Is it worth going to Amboise from Paris on a Friday and returning Sat in order to take advantage of direct trains, or better mid-week?
There are a few direct trains every day from Paris to Amboise.
You may check train schedules on SNCF.com.
Amboise is a great base if you wish to visit some of the castles in the Loire Valley.
We spent 3 nights in Amboise and visited Blois, Chambord, Cheverny, and Chenonceau (our favorite) castles.
Hi Sus, yes, it's worth it to spend some time in Amboise! We visited in Sep 2016 and loved it. We arrived on Friday evening and stayed for five nights.
Take time to visit Close Luce where Leonardo Da Vinci lived the last few years of his life. The chateau was very nice and we had a picnic lunch on the grounds. The castle is also very nice and had the best brochure we have ever seen for describing its historical significance and layout. The troglodyte homes were interesting but no longer open to visitors. If you want to see the inside of one, stop at the café across from Clos Luce.
Skip the Pagoda of Chanteloup. We enjoyed the walk from town but, despite some good reviews on Trip Advisor, it wasn't worth the price of admission (I think we paid $15 each).
We stayed at the Hotel Bellevue, located right next to the castle.
FYI, the train station is across the river, about a 10 minute walk from the center of town. Hope you have a great trip!
Well worth the trip! And Chenonceau is a must see.
My son had Rick Steve’s book with him. We planned the route and places to see before leaving Paris. “Love it when a plan comes together.”
We spent 3 nights camping near the right bank of the River Loire in Amboise after taking train from Paris to Blois, then cycling to Chambord. While we visited several chateaus, tour only toured Chenonceau castle.
Restaurants in the ol’ town were affordable and people were very friendly.
We concluded to visit to the sur-Loire cycling to Chartres. Le Loire was another highlight in my 58-day cycling adventure.
PS: Born and Raised in Cleveland, today a Coloradoan by choice. Any one been to Lyon, France? My next cycling adventure will be on the Rhone.
Amboise is worth a stop as long as you're not arriving on a late train one day and leaving on an early one the next. We stayed 2 nights and enjoyed our visit. There's a chateau right in town as well as the Clos Luce. You'll need some type of wheels to visit other chateaus in the area (we toured Chenonceau).
We booked the hotel in Amboise (Chateau de Pray) months ago for May 17th, but have had to wait until now to book the train. The daily direct train from Gare d'Austerlitz isn't available after April 30!
Also, we've rented an apartment in Paris for a month, so don't want to stay away longer than the one night. We hope to see the Royal Chateau Amboise, Close de Luce and have a wander around the town over 2 part days, before heading back to Paris.
Our dilemma is; do we change our planned midweek leisurely journey on the direct slow train, to scramble through train transfers, but not have to deal with crushes of tourists in Amboise, or, do we take that leisurely direct Friday train, and elbow our way through the sights (and sites) along with many other weekend tourists...
Hi Sus, the shopkeepers we talked to last September indicated that tourism was down (one said by 75%) in the area. We did not find any crowds in Amboise. It was a bit busier on Saturday; on Monday morning I'd call it almost a ghost town. We took the train from Bern, Switzerland to Amboise and then on to Paris. I was worried about schedules and timing but we didn't encounter any problems at all, smooth sailing! :)