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Travelling from Paris CDG airport via Air France bus or RER?

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Jan 28th, 2012, 02:35 PM
  #1
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Travelling from Paris CDG airport via Air France bus or RER?

I'm heading out to Paris in a couple of months and a friend of mine who lives there told me to take the Air France bus from the Charles de Gaul airport instead of the RER. He said it wasn't safe for a female travelling alone to take that particular RER line and that it would be better to take the AF bus instead.

Does anyone know if it is really unsafe? I was surprised that he would say this since I hadn't read anything about that before during my trip planning but since he's lived there all his life, I thought maybe it would be better to take his advice.

Can i just buy tickets at the airport for the bus ride and does anyone know how much it costs? Also, my hotel is in the 15th arr. so will I have to take a taxi and/or metro after getting off the bus? Because if so, then I think I might take my chances with the RER because it would be a hassle to drag all my luggage by myself on and off different modes of transport.
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Jan 28th, 2012, 02:49 PM
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There's no RER line in Paris that is unsafe for a female traveling alone or anyone else. If you have a bunch of luggage and are traveling at morning rush hour, the AF bus is easier, though, IMO.

If you do take the AF shuttle, just look for the overhead yellow signs that say Navettes and go to that gate. The buses run about every 20 minutes and there's a ticket office outside where they arrive; you can often just pay as you board as well. Make sure you know which shuttle will take you closest to your hotel and how to use the métro system if you'll need to after you get off the shuttle.
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Jan 28th, 2012, 02:55 PM
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AirFrance bus...easy to do...but find out the nearest drop-off to where you are in the 15th..
Gare Montparnesse.....?....main terminus near Invalides..? Then very easy to get a taxi to where you are staying. Buy tickets at the bus pick-up area...used to be around 11 Euros into Paris.
We have done this many times.....RER, to me, is harder to navigate with luggage/stairs/etc.
Bus"helpers" load & unload your bags at drop-off...taxi stands are usually right near & taxi
driver loads your bag into the cab! EASY !!!
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Jan 28th, 2012, 03:03 PM
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I took RER B to Charles de Gaulles airport alone (female) in 2009 without any accident or any fear. I've heard of single episodes where some people got attacked on RER, I think there was a video on YouTube a while ago. I think common selse is important to look around you and assess your circumstances. Generally, I felt fairly safe with the normal people around me. If there was a big group of young people/kids who look like they are looking for trouble, I would probably not get on that train in the same car with them.
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Jan 28th, 2012, 03:47 PM
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HEre is a link to Trip Advisor: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g1....And.Rer..html
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Jan 28th, 2012, 04:14 PM
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It might depend on the time of day, and perhaps your friend is just cautious. Given he has lived there his whole life, I would think he might have reason for saying that.

I would prefer the AF bus anyway, though, it is so much nicer (the RER is pretty cruddy nowadays IMO and there isn't even a good place for your luggage). I don't know where you are going that you could take the RER without a taxi, anyway, maybe you should say. Because if it really is right next to an RER stop (you will have to transfer, obviously, as the RER B line from the airport does not go to the 16th), it might make sense to take the RER. That could be true if you were staying in some of those big modern hotels along the river, it would have to be some hotel right near the Javel RER stop, that's the only possibility. I guess there is one almost out of town in the 15th, the Bd Victor RER stop, but I doubt if you are staying there. So where are you staying in the 15th that you think the RER wouldn't involve you having to take a bus or taxi to your hotel or transfer to the metro or whatever you think would not involve getting on and off various transport modes.
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Jan 28th, 2012, 04:22 PM
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i'm staying at Rue Brancion so i have no idea which stop I would have to get off at if I take the AF bus.

The hotel sent me instructions on how to get there using the RER so that is why I was going to take it - it sounds so much easier to just follow their directions but in the end, I think i will take my friend's advice since he probably has a reason for saying it specifically.

Thanks for all the help - i'll have to browse through the AF bus schedule and map to figure out where i'm supposed to get off. I'll be taking it in the morning so fingers crossed the traffic isn't too bad or else it'll take me forever to get into Paris.
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Jan 28th, 2012, 04:37 PM
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We took bus option in June 2010 as my DH thought the view would be better. But it was peak hour and the traffic was horrendous. It took over an hour and a half. Think it was 12 euro each? We would not do this again. Train is much better. Just be careful of where you have to change trains as lots of stations don't have lifts.
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Jan 28th, 2012, 04:53 PM
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I would think in the morning RER B would be fine. I think some people opined that at night it might not be the safest.
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Jan 28th, 2012, 05:49 PM
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What is your hotel address, AWE8? That would tell us a bit more.
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Jan 28th, 2012, 05:54 PM
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Should have added more to my question. I'm seeing an Ibis Paris Brancion Parc des Expositions and I'm also seeing a Home Moderne Hotel on Rue Brancion, and I'm sure I can find others, so if you could tell us the exact name and the exact address, we can do a pretty good evaluation of your best options.

Also...what time are you landing?
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Jan 28th, 2012, 05:58 PM
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it's at 61 rue brancion - i have no idea where that is but apparently it's fairly close to a police station. I'm landing in the morning at 9 so i'm guessing by the time i grab all my luggage and go through customs it will be around 10:30 or 11.
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Jan 28th, 2012, 06:00 PM
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You need to do more research on bus services before you reach a decision. Better to do it yourself. Start here http://www.aeroportsdeparis.fr/ADP/e...-transport.htm
It's information from the airports authority -- including ticket prices -- on RoissyBus and the buses associated with Air France (called Cars Air France.) Two of the Air France coaches will get you into the city; Line Two to Porte Maillot; Line Four to the Lyon and Montparnasse rail stations. You will see that these are not hop-on-off services; they go from CdG directly to one or two destinations. So you will need to sort out your hotel's address and location (use www.viamichelin.com to map it.) Then you can see where the nearest public transit stops are.
www.ratp.fr is brimming with info on suburban trains, street buses and the Metro; it's worth learning how to use it now to be prepared when you are on the ground in Paris. There are countless threads on this forum about taxis, shuttle vans, RER B etc.
Also consider www.parisbytrain.com for very helpful advice.
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Jan 28th, 2012, 06:20 PM
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I did both when flying into Paris twice this past October and I found taking the RER way more convenient. I also never felt unsafe on the RER. From the direction of CDG to Paris, there will be lots of other travellers leaving the airport with luggage like you so nothing unusual about that. The train passes through a few suburban neighborhoods with a great opportunity to admire the diversity of Paris that tourists rarely see. I loved it.
Just a heads up, depending where you land within CDG, you may have a very long walk within the terminal to get to the RER. CDG is a huge airport.

I took the RER from CDG to Paris at 6.30pm on a Sunday evening and travelled an hour to get to Denfert Rochereau; I did the reverse trip at 4.00pm on a Tuesday afternoon and 8.30am on a Wednesday morning. The train was full of people on all the trips (even the Sunday evening) but I had no problems and never felt unsafe.

On the other hand, I took the AF Bus from CDG into Paris at 11.00am on a Tuesday morning and it took almost 2 hours to get to Montparnasse station. Even then, the traffic was so bad that about 1 km away from the stn, the bus driver threw up his hands and asked us all to leave the bus with our luggage in tow as he could not move any further.
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Jan 28th, 2012, 06:24 PM
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hmm yes the traffic issue was one of the reasons my first choice was the RER.

But my friend was quite insistent that i shouldn't take the RER into Paris even though he did say all other lines are pretty safe. I hesitate to just disregard his advice because he must have a reason to say so.

I haven't decided for sure yet though so will probably just have to do a bit more googling.
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Jan 28th, 2012, 07:26 PM
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FWIW I took the RER from CDG to my apt in the 14th by myself this summer. No problems at all. I travel light, with just a purse and a 21" carryon bag, so I wasn't loaded down. I got off at the Port Royal stop and then walked. I arrived at my apt around 8:30am. No issues whatsoever as far as safety goes.
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Jan 29th, 2012, 01:49 AM
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Took the RER for the first time this past. Oct on a Sunday early a.m. with no problems. Both round-tix in the office there.
It was easy and fast & would do it again.
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Jan 29th, 2012, 04:05 AM
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AEW8, I've never taken the bus, so I can't comment on it, but I do take the train each time and have never had a problem with it and have never felt uncomfortable. I've been alone the past couple times. Just follow the Paris par Train signs that are all over the airport. You can buy your ticket right there either from a machine or a person. Personally, I can't think of a reason I wouldn't take it.
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Jan 29th, 2012, 05:09 AM
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Plaisance is the closest Metro station to your hotel. Take the RER B from CDG to Denfert-Rochereau. Transfer to either Metro line 4 or 6 and take it to Montparnasse-Bienvenue. Transfer to Metro line 13 and take it to Plaisance. You'll need to walk several blocks to your hotel.

If you want to keep things simple, take Air France bus #4 from CDG to Gare Montparnasse (one stop at Gare de Lyon) and a taxi from there to your hotel.
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Jan 29th, 2012, 05:24 AM
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my impression is that if you are coming for several months you may have more than a backpack for luggage. Take a taxi from CDG. Have your hotel address on a paper to give the driver. It will be about 50E, and money well spent after a long night on a plane..
I have taken the RER with luggage. There may be steps--you may not be able to get your bag through the turnstile, and the clerk will open the gate--maybe.
How much luggage will you have? It can be a real hassle on the RER.
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