Paris

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Paris is the capital of France. It is situated within a ring road called le périphérique, or le périph. The actual city is relatively small, but is surrounded by endless suburbs, some of which are linked to the urban public transportation system at no extra cost (i.e. a standard one-trip city ticket), while some others 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 even further 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. You may also find them useful if you need to bypass Paris, especially the Francilienne, as it has more gas stations and less complex interchanges.

Hitching in

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 by tram with one ticket, then use another 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.


Hitching out

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.

North/Northeast towards England, Lille and Belgium A 1

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

Hitchhiker Masaru at Aire La Courneuve

This option costs one local ticket or zones 1–3 ticket (eur 2.75as of 2018). 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.

You may need to climb the fance

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.

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.

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. Ask inside at the ticket office/information desk for which parking number the bus will be at. The ticket costs €2. [BEWARE this bus does not run on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays / 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]

You can always try to go with the bus number 702 to Vémars centre from the airport (20 stops, 39 minutes). This will also work on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays

From the Vémars bus stop walk straight 400m on Rue Pierre Curie (D17) until it merges with Rue De la Mairie. Walk an additional 350 m 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.

Option 5: Porte de Bagnolet (A3)

Google maps: [1] Get a ticket for the station Porte de Bagnolet. This is pretty close to where the A3 starts, which leads to the A1, so a lot of traffic is heading this direction. The place might not be ideal, but it worked. There is a bus stop, where buses often stop so the traffic is slowed down, furthermore, there is a small gas stop, where you can approach drivers directly which cue up there from time to time. Position yourself at the traffic lights before the bus stop to show your sign indicating the direction you want to go to.


Bonus Tip: Arras Service Station

Heading north on the A1, there is a fantastic AUTOGRILL Aire de Wancourt Est service station just outside Arras [2], 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 A 4

Option 1. 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.

Option 2. 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 below 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. 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 Aire De Ferrières which is within the free motorway network. Gare de Péage de Coutevroult toll gate is a bit further.

Option 3: Motorway service station Aire De Ferrières

Take RER A to station Bussy-Saint-Georges. You can also get to this RER A station by taking bus 4 or 44 from metro station Gutenberg. Walk 2 km Avenue Marie Curie till Rue Pavée turn down until street crosses A4 highway and after this turn left rest stop is next to you. Right side from there is Decathlon Logistics France if you get lost

Getting South or Southwest A 6, A 10, or A 11

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.

Note : 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 onto the A6, have a sign (you may try Lyon or Fontainebleau) and make sure to be left at Aire De Lisses rest stop, roughly 35 km further, a little bit after Evry (drivers to Evry are not enough for you).

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.

South towards Lyon, Marseille, Barcelona, Italy A 6

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. Tthe ID of the train you need was ZIP or ZOP (All trains on RER lines have a 4 letter ID depending on stations served). If it's too confusing get whatever train that goes to Corbeil Essonne and from there, whatever train that goes to Melun. Get off at the station Gare de Villabé the second after Corbeil-Essonnes.

Otherwise, you can take the RER D to Évry-Courcouronnes centre, and from there Bus 415 in direction of Villabé. Get off at stop Ikea the gas station will be a five minute walk away. There is a fence you have to climb to get to the station.

Note: There is no barrier at Villabé and so you can pay the standard central Paris fare to get into the metro network and then just ride out there.

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 AUTOGRILL Aire de Nemours A6 service area / Shell fuel station. 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.


South-West to Orleans, Bordeaux, Spain A 10 & West to Le Mans, Nantes, Rennes, Brittany A 11

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

Hitching after the bridge

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 station. Walk down Avenue Carnot along the Massy-Palaisea 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.

Briis-sous-Forges to the petrol station map


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.

West towards Rouen, Le Havre, Caen A 13

Inside Paris

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

Option 1 Autoroute A13 Gare de Péage de Buchelay toll

Take Transilien J suburban train from Saint-Lazare station. The fare is €8 but you may not be controlled. Get off in (not Mantes Station). There's a 30 minute walk to the toll gate. You can search Innovaparc bus stop place is next to there

Option 2 South Area Morainvilliers rest area

Take Transilien J or RER A from Paris and get off at Poissy. Take bus 20 to bus stop Auberg. There's one bus every hour on weekdays, fewer than that on Saturdays and it doesn't run on Sundays.

Airports

Charles de Gaulle airport / Orly airport / Beauvais airport

Nomadwiki & Trashwiki

Check Nomadwiki for info on accommodation, showers etc. or Trashwiki for dumpsters...and share your wisdom :)


A small collection of the "Paris" signs for the Project 888 where over 150 hitchhikers gathered and camped in front of the Eiffel Tower.