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Final evening Where to Stay

My daughter and I will be traveling to Paris in May and then renting a car to drive through Normandy. I have to return the car on 5-20 at Mantes La Jolie. We don't fly out of CDG until the next afternoon. Where would you recommend staying?

It looks like an easy train ride into Paris, where we will have to transfer trains anyway...so I'm wondering if that's our best bet.

Has anyone done something similar?

Thank you!

Posted by
6098 posts

We returned our car in Vernon and took the train to Paris. It worked out well.

My advice would be to take the train to Paris, I believe the station is Montparnase. Stay near Montparnase. Enjoy your evening and any time you have in the morning before heading to the airport. If necessary, the hotel could likely store your luggage. There is a train from Montparnase directly to the airport.

Posted by
1081 posts

There are two schools of thought about how to spend the last 24 hours before heading home:

1) Go into Paris and stay at a Hotel that is in the center area, close to cafes and sites like the Eiffel Tower, River Seine, or the Latin quarter, etc. and enjoy your afternoon and evening having a nice meal and maybe a walk around the local sites. In the early morning take a cab to the airport and fly home.

2) Check in your car, head to CDG Airport and stay a the Sheraton Hotel inside the Airport, sleep later and get up have breakfast and step outside the hotel literally 100ft from the check in area.

Neither is better than the other,. I've done both and have successfully made it home to the USA both times. If you have an early flight then the airport hotel sure makes the morning much less complicated. If you have a late flight then it's really just up to you.

Posted by
4159 posts

" I believe the station is Montparnasse. " The train from Mantes La Jolie arrives at Gare ( station ) St. Lazare . From St ; Lazare , the RER E goes to Magenta / Gare du Nord to transfer to the RER B to CDG . Frankly , instead of going into Paris and then back out to the airport , I would drive directly to CDG , drop the car and stay in one of the airport hotels . Even though you don't leave until the next afternoon , you still need to be in the terminal at least three hours before your flight . You need to consider how much traveling you want to do at the end of your trip .

Posted by
6098 posts

Granted it has been about 5 years now, but I know our train made a stop at Mantes La Jolie. In any case, you can easily get to the airport by train from the center of Paris, and it sure would seem like it would be lovely to have a last night in Paris vs. being at the airport the night before given your flight is in the afternoon. We have made a handful of trips now to France all ending in Paris. We enjoy that last evening at the end of the trip and then get up in the morning for one last pastry before heading to the airport. Logistically, its easy, but, like the commenter above implied, it depends on your energy level, and as was also stated, there really is no right or wrong answer, its a personal choice.

In terms of rental car return, our practice has always been to return our cars in a smaller city and then take the train into Paris, much like you've planned. Even with the airport on the far outskirts of Paris, we have had no desire to drive there. I would guess if you were to change your rental car contract at this point, the price could be considerably higher.

Posted by
18 posts

Thanks for the thoughts. I actually have rented the car at Mantes La Jolie because I didn't want to drive it into CDG or around Paris. I think I've decided to return it a day early and take the train to our final hotel before we fly out. Just sounds like too much stress to worry about one more glitch and missing a flight if things don't work out.

Posted by
18 posts

As an additional question...does anyone have a suggestion on a hotel to stay in Paris that makes it easy to get to CDG in the afternoon? I'm looking at something on the RER B line.

Posted by
6670 posts

If you don't have that final-night hotel yet, consider one close to the RER B line that takes you to CDG the next day. Metro line 14 will take you to Chatelet, then the RER B to St-Michel or Luxembourg on the left bank. I think that route is barrier-free so your luggage won't be so difficult, or you could take a taxi from Gare St-Lazare. There are lots of hotels, cafes, strolls, whatever near St-Michel and Luxembourg. Then a straight ride to the airport on RER B3 (not B5) when it's time to say au revoir.

Posted by
10355 posts

I'm a little topsy-turvy with Dick's suggestion. But I see now that he's directing you from the Gare St. Lazare to a nice hotel area.

Luxembourg station is the easiest to access because it has only the RER B. All others have additional metro lines and changes. So a hotel in the vicinity of Blvd. St. Michel/rue Soufflot/ Luxembourg Gardens would give you restaurants, shops, and easy airport access.