How to Travel From Hamburg to Paris by Train, Bus, Car, and Plane

Cars on the Autobahn at night.
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Hamburg is Germany's second largest city, which makes it a major port of call for broader European explorations. Paris is the fifth busiest international route among travelers departing from the Hamburg Airport. The quickest way to travel between the two cities is by flying, seeing as they're 748 kilometers (465 miles) apart, but traveling by bus, train, or car is an option, too.

  Time Cost Best For
Plane 1 hour, 30 minutes from $80 Arriving on a time crunch
Train 8 hours from $50 Taking public transportation during the day
Bus 14 hours from $30 Saving money on accommodation
Car 10 hours 900 kilometers (559 miles) Exploring the local area

What Is the Cheapest Way to Get From Hamburg to Paris? 

The cheapest mode of transportation is the bus, although it takes the longest and is perhaps the least comfortable. FlixBus and BlaBlaBus (also known as Ouibus) both offer trips between the two several times per day. One-way tickets start around $30. The buses depart from Hamburg Central Bus Station every morning, once around mid-day and in the evening, arriving at Paris-Gallieni about 14 hours later. The upside to taking the bus is that if you catch an overnight ride (which can sometimes be even cheaper), you won't have to pay for a hotel room.

What Is the Fastest Way to Get From Hamburg to Paris? 

If you're in a time crunch, your best option is probably to fly. A direct flight from Hamburg to Paris takes about an hour and a half and will set you back $80 to $110. International carriers including Air France, KLM, and Lufthansa offer daily direct flights from Hamburg to Paris, arriving at either Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport or Orly Airport. The downside? Traveling to and from the airport, checking bags, and going through security can add hours to your travel times and can increase the overall cost as well.

How Long Does It Take to Drive? 

In smooth traffic conditions, it can take 10 hours or more to get to Paris from Hamburg by car. Nonetheless, driving is a nice way to see some picturesque stretches of Germany and France. Expect to pay somewhat hefty toll fees at several points throughout the trip, though. The process of renting a car and possibly having difficulty finding an automatic car to drive is enough to deter some travelers.

How Long Is the Train Ride? 

You can get from Hamburg to Paris by train in just over eight hours, with many trains connecting in Cologne to high-speed Thalys lines. The cost of a rail ticket starts at $50 and can be booked in advance via RailEurope.com. Trains depart throughout the day from Hamburg Hauptbahnhof, arriving at Gare du Nord on the outskirts of central Paris. Although it takes slightly longer than flying, the train is often more economical and more environmentally-friendly, too.

When Is the Best Time to Travel to Paris? 

Summer is peak tourist season for Paris, so if you're not a fan of crowds, then go either before (April to June) or after (October to November). In late spring and early fall, the weather is still mild enough to spend ample time outside, picnicking in the Champ de Mars, wandering the market streets, and more. In the spring, you might even be able to see the city's magnificent cherry blossoms blooming.

Do I Need a Visa to Travel to Paris? 

A visa is not required to travel from Hamburg to Paris; however, you may need to present your passport at customs, especially if you're arriving by flight.

Can I Use Public Transportation to Travel From the Airport? 

If you're arriving in Paris by plane, you'll need to arrange transport from the airport to the city center. Roissy-Charles De Gaulle is about 30 kilometers (20 miles) from central Paris. You can take an RER commuter train (35 minutes, $12.50), an express bus (one hour, $13.50), or a taxi (one hour, $44) to town.

Orly Airport is about 19 kilometers (11 miles) from the city center. You can get into town via a series of trains (one hour, $16—there is no direct route), a bus (45 minutes to an hour, between $2 and $9), or a taxi (30 minutes, $38).

What Is There to Do in Paris? 

Paris is the second most visited city in Europe (behind London) because of its richly romantic culture, its world-famous museums and landmarks, its wine, cheese, and chocolate—the list could go on. It's home to the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, Moulin Rouge, Sainte-Chapelle, and Notre Dame. If you manage to knock the must-sees off your list with time to spare, make like a Parisian and waste away a couple hours having a glass of red at one of the sidewalk cafés. When the weather is nice, you could pass an entire afternoon people watching from a park or perusing the streets of Montmartre.

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