Daytrip to Reims: Transit Details

Jul 26th, 2007, 10:44 AM
  #1  
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Daytrip to Reims: Transit Details

We've read many postings about taking a train to Reims from Paris for the day. Major question unresolved: once you're off the train, one might see some old-city sights, cathedrals etc., but what about the countryside and Champagne houses?

How much time, distance, trouble to see the "real Champagne" outside of town? Rent a car, find a touring van, other idea? The postings seem to indicate that some major Champagne houses are in the old town - yes, no?

Related query: my impression (so far) is that to head east from Paris, you have to get to a gard in the eastern part of the city, rather than expect to find a station on the West Bank and still head east. We're staying in the 7th... how does the train station system work?
phillymazes is offline  
Jul 26th, 2007, 11:06 AM
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You go to Reims via Gare de L'est. If you look at SNCF site (www.voyages-sncf.com), you can get the schedules and cost. There are several trains per day, about 45 mins, about 20 euros return. This is a regular train. The high speed train now also stops there is that strikes your fancy. I'd go the slower one for more of chane to enjpy the view.

You will pass nice countryside on your way there. There are a few Houses in town, I wlaked form the cathedral to Taitinger, one of the better known places. About a 20 minute walk.

As for car rental...I have not done this from there.

Mike
Michel_Paris is offline  
Jul 26th, 2007, 12:16 PM
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I took a taxi from the train station in Reims to the champage houses. It's too long to walk. Think of the cathedral being in city centre with the train station and champagne house about equal distance but in opposite directions.

Note that there is nowhere to eat near the champagne houses--so you may want to see the cathedral, have lunch in city centre then go to the champagne houses or do tours in the am and late aft and lunch in the city or however you want to do it.

There is a bus that you can catch near the houses that will take you to city centre--the tour guides in one of the houses will help with where, what # to take etc. Or they'll call a taxi for you if you want. FYI, taxi fare was 12e from station to house and then 15e back.

The sncf train took well over an hour each way. Although the countryside was pretty, I'd take the tgv next time (it wasn't running yet when i went)
lucygirl is offline  
Jul 26th, 2007, 12:18 PM
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The clutch of Champagne Houses are about two miles from the train station. Though there is one very close to the train station. I think basically all the major Houses are in town, most clustered together on south of town center.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 26th, 2007, 12:32 PM
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I've always walked and there is a really neat old church en route - in another town where it would not be overshadowed by the cathedral, it's be a star attraction.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 26th, 2007, 12:58 PM
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As for 'real' Champagne Houses being out of town i think that's not true - they are in town but not right in the old town centre.

If Champagne is your goal then i believe the Houses (many of the same company) in nearby Epernay are more prestigious even than in Reims - Epernay i believe in many ways the epicentre of the Champagne Champagne wine distcit. And Epernay is easily reached by train and is small enough you can walk right to the Champagne Houses from the station.

Yet Reims Cathedral alone is reason enough IMO to go to Reims
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 26th, 2007, 01:06 PM
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PalenQ: Epernay...that's where I think we went. Is that whre Pommery and Veuve Clicquot are? Or maybe we went to Epernay after, I don't recall. But we rented a car from Paris and drove there. I don't want to be limited by being near the train stations and I don't like to walk too much.
loves2sing is offline  
Jul 27th, 2007, 05:32 AM
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Most of the major producers have Houses in both Reims and Epernay - if you drove southeast from Reims over the mountain then it was most likely Epernay you went to.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 27th, 2007, 05:40 AM
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And to clarify...the Taitinger house is not in the middle of fields of grapes...this is where they make and store the champagne, not pick the grapes (which are outside of town)
Michel_Paris is offline  
Jul 27th, 2007, 06:54 AM
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On our trip in June we'd planned to go to Reims for the cathedral but after visiting a number of churches (in Heidelberg & Koblenz) and cathedrals (Strasbourg & Cologne) on a Rhine cruise and two churches in London in the two weeks prior we decided we were churched out.

We were prepared with Daytrips France by Earl Steinbicker. Veuve Clicquot, Pommery, Taittinger and Piper-Heidsieck all have cellars in Reims and are fairly close together.

According to the book, Les Crayeres is "one of the very best restaurants in France with prices to match" and is near the cellars. "Proper dress expected, reservations essential".

We have made good use of the Steinbicker books over the years. The London book is 1995 and the France 2000. The website is www.daytripsbooks.com.
jsmith is offline  
Jul 27th, 2007, 07:36 AM
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In reading my post I realized I may have given a wrong impression. There are more recent editions of Steinbicker's books but we haven't felt the need to update.
jsmith is offline  

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