I'm researching transport from Charles de Gaulle airport to our tour starting point in Chartres. Our flight is scheduled to arrive at 1:05pm on a Friday. My question is whether it's better to purchase train tickets in advance, or after we get through passport control, etc. and buy tickets at the station? There's risk involved with either choice - I'm just not sure which is greater: missing a train due to a delay, or being unable to board a train due to no space available? Maybe I'm just a worry-wort... :-) Thanks!
Trains to Chartres go from Paris Gare Montparnasse and are TER trains, meaning local trains that are always the same price. Week days the first train you could make is the 3:06 pm, the next train is at 4:09 pm and thereafter trains are very frequent as it is now commuter hours, with a lot of suburbanites living along the line and even in Chartres. Regular price is 18.40 EUR for adults, so you can buy a ticket when you et to the station.
So the issue is getting from CDG to Gare Montparnasse. A taxi from the official taxi rank is a fixed price of 62 EUR. The alternative is to take the RER B train to Denfert-Rochereau station, then change to the Metro to Gare Montparnasse. Cost is 10.30 EUR.
So nothing needs to be booked in advance.
What Sam said, except that the RER cost is per person, so double that for two people. The taxi is per taxi, up to four people.
The taxi will cost more but, to me, would be worth it for a couple or larger group because it's so much easier than managing your luggage through two RER rides after an overnight flight. Plus you'll get to see some of Paris itself on the way instead of just tunnels.
We took a taxi to Gare d’Est for the Eastern France tour instead of making our way using trains or subway. It was such a relief after all the jet lag from flying from the West Coast, fully worth the expense.
No direct train from CDG to Chartres
Pre R Steves Best of Paris 12-18 Feb----On 10 Feb 23 I landed at CDG and took a taxi to Gare Montparnasse 65 Euros. Guy didn't have GPS !!! Took me to wrong station 1st even tho I showed him in writing a note for Montparnasse. Many a tour thru Paris streets till he finally found the right Gare.
I didn't want to hassle public transport/transfers, etc. w/luggage.
In this frigid Gare, I purchased around trip tix on a Kiosk to Chartres.18.40 Euros each way.
Another consideration is long lines to purchase tickets! Last year,arriving late august for a pre RS tour week in Paris , the lines were so long everywhere at CDG. we just took a cab straight into Paris, 3rd arrondisement. 55 euros approx. totally worth it. Less stress and faster. Of course time of day may matter. Delightful cab driver too with fun polyglot conversation and helpful tips.
If budget allows, take a breather, especially if frazzled from travels and snafus . Cabs from a legitimate stand at CDG are worth it, IMO .