Thursday, November 3, 2011

Visiting Reims

This section is much more for someone who might actually be traveling to Reims. There are a few things that I learned during the three days that I was there that might be useful to pass on.

Getting to Reims: There’s a TGV that goes from Paris that only takes 45 minutes—really useful if you’re based out of Paris, for instance. However, there is a possibility that in taking the train either into or out of Reims, that the SNCF website will route you through TGV Champagne-Ardenne. It’s a TGV only train station that’s only eight kilometers outside of Reims. From there, there are two ways into the city proper. Firstly, there is usually a smaller train goes back and forth to meet arriving and departing trains, thus if you’re heading to Strasbourg (like I was) at 11:15, there is likely going to be a shuttle train leaving at 11:00 to take you to the TGV station and to take the disembarking passengers back to Reims. If this is not the case for one reason or the other, the tram line B comes out to the TGV station. You can buy a one-way ticket (1.60 euros) and take the tram into Reims instead.

Public transport: The tram system in Reims is very useful, going from the train station (in Reims as well as the TGV Champagne-Ardennes) down past the Hotel de Ville and the Cathedral, along the main thoroughfare and across the river. I used it a couple of times. Tickets cost 1.60 for a one-way ticket. However, if you keep your old ticket, you can “recharge” at a ticket machine, adding another one-way trip for only 1.30. It saves you thirty centimes and it’s also better for the environment.

However, the trams don’t run that often at night. After nine o’clock or so, you’re better off walking. Reims is a very small city, and you’re likely to be able to get wherever you’re going on foot faster than waiting for the tram, which may come only once every twenty to thirty minutes.

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