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Train or plane from Paris to Berlin

I’m signed up as a solo for the Berlin, Prague, and Vienna tour for September 2024. Now I get to have fun planning out the details.

I have points on Westjet, so it’s the only airline I can fly on. At this point they only fly into Paris or London. Because Paris is my favourite place in Europe (to date), I thought I’d spend 2 nights there and then either fly or take the train to Berlin the day before the tour. Neither the flight or the train goes direct, so the choice is a 7 hour train trip or a possible 3 hour flight.

The tour is jam packed, so the time in Paris will be completely unscheduled. Likely walking around discovering neighbourhoods and parks. I hope to find a not too expensive hotel in the Latin Quarter.

On my return, I’ll fly to Paris from Vienna, and stay at a hotel at the airport to catch my flight out the next day.

I’m intentionally not booking flights to and from Paris on the same day I land and leave. I don’t want to worry over connections.

Any comments around plane vs train, and hotels in the Latin Quarter greatly appreciated. Thanks so much for your expertise.

Posted by
7089 posts

There are plenty of direct flights from Paris to Berlin; it is too early to look for Sep 2024 flights. The flight takes less than 2 hours, and the train takes at least 8.5 hours. The only reason to take the train in that case would be carbon footprint - otherwise, flying is much faster, typically cheaper, and more convenient.

Posted by
359 posts

Or for a bit of adventure, there's the new European Sleeper train that runs overnight from Brussels to Berlin. Brussels Midi is an easy train connection from Paris, and you'd be in Berlin first thing in the morning.

Posted by
20483 posts

There is also a Nightjet to Berlin from Mannheim with a connection with ICE from Paris. Since this is for next year, other options may present themselves next year.

Posted by
6775 posts

I'd far rather be boarding the European sleeper at Brussels at 1900, than changing at Mannheim at nearly midnight.

Posted by
189 posts

Thank you all for your prompt replies. Flying seems to be the way to go. Sitting on a train for 8 hours with a transfer sounds too much like flying over the Atlantic.I am techno challenged, and I think I will engage a travel agent ( they have to eat, too). She can find me the best (refundable) deal for the flight both ways as well as accommodation in the Latin Quarter. I’ll book my extra nights pre and post tour with the hotels on the tour.

Posted by
7089 posts

I would think twice about the travel agent for the Paris-Berlin flight, as you would pay for the service for what is a relatively inexpensive flight. Most flights are on Air France: check their website and see if you can buy yourself. You need to wait until October to be able to buy, and I would wait even a bit longer (Jan 2024?) to make sure that all flight times are available.
You could even book Paris-Berlin+Vienna-Paris in one go thru Air France, selecting "multi-destination" or "multi-city" in the booking page. Give it a try now and see if it feels manageable for you!

Posted by
189 posts

Balso, thanks for the vote of confidence that I can do this on my own. I tried to go on the Air France site to “pretend” book an open jaw ticket for a random date.. The whole website is in French! I know there has to be a way around it. Suggestions greatly appreciated!

Posted by
7089 posts

You pick the language in the side menu (left side).
This is the link to the English page

If you find it too complicated in the end, then this is what travel agents are for, no worries! You have plenty of time to try it on your own beforehand.

Posted by
189 posts

Balso, I can’t believe how easy that was. Thank you so much! I did a pretend booking for this fall, and it worked like a charm. Perhaps I am not as techno challenged as I thought😜

Posted by
7089 posts

You're welcome!
And if you want to try your hand at booking hotels for yourself, booking.com is really convenient and user-friendly. Booking terms and conditions are clear, reviews are trustworthy (you can only review if you stay in the place thru Booking.com. Anything rated above 8.0 is usually quite nice/good value for money), and there is a good map to locate hotels.
Sure, hotels do prefer and sometimes give slightly better rates or conditions if you book directly with them...but many hotels have wonky websites, or none at all!
Again, since you have time, you can have a look.

Posted by
189 posts

Balso, you’re a wealth of information. I will try that site. If I can do that, I certainly won’t need a travel agent. Heck, if I can do it, maybe I’ll become a travel agent! ( no disrespect to all those wonderful competent travel agents)

Posted by
55 posts

Check out the Paris Travel Tips Facebook page. You can search for Latin Quarter hotel recommendations. If you don't find what you want, post a query including your budget. Folks are friendly and will give you good advice.

Posted by
189 posts

Thanks for the tip, IrishEyes.. I’m not on Facebook, so can’t access that. I did take balso’s suggestion and looked up Booking.com. Even though my trip is 15 months away, there is limited availability in my price range. I don’t want to pay half the cost of my whole RS tour on 3 nights in Paris! I will have to book the hotels in the next week. Sounds like September 2024 will be a busy time in Paris…and everywhere in Europe.