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Gare de Nord to Gare de Lyon

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi All, need some help from your collective wisdom.

Just found out that the direct Eurostar to Bourg St Maurice finishes on March 30th next year, which is 1 week too early for our proposed trip.

How easy would it be for 6 adults and 6 kids (ages 10-16), to get from Gare de Nord to Gare De Lyon with luggage?

The alternative is flights but that's either a long transfer GVA to Tignes or having to get to Stansted for a flight to Chambery, not great from West London.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@London_Falcon, without luggage it is super easy.

If there are lifts, should be no probs with luggage. You ought to be able to establish that on the ratp.fr site.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I think that someone has commented on the easy or otherwise on here before. I think they said it was a bit awkward with luggage and kods to corral but not impossible.

Also take a look here.

https://www.snowcarbon.co.uk/
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ster wrote:
I think that someone has commented on the easy or otherwise on here before. I think they said it was a bit awkward with luggage and kods to corral but not impossible.

Also take a look here.

https://www.snowcarbon.co.uk/


Thanks for that link, really helpful
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
If you have 6 adults and 6 children and luggage, and don't want to mess about, I would use a pre-booked taxi as recommended on snow-carbon linked above by ster. We used them (City Airport Transfers) last year in one direction as an experiment (previously just got the RER or a taxi from the rank) and it was definitely the lowest stress method.

https://www.snowcarbon.co.uk/insider-tips/change-in-paris/paris-nord-paris-lyon

If you don't have luggage and children (i.e. either one on its own is fine, it's the combination that gets tricky) then the RER metro is simple and cheap.

If you don't have a pre-booked taxi, note that they often have someone organising the taxi rank queue and they'll give priority to people with children (or they did at least when we last did it late at night) which saved us part of the long queue, though we didn't realise this till after we'd already spent some time queuing.
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My favourite way these days though is to break the journey overnight in Paris, make that stop part of the holiday, and not have to stress about train connections. There is an inexpensive but nice Novotel at Gare de Lyon with a pool for the kids to splash around in. This means you can get to the resort around lunchtime on the way out, have a more leisurely time sorting out ski hire etc, and often benefit from a better choice of Eurostar trains on the Friday evening. We just pick the children up from school on the Friday and head straight to St Pancras, gets us to Paris in time for dinner. I'd still be tempted to use the pre-booked taxi with a group your size though.
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Friday night out, that's an interesting option and break the journey up a bit. I'll take a look. Keep the ideas coming.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Simple overall journey from West London. Tube to St Pancras!

Simple transfer across Paris. Get two Carnets of Metro tickets at St Pancras after security.

Once in Gare du Nord, follow signs for RER Line D. Catch train and get off two stops later.

I've been doing with kids the age of yours for years.
Why not get them to research the transfer on the Interweb in advance so they know where they are going and can guide you?

Allow 50 mins although it shouldn't take more than 20 mins.
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Either taxi or RER are fairly straightforward.

Taxi:
- taxi queue at Gare du Nord can get quite long, particularly just after a Eurostar arrival.
- from experience it may be best to split yourselves up into 2 or 3 groups, each with manageable luggage. If you present as a group of 12, then luggage may be split from its owners over different vehicles - which isn't a problem leaving Gare du Nord, but may be when arriving at Gare de Lyon; we ended up with 4 people and 8 persons luggage in one place (so unable to move), with the remaining people and luggage elsewhere!
- at busy times could be a 30+ minute journey (not including queueing).
- Gare de Lyon is large, with 2 departure halls. We were dropped off perhaps 750m from our platform. Allow enough time.

RER. Line D. Direct. I think just 2 stops. c. 10 minute journey (not including getting to/from platforms).

If each person has just a suitcase / bag / rucksack, that they can manage themselves, then I would probably use the RER. With skis/boards, taxi may be easier.
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Quote:

Why not get them to research the transfer on the Interweb in advance so they know where they are going and can guide you?

Good idea. And at their ages, they can all carry some luggage, too. Easy peasy.
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Any 16 year old with their wits about them should be able to navigate from one Paris station to the other. And learn not to pack more gear than they can comfortably carry! Twisted Evil
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.

http://youtube.com/v/RSAHTKVBVwg

from:

https://www.seat61.com/Paris-metro.htm
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I did it once, on my own with a suitcase and a ski bag (with 2 pairs of skis in). With all that kit in tow it was a bit of a mission (me-small and female). I had 40 mins to make the connection-which was not really long enough. I got down to the metro platform at the GdN reasonably quickly, having made a point to plan that bit before I arrived. The metro concourse was far bigger than the London underground so my impression is that there is further to walk. The trains are not as frequent as the London Underground.

Definitely buy tickets beforehand if you can. I missed one train to the GdL by seconds. At the other end, the GdL was a complete warren and I couldn't find the right platform. I scuttled around the station, complete with luggage (ski bag not easy to get through the barriers-got stuck!) and finally in desperation staggered up a staircase and saw the right train was about to leave. Flung myself and bags on just in time. Phew! Cool

That was about 10 years ago, so maybe the signs are better. The Youtube video would have been really helpful!

Coming back, I had the luxury of much more time to make the connection, which you also need for the passport control etc for the return trip.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
The metro should be fine if you go for that option, but leave plenty of time as the signs can be confusing.
However, if you're wheeling a big suitcase and a ski bag, be warned that the ticket barriers don't quite stay open for long enough to push a case ahead of you and drag the ski bag behind. If you try this technique the gates may close on your bag, jamming it. If you're really lucky, you'll rip your watch off trying to free your bag, and helpful Parisians will climb over you rather than waiting for you to extricate yourself. Don't ask how I know this Shocked Laughing

On balance, @kieranm's suggestion sounds good to me!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Great if you can buy tickets at ST Pancras. My one experience was virtually no ticket machines working at Gare de Nord and no ticket booths open either so had to wander around with luggage/ski bag to find a ticket machine. and another friend says make sure you are buttoned up as pickpockets are well known on metro and RER in Paris (and probably London for all I know these days).
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 Poster: A snowHead
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Hahaha! @mgrolf, It didn't just happen to me then! I echo your comments re the helpfulness of your average Parisien to a red faced, sweating and cursing "Rosbif" trying to extricate herself and ski bag from the ticket barrier...I think they probably find it highly entertaining...
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Laughing In defence of Parisians - when last I crossed Paris with ski gear etc (which was a fair few years ago) I gathered myself and stuff ready to get off the train and was just exiting when a man who had been sitting near me shouted "Madame..... votre sac...." and jumped up and handed me the small bag which contained passport, money, the lot - and which I'd left behind.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Allow plenty of time for the taxi --- Paris traffic can be challenging. RER Ligne D faster and cheaper
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I love this website, thanks all
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I hope this might be academic. Eurostar might not have put all the ski trains up for next year yet. They always run them through Easter, as they are among their busier days. I've been every year for last 12 on this route, I hope you are wrong as have trip booked for 6th April.

Having said that I have used RER before to cross Paris with ski stuff and kids and it is quite easy.
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beeryletcher wrote:
I hope this might be academic. Eurostar might not have put all the ski trains up for next year yet. They always run them through Easter, as they are among their busier days. I've been every year for last 12 on this route, I hope you are wrong as have trip booked for 6th April.

Having said that I have used RER before to cross Paris with ski stuff and kids and it is quite easy.


I've also used this route a lot over the last 12 years (but not in the last couple). I pre-registered with Eurostar for a group booking and got the call from them yesterday.

Looks like the trains are now available to book on eurostar.com and last one departs on March 30th.

Wish you were right but not looking promising!
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Doh !
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
London_Falcon wrote:

Looks like the trains are now available to book on eurostar.com and last one departs on March 30th.

Wish you were right but not looking promising!


That Snowcarbon guy says he has the timetable and the last one ex-London is on 30th March as officially announced yesterday and sales begin today at 8am.

Good luck!
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Agree with FionaTwice and pam w: treat the metro journey as an adventure and get your kids to lead. Give yourself plenty of time, at least 2 hours, so no stress, and also time to enjoy coffee and people-watching at Costa Coffee at Gare Lyon.
And be warned: Gare Lyon has 2 sections to the upper station with platforms (Hall 1 and Hall 2) - make sure you are in the right bit.
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Is it as bad as getting from Kings Cross to Victoria? I've done this a couple of times just with ski gear, the 2nd was because I forgot how bad it was the first time, there will never be a 3rd time!
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tangowaggon wrote:
Is it as bad as getting from Kings Cross to Victoria? I've done this a couple of times just with ski gear, the 2nd was because I forgot how bad it was the first time, there will never be a 3rd time!


Really you find it that bad? How so?
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The key to this is that a lot of people seem to suggest the Metro. You should be taking the RER instead, which although similar, is a different service to the Metro, which departs from a different section of the Gare du Nord. You can buy the tickets on board Eurostar which saves you having to figure out the ticket machines in Paris.

Find the RER platforms and take a SOUTHBOUND line D (green line) train and the Gare de Lyon is 2 stops away. Then follow signs for "Grandes Lignes".

Possible to do it in under 30 mins but this is very ambitious, especially if you haven't done it before and don't have the confidence. so allow for at least an hour.

Assuming all members of the party are at least capable of pulling their own suitcase then it's absolutely do-able. However for simplicity a taxi may be preferable. They depart from right outside the Eurostar platforms and for a large party you may find the cost isn't too much more than the RER ticket.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Sowler wrote:
tangowaggon wrote:
Is it as bad as getting from Kings Cross to Victoria? I've done this a couple of times just with ski gear, the 2nd was because I forgot how bad it was the first time, there will never be a 3rd time!


Really you find it that bad? How so?
Straight through on the Victoria Line, should be a doddle in theory. But it is a bit of walk from the overground to the tube and any underground train with ski gear (especially if you're tall, like tangowaggon) is going to be a challenge, and horrible in the rush hour of course.
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froomie, you are of course quite correct: just 2 stations down the line in the RER.
But many Brits use "metro" as a group term for "underground" lines in Paris.
Its a bit like the metropolitan and district/circle cut-and-cover lines in London, as opposed to the the deep tunnel "tube" lines of Northern, Bakerloo, etc.

The problem with taxi is the long queue at Gare Nord, the marauding shysters trying to get you into their unofficial "taxis", and traffic can be M25ish at times. However, if you get a friendly taxi driver who speaks decent English, get him/her to drive you past Notre Dame - especially impressive when dark and flood lit.
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kieranm wrote:
My favourite way these days though is to break the journey overnight in Paris, make that stop part of the holiday, and not have to stress about train connections. There is an inexpensive but nice Novotel at Gare de Lyon with a pool for the kids to splash around in. This means you can get to the resort around lunchtime on the way out, have a more leisurely time sorting out ski hire etc, and often benefit from a better choice of Eurostar trains on the Friday evening. We just pick the children up from school on the Friday and head straight to St Pancras, gets us to Paris in time for dinner. I'd still be tempted to use the pre-booked taxi with a group your size though.


Out of interest @kieranm, as this sounds a tempting way of doing things for my own little group, is the journey to Paris and onward to resort on separate tickets/ bookings or just one booking for the whole journey? Then is it same on return? Train to Paris, overnight stay then Paris to London on the Sunday or do you do the direct return?

Always fancied the train but circumstances or group size always taken me in another direction.
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@toyah807, you can mix and match as you wish. I tend to book the two legs separately as that suits my requirements, but if you prefer a single ticket I'm sure that's possible. One thing to bear in mind is that the Eurostar tickets tend to go on sale before the TGV tickets, so if you want to book a single through ticket you have to wait and the Eurostar may become more expensive.

On the way back I've usually just gone straight through rather than break the journey overnight as the extra hour you gain from the time difference, and not having to arrange things like ski hire when you get home, makes it more feasible than on the way out, but no reason why you couldn't do the same that way.
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Sowler wrote:
tangowaggon wrote:
Is it as bad as getting from Kings Cross to Victoria? I've done this a couple of times just with ski gear, the 2nd was because I forgot how bad it was the first time, there will never be a 3rd time!


Really you find it that bad? How so?


It felt like I actually walked half the distance carrying skis & luggage, up & down stairs and escalators, sweating like a horse, I prefer open spaces.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I've just done it out last weekend and back this weekend. I would absolutely recommend it - so much more relaxed than flying. Get back refreshed. Flight always seems hassle and moving from thing to thing.

An hour between scheduled arrival in Gare du Nord and leaving Gare Du Lyon is as tight as I would want to make it. We took a taxi and were lucky with the queue. I'd be more inclined to give plenty of time such as a couple of hours and even stop for bite to eat in Paris.

Probably more important coming back to have plenty of time as you need to go through security at least 30 mins before departure.

Clearly the RER is the cheapest way but as I was travelling with my slightly ageing father, we booked a taxi in advance coming back. Bit more expensive but more civilised.
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Like what they all say.
Metro / RER is fine.
Kids easy old enough to help.
Careful with luggage- as few bags as possible- big ski bags with wheels very useful.
An overnight in Paris sounds fun- we've done this in the summer (from Liverpool on the way to Lausanne with 3 bikes, 2 bike trailers and kids aged not very big (in trailer, bigger and bigger). Turning a boring journey into an adventure and a separate part of the holiday in its own right is very good indeed. Travel done right can be fun- with kids. I cry for the loss of couchettes.

One word of warning Gare du Nord is an absolute poo-poo hole and a scary one at that.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Just come back from Avignon via Paris, so the same Gare du Lyon/Gare du Nord swap with 3 adults/2 children (9+11) and the RER was a doddle - though smaller summer bags and no ski cases.

We had 90min between arrival in GdL and departure from GdN, arrived 15min late in to GdL and got in to the Eurostar departure holding area with just enough time for a toilet stop before boarding was called. The Eurostar was only about 75% full though, so for a peak ski train I'd probably want to have a minimum 2hrs between trains.

Only thing I would say is if you have young children keep them close at Gare du Lyon - it was a complete scrum when we arrived.
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So, on my own, with one 20kg bag on wheels should be no major problem, taking the RER?
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Nope, you won't have any problems at all.
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@Mjit, thanks.
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@toyah807, we have done this the past couple of years (ever since they removed the overnight sleepers - in fact first time was due to a E-star co-up where we missed to sleeper train and they paid for it).

We use Rail Canterbury as an aggregator to do the whole journey ( not the hotel tho), and they tend to get better prices than we can: admittedly we were not up at the crack of sparrows fart to get the early booking discounts last week. They've been recommended on this site for some time ( http://www.rail-canterbury.co.uk )

Hotel Mecure on top of Gare Lyon is our preferred stop over, as their early morning breakfast is a good start: 50m from the platforms, and good VFM.
Enjoy a little Parisian fine dining on the Friday night, and still get to the slopes for 1pm. What's not to like?
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I did it with my then 6.5 y.o. son via PER


It is awkward for sure but not too difficult. The akwardest part was the per train itself with weird middle decks jam packed full of skiers none of whom wanted to move down on up stairs to the half empty decks.

Otherwise, the ticket machines are intuitive to use and everything is signposted.

As suggested above, break up into small groups, coz you are not all going to fit into those stupid middle decks

Didn't use the taxi, but according to those who did, the queues are massive and traffic is terrible so allow plenty of time
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