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Paris to Nice, best transportation?


Jul 12th, 2014, 05:19 PM
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Paris to Nice, best transportation?

We want to travel from Paris to Nice. We do want something time efficient. Can you recommend any airlines that provide inexpensive flights from Paris to Nice? We looked at some trains, but the duration for most of them is 8 1/2 hours. We don't really want to spend a whole day in a train. Thank you!
pureleigh is offline  
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Jul 12th, 2014, 05:51 PM
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The train takes 5 hours and 37 minutes.

You do need to get to the train station in Paris and from the station in Nice to your hotel which will take time. I would think that flying would take almost as long by the time you get to the airport and if you leave from CDG you'll need to be there quite a bit ahead because of the long security lines.

You could check Easyjet from Orly to Nice which would not be as bad as leaving from CDG.

There are night trains that leaves at 21:23 and arrives in Nice at 8:46. That would be very efficient.
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Jul 12th, 2014, 05:52 PM
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I think there is a 7:45am leaving Paris and arriving in Nice about 1:30pm.

But I will be interested in comments.
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Jul 12th, 2014, 06:04 PM
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www.skyscanner.com is good on budget airlines but it also covers Air France.
Direct trains from Paris to Nice take about 5 hours and 40 minutes and there are quite a few departures. That is a not-unsubstantial amount of time. But airlines involve a trip to the airport on the outskirts, security and boarding procedures, a wait at the other end for luggage and another trip into the city. The trains start and arrive in the middle of things and require nothing more than climbing aboard with your ticket's seat reservation. In either mode, the earlier you buy the ticket the cheaper it will be.
To understand French trains, www.seat61.com The two sites most often mentioned here for purchases are http://en.voyages-sncf.com/en/ which is the site of the French rail system and www.capitainetrain.com which is somewhat simpler to use.
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Jul 12th, 2014, 06:28 PM
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When we were in the same situation we compared train and air travel. It was cheapest to fly Air France to Nice from Orly.
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Jul 12th, 2014, 08:24 PM
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I took the train from Paris to Nice last summer. I think it was around 6 hours. For me it gave me time to catch up on sorting photos, writing blog posts and generally decompressing from one part of my trip to another. I took the morning train arriving early afternoon.

I don't remember it being a particularly interesting train ride and if I was time crunched would definitely look at flying as the airport in Nice is very close to town.
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Jul 12th, 2014, 08:48 PM
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In October, we are flying Air France from Orly to Nice. We will be staying for two nights near Fontainebleau so this was a pretty easy choice for us. Fares were very reasonable.
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Jul 12th, 2014, 10:11 PM
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Taking the TGV train from Paris to Nice is a no-brainer, unless you are forced to fly because you are travelling on business and paid by the hour! ;0)

The 'one-hour flight' means up to 4 hours of basic RER train to the airport, all the airport security hassle, the flight, another airport, then a bus. It is an interruption to your holiday, not part of it.

The train is a relaxing 5h30 journey from city centre to city centre on France's impressive 186 mph TGV, and in this case it will be an even more impressive double-deck TGV Duplex - select an upper deck seat for the best views. It's quiet and smooth, there's a cafe-bar, or you're free to bring your own picnic and bottle of red.

Paris-Nice train fares start at just 25 euros with no added fees and a choice of seating options and upper/lower deck if you book at www.capitainetrain.com - you usually just print out your own ticket.

You leave from Paris' historic Gare de Lyon with its huge clocktower. It's a shame the famous Train Bleu restaurant on the main (Hall 1) concourse is closed for refurb June-Sept 2014 as it's a classic place for a meal or just a coffee or beer before you stroll across the concourse to your train - there's no check-in complexity with trains, you just walk up to it and get on any time before departure.

The train leaves the Paris suburbs behind and speeds south along the Rhone Valley, past pretty villages with picturesque churches. On a clear day you can see the massif central to the right and (as you get south) the high alps to the left. Plus the odd chateau!

You'll cross and re-cross the river Rhone several times, at Avignon you cross on a massive high viaduct way above the valley, look to your left and you can see the famous Palais des Papes in the distance - although if you can see anyone dancing sur le pont d'Avignon you have better eyesight than me...

You by-pass Marseille station, but as you skirt the city you can see the harbour with the infamous Chateau d'If out in the bay - think Count of Monte Cristo! You can also see the Eglise Notre Dame on its hill, famous for being full of photos of accidents which people have survived, and left there in thanks.

Now the real treat. Between Toulon and Nice the train runs right along the coast, past yacht-filled bays, rocky headlands and millionaires' villas, a wonderful introduction to the Cote d'Azur. You arrive in the centre of Nice at Nice Ville station, and can walk or taxi to your hotel.

Though personally I prefer Cannes to Nice - or even better, my favourite place on the Riviera, St Tropez - if you brave the summer traffic into that town, and the hotel prices there!
Man_in_seat_61 is offline  
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Jul 12th, 2014, 10:14 PM
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This is what a YGV Duplex is like, inside and out: http://youtu.be/KrXUqOPU9wc
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Jul 13th, 2014, 07:15 AM
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I'd use the train too. Our last trip it cost just 45 euros each in first class and booked only 2 weeks ahead. Since you depart and arrive from city center to city center you save shcleeping to and from airports. Plus with the train, you only need to be at the station 20 minutes in advance. You need at least an hour if flying. Plus you aren't squashed into tiny seats.. lots of elbow room on the train.
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Jul 14th, 2014, 06:46 AM
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There is also an overnight train rolling between Paris and Nice.
PalenQ is offline  
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Jul 14th, 2014, 06:55 AM
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If you do not want to spend the 5 hours and 40 minutes on a train and would rather spend almost as long getting to and from airports, going through security, etc., etc., then go ahead. I am unable to comment on what you think is efficient use of your time; IMO looking at a bunch of clouds and doing all the airport hoops to do so is not but your views are obviously different.

you will have the best luck finding so-called budget and other airlines flights by using the recommended www.skyscanner.com
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Jul 14th, 2014, 07:17 AM
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Another vote for the TGV. We were on it 2 weeks ago from Avignon to Paris - and we usually take it 1-2 times a year. We'll take it from CDG to Poitiers in 5 weeks and then back to Paris from the Loire. MUCH more relaxing and less stressful than an airplane. The Paris to Nice TGV is actually a scenic route too - and as someone else pointed out, much more room to stretch out, wander around, get something to eat or drink.

Stu Dudley
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Jul 14th, 2014, 09:40 AM
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The TGV upper deck of duplex makes sense here - almost as quick as flying and a whole lot more relaxed and less likely to be delayed, cancelled, etc.

And what do you come to France to see Paris and airport tarmacs or see the Frence that lies in between Paris and Nice - including awesome scenes that Man in Seat 61 talks about in his superb advice to take the train in paragraphs above.
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Jul 14th, 2014, 10:19 AM
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Where in Paris are you starting your trip and which web site did you use to come up with the 8.5 hours estimate?

Also, there are different ways to frame what is "time efficient."

If one equates it as "duration"
5.7 hours train is less "time efficient" than 4 hours flight including airport procedures.

On the other hand, if one equates "time efficient" as what can be accomplished in one day, the answer may be different depending on whether you can actually use the time saved.
If there is a 5.7 hour train trip coming up, I would organize and back up my photos, update my journal, review the destination logistics while on the train rather than doing these the night before. Also, I would eat my lunch on train with picnic items I brought from town. I can even bring my wine on board to go with my lunch. You can't do that on a plane.

I also don't have to repack my luggage to comply with the airport security rules. Trains don't have these rules and you can hop on up to 2 minutes before the departure. The flights would have to save many hours for me to go through time inefficient hassles that accompany air travels.
greg is offline  
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Jul 14th, 2014, 01:01 PM
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If you are staying in Central Paris and Central Nice, then, time-wise, the train is going to be as good as flying, if you actually arrive at the airport at the time suggested by the airlines to safely make your flight. Also, when comparing prices, be sure to consider all the add on prices that airlines are now charging, particularly the discount airlines when it comes to baggage (even hand baggage).
twk is offline  
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Jul 14th, 2014, 01:04 PM
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and Icelandic volcanoes are unlikely to knock trains off the tracks!
PalenQ is offline  
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Jul 14th, 2014, 01:08 PM
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I prefer flying because of the need to schlep luggage on and off the trains.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
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Jul 14th, 2014, 02:03 PM
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When I checked my luggage "in" for my flight from Paris to Nice - my luggage went to Geneva. It finally found me two days later. Same with flights to Biarritz, Toulouse, Milan, and two flights to Paris. One flight home also. When we travel by train, we don't need to even pack a "carry on" for "essentials", because we can see all of our bags all the time.

Stu Dudley
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Jul 14th, 2014, 03:16 PM
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I prefer flying because of the need to schlep luggage on and off the trains.>

so i presume you take a taxi right to your plane and you need not Sclepp luggage around airports? My experience is the opposite of yours - train stations are much more manageable for luggage - just a difference of experience - what's good for you is the best for you and me me.
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