some people on this board, you have this absolute craze for crêpes (yawn... ), the best crêperies in Paris are probably around the Edgar Quinet métro, gare Montparnasse being the traditional landing point for Bretons emigrating to Paris one century ago.

Sydney, Australia
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8. Re: RER vs Metro

I'm not sure if it qualifies for a "market" on Edgar Quinet but there is a nice artists' market there - I think it is on Sunday, isn't it BobS?

Paris, France
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9. Re: RER vs Metro

There is an artists' market on Sundays, right, but LW was referring to the normal, food markets on Weds and Saturdays.

Paris
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10. Re: RER vs Metro

Be sure to keep your ticket handy because you'll need it to pass through the turnstiles to exit the RER. You should always keep your ticket until you exit the system, even in the metro, but you actually need it to get out of the RER.