Paris to Reims Day Trip: 7 Juicy Tips for the Ideal Day 

by | Last updated Nov 10, 2023 | Best Wine Europe, France

I love planning the best ways to visit travel destinations. Our travels tend to focus on exceptional foodie and outdoor experiences that have good value for the money. Let me save you hours of research by following my tips on one of the best ways to build an itinerary for your Paris to Reims Day Trip. 

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01- Go to the Trainline Website

Reims Ville Train Station

Reims Ville train station

Yes, you can do this day trip on your own via a 45-minute high-speed train ride. You do not need an “official tour” unless you prefer that option (more on that later).

If you don’t speak French, Trainline is a lifesaver! It’s super user-friendly.

Here’s how to book your train ticket from Paris to Reims:

Trainline App

Trainline App

→     Type in Paris Gare de l’Est as your “from” location.

→     Type in Reims Ville station as your “to” location (this location puts you in the city center).

→     Pick “TGV INOUI” DIRECT, which is the high-speed train.

→     Select the “Standard” ticket. There’s also an option for “First Class.”

Standard vs. First Class: There’s not a huge difference between the two. First Class offers a little more legroom, the ability to select your exact seat, and the option of selecting seats facing each other if you are a couple. It also might be a little quieter. No food or drink is included in the price for either class. If it’s a few more euros, select First Class. If there’s a significant price difference, the Standard ticket is perfectly fine for such a short trip.

→     Click “Pick by Card” and you’re done! Your e-ticket is ready to go! Easy breezy.

In addition to using Trainline to go from Paris to Reims, we also used it in Burgundy to get around when we did a self-guided bike tour through the vineyards.

Trainline also gave us live updates and guidance on which train platform to use.

Reserve tickets in advance.

02- Reims vs. Epernay

Cathedral of Notre-Dame

Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Reims, France

Know there are two hubs in the Champagne region to use as your base: Reims and Epernay.

How do you choose between the two?

Reims is the more popular one to visit as a day trip. The town is larger than Epernay but still walkable with more sightseeing, shops, and restaurants.

Reims has the iconic Cathedral of Notre-Dame, where the kings of France were crowned. Reims is also home to many of the large Champagne houses like Veuve Cliquot, Ruinart, Pommery, and Taittinger.

Moët & Chandon in Epernay France

Moët & Chandon in Epernay, France

Epernay is very charming but smaller and more concentrated.

It has the Avenue de Champagne, the famous street lined with Champagne houses such as Moët De Chandon and Mercier. Some suggest it could potentially rank as the world’s priciest street due to the abundance of stored Champagne bottles.

Epernay is about 1 hr 15 min from Paris, so a little farther than Reims.

Given the choice between Reims and Epernay to visit as a day trip, I would advise Reims. However, if you are spending multiple days in the Champagne region, stay in Epernay.

We enjoyed several days of Champagne tasting and used the adorable boutique hotel, Le 25Bis, in Epernay as our base. It’s owned by Leclerc Briant Champagne House, which means exceptional Champagne every day for breakfast. Yes, please!

03- Visit a Champagne House and Have a Plan

Ruinart Wine Tasting

Paris to Reims Day Trip: Book a wine tour and tasting at Ruinart

There are some wine regions like Napa where you can walk in and enjoy a tasting without an appointment. The Champagne region is not one of them. Book an appointment ahead of time. Some you may even have to reserve months in advance. 

Exploring one of the prominent Champagne estates is an essential experience in Reims. There are many Reims Champagne houses to choose from, but let me save you hours of research.

Select Maison Ruinart, known for providing one of the finest Champagne tours. We booked our tour 2 months in advance. They do sell out!

Walking downstairs into the chalk cellars at Ruinart Champagne House

Walking downstairs into the chalk cellars at Ruinart Champagne House

The tour includes a visit to the historic chalk cellars, which are a UNESCO world heritage site, and two exceptional Champagne tastings.

If Ruinart is booked, I have heard Taittinger also provides an incredible wine tour & tasting experience too.

04- Book an Exceptional Lunch at a Bargain Cost

Domaine Les Crayères in Reims

Domaine Les Crayères in Reims

There is a stunning, elegant hotel called Domaine Les Crayères in Reims that is decorated in the classical French style. It is particularly known for its 2-star Michelin restaurant Le Parc Les Crayères thanks to Meilleur Ouvrier de France chef Philippe Mille.

Did you know though that Domaine Les Crayères also has a little sister restaurant, Le Jardin Les Crayères?

Headed up by the same Chef, enjoy a lovely 3-course tasting menu on a charming terrace at a fraction of the cost (39€!). The wine selection is incredible.

Gazpacho at Le Jardin Les Crayères

Gazpacho at Le Jardin Les Crayères in Reims

Reserving in advance is essential for securing a lunch experience of this kind. The restaurant is a 45-minute walk or 8-minute taxi ride from the Reims train station.

05- Enjoy Tastings at the Coolest Wine Shop

Trésors de Champagne wine shop

Trésors de Champagne Boutique in Reims

I was almost scared to share #5. When you discover a gem of a place, you sometimes want to keep it all to yourself.

You may have heard of “grower Champagne,” which means Champagne produced by the SAME winegrower. In contrast, the large Champagne houses blend grapes from MANY winegrowers. Eater does a fantastic job of describing grower Champagne.

There is a wine shop in Reims that showcases some of the best grower Champagne producers called Trésors de Champagne Boutique. A visit to this shop is worth a day trip to Reims alone!

In this inviting boutique, you’ll find an extensive display of winegrower photos and wine bottles adorning the walls, while an array of eclectic, illuminated wine bottles decorates the ceiling.  

Wine tasting at Trésors de Champagne Boutique in Reims France

Wine tasting at Trésors de Champagne Boutique in Reims, France

We walked in and did an impromptu wine tasting led by their friendly staff. I noticed though they now have “Book a Tasting” on their website. Best to check with them first if an appointment is needed.

The best part? You can order your favorite Champagne bottles to be shipped back home at a reasonable cost.

Trésors de Champagne wine tasting

Trésors de Champagne Boutique wine tasting

06- How to Craft this Perfect Day Trip to Reims

Domaine Les Crayères in Reims France

Domaine Les Crayères in Reims, France

How do you construct the perfect day trip to Reims?

→     8:27 am: Direct train to Reims. Arrive at 9:14 am. Good option if you want to walk around Reims first before lunch. Take the 10:27 am direct train and arrive at 11:14 am if you are planning to go straight to lunch.

→     11 am: Walk by the Cathedral of Notre-Dame and some of the bigger Champagne houses like Veuve Cliquot and Taittinger.

→     12 pm: Lunch at Le Jardin Les Crayères * It was a beautiful day so we made the casual 45-minute walk from the Reims train station to Le Jardin Les Crayères. If it’s raining or hot, then take an 8-minute taxi from the train station.

→     2:30 – 4:30 pm: Champagne tour at Ruinart

→     5 – 6:30 pm: Wine Tasting at Trésors de Champagne Boutique. 10-minute walk from the shop back to the train station.

→     7:15 pm: Direct train back to Paris. Arrive in Paris at 8:05 pm.

07- Join a Highly-Rated Champagne Tour

Champagne region in France

Champagne region in France

My husband and I love self-guided exploration of travel destinations. I realize though that some may prefer to take out all the stress and join a highly-rated tour.

If you fall in that camp, then don’t miss a day with My Winedays. They will scoop you up from your hotel in Paris, chauffeur you around some of the best small and big wine producers, and drop you back off.

Their exceptional reviews speak for themselves:

My Winedays Tour Ratings

Final Thoughts

There are some travel destinations I consider as “repeaters,” meaning we will definitely be back. If you love exceptional wine, incredible food, and charming ambiance, the Champagne region is your happy place. A day trip to Reims will certainly give you a taste of what it has to offer, but I guarantee it will leave you eager to return for an extended stay on your next visit.

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