Frankfurt to Paris - Help with Trains!!

Nov 22nd, 2003, 12:04 PM
  #1  
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Frankfurt to Paris - Help with Trains!!

Here is my dilemma - we drive everywhere we go and have only taken short train rides in the past. So, we are wanting to head down to Paris and with the tolls in France, the gas and the parking hassels we are thinking the train would be the most cost/time effective means of getting there - problem... we have no idea how much this might cost or where to go to get the tickets, could someone please point me in the right direction? I've check bahn.de and they don't give prices and I'm lost on thalys and scnf!!! I just don't get it! Help!!!!!! Thanks, gotta
gottatravel_europe is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2003, 12:47 PM
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For a quick estimate of time/cost for train trips between many cities:
http://www.ricksteves.com/rail/timecostmap.htm

For schedules all over Europe, not just Germany:
http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en

For prices of various night trains, and other info:
http://www.euraide.de

For help deciding if a Railpass is the way to go:
www.railsaver.com

All of these sites have other good info, too. Just about anything you need to know about trains in Europe can be found on one or all of them.
elberko is online now  
Nov 22nd, 2003, 01:03 PM
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gottatravel_europe,

Are you based in Frankfurt and travelling roundtrip to Paris? If so I would:
a) check air fares on the route with Air France and Lufthansa - if you book more than 21 days ahead you could get a good fare.

b) check train schedules on:
http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en
There are a few direct trains, but the fastest and most frequent connections on high speed ICE and Thalys trains involve a change at Koeln-Deutz and take just over 5.5 hours. To book, I woud head to a train station or travel agent.

If you're based in the States and want to get as low a train fare as possible, things are a bit more complicated: you can book the Thalys portion of your journey - Koeln-DEUTZ (not Koeln Hauptbahnhof/Hbf) to Paris on
www.sncf.com
Select ticket pickup in GERMANY. You should be able to print out the ticket right on your PC after purchasing it.

You can purchase the ticket for the Frankfurt to Koeln portion when you arrive in Germany, since no seat reservation is required or do it ahead of time online at:
www.bahn.de

Hope this helps,
Andre
Andre is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2003, 07:12 PM
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I'd opt for the air travel. It's about a little over an hour or so from Frankfurt to Paris. We flew on Lufthansa and the aircraft and service were really good on this journey. I don't know the fare comparison between taking the train vs. the airplane but I'm assuming the plane will be alot faster than the train.
francophile03 is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2003, 04:33 AM
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ira
 
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Hi gotta,

The SNCF site shows a direct train from Frankfurt am Main HBF to Paris Est leaving at 10:44 AM. It takes 6:23 hr and costs 78E in 2cl. This is the Full Fare.

There are discounts for round trips.
ira is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2003, 06:17 AM
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The no-frills line Germanwings flies from Cologne-Bonn to Paris: please see http://www.germanwings.de . To reach that airport you take a train at 36 euros: it takes three hours in all from central Frankfurt. Full-cost flights take 40 minutes by local train from central Frankfurt to the airport, an hour for check-in, 40 minutes flight, 30 minutes to collect bags and 30 minutes to central Paris, total 2 hours 20 minutes minimum.

So the train becomes interesting. As Andre says, for about 100 euros you can leave Frankfurt main station at 0830, change in Cologne Deutz 0943 to 1001, and reach Paris Nord at 1605. There are other connections on this route two and four hours later. Or as Ira says you can take a through train for about 78 euros from Frankfurt main station at 0644 or 1044 to Paris Est at 1303 or 1707. Each of these connections and through trains has a buffet car.

But if you sleep well on trains you need sleepers, to save a hotel bill and to save travel time. Saturdays apart, a train with single berth and two berth sleepers takes passengers at Frankfurt main station from 2220, leaves at 2250, and reaches Paris Est at 0701. Around Paris Est station square many brasseries serve breakfast: I like the Algerian one on the Rue d?Alsace, behind the railings and below the steps.

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ben_haines_london is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2003, 12:28 PM
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Thank you for your replies everyone, the plane isn't really an option for us. I really appreciate your time ira and ben - that is exactly the sort of information I needed.
gottatravel_europe is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2003, 12:36 PM
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I am glad I was on the right lines, but I did miss a point you need on sleeper costs. In a two berth sleeper these are per person 78 euros basic fare plus 50 euros sleeper supplement, total 122 euros each.

Ben Haines, London
ben_haines_london is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2003, 03:14 PM
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Dear Gotta - Just so you have some recent figures to go on; we returned from Paris about an hour ago. It took five hours by car from the Kaiserslautern area and cost us 23.30 euros in tolls each way. Our car gets 23 miles/gallon and we needed to buy 15 euros in gas near Reims to make it back to the border. There is a BP station right at the border near Saarbrucken, but it is on the south side of the autobahn so you have to enter France and then swing around and come back to get to it. I realize that you weren't looking for driving info, but just thought this might help if it comes down to you doing that. We stayed at an Etap hotel in Paris and found it to be exactly what we were after; convenient and cheap!
sardog10 is offline  
Nov 24th, 2003, 12:01 AM
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Oh Sardog - you are the best! I was really wondering about the tolls - I had heard it was more expensive than that! Did your hotel have parking? I had heard 15 euro per day for public parking - I would love more info on the specifics of your trip. I checked on trains and at 277 euro for our family, perhaps driving is more in our budget! Thanks again! - Gotta
gottatravel_europe is offline  
Nov 24th, 2003, 02:34 AM
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I don't know about the Thalys and the non-German part of the travel, but don't estimate travel fares by just multiplying singly fares. The pricing of the German rail is complicated and changes often, but there are many deals (for example small children ride for free; in groups travelling together, only one person pays the full price, the rest only 50%; if booked long in advance, you get a 40% discount etc.). Maybe you should try to contact someone from the German railway and ask them for their best price.
Hans is offline  
Nov 24th, 2003, 02:59 AM
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Hans makes good point. You cou;ld try Euraide in Florida, http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homep...e/homepage.htm, telephone 1 941-480-1555 fax 1 941-480-1522 [email protected]).

Ben Haines, London
ben_haines_london is offline  
Nov 24th, 2003, 11:16 AM
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We took the night train to Paris a month ago. We used our local an automobile association (AAA) I would tap this resource as a way to go for the reservations and information as you need. Make sure to bring snacks etc as dealing with train schedules time changes etc can mean you get the munchies!
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