Limoges is off-the-radar for most travelers to France, who tend to pass through it while on the train to Bordeaux or Toulouse, but this one-time capital of the historic Limousin region is a perfect pitstop for those interested in veering off the tourist route. It's also a stop for pilgrims walking the Way of St. James along one of the French routes toward Santiago, Spain.
Arriving from Paris is a cinch and direct trains are the easiest and cheapest way to complete the journey. However, last-minute train tickets can sell out or get costly, but buses are affordable and only take two hours longer. If you have a car, driving the 245 miles (394 kilometers) from Paris to Limoges is a great way to explore France's interior and make a road trip out of your vacation, and you can easily continue on to Toulouse or even across the border to Spain. Direct flights are also available to Limoges Airport, but the hassles of flying and high price tag generally aren't worth the trouble.
|Train||3 hours, 15 minutes||from $16||Traveling on a budget|
|Bus||5 hours, 15 minutes||from $18||Last-minute planning|
|Flight||1 hour, 10 minutes||from $135||Arriving on a time crunch|
|Car||4 hours||245 miles (394 kilometers)||Exploring the area|
What Is the Cheapest Way to Get From Paris to Limoges?
If you purchase your tickets in advance, taking the train is the cheapest way to travel from Paris to Limoges with tickets starting at just $16. The train is fast and comfortable, and the direct route only takes three hours and 15 minutes from city center to city center. However, train seats are priced like flights and quickly get more expensive as tickets sell out and the travel date gets closer. For the best deals, you should book tickets as early as possible on the French railway site, SNCF.
Trains for Limoges depart from Gare d'Austerlitz in Paris, located just across the river from Gare de Lyon station and with easy connections to Line 5 and Line 10 of the metro and the RER train. You'll arrive at Gare de Limoges-Bénédictins, a beautifully designed building that is only a five-minute walk from the town center.
What Is the Fastest Way to Get From Paris to Limoges?
Limoges does have an airport with direct flights to Paris at Orly Airport, and the total time in the air is just over an hour. While it's a quick flight and ostensibly the fastest method of travel, once you factor in all of the time it takes to get to and from the airport, check-in for your flight, pass through security, and wait at the gate, it really isn't much faster than taking the train. Additionally, since only one airline covers the route—Chalair—flights are much more expensive than trains or buses, with one-way tickets starting at $135.
How Long Does It Take to Drive?
Driving from Paris to Limoges takes roughly four hours, although traffic—especially leaving Paris—can stretch it out to longer. The fastest route uses the A10 and A20 highways all the way to the destination. Tolls are common on French highways, so be sure to carry extra euros with you in case the booth doesn't accept international credit cards.
For travelers interested in the experience of driving but without actually driving themselves, Blablacar is a popular car-sharing service in France for matching drivers with potential passengers—a sort of modern-day hitchhiking. You can search for someone driving to Limoges and request a ride with them, usually paying a small fee to help with gas. It's not only affordable but also a great way for travelers to immerse themselves and meet locals.
Is There a Bus That Goes From Paris to Limoges?
The bus is the slowest method to reach Limoges, but depending on when you buy your tickets, it may be the least expensive. Train tickets start at lower prices than the bus, but quickly get more expensive as time goes on. Bus seats start at about $18 and even though last-minute tickets can also rise in price, they never go up as dramatically as train tickets do. You can use Omio to compare schedules, companies, and prices all on one webpage.
Most buses depart from Paris at Bercy Seine, which is just across the river from the Gare d'Austerlitz train station. When you arrive at the Limoges bus station, it's about a 15-minute walk or short taxi ride into the city center.
When Is the Best Time to Travel to Limoges?
The best time to visit Limoges depends on what you're looking for. The most comfortable weather is in the summer, when the average high stays around 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius) and there are near-constant festivals happening across the city, although spring and fall are also pleasant and see fewer tourists (apart from a huge Halloween festival that takes over the city). Winter in Limoges is cold, but the annual Christmas markets that pop up each year in November and December more than make up for the chilly weather.
What's the Most Scenic Route to Limoges?
Instead of taking the A10 highway out of Paris, you could take the A6 highway which cuts directly through the Gâtinais Français Natural Regional Park, a massive natural area that's especially popular for hiking and bouldering. It's a short detour that shouldn't add more than 30 minutes to the entire journey—in addition to the time you take to get out of the car and explore.
Tip: Look for road signs toward your destination that say the word "bis." These markers are used specifically in France to designate scenic, country roads for drivers who have the time and want a break from the highway.
Can I Use Public Transportation to Travel From the Airport?
There is no public transportation available from Limoges Airport to the town center. You'll need to use a taxi, which has a fixed rate of 25 euros Monday through Saturday during the day and 35 euros at night and all day Sunday, or about $27 and $37, respectively.
What Is There to Do in Limoges?
Limoges is a city that is famous for its ceramics and porcelain production, so it's only right that the city is home to France's national museum of this artform, the Musée National Adrien Dubouché. Here you can see not only local examples of Limoges porcelain but also prized works from around the world and spanning centuries. Rue de la Boucherie literally means "street of the butchers," and was historically lined with shops selling fresh meat for residents. Today, it's a pedestrian street and one of the main avenues of Limoges, filled with shops and cafes that occupy the picturesque timber buildings from medieval times.