We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Driving from Paris to Toulouse

United States
Level Contributor
63 posts
51 reviews
Save Topic
Driving from Paris to Toulouse

Hi, I am thinking of driving a rental car from De Gaulle airport to Toulouse and back after spending a week in Toulouse. I have never driven in Europe. Is driving easy in France? Grateful for any advice!

Mentioned in this post
Toulouse
Toulouse
Haute-Garonne, France
Europe
Europe
World
France
France
Europe
Mannheim, Germany
Destination Expert
for Zurich, Mannheim
Level Contributor
14,707 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Driving from Paris to Toulouse

You are in for a loooooong, and for the most parts rather boring, drive. Except when you are driving around Paris, then you would long for the boring part.

Fly to Toulouse, or take the train, and rent the car there.

Mentioned in this post
Paris
Paris
Ile-de-France, France
Toulouse
Toulouse
Haute-Garonne, France
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
37,933 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Driving from Paris to Toulouse

It's not that bad, T2 -- from CDG to Toulouse would be about 8 hours.

That's a really long drive after an overnight flight, so isn't for wimps. If you can get a day's rest before you drive, it's better.

It's all interstate, so as stated above, there's not too much to look at -- but it's not a challenging drive by any stretch of the imagination.

On the whole, driving in France is easy -- the roads are good and well-marked. Don't drive in Paris if you can avoid it -- it's a madhouse.

Mentioned in this post
Toulouse
Toulouse
Haute-Garonne, France
France
France
Europe
Paris
Paris
Ile-de-France, France
Toronto
Destination Expert
for Tokyo
Level Contributor
25,239 posts
30 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Driving from Paris to Toulouse

the toll tickets used on the toll roads can, and will be used for catching speeders.

massachusetts
Level Contributor
220 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Driving from Paris to Toulouse

My parents just came back from Paris/Toulouse trip, they took the train from Toulouse to Paris, it was one of the highlight s of their trip, 5 hours in comfort, fast - but slow enough to see the villages along the way.

Mentioned in this post
Paris
Paris
Ile-de-France, France
Toulouse
Toulouse
Haute-Garonne, France
United States
Level Contributor
63 posts
51 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Driving from Paris to Toulouse

Thanks everyone for your quick and helpful responses. We've decided to buy a French flexi-rail pass and go to Toulouse from CDG. We land around 2:30PM at CDG, so we are thinking of getting on a train from the airport and reach Bordeaux that evening and spend a couple of days there sightseeing before going to Toulouse from Bordeaux by train. I understand there is a train station in CDG terminal and we should be able to get on a TGV to Bordeaux. Can anyone please confirm this or advise us? Grateful for all your help! Have a great weekend. T2

Mentioned in this post
Toulouse
Toulouse
Haute-Garonne, France
Bordeaux
Bordeaux
Gironde, France
CA
Level Contributor
10,855 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Driving from Paris to Toulouse

You can book on SNCF up to 90 days in advance [for CDG use Roissy].

France rail map, schedules, tickets:

…raileurope.com/map_of_europe/france.html

http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en

www.voyages-sncf.com/dynamic/_SvHomePage…

Mentioned in this post
France
France
Europe
london
Level Contributor
48 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Driving from Paris to Toulouse

Are you doing Paris - Bordeax - Toulouse? Sounds like a good plan.

Mentioned in this post
Paris
Paris
Ile-de-France, France
Toulouse
Toulouse
Haute-Garonne, France
St. Louis
Level Contributor
5 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Driving from Paris to Toulouse

We returned last night from a trip with 5 nights in Paris, 3 in Bordeaux, and 4 in Toulouse. We took the train (SGV) from Paris to Bordeaux, and from Bordeaux to Toulouse. A couple of thoughts:

The train was a great choice. We payed a few extra bucks for first-class, but the second-class cars looked comfortable and well-appointed.

We didn't regret spending a few days in Bordeaux - though we thought we had made a big mistake when riding in the cab from the train station to our hotel. The driver must have picked the seediest street in the whole city. Once we got into town and walked along the river, through the old city, and so forth, we were completely charmed. We also took one of those tour bus day trips to St. Emilion, and it proved to be a fun excursion. The tourist office in Bordeaux is really helpful.

Toulouse was interesting - I didn't have as much time to explore as I had business there. It looks like good day trips are available. For us, Toulouse lacked the sophistication of Paris and the charm of Bordeaux, but if you are young Toulouse is full of students and evening action. Incidentally, we were really happy with the Hotel Albert 1er at 8 rue Rivals. Close to the action, great staff, and reasonable.

Do take the train - managing a rental car would have been a big pain in any of the three cities. Bordeaux especially - the center city blocks access for cars.

Mentioned in this post
Paris
Paris
Ile-de-France, France
Bordeaux
Bordeaux
Gironde, France
Toulouse
Toulouse
Haute-Garonne, France
Saint-Emilion
Saint-Emilion
Gironde, France
United States
Level Contributor
63 posts
51 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Driving from Paris to Toulouse

Thanks for all your helpful comments. We plan to spend 3 nights in Bordeaux, after we get there by TGV from De Gaulle airport late at night. We've booked at the Hotel Stars Bordeaux Gare for 1 night for now which is just across the train station. Does anyone have any comments on this hotel? We booked it more for convenience and a good rate. Any other hotel suggestion in Bordeaux?

We then travel to Toulouse and spend 3 days there before taking train back to Paris. Grateful for hotel and side-trip suggestions in Toulouse as well. Your suggestions have been very helpful.

Mentioned in this post
Bordeaux
Bordeaux
Gironde, France
Hotel Stars Bordeaux Gare
Hotel Stars Bordeaux Gare
335 Reviews
Bordeaux, France
Toulouse
Toulouse
Haute-Garonne, France
Paris
Paris
Ile-de-France, France
St. Louis
Level Contributor
5 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Driving from Paris to Toulouse

Boy, I don't know, that hotel is not what I would describe as a good location. On Google maps it looks to be either on the seediest street in Bordeaux or one block over. If your budget can bear it, I'd look for lodging closer to the old city. Check out the Hotel de France on Trip Advisor - it's cheap, and certainly in a better location.

Mentioned in this post
Bordeaux
Bordeaux
Gironde, France
Get answers to your questions about Toulouse