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Travel from Calais to Strasbourg France

Hi,

I am travelling by car from Calais to Strasbourg. I would like to travel the French route one way and through Luxenberg and Belgium on the way back. I am visiting a friend in Strasbourg for 4 days. I have allotted extra days to stop in Luxenberg and Belgium.

I am not sure if I should stop along the way in France or drive right through as it is a 6 hour route. Please advise on whether it is worth going the French route, and if I were to stop for a day, where would be an interesting midway point?

I am trying to avoid going through Paris.

Thank you.

Posted by
33123 posts

I do that trip regularly.

The route Calais - Lille - Mons - Namur (turn right, watch the junction it is fairly sharp) - Luxembourg - top off the fuel tank - Metz - Strasbourg is nearly free of tolls, the road surface varies from awful to just relaid (usually several construction areas where they are ripping out the old surface and relaying it - expect delays) , there are service areas and small parking areas fairly evenly spaced, the speed in Belgium is 120 kph (unless you have a Luxembourg registered car which is apparently exempt) and you get to drive with Belgian drivers. Because it is in Belgium you can stop at a Quick burger and get one of their different and unusual and tasty burgers - not on the highway, your gps should be able to find them just off the road. There is ALWAYS a delay between Luxembourg and Metz.

The route Calais autoroute de péage via St Quentin, Reims, (careful as the autoroute you were on goes away and after a short toll-free bit you are back on another), past Metz and around the corner down to Strasbourg is easy, expensive, usually free flowing, I just sit back and put the cruise control on and let the car take me. It is more km, the speed limit os 130 kph, there are frequent nice Aires and frequent simple ones, fewer truck because the tolls are high, but many fewer exits so you tend not to wander off into the countryside. No Quicks. Most of the major towns have Flunch outlets for inexpensive nutritious food, but on the outskirts of town and not always convenient to rejoin the autoroute. Fuel on the autoroute is expensive, and detouring to Luxembourg for the really cheap stuff is too far out of the way.

Sometimes I go one way, sometimes another.

You ask about waypoints. Will you have come off a trans-channel ferry or tunnel? If so I tend to take the night in Lille or Calais, sometimes Reims or nearby. If going through Belgium I often stop in Luxembourg. If you are actually starting from Calais fresh most people probably go straight through with a lunch break.

Posted by
3 posts

I will be coming from the tunnel. I plan on taking the train from London to Calais and renting a car to get to Strasbourg. I am not sure how long the ride is, but I was hoping to stop about halfway before I get to Strasbourg. Are there any nice places to stay at the midpoint? Also when you say that the the tolls are expensive, how much is that?

Thanks,

Posted by
33123 posts

ah. There used to be service on the Eurostar from London to Calais but I believe it is no more. If there is a train you will need a taxi to the car hire places.

My brief check of the Eurostar website shows that when I put in Calais as a destination I am asked to choose something else. Sorry...

Posted by
6421 posts

Calais Frethun on Eurostar is closed indefinitely. Might reopen in 2025 or 2026 but no one really knows.

Maybe take Eurostar to Lille, and rent a car from there?

Posted by
33123 posts

use viaMichelin for toll amounts and traffic

Posted by
33123 posts

58,90€ just for tolls Calais Strasbourg

Posted by
3 posts

Yes taking a train from London to Strasbourg might be an option. Or it sounds like the most economical is to take bus or car hire. I am traveling with my son (18).

Just trying to figure out the most economical for both of us.

Is it worth getting a eurorail pass instead of dealing with the whole car idea.

Thx

Posted by
6421 posts

A bus is always going to be the most economical. There are several a day on Flixbus generally taking around 17 hours. Sometimes for under 40 Euro- more typically 50 to 70 Euro.

The question is can you stand the 17 hour or so journey?

On Eurostar/SNCF it is as short as 5 to 6 hours, including the change from Paris Nord to Est but you pay a lot more. With a Eurail pass you would still need to add on reservations. Book through SNCF Connect. You would need to do the maths for your own individual case.

Posted by
33123 posts

perhaps fly? Probably cheapest, certainly fastest, even if you have to check luggage.. Volotea fly from Gatwick. I see £50 fares

Posted by
2004 posts

Think I have removed my post too soon with the idea it wouldn’t be relevant. Seems a wrong conclusion, so indeed I asked the question if taking the train from London to Strasbourg is an option.

You can fly as Nigel notes or take the train from London to Lille instead of Calais and rent a car there if you want to visit places in Belgium and Luxembourg. To my opinion it only makes sense if you have places in mind you really want to visit there or in France too on the way to Strasbourg. And otherwise too difficult to reach it.

Lille itself is worth walking around and an important hub for highspeed trains between Belgium / Netherlands, France and the UK. The reason you can find there several car rental agencies close to the railways stations Lille Europe and more for local trains.Lille Flanders.