Caen to CDG efficiently via train

Reply

Jul 4th, 2016, 10:15 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 2
Caen to CDG efficiently via train

Hello! I'm trying to figure out the best strategy for getting to CDG on Sunday 25 September from Caen. Our flight departs CDG at 14:10, So I would figure on arriving at CDG four hours early, by 10:00. We have a rental car for exploring Normandy, but I was thinking of dropping it off in Caen the night before, and taking the train to the airport. A bad plan? I took a stab at the train schedules online, but could not find the info I needed. If Caen is not the best place to start from, we can choose another city. Any help you can give is much appreciated.
acrophelia is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 4th, 2016, 11:01 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 73,219
Caen is fine -just about two hours from Paris Saint Lazare station - then take RER to Gare du Nord and train to airport.

But it could be a nice drive too - go via places such as Les Andylys or Giverny or Auvers-sur-Oise right to an airport hotel and car retrun. Or return the car in say Pontoise or any city near the airport possible and take the train to Paris and then CDG.

For train info check www.voyages-sncf.com; www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.
PalenQ is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 4th, 2016, 11:36 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,718
Drive back to CDG.
Gretchen is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 4th, 2016, 12:24 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 73,219
I agree - the drive is easy- CDG is well out Paris itself and though autoroutes around it can be very busy you do not need to take them - the train transfer in Paris is not a snap - you have to walk from Saint-Lazare to RER E a bit then at Magenta (Gare du Nord) quite a hike to get to the RER to CDG.

enjoy the drive thru a nice part of Normandy for much of it - Rouen would also make a sweet stop for a few hours.
PalenQ is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 4th, 2016, 02:50 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 6,628
I would drive, it's about 2hr 45 mins but plan a bit more for traffic, which should not be very heavy on Sunday.

Taking the train to Paris then swtiching stations to get out to CDG will take longer. Taking a taxi from Gare St. Lazare to CDG negates any savings you might make from turning the car in Saturday evening.

If you want to get to CDG by 10:00 am, I would leave Caen at 7:00 am.
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 4th, 2016, 11:55 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 44,430
I would drop the car in Caen the night before and take the train to Paris and stay there. But one of my cardinal rules of travel in France is never to be more than a taxi ride away from my departure airline on my day of travel. In all likelihood you'll have to return the car by about 6 pm, so that would give you plenty of time to get into Paris and spend a nice evening. And it would save you having to get from the car rental place in Caen back to your hotel and getting up at the crack of dawn the next morning to do the reverse.

And, oddly, on the morning of September 25, on the SNCF site, all the trains are showing as "non ouvert," though they normally would be available as of now, which leads me to believe they are perhaps planning trackwork on that day. And that could make sense, as that is a line that has recently had a fair bit of work, and Sunday is a day when trackwork is often undertaken.
StCirq is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 5th, 2016, 05:58 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 73,219
Are all trains cancelled on those days or are there bus substitutions around the work area? Can't fathom having no transport from Caen towards Paris.
PalenQ is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 5th, 2016, 06:28 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 44,430
I didn't say they were canceled. I didn't say there definitely was track work. I said they were showing as "non ouvert," which could mean any number of things. In any event, it's obviously too early to know for sure. You can go look up anticipated track work on lines all over the country on the SNCF site. If there's more information available at this time, it will be there.
StCirq is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 5th, 2016, 10:15 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 73,219
But IME there will be some way by train and perhaps en route bus substitution but strikes can also pop up -I agree with StCirq's cardinal rule about being in your departure city the night before your flight- strikes or threat of them have been too common recently in France
PalenQ is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 5th, 2016, 10:18 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 44,430
There was, last time I checked, one bus showing between Caen and Paris, but way too late for the OP to use to catch a flight out from CDG at 14:10. But keep checking. It will change.
StCirq is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 5th, 2016, 11:54 AM
  #11
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 2
Thanks so much for all your thoughtful responses. It is definitely making more sense to drive to or near CDG that night. I will plan accordingly! Thanks again!
acrophelia is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 5th, 2016, 02:52 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 3,325
I'd say it depends on where you are picking up the rental car. If in Paris, then return it there, the night before. If in Caen, then I'd do it there, and train in to Paris the night before.

Depending upon the number in your party, a taxi from St. Lazare to CDG is 50 euro. I'd consider staying at a place near Lazare on your last night, and cab to CDG in the morning.
apersuader65 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 6th, 2016, 11:23 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 73,219
50 euro is about what 4 folks would pay via RER to CDG and have the hassle of changing trains in the busy Gare du Nord multi-level station.
PalenQ is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 6th, 2016, 02:30 PM
  #14
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 73,219
If in Paris, then return it there, the night before. If in Caen, then I'd do it there, and train in to Paris the night before.>

Car rentals - big agencies like Avis, Europcar, etc charge more for returning to their other agencies always? Just curious and if so how much? I have no idea - have not rented a car in Europe since the horse and buggy days.
PalenQ is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:53 PM.