The closest Paris Metro stations to the Notre Dame Cathedral are:
- St-Michel Notre Dame – RER B Train Line (blue)
- St-Michel Notre Dame – RER C Train Line (yellow)
- Cité – Line 4 (fuschia)
(Photo by Ginger Nut)
(Map courtesy of RATP)
The closest Paris Metro stations to the Notre Dame Cathedral are:
(Photo by Ginger Nut)
(Map courtesy of RATP)
Locate either train stations or metro stations in central Paris that will connect you to RER C, the yellow RER line. Listed below in the flowchart are all the RER C stations within Zone 1, their arrondissements and any connecting metro lines (ie. if you are closer to a metro station, you can hop onto any of the listed metro lines to get to the specific RER station). All RER lines fork and have several different end terminals, so you’ll have to pay attention to make sure that you’re on the right train. The terminus station to get to Château de Versailles is ‘Versailles Rive Gauche’ (listed as C5 on the RER map).
Flowchart: How to get from Central Paris to Château de Versailles via RER C
Between central Paris and Versailles, you need to take the RER C Line in a way which will lead you to ‘Javel’ station and later to ‘Porchefontaine’ station. Since the line forks, it will really depend on where you start to know how many stations away Javel and Porchefontaine will be. These stations will indicate whether you’re heading in the right direction to end up at ‘Versailles Rive Gauche’.
Example: If you start at Avenue Henri Martin, you’ll need to pass Boulainvilliers, Avenue du President Kennedy and then Javel, if instead of passing Javel you hit Champ de Mars it means you’re going the wrong direction. This is an easy mistake to make and if that happens, just get off at the station and look for the signs in the station which go towards the right direction. Make sure not to exit the station or else you’ll need to use a new ticket over a common mistake.
Once you arrive at ‘Versailles Rive Gauche’, Château de Versailles will take about five minutes to walk to.
Ticket t+ cannot be used for this trip. Versailles is within the Île-de-France region. The ticket t+ is only valid on RERs within the city of Paris (ie. Zone 1). Instead you’ll have to get a ‘Billet Origine-Destination‘ to/from Versailles-Rive-Gauche at 4,10€ per direction (price current as of January 2013).
Note: If you plan to use any other forms of public transportation in the day, I recommend getting an unlimited Mobilis pass for the day from Zone 1-4; you’d only need to take one more round trip to make it worthwhile in terms of cost (pass costs 10,85€).
During normal working hours, ‘Versaille Rive Gauche’ station has someone selling tickets who may speak a bit of English. Be prepared for the language barrier by having a map handy and the places you need to get to written down.
(Photo courtesy of Villemartin)
Otherwise, happy traveling! Getting to the station from Château de Versailles is just as easy, there’s clear signage to help you navigate back to the train station and then hop onto the RER C line to Paris and you’re set. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can always take the bus back too!
For more information, check out the ParisByTrain article: Château de Versailles by Bus.
The following RER Train Line maps are specific to a single RER Train line, A, B, C, D, or E.
Each RER Line map shows:
These maps can be found on all RER train cars just above their doors.
This RER C Train Map shows:
Downloadable RER C Line Map (PDF)
Along RER C (with station names in brackets) in and around Paris:
Here are RER C train schedules for common routes such as Paris to Chateau Versailles and Orly Airport.
RER C Schedule – Paris to Versailles (PDF) – If you’re going from central Paris to Chateau Versailles (station Versailles-Rive Gauche), this is your schedule. For weekend or statutory holiday travel, use the weekend RER C schedule (just fewer trains, although the timing is basically the same).
At the top of this RER C Timetable is a row for “nom du train“. These specify the train route and can be seen on the front of the train itself as it approaches a station. ”VICK” trains all travel to Versailles Rive Gauche, the closest station to Chateau Versailles. ”SARA” trains do not stop at Versailles Rive Gauche. Be sure to take VICK trains.
This RER C route travels past several central Paris stations (Gare d’Austerlitz, St Michel Notre Dame, Musée d’Orsay, Invalides, Pont de l’Alma, Champ de Mars/Tour Eiffel) on its way to Versailles Rive Gauche station in Versailles, the closest train station to Chateau Versailles. RER C trains making this route will be labeled with direction: “Versailles – Rive Gauche“. Be careful not to confuse this RER C train direction with “Versailles Chantiers – St Quentin en Yvelines”, which does not stop at Versailles – Rive Gauche station. The difference is that Versailles Chantiers station is about 15 minutes walk to the Chateau as opposed to 5 minutes for Versailles Rive Gauche.
RER C Schedule – Paris to Orly Airport (ORY) and Massy TGV Station (PDF) – This schedule stars from Invalides (Army Musuem) RER C station and travels clockwise through Paris, stopping at Orsay Museum, St Michel, Gare d’Austerlitz amongst other stations before making its way to Aeroport d’Orly shuttle bus station (Pont de Rungis) and ends at Massy TGV train station. Note that the RER C does not stop directly at Orly Airport but stops at Pont de Rungis where you must transfer to a RATP bus to complete the journey to Orly Airport terminals West and South. RER C trains making this route will be labeled with direction: “Pont de Rungis – Aeroport d’Orly” or “Massy Palaiseau“. The trains will have four letter codes (nom du train) of either ROMI or MONA both on the top of the schedule and on the front of the trains.
(Schedules courtesy of Transilien)
For travelers to and from Orly Airport, here are the first and last trains (valid thru July 2013) from Gare d’Austerlitz and Pont de Rungis station (where a bus completes the journey to the airport):
Popular Destinations along RER C train line in Paris
Line => RER C (yellow)
Direction => Versailles-Rive Gauche
Arrival Station => Versailles-Rive Gauche (Zone 4, 4,10€ as of January 2013)
From Paris you can take a suburban “RER C” train to within 5 minutes walk of Chateau Versailles, ending at station Versailles-Rive Gauche.
Start your trip by going into any metro/RER station that you find around the city, which will be marked with a blue sign with an M or RER surrounded by a circle. From time to time you’ll see the metro marked only by the old style art deco Metropolitan signs. Take note of the station name when inside.
Your goal is to get to the RER C line, the yellow line that serves the western half of the Parisian suburbs. If you’ve got a day or week pass that’s good for at least Zone 4, skip this paragraph, else visit a ticket window in the station to purchase special ticket, since Versailles is in Zone 4, outside the coverage of normal Paris Metro/Bus/RER Ticket t that you would get for traveling within Paris. At the ticket window or guichet [Gee-Shay] don’t panic. There’s a 50/50 chance the worker will speak English quite well and if not, they’ll understand “Chateau Versailles” [Shah-Tow Vher-Sigh]. Normally the metro worker will ask you whether you want a return ticket, by asking “Aller Rétour?” [Alleh-Ray-Tour] (or by making hand signs), which is simply two of the single tickets. Each ticket is currently (January 2013) 4,10€ so 8,20€ for a return trip. Tip: don’t expect that your credit card will work at the ticket window. Many North American credit cards will simply not work at RATP/SNCF credit card machines so have cash on hand and don’t expect to use that 50 euro note either. Small bills or coins are best. Go ahead and buy Aller-Rétour return tickets to save a bit of time (unless you plan on sneaking off the tour path at the chateau and spending the night there).
Once past the turnstiles find the Metro map or plan [plon] to see where you are in relation to the yellow RER C line. If you happen to be at St. Michel/Notre Dame, Tour Eiffel (plus a few others) you’re already on the RER C line, all you need to do is find the right train platform. Many stations throughout Paris serve several different metro lines and RER train lines all within the same station. This means a single station can have several vertical levels plus many different platforms going in opposite directions. This may sound confusing, but it follows a pattern that you’ll quickly master: All RER lines are letters, A to E, all Metro lines are numbers 1 to 14. All lines have a terminus station, i.e. the last station on the line. Every train and metro platform will mark which line you’re on and which direction the train is going, which is the terminus station. If you are not already at a station which serves the RER C line, play snakes and ladders with the metro/RER lines on the map to see how you can get to the closest RER C station.
Once you’re at an RER C station, follow the overhead signs and wall signs towards the RER C Versailles-Rive Gauche platform. What may be confusing is that there may be other names on the sign along with Versailles-Rive Gauche for other terminus stations along the same line. For example, you may see an RER C sign that shows the direction/terminus station as Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Versailles-Chantiers, Versailles-Rive Gauche, all on one sign. As long as the terminus station is not before the station you want (in this case Versailles-Rive Gauche), you can take the line since it’s going in the right direction.
Once you’ve arrived at the RER platform you’ll see overhead signs along side the rails which show a plethora of station names, each possibly lit with a yellow square before the name. If the name is marked with a yellow square, the next train that arrives will stop at that station. Look for the station that you want, Versailles-Rive Gauche. If the name is not on the board, check the other side of the platform, which is going in the opposite direction.
When the train arrives, the doors will not open automatically; Someone on the train, or you, must press the green or silver button on the door to open it.
Once on the train, if you’ve taken the right train, you won’t need to keep track of the stations since Versailles-Rive Gauche will be the last station on the line and everyone will be getting off.
After arriving at the terminus station, look for blue “Sortie” signs which mark exits for the station. Eventually each of them will have a name marking what street it gives access to. On occasion a landmark or sight such as Tour Eiffel or Chateau Versailles will be marked on the exit sign as well, highlighted in beige. Pick an exit and look out for brown street signs pointing in the direction of the Chateau. With any luck, you’ll find one for Chateau Versailles, which is just a five minute walk from this station. Enjoy your visit.