Are you planning a trip from Berlin to Paris but are having trouble deciding whether it would make more sense to travel by plane, train or car? Berlin is roughly 550 miles from Paris, which makes flying the most attractive travel option for most.
It certainly is the most pragmatic choice if you need to get to Paris as quickly as possible, but if you have a bit more time to enjoy, taking the train or renting a car can be an interesting and picturesque alternative to travel between the two cities.
Travel by Plane
International carriers including Air France and Lufthansa and low-cost regional companies such as Air Berlin and Easyjet offer daily flights from Berlin to Paris, arriving at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport or Orly Airport.
If you're arriving in Paris by plane, you'll need to figure out how to get to the center of the city from the airports. There are many excellent ground transportation options in Paris, which have the added benefit of avoiding the typical terrible Paris traffic when taking a taxi.
From Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport the RER Line B (suburban train) leaves every 15 minutes from terminals 1 & 2 taking you to central Paris in 30 minutes. If departing from the Orly Airport, the airport train connects to the RER B (suburban train), which runs from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. The trip takes about 40 minutes.
Travel by Train
You can get to Paris from Berlin by train in roughly 9 hours, with most trains transferring in Frankfurt, Mannheim or Cologne. Direct night trains are also available and get to the Paris Gare de l'Est station in around 13 hours and 30 minutes. The downside of taking the train? Direct trains are scarce, so you should be a big lover of this mode of transport.
Tickets can be purchased at the official train website for Germany. Consider taking the nighttrain, which will get you to Paris early in the morning, and is the best use of time while traveling.
Travel by Rental Car
Renting a car is fairly easy in Germany. In smooth traffic conditions, it can take 8-10 hours or more to get to Paris from Berlin by car, but it can be a nice way to see large stretches of Germany and Eastern France. Expect to pay somewhat hefty toll fees at several points throughout the trip, though.
Make a reservation in advance to get better rates, ideally two weeks prior to the trip. The legal driving age in Germany is 18, but typically a driver must be over the age of 21 to secure a car rental.
A valid driver’s license is mandatory, and while it may be worthwhile to secure an International Driver's License, it is not a requirement to rent a car in Germany.