Oh, how I love the train system in Europe. With it, so many things are possible – and today I want to share how you can use the Paris to Strasbourg train to make a Paris to Strasbourg day trip work for you!
The first and most important tip for you to be thinking about as soon as possible is…
Get Your Paris to Strasbourg Train Tickets Early!
The key here is to buy these tickets in advance. Three months in advance if you can manage it for maximum cost savings. I just looked at ticket prices for the Paris to Strasbourg train right now. If I want to go in two days, the tickets are going to cost me €112 – €121. Yipes.
BUT, if I want to go 3 months from today, the very same ticket is going to cost me €35. Yep. €35. That’s an insane savings if you are willing to plan ahead. In fact, I would even consider looking at my time in Paris, picking a day, and buying the ticket 3 months ahead – even if I’m not 100% sure I’ll do the trip.
Where to Purchase the Paris to Strasbourg Train Tickets
My preferred site to research tickets and purchase, is Rome2Rio. You can explore all different options, including other public transportation and flights, before making your choice. The English version of the site is easily understandable, some tickets can be purchased directly through Rome2Rio website, and the ones that refer you through to another authorized site to purchase are also fairly easy to understand and navigate. Purchase on line and the will show up in your email within minutes. You can print a hardcopy and/or download to your smart phone. (I do both, I’m paranoid.) Either one is fine to be scanned on the train.
Your Paris to Strasbourg Train (and back)
The train travels between Paris Charles de Gaulle Train Station and Strasbourg Train Station. As of this writing, there are direct trains that take approximately 1 hour 50 minutes that depart Paris CDG and arrive in Strasbourg with no train changes in between. The current morning times for direct trains are:
- Depart Paris CDG at 8:50am and arrive in Strasbourg at 10:49am
- Departs Paris CDG at 11:21am and arrive in Strasbourg 1:11pm.
Obviously, to maximize your time in Strasbourg, go with the 8:50 train. Throw a warm croissant in your bag, grab a coffee, and enjoy a leisurely breakfast while you read about Strasbourg on the train. 😀
There are other train options scattered in there, but they all require at least one train train change and take anywhere from 2 hours 22 minutes to 3 hours and 8 minutes because of the changes, and that’s just silliness.
For your return trains, there are several options depending on how long you want to stay in Strasbourg. Each train takes approximately 1 hour 50 minutes again for the direct (no train changes) option. The farther ahead you book, the better your pricing, again, with the return trains in 3 months ranging from €25 -€53 right now. Currently the trains in 3 months are:
- Depart Strasbourg Train Station at 4:17pm and arrive Paris CDG at 6:05pm
- Depart Strasbourg Train Station at 5:17pm and arrive Paris CDG at 7:05pm
- Depart Strasbourg Train Station at 6:17pm and arrive Paris CDG at 8:14pm
Navigating Paris CDG Train Station:
The Paris CDG Train Station is actually right in the middle of Terminal 2 of the Paris CDG Airport. Yeah, I know, that sounds intimidating, and I was at first, too. But, as with so much of travel the key is to be prepared, read the signs, and when in doubt – Ask someone.
If you want some help in being prepared, check out this Step-by-Step Guide to Paris CDG Train Station.
Arriving at Strasbourg Train Station
The Strasbourg train station is significantly less intimidating than the Paris CDG train station, so yay for that! You will arrive at outdoor, covered platforms and follow the crowd downstairs to an underground hallway that leads to the main hall. From there the exit is self explanatory.
Why spend a day in Strasbourg, France
Strasbourg, France is an ideally located French city with a richly historic Old Town area. Within easily walkable distance you can walk the picturesque Petite France area and marvel at the intricate medieval and elegant renaissance architecture. If you enjoy exploring rich European churches, the Cathedrale Notre-Dame of Strasbourg is gorgeous, and tucked inside the science and engineering involved in the astronomical clock will humble our modern science knowledge.
If you are looking for more than a Paris to Strasbourg day trip, spend a little more time in the area and explore the Alsace wine region or any number of French and German cities within easy reach. Strasbourg makes an excellent stopover point on a westerward trip where it can be used as a home base to explore other cities such as Nancy, Colmar, Mullhouse, or even the spa town of Baden-Baden, Germany.
Strasbourg main sights:
There is plenty to keep you occupied in Strasbourg for several days. However, if you are strictly making a day trip, the areas to focus on would be:
This is probably the most picturesque corner of Strasbourg, populated with the half-timbered houses, and even the departure point for an hour long river cruise..
Barrage Vauban – constructed in the late 1600s to reinforce medieval fortifications, it is still beautiful to walk through. Even better, walk across the top level for excellent views of Petite France and Ponts Couverts
Ponts Couverts – The Ponts Couverts was built in the first half of the 1200s, and were originally covered by tiled roofs. Rebuilt in the 1800s, the bridges are a beautiful sight.
Place de la Cathedrale – the heart of Strasbourg this square is home to the most visited sights in Strasbourg including the Cathedrale, Palais des Rohan, and prominent medieval buildings.
Old Town Strasbourg
Cathedrale Notre Dame Strasbourg – the intricately stone-worked Cathedrale was begun in 1277, and the highest spire, the highest in Christendom until the 1800s, was completed in 1439.
Astronomical Clock – While the actual show of the astronomical clock at 12:30 I did not find overwhelmingly impressive, the documentary-style movie leading up to it demonstrates the truly impressive science and engineering that went into the design of this clock that went through several re-buildings between its start in 1352 and the inauguration of the current one in 1842.
Palais Rohan – This gorgeous building constructed between 1732 – 1742 has been home to Strasbourg Cardinals and Napoleon, and now houses three separate museums.
Place Kléber – This square is the largest in the city. Today, in addition to the fountain and statue of Jean-Baptiste Kléber, the square is ringed by a restaurant, a Starbucks, and many very nice shopping options.
Place de République Square – This grand and elegant square, ringed by public buildings, has a completely different feel than the Old Town section of Strasbourg. Most striking is the 1936 memorial in the center speaking to Strasbourg’s town allegiance through history with a mother holding her two sons: one who died for France, and the other for Germany.
Parc de l’Orangerie – This park was created with 140 orange trees that were confiscated during the revolution. Today it is also home to a boating lake, waterfall, yummy gelato stands, and a stork reintroduction center.
Seat of the European Parliament – 27 countries of the European Union meet here 4 days a month.
In the coming week I will be posting a One Day Strasbourg Itinerary and it will be linked here. Have a wonderful time exploring this beautiful city – it really isn’t hard to take he Paris to Strasbourg train and make it happen!
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