Reims & Champagne Day Trip Help

Dec 14th, 2001, 06:04 AM
  #1  
ron
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Reims & Champagne Day Trip Help

Early Jan I'm planning to take a day trip from Paris to Reims to visit the cathedral, city and also the champagne caves. I prefer going by train (so I can taste the champagne and not have to drive). Is is possible/easy to get to any of the champagne houses on foot or local transportation, without having a car? A day trip by bus would be good too, but aren't most of these tours only "Champagne" tours, whereby they don't do any siteseeing of the city of Reims itself?

Would Epernay would be a better choice, etc. etc. Opened to suggestions other than driving.

Thanks,
Ron
 
Dec 14th, 2001, 06:26 AM
  #2  
Patrick
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We did a day trip to Reims from Paris by train. We arrived in Reims, did two tours of champagne houses -- Maxim's and Taittinger. Maxim's was a self-guided tour after a brief but interesting film, and then a tour of their "museum" of old equipment and artifacts. We visited the cathedral, saw the splendid Marc Chagall modern glass windows, and walked around town. We then took the train back to Epernay. There we had a delightful lunch, and then toured Moet and Chandon which was a very nice tour and tasting. We walked around the town and looked at several other splendid champagne houses, but decided we had done enough, so returned to Paris by 6 PM. So it is indeed very easy as a day trip to actually do both Reims and Epernay. Have fun!! By the way, we walked in both towns, not taking any taxes or busses, although it was a pretty long walk to Taittinger in Reims. We were going to take the bus back to the train station, but had just missed one and decided we could probably walk in the same time it would take for the next bus, so we did.
 
Dec 14th, 2001, 06:34 AM
  #3  
elaine
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ron
this website may help
www.ville-reims.com
For train service, go to :
http://voyages.sncf.fr/
The train station in Reims is small. It is a 20 minute walk to the cathedral. The champagne caves are spread out and walking would be difficult. Rent a car or take a cab or bus
re bus tours
these may have some details
www.cityrama.com
wwww.parisvision.com
Some caves require advance reservations and some not, so it is best to check. Also, some of the champagne houses may only offer their tours in the spring, summer, and fall, so I'd inquire before I went about who's open.

 
Dec 14th, 2001, 07:16 AM
  #4  
bill
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Reims is an easy day trip from Paris and one I would highly recommend. The cathedral is beautiful and the shops around it worth exploring. From the train station it is not overly difficult on foot to visit the cathedral, have lunch (at La Vigneron!) and visit two or three champagne houses. We visited Mumms and Taittenger and enjoyed them both. Reims is a much more interesting city than Epernay.
 
Dec 14th, 2001, 11:53 AM
  #5  
Beth
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We took a day trip both to Reims and Epernay. I made reservations at Cliquot in advance in Reims. Because it was a rainy day, we took a cab from the train station to the caves - an inexpensive ride. In Epernay, which is smaller, we just walked over to Moet and did their tour. This was a wonderful day and a nice "break" from big city Paris.
 
Dec 14th, 2001, 03:59 PM
  #6  
kam
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We were in this area about 3 years ago. Originally I had researched taking the train as a day trip[. Very easy, but we decided to rent a car and spend a few more days in Alsace. It's about 1 1/2 hours by train from Gare D'Est and some trains require a transfer at Epernay. I would go to Epernay for the wine tours and to Reims to see the wonderful cathedral. We actually didn't spend a lot of time in Reims, but I do remember a good lunch fairly close to the cathedral at Le Vigneron. Be aware that many of the wineries in both towns require reservations to tour and there are no such things as "tasting rooms" as in the U.S.--you'll have to take the tour and then have a taste, so you'll need to limit how many you want to visit. I remember Epernay as being smaller but think it would be more difficult to get around by walking--taxis are the way to go. If you want to choose between the two towns, Reims is certainly my choice.

BTW, I did my research in a book called "Daytrips France" by Earl Steinbicker--a great reference that we've used in other areas of France as well.
 
Dec 16th, 2001, 05:41 AM
  #7  
ron
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Thanks to all of you who responded with very valuable information. I did check into bus tours (they only operate from April) and some of the champagne houses have limited schedules in winter, so I'll look into which champagne houses are open and which need reservations. I definitely don't think I need (or can take in too many, besides) so if I make it to a few and explore Reims, that should make a wonderful day. As it's only 1 1/2 hours by train, that shouldn't be any problem at all to get back to Paris. And if I am still wanting for more I can stop in Epernay on the way back to Paris if I need to.

I'll have to check out Le Vingeron for lunch.

Merci to all.
Ron
 
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