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Kim_George Aug 26th, 2005 02:38 PM

Train from Paris to Bayeux
We'll be traveling to Bayeux for two nights at the end of our trip to Paris in early October. I've been reading these boards like crazy but still have a few questions about taking the train there:

- should I book in advance through RailEurope? A 1st class roundtrip is $284 -- are there cheaper options anywhere? I also looked at the SNCF Website but didn't see an option for US ticket delivery. Am I missing something?

- we leave Bayeux on October 6th and fly home October 7th. Should we stay by CDG that night, and if so, what's the least complicated way to get there from Bayeux?

Thanks for the help!

docjoat Aug 26th, 2005 03:10 PM

We were in Bayeux last July and had a great time. SNCF doesn't ship tickets over seas. We bought our tickets in Paris (without any difficulties). There is always a ticket agent at the train stations who speaks English if you are like us and have a limited command of French. Also, at the time, the ticket price was about the same - Rail Europe or SNCF. Just make sure that you buy a ticket for the express train rather than the local. The local makes many more stops on the way to Bayeux. There is no TGV service. Make sure that you see the Tapestry and the Normandy Beaches. If you don't have a car, there are some great tours available throught the internet. Have a great trip. Bayeux as I remember is about two hours form Paris (give or take). I wouldn't gamble on the trains on the 7th. I would consider staying either in Paris (and taking either a cab or the AirFrance bus to CDG or spending the night at a hotel near the airport.

PalQ Aug 26th, 2005 04:32 PM

It's my understanding that on this line Paris-Caen-Bayeux there is one ticket price - good for travel on any type train - correct me someone if wrong but i don't think there is a price for express train or local and the fare is so cheap that you should just buy your tickets in Paris when traveling - check for advance purchases but the price is so cheap can't save much. Even thru RailEurope it's ony $45 each way in second class and $60 each way in first class - per person so the $284 is very wrong - you're missing something. $120 each way thru RE plus about $30 in fees. where did you get the $284 from? By train CDG the only route is to Paris St-Lazare and then hop air buses from there or take RER E to Gare du Nord for airport trains. Reservations are not required on these trains and in first class there should be ample empty seats. I rode this train a few times recently and in first class was about the only one in it in a car of about 50 seats. You should either stay at CDG or Paris the night before. SNCF has had several strikes recently so always get back to Paris a day early if going by rail.

Kim_George Aug 26th, 2005 05:08 PM

Thanks for the replies so far.

PalQ, I got the $284 fare on RailEurope's website. From the homepage, I did a search for roundtrip tickets from Paris to Bayeux, with the dates October 4th and October 6th. The price seemed high to me too -- I hope you're right about the fares. Where can I find those?

PalQ Aug 26th, 2005 05:21 PM

Call BETS (800-441-9413) a RailEurope agent whose staffers know a lot more about European rail traveler - they've all traveled on trains there for decades - and will give you the real scoop. $284 r.t. is way out of line - my info from RailEurope says $60 each way for first class - it's in their Eurail ticket 2005 point-point fare manual. You can also make reservations thru BETS but in my opinion these are a waste of money on this line - with the ticket from RE or BETS you just have to board the train - no need to pre-validate in quai-side machines like tickets bought in France - just get on the train.

Kim_George Aug 26th, 2005 05:35 PM

Thanks so much for the info. I will definitely be giving them a call! You don't think I should actually purchase the tickets through BETS, though? Is it better to wait till we get to Paris? Just wanted to make sure I understood what you were suggesting.

grandmere Aug 26th, 2005 05:38 PM

Don't go thru RailEurope. Use the website and try to get a PREM ticket. I went from Caen (about 30 min. from Bayeux by train) in May for 15 euro. It was second class, but it was fine for that short trip.

To get to CDG from Bayeux (w/o a car) you'd have to take train into Paris, then RER, shuttle, or taxi to CDG. If my plane left early in the morning, I'd probably stay near CDG; with a late morning or afternoon flight, I'd stay in Paris, just to have 1 more night there!

grandmere Aug 26th, 2005 05:40 PM

Should have edited: unclear where I was going: went from Caen to Gare St. Lazare in Paris for 15 euro.

Kim_George Aug 26th, 2005 05:54 PM

Grandmere, what is a PREM ticket? Sorry, I'm new to all this!

PalQ Aug 26th, 2005 06:08 PM

No the price you'd pay on a walk up basis in Paris will approximate the prices i quoted thru RailEurope and BETS - the only reason to buy in advance would be hassle-free reasons - you just want to go and get on the train - rather than waiting potentially in line, etc. But if PREM fares exist on this route, and no doubt they do because Grandmere always seems to know what she's talking about, then yes thru the web site you may - may - be able to get these if you act far enough in advance and lock yourself into non-refundable non-changeable trains - if you're landing at CDG tough to do because with the vagaries of airline ontimeness you'll never really know what train you'll be able to catch - i'd forego these - of course for the return you'll know exactly so go for it - but many report frustrating experiences with the site and you really can't save that much for what to many is aggravation. But depends on what grief you want to put up with - me and i'd take the trouble to lock in cheapest fare - so back to original question - seamless buy in advance thru RE or BETS or can save a few bucks with the PREM route - or wait until paris and potentially wait in line a few minutes and buy there at about same price as RE.

PalQ Aug 26th, 2005 06:27 PM

On site the cheapest round trip ticket seems to be, in first class 62.40 euros or about $68 - this was a 'Decouverte fare - non-changeable and non-refundable but apparently available at ticket window if allotment is sold out or 91.20 euro for a fully exchageable and refundable ticket (about $100) - so to save money buy in Paris! Better yet reserve online if sure when you can leave Paris - if landing build in several hours delay from St Lazare is my advice and if on time spend the several hours in Paris.

PalQ Aug 26th, 2005 06:34 PM

Author: jazzyred
Date: 08/26/2005, 10:07 pm

Hi Dupree,

There are many of us who have struggled with the tempermental SNCF. It does work when it wants to and you should be able to print or pick up tickets if you are holding your mouth the right way when you enter the info LOL! If not just keep trying or ask more questions here.

If you want to see what problems have stumped me at times type in my name and several scenarios will show up!

grandmere Aug 26th, 2005 07:26 PM

I don't know what PREM stands for, but after reading about them here, when it was time to plan for my trip, I just went to, and plugged in my facts, and sure enough a PREM fare was one of my choices. Just try it, "for fun". Just make sure the dates you choose aren't beyond 60 days; you can't book any further ahead than that.

And if you choose a PREM fare for your trip, you can print the ticket out on your home printer. Just present it when the conductor comes; they're supposed to ask for an ID, but they did not on my trip. Caution: the PREM tix are non-refundable, non-exchangeable--good for only the time and date you've chosen; if you're not on the train when it leaves, you've lost your money.

grandmere Aug 26th, 2005 07:35 PM

Ok, I went to and looked; there does not appear to be a PREM fare from Bayeux to Paris on Oct. 6. (Seems to me that most of these PREM fares I've seen are from bigger towns, cities to same). Anyway, you have to change trains in Caen, and the entire trip cost 30.40 euro in second class.

grandmere Aug 26th, 2005 07:51 PM

Yep, it must be the Bayeux leg of the trip that makes it impossible to get a PREM fare; it is available from Caen on that day for 15 euro,second class and 30 euro, first.

But anyway, the price from Bayeux for a refundable, exchangeable ticket at 30.4 e is certainly better than the price RailEurope quoted you.

Kim_George Aug 26th, 2005 08:56 PM

Thanks so much to everyone for your input. I just went back to the SNCF website and came up with a 1st class fare from Paris to Bayeux and back for 138.80 euro for both of us. Does that sound more reasonable to everyone?

I think I prefer to book it in advance just so I don't have to worry about it anymore. I'll look into it more over the weekend before deciding what to do though.

Thanks again for all the help ... I might have more questions tomorrow! :)

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