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Rouen or Chartres

Taipei
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Rouen or Chartres

Hi

Our family (including an elderly, a teenager, and a 3-year old) will take one day off heading to a small town outside of Paris in June.

May anyone suggest whether it is better to visit Rouen or Chartres based on your experiences? Thank you.

It is of course good to visit both but just like most tourists, our time in Paris is limited.

Paris, France
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1. Re: Rouen or Chartres

Neither is better than the other. Some people will prefer Rouen, others Chartres. Choose the one that interests you the most. For me it's Chartres but as I said I'm sure others will prefer Rouen.

Essex
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2. Re: Rouen or Chartres

Rouen is "flatter" so may be easier for your group with aged person (although you have not mentioned any mobility issues)

Chartres is "smaller" as you say you want a small place.....

Taipei
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3. Re: Rouen or Chartres

Thank you guys. The elderly person can walk but may feel tired soon. It will be good if either Roune or Chartres has a shopping area where she can take a break sitting while we tour around.

Paris, France
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4. Re: Rouen or Chartres

There are plenty of places to shop or sit and relax in both places, although in most French towns many independently owned stores are closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Tucson, Arizona
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5. Re: Rouen or Chartres

I enjoy both Rouen and Chartres very much. If Malcolm is still conducting tours of the Chartres cathedral, then that would tip the scales for me. He is the best "guide" I've had in decades of travel worldwide. Otherwise, I would toss a coin! You cannot go wrong.

Le Bugue, France
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6. Re: Rouen or Chartres

What led you to choose those two places? They are very different, though both obviously have cathedrals. I've been to both several times and could not make that choice - just different places. I do agree that a tour with Malcolm Miller is incredible and might tip the scales for me, too.

Chicago
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7. Re: Rouen or Chartres

My nephew's school group just had a tour with Malcolm Miller last month, which he said was just as incredible as I told him it would be.

Remember last year when someone asked if he had retired, and he came on TA himself to refute it? That was awesome.

I also have been to both, with that group I think I would opt for Chartres just because it's smaller, aside from the Malcolm Miller aspect. The cathedral is amazing.

Victoria, Canada
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8. Re: Rouen or Chartres

Actually while central old town Rouen may be flat I distinctly recall walking down a very long hill from the train station to that area.. and of course.. walking back its all uphill.. and I think it might be too much walking some folks..

Val-de-Marne, France
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9. Re: Rouen or Chartres

Rouen: 111,000 inhabitants, large city feel. I find the architecture more interesting in Rouen than in Chartres. Direct trains 1hr15 to 1hr30, cost: 10 € to 23.50 € one way depending on how early you book.

Chartres: 39,000 people, small town feel. More relaxing. The cathedral is more interesting than in Rouen. Train from Gare Montparnasse, 1hr05 to 1hr15 minutes, cost 15.60 € one way.

Each town has other things of interest aside from the old center and cathedral. For instance history pertaining to Joan of Arc in Rouen or the fun Maison Picassiette in Chartres. You can look on the tourist office websites to see if one holds more interest than the other in regards to the history or sites worth visiting or just the general feel / beauty. While I personally prefer smaller towns and am not into city tourism I happen to have a slight preference for Rouen (the old town), but my husband prefers Chartres.

Taipei
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10. Re: Rouen or Chartres

I found the link http://ppt.cc/g0JR where people provided their views before.

Thank you French_Mystique, it is good know that the stores in Rouen (perhaps Chartres too) may close on Sunday and Monday.

StCirq, we just want to take 1 day off from bust Paris to take a look at different side of France. I know there are way too many places to see but we have to leave them for next time.

Rumples, I really have to toss a coin now...

joan1 and Warriorjan, thank you for the info.

Mrs_French_Mystique, Maison Picassiette is really amazing! My wife prefers to see Chartres, a small town in the mountain, whereas I think Rouen offers more history stories to tell the kids (Jeanne d'Arc). Well, I still have 3 months to make the decision.

Edited: 24 February 2014, 03:14