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Help! Confused by Metro options

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Help! Confused by Metro options

I have read numerous posts and websites explaining all of the options and I am more confused than when I started. We are on a budget and I am hoping that someone can advise what is the most cost effective option for us based on our planned metro usage.

There are 4 of us and we will be in Paris for 3 days staying in zone 1 near the Grands Boulevard station. We will take the RER upon arrival from CDG to Chatelet-Les Halles and on another day to Versailles and the metro to Gare de Lyon the day we depart. Depending on our energy levels, I can imagine we would take at least 2-4 metro rides daily to or from places in zone 1 and 2 on each of the 3 days. One of these days we would be traveling on the RER from CDG and another going out to Versailles.

I don't know if we should buy a 1 or 2 day pass on the days we will be traveling on the RER from zones 4 or 5 and riding the metro within zones 1 and 2. Or should we just buy books of 10 tickets for zones 1 and 2 and buy individual tickets for the RER? Or is there another option that would be more cost effective?


Saratoga Springs, NY
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1. Re: Help! Confused by Metro options

*Personally* I would take a taxi to your hotel. With jet lag and luggage, I don't like to take the RER into town. It wouldn't be that much more expensive than the RER for 4. They charge 1E for each suitcase in the trunk, plus I believe E3 for the fourth passenger, over and above the metered fare.

Anywhere the metro goes in zone 1, btw. If you're on a numbered metro line, it's zone 1, even if it goes out of Paris, so you only need zone 1 passes.

Whether you want a daily pass depends on how often you plan to take the metro. There are daily tickets for a little under E7, but you are right in the very center of Paris, and nearly everything is so walkable from your hotel. I'm not sure that you'd really save much money on day passes. At that location, I would probably only take the metro to get to the Eiffel Tower or Montmartre. But really, from your location I might walk to the Eiffel Tower as well. Paris is so walkable, and I love exploring the neighborhoods.

Are you really sure you want to visit Versailles? It takes up just about the whole day and it's pretty exhausting. Unless someone in your party knows who lived there and has a passion for Versailles, you might be better off just visiting the royal apartments in the Louvre. You'd also save $$

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Help! Confused by Metro options

The Paris Visite passes are greatly over-priced.

Buy a carnet of 10 ordinary metro/bus tickets for travel within central Paris, and individual tickets for your RER journeys.

Val-de-Marne, France
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3. Re: Help! Confused by Metro options

If your hotel is west of Grands Boulevards, I would take Roissybus to Opéra and walk from there. For the rest, all you need is a carnet of tickets t+ to share between two people, and then if you need more you can always buy additional tickets. Buy point to point tickets for Versailles. Unless some of you are under 10, which grants them a discount, buy a carnet of 10 tickets to Versailles. This way, for the price of 8, you get two additional tickets, which you can use in Paris if you need extra tickets.

Edited: 12 July 2014, 21:22
Chicago, Illinois
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4. Re: Help! Confused by Metro options

It costs close to 40 Euro for 4 people to take the train in while also subjecting themselves to pickpockets and thieves who target exhausted tourists with luggage. For about 55 or so you can take a cab door to door -- the 4th passenger is 3 Euro extra and bags in the trunk are 1 Euro. I would not use the train with this nuimber of people.

Just get a couple of carnet of ordinary tickets and split them up between you. If you run out then buy another carnet. A pass is not likely to be cost effective unless you are 25 and under and traveling on the weekend in which case Ticket Jeune day passes are a great bargain. The train to and from Versailles is about 7 Euro -- just buy two tickets each from Paris to Versailles Rive Gauche/Chateau for that trip -- one to and one from.



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5. Re: Help! Confused by Metro options

Thank you all for your suggestions! Sounds like carnets are the way to go for most of our travels.

Re: taxi vs train or bus from the airport - We are equidistance from Opera and Chatelet-Les Halles, so we were going to take the train because it was faster. I hadn't heard about the high incidence of pickpockets on the RER train, maybe the bus would be better. We are arriving at CDG around 8:30 am and according to the online taxi calculator, it could cost around 60 Euro. The train and bus would only cost 40 Euros. We can make the decision when we arrive based on how tired we are.

Thanks again for your help!

Penticton, Canada
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6. Re: Help! Confused by Metro options


if this is your first time in paris take a taxi - after an overnight from TO you will be glad you did.

There is a director at the taxi stand (follow TAXI signs) that gets the right size car for your group so no hunting around for a taxi. Trying to save 20euros on this item is not a good saving.

Paris, France
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7. Re: Help! Confused by Metro options

I wouldn't really say there's a "high incidence" of pickpockets on the RER B, I would say there is an increased chance compared to other trains, but it's far from being a hotbed of crime.

Besides which, every 2nd train (so, roughly every 15 minutes) from CDG is an express train to Gare du Nord after 9am on weekdays, and pretty much all the time on weekends. (Note that an 'express' is not necessarily faster, just that it does not stop anywhere between CDG T1 and Gare du Nord).This negates the pickpocket problem on the train, and common sense should prevail at Chatelet.

r c
Portland, Oregon
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8. Re: Help! Confused by Metro options

if you PLAN your sight seeing, you maybe able to minimize your walking. Not that walking around Paris isnt bad, but i leave walking for later in the day.

If you care to, get a map of Paris and plot out where you want to go. Then look at path(s) you may want to take or path(s) to minimize your walking.

I try to go to the furthest attraction out first by metro and walk my way back. i also group my attractions so that im not going from one end of town to the other and back. Its just something i do but it requires some planning and some people dont care to.

good luck.

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9. Re: Help! Confused by Metro options

Thanks again for all of the suggestions! Great advice! We are seasoned, independent travellers, but have not been to Paris in a very long time and appreciate the guidance from those of you in the know!

10. Re: Help! Confused by Metro options

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