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Day trip from Amsterdam to Paris

I would appreciate any thoughts on trying to do a day trip from Amsterdam to Paris. Have one day free in Amsterdam on business trip and this may be only chance to see Paris. Thanks!

Posted by
13342 posts

Teri, this will be a long day - you'll want to start early - but do-able. My guess is that you'll want to take the Thalys high-speed train from Amsterdam Centraal to Paris Gare du Nord: takes about 3.5 hours one way.

https://www.thalys.com/nl/en/train-timetables/amsterdam/paris

We've taken the Thalys the opposite direction, from Paris to Amsterdam, and it's a nice train. From Gare du Nord, use the metro to get around the city. It's not difficult to do with a little reading in advance, and you can buy some individual tickets (1.90 €) or a carnet (book of 10: 14.90 €) at the station.

https://www.ratp.fr/en/titres-et-tarifs/t-tickets

Metro map here:
https://www.ratp.fr/en/plans-lignes/plan-metro

Posted by
5382 posts

I understand your desire, but it is not a good use of the day off. Amsterdam is off to one side of Europe, so it's not an ideal location for day trips out of the Netherlands. I would not go farther than Antwerp, Brussels, or Cologne, each of which has more than you can see in a day. (Is the day Monday, by any chance???) Are you aware of how suitable Amsterdam is for enticing local trips by commuter train. Delft is quite famous, but Leiden, Utrecht, Haarlem, The Hague, and Rotterdam are frequently mentioned here. What month of the year is this? It makes a difference.

If you have business in Europe, you will surely have another chance in your life to visit Paris, which is worth a week.

Edit: I would add that while Gare du Nord is close to Montmartre (which has hills ... ) it is not ideally situated for instant top-level sightseeing choices upon descending from the train. There is nothing wrong with the Metro for sightseeing, it's just that your time is so limited! You will not have the time to enter any museums, so maybe Monday isn't such a big factor. But it does mean more tourists vying for the places that are open on Monday.

Posted by
2487 posts

On weekdays the first Thalys leaves Amsterdam at 6.17, arriving at Paris Gare du Nord at 9.35. (On Saturdays and Sundays the first train leaves at 8.17, arriving at 11.35.) The last train back is at 19.25. The ticket prices differ considerably: booked in advance it can be as cheap as EUR 35 single trip; bought at the last minute it can be as expensive as EUR 135.
Paris is a compact city and you could see a big chunk of it. You could, for example, take the metro to the Eiffel Tower, walk from there to the Arc de Triomphe, and then almost a straight line to the Place de la Bastille. En route you would pass al the famous landmarks: Champs Elysées, Place de la Concorde, Louvre, Notre-Dame, Place des Vosges, and have time for a lunch as well.

Posted by
16445 posts

When I look at early March, the furthest out they have tickets for sale, its 35 EUR each way. But this is only if you buy a nonrefundable, nonchangeable ticket now. If you want a ticket that is changeable (for a fee) it is 67 EUR each way and you would have to pay the fare difference at the time of the change. If you you just went to the station and bought tickets, its 135 EUR each way. Taking the first train and returning on the last will give you less then 10 hours in Paris.

Posted by
134 posts

Thanks for the replys, I should have mentioned that it is my son who is thinking of doing this. He has been to Amsterdam several times, but never to Paris and thought this might be his only chance. It would be next Monday, Nov. 13.

Posted by
16445 posts

For Monday Nov 13, only 135 EUR tickets each way are available. Expensive day trip.

Posted by
11613 posts

And many sights are closed on Mondays. If he just wants a walk-through, it's doable, but as others say, he needs to get an early start.

Posted by
5221 posts

I don't know why your son thinks this might be his only chance to see Paris, but I hope he's wrong. This is seven hours on a train for about eleven hours in Paris, based on Kathy's research. There's food on the Thalys so he could save Paris time by having breakfast and dinner en route.

If he does it, I think the walking route another poster suggested is a good one. Besides a lunch stop, there might be time to actually go inside a few places like Notre Dame. The top of the Arc de Triomphe offers a very good city view without the hassles of going up the Eiffel Tower. Unless he's dead set on seeing particular art works, I'd advise against going into the Louvre, which will be crowded on Monday because Versailles and the Orsay are closed. Long ticket and security lines at "big" sights should be avoided if possible. A river cruise might be possible, the best option probably with Les Vedettes du Pont-Neuf, which runs frequent one-hour round trips throughout the day, if the weather is nice.

There's lots to see and do right in Amsterdam on a free day during a business trip. Hopefully Paris can wait for the extended visit it deserves.

Posted by
2883 posts

Yes, do it. There is a lot that can be seen with 10 hours. When I was growing up, we would take the train from Providence to NYC for the day. It was a 3-4 hour trip. We always enjoyed the city and one can collapse/relax on the ride home.

Posted by
50 posts

One of my mottos is a line I learned long ago: A dream is a bargain no matter what it costs. If he dreams of Paris, he dreams of Paris and nothing else will do. It sounds like he can have as much as 9 hours to see Paris and he can do a lot of walking around and absorbing the city in that time. It will be an expensive but grand adventure and I'm entirely jealous.

Posted by
13342 posts

Unless he's dead set on seeing particular art works, I'd advise
against going into the Louvre, which will be crowded on Monday because
Versailles and the Orsay are closed.

Dick posted this earlier and I think it's wise advice. I love the Louvre but it can be a real time-sucking activity! It's probably best to save it for a longer trip unless it's one of your son's main reasons for making a 1-day hop.

Posted by
134 posts

Thanks everyone for the great advice. I will pass it on and let you know if he decides to go. My husband and I have taken 9 of Rick's tours and know we can always count on this forum for great input. Thanks again, Teri

Posted by
8422 posts

So what happened?

Kind of like doing a day trip from Mesa to Las Vegas.

Posted by
134 posts

Sorry, it has taken me so long to get back to the forum. He decided to just stay in Amsterdam. He had a nice day taking boat ride, visiting a couple of museums etc. Paris, hopefully, will be seen at some time in the future. Thanks again for all of your input, it was greatly appreciated.
Teri