Paris to Normandy

Old Sep 17th, 2011, 05:27 PM
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Paris to Normandy

When we are in Paris, my husband and I are thinking of taking a day trip to Normandy. Is this feasible? If so, should we take a tour or can we take a train? If we take a train, what city do we we take the train to? Any suggestions on a planned itinerary for us two?

Thank you.
emalvarez is offline  
Old Sep 17th, 2011, 07:00 PM
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WHERE in Normandy? It's a very large region.
Underhill is offline  
Old Sep 17th, 2011, 07:20 PM
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Based on your previous Paris-Spain post it looks like you have only 4 days in Paris. If this is your first visit to Paris, I would not make a day-trip to Normandy because there is so much to see in Paris.

If you are determined to make the trip, a lot of companies will offer one-day bus trips to the D-Day sites if that is what you wish to visit. These locations will be difficult to visit on your own in one day. If you are interested in Giverny, Rouen or Chartres you should be able to make the trip by train in a day.

With more information there are people here who can help you out.
Scootoir is offline  
Old Sep 17th, 2011, 07:47 PM
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I took an RER train to CDG and rented a car and a GPS. If you are planning on hitting the WWII sights and the Normandy beaches, I'd say a car is a must. I was surprised at how much I saw in a day; the German and American Cemetaries, Pointe Du Hoc, Omaha beach, gun emplacements at Longues-sur-Mer, and the Mulberry Harbor at Arromanches-les-Bains. It was about a 2.5 hour drive from Paris.

I didn't drive back to Paris immediately, I stayed a couple of nights in Bayeux then drove all around France. I can't speak on a bus tour, but a car seemed like the way to go in my opinion.
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Old Sep 18th, 2011, 05:18 AM
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If you have only 4 days in Paris and since this is your first trip, I definitely suggest that you stay in Paris. Normandy is a beautiful place but we stayed 4 days and wished we had longer. You will risk shortchanging both Paris and Normandy with a day trip. Paris deserves as much time as you can give it. After 8 trips, we still stay a week.

Should you decide on a day trip to Normandy and if your intent is to see the WWII sights, you probably will make the most of your limited time if you do a bus tour.
mamcalice is offline  
Old Sep 18th, 2011, 06:00 AM
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I too would think twice combining Normandy into such a short stay. Look at the actual time you have in Paris (by removing transfer times, airport check in times,etc..) It may be less than four full 9AM-9PM days.
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Old Sep 18th, 2011, 09:15 AM
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<<I took an RER train to CDG and rented a car and a GPS.>>

I don't know why anyone would do that. First of all, you're backtracking, as Normandy is in the other direction. Second, I think it costs more to rent a car at an airport than at a city location. If you DO want to rent a car in Paris to get to Normandy, there is absolutely no reason to go all the way to CDG to get the car - makes no sense.

At any rate, I agree you really don't have time for a trip to Normandy with only 4 days in Paris. But if you must, your options are to rent a car for a day in Paris (a single-day rental will cost almost as much as a 3-day rental) and drive from there; take a train to Caen and pick up a car there or join a tour there; or take a day-long (long, long day) tour with a company like ParisVision from Paris to Normandy and back.

When I have gone to Normandy from Paris, I have taken the train to Caen and picked up a car there. Problem is, the Mémorial Museum in Caen can easily eat up a half day, leaving you VERY little time to see the rest of the sights. I've never gone to Normandy for fewer than 3 days, and that always seems rushed.

Of course, it may not be your intention to visit the WWII sites, as Normandy is huge and there are plenty of other things to do there. So it would be helpful to know what you want to see in Normandy (not that a single day is good for seeing much of anything at all, even if it's not WWII sites).
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