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Alsace Region - Via Paris or Frankfurt

We will be traveling from Oslo to Alsace for 4-5 nights after our Norway stay next summer. We are considering flying into either Paris or Frankfurt.

We can either fly into Frankfurt and rent a car and drive to the Alsace region...or...we can fly into Paris and take the TGV to Alsace and then rent a car upon arrival.

I would like to hear any feedback regarding these options...perhaps a better way of going about this.

One of our concerns with the Paris option is that the TGV train is not cheap...and if we book the tickets in advance (to get the best rate) and our flight is late we would be scrambling to buy new last minute tickets.

If we chose the Frankfurt option, is it okay/easy to travel between Germany and France by rental car? Is traffic typically fine between Frankfurt and Alsace?

Thanks in advance for any help/feedback.

PS: I will post this in the Germany forum as well.

Posted by
401 posts

Where will you be going after you leave Alsace?

Anticipate no problems driving across the border; at least I recall none when we met some friends from the U.S. in Strasbourg a few years ago and drove with them over to Freiburg before heading south to Chamonix.

Of course, that was our own car and not a rental, but with a rental the main issue might be what happens to it once you're finished in Alsace; hence my leading question.

Posted by
15622 posts

There is absolutely nothing preventing you from taking a train from Frankfurt airport to Alsace. There is also bus service from the airport to Strasbourg. You could also look at using Air France rail & fly ticket (if that is the airline you are looking at to Paris), or with Lufthansa and many other airlines to Frankfurt getting a Rail&Fly ticket. That way you can take any train within 24 hours of landing to you destination.

Posted by
11743 posts

Either way will work. I felt it made the most sense to fly into Paris, then train to the area. For me it was Auxerre, pick up a car, drive south through Burgundy then over to Alsace drive south to north, drop the car in Strasbourg, train to Reims for a stop before another train back to Paris.

I think you should consider the time and cost of each way, then pick the one that works best for you. You won't have an issue with the rental at the border. On the loop mentioned above, I ended up with some spare days so I crossed to Freiburg, then drove up to Heidelburg, before going back to Strasbourg and catching my train to Reims. There was no issue at all crossing the border with a rental. You really wouldn't even know you had crossed a border.

Posted by
112 posts

Whatever airport we fly into (Paris or Frankfurt) is the airport we would fly out from for our travel back home.

Posted by
1003 posts

Personally, I would fly in and out of Frankfurt. Flying back to Detroit? - direct flights. If not, Aer Lingus from Toronto is usually a reasonably priced flight, at times on the very low side. Short change time in Dublin.

If you arrive in Frankfurt fairly early in the day from Oslo, rent a car and catch Wissembourg on the way down , it's a pretty town often off the Alsace itinerary. A direct drive to the Colmar area from FRA will be about 3 ½ hours. As well as the most commonly visited Alsace villages, I highly recommend Staufen and Gengenbach on the German side. Lovely, moderately easy hiking in the area.