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Paris: Recommendations for Day trip this Friday?

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Feb 11th, 2009, 10:30 AM
  #1
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Paris: Recommendations for Day trip this Friday?

My daughter and friends are looking for an easy day trip from Paris this Friday. Where would you recommend given the time of year? Thanks!
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Feb 11th, 2009, 12:14 PM
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What are you interested in and how long away are you comfy with:

Versailles if you've not been there is just about 30 mins by RER right to near the entrance of the world's most famous palace - and great park and gardens

Chartres - a sweet French regional town famous of course for what is called the world's most exquisite Gothic Cathedral - fantastic stained glass windows - take a tour of the curch that Malcolm Miller offers in English to help bring the stones to live. Cathedral a spitwad blow away from the train station

Reims & Champagne Tours
Reims is one of France' most historic cities and it has a great cathedral, where Kings and Queens of France were traditionally crowned i think. A bustling regional town and in the town itself are several famous Champagne Houses with tours of their caves. (many closed 12-2) and you often get a free glass of bubbly at the end. Seeing how Champagne is stored and cured in these caves is very unique. There is also, near the train station, the WW2 Room where the Allies plotted the final assault on Germany and Berlin - war maps still on the wall and signs still there to say where each person sat. Reims is less than one hour by train - the new TGV-Est so you ride at speeds of nearly 200 mph for a whole different experience.

Farther afield day trips could go to Normandy's D-Day beaches (train to Bayeux - 2 hrs or so each way from Paris and have pre-reserved a half-day mini-bus tour that takes you to the main sights such as the Colville-sur-Mer military cemetery overlooking some of the bloodiest initial D-Day assault beaches. Bayeux another sweet regional town - about the only one not destroyed in WWII fighting in Normandy - check out another sweet cathedral and the museum with in it Queen Mathilda's Tapestry documenting the 1066 Norman Invasion of England and ensuing battle with Saxons lead by King Harold.

Or Mont Saint-Michel - good in any weather - take a TGV train to Rennes then a bus that meets the train right to Mont-Saint-Michel for the tour of the famous basilica and wander around the island

other choices: Chantilly - great chateau near Paris with Horse show and rehearsals

Auvers-sur-Oise - where Van Gogh and Impressionists painted and there are re-created canvases posted around town at the point they executed them - and the Auberge Ravoux where Van Gogh and other painters drank themselves into stupors with the Green Fairy - absinthe - You can walk around town and to the Cornfields where Van Gogh painted his final pictures - with dark brooding clouds and where he shot himself that led to his death later in the Auberge - room kept as was with blood stains, etc. Auvers is about an hour from Paris via suburban train.

Well those for starters at least.

Brussels is just over an hour by high-speed train and London just two hours each way by Eurostar train
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Feb 11th, 2009, 01:14 PM
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Given the time of year, I wouldn't go to Auvers, even though I like it a lot. I'd vote for Reims or Brussels.
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Feb 11th, 2009, 02:11 PM
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Thank you so much for the excellent suggestions! I am forwarding them all to my daughter.
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Feb 11th, 2009, 02:42 PM
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I just want to give a thumbs up to Malcolm Miller's tour. It's been a long time (nearly 11 years) since we were in Chartres, but he was (and I guess still is) absolutely amazing.
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Feb 11th, 2009, 05:10 PM
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My two favorite day trips from Paris via public transportation are Provins and Senlis. You can google for info on both towns.
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Feb 12th, 2009, 12:29 AM
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I would go to Saint-Malo, the TGV goes directly there in about 3 hours and it is a lovely walled city surrounded by the ocean.
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Feb 12th, 2009, 01:28 AM
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Brugges is wonderful too and easy to get to by train. The city is very walkable too.
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Feb 12th, 2009, 05:14 AM
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Lyon is a wonderful day trip on the TGV.
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Feb 12th, 2009, 05:55 AM
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LONDON! LONDON! LONDON!

Spend a long day in the most famous English-speaking city in the world. Take the first train out and the last one back (don't even think about flying - the journey will exhaust you), and you'll have twelve hours on the ground to see about half the sights you've known about since you could read.

It won't be an in-depth tour, by any means (that would take weeks), but you can spend an hour or so in each of a goodly number of well-known attractions - and a lot of the sights are drive-by anyway (like Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Parliament, and Piccadilly Circus). Spend at least a little time in the British Museum, British Library, Tower of London, St. Paul's, Westminster Abbey, and (if art's your thing) National Gallery, and Tate Modern.

Buy a one-day Bus Pass at the Underground station when you get to St. Pancras, and use this map (print it out before you leave home) to do a little advance planning: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloa...al_bus_map.pdf

If you want to know exactly where things are in relation to the bus stops, here is a resource (click on a station, then Local Area Map:

http://journeyplanner.tfl.gov.uk/im/SI-T.html

These maps are available free in printed form at each Tube station.
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Feb 12th, 2009, 09:04 AM
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Or hop the TGV train to Tours (1 hr) and hook up with mini-bus tours to one or more of the famous Chateaus of the Loire - such as Chenonceaux or Azay-le-Rideau

Loire Valley Day Tour
The Tourist Office of Tours, heart of the Loire Valley, ... 9:15 am departure in a luxurious and air climatised minibus for a day trip visit which will ...
http://www.westernfrancetouristboard...aytourplus.htm
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Feb 12th, 2009, 10:29 AM
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Vaux-le-Vicomte is an amazing chateau quite close to Paris and would also make a sweet day trip - Take RER train the Melun, then taxi several miles to the castle.

See the photos here - there is also a grand waterway/gardens - all surrounded by nature.

Château of Vaux le Vicomte
Next Event at Vaux le Vicomte:. Get more details on all our events here ! ... Les broderies de buis du parterre central de Vaux le Vicomte ...
www.vaux-le-vicomte.com/en/accueil.php
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Feb 12th, 2009, 01:11 PM
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My husband and I will be in Paris in March and are thinking about a day trip from the city-- these are great suggestions! Does anyone know, is there any benefit to purchasing TGV tickets in advance online, or is it ok to play things by ear and purchase them at the station the day we go? I'm thinking we'll stay rather close to the city, maybe Chartres or Reims, and I sort of assume those trains wouldn't sell out in advance. Thanks for any advice or tips you can provide.
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Feb 12th, 2009, 03:04 PM
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There are very good regular promotional fares on TGV called PREMS, but they sell out quickly. Snag them if you can.
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Feb 12th, 2009, 03:29 PM
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I'm not sure how old your daughter and her friends are, but I'm 28 and just got back from Brussels. I loved it!

We went to Bruges too, but it was a little sleepy for my taste. Ghent is another option, and being that it's a university town, there might be more going on.

It really just depends on what they want to do: site-see, nightlife, get out of a big city, etc... Maybe get some additional specifics from her and add them here so more people can comment.
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Feb 12th, 2009, 06:10 PM
  #16
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Thanks again to everyone for the great ideas! My daughter is 21 and studying in Paris for the semester. Our family's traveled a lot, so she's been to many of France's larger cities, as well as London, Amsterdam, Rome, Barcelona, but never to Brussels or some of the smaller cities/towns closer to Paris.
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Feb 13th, 2009, 08:28 AM
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Chartres is mainly served by regional trains that you just hop on - no seat reservations possible i think and a flat fare - no reason to buy ahead

Reims' the fastest way involves TGVs and you can like Rober Peter said get online discounts cheaper than buying on the day.
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Feb 28th, 2009, 01:44 PM
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We used http://www.linkparis.com Great customer service.
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