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car rental vs. trains from Paris to Normandy

Hi! I'm planning a trip to Normandy in August. I will be flying into CDG and would like to rent a car for the time in Normandy. But I'm nervous about driving in Paris/out of the airport. Does it make sense to take a train from CDG to some smaller city and rent the car there? If so, any suggestions of where?

Thanks in advance -

Posted by
591 posts

A lot will depend on just how nervous you might be and if you are able to sleep on an airplane. CDG isn't too bad to get out of and it's far enough out in the country that you can avoid the heaviest Paris traffic. If you think you will be in fairly good physical & mental shape when you arrive, get the car at CDG.
The train is a bit of a hassel as you would have to go into Paris and then get over to the St Lazare station to get to Caen/Bayeux. If you are still nervous after reading all the responses you'll be getting, then 'peace of mind' may dictate that you take the train.

Posted by
7209 posts

We took the train to Caen and picked up our rental car there. I've driven in Paris on 3 different occasions, and it was not a pleasant experience.

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks for the replies! This was helpful feedback. I do think now we're leaning toward renting at CDG and driving from there. I do pretty well with jet lag and can hopefully supplement with coffee :) Will be sure to have good directions/maps on hand.