How to Go from Paris’ Gare de Lyon Railway Station
to Our Office, or to our Guest Apartments, in the Same Building
Welcome to Paris. You have just stepped off your train at the Gare de Lyon. Now you have to make your way to our office (above which lie our guest apartments).
Our office is the glass-doored commerce, between the doors to numbers 2 & 4 of the rue Dussoubs, in Paris’ 2nd Arrondissement. Our phone is 01.42.36.02.34. The closest métro stop is Etienne-Marcel, on line 4, but there are two others almost as close: Les Halles, and Réaumur-Sebastopol. These instructions send you to Les Halles, since that is on a direct line from the Gare de Lyon.
Here is a link to the Google neighborhood map. Note that the siting of the métro stations is not accurate, and should be ignored. However, the map accurately represents the streets.
To Reach Us
...you will be taking the Métro. Actually, a sub-set of the métro called the RER (a sort of express métro).
Locating the RER
When you step off of your main line train, your first job is to determine whether the track on which it has arrived is indentified by a letter (A, B, C, etc.) or by a number.
Be careful, smaller letters which identify car / carriage position (“repères”) confuse this issue. The track-identifying letter or number is large, and the opposite track will be identified by a sequential one. Example: if you are on track “E” the opposite track on the same platform will be either “D” or “F”.
If you are on a lettered track...
- ...walk to the middle point of the platform, roughly at repère T or U. These mid-platform stairs are at the point where the massive train shed ceases to protect the platform from the elements, and only individual platform canopies continue to do so.
- Use the stairs / escalator that you find there to go down (the only way you can go). This will bring you to an underground station concourse.
- Enter the underground station concourse. If you walked back along your train, in the direction by which it arrived (towards the open air), to reach the down stair / escalator, you must turn right as you enter the underground station concourse. If you walked forward, from the rear of your arriving train, continuing in its direction of travel (and thus towards the massive train shed that you think of as the station), you must turn left as you enter the underground station concourse.
- Walk towards the far end of this underground station concourse. Now skip to the common instructions, below.
If you are on a numbered track, walk to the front of your train. You will arrive at an open-air concourse. Directly opposite track 13 is a down escalator, which will bring you to an underground concourse. Walk forward, about 100m, to the far end of this underground concourse.
Common Instructions: wherever you came from, you will arrive at the far end of the underground station concourse to find a big sign hanging from the ceiling, reading RER A, D, and other things, and sending you down a long set of down stairs / escalators. RER line A (the letter A in a red circle) is your goal. Follow these stairs/ escalators to the bottom. At the bottom, turn left.
Put in photo of stairs down: GdLRERAccess
Purchasing Your Ticket
You will find automatic ticket machines here, which speak better English than the locals. Buy a carnet de billets, a batch of 10 tickets, valid for travel on all Paris métro and bus lines. Unless you are headed directly out of town, you will have plenty of chances to use them. They are a bit more than half the price of single tickets, and we will take unused ones off your hands for a euro each if you have extra when you leave town. If you want to practise your French, the machines will identify the tickets you want with some or all of the following words: Carnet de 10 billets, plein tarif (not demi-tarif”). They are sometimes called “Tickets T,” which is a brand name signifying that they are valid within the urban center, and not for travel to outer suburbs.
General notes about riding the métro (and the RER):
- Always keep your ticket until the end of your trip, since it can be inspected at any time by teams of roving tax auditors.
- If you are worried about being on the correct platform, there is a sign at the center of each platform telling you in which direction the trains are travelling (the last station on the line defines the direction of travel).
- There are strip maps of the individual line on which the train is travelling over each car door, to help you follow your progress through the system.
Making Your Trip
Step 1, Finding and Riding the Train
- Look for the entrance to the “RER A” line (“A” in a red circle).
- Using one of the tickets you purchased (see “To Reach Us,” above), proceed through the turnstiles.
- Follow signs pointing you towards Direction St-Germain-en-Laye, Poissy, or Cergy - these places are all served by the same track. To reach it, you will go down a (very) long escalator, to a platform at the bottom, with a track on each side. You must choose between these two tracks. Choose wisely (they are clearly signed — if you choose wrong, you wind up at Disneyland).
- Take any train that comes on your track, and ride to the first stop, Châtelet - Les Halles, about 3 minutes.
Step 2, Exiting the Métro
- When you get off at Châtelet - Les Halles, walk to the front of the train.
- Go up the escalator that you find at the front of the platform.
- At the top of the escalator you will see dark blue Sortie signs, with different sorties (exits) indicated. The one you want is labeled Rue Rambuteau, Rue Turbigo, and is adjacent to the top of the escalator / stair.
- Go through the ticket barriers you find barring your way (using your little subway ticket), and go up another flight of stairs/escalators, still following the Rambuteau/Turbigo signs.
- At the top of these stairs / escalators, Rambuteau/Turbigo signs will lead you to the right, and on up a further series of three flights of stairs / escalators. You would now expect to be on the 7th floor of some building, but you have just made it up to street level. More precisely, you exit the métro onto the pedestrian rue Rambuteau.
Step 3, Walking to Our Office
- Turn right, onto the pedestrian rue Rambuteau. In front of you are a newsstand and a rather large church. We'll let you figure out which is which.
- Slink along the wall that is now to your right, rounding the corner, thus putting the church on your left hand, and arriving at the top of a flight of stairs.
At the bottom of the stairs, more-or-less straight in front of you now, between two cafés, a semi-pedestrian street leads away (the rue Montorgueil). Take this.
- Your third right (at a brasserie called Grill Montorgueil) is the rue Tiquetonne. Turn right onto this.
- Your first left, a fairly long block away, is the rue Dussoubs. Make this left turn, onto rue Dussoubs. Now STOP.
Our storefront is the unprepossessing (it’s your money) glass door between numbers 2 and 4, on your right after you turn into the rue Dussoubs. If the iron curtain is still down it means we aren't up yet. If the curtain is up, but the front room is dark, it means that we've gone out for coffee, or are in the basement. Try knocking on the glass door with a key or a coin (so that we can hear you from the basement), or looking into local bars. Or wait: we’ll be back soon.
Our normal opening hours are here.