Venue

Contest venue

SWERC 2019-2020 will be hosted in the new building of Télécom Paris located on the Plateau de Saclay, on the campus of the newly-created Institut polytechnique de Paris. The contest venue is at 19 place Marguerite Perey, 91120 Palaiseau.

Transportation to the contest venue will be arranged by bus from the parking of our partner hotel, Jo & Joe Paris Gentilly. Please note that there are very few shopping options around the contest venue during the weekend, so please make sure to bring everything that you need to the contest venue with you (there are shops close to the hotel).

Accommodation

Contest hotel

We have negociated a deal for SWERC participants at Jo & Joe Paris Gentilly, a new youth hostel which is just South of Paris, at Hotel Jo & Joe, 93 avenue Paul Vaillant Couturier, 94250 Gentilly. Jo & Joe features bunk bed accommodation, cabins, and private rooms. We will arrange for bus transfers between the hotel and contest venue (see schedule).

Our deal for SWERC participants gives you a 10% discount for bookings from January 24 to January 26. Your SWERC badge will also give you a 10% discount at the hotel bar (except on self-service draft beer). To benefit from the discount, enter the Promo code TELECOM20 on the search engine on the Jo & Joe website when making your booking. We advise you to book quickly before rooms run out.

Jo & Joe rooms do not necessarily include breakfast, but we will be serving a light breakfast on Saturday and Sunday morning at the contest venue (see schedule). Towels are not included, but can be rented at an extra cost. Bed linen, etc., is included. Stay tax is not included (2.88 EUR per person and per night) and has to be paid at the hotel.

Other options

You are also welcome to stay in other hotels if you wish — our buses will be available to all participants, not just those staying at Jo & Joe. There are other hotels in the vicinity, and of course many hotel options in Paris.

Reaching Paris

Trains

Paris is served by multiple train stations.

French contestants willing to arrive and depart by train should consider the Massy TGV train station as a convenient alternative to central stations. To go from Massy TGV to Jo & Joe, you can buy a ticket from RER station Massy-Palaiseau to Gentilly (2.50 EUR), then take RER line B directly to Gentilly (see “Reaching the hotel” below). Some trains (especially low-cost Ouigo trains, but also some standard TGV trains) go to the Massy-Palaiseau TGV station but not to central Paris.

Otherwise, trains from Switzerland (Lausanne, Geneva, Zürich), trains from Italy (Milan, Turin), and most trains from Spain (e.g., Barcelona) arrive at Gare de Lyon. To go from Gare de Lyon to Jo & Joe, you can buy a ticket to Gentilly (2.75 EUR), then take metro line 14 or RER line A to Châtelet - Les Halles, then change (without exiting the subway system) for RER line B and go to Gentilly (see “Reaching the hotel” below).

Train trips from SWERC member countries which arrive in other stations than Gare du Lyon include trips from Irún (via Hendaye) which arrive at Gare Montparnasse. To go from Gare Montparnasse to Jo & Joe, you can buy a ticket to Gentilly (2.75 EUR), then take metro line 6 to Denfert-Rochereau, then change (without exiting the subway system) for RER line B and go to Gentilly (see “Reaching the hotel” below).

Other less convenient train stations in the greater Paris area, served by some low-cost trains (e.g., Ouigo trains), include the train station of Marne-la-Vallée TGV near Disneyland, and Aéroport Charles-de-Gaulle TGV. Marne-la-Vallée is served by suburban trains (RER line A, allowing you to reach RER line B), and Aéroport Charles-de-Gaulle is served by RER line B just like the CDG airport (see below).

Flights

Paris is served by two airports: Orly (ORY) and Charles-de-Gaulle (CDG). Some low-cost carriers operate flights to Paris-Beauvais (BVA), but this is significantly further away. Note that the recommended hotel and the contest venue are significantly closer to ORY than to CDG, so we recommend flying to ORY if possible.

Given the price of public transportation to and from the ORY and CDG airports, it may be cheaper and more convenient for groups to take a taxi or arrange a private transfer service (e.g. AlloCab, Eurecab, LeCab, etc). Otherwise, we list public transportation options below.

To go from ORY to the Jo and Joe hotel, you can buy an RER ticket to Gentilly and take first the Orlyval service (which brings you to the RER B station Antony), then an RER B to Gentilly. The trip should take 35 minutes overall, and cost 11.20 EUR. Note that all RER B trains do not stop at Gentilly (see “Reaching the hotel” below). Alternatively, you can take the Orlybus service from the airport to “Montsouris — Tombe-Issoire” (the first stop in Paris), which takes around 20 minutes or more depending on traffic and should cost 8.30 EUR, then walk for 15 minutes to the hotel.

To go from CDG to the Paris city center, we recommend using the RER B suburban trains. Look for signs indicating “Paris by train” with an RER logo. To reach the Jo & Joe hotel, you should buy a ticket to Gentilly from the vending machines, which should cost 12.20 EUR. The trip takes around 45 minutes. Note that all RER B trains do not stop at Gentilly (see “Reaching the hotel” below). There are trains every 5-15 minutes, roughly from 5:00 to 23:30, see timetables on this page (beware, the night trains on a blue background in the PDF schedule are exceptional services, see notes 1 and 2). Other options to reach Paris from CDG include airport shuttles, night buses (N143), and taxi; details are on this page.

To go from BVA to the Paris city center, you need to use the shuttle. The trip lasts 1h15, and the ticket costs 15.90 EUR when ordered in advance. The shuttle goes to Porte Maillot, from which you need to reach your final destination using public transportation (with a separate ticket).

Buses

A cheap option to reach Paris is to travel with long-distance buses. There are multiple search engines to look for trips, e.g., Goeuro, Comparabus, CheckMyBus, etc.

Getting around in Paris

There are various ways to plan for trips in Paris, including the Citymapper smartphone app and website. It works well for the areas around the hotel and contest venue, and features public transportation in addition to other transportation means.

Reaching the Jo & Joe hotel

The hotel is two minutes away from the Gentilly stop of RER line B. Please be aware that Gentilly is just outside of Paris, so you should buy a ticket specifically to Gentilly on an RER vending machine, and keep it with you until you exit the RER system. Standard t+ tickets for Paris will not work and will not allow you to exit. Also, please be aware that some RER B trains do not call at Gentilly.

Another option to reach the hotel is to get off at the RER B stop “Cité universitaire” (or the tramway stop of the same name on line 3A) and walk through the park of Cité universitaire (15 minutes). This only requires a standard ticket and all trains stop at this station.

Reaching the contest venue

We will arrange for bus shuttles to transport all participants to and from the contest venue. These buses will depart from the front parking of the hotel Jo & Joe Paris Gentilly, just south of Paris. They can be used by all contestants (even if not staying at the hotel). To reach the hotel, see the paragraph above. For details of planned buses, see the schedule.

We do not recommend travelling to the contest venue on your own, unless you are familiar with the area. The venue can be reached by taking an RER B train to one of the following stops (be careful that trains may not travel to, or stop at, these stations):

  • Massy-Palaiseau, and then taking bus line 91.06 or 91.10 to stop “Place Marguerite Perey”. These buses require a specific ticket (in addition to the RER ticket). Note that the buses can be very infrequent during the weekend (up to one bus per hour) and/or crowded. Bus line 91.10 also connects to the Orly airport (but there is only one bus per hour, so it cannot be relied on).
  • Lozère or le Guichet, and then walking up to the contest venue (25 minutes, steep uphill walk in the woods).

You can also arrange taxis or transfers on your own, but it is strongly recommended to book them in advance. Ridesharing apps are also an option.

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