Paris Day Trips

Old Oct 18th, 2001, 12:20 PM
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Paris Day Trips

I'll be in Paris for 10 days in mid-November. I'm thinking of taking a day trip to Chartres or Versailles. I'd love any information about transportation, sights, towns, etc. Are these trips worth it? How long does it take to get there from Paris?
Old Oct 18th, 2001, 12:31 PM
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Both are well worth a visit although I have only been to Versailles .Its Palace and gardens are fantastic and you can spend the day there quite easily. you can get to Versailles by Rer or metro ( around 30mins from central Paris). I think you can also get to Chartres by train.
Old Oct 18th, 2001, 01:27 PM
Bob Brown
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Versailles is an easy day trip that you can do on your own. Take RER line C from Austerlitz, Invalides, or any of several other stations along that line.
Just remember that you are taking the light rail system known as the REr and not the Metro. You want to reach the station known as Versailles Rive Gauche.
It is a short walk from there to the entrance to Versailles.
The question is when to go. Some suggest later in the day after the tour bus crowds have come and gone. I think there is merit in that suggestion.
I got there before the box office actually opened, but we could not beat the tour groups. They have expedited service for getting in.
My next favorite destination is a visit to Vaux le Vicomte. I think that is the most artistically done chateau of them all. Personal opinion of course, but the men who were ordered to build Versailles were the designers, architects, and engineers of Vaux le Vicomte. It is reached from the town of Melun, which is a stop on the RER to the east of Paris, then a taxi ride to the Chateau.
It is one trip I would gladly do again.
You might consider a guided tour of Vaux le Vicomte which might also include Fontainebleau, depending on what is available this time of year.
Old Oct 27th, 2001, 03:12 PM
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I would never do a package tour to both places in one day. The transportation to Versailles in particular is so easy, why pay someone to do it for you unless you really are incompetent on your own? You will be rushed through and shown the highlights only. You can easily spend a full day at Versailles and one at Chartres if you wish. One of my favorite parts of Versailles is strolling the gardens, and the little farm village that was built for Marie Antoinette -- however, those may not be very attractive options in mid November.
If you tour on your own, definitely get the audio tour. There is so much noise and so much reverberation in the palace, that it is totally impossible to hear and understand a tour guide over all the other guides and noise. That is another reason to avoid the package tour. Friends of mine did one and literally did not understand a word of the entire trip.
By the way, Agnes, advertising is not allowed on the Fodor's site. If independent travelers want to suggest a tour group, that is another matter.
Old Oct 27th, 2001, 06:05 PM
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Hi Claire, I always do trips on my own the savings are tremendous.
Go to Versailles and Vaux le Vicompte both are worth it. Both are great...
Old Oct 27th, 2001, 11:23 PM
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If gardens interest you, Monet's home and gardens at Giverny are worth a visit.
Old Oct 28th, 2001, 06:52 AM
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Hello! I recommend a day trip to Chartres! If I remember correctly, it's just an hour from Paris by train, easy to do on your own, and as you approach the city, you'll see the cathedral way in the distance across the fields -- beautiful. The cathedral, with its glass, sculptures, and the maze in the middle, is fascinating. A British scholar used to give wonderful walking tours daily; don't know if he's still around, but you might ask at the tourist office. Also, the old part of the town around the cathedral is beautiful, too. It's been years since I was there, but it was one of my best French travel experiences. Don't miss it, and allow plenty of time. Don't know if this is of interest to you, but I think there is an international museum of stained glass not far from the cathedral. Speaking of day-trips, has anyone visited Auvers-sur-Oise to see Van Gogh's beloved church? Just wondering. I never have, but would be interested to hear about it. One more thing: What about a day trip to Fontainbleau? Can anyone talk about that as a possibility and give specifics on how to reach it by train? -- I know it's on a different line than the 'big' trains, but I was never able to figure out how to get there. Your ten-day stay sounds wonderful.
Old Oct 28th, 2001, 07:14 PM
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Last November we went to Versailles for half a day, I don't think it is a real "day" trip~take the RER to Versailles, walk from the station, it is a 5 minute walk.We left the hotel after breakfast and got back to the Left Bank for a late lunch..then do Chartres for a full day.At least,that is the way I would do it~wish I were doing it this November

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