As I continue my trip report on my recent trip to Paris I think it’s very important to share my experience of taking public transportation from Paris’ Charles De Gaul Airport into Paris. At this point in the trip I had been awake for well over 24 hours. Neither of us got any sleep on the plane and we were exhausted. We originally planned to buy a ‘Paris Pass‘ when we landed. At some point I read that you could buy a bundled museum and transit pass from the airport. After waiting in line for 20 minutes we were looked at like we were crazy and simply bought a one-way train ticket into Paris proper.
RER B Train CDG – Gare Du Nord
This part of the entire journey was perfect, we boarded the train and rode an express train directly into Paris’ Gare Du Nord train station. At Gare Du Nord we had to transfer to a local underground train and this is where things started to get odd. We had no idea where we were going. I was holding a map of the city transit system. Also, both of us had our luggage and backpacks on. Clearly we were easy targets. Walking through Gare Du Nord we both felt a little uncomfortable, but nothing too alarming.
Gare Du Nord – Trocadero
This is where things started going south quickly. We were on a crowed public transit train in the middle of the morning looking like absolute tourists. The only thing we were missing were selfie sticks at this point. So there we are, sitting ducks, waiting for an attack! As the train moved closer and closer to our destination I started to notice three youths getting oddly close to us. We never felt threatened, but it didn’t make sense that these three people would stand so close to us. There was plenty of space on the train to spread out and these kids would not move away.
Finally we reached our stop and I instantly noticed the kids got off the train as well. I realized we the guys were following us so before I moved further from the train platform I decided to stop in my tracks. Throw them off, you get the idea. Well it worked. They looked ridiculous avoiding eye contact, staring at the ceiling acting lost. I acted as though we were going to turn back to get on the train we just got off and they moved ahead of us, then I turned around and kept walking the way we needed to go.
Things Got Weird, I Got Pickpocketed
So this is where things get really odd. One of the guys offered to help my girlfriend carry her suitcase and another wedged in between us on the stairs. I was on high alert and as I proceeded up the stairs I felt it. The unmistakable feeling of another man grabbing your
butt wallet. I quickly turned around and yelled at the guy. He was clearly stunned I noticed because he quickly offered me my wallet back as though it randomly fell out of my pocket. Yes, I was pickpocketed, but luckily he was the most worthless pickpocket in France.
Ultimately this story has a happy ending, but we got incredibly lucky. First off, when traveling around Paris or nearly any other huge city it’s important to keep your wallet in your front pocket (or other very tight-fitting pockets or zip-able pockets) where you can easily guard it. Next, make sure to NEVER keep all of your cards together in your wallet when traveling. This was a very silly mistake I made. If the guy successfully stole my wallet he’d have every credit card I had on the trip. Going forward I’m going to make sure to keep at least one card buried in a safe place in case of emergencies.
You hear countless warnings about pickpockets in Paris and for good reason. They are sneaky and they love tight spaces. When taking the train make sure to have your wallet in a safe space and if wearing a backpack do not allow it to hang out in the oped. Pickpockets love to steal from unprotected backpacks. Also we heard stories of pickpockets cutting open the bottom of bags and grabbing whatever they can. When traveling, make sure to only bring the things you need with you and keep your other personal belongings locked up in the hotel safe.
We got lucky on our trip and it’s now a funny story, but had the guy been successful we would have been in deep trouble. I hope this story helps keep you protected on your next trip abroad.