Paris is the capital of France.
- 1 Hitching Out
- 1.1 A1 Northeast towards Lille, Belgium
- 1.2 Porte de la Chapelle
- 1.3 A4 East, towards Metz, Strasbourg, Luxembourg, Germany
- 1.4 A6 South, to Lyon, Marseille, Barcelona, Italy
- 1.5 A10 South to Orleans, Bordeaux, Spain
- 1.6 A11 South-west to Le Mans, Nantes, Rennes and all parts of Brittany
- 2 Public Transport - Inside Paris
Like nearly every big city, it's difficult to hitchhike out of it. Paris is even more difficult, since the city, situated within the ring highway (periférique) is relatively small, but surrounded by endless suburbs.
Aire La Courneuve
This is most probably the best way to get to Belgium by hitching at the gas station Aire de Service de La Courneuve. BUT: if you take a closer look at the gas station on google maps, you will see that there is a wall surrounding this gas station, but do not think that you cannot get on it from outside the highway, because it is:
Go either to "La Courneuve Aubervilliers" (RER B) or "La Courneuve, 8 Mai 1945" (metro line 7) and make your way to rue Paul Verlaine. The RER station is about 2km walk away and the metro station around 3-4km. There is a door which allows outside access but it's sometimes locked (noted 01-06-08). Walk away from the door and scale the concrete wall at the point it becomes a fence. Walk forward and you'll see where you have to go. (Approximate location of the door)
If the door is closed you just have to climb a wall that is approximately 1,90 m tall and go through a broken fence here, et voila, you are at the gasstation.
Bear in mind that 20 minutes down the motorway is a big peage where everyone has to stop. It's a ideal place to pick up longer rides and depending on the weather and your preferences you might choose this over hitching at the numerous little gas stations up the motorway.
Take RER B to Stade de France and after walking a while you'll find a final traffic light where you can ask for a ride to the first gas station on the motorway, Aire La Courneuve, which is about 5 km away.
Possibly better: take line 13 to Carrefour Pleyel, walk along Boulevard Anatole France Google Maps. After a while you will see the highway starting. It's not a great spot, but if anyone stops, they can at least drop you off at the gas station (just ask nicely if they are not getting off the highway at exit 4).
Charles de Gaulle
- There might be a good spot at Charles de Gaulle airport, though I don't know where exactly. Once I waited 5 minutes, another time 4 hours.
Porte de la Chapelle
That's where the A1 starts and the local drivers say that they often see hitchhikers, so apparently it does work:) It worked for us as well, though I think Charles de Gaulle might be a better(faster;) ) option. Anyway, to get there take the metro no12 to Porte de la Chapelle, and there walk to the roundabout. You can try getting a ride on the roundabout(there are traffic lights there so the cars have to stop) or you can stand on the oposite side, facing the roundabout, where the highway starts.
I waited 2 hours here getting nothing until somebody finally took me to Aire La Courneuve (see above) where I was only 5 minutes.
A4 East, towards Metz, Strasbourg, Luxembourg, Germany
The first gas station is close to RER A station Bussy St. Georges. From there you walk south for about 1 km (you can ask at the counter) along a bigger road, which will lead you to a roundabout. You can try from there, but the gas station is just a bit more than 2 km from there. You can walk on the grass field next to the highway. The gas station is called "La Ferrière". An alternate route to reach the gas station is to walk through the industrial zone of Bussy, right south of the railway, then reach the bridge over the highway and then follow on the grass until the gas station that is quite near. This avoids walking in the grass (annoying especially in winter and when raining) and instead most of the walk will be on a road, and you will save some time. You can follow this route on Google Maps - the gas station can be seen right of the bridge on the south side of the map.
The péage is not far from there, though it might be further than the closest highway exit.
Second Opinion, go direct to the 'Peage'
Take RER A4 to the last stop (Marne-La-Vallee - Cheesy). The Peage (toll) is here. Its around an hour and a half walking or there's buses going most of the way, they leave from the station next to the RER. Also its not too hard to pick up rides to reduce walking distance. From the peage its easy to get rides to Metz or even straight to Germany.
Take the RER Line A (Red) in direction Boissy St Legere until the station Nogent Sur Marne (~ 2€). There, leave the station in direction Rue "Joinville" and follow the sign to the A4. Its about 30 minutes by foot. If someone stops ask if they can take you at least to the next gas station, there is no toll (péage) to get there so it's likely you will get at least to there.
Porte d'Orleans, at the périferique seems okay, Metro Porte d'Orleans. There's a gas station, and a good spot at the traffic junction to the "périferique extérieur". Don't go with cars going into the suburbs. The next tollway or gas station takes about 50 km!
This road follows the route of the A6(see above) from Paris, then splits from it near Antony/Rungis. There's no gas station between Porte d'Orleans and the A6xA10 junction. So an easy option is to stand at Porte d'Orleans (the same than for the A6) with a sign specifying that you go to Orléans. There is a péage in Saint Arnoult, before the split between A10 and A11, so you can accept a ride going to Orléans or Chartres, for example. Just care that the people will leave you at a mininun at the "péage de Saint Arnoult". Pietshah did that ride tons of times.
Getting to this highway is not easy and will involve a train ride and some walking. The first gas station is situated near a village called Briis-sous-Forges. To get there you need to take either RER B to Massy-Palaiseau or RER C to Dourdan (around 7€) and from there to take the bus 91.03 to Briis-sous-Forges. It runs about 3 times an hour on weekdays, once an hour on Saturdays and does not on Sundays. The gas station is situated a couple of kms north of the village, to reach it you need to find Route d'Invilliers, a small local road parallel to the highway. Once there, when asking your ride make sure your driver takes the right road, as the A11 splits from it near. Another solution is to start hitching at Dourdan, take rue d'Etampes, and start at the roundabout. In Les-granges-du-roi take the D838 that will lead you to an entrance on the A10. Note, that it's a bit far for walking - around 10 km and the traffic is weak. Hitch there before the Péage with a sign "Orleans".
Another, a bit more expensive but possibly faster, is to take a train directly to Orleans from Paris-Austerlitz station. The ticket will cost you about 18 €. North of the center passes an expressway which joins the A10 and has a Péage just before the junction. You'll need a sign saying "Tours" (if you go direction Tours, Bordeaux or "Vierzon/Toulouse" if you need to take the A20 towards Toulouse).
This highway splits from the A10 near Dourdan. There are several possibilities go get on this road:
- The gas station at Briis-sous-Forges. Look at A10 section
- Take a train to Rambouillet from Paris-Montparnasse (about 7€) and start hitching on the N10 south, until the A11 entrance
- Take the train from Paris-Montparnasse to Chartres (12€) and start hitching from there.
You can also go to Portes d'Orleans (almost the same than for A6 and A10) and have a sign "Chartres" or "Rennes". If you get a ride to Péage de Saint Arnoult (from someone going to Orleans - A10 - for example) it's good, since it's before the split.
Public Transport - Inside Paris
Public transport in Paris consists of metro, RER (fast trains serving the suburbs with relatively few inner city stops), buses and a few trams. If you're paying for tickets and you'll make a few journeys then the cheapest option is to buy a carnet of 10 single tickets (around 11 euros). You can travel to the end of RER lines for around 15 euros. If you stay several days and will use transports often you can also buy a pass "Mobilis" for one or several days (5,6 € for one day inside Paris), valid on metro, RER and ground transportation, or if you stay for a week or more - the "Carte Orange" for 16.3 € a week (you'll also need a photo for it).
Ticket checks never occur on metro trains and inspectors always seem to employ 1 of 2 approaches: They form a line inside a metro tunnel or station exit and check all travellers, since the staff are uniformed these checks are easy to see from a distance unless they decide to hide around a corner. The second technique involves plainsclothes inspectors watching the gates and busting those jumping over, they'll either stop the fareless directly or radio ahead to uniformed inspectors who will ask to see a valid ticket.
Checks never occur during rush hour, peak times for controls are evenings, weekends and the beginning of a new month. Except for the major stations its pretty easy to jump the barriers or pass through with other members of the public, only the major stations will require a validated ticket to exit. During the day you stand a very high chance of travelling for free, at night or weekends you face a moderate or low chance of meeting a control. Dont worry about the station staff serving tickets, they have nothing to do with the controls and people often jump the barriers in front of them.
Uniformed inspectors will ask for validated tickets on the train and you maybe subject to the checks mentioned above as well (the RER shares the metro infrastructure). It's possible to travel free but you stand a higher chance of being busted than on the metro. It seems that checks can occur at any time so the best time to travel free is rush hour when controls are impossible. The highest risk of being checked seems to be the on transfer stations from RER to metro
Like most cities you can walk on a bus without showing or validating a ticket. Checks are rare and occur mainly at night.
Fines and Punishments
French transport police won't make any exceptions for foreigners. Although it could be possible to talk them out of fining a dumb tourist they are mainly hostile. Most commonly they will ask for a 40 euro fine which can be paid in cash or by credit card. Alternatively you can plead poverty and if you show a valid ID they will post a fine to the address and name on the ID.
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 what you would pay by RER), but there are not that many checks. �������������������������� ���������������������