Have just one day for day trip from Paris. Should I go to Champagne or Burgundy? Anybody been to both? Any suggestions? Thank you-Jan
Reims is probably the easier of the two - just an hour on the train, and about 30 euros per person if you book ahead.
What about all of the other day trips you can do from Paris -- Versailles, Giverny, Chantilly, Provins, Vaux-le-Vicomte, Fontainebleau, the Loire Valley, etc., etc, etc.?
For a single day trip, I'd recommend Reims -- as before, it's only an hour on the TGV, and you can reach several of the major houses on foot. The office of tourism (www.reims-tourisme.com ) has English-speaking staff, and they can help you book tours via phone or email.
There's the fabulous cathedral, too, which celebrates its 800th anniversary this week, and where all of France's kings (save 2) were crowned -- so a champagne cellar, a leisurely lunch, and a visit to the cathedral (and the amazing museum next door at the Bishop's Palace -- both UNESCO World Heritage Sites) makes a very pleasant day out.
The Loire is two hours each way by train -- Dijon is anywhere from 1-1/2 to 3 hours each way, depending on the routing...and out of a 10-hour day, it makes a big difference.
Dijon's tourism site is www.visitdijon.com/en -- but I don't believe it's possible to visit cellars in Dijon proper -- you'd have to take a wine tour for that. (I'll bow to local experts on that one)
and how did I know how long the trains take? I looked the schedules up!
There are some trains as fast as an hour -- but there are plenty more that are closer to 2 hours. YMMV
If you want to go to the Loire and see Chenonceau and one or maybe two other châteaux it can be done as a day trip from Paris if you take the TGV there (takes just over 1 hour from Paris). There are tours that depart from the tourist office in Tours that will take you to the famous châteaux etc. Check these links to the Tours tourist office website:
Make sure you take the TGV that arrives in Tours Centre, not Saint-Pierre- des-Corps, since the tours depart from the tourist office which is next to the TGV station Tours Centre. You can purchase TGV tickets as much as 90 days in advance. The earlier you buy your tickets the cheaper it is. Buy your tickets from the website www.tgv-europe.com. Do not enter the USA as your home country or you will be redirected to the RailEurope website, which has higher ticket prices and doesn't list all the train times. Enter Antarctica or some other non-English speaking country as your home country. I just entered a random date almost three months out and tickets right now are about 24 euros each way. You'd want the TGV that leaves at 7:38AM. Here's the link to give you an idea:
All that being said, this would certainly be one of the pricier day trips. But if you just have to visit the Loire as a day trip from Paris this is your cheapest and most time efficient option.
That being said there are dozens of day trips you could make within an hour train ride from Paris that are all worthwhile and much cheaper than a day trip to the Loire or Burgundy.
Enter the words "day trip from Paris" or "Paris day trip" into the search engine here and you'll find hundreds of threads on the topic of day trips from Paris to start your research. Here's my standard response:
Provins (walled medieval town), Chantilly (wonderful château), Senlis (small medieval town can be combined with a visit to Chantilly), Reims (champage tours, great historic cathedral, museums), Epernay (champagne tours, can be combined with Reims), Fontainebleau (château, nice old town), Versailles (obvious), Vaux-le-Vicomte (the château after which Louis XIV based his garden renovations for Versailles), Rouen (small city, lots to do, wonderful cathedral, medieval old center), Giverny (Monet's house and gardens), Troyes (medieval small city), Chartres (the famous cathedral and wonderful old town), Compiègne (château with museums, wonderful old town). Strasbourg, Lille, Dijon etc., etc.
Some smaller places to visit could be Auvers-sur-Oise (Van Gogh history), Moret-sur-Loing (medieval town), Sceaux (lovely park and château turned museum), Saint-Germain-en-Laye (former royal town with museum in a château devoted to pre-history), Malmaison (former royal town with château of the Empress Josephine). These are some (but not all) of the more popular day trips from Paris.
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