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What is the cheapest way to travel from Paris to Düsseldorf? I'm flying into Paris via Ryanair from Rome, but there are no Ryanair flights from Paris to Düsseldorf (or anywhere near western Germany, for that matter) and I have yet to find a good train route. I'd like to avoid flying the main airlines and I need to make this trip this upcoming Monday, 17.11.2014.

Has anyone made this trip before or have advice on getting from Paris to somewhere near western Germany?

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    Well, have you look at the Euroline site eurolines.fr/fr. there's are several bus routes from Paris to Dusseldorf on Monday 17, cost around 45 €. Travel duration around 10 hours. – audionuma Nov 13 '14 at 19:23
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    Sorry, I mean there are no Ryanair flights on that date. There may be other airlines running between Paris and Dusseldorf but I'd like to avoid paying their higher fares. – Troy Carlson Nov 13 '14 at 19:24
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    There are direct Thalys trains, costing around 100 EUR for a slightly-less-than-4-hour trip. – Henning Makholm Nov 13 '14 at 19:48
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    Ryanair isn't really flying to Paris, you need to factor that in your travel plans. All-in-all another airline (especially a low-cost carrier flying to real airports like Easyjet or Germanwings) could still be cost effective. I would check the actual fare instead of deciding on the airline beforehand. – Relaxed Nov 13 '14 at 20:42
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    You have already got a lot of ideas and suggestions but just to clarify: Do you need to go from Rome to Düsseldorf and figured flying with Ryanair to Paris is a good idea or will you be in Paris in any case and actually need to reach Düsseldorf from there? Also, is avoiding legacy airlines a requirement per se or are you just trying to save money? – Relaxed Nov 14 '14 at 14:46
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What the cheapest mode of transportation is at a given time largely depends on the time of booking and the available tickets at that time. There are many possibilities to get from Paris to Dusseldorf.

Most of them are already mentioned:

  • You can take the Bus (Eurolines)
  • You can use a major airline (use a meta-search engine such as Kayak to search for many possible combinations of airline, departure and arrival airports ("proximity search")
  • Low-cost airlines that are not always listed in the meta-search engine output
  • Trains

As a rule of thumb, don't focus on the low-cost airlines. Sometimes they are more expensive than the major airlines. Also, Wikipedia is an excellent source to search for possible combinations of airlines and arrival airports. For example, it is written that Germanwings flies from CDG Airport in Paris to Dusseldorf: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_de_Gaulle_Airport - don't forget to check the other Paris airports as well!

And don't forget to check the trains as well. As written in the comments already, the trip is actually rather short. Check the websites for the Thalys, of SNCF (French main railway operator), and DB (German main airline operator). They all offer different prices and different connections. One may suit your budget. Especially if you consider that you also need transportation to and from the airport, the train may be an economic option.

  • There are in fact direct trains from Paris to Dusseldorf, namely the Thalys. – JoErNanO Nov 14 '14 at 12:40
  • @JoErNanO: Indeed, but very expensive. The regular price for a ticket with the Thalys from Paris to Düsseldorf seem to be 177€ and on such a short notice, there seem not to be any saver fares available for next Monday. You can still get cheaper plane tickets from Rome to Düsseldorf. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Nov 14 '14 at 14:31
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    I ended up using Eurolines for 26 EUR...I had never heard of them before but it was a really pleasant experience. Thanks for the suggestion! – Troy Carlson Nov 19 '14 at 22:01
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As mentioned, bus is likely cheapest especially for a last minute booking, it's cheapest if you break it down into two steps (€29) instead of taking the direct bus (€45).

  • Paris to Brussels on iDBUS or Megabus (€15) you can compare on Busbud (full disclosure: I work on this project).
  • Brussels to Dusseldorf on DB IC Bus (€14)

I listed prices for online tickets, don't wait to buy from the driver, it'll cost more. These buses should all have wifi for at least part of the trip, that helps make the time pass. Be sure to leave yourself a good chunk of time in Brussels in case the first bus is delayed.

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Another option would be car-sharing (covoiturage in French), which is very popular in France. One example platform could be blablacar. Whilst I don't know if this is a popular route, I know of people who travel only by car-sharing in France and always get where they are headed.

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