How to get from Paris to Versailles

Old Apr 15th, 2013, 01:18 PM
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How to get from Paris to Versailles

I'm having trouble understanding the following instructions on how to get from Paris to Versailles. This is from the official Versailles website.
RER C
To get to the palace of Versailles, make sure to buy a "Paris - Versailles Rive Gauche" ticket (zones 1-4) (T+ ticket is not valid for this journey).

SNCF Trains
Arrive at Versailles Chantiers station from Paris Montparnasse
Arrive at Versailles Rive Droite station from Paris Saint Lazare

Please don't yell at me. I'm doing the best I can. What does RER C mean? What are SNCF trains: Do we take the metro and transfer to a train? We are staying in the Left Bank.

How far will we be walking to get from the Versailles Chantiers or Rive Droite stations to the palace? We will already have the Paris Museum Pass. Thank you very much.
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Old Apr 15th, 2013, 01:25 PM
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Forget about taking the SNCF (French national railway). The RER are the Paris commuter trains (www.ratp.fr). There are several lines. You take line C to Versailles. You cannot use a métro ticket (T+); RER tickets cost a bit more as they are lines that run outside the city boundaries. There are 2 stops in Versailles. Get off at the Versailles-Rive Gauche stop, not the Versailles Chantier one.
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Old Apr 15th, 2013, 01:27 PM
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RER is the regional commuter train to BART in the SF Bay Area. The different lines are identified with alphabetical letters; thus the RER B goes from CDG to Paris and points south. There are direct transfer points between the metro and the RER and an RER ticket can be purchased in a metro station, at least if the metro station has an agent selling tickets.
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Old Apr 15th, 2013, 01:30 PM
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Given StCirq's comment, a ticket for Versailles purchased in a metro station is valid for the metro and the RER, and vice versa as when going from the airport to Paris or Versailles to Paris.
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Old Apr 15th, 2013, 01:37 PM
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At one time or another, I've taken all three public transportation ways to Versailles.

I do enjoy taking the bus. You get a real sense of the neighborhoods leading to V.

Go to the Pont de Sevres in Central Paris. If you are taking the Paris metro there, it is at the end of the 9 line).

Take bus line 171, which will arrive at the Versailles-Place d'Armes
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Old Apr 15th, 2013, 01:39 PM
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Forget about taking the SNCF (French national railway)- no do not forget about taking the SNCF commuter train that goes directly from Gare Saint-Lazare to Versailles' Rive Droite station, a short walk thru the bustling town center to the palace itself - depending on where you are staying this SNCF route may be your best best.
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Old Apr 15th, 2013, 01:49 PM
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YOu just have to tell the ticket clerk you want a ticket to Versailles so they sell you the right one, that's all, it will be valid from the point you buy it to Versailles.

So don't take the regular train, I agree, take the RER (suburban light rail). It's about a quarter mile to the chateau from the RER station, as I recall. It's not that far. You do have to be sure you get on the right train as some trains going by the station won't go to Versailles RG but other locations. And if you enter the system at St Michel or INvalides, there are 3 possible places a train could go that goes by there.

There is a sign on the wall in the station that will list the stations a train will be going to. The trains have names on them, it will be in lights on the top front of the train. There may also be lighted signs over the quays showing the stations the arriving train will be going to. The trains going to Versailles say VICK on them at the front top of the engine. Coming back, it shouldn't be an issue as all the trains leaving from Versailles RG will be going to Paris.
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Old Apr 15th, 2013, 02:21 PM
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The RER C line splits before Versailles. Some trains go to Versailles Rive Gauche (the closest station to the palace), and others go to Versailles Chantiers (farther away, but still walkable to the palace). Trains from the Gare St. Lazare go to Versailles Rive Droite (walkable to the palace, also TRI bus service to the palace). As far as I know, the fare is the same no matter which train you take.

You can see a good interactive transit map here that includes Versailles:

http://www.ratp.fr/plan-interactif/carteidf.php?lang=uk
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Old Apr 15th, 2013, 02:44 PM
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If you are close to St. Michel that is a great place to start. Look at the transit map first to check the RER C times and make sure you are getting on the correct train. There were employees by the trains when we went in early morning and they were very helpful.
Also, when you purchase your ticket get a round-trip.
I would suggest going first thing in the morning to beat the crowds. It is an easy walk to the Chateau. We arrived about 8:35 and there was a line forming already for the 9 opening. By 9 it was long. Purchase and print out your tickets before, then you are set.
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Old Apr 15th, 2013, 02:45 PM
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Thank you, MaineGG for the link to the great map! This helps a lot. Thanks, also, Christine, for the nice descriptions of the cars, signs, etc. Very visual. VICK! I appreciate you all!
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Old Apr 15th, 2013, 03:02 PM
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The trains going to Versailles say VICK on them at the front top of the engine. Coming back, it shouldn't be an issue as all the trains leaving from Versailles RG will be going to Paris.>>

they have also painted all the trains that go to Versailles with designs from the Palace, so they are quite easy to spot!
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Old Apr 15th, 2013, 03:18 PM
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The RER C is usually the most convenient option but there are SNCF trains from Gare Montparnasse to Versailles-Chantiers and from Gare Saint-Lazare to Rive-Droite and some of them can be faster than the RER. It just depends on where you are and what time it is. The www.ratp.fr site that has been mentioned is a great resource and the interactive site mentiond by MaineGG is one of your best resources. Sometimes not all of that website is in English so you can also use www.transilien.com and www.vianavigo.com. A great website to learn all about public transport in Paris is www.parisbytrain.com.
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Old Apr 16th, 2013, 05:18 AM
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Thank you, annhig, for the tip on the painted trains!
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Old Apr 16th, 2013, 08:54 AM
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here's the link, Hoosier - and it links to the official versailles website too:

http://en.chateauversailles.fr/index...B-DB51D79471E2
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Old Apr 17th, 2013, 04:17 AM
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Wow, they are gorgeous! Thanks!
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Old Dec 17th, 2016, 06:44 PM
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>>>>

On the map, I see where the yellow line splits and one section goes to Rive Gauche and the other continues to Chantiers and beyond. If my train shows Rive Gauche as the last station, is that the only way I can be sure I am on the right one? Last time, we ended up going past our stop and wasted a lot of precious time waiting for another train to take us back.
Thanks for your help.
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Old Dec 17th, 2016, 07:47 PM
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Hoosier_reader: Do you know how to use a map? Question to location type of question is best answered by looking at a map, like this: https://www.google.com/maps/@48.8010...!5m1!1e2?hl=en You can quickly see where each line ends up with respect to the entrance to the Versailles.

harvmatic: Regarding correct RER C line, as others mentioned, in case you have not read the thread, it says VICK on the train.
>>> is that the only way I can be sure
You can use an SNCF/Bahn app to match the departure time with the destination. I do quadruple checks. Check time/destination relationship using an app, look at the main departure display, look at the platform display, and look at the display on train. If I am still not sure, I ask a commuter type of local adult on the train or on the platform.

The worst case if you hopped onto an express train to Chartres, in which case, the only stop is Versailles-Chantiers. Even so, that is one mile walk to the Versailles entrance. Longer walk than other stations but not a disaster unless you are mobility limited.
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Old Dec 17th, 2016, 07:50 PM
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The rer c goes to both of these stops but Rive-Gauche is much closer to the château. If you want to go to Château-Versailles/Rive-Gauche then yes, make sure the destination of the train is Versailles-Château/Rive-Gauche as there are several destinations for the RER C once it leaves Paris. When you are on the platform for RER C in Paris you'll note the overhead signs and all the stops the train will make have lights next to them. Make sure Château-Versailles/Rive Gauche is lit up and you'll know for sure that is the end destination of the next train.
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Old Dec 17th, 2016, 08:02 PM
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Not trying to be mean to Greg but you do not use the bahn site for info on trains to Versailles and the only way you could get to Chartres is if you were taking one of the suburban trains from Gare Montparnasse to Versailles-Chantiers as that is the only place that those trains stop in Versailles (Versailles has a few train stations). Use either ratp.fr or transilien.com. DO NOT look for the word VICK on the train as that is not a good way to figure out which train you should take. Despite the fact that trains have names on the front, like VICK, no one who lives here would ever consider that an effective way to look for the proper RER. As I said, look at the overhead signs on the platform that show all the stops and see which lights are lit up and then you'll know that the next train will stop at all those stations that have a light lit up on the overhead sign.
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Old Dec 17th, 2016, 08:09 PM
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Why did Harvmatic resurrect a 3,5 years old thread ?
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