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Thread: Buying Tickets from the Machines

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    3

    Default Buying Tickets from the Machines

    It would be great to learn more about how to buy a ticket from the machines at the train stations.
    I am arriving Gare du Nord and need to get to Paris Orly.
    Can I change money at du Nord?
    Are the machines english-friendly? and self -explanatory?

    Thank you for help,
    MN

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    827

    Default Re: Buying Tickets from the Machines

    Hi MN,

    Great questions. Some of the vending machines... OK, all of the ticket vending machines are a bit confusing.

    I'm heading into Paris today and will spend a bit of time playing with the various machines and see what information I can post on Paris By Train.

    Changing money at Gare du Nord: In my opinion it's best to do this at ATM/Bank machines as their exchange rates (and fees) are always better than the exchange houses. There is an exchange bureau on the Eurostar/Western half of Gare du Nord station shown in this photo. If you look closely at the photo, near the center bottom, on top of a set of vending machines is a sign reading "Change" with an arrow underneath it. It's pointing to the circular money exchange booth that's not really visible in the photo (although you can see its roof at the bottom left hand corner).

    I'll get back to you on the ticket vending machines (which do have an English & German language choices).
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    3

    Default Re: Buying Tickets from the Machines

    Aren't you the coolest guy! Oops, yes, I can see by your picture that you actually Are a cool guy!
    Thank you, Ben - this is the best help. Have fun in Paris and I look forward to your step by step directions. Love the help!! MN

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    3

    Default Re: Buying Tickets from the Machines

    Ben,

    Do you know if I can use my Eurostar ticket to take an earlier train? I am travelling in from Paris Orly from Africa. I arrive at 1 PM but booked Eurostar at 8PM because the airline I am flying appears prone to stopping and sitting around obscure African airports late at night for no reason that anyone can figure out. Just in case, the gods of flying are with me and I get in on time is it possible to jump on earlier?

    Thank you again for your counsel,
    MN

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    827

    Default Re: Buying Tickets from the Machines

    Eurostar tickets are changeable depending on which type (or in more plain terms, how much was paid for the ticket). But, this doesn't preclude you from being all nice and chummy with the Eurostar ticket seller folks and seeing if they'd be kind enough to change the ticket for you free of charge on the day of travel.

    When you head upstairs to the Eurostar check-in level at Gare du Nord, there is a ticketing office where they might be able to do some ticket magic. Butter them up with wonderful stories of Africa. That might help.

    I got some good pictures of ticket vending machines in action today. I'll take some time to fiddle with the photos and post them up to the site soon.

    p.s. The stories you've heard about African airlines is not uncommon. A friend here in France who works abroad in Africa somewhat often has horror stories of trains and planes that operate on schedules that act as very rough "guidelines". Thus, you're smart to leave breathing room in between connections.
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    Your online train guide.
    Essential reading: Paris Metro and Paris RER.

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