How to Travel from Frankfurt to Paris by Train, Bus, Car, and Plane

Street view of Paris highway along the river with the Eiffel tower in the distance
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Are you planning a trip from Frankfurt to Paris but having trouble deciding whether it would make more sense to travel by plane, train, or car? Frankfurt is a little under 300 miles from Paris, which makes taking the train or driving feasible options, but flying is certainly the most practical choice if you need to get to Paris as quickly as possible. If you have a bit more time to enjoy, taking the train or renting a car can be an interesting and picturesque alternative, too.

If you're short on time, the fastest way to get to Paris from Frankfurt is to fly. It is not astronomically more expensive than the other options and it's a short flight. However, if you have more time to work with, taking the train from Frankfurt to Paris is easy and, most of the time, affordable. Rates do tend to rise during the busy seasons, so if you can't lock in a good fare then the bus may also be a good option. It's a much longer journey on the bus than the train, but it's consistently cheaper than all the other options.

If you don't mind a long journey but want your own independence, then you might consider renting a car and driving between the two cities yourself. This will also give you time to make some pit stops along the way and maybe explore some of the beautiful French regions that separate Paris and Frankfurt, like Alsace, Lorraine, and Champagne.

  Time Cost Best For
Train 4 hours from $43 Affordable and convenient
Flight 1 hour, 15 minutes from $76 Quickest route
Bus 7 hours, 45 minutes from $22 Budget travel
Car 5 hours, 30 minutes 380 miles (612 kilometers) An adventurous road trip

By Train

With Europe's high-speed trains, it's possible to travel from Frankfurt to Paris in as little as 4 hours on a direct ticket via Deutsche Bahn. However, it will take you about 5 hours if you have to stop and make a connection in Cologne. Ticket prices vary a lot depending on demand and although the lowest fares hover between $43 and $55, they can be as high as $380. It really depends on the time of day you leave, so the best thing to do is research fares in advance and book ahead of time. Trains leave Frankfurt from the Frankfurt Main Train Station and arrive in Paris at Gare de l'Est.

By Plane

The only airlines that fly directly between Frankfurt and Paris are Air France and Lufthansa. Although the flight will only take you an hour, you should consider the distance between each city and its main airport. The Frankfurt Airport (FRA) is only about 7 miles (12 kilometers) away from the city center and it's easy to reach in under 20 minutes by cab or public transport. However, Paris' Charles de Gaulle (CDG) is about 22 miles (36 kilometers) from its city center and will take you about 1 hour to reach in a cab or 30 minutes using public transportation. Even with the additional transfer time between the airport and your accommodation, flying is still the fastest option.

By Car

In smooth traffic conditions, it can take a little over five hours or more to get to Paris from Frankfurt by car. You should have no issues crossing the border from Germany into France, but expect to pay some tolls along the way. The route is a little tricky when you're leaving Germany, but it's very straightforward once you enter France and start driving on the A4.

From Frankfurt, get on the B43 and follow signs for the A3 toward Cologne (Köln). You will only be on the A3 for a little while because then you must switch to the A67 at the interchange using the right two lanes. Eventually, you will merge onto the A60 for 10 miles (16 kilometers) before taking the exit, after crossing the Rhine River, to get on the A63, where you will stay for about 40 miles (63 kilometers). The A63 will eventually merge into the A6 when you pass the Ramstein Air Base, and from there you will continue for another 37 miles (60 kilometers) until you reach the French border near the town of Saarbrücken. At this point, the road will become A320, but you will then have merge onto the A4. You'll stay on the A4 for 80 miles (128 kilometers) until you reach Paris.

This route will take you through the region of Champagne, just in case you want to make a stop along the way to visit some wineries and taste some bubbly. You'll also drive right by the city of Reims, the capital of Champagne and a charming place with a lot of history.

By Bus

On most European bus companies like Flixbus and BlaBlaBus, you can book a cheap ride from Frankfurt to Paris that will take about 8 hours if your bus is direct. If it's not direct, you'll probably have to make a stop along the way in Strasbourg or Mannheim. There is also the Bulgarian bus company Union Ivkoni that runs a few buses from Frankfurt to Paris every week. These are direct, fast, and still pretty cheap.

What to See in Paris

Whether it's your first or your 100th trip to Paris, you can't go wrong visiting the classic sights like the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre, or maybe taking some time out to enjoy a day trip to Versailles or Normandy. The city offers so much to do, but you should especially take advantage of all there is to eat. From the top gourmet restaurants with three Michelin stars to the excellent options for vegans and vegetarians, the city is a treasure trove of culinary delights. If you haven't booked your hotel yet, consider picking one that best suits your interests. For example, the Shangri-La has the best views of the Eiffel Tower and the Hotel Plaza Athénée has the best restaurants.

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