Is RER safe?

Old Oct 12, 08, 3:52 pm
  #1  
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Is RER safe?

hi,
i'm arriving from vce at 22.30 at terminal 2F with my wife and my daughter,

my final destination is west end hotel.

the best waty to go should be RER B from CDG to Chatelet and then the Metro (line 1) to Franklin Delano Rooosvelt station.

the question is:

are The RER and the Metro safe around midnight?
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Old Oct 12, 08, 4:11 pm
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I can't say if the RER is "safe" or not, but it does pass through some rather sketchy areas on its way into Paris. This might not be a cause for concern during the daytime, but at that time of night, you might find yourself somewhat uncomfortable as people get on and off at these stations on what is probably a 45-minute ride to Chatelet. You might want to check if the Air France coach "Les Cars" is still operating, and consider taking it to Charles deGaulle/L'Etoile (the Arch de Triomphe), at which station you just take the Metro (Line 1, I think) which will be a straight shot - 1 or 2 stops - to Franklin Roosevelt. You could even think of a taxi for that short ride down the Champs Elysees. Incidentally, the Air France coach gives a discount to a party of 4 traveling together. Of course, for 4 people, a taxi directly from the airport could possibly have a competitive price. Just something to consider.

I just noticed that there are actually 3 of you, so please disregard any statements in which I allude to 4 people.

Last edited by MeVoy; Oct 12, 08 at 4:13 pm Reason: added info
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Old Oct 12, 08, 4:26 pm
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Originally Posted by MeVoy View Post
I can't say if the RER is "safe" or not, but it does pass through some rather sketchy areas on its way into Paris. This might not be a cause for concern during the daytime, but at that time of night, you might find yourself somewhat uncomfortable as people get on and off at these stations on what is probably a 45-minute ride to Chatelet. You might want to check if the Air France coach "Les Cars" is still operating, and consider taking it to Charles deGaulle/L'Etoile (the Arch de Triomphe), at which station you just take the Metro (Line 1, I think) which will be a straight shot - 1 or 2 stops - to Franklin Roosevelt. You could even think of a taxi for that short ride down the Champs Elysees. Incidentally, the Air France coach gives a discount to a party of 4 traveling together. Of course, for 4 people, a taxi directly from the airport could possibly have a competitive price. Just something to consider.

I just noticed that there are actually 3 of you, so please disregard any statements in which I allude to 4 people.


How about Roissy shuttle, which is marginally more expensive than RER? BTW, is there a significant safety concern other than pickpockets? Nevertheless, I would avoid RER personally in the night.
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Old Oct 12, 08, 5:02 pm
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I wish some FlyerTalker from Paris/France could help!

Here is what I think:

-I would not use the RER at night.
-Next, it can be a very long walk to change to the Metro at Chatelet.
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Old Oct 12, 08, 5:07 pm
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Originally Posted by MeVoy View Post
I can't say if the RER is "safe" or not, but it does pass through some rather sketchy areas on its way into Paris. This might not be a cause for concern during the daytime, but at that time of night, you might find yourself somewhat uncomfortable as people get on and off at these stations on what is probably a 45-minute ride to Chatelet. You might want to check if the Air France coach "Les Cars" is still operating, and consider taking it to Charles deGaulle/L'Etoile (the Arch de Triomphe), at which station you just take the Metro (Line 1, I think) which will be a straight shot - 1 or 2 stops - to Franklin Roosevelt. You could even think of a taxi for that short ride down the Champs Elysees. Incidentally, the Air France coach gives a discount to a party of 4 traveling together. Of course, for 4 people, a taxi directly from the airport could possibly have a competitive price. Just something to consider.

I just noticed that there are actually 3 of you, so please disregard any statements in which I allude to 4 people.
The last Air France coach of the night for line 2 (CDG -> Etoile)leaves CDG at 23:00, so it might be tight. I assume that means the coach leaves 2A at 23:00, so that might mean an extra 10 minutes. More info (in English) at http://www.cars-airfrance.com/

Last edited by asdca; Oct 12, 08 at 5:08 pm Reason: info about line 2
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Old Oct 12, 08, 5:26 pm
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Originally Posted by MeVoy View Post
I can't say if the RER is "safe" or not, but it does pass through some rather sketchy areas on its way into Paris.
Some RERs are direct to Gare Du Nord (stopping only at CDG1 en route). Not sure about late at night, however.

Although I would probably take a late night RER myself, I would feel uncomfortable recommending it to somebody else.

It may be worth your while considering staying overnight in a hotel near CDG and go to your final destination the next morning, assuming you do not already have a non-cancellable booking.
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Old Oct 12, 08, 5:38 pm
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What day of the week are you arriving and how old is your daughther are two other questions that need answering.

Friday and Saturday nights these areas may be more bustling with activity, so may feel safer.

I've come back from EuroDisney on the last RER train back into Paris and not felt particularly bothered, even with Disney shopping bags that screamed "Tourist - mug me!".

I've also arrived at Gare Du Nord around 11pm on a week night and stayed at a hotel in this area. Just like anywhere, if you see something that you aren't comfortable with, cross the street. However if your daughter is young, you might want to get a taxi to your final destination just for your own peace of mind. I don't think there would be any problem but you have to decide what level of risk you want to take.
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Old Oct 12, 08, 5:56 pm
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The last three or four stops before you get to Gare du Nord are pretty sketchy. no real worries in daylight, but I wouldn't do the all-stops train late at night.
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Old Oct 12, 08, 6:20 pm
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I would not now use the RER at night. 3 of us, all fit chaps in our thirties, (One of us was Military, one a law enforcement Officer) were targetted by a group of smartly dressed North Africans as we changed trains. This was at about 10pm. I guess they thought that we would be an easy target as tired looking tourists to pick-pocket. One tried a distraction technique of dropping an asthma inhaler whilst another managed to get one of our passports, a wallet and some credit cards. We realised what was going on and it escalated. We managed to pin one to the ground, and it quickly became apparent that there were at least six working together. They were very professional.
The French Police were very helpful and helped us sort the mess out, and it was obvious that they also deployed teams of plain-clothes officers on the RER / metro. Yes, I know, things like this happen all the time, all over the world.....
Pay for a cab, and enjoy your break.
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Old Oct 13, 08, 1:46 am
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Originally Posted by hydargos View Post
are The RER and the Metro safe around midnight?
I would say they're safer if you know where you're going, are awake and alert, and aren't traveling with luggage.

There are a lot of young people--some of whom may be quite boisterous, drunk, or high--from the suburbs who come into Paris on the later trains, and it can feel uncomfortable at times. The transfer at Chatelet involves a long walk and you may run into some questionable characters there too, especially if you need to stop to figure out where to go.

Depending on your daughter's age and how much luggage you'll have, you may be better off taking a taxi (about 50 euros?).
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Old Oct 13, 08, 3:24 am
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If there are three of you, taking a cab won't be much more expensive, and will be a lot less hassle.
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Old Oct 13, 08, 3:45 am
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I'd recommend the taxi as well. Less confusion, less stress. Avoid the taxi drivers who approach you as you exit the terminal and go to the taxi queue. Have a nice time in Paris.
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Old Oct 13, 08, 3:52 am
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Originally Posted by MatthewClement View Post
If there are three of you, taking a cab won't be much more expensive, and will be a lot less hassle.
Yes, it is not really a security issue. For three persons, it is a no-brainer from a convenience/price performance point of view.
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Old Oct 13, 08, 4:14 am
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Originally Posted by JOUY31 View Post
Yes, it is not really a security issue. For three persons, it is a no-brainer from a convenience/price performance point of view.
[PET PEEVE]
Although you will certainly all be forced to squash along the back seat, leaving the front seat of the taxi vacant. The front seat is the driver's "office" and is sacrosanct.

Drives me nuts in Paris!
[/PET PEEVE]
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Old Oct 15, 08, 12:06 pm
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Originally Posted by iff View Post
I would say they're safer if you know where you're going, are awake and alert, and aren't traveling with luggage.
I have taken the RER around midnight. You are safe if you are an alert male without luggage. Otherwise, not a good idea.
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