Planning daytrips from Paris

Old Jul 29th, 2004, 06:27 AM
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Planning daytrips from Paris

We will be in Paris Aug 11-18. We tentatively plan to visit Giverny, Chartres and Versailles. What is the best way to get to these places--train or tour company. If the latter, which do you recommend?
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Old Jul 29th, 2004, 06:29 AM
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I can help with Giverny, since we were just there, and it is really easy to get to. Go to the St. Lazare train station, and they have trains going every hour. At the information booth, they'll give you a train schedule as well as information and cost to get from Vernon to Giverny, and Monet's house and garden. You don't need a tour company for this.
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Old Jul 29th, 2004, 06:35 AM
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Here is the phone number for train info:

08 92 35 35 35
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Old Jul 29th, 2004, 06:35 AM
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Hi Leonora,

The official Versailles website gives you directions for taking the RER to the Chateau.
http://www.chateauversailles.fr/

You can get to Chartres by train.
See http://www.voyages-sncf.com/

Is this your first visit to Paris? If so, I suggest that you limit yourself to one daytrip.
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Old Jul 29th, 2004, 07:03 AM
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That is a lot of day trips for only a week in Paris. Those will take pretty much full days to do. If you have been to Paris often then it probably doesn't matter, but I would guess you haven't--since you have never been to any of these. You might consider cutting back a bit, in my opinion.
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Old Jul 29th, 2004, 07:37 AM
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Ok will cut back. From the ones I've listed, which would you say would be the ONE to take. I'm kind of leaning towards Chartres, but everyone else is very high on Versailles.
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Old Jul 29th, 2004, 07:46 AM
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Hi leonora,

Versailles on a Sunday, when the fountains are on.

Chartres

Giverny
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Old Jul 29th, 2004, 12:06 PM
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You can actually visit all three: both Giverny and Chartres are half-day trips.
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Old Jul 29th, 2004, 01:28 PM
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Sure, you can do anything. Even if they are half day trips--to opposite ends of Paris, I might add--it leaves 5 (or probably less with travel days) actually for Paris. The You might consider that Versailles in August may be even MORE crowded--that is, with French tourists on holiday. I personally do not care for Versailles--but, obviously I have been there. It is just SO crowded to be herded through the interior. I have only seen Chartres on a recent trip and it is wonderful--especially if Malcolm Miller is there, which he may not be in August. Our attempts at Giverney were all foiled our last trip so it is still very much on the list. I would think August, while perhaps crowded, would be very nice for the gardens.
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Old Jul 29th, 2004, 03:11 PM
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My recommendation would be to go where you want to go. Rick Steves Paris guide has specific information for easily visiting all three on your own.

My recommendation, though, would be to pay the extra and take a bus tour to Giverny and Versailles, as both will likely be very, very busy. The tour buses have appointments, separate entrances, and will provide you with a guided tour. Sometimes, it's just more efficient and a better visit to go with the tour company. We've taken fabulous tours with Paris Vision. For Giverny, we opted for the mini-van with hotel pick-up and return. Paris Vision recommended going on Sunday (as less busy) and that worked out very well for us. We were even able to get into the house quickly (no line), as they got us there right at opening time.
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