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Travelling from Paris to Madrid

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Dec 27th, 2014, 07:42 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Dec 2014
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Travelling from Paris to Madrid

Hi all,

I'm wondering if you might have some suggestions as to the best route to take from Paris to Madrid.

I arrive into Paris on the 11th March and will need to be in Madrid by the 23rd to meet up with friends and tour Spain. At present, I've booked 5 nights accommodation in Paris, so will have 7 days to make my way to Madrid.

I've toyed with the idea of a train to Lyon (4 nights) > Marseille (1 or 2 days) > Madrid, however this doesn't seem that economical, both financially and time-wise (point-to-point, based off fares on Captainetrain will be 139EUR). I'm also considering staying in Lyon and heading straight to Madrid (109EUR).

Alternatively, I could make a few small trips out of Paris (Tours, Reims, Normandy), and fly out of Paris. Also looked at train travel via Bordeaux, but that seemed a little more cumbersome to manage (plus, 13hr train to Madrid seems a waste of a day!).

A couple of things that may be of note:
I'm a female in my late-20s, travelling alone on my first trip to Europe (exciting and daunting!)
This is the start of a three month backpacking adventure, so I'll be travelling on from Spain to Italy and am planning to attempt Southern France along the way (so a stay at Marseille is not necessary on the first leg).

Any recommendations, suggestions or better alternatives would be much appreciated!
Thank you all in advance.
Liata is offline  
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Dec 27th, 2014, 07:55 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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You could make a stop in Barcelona on the way to Madrid. See: http://seat61.com/Spain.htm#London_to_Madrid - second option, ignore the London start. But the quickest will obviously be to fly. Use whichbudget or skyscanner to check for cheap rates.
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Dec 27th, 2014, 09:17 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2007
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You can fly VUELING for 70-90 euros.
Some flights are direct, some through Barcelona.
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Dec 27th, 2014, 02:58 PM
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Depends what you really want to do, if it's just get there (and you have no desire to see other places in France), just take Easyjet airline, it goes direct between them. They have several flights a day from CDG and they cost about 50 euro, take 2 hrs. I've taken them several times (usually between Spain and France) and really like them a lot. It's a bummer having to go to CDG rather than Orly, but if you travel light, it's not that bad (take the RER).

If you do just stay in Lyon, you can actually take Easyjet direct from there to Madrid, also (I have done the reverse). That also takes about 2 hrs and costs a little less than 50 euro. And the Lyon airport isn't that far out so that's not that bad, there is a cheap airport shuttle train that goes right to the airport from the Part Dieu train station, also. It's called the Rhone Express. This is their website http://www.rhonexpress.fr/
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Dec 28th, 2014, 03:29 AM
  #5
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Thanks for your responses! I'm starting to lean a little more towards staying in Lyon and flying to Madrid (found a flight for 54EUR, which is much better than the 89-109EUR I was look at by train). I'd love to explore a bit more of France, particularly Bordeaux, Loire Valley, Normandy (and more get added to the list the more I read), but my poor planning means it may have to wait until next time . At least I'll get to explore a bit of the French Riviera as I make my way towards Italy!
Thanks for the assistance, much appreciated. I thought three months travelling around Europe would be plenty of time, but the more I read, the more I want to explore and the three months are filling up fast!
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Dec 28th, 2014, 06:43 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Just remember that flying means putting your holiday on hold while you spend 4 or more hours 'teleporting', or in reality faffing with taxis or trains to airports, airport security and a same-old same-old flight.

Travelling overland means your holiday continues non-stop with the journey becoming an integral part of it, with scenery to see and a journey to enjoy and remember - a chill-out ride across Europe.

Lyon to Barcelona starts at 49 euros www.capitainetrain.com

Barcelona to Madrid starts at around 35 euros, www.renfe.com or www.loco2.com

Centre to centre, no added fees, bag fees, airport taxes, or cost of travel to and from airports, and a tenth of the CO2 emissions.
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Dec 28th, 2014, 09:28 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2007
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"flying means putting your holidays on hold"

Yes, getting to the airports and security takes time, but getting to a train station in big cities.
( unless your hotel is across the street ) takes time and expense too.
In Spain, taking AVE often involves security check for baggage.
Getting from A to B by train takes much longer and scenery
is not always thrilling. Not to mention someone sitting next to you
blabbing on their phone for several hours , eating smelly food,
or taking their shoes off ( experienced all three)
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Dec 28th, 2014, 10:10 AM
  #8
 
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The OP didn't even mention going to Barcelona, but Madrid. The cost and time getting from Lyon to Madrid by train are much higher than flying, and hours more of your vacation is wasted in transit. The Lyon airport isn't that far out, it doesn't take that long to get there. Spending hours and hours on a train isn't that fascinating, it bores me, I can't stand wasting time sitting for so many hours. The argument that there are no added fees is nonsensical, anyone with a brain can figure out the cost of the ticket plus checked bag (if you want) versus train ticket alone which will be higher than that. And the cheapest train tickets on SNCF are at times when people probably don't want to go, which means even more of your time is wasted (ie, leaving at 2:30 pm, so your morning is wasted).
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Dec 28th, 2014, 06:33 PM
  #9
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Thanks MIS61, Danon and Christina for your input and suggestions. I really appreciate it, your advice so far has been invaluable!
I decided to fly purely for the convenience - I could fly out of Lyon the day before I meet up with friends, and arrive into Madrid by late morning as opposed to mid to late afternoon/evening via train.
Cost wise, including travel to and from the airports, it's about the same as the train (unfortunately I'll need to check-in a bag), but the benefit of arriving at a day and time more convenient won out.
I'll be sure to fit in plenty more time to experience Europe by train for my onward journey
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