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, COME! The information on this page can help you relax and plan to travel to Chartres.
RER From Charles De Gaulle Airport to Gare Montparnasse, Then Taking A Train To Chartres
From the airport, take the RER public transportation into Paris (a taxi is another option but in rush-hour traffic, it can take longer), transfer to the metro, and take it to (Gare) Montparnasse where you can catch the train. 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 prefer 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 must carry your suitcase(s) up and down some steps, so be ready for this. Two family members 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 find information online or pick up schedules for the train between Paris and Chartres either in Paris at Gare Montparnasse or the train station in Chartres. Trains run almost hourly in both directions. You may want to choose your train by the length of the ride, most take about an hour, but slower trains can take 20-30 minutes longer. You can access train schedules here in the By Train section.
Arranging For A Driver To Take You
The cost is around 150-200 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.
My preferred transfer company is Airport Taxi Transfers. Once you book, they will confirm your ride. Then, 24 hours before your scheduled pickup they send you driver information along with emergency numbers to call. Most drivers speak some English.
Many American pilgrims to Chartres have used Best Airport Transfers. Rates to Chartres start around 150 euros (2021) and go up depending on how much luggage you have. If you will be staying at the Maison St. Yves the GPS address is simply “Rue des Acacias” (no street number).
For returning to the airport, you can use the same service that brought you, or a Chartres taxi, although the taxi option is more expensive. Taxi in Chartres: 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. Hertz has a drop-off location in Chartres. 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 an hour and a half in good traffic, but during heavy traffic times, it can take much, much longer.