Paris day trip options?

Old Dec 5th, 2007, 08:43 AM
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Paris day trip options?

We will be spending one week in Paris next May. Besides Versailles, we are looking for another place for a day trip outside of the city. Our options are: Reims, Giverny, Fontainebleau, Mont St. Michel and Chartres. The place I want to go the most is Mont St. Michel, but I heard that the train does not go there directly. with my elderly parents, I am having second thoughts.

Please give me some suggestions where we should go. This is our first trip to Paris. Versailles is a must.

Are any of these places within zones 1-6?

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Old Dec 5th, 2007, 09:10 AM
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Versailles is in zone 4 and you can get there on the RER C line. You would need to take either regional trains or TGVs to all the other places.

Reims, Giverny, Fontainbleau, and Chartres would be easy day trips. To get to Giverny, take a regional train to Vernon and either a taxi or bus from there.

You can get to Mont St-Michel by taking a TGV to Rennes and a bus from there, but the trip takes just under four hours.

See the timetables at
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Old Dec 5th, 2007, 09:12 AM
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elyang - First trip eh? Only a week - Don't look further than Versailles for a day trip out. Paris is what you should be looking at - After 10 trips I am only scratching the surface!We will also be in Paris the first week in May and have a zillion things to do that were passed over last trip.
Spend your days wandering, wandering, and more wandering along the banks of the Seine, strolling through the islands, standing in awe beneath the Eiffel Tower, or like us, getting the most out of the new Spring flowers in Jardin de Luxembourg and other gardens in Paris.
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Old Dec 5th, 2007, 09:15 AM
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Those zones are for the city of Paris and its suburbs. None of them are in them but Versailles.

Fontainebleau is lovely, but if you are also going to Versailles, I"d pick something different.

Maybe you should be clearer on the parameters of transportation, because Mont St Michel is a long trip (and you'll have to change to a bus if you do it yourself) and of course, it would be a lot of walking once you are there aside from the train.

But any of those places are not right at the train station, so you'll have to walk a lot or take a taxi, etc. Giverny might be best in that regard, as you can take a taxi or bus from the train station right to Giverny, and then just walking around it isn't much. Reims is a large city, so you'll have to walk some to get around it to see the things you probably want to see. However, I really liked it a lot and it would be a good change from Versailles. But things may be spread out in Reims more than just going to one small spot and that's it (like Chartres).
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Old Dec 5th, 2007, 09:20 AM
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You will easily be able to fill your time in Paris, there is no need to do any (or more than 1) trips outside of Paris, unless it is part of a lifelong dream, in which case...dream come true! I have been 9/10 times and am still needing to go back. Part of the decision will depend on what your parents feelings on this are.

If Versailles is a must, you can either go by train or take a bus tour. If you go by train, you can get there early, miss some of the crowds, and stay in the gardens as long as you like. It is a short train trip. A bus tour would be OK, but you will be on their schedule. If buses interest, you, look at Parisvision and Cityrama, they both offer a multitude of tours. You could do a Versailles/Giverny combo tour.
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Old Dec 5th, 2007, 03:06 PM
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Thank you all for your suggestions. After reading them, I have made my decision that we will only be going to Versailles and spend the rest the time in the city. Afterall, my lifelong dream is to be in Paris. Besides, my step-father can't walk much. We will need to have a pretty relaxed schedule.

Thanks again. You guys are so great!
Ellen =)
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Old Dec 5th, 2007, 09:40 PM
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For your Versailles trip, consider the "forfait loisir" package. You purchase this at a train station and it includes round trip train, admission tickets (no waiting in line to buy, special entrance with shorter lines.) When we used this it also included rental of a headset with a decent audio tour, not sure if that is stil the case. Info online at
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