Do we drive or tgv from Paris to Dijon?

Old Feb 14th, 2007, 03:47 PM
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Do we drive or tgv from Paris to Dijon?

Need help deciding on the lesser of two unappealing options. There's a fast train from Gare du Lyon that takes only 1 hour 40 minuts to Dijon, that's good news. How much difference will there be between first and second class seats? On the down side, the train may be a hassle because we will have considerable luggage (we'll be hand carrying attire for a formal occasion).
If we do take the train, how do we buy tickets? On the TGV website, it looks like the tgv fares are refundable. Anyone used their internet site and had experience with booking online?
I don't relish the idea of renting a car in Paris and trying to get on the right freeway to Dijon. I think it would take longer to get the rental car and drive (and get lost) than to get to the train station (from our hotel in the 6th) and take the train.
What's your opinion?
Robbietravels is offline  
Old Feb 14th, 2007, 04:12 PM
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Why "two unappealing options"? Both train and car are perfectly fine and doable.

For speed, take the train. Second class is very nice, there is nothing "second-class" about it.

Don't try to book on the TGV site, book at sncf, in advance if you see specials (called PREMS), otherwise buy your tickets when you get to Paris (unless you fly in at the last minute).

But driving is an option, not painful, a good option if you will have time on the way back to go to see a few nice places along the way.

Just read the map and print out an itinerary from one of the many mapping sites.
WallyKringen is offline  
Old Feb 14th, 2007, 04:46 PM
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When I went to Burgundy a few years ago, I took the train to Dijon from Gare de Lyon. Very easy and a lovely trip. I rented my car in Dijon for the rest of the trip. To me, that's the better option by far!
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Old Feb 14th, 2007, 04:53 PM
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I've taken the Dijon to Paris TGV several times. If your itinerary is set, try to book a PREM first class fare - which will be something like 15E more than coach. On a TGV, coach is like Business class on an airplane. First class will bet you more luggage space and a roomier seat.

Search for "MorganB" to find an excellent write-up on buying tickets on the TGV.

Stu Dudley
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Old Feb 14th, 2007, 05:01 PM
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I've never been sure why lugging your luggage to a car rental place and loading them in the car and then reversing the process at the other end is any "less" effort than taking the luggage on the train. Frankly I vote for the train.
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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 06:28 AM
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Hi RT,

See www.voyages-sncf.com for train tickets.

Look for PREMS fares. Sometimes 1 cl is cheaper than 2 cl.



ira is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2007, 06:42 AM
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"Search for "MorganB" to find an excellent write-up on buying tickets on the TGV."

I second checking out Morgan B.s very complete instructions for booking PREMS tickets which are a significant savings.

I found picking up a car in Paris(at a train station)and getting onto the peripherique to be a bit of a hassle. I vote for the train too.
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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 06:52 AM
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The train... its a lovely "ride" and there is not too much hassle with your luggage if you can put it on the overhead.
Read Morgan's report - and if you choose the "print" the ticket, don't worry...the conductors love them.
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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 07:16 AM
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One thing to keep in mind is that if you take the train to Dijon and are planning to rent a car once you get to there (which I would recommend), you will have twice as much loading and unloading of luggage (2x on/off the train & 2x in/out of the car). Also, while gas and tolls are not cheap in France, 4 people splitting the cost will be less than 4 train tickets. You can also use your group to your advantage by having 2 ppl pick up the car and drive back to the hotel and have the other 2 wait with the luggage. This way there is minimal hauling of luggage.

With a good map, negotiating from rental agency to hotel and out of town is not too difficult. The trickiest part of driving in Paris is navagating the peripherique, however depending where in Paris you are staying you can likely avoid driving the peripherique altogether. Most rental agencies have pick-up/drop-off locations all over Paris. When reserving your car, choose the location that is closest to your hotel. Once you are out of Paris, it really could not be simpler to get to Dijon/Burgundy.

One advantage to this plan is that you can stop in some interesting towns along the way, such as Auxerre and/or Vezelay. If are in a hurry to get to Dijon, train will definitely be faster. Either way you choose to go, it really is pretty easy.
ripit is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2007, 08:08 AM
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having a car will give you more flexibility to stop along the way. My question is always, "Who is going to do ALL (yes, ALL)the driving?"
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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 09:57 AM
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We drove from Paris to Dijon few years ago, without problems, but then continued the drive to Epernay and thru Burgundy and looping thru Loire before returning to Paris. If you're staying in Dijon, the TGV sounds the way to go. Great burgundian food in Dijon.
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Old Feb 19th, 2007, 06:50 PM
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All your spot on info has helped me, thanx. Decided to take TGV to Dijon. MorganB's train opus is incredible. I'll book when its 90 days out and use my husband's computer (Morgan says I can't use Safari on my Mac and print tickets). I'll seek out the PREMS and know that I can buy in Paris if need be.
I've not taken a train in France in many years so it will be fun and I can avoid the tension I feel when trying to navigate on to the ring road and the right freeway. I used ViaMichelin driving in Burgundy and the Loire previously and it was a good tool. I also learned to have the names of 5 or 6 intermediate towns en route to my destination to help in interpreting auto route signs quickly while driving.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2007, 02:23 AM
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bookmarking
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Old Apr 2nd, 2007, 08:50 AM
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You can use Safari to print out tickets unless the site has been changed. I have done it several times. Just remember that PREM tickets are non-refundable. To be safe, click on print and then save your ticket as a PDF file. If something actually goes wrong with the subsequent printing, you still have a copy of your ticket, which you can print as often as you want.
Michael is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2007, 10:54 PM
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If you haven't taken the train in years, you're in for a VERY pleasant surprise...like night and day!
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