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Which Day Trip--Chartres or Rouen?

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Feb 13th, 2012, 01:42 PM
  #1
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Which Day Trip--Chartres or Rouen?

Thanks for any suggestions on either of these day trips from Paris.
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Feb 13th, 2012, 01:47 PM
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Do you prefer apples or oranges? Both are wonderful but I think you need to read up a little on each to see which interests you more. Check out the tourist office websites and see what you think:

http://www.chartres-tourisme.com/

http://www.rouentourisme.com/
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Feb 13th, 2012, 01:49 PM
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BTW, you have posted in the general Europe forum and you should really post your question in the France forum.
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Feb 13th, 2012, 02:20 PM
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queensgirl,

if you click on the little triangle in the corner, you can ask the moderators to change the label from europe to France, though it ought to be pointed out that there is no separate France or Italy [or any other sole country in europe] forum, it's all europe, albeit with different labels if we care to use them.
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Feb 13th, 2012, 02:27 PM
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Ann - anyone can request a tag. I've asked the editors to put one on for this post.

I vote for Rouen as I liked the town slightly better than Chartres. But it is a difficult decision.
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Feb 13th, 2012, 02:35 PM
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A little info on both cities. You will be able to open a number of other web sites. We enjoyed Rouen more that Chartres. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rouen http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chartres
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Feb 13th, 2012, 02:48 PM
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Ann - anyone can request a tag. I've asked the editors to put one on for this post.>>

Adrienne - i knew that but perhaps the OP didn't know how to do it!
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Feb 13th, 2012, 02:51 PM
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Go to Chartres if stained glass windows are of prime interest. Go to Rouen if you are interested in Joan of Arc.
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Feb 13th, 2012, 03:00 PM
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Well, if visiting New York City would you do a daytrip to Brighton Beach or Hoboken?

Really, they couldn't be more differently focused. Read up on them so you know why and then decide.
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Feb 13th, 2012, 04:51 PM
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I prefer Rouen

Stu Dudley
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Feb 13th, 2012, 06:21 PM
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Only been to Chartres but I'd recommend it even if you're not into churches. The stained glass is lovely and although their is construction it's still an awesome sight. Check their website to see if the Labyrinth will be uncovered-that was my favorite part.

Pick up a map from the Tourism Office and do the self-guided walk through the old town-very picturesque and quaint. There are some wonderful creperies for lunch.
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Feb 14th, 2012, 12:04 AM
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If your interest is to visit a magnificent cathedral, then Chartres. If your interest is to visit a beautiful city with a lovely church, then Rouen.
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Feb 14th, 2012, 04:48 AM
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If you chose Rouen, you could probably find a full day tour that would also stop at Giverny, Monet's Garden.
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Feb 14th, 2012, 05:14 AM
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You could do Monet's Gardens and Rouen on your own the same day without needing a tour but it would be a long day, with or without a tour. If you want to do it on your own take the train from Paris to Vernon and then take the bus to Giverny. Upon returning to Vernon take another train to Rouen and from Rouen take a train back to Paris. However, you would have to carefully coordinate your train schedules and plan on not being back in Paris until the evening.

And if you went to Chartres you would also be on a rail line that makes stops at Maintenon and Rambouillet without needing a tour. Have a look at a report I wrote about visiting Rambouillet, Maintenon and Chartres that is full of photos.

http://anyportinastorm.proboards.com...&page=1#100311
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Feb 14th, 2012, 06:02 AM
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How long will you be in Paris?
With FMT's idea of going to Giverney in addtition to Rouen, I'd choose Rouen. I wasn't too much into Joan, but the Cathedral is famous (monet's subject) and the museum des beaux artes has a very lovely Imprssionist wing.
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Feb 14th, 2012, 02:13 PM
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Both are great day trips. If you can only visit one, I would go with Chartres. It is a fabulous cathedral with exquisite stained glass windows. We have twice taken the tour offered by Malcolm Miller which should be booked in advance. If he is still doing the tour you will learn so much.
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Feb 14th, 2012, 03:05 PM
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I agree with others that these 2 day trips are very different.
I have been to both cities, but stayed 2 nights in each. I much preferred Rouen, as there is more to see and do, and a day trip wouldn't have been enough for me. That said, Chartres is perfect for a day trip, as most of your time will be spent in the gorgeous Cathedral. Malcolm Miller's tour is certainly worthwhile.
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Feb 15th, 2012, 07:11 AM
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This may be a naive question, but if I book a round trip train ticket from Paris to Chartres, can I get off at Maintenon, visit the chateau, and then continue on to Chartres (or stop in Maintenon after Chartres) -- or do I have to book the legs separately? Just want to know if there is a way to keep it flexibile in case we decide visiting the chateau is too much to fit in to our planned trip to Chartres.
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Feb 15th, 2012, 07:32 AM
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What I love most about Chartres is the way the cathedral crowns the hill around which the old town was built. I realized the beauty of it when, after visiting the cathedral, I walked beyond and down the hill and looked back. Just magnificent.

It's a short walk from the station and the old town is compact making it a very satisfying destination for a relaxed day trip. I'd prefer it over a city for just a day.
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Feb 15th, 2012, 11:50 AM
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wayfinder45 - First, there is no such thing as a round trip ticket. You buy one ticket to go to Chartres and another to return to Paris but you can buy them at the same time. There are no reservations on these trains so just buy it before you get on the train. The tickets are good for 60 days so you can buy it ahead of time, which isn't a bad idea in case the ticket line is long when you show up before your train.

I would suggest getting the direct ticket to Chartres, enjoy your time there and then see if you have the time or energy to stop in Maintenon to see the château. If you want to do this buy a ticket from Chartres to Maintenon and another from Maintenon to Paris. The tickets are timed so you can't just get off at any stop and get back on later with the same ticket. The trains run very frequently between Maintenon and Paris, either every half hour or every hour.

I would check to make sure the château is open before you decide to visit, but that's obvious. Just so you know, the train station in Maintenon is on the outskirts of town and is about 1+km from the château. Print a map so you know where you're going but it's a pretty straightforward walk. Here is the château website so you can check the opening hours:

http://www.chateaudemaintenon.fr/en
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