Chartres is EASY to get to–and the journey there is very enjoyable!
If you are even considering a visit to Chartres, let me urge you, GO! The information on this page can help you relax and envision yourself traveling to Chartres.
Taking A Bus From Charles De Gaulle Airport to Gare Montparnasse, Then Taking A Train To Chartres
This is a convenient option if you are eager to get to Chartres when you arrive in France. You load your luggage under the bus and can look out the window as you head from the airport to the train station. It takes about an hour in good traffic (longer during rush hour).
You will be taking an Air France Line 4 Bus to Gare Montparnasse in Paris. Les Cars Air France Line 4 stops at Gare de Lyon and continues on to Gare Montparnasse (where you catch the train to Chartres). These coach buses stop for passenger pickup at different terminals. You can ask for directions to the bus at any of the information desks outside the baggage claim areas. Click here for more information.
Buses leave the airport every half hour from 07:00 am to 21:00 (9 pm); they leave from Gare Montparnasse (rue du commandant Mouchotte) every 30 minutes from 06:30 am to 21:30 (9:30 pm). Note: “Every 30 minutes” might be affected by rush hour traffic.Tickets in 2012 cost 16.50€ one-way, 27€ round-trip, half price for kids age 2 to 11. Click here for more information. Robert Ferré explains every step in wonderful detail. http://www.labyrinth-enterprises.com/gettingtochartres.html
A cheaper option is to take the RER into Paris, transfer to the metro and take it to (Gare) Montparnasse where you can catch the train. You will need to buy one ticket (the same one works for both the RER and the metro). If you arrive at the airport with about 12 euros in coins (or a credit card with a chip that works in Europe in it–American credit cards don’t work in the machine), you won’t have to wait in a long line. There are different ways to make the trip, depending on where you want to change from the RER to the metro; it’s a matter of personal preference. I take the RER to the Denfert Rochereau station. I then transfer to line 6 and take it to Montparnasse. It takes less than an hour. You will have to carry your suitcase(s) up and down some steps, so be ready for this. Two members of my family have been pick-pocketed while doing this (one by a woman while boarding the RER and one by a man as he rolled his suitcase through a turn-style–both at the Denfert Rochereau station). Two things they learned: Be hyper-alert and don’t keep all your money in your wallet.
Taking the Train between Paris (Gare Montparnasse) and Chartres
If you need to buy a ticket back to Paris from Chartres, the ticket office in the train station is usually open M-F 8h45-19h30 and Saturday from 9h00 to 18h30. It is closed on Sundays. If you have a credit card with a chip that works in Europe, you can use the kiosks in the train station at any time.
You can pick up schedules for the train between Paris and Chartres either in Paris at Gare Montparnasse or at the train station in Chartres.
Arranging For A Driver To Take You
The cost is around 120-200 euros (one way) from Charles de Gaulle airport to Chartres. It is about 120 kilometers (75 miles). This is a good option if you have several people or a lot of luggage.
Many American pilgrims to Chartres have used Best Transfers. Rates to Chartres start at 138 euros (2014) and go up depending on how much luggage you have. http://www.best-airport-transfers.com/paris-taxi-transfers.html. If you will be staying at the Maison St. Yves the GPS address is simply “Rue des Acacias” (no street number).
Robert Ferré lists 3 good options for Shuttle companies at http://www.labyrinth-enterprises.com/gettingtochartres.html. These may cost closer to 200 Euros one way.
For going back to the airport you can use a Chartres taxi, although I’m told it is very expensive.
Telephone: 02-37-36-00-00. From the US: 011-33-2-37-36-00-00.
Renting A Car
It is possible to rent a car at one of the Paris airports and drive to Chartres.
Sometimes Hertz has a 3-6-9 hour promotion to rent a car for 3, 6 or 9 hours. It is possible to pick a car up at the airport (we did it at Charles de Gaulle-Roissy) and drop it off in Chartres. 3 hours is doable. The cost of a small car was approximately 45 euros which allowed for 120 kilometers. If you want to make a detour, six hours (200 kilometers included) costs around 60-70 euros. Remember to budget for gas and tolls. You can find out more at www.hertz.fr or by calling 011 33 0825861861 from the US (+33 0825861861 from elsewhere).
I often use www.mappy.com to get directions, as well as calculate gas and toll prices.
Chartres is 88 kilometers (55 miles) from Paris. It generally takes a bit more than hour in good traffic, but during heavy traffic times it can take much, much longer.
By motorway from Paris: A6 direction Bordeaux-Nantes, via Porte d’Orleans then A10 and A11 direction Nantes.
By road from Paris: RN10 direction Rambouillet, via the Porte de St. Cloud.
By road from other parts of France:
RN10 from Tours and South West France.
RN23 from Brittany.
RN154 from Rouen to Orléans.