Paris is the capital of France. It is situated within a ring road called le périphérique, or le périph. The actual city is actually small but is surrounded by endless suburbs, some of them being linked to the urban public transportation system at no extra cost, and some other being labelled as outside zones and thus more expensive to reach.
Note that there is an "outer ring road" to the Paris suburb area, motorway A86 (or super-périphérique) and another wider ring called "la Francillienne" which isn't completed but still used to connect . If your ride is not going to Paris itself, you might want to clarify which ring they are going to take as it may affect the place where you'd want to be dropped.
During rush hours, it is possible (but illegal) to be quickly dropped on the ring road. This is useful if your ride is not willing to get out of it to drop you (which is often the case). Within the ring area, you are definitely linked to the whole regular fare subway system.
If you are coming from the Northeast and your ride is heading South (which is a normal truck route), chances are that your driver will not drop you on the ring road where it is complicated to stop. A frequent place to get dropped is the first exit South on the A6 called "Rungis". From there, you can reach the Metropolitan subway system with one ticket, then use one to your final destination. You can also reach other suburbs in the 94 department (Val de Marne) taking the TvM bus, which is also a normal Paris ticket.
- 1 Hitching in
- 2 Hitching out
- 2.1 North/Northeast towards England, Lille and Belgium A 1
- 2.2 East towards Metz, Strasbourg, Luxembourg, Germany A 4
- 2.3 Getting South or Southwest A 6, A 10, or A 11
- 2.4 South towards Lyon, Marseille, Barcelona, Italy A 6
- 2.5 South-West to Orleans, Bordeaux, Spain A 10 & West to Le Mans, Nantes, Rennes and all parts of Brittany A 11
- 2.6 West towards Rouen, Le Havre, Caen A 13
- 3 Public transport, sleeping, and more
There are plenty of excellent spots for hitchhiking North (Aire La Courneuve), East (petrol stations and barrières de péage) and also South (Aire de Lisses). It's all about how much you are willing to pay in public transportation, and how daring you are.
These are classified by cost in public transportation from Paris' centre. There is a bonus pro-tip at the bottom involving Arras :)
Option 1: Porte de la Chapelle
This option costs one local ticket. Porte de la Chapelle is where the A1 starts. Local drivers say they often see hitchhikers there. To get there, take the metro line 12 to Porte de la Chapelle, then walk to the roundabout. You can try getting a ride on the roundabout (there are traffic lights, which means that cars have to stop) or you can stand on the opposite side facing the roundabout where the motorway starts. Another good option is to start hitchhiking in the same street where the metro is. There are 2 petrol stations in that very street, just 50m deeper into the city. They aren't overcrowded and, at the same time, quite a few cars going up north stop here to refill; nonetheless, at such places, much depends on your luck, and according to some hitchhikers, this place won't make it to the top 10 best hitchhiking places in France. It is therefore recommended to hitchhike at the roundabout, where a quiet lane right by the traffic lights gives you a good opportunity to get onto the motorway (avoiding at the same time all the traffic that heads for Boulevard Peripherique).
A good option to leave faster is to show at the roundabout a sign for the airport "Charles de Gaulle". There is a petrol station (Aire La Courneuve - see Option 2) before the airport where the driver could let you out; don't miss it! The station is not so big and many drivers just go to the airport but at least you can ask people, whereas it could be hard and long at Porte de la Chapelle.
Option 2: Motorway services Aire La Courneuve
This option costs one local ticket or zones 1–3 ticket (eur 2.45). The petrol station Aire de Service de La Courneuve is about 2 km along the A1, north of Paris.
Take bus 150 from Porte de la Villette or bus 250 from 'Fort d'Aubervilliers (both are on metro line 7) to the stop Parc des Sports. This bus stop is next to the A1 highway. Just walk to the right from the bus stop, without ever passing under the overpass. Then walk east parallel to the motorway through the parking lot of an apartment complex. There is a wall preventing access to the motorway, but if you continue walking a few hundred meters east and up a slight grassy hill, the wall ends. You can then follow a steep, thorny path full of nettles down towards the motorway and back west towards the petrol station. There is a fence right along the motorway, but near the petrol station it has been trampled down and you can step over it.
Attention: in the winter / early spring or after the rain walking down the hill to the motorway might be difficult because of mud. In February it took 2 hitchhikers almost 40 minutes to walk down and reach the fence, after numerous attempts to keep the balance and not to fall down. It might be a good idea in this case to hitch from the entrance of the highway, right at the cross before you turn to the parking lot of the apartment complex.
From the petrol station, most drivers are only going to the airport or local communities. You should ask for a lift at least to the toll station (péage) heading north. This is a 20-minute drive down the motorway (some kilometers after the airport) and everyone has to stop here. It is a great place to get long-distance rides.
Option 3: Charles de Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle airport can be an option for hitching North-East, although waiting times might vary a lot.
It is easy to jump the metro at terminal 2 and there wasn't anyone guarding it. Maybe the same is true for terminals 1 and 3 but I can't vouch for it.
From terminal 2 walk out of terminal and head straight to the main road. You should see signs for A1 Paris Lille. Keep following these signs until the road splits for A1 Lille. One road goes to the left, under a bridge and there are some traffic lights. The other goes to the right. Stand to the right of the right turn. Cars can stop on a dashed out area to your left or drive a little past you on the right. A couple of cars stopped straightaway and I was easily able to get a lift to the next service station which had lots of people driving north to Lille, Belgium and Holland. That service station was very busy and it was easy to get a lift as well as a good meal from peoples' leftovers in the restaurant including half a bottle of wine!
Option 4: Motorway services Aire de Vémars Est
- From 'Nation' bus station (also a metro stop), take bus 351* to 'Roissypole' located at Charles de Gaulle Airport (Terminal 3). It's the last stop and payment isn't required to enter the bus.You can BLACK RIDE on this bus both ways
- From the coach station there (Gare routière), you can catch the 95.01 bus to Vémars, though this bus does not run on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. Ask inside at the ticket office/information desk for which parking number the bus will be at (D2 in Oct 2013). The ticket costs €2. [BEWARE 95.01 does not work on public holidays and Sundays, so if that is the case, then get off at QUEBEC because the A1 highway (going to Lille) cuts through Paris multiple times and at this petrol station there is a higher chance of finding Dutch cars stopping and giving you a ride to another petrol station on the main highway, which is super busy and easy to find rides going to anywhere from Calais to Antwerp to Lille]
- From the Vémars bus stop walk straight 400m on 'Rue Pierre Curie' (D17) until it merges with 'Rue de la Mairie.' Walk an additional 350m until this merges with 'Rue des Vignolles' (D16).
- On your left, the A1 will be clearly visible as will the 'Aire de Vémars Ouest' petrol station. From here, it is another 1.25km to any given entrance.
Another useful recommendation is this website, where you can virtually create any route you want to take out of the city. Coupled with Google Maps, it's an excellent tool: http://www.ratp.fr/itineraires/en/ratp/recherche-avancee
For 351 Bus Route refer to link below http://www.ratp.fr/informer/pdf/orienter/f_plan.php?loc=bus_banlieue/300&nompdf=351&fm=pdf
- Note: The 351 bus service does not run on weekends, but the above link can help find an alternate route.
Option 5: Senlis Péage
This option costs €9 (25% discount for under 26s) + a local ticket to Gare du Nord. The peage is 50km north of Paris, near the town of Senlis.
Senlis has no train station, but you still buy the ticket from a train station. From Paris Nord, go to Chantilly and switch to a bus to Senlis at the "gare routière" right outside of Chantilly's train station with your ticket. Once there, you need to walk a little and you'll find a "péage". The bus driver gave me the directions. This should take around one hour.
Bonus Tip: Arras Service Station
Heading north on the A1, there is a fantastic Esso service station just outside Arras , with people heading pretty much everywhere. You can get rides to the UK (Chunnel), Lille, Belgium, Netherlands. Many difference license plates (GB, F, B, NL, D, E) and lots of opportunities.
East towards Metz, Strasbourg, Luxembourg, Germany
Option 1: Motorway service station Aire de Ferrières
Quite long trip and a bit expensive. Takes you to a great petrol station (good for both day and night hitching); better if you speak French.
Take RER A to station Bussy St.Georges. You can also get to this RER A station by taking bus 4 or 44 from metro station Gutenberg. Make your way west to the D35 and then walk south along it for about 1km to a roundabout. You can try hitchhiking from here, but the service station is just a bit more than 2 km from here. You can walk on the grass field next to the motorway - don't choose this way in the morning or in autumn/winter as the grass is wet. The petrol station is called Aire de Ferrières and it's a "TOTAL" company. Another option to reach this petrol station is to walk through the industrial zone of the Bussy district, which lies south of the railway, crossing the bridge over the motorway and then continuing on by walking on the grass until the actual petrol station (note that as of February 2011, there was a nice-sized fence to hop after crossing the bridge. Nothing too difficult, but a big backpack makes it harder!). Most of the walk will be on the road which means you will save some time while at the same time such a walk won't be so annoying if you happen to hitchhike in winter (then you apparently don't want to go through the fields).
Here's a map.
Motorway junction slip-road
This one is close to Paris, faster and cheaper to get to, but still in the megapolis. Starting from there, you're likely to end up either at the petrol station described above or at the péage. Not good at night.
Take the RER Line A (Red) in the direction of Boissy St Legere until the station Nogent Sur Marne (€2.75 (2016)). Leave the station in direction of Rue Joinville and follow the sign to the A4. It is a 30 minute walk. There is a red light before the slip road (on-ramp). Lots of traffic, possibility to stop on the ramp for brave drivers.
Ask if your driver can take you at least to the next petrol station which is within the free motorway network. Toll gate is a bit further.
From within the city limits: Quai de Bercy
Cheap, as you will only need a metro ticket and pretty fast too.
You can also try to hitch directly from within Paris rather than taking the train for at least half an hour and then walking.
Take the metro line 14 to Bercy and exit towards Boulevard de Bercy, take the Boulevard down to the bridge where it intersects with Quai de Bercy. Standing on Quai de Bercy it is advisable to have a sign indicating you want to get onto the A4. When cars stop, ask if they are going all the way to the toll station (péage), many drivers turn off the A4 before that but there are not really any convenient places to continue hitch-hiking from before the toll station.
Getting South or Southwest , , or
These spots are close enough to the city to be getting traffic in all southern directions.
Option 1: Porte d'Orléans
Once the most famous hitchhiking spot in France, this spot isn't bad nowadays, but it isn't great either. The good thing is that drivers aren't surprised to see people there, and that you don't need to get out of Paris in faraway suburbs.
Porte d'Orléans is the terminal subway station of line 4. There is an entry on the périphérique ring road where lots of people are later heading South. The best place is besides the "Novotel" building or (better) opposite it at the traffic lights. Be warned, traffic here is heavy and fast moving. If you have much baggage or more than one person I would not fancy your chances here. Waiting at the petrol station or even the adjacent war memorial will not give you the best traffic. Edit : I think that the place in front of the hotel is pretty bad. Very hard for the cars to stop there. It's better to stand before, at the red lights. I stood near the gas station at the lights, you miss all the cars not coming from inside Paris, but it's way easier for the cars to see you and to stop.
Make sure to specify with a sign specifying that you go to Orléans or [Chartres] (if you are heading Southwest - A10 or A11), and that the driver will leave you at least at the "péage de Saint Arnoult" or before that at "Limours-Janvry" service station. Beware, just after the "péage", the motorway separates between A10 and A11. If you are heading directly South, have a sign and make sure to be left at Aire de Lisses, roughly 35 km further, a little bit after Evry (drivers to Evry are not enough for you).
Whenever a diplomat travels between Paris and the Orly airport, he'll go through here. Which means that there will be police presence. The police don't care about you, but it is very unlikely anyone will stop while they are around. That happens often enough. They stick around for one hour.
Option 2: Porte d'Italie
Similarly Porte d'Italie which is not far from Porte d'Orleans is a good place to hitch from. Additionally if you walk down the exit to the traffic lights, there is an overhead bypass which can keep you dry in the rain.
Option 1: Motorway services Aire de Lisses
This option costs EUR 5.85 (but possible to have ride without ticket also), a zone 1–5 ticket and takes roughly 75 minutes. Aire de Lisses is the first service area on the A6, situated about 35 km South of Paris. It can save you time because you avoid all outbound traffic not really heading your direction, being located after all the motorway branch-offs.
Get the RER D towards Melun via Corbeil. Be careful to get on the right train as there are 2 routes for RER D towards Melun. As of 2010-02, the ID of the train you need was "ZIPE" or "ZOPO" (All trains on RER lines have a 4 letter ID depending on stations served). If it's too confusing (it's very confusing), get whatever train that goes to "Corbeil Essonne" and, from there, whatever train that goes to Melun. Get off at the station Villabé, the second after Corbeil-Essonnes. The station is not marked on Google Maps but don't worry, it's there: the way from Villabé RER station to Aire de Lisses
[Note, Feb 2015: There is no barrier at Villabé and so you can pay the standard central Paris tarif to get into the metro network and then just ride out there.]
A problem with a petrol station is that leaving trucks can block the leaving cars, so cars won't have chance to stop at all. Artti stood there three hours without a sign until he walked to the ramp next to the petrol station. There is more traffic and therefore more chance to get ride. Also cars have lots of space to stop.
Option 2: Motorway services Aire de Nemours
You can take a train to Nemours Saint Pierre (transilien R from Gare de Lyon, a ticket costs about 10 euros) and walk 45min to the service area ( http://goo.gl/VUYmh0 ). Then you're already on a paying section (no local traffic), far out from Paris (80km), and can get a ride to Châlon, Mâcon or Lyon in a few minutes.
The A10 and A11 motorways follow the route of the A6 (see above) from Paris, and split from it near Antony/Rungis. Then, before the A10 and the A11 split up, there is the service station of Limours-Janvry near Briis-sous-Forges and a péage near St-Arnoult, 40 km Southwest of Paris. Whichever spot you choose, ask the driver to take you at least until the Limours-Janvry service station or the péage of St-Arnoult. From these places, you can find a driver who takes you on the A10 or the A11 depending on which way you want to go.
Option 1: Pont de Sevres
This option costs the price of an underground ticket. It takes you to the beginning of the N118 road which connects to the A10-A11 in about 25 km.
Take the subway 9 to Pont de Sevres, its end station. You start walking towards the bridge, where you can see the signs towards Nantes, Bordeaux, etc. The hitchhiking spot is just before the bridge, at the red lights. You can try with the cars coming from the direction of the metro station, and also with the cars which came along the river and are turning left to get to the bridge.
Option 2: Motorway junction Massy Palaiseau
This option costs EUR 4.90, a ticket for zones 1-4. This option is useful to get out of the ring roads and get directly on the A10 after all the branch-offs.
Take RER B to Massey-Palaiseau. Walk down Avenue Carnot along the Massy-Palaiseau railway towards the autoroute. After a while there you will see a long stretch of a road with lots of space for cars. Keep going and you will reach a roundabout. If you keep following this road, you will reach the motorway entrance underneath a bridge. Make sure to get a ride to the first barrière de péage (30+ km) at St-Arnoult or to the Limours-Janvry service station 5 km down the road.
Option 3: Motorway service station Limours-Janvry
The first service station on the motorway is called Limours-Janvry and it is situated 2kms northeast of the village Briis-sous-Forges. To get there you need to take RER B to Massy-Palaiseau. From there take bus 91.03 to Briis-sous-Forges. It runs about 3 times an hour on weekdays, once an hour on Saturdays, and there are no buses on Sundays. Then walk northeast along the small local road Route d'Invilliers. (It's not easy to find the road to the petrol station. no one in this village knows what street he is living in let alone that route you're looking for. They don't even know that there's a petrol station in the area. write the instructions and study the map!! I was lost in this village for couple of hours). Briis-sous-Forges to the petrol station map
this one (good enough one, according to some hitchhikers). Really good according to others. Took two guys ten minutes to get a ride and a third guy about the same amount of time to a different place. Lots of trucks and cars passing by!
Option 4: Péage de Saint-Arnoult
You can take the RER C train to Dourdan. There are no controls on the exit, so if you are on the cheap, you need to pay only the basic metro ticket (some EUR 1.33) to get into the underground network in Paris. Once in Dourdan, cross the railroad track and turn left and then go straight on the D836 until you reach the péage after 4-5 kilometers. You should be able to hitch a car as there are many passing by and the French take easily on small routes if they see you walking. Get off just after the road crosses the autoroute, go left and in a short while, you will reach the péage. Look at the map beforehand! You have much higher chances here then anywhere else, there are lots of cars going through.
Option 5: Chartres: a spot to go directly on the A11, after it has split from the A10
Take the train from Paris-Montparnasse to Chartres (EUR 12) and start hitching from there. You might want to go to the service station Chartres-Gasville on the A11 east of Chartres (bus plus one hour walk!). From the train station, take one of many buses that stop at the Morard station. Here starts bus 12, take it and get off at N.Conté - some minutes before you arrive there, memorize the route: the bus crosses the motorway, and comes to a big roundabout where it turns right and continues to a second small roundabout to turn right again to arrive at N.Conté. Now comes 1 hour of walk: go back to the big roundabout and turn right (east) to follow the N10 until you come to a small city. There you encounter the next roundabout, where you turn left. Follow the street, it bends to the right and ends on the Rue du Bois Paris where you turn left (north). After 500 meters comes the motorway, continue until you have crossed it. The service station is 400 meters east, so try to pass through the trees on your right and follow the street to the service station.
West towards Rouen, Le Havre, Caen
- Quai André Citroën, under the ring road overpass. A lot of traffic on Fridays and Saturdays as many inhabitants of the 15th and 7th arrondissements go to Normandy for the weekend. As a result, this spot is very effective on these days (20 to 30 min on average) but much worse at other times (expect to wait one and half hours).
- Porte d'Auteuil, at the last traffic light to the entrance of the A13, or even right under the "no pedestrians" sign on the shoulder to the motorway just after the light, where cars haven't picked up much speed yet and can see you well. Ask drivers to take you (at least) to Morainvilliers petrol station in Poissy.
In the suburbs
- Mantes-La-Jolie toll: take Transilien J suburban train from Saint-Lazare station. The fare is €8 but you may not be controlled. Get off in Mantes-La-Jolie (not Mantes Station). There's a 30 minute walk to the toll gate: check the map.
- Poissy rest area (a.k.a. aire de Morainvilliers): take Transilien J or RER A from Paris and get off at Poissy. Take bus 20 to bus stop "Auberge". There's one bus every hour on weekdays, fewer than that on Saturdays and it doesn't run on Sundays. See the timetable here.
Public transport, sleeping, and more
See all the information on Nomadwiki!
Going to Charles de Gaulle/Roissy airport
Bus line 350 goes to Gare de l'Est, and line 351 - to Place de la Nation. You're supposed to validate 3 tickets (which is a lot cheaper than travelling by RER); checks are said to occur rarely.trash:Parisnomad:Paris