Mont saint Michel
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Feb 28, 2013 8:38 AM Last Post By: lego333
Feb 19, 2013 1:18 PM
Mont saint MichelI had been in Paris more than 20 times, the next one will be on march 2012.
This time I really want to pay a visit to Mont saint Michel.
Any suggestions for a (not so expensive!) daytrip?
Also interested to take a day tour from Paris (yet I will try not to pay too much!), my understanding is that daytrip by public transport is not that easy.
Feb 19, 2013 1:19 PM
Feb 19, 2013 1:33 PM
2It's going to take you about 4-1/2 to 5 hours from the time you leave Paris until you are at MSM. I wouldn't do this but if you must then here is the info.
The easiest and cheapest way to get to MSM from Paris is to take the TGV to Rennes and then the bus from there to MSM. One way TGV tickets between Paris and Rennes for March 20th are between 46€ and 62€ right now and will only increase in price. So it's at least 100€ just for your train tickets.
If you decide on this you'll need to use the TGV website to buy/reserve your tickets to get to Rennes. For info on these trains use the website www.tgv-europe.com for schedules and prices (it's the English language version of www.voyages-sncf.com). Don't forget to uncheck the box marked "Direct Trains" to see all possible options. If the TGV site redirects you to the RailEurope website then try again and enter "Antarctic" as your ticket collection country. Other countries may also work but just try to find a country that doesn't get you redirected to RailEurope. The RailEurope website often doesn't show all the trains and generally has higher prices but you can check just to compare. For trains that require reservations you can buy tickets up to 3 months or more in advance and the earlier you buy them the cheaper they will be. The discounted tickets are known as PREM tickets but these are non-refundable and can't be exchanged.
Here is a website that will tell you how to navigate the TGV website:
Here's info on the bus from Rennes to MSM:
Look at the official MSM website for further info:
There are also bus tours you can take from Paris, such as these, although there are probably others:
Feb 19, 2013 1:35 PM
3As to the second part of your question about other day trips from Paris, there are dozens of them that are far less costly than MSM and are easily accessible by public transport, many within 1 hour by train from Paris.
Here is a brief list that summarizes many of the most popular day trips from Paris (within an hour and a half by train). There are certainly many others you could also do but this list covers most of the biggies:
Provins (an authentic walled medieval town): http://www.provins.net/
Château of Chantilly (wonderful fairytale château, famous art collection): http://www.chateaudechantilly.com/fr/
Senlis (small medieval town can be combined with a visit to Chantilly):
Reims (champagne tours, great historic cathedral, museums):
Epernay (champagne tours): http://www.ot-epernay.fr/
Fontainebleau (former royal town with famous château):
Château of Vaux-le-Vicomte (the château after which Louis XIV based his garden renovations for Versailles and IMO one of the most elegant château in France):
Rouen (small city, lots to do, wonderful cathedral, medieval old center): http://www.rouentourisme.com/
Giverny (Monet's house and gardens):
Chartres (the famous cathedral and wonderful old medieval town):
Malcolm Miller Cathedral Tours:
Daily tours of Chartres Cathedral from Easter until late October are at 12 noon and 2.45 p.m. Not on Sundays, and during the winter occasionally or on request.
E-mail address is email@example.com.
Compiègne (château with museums, wonderful old town. Can be combined with a visit to the château of Pierrefonds): http://www.compiegne-tourisme.fr/
Château of Pierrefonds (Magnificent fairytale looking château. Reconstructed in the 19th century but magnificent nonetheless. Can be combined with a visit to Compiègne):
Troyes (lovely small medieval city):
Laon (medieval hilltop town with a spectacular cathedral): http://www.tourisme-paysdelaon.com/
Crécy-la-Chapelle (small charming renowned artists village):
Moret-sur-Loing (charming walled medieval village/artists village):
Auvers-sur-Oise (Van Gogh and other impressionist art history):
Malmaison (château of the Empress Josephine and a nice old downtown. On the RER A line and could be combined with a visit to Saint-Germain-en-Laye):
Saint-Germain-en-Laye (former royal town with a wonderful château now home to the national museum of archaeology. On the RER A line and could be combined with a visit to Malmaison):
Barbizon (famous artists village, can be combined with Fontainebleau):
These are the most popular day trips and all are worthwhile but there are many other less popular and equally worthy day trips. I could easily list a couple dozen more but only if what's on this list doesn't interest you. A good guide book for the Île-de-France region should give you more ideas.
You'll need to take a train from Paris to do these day trips. For info on trains in Paris and the nearby suburbs (métro and RER trains) use the website www.ratp.fr. Use the interactive map on this website to plan your trip: http://www.ratp.fr/plan-interactif/carteidf.php?lang=uk. Parts of this website are in French so you can use an English language companion site www.vianavigo.com. For trains that go a bit further out in the Île-de-France region use the website www.transilien.com. For trains that go further beyond the Île-de-France use the website www.voyages-sncf.com (in French only) or www.tgv-europe.com. A great website to learn about trains in France (and Europe) is www.seat61.com if you have any train questions/problems.
Paris and many of the places nearby in Île-de-France are divided into zones, numbered 1 through 5. Paris is in zone 1 and areas outside Paris are in zones 2 through 5. Some of the destinations I mentioned are in zone 5. For these journeys it will be more cost effective to buy a one day Mobilis pass for 15.20€ for zones 1 through 5. This will be cheaper than the point to point tickets round trip. Plus, this pass is good for unlimited travel on all public trains and buses for one day in zones 1-5. Buy it first thing in the morning before your first métro ride and it gets you to your train station, your round trip tickets, any buses you need to use at your destination and any traveling you'll do in Paris when you return. Before you use the ticket make sure to write your name and the date on the ticket. Don't forget to stick your ticket in the composting machine (ticket validation machine) before getting on your train. You can buy these passes from the ticket machines in métro/RER stations. Sometimes these machines have an English language option. If so, look for the one day Mobilis pass option. When you get to the screen that lists your zones to choose from press zone 1 and then press zone 5. You can also buy them at any ticket counter or stores that sell RATP tickets. They are good for 60 days so you can buy it in advance if you want to be prepared. It's not valid until you write your name and date on it and validate the ticket on your first métro/RER trip or at the train station.
Some of the day trips I mentioned will require a bus transfer once you arrive at the train station. If you choose one of these I can help you with bus info.
Feb 19, 2013 1:39 PM
4Well, I just posted a lengthy reply about other day trips you can make from Paris that are far less costly than MSM and easily accessible by public transport but it seems the good folks here at TT won't let me post that reply so instead I'll post a link to another travel website where you can find that good information: http://tinyurl.com/atpynhz
Feb 19, 2013 1:41 PM
Feb 19, 2013 2:49 PM
6French Mistique, I think you post was just too good for the mods to have it posted right away. I most certainly will keep it for a next visit to the area.
To the OP: I was at MSM this last fall (2012) and found that there was a lot of construction going on on the lands before you enter the mont, new parking lots etc. and I therefore suggest that you try to get up-to-date information before going there. I had to walk quite a bit from the parking lot to the beginning of the shuttle and then from the end of the shuttle to the mont.
Feb 19, 2013 11:53 PM
7THANKS A LOT FOR THE USEFULL INFO.
I an now convinced that I can daytrip ONLY by day tours to MSM, and I have to tell I am not interested for any other daytrip from Paris, I was in the places I am interested (versailles, Chartres...) in the past.
Viator does the daytrip from Paris in a long day (14hours) priced from 165euros and up. Any advice for them or for any other organised tours??
Feb 20, 2013 12:30 AM
Feb 20, 2013 6:51 AM
9Hey Liberat and lucapal, thanks for the nod of approval. Let me know if you need any other Paris day trip ideas. I know loads more not on that list.
Feb 28, 2013 8:38 AM
10Anyone been on any of the daytrips that set out from Paris? I'd really like to go to MSM but anyway I look this is budget-breaker... :(
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