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We'll be in Paris in August, and would like to see one of Loire chateaux. We'd like to use public transport, but my quick search shows that most of them are within 2-3 hours from Paris, which sounds a bit too much for a day trip. (Maybe I'm using Google route planner in a wrong way?..)

Are there chateaux within 1-1.5 hours by public transport from Paris? Bonuses would be if it is more a castle-like chateaux, not palace-like, and if there are other places to see/to do nearby.

Daytrip castles outside Paris is a close match, but that question is 10 years old, I suppose that public transport connections has changed since then.

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    A cursory look at the linked question tells me that it isn't out of date at all. But those (except for ones in Angers and Tours) are not Châteaux de la Loire per se Jul 18, 2023 at 9:50
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    Most castles are not in major towns, so it takes a while to reach them by public transport. And the Loire valley is 1h by train at its closest from Paris, which makes a 1.5h target unrealistic. Maybe doable for Chambord if you take a train from Orléans and rent a car there. Jul 18, 2023 at 10:55
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    I disagree with the VtC for WANTA. The OP has a specific destination type in mind and is asking for help determining the public transportation needed to get to (one of) those places.
    – CGCampbell
    Jul 18, 2023 at 11:14
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    OT: when I visited the Loire valley in the high season, the chateaux I stopped at were horrendously overcrowded with visitors: oppressively so. It was not a pleasant experience at all. I had my own transport, but I guess the closer to Paris you are, the worse it will be. Jul 18, 2023 at 12:30
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    It occurs to me that Vendôme TGV might be a better starting point for a car rental than Orléans which is a bit too far upstream. Both are about 60min from Paris Austerlitz. The TGV to Vendôme is more expensive (unless maybe booked very long in advance) and has compulsory booking. Unfortunately, neither option has good public transport to reach interesting places outside the city. Jul 18, 2023 at 16:55

3 Answers 3

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In addition to the castles listed in the question linked, you can also visit the burial site of Leonardo da Vinci (sadly the grave itself is closed to access for works until Spring 2024), le château d'Amboise

It's a 1h45 ride up to Amboise (quite a bit off your target, but not that off and the city is nice to visit in itself), and then a 15min walk to the castle itself.

You can also visit the Clos Lucé which is the da Vinci museum


There is also, 1h40 min from Paris, the Chaumont castle

@lain G from Fontainebleau (proche), France, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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  • Thanks, apparently I somehow missed the Chaumont castle in my search, and it indeed looks very good!
    – Petr
    Jul 19, 2023 at 6:34
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If you would like to see several chateaux, the logistics of doing it all by public transport in a day might be challenging particularly as many are outside of town centres (although some like Blois are right in the middle).

An alternative would be to go on an organised day-trip - either as a group tour or a privately booked tour (depending on budget and how much you like/dislike spending a day with strangers).

Taking a look on Viator (and many other similar companies exist), there are several day trips available from Paris that visit some of the major chateaus. Some of them also include other activities such as wine tasting. They last around 12-13 hours.

I haven't done this from Paris but I did take a tour around several of them while visiting Tours several years ago.

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In addition to everything else, if you are interested by the medieval aspect, you must check the city of Provins.

https://provins.net/en/discover-visit/the-medieval-town-of-provins/

90 mn from Gare de l'est with train line P

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