How to Get to Champagne From Paris

How to Get to Champagne From Paris featured photo

Paris is a beautiful city filled with plenty to see and lots of activities, but France has a lot more to offer and a change of scenery in the French countryside can add a lot of value to your trip.

If you’re planning a trip in France and not sure how to get to Champagne from Paris, I have good news because it’s close and easy. In this article, I will cover how to get to Champagne from Paris comfortably and conveniently.

Champagne, a small region in northeastern France, is an ideal destination for a trip from Paris. Known for its world-famous sparkling wines, picturesque vineyards, and beautiful chateaus, Champagne is a must-visit for wine travelers and anyone who loves to drink bubbly. As you may already know – only sparkling wine that comes from the Champagne region is allowed to be called ‘champagne’, so while you’re in France it’s worth taking the opportunity to see this special region in person.

It’s possible to visit Champagne on a day trip from Paris, but if you really love Champagne it’s definitely worth a longer stay for more time to explore.

How to Get to Champagne From Paris

How to Get to Champagne From Paris

I’ll share a lot more detail below, but your main options to get from Paris to Champagne are:

  1. By Car to Reims (2 hour drive)
  2. By Car to Epernay (2 hour drive)
  3. By Train to Reims (45 minute train ride on fast train)
  4. By Train to Epernay (82 minute train ride on regular train)
Distance to Champagne From Paris

Distance to Champagne From Paris

The distance between Paris and Champagne is approximately 145 kilometers, which means that it takes about two hours to get there by car or 45 minutes by train.

Reims and Epernay are two of the largest towns in the Champagne Ardenne region, and most people that visit Champagne from Paris will choose one of these two cities to start their trip.

Distance from Paris to Epernay, and Paris to Reims:

Epernay is around 143 kilometers from Paris. Reims is around 145 kilometers from Paris. So the distance is very similar and the drive time for both is around 2 hours.

Getting to Champagne from Paris by Car

There are several routes you can take, but the fastest and most popular is the A4 highway.

Renting a car is the most popular way to get to Champagne from Paris. Renting a car gives you the freedom to explore the region at your own pace, making stops whenever you want to. There are several car rental companies to choose from in Paris, such as Avis, Europcar, and Hertz. The cost of renting a standard size car per day ranges from €45 to €75, depending on the rental company, car type, and season.

Like any dense major city, you need to pay close attention when driving in Paris and you may run into some traffic. But once you’re outside of the city, the major A4 motorway that takes you east to the Champagne wine region is an easy drive.

Getting to Champagne from Paris by Car

Getting to Champagne from Paris by Train

Paris to Reims by Train

If you don’t want to rent a car, taking the train is an excellent alternative. You can take a train from Paris to Reims, the heart of the Champagne region. The fast TGV train runs on this line so the train journey from Paris to Reims takes only about 45 minutes. Several train companies operate between Paris and Reims, including SNCF, OUIGO, and TGV Lyria. You can check their websites for the latest schedules, but they usually run throughout the day. 

Once in Reims, you can take a tour of the Champagne houses or explore the city on foot. Learn more about the train journey from Paris to Reims here.

Getting to Champagne from Paris by Train

Paris to Epernay by Train

The train journey from Paris to Epernay is about the same disance as Reims, but it takes about an hour and 20 minutes since it’s not the high speed TGV train. SNCF usually has the best train schedule from Paris to Epernay. You can check their website for the latest schedules, but they usually run throughout the day. Once in Epernay, you can easily explore the city on foot. Learn more about the train journey from France to Epernay here.

Gare du Nord vs. Gare de l’Est

When booking your train from Paris, make sure to pay attention to whether it leaves from Gare du Nord station or Gare de l’Est station. Both stations are easily accessible from central Paris, but needless to say it’s important you show up at the right station for your train to Champagne.

Gare du Nord vs. Gare de l’Est

Getting from Champagne to Paris on a Private Tour

For a more luxurious experience, you can consider booking a private tour. A private tour allows you to enjoy the Champagne region with a personal guide and driver, who will take you to the best spots and hidden gems in the area. Several tour companies offer private tours from Paris to Champagne, ranging from half-day tours to full-day tours. The cost of a private tour depends on the duration, type of transportation used, and level of luxury. If you don’t speak French, make sure to confirm that your tour has an English speaking guide.

Getting from Champagne to Paris on a Bus

If you’re traveling on a budget, taking the bus is another option. Several bus companies operate daily between Paris and Reims, such as Flixbus and Ouibus. The journey takes about two hours, and the ticket price ranges from €5 to €20, depending on the time of day and season. Keep in mind that taking the bus doesn’t give you the freedom to explore the region as other transportation methods do. It also takes a lot longer and is less comfortable compared to the other options, so personally I don’t prefer it. 

Why Visit Champagne from Paris

Champagne is such an amazing region and in reality it is worth its own trip of a week or more. With that said, I understand many travelers are short on time and already have a packed agenda of things to see in Paris. But here are just a few of the things you can do, and reasons why Champagne is worth a side trip from Paris.

  1. Champagne isn’t far from Paris, you can reach it in under an hour by train
  2. Taste wine at famous Champagne Houses on the Avenue de Champagne
  3. Take a drive through beautiful vineyards in the quiet countryside
  4. Learn how champagne is made and tour a champagne production facility
  5. Visit extensive and historical champagne caves carved into underground rock
  6. Visit historical sites like the Reims Cathedral where French kings used to be crowned. There is a lot of interesting history from World War 1 as well, so if you’re a history buff you can visit sites to learn about how the history of the world wars affected the region.

Recommendations for a Champagne Day Trip

If you’re visiting Champagne from Paris for just one day, I recommend visiting Epernay by high speed train. The Epernay train station is very close to the town center, and you can easily walk to some of the most popular sites in 5-10 minutes. When you arrive by train, you won’t have to spend time or money renting a car or looking for parking, which can be scarce at times in the Epernay town center.

Consider an organized Champagne tour for a day trip

As I mention in the top tips list below, definitely consider an organized tour for single day trips. Just make sure the champagne experience you sign up for is a small group tour with a van or minibus and not a huge, tourist-style bus. I typically enjoy exploring on my own, but an organized champagne tour does save a lot of time on research and planning (and also, you can taste champagne all day without concern about driving later).

Recommendations for a Longer Trip in Champagne

If you’re visiting Champagne from Paris for a longer stay to explore the region, I recommend renting a car and setting up your home base in Reims. You can rent a car in Paris and drive to Reims to save the cost of train tickets. I’ve done this and it’s not bad at all. Or, if you are concerned about driving in the Paris traffic, take the train to Reims first and rent a car right next to the Reims train station.

Having a car on a longer trip gives you a lot more flexibility to explore the towns and villages outside of Reims and Epernay, and there are some real gems to visit outside those cities. You can learn more about my favorite towns and villages in Champagne here.

7 Top Tips for Your Visit to Champagne

There are a few other tips I wish someone passed on to me before my first Champagne trip, so I’ll share those with you here:

Tip #1: If you want to visit a particular Champagne House, make sure to check their policy for visits and schedule an appointment in advance.

Many of the biggest and best Champagne Houses do make it easy for tourists to visit, tour, and taste. But many other Champagne houses are too small or too busy to provide a guided tour, or don’t always have an English-speaking tour guide on staff. Even if you are planning last minute you’re likely to find somewhere interesting with availability for a champagne tour or tasting. However, if you’re a big fan of a specific producer or grower and really want to visit them in person, make a plan and book ahead with them to avoid disappointment.

Tip #2: If you’re in Reims, visit Champagne Ruinart.

Ruinart is one of the oldest Champagne Houses and has great champagnes, impressive caves, and an overall amazing tour.

Tip #3: Make the effort to visit some smaller champagne grower-producers.

Most Champagne Houses don’t actually grow all their own grapes. That doesn’t mean their champagne isn’t good, but for me there’s something extra special about visiting smaller grower-producers who do their own farming and thus control the entire process from vine to bottle. Seeing the exact vines you’re tasting makes the experience really memorable.

Tip #4: Utilize the local tourism offices.

Along with Reims and Epernay, many smaller villages have tourism offices with people on staff to help you figure out where to go and what to do. They usually have lots of brochures to give you, and the people on staff tend to be friendly and helpful. If you are friendly and ask good questions, they might help you discover something off the main tourist radar.

Tip #5: Consider a Champagne Tour from Paris.

You can take a guided tour that will pick you up in a van or minibus in Paris, and drive you directly to Champagne. These guided champagne tours usually include an up-close vineyard visit, as well as a wine tasting and give you the chance to visit multiple champagne producers. If the tour takes most of the day, it usually includes lunch as well (sometimes, a really great lunch at the vineyard). You can find my recommendations for the best champagne tours here.

Tip #6: Don’t skip renting a car if you have time for a longer trip.

Exploring the cities of Reims and Epernay are great and there is a lot to see. But personally, there’s some extra magic in driving the small winding roads through the champagne vineyards like the ones in the photo below. There’s a tourist route for driving that takes you through some of the most beautiful vineyards, villages, and rolling hills. It’s well worth checking out with your own car if you have time. Below is an epic shot I took last fall, just a short drive from Epernay.

Top Tips for Your Visit to Champagne

Tip #7: Do some restaurant planning in advance.

At the end of a long day of champagne tasting, you’ll need some food. There are some great restaurant options in the region, but during busy seasons the best places can fill up fast. Save yourself some last minute stress of trying to find a good restaurant by deciding where you want to eat and booking a table for dinner in advance. If you’re like me and don’t want to risk wasting a meal on a mediocre restaurant on your trip, you can find some of my favorite restaurants in Epernay here and Reims here.

Cheers to Your Next Steps

Plan your trip to Champagne and indulge in the region’s famous champagne, historic chateaus, and scenic vineyards. Whether you choose to rent a car, take a train, or book a private tour, getting to Champagne from Paris is simple and straightforward.

Make sure to take your time, savor the local gastronomy, and relish the stunning landscapes the Champagne region has to offer. A trip to Champagne is an unforgettable experience for wine lovers and wine travelers, just a stone’s throw away from France’s capital city of Paris.