This Metro Rouen Step-by-Step Guide will get you from the Gare de Rouen train station into the heart of the historic city centre (and back when your feet are tired).
When I’m traveling through Europe, I like to have a home base city or two to thoroughly explore. Then I also do a number of day trips by train from these home base cities. That means that I’ve gotten used to walking in to new public transit stations and just figuring it out as I go.
Often I will try to look up how to use the system online before my trip. It is surprising how rarely the sites I find are actually helpful in walking me through what I need to do as a visitor to buy a ticket on the metro system, properly validate the ticket, and use the system. And often, city to city, there are slight differences. In one place you validate the ticket before boarding the train, but then do not have to do anything once on the train. Sometimes only punch the ticket on the train. Other times you have to do both. Sometimes you only scan the ticket as you enter and leave the metro system.
Since I’ve already stumbled my way through the metro system for Rouen, France, I’m sharing with you what I have learned.
Arriving in Rouen by Train
The Rouen train station is not a large station, and is easily navigated if you are arriving on a Rouen day trip. Rue Verte runs along the west side of the station, then joins with Rue Pouchet in front of the station becoming Rue Jeanne d’Arc. A 10 minute walk on Rue Jeanne d’Arc will bring you to the Palais de Justice and the historic city centre.
Under the Rouen train station is the metro station Rue Verte, accessible from escalators just inside the entrance to the train station. From here you can purchase a metro ticket, validate the ticket, and be on your way.
Metro Rouen System Tickets
All the sites I go to checking out the ticket prices in Rouen, say that the price is €1.6. However, when I bought a single use ticket, it was €1.7. Maybe this was a high volume time of day or something like that, but just be aware this may be possible.
The price per ride is reduced if you are purchasing more uses on one ticket. Since the distance between the train station and the tourist area is only one to two stops, the likelihood of you needing multiple tickets for a day trip is pretty low.
There is a refillable card that can be used, but it’s designed for use by residents and makes little sense for tourists.
Rouen Metro system Guide to Ticket Buying and Validating
Buy a Rouen Metro Ticket at this Machine:
To buy a Rouen Metro System Ticket, go into one of the stations, and find the ticket kiosk that looks like the one above. The beginning screen will have language options along with flags of corresponding countries, so choose the correct one. (Remember Americans – It’s the British flag when you are in Europe!)
Once you choose the correct language, following the rest of the purchasing is pretty straight forward. Get your ticket and head to Metro platform.
Validate a Rouen Metro Ticket at this machine:
This machine is at the metro platform. After you purchase a ticket, slipping it into this machine to be validated means it can now be used. You are now good to board the Metro!
“Use” your Metro Ticket at this machine:
We’re not done yet! Once you actually get on the Metro, you still have to slip the ticket into this machine. This says Oh! You’re now using that ticket we sold to you, and then said was ready to use. It will deduct the appropriate amount from the your card.
If you have purchased a one time use card, your card will now be worth zero, and you can pitch it as you leave the train (in a trash can, please).
Rouen Metro system Guide to Important stops for the Tourist Area
The metro stop under the train station is called Gare Rue Verte. Metro travels from Gare Rouen and cuts (roughly) North/South through the historic & tourist area.
Rouen Metro Lines:
If you are used to traveling in cities such as London, Paris, and New York City, where there are many metro lines running underground, Rouen is a completely different experience. There are only two metro lines, and these two lines run together in one line from the Rue Verte Metro Station at Gare Rouen Train Station, through the historic and tourist area, across the Seine. Only after the metro leaves the area usually visited by tourists do the two lines divide, serving the different areas of Rouen. SO – short version, you most likely don’t have to worry about which train you catch from the station, only that you are headed in the right direction. They all stop at the same stations through this area.
I’ll only talk about two stops, the ones in the heart of the tourist city centre: Palais de Justice and Théâtre des Arts.
Palais de Justice Stop
The first stop to the south from Gare Rue Verte is Palais de Justice. Likely this will be all you need. As you exit this metro stop, you will be standing in front of the Palais de Justice. If you walk south along Rue Jeanne d’Arc one street to Rue du Gros Horloge, you can follow it east to the famous astronomical clock the street is named for. Keep going a few minutes walk, and you will come to the cathedral, which will stop you in your tracks. Further along rue St. Romain is the Joan of Arc museum and Place Bethelemy with Saint Maclou Church.
If you were to follow Rue du Gros Horloge west instead of east, you follow it to Place du Vieux Marche. This is where the modern Saint Joan of Arc Church stands, as is the sight of her martyrdom.
The Théâtre des Arts Stop
The Théâtre des Arts stop will take you to a much more business center area of Rouen, though it is only a few blocks south of the Palais de Justice stop. However, if you are going to the a performance at the theatre, or many want to stop at the Galeries Lafayette for some shopping, this is your stop. Also, if you walk just a little south from here, you will come to the Pont Jeanne d’Arc to see the Seine in Rouen.
Why Take Metro?
Rouen is a very walkable area, especially the area usually of interest to tourists. You can absolutely walk from the train station and not worry about taking the metro or other public transportation at all. However, I completely sympathize if you find yourself worn out at the end exploring all Rouen has to offer, and will happily pay a couple Euro not to have to walk back to the Rouen train station!!
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