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Best way to get from Nice to Paris - By air or by train

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Boca Raton, Florida
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Best way to get from Nice to Paris - By air or by train

I will be flying with my family (husband and 3 kids) from London to Nice and staying for 3 days. After Nice, we will be traveling to Paris. I am trying to decide which is more efficient and pleasant for the family - to fly from Nice to Paris, or to take a train. Any opinions would be appreciated.

Melbourne, Australia
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1. Re: Best way to get from Nice to Paris - By air or by train

I always travel by train because I love trains. The scenery between Nice and near Marseilles is just beautiful. I can wander around, have a coffee in the buffet car, and then more lovely scenery towards Paris. The train drops me off in the middle of Paris, with a metro station attached, and off I go. It is a nice way to spend a day. Going by air is, obviously, much quicker, but not nearly as nice IMHO

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Best way to get from Nice to Paris - By air or by train

A train certainly would be much more pleasant. You can just get to the station 15 minutes before departure, walk onto the train without any security nonsense, have room to move around during the journey, and get off at the other end in central Paris.

Train journey times are a bit over 5.5 hours. A flight takes 90 minutes, but you have to get to the airport 2 hours before departure, wait for luggage to get off the plane, and then spend 45 minutes or more getting into Paris. You do not save much time by flying, and you have all the hassles of air travel.

Louisville, Kentucky
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3. Re: Best way to get from Nice to Paris - By air or by train

We usually fly between Nice and Paris, but with children, I'd give them adventure of European train travel. They can fly most anywhere, but the train will give them an international experience.

Los Angeles...
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4. Re: Best way to get from Nice to Paris - By air or by train

In your situation, train makes more sense. If you were flying to France and needed to immediately get to Nice, I would tell you to continue with a flight to Nice, but with all the security measures and transporation to/from airport, train makes more sense.

So PREM, deeply discounted train tickets, go on sale three (3) months to the day, not 90 days, prior to your journey. Look for those since tickets will become more and more expensive as the time of your travel nears. Second class is fine. Bring food/snacks and drinks onboard for your kids, and for yourselves. Last time we took a non-stop train to Paris (different route, not from Nice), they forgot to load the food car and there was nothing but coffee :(

Louisville, Kentucky
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5. Re: Best way to get from Nice to Paris - By air or by train

This link will help you avoid some of the quirks that befall American travelers when we book train tickets on our US Browsers. SNCF has an agreement with RailEurope for the US market, and you can avoid this unfortunate misdirection by following the steps Nick and Lynn describe,:

http://nickbooth.id.au/Tips/FrenchTrain.htm

Nick is the always helpful TA train expert, and this link from another TA contributor will also be helpful:

http://www.seat61.com/

Boca Raton, Florida
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6. Re: Best way to get from Nice to Paris - By air or by train

Thank you all so much! This is so helpful! Do any of you have recommendations of where a family of five can stay in Nice? Perhaps an apartment rental would be nice for us instead of a hotel. Except we are only there for 3 nights so it may not be easy to find such a short term rental.

Quainton, United...
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7. Re: Best way to get from Nice to Paris - By air or by train

Your kids will love the double-decker TGV Duplex train - make sure you book an upper deck seat for the best views (and my 7 year old gives me grief if we don't travel 'up top'!)

Lovely scenery along the coast at low speed, past Marseilles, then at high-speed up the Rhone Valley past pretty hilltop villages.

Fares from just €25 if you pre-book at www.capitainetrain.com. Booking usually opens 90-odd days ahead.

At 5h30 it's not much more than the 4 hour relay-race of bus, airport, flight, airport and train you'd have to take if you flew.

Louisville, Kentucky
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8. Re: Best way to get from Nice to Paris - By air or by train

Apartment rentals are typically weekly, Saturday to Saturday. For night

Y options, TA's hotel reviews section is a good place to start, and I've applied the "family" filter on this link:

tripadvisor.com/TabletHotelSearch-g187234-zf…

...and thinking a family might want a kitchenette, I've applied that filter on this link:

tripadvisor.com/TabletHotelSearch-g187234-zf…

To determine a hotel's location, do a Google Walking Maps search from an address to places like "Nice Ville, (the train station, or "Cours Salaya" in Nice's old town. Look at this link to determine how the tram and local bus system can shorten your walking distances:

www.lignesdazur.com/presentation/?rub_code=71

London /Nice
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9. Re: Best way to get from Nice to Paris - By air or by train

if time is a constraint then take an early flight from Nice to Paris because you will have at least some of the day to enjoy at your destination

no doubt the train is more relaxing for adults but I do question whether that applies to kids {depending on their age} 5.5 hours is a long time !!

and for Nice Paris 1 hour is probably ok for the airport

and as for scenery its not much different to a flight ; Nice -Marseille good, once the train gets up to speed I can't see a thing until it slows down outside Paris { I think most have a smoke stop at Avignon} but maybe the haze on the platform will spoil the view LOL

London /Nice
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10. Re: Best way to get from Nice to Paris - By air or by train

I forgot to say that whether or not you fly, if you want a true Parisienne restaurant experience go to Le Train Bleu above the platforms at Gare de Lyon; a wonderful room with frescos of the SoF, wood and brass and traditional service ;.brasserie food.It goes in and out of the ratings but do have a look because it might instil thoughts of a bygone age when train travel was the way to go

not everyones "cup of tea" but the beef tartare is excellent and a joy to see the preparation for the plate