Replies: 19 - Last Post: Oct 16, 2012 4:15 PM Last Post By: 0live
Oct 13, 2012 5:23 AM
15Again, buy individual tickets for all of these day trips. I already gave you all the websites you can use to check the prices and travel times of these journeys. All of these are full day trips.
Paris to Chantilly - 8€ one way
Paris to Saint-Germain-en-Laye - 4€ one way
Paris to Versailles - 3.25€ one way
For Paris to Chantilly use www.voyages-sncf.com. When you arrive in Chantilly it's a 20+/- minute walk from the train station to the château. You'll take a bus from Chantilly to Senlis (Senlis is not served by trains) and then back to Chantilly to get your return train to Paris.
Saint-Germain-en-Laye and Rueil Malmaison are both on the RER A line. In Rueil, it's a 1km-2km walk from the train station to the old downtown and Malmaison. Check the Rueil website for info about local buses. Use www.transilien.com for RER info.
Versailles is on RER C. You want the station called Versailles Rive Gauche. Use www.transilien.com.
Oct 13, 2012 2:41 PM
Thank you so much for your amazing advice.
I really think I need to rework my plans to give me a few more days in Paris - looking through the lists and I keep going "I want to go there and there and there" I suppose this is what people must experience when they try to plan a trip to Australia (my home).
What you are saying about the trains is making more sense now and the prices of the train trips looks great.
Getting so excited and it's still 11 months away.
Oct 13, 2012 8:03 PM
Seriously, i don;t think you can compare. For reasons of history, population density and geography, there is a far higher density of places of interest than in all of Australia.
This is something non-Europeans often underestimate- and hence they go on a mad rush around the capitals- your 3 days in Paris, 3 days in Rome, 3 days in Amsterdam kinda trip. In doing so, they are bypassing literally 100s of interesting places. There are easily more sights in just one relatively small region like Tuscany than in all of Australia.
This is what you're now discovering- that within a 50km radius of Paris there are enough things to keep you busy for 2 weeks.
Anyway, i completely understand that time is limited, so it's about making choices. But in general, you can usuallt find things that are worthwhile without covering huge distances.
Oct 13, 2012 9:30 PM
18Since you mentioned you're from Australia, let me be blunt: the railway system in France is completely incomparable to Australian trains, including our major city metros. You won't need to buy a pass or plan the timing of trips carefully. Going anywhere inside Paris, or the day trip to Versailles, just walk down to the nearest station and you'll get on a train within minutes. Extremely easy to use even if you don't speak French.
I strongly recommend a single day-trip and spending the other 4 days in Paris itself. There are dozens of highlights you can enjoy without leaving the city, and just walking around soaking up the atmosphere is a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Unless you see the point of travelling as ticking things off a list you can say you've "done" (as in, took a photo of and left 10 minutes later), you don't want to cram too many things into a few days, because you won't have time to enjoy any of them. There are plenty of people who, for example, buzz in and out of the Louvre in less than an hour--just enough time to find the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo--but that seems like a terrible waste of a "trip of a lifetime" to me.
I've been to Paris twice, for a total of 3 weeks combined, and the only place I visited twice was the Louvre (seeing different sections each time). On my first trip, I spent 3 hours at Notre Dame cathedral, including over an hour just looking at the sculptures above the doors. I could have "done" it in 30 minutes and moved on to tick other items off some itinerary, but then I wouldn't remember, years later, the details of some of the carvings that captured my attention, or the smell of the candles, or the late afternoon sun sparkling off Charlemagne, or the meditative feeling of sitting in the pew of this magnificent building half a world away from my own.
You won't regret taking things slowly, but you may well regret trying to cram in too much.
Oct 16, 2012 4:15 PM
19That's a fabulous list of day trips, french_mystique. I will surely use some of the info on my next trip. Thanks!
As everybody said, there's no need for rail pass. For our first trip to France we got a pass, as we thought it was the best deal for train travel. For subsequent trips, we actually compared prices and found that it's not such a great deal at all. For long distance trips, we purchased the tickets on line taking advantage of web sales. For shorter ones, just got the tickets when we needed them.
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