Can someone tell me the best way to travel from nice to Paris? I originally booked a flight because it was only about an hour and about $50 but I was wondering if a train would bring me closer to the city. Can somebody tell me of the airport or trains that I should use?
The train takes about 5.5-6 hours and brings you from downtown Nice to downtown Paris (Gare de Lyon). Advance-purchase Prems fares can be as low as 30 euros if booked 3-4 months ahead. See www.sncf.com or www.capitainetrain.com for schedules and tickets. Most advance-purchase tickets are non-refundable, non-exchangeable, so be ready to commit at time of purchase. The flight is about 1.5 hours to Paris Orly and as you have already found out, can be pretty inexpensive if booked ahead. From Orly, you need to figure 45-60 min. to get into the city by public transit. Which is better? it depends on how you like to travel. Being tall (6'4"), I prefer trains over flights, but if the trip is 5 hours or more, I will often fly to save time.
I think most everyone has their own preference for train vs flight and they also have an upper time limit for train rides - some people won't take a train if it's longer than 4-5 hours. I prefer trains to messing with airports (getting to and from and having to be early rather than just walk right up and get on the plane) so I will almost always choose the train unless it's over 8 hrs, then a flight might be worth it to me.
If you take into account getting from downtown Nice to the airport, arriving at least an hour before the flight (sometimes longer), then getting from Orly into downtown Paris, added to the actual flight time it will probably be closer to 4-4 1/2 hrs and in my mind much more complicated than taking the train.
No one can tell you which is better for you. My choice would be train.
I am with Nancy , it is precisely my view as well .
I wouldn't say one over the other, but there are hotels in Nice that are about a 10 min walk to the airport (doable if you are travelling light) or a lot of them have shuttles. We stayed at Il Campanile (I think it was called) last month and just walked over to the Nice airport (for a flight to the UK)...and the airport is pretty compact. Of course, depending on which airport you fly into in Paris and where exactly you need to be...we got into our area (right near the Eiffel Tower) from CDG in a little over an hour after arriving from Canada (with one change) on the RER.
You can of course get cheap tix in advance for the train as well...and no worries about checking/collecting bags and security checks...and the train seats are a lot more comfortable than the airplane seats! You really should be getting settled on the train about 20 min or so before it leaves...
It is a bit scary to me that there are no security checks...but back to the topic...it is really up to you. We loved taking the train on that route as it seemed more laid back and less hassle. Easier to take a nap, bring cheaper food. But purely personal preference. And I did have children with me.
As you've already booked a flight, it's not likely you'll get a refund as the cheapest tickets are usually non-refundable and non-changeable.
I would have suggested travel via high speed TGV as it will be a much more pleasant and relaxing trip if not dealing with the usual airport hassles. It may also be slightly faster, when all is considered.
To answer your question, travel by train will bring you "closer to the city". If travelling by air neither CDG or ORY are in the city so it will take at least an hour (and probably more) to get from either one into central Paris. The RER "B" runs to both airports (not right to ORY, but close).
Could you clarify which airline you booked the flight with?
For me, if it's a case of 2 hour flight vs 5 hour train, the train will always be my preference. Because the 2 hour flight also needs an ...
extra hour to get from city centre to departure airport
extra hour for checkin and security
extra hour just in case
extra hour to get off the plane, through immigration, baggage claim and customs
extra hour to get to city centre from arrival airport
So the 2 hour flight has become a 7 hour ordeal.
There is no immigrations or customs to go through when one is flying from same country to same country( ie Paris to Nice).
The train ride from Nice to Paris is actually 5 hours and 50 minutes.. so really its closer to six hours.
The airport is not a huge hassle in Nice.. we found it easy to negotiate ( we took train from Paris to Nice but then flew to Barcelona from Nice)
I like and use trains and planes.. but I am one of those that finds 5 hours to be about my limit for train rides.. the novelty of enjoying a picnic on the train and watching the scenery just starts to run thin after all those hours sitting.. and frankly , some routings simply do not have that great scenery. The scenery between Nice and Paris.. well.. it was great for about the last hour or so ( coming into Nice) , but the first 3-4 hours were not mind blowing in the least.. nappy time.. lol
My point was a general one, not a specific reference to this case.
It's a great train ride if you've never done it. If the journey between the two is part of the experience, then I'd go for train. If you've done it a few times or want to save time, I'd go for plane. People I know who live in Paris and Nice fly between the two--because, as Pat said--it's actually six hours by train. The Nice Airport is in the city so very easy to access. Actually the runways jut out into the Mediterranean, making take offs and landings very interesting.
My wife and I flew from CDG to the nice airport , then a cab to our hotel which was about 5-10 minutes away in port st Laurent . The 5-1/2 -6 hour train ride was a little too long for us , once in nice easy train ride into Monaco or Cannes , enjoy
I've done the journey by train several times as I snow-bird to Monaco most winters.
I've never flown between Paris and Nice and wouldn't want to. I did fly this year from Nice to Gatwick near London.
I'd take the train Nice to Paris every time rather than fly that leg.
Very easy to board at Nice Ville, comfy TGV seats (I always ride upstairs, sitting on the left as the train leaves Nice). Beautiful views of the Med all the way until Toulon, then mountains until Avignon - on and off - then very fast train along smooth track generally following the river valley up to Paris and an easy arrival at Gare de Lyon which is very convenient for buses, Méto and RER.
No security theatre, no running for a different gate at Nice Airport - last time I was there we had to check in in section A and when the queue started to move we were told we all had to run to section C, a fair distance and we only had 12 minutes, no checking in early and waiting, no RER or taxi from the airport in Paris, no luggage charge or restrictions.
5:50 on the train means 5:50.
On the airplane:-
There is a bus (€7) from Nice Ville station and other points to Nice airport. We had the bad luck of that bus being 20 minutes late. It takes about 30 minutes to the airport (we were on the 08:00 one). So there's an hour. 90 minutes check in prior to flight time, and then the above mentioned run. The flight actually left nearly 15 late.
An hour on the plane and then 30 minutes to get to the RER from most parts of CDG, unless you have luggage then it's another 30.
An hour into central Paris. Total about 5:30.
train 5:50, no extra costs or transport
plane 5:30, plus the costs of to Nice Airport plus costs from CDG.
You pays your money and you takes your choice...
Not to be contrary (OK, to be a bit contrary)...sometimes trains are delayed. In 2012, we did the train from Nice to Avignon (via Marseilles) and there was a tremendous rain storm. The train was delayed about 90 min - we were on the 'slow' train, but seemed like most of the trains were delayed as nothing was coming into or leaving the station. This year, we took the TGV from Paris to Avignon - which should take about 2.5-3 hrs...there was a death on the tracks somewhere and the train was delayed 2 hours. We were told other trains were facing 4-5 hour delays. I know train delays are rare, but it happens (as with planes).
And it took us less than 30 min to get thru CDG to the RER once off the plane this year - but then again, we arrived about 9am from an international overnight flight, got thru passport in less than 5 min and didn't have to wait for luggage. That could be because of the terminal we landed at as well.
I think either way you are looking at about the same length of time, barring delays from either train or plane. Train does give you a chance to sit back, relax, listen to some music, read a book, have a snooze...
Did someone mention carbon emissions ?
Djp valid point!
Unfortunately it's not one I automatically consider when vacation planning, but as I said, valid point.
Not really valid because the plane's going to fly whether you're in it or not. If you want to be truly irrelevant, you could compare the Paris-Nice carbon emissions with Australia-Nice emissions for plane and ship.
"No really valid because the plane's going to fly whether you're in it or not."
Not sure I get your point Bets. The train also will go whether you're on it or not so why isn't the comparison valid? And if someone is using the 'carbon footprint' as a decider between flight and train, then they obviously are planning to either be in the plane or on the train - they're probably not going to walk.
Indeed the train's going to go and the flight's going to fly whether you're on it or not, so it makes no difference which one you choose. It's an irrelevant point to bring up in this choice. If one wants to be truly noble, they should stay home in the first place. Again an irrelevant argument for a travel line. I'd be interested to know how many people choose the train over a car because they've pondered the carbon footprint. I've read about hating to drive in Europe, ease of the train, but no one has said they were doing it to save Mother Earth.
Surely it is an " angels dancing on the head of a pin" argument, after having arrived by air from N.America or Australia, to debate carbon footprint in regard to train vs air for intra-European travel.
Over the years I have had more planes delayed or cancelled than trains delayed and never had one canceled.
"Surely it is an " angels dancing on the head of a pin" argument, after having arrived by air from N.America or Australia, to debate carbon footprint in regard to train vs air for intra-European travel."
I'm assuming this means that the argument is irrelevant? I'm not sure why that is. Believe it or not there are people out there who do pay attention to the 'carbon footprint' of their travels. The major method of getting to Europe from North America or Australia is by air, which by the way has a carbon footprint about 1/4 of a cruise ship voyage to the same destination (given the distance to be traveled and the time consumed to do it). Once there, travel by train has a much lower carbon footprint than either flying (medium or large size plane) or a rental car with 3 people in it.
Never mind carbon footprint, where can i go to see angels dancing on the head of a pin ??
Regardless of the carbon footprint, travel by train on that route is going to be much more pleasant and relaxing, and probably quicker and cheaper (if the ticket is bought well in advance).