My husband and I are going on a 2 week trip in late September. We will be in Paris for 6 days, taking a train to Amsterdam and then need to get from Amsterdam to Normandy (Bayeaux, specifically). Are there direct routes or do we need to go back to Paris and then take the train from Paris to Bayeaux?
In order to get to Bayeux, you will need to take the Thalys high speed train from Amsterdam Centraal to Paris Nord Station. Once in Paris you will have to make your way to Paris St Lazare station in order to catch a train to Bayeux.
For timetables for your entire route, go to www.bahn.de. Click on "Internat. Guests" to view the site in English. After you have entered Amsterdam as your departure city and Bayeux as your destination, you will get summary timetables. Click on "Details for all" to see the connecting points where you will need to change trains. (It should be just as Michael describes it.)
To get from Gare du Nord to Gare St-Lazare, walk to the Magenta RER station. Take the RER E (direction Haussmann St-Lazare)to Haussmann St-Lazare. Cost: €1.40. Walk to Gare St-Lazare. Or take a taxi for a short and therefore relatively inexpensive ride.
Go to www.ratp.fr to download and print a Metro/RER map for central Paris that will show the route I described above.
As others have noted, Paris is the rail hub for all of France.
If you plan to rent a car in Normandy, though, you could pick one up in northern France and drive from there to Bayeux