The Ultimate 1-Day Itinerary for Champagne

If you are looking forward to taking an unforgettable day trip from Paris, have a look at Champagne. This region is one of France’s most famous wine regions as this is where Champagne is produced. You can easily head down to Champagne for the day when you are staying in Paris as there is a direct train line. 

In this article I will provide you with two possible itineraries for a day trip to the Champagne region. One of the itineraries will be for people who prefer tasting champagne all day and the other is for those who want a mix of Champagne tasting and exploring cities and villages. 

Getting to Champagne from Paris

Getting to Champagne from Paris is pretty easy. The Champagne region is only 150 km from the French capital. Although there are several ways to get to the Champagne region I would highly recommend you take the train. The bus is super slow, and renting a car is only preferable if you are staying in the Champagne region for a couple of days (see my 3-day itinerary if you are staying longer than one day!). 

As I want you to make an informed decision on how to get to the Champagne region from Paris, I have provided all ways to get there below. 

🚆 Train. The train is by far the best and most convenient option. There is a high-speed train (they are called TGV in France) that runs from Paris Gare de l’Est to Reims. There is also a slower train that can take you to Epernay without having to change trains. To Reims the train journey takes about 45 minutes, and if you book early enough you will pay 30 euros one way. The trip to Epernay will take you 1h20 minutes and is cheaper at 20 euros one way. You can check availability and book your tickets at Omio. 

🚗 Car. You can also choose to head to the Champagne region by car. Taking a car to the Champagne region will offer you a lot of flexibility and freedom. You can choose to rent a car in Paris to drive down. The drive itself will take about 2 hours depending on the traffic in Paris. You will need to pay tolls on the way, but having a car will allow you to explore the little villages and vineyards of Champagne. I would recommend comparing rental car prices on rentalcars.com. 

🚌 Bus. If you are on a really tight budget you can also take a bus down. I would not really recommend this as the bus can take a long time. Busses from Paris to Champagne take about 2 hours and leave from Quai de Bercy. Do keep in mind that these busses can take a lot longer when they get stuck in traffic. The first bus leaves at 07:30 to Reims and the last bus from Reims leaves at 20:50 from Reims, Gare de Champagne-Ardenne TGV. Tickets will be about 18 Euros one way. You can find the bus schedule on Omio.

🚩 Guided tour. Another great way to explore the Champagne region on a day trip is via guided tour. These tours will either leave from a set point in Paris or pick you up from your hotel. They will drive you to the Champagne Region in a mini bus and will bring you to some of the best Champagne Houses or offer you tours of Reims or the lovely villages in the region. You can read up on guided tours in the Champagne region in my article on the best tours of the Champagne region.

My recommendation: As mentioned before, I would recommend taking the train. The train is fast, comfortable, affordable, and there is no chance of you getting stuck in the horrible Paris traffic.

A bottle of champagne is being poured into glasses.

1-Day Champagne Tasting Extravaganza

If you are looking for a day of tasting Champagne, then this is the itinerary for you. I have put together an itinerary that will have you visit the most prestigious Champagne houses and enjoy a gourmet lunch at a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Here’s what you can expect:

  • A tour of each Champagne house, including a tasting of their finest Champagnes
  • A gourmet lunch at a Michelin-starred restaurant, featuring Champagne-paired dishes (I will provide you with some other cheaper restaurants as well).
  • A visit to the grave of Dom Pérignon.

Morning:

If you’re planning on starting your day in Reims, consider having some breakfast at one of the city’s charming little cafes. My top pick would be Café du Palais. This little Café has a beautiful Art Deco Ambience. They serve amazing pastries and great coffee.

After your breakfast you can head to Champagne Taittinger. As you might already know, this is amongst the world’s most famous Champagne houses. Here you can go on a guided tour through their large Champagne cellars. These cellars used to be chalk mines from the roman era and are UNESCO World Heritage.

Mid-Morning:

Next you can head to Champagne Veuve Clicquot. This is another really famous Champagne house. Veuve Clicquot was founded by a widow (Veuve in French) in 1772. She revolutionised the Champagne making process as she invented the riddling table. 

When taking a tour of Veuve Clicquot you will discover her impact on the Champagne industry and you get to taste one of the most recognisable brands in the world. I would recommend visiting their gorgeous cellars and learn more about their iconic Champagnes. 

Lunch:

For your lunch, you might want to consider Le Parc Les Crayères. It’s a Michelin-starred place and used to be a grand mansion, set right in the middle of a park. Here, you’ll get to taste some really fine French dishes made from seasonal ingredients. And of course, they serve some top-notch champagnes to go with your meal. If you would rather head to a restaurant less expensive you can check out the best restaurants in the Champagne region here.

A group of bottles of champagne are lined up on a shelf.

Afternoon:

After your lunch you can take a train or the bus to Epernay. Epernay is another very important city in the Champagne region. Here you will find the famous Avenue de Champagne. This is a very prestigious street that is lined with magnificent mansions. These mansions belong to some of the most famous Champagne houses in the world. 

When you are in Epernay you can visit Champagne Moët & Chandon. This is the largest and most popular Champagne house in the world. I would recommend exploring their impressive cellars. These cellars stretch for 28 km under Epernay. You can learn about their history and the Champagne that is stored here. During your tour at Champagne Moët & Chandon you can also taste some of their Champagnes. 

Another Champagne house I would recommend visiting is Champagne Mercier. This is a very modern Champagne house founded in 1858. Here you can take a little train to ride through their huge cellars. The Mercier cellars hold up to 20 million bottles of Champagne

Late Afternoon:

In the late afternoon you can head to Hautvillers. Hautvillers is a beautiful little village that is often considered to be the birthplace of Champagne. This is where the famous Dom Pérignon has perfected the craft of Champagne making. Today you can visit his tomb at the Abbey of Hautvillers. 

Hautvillers is also home to some amazing Champagne Houses. I would recommend enjoying an intimate tasting at Champagne G. Tribaut. This is a family-run champagne house known for its high-quality Champagnes. At Champagne G. Tribaut you can taste 4 different champagnes including a Blanc de Blancs and a rosé. 

Evening:

In the evening you should return to Reims. Reims offers many amazing restaurants. I would recommend L’Alambic. This little restaurant is located in a Champagne cellar and serves creative and modern French dishes.

A bottle of champagne sitting in a bucket.

1-Day Villages & Champagne Tasting Adventure

If you are someone that is more interested in exploring the beautiful and charming villages of the Champagne region, this Itinerary might be better. I have put together a plan where you will visit three of the most beautiful villages in the Champagne region and where you can taste some of the best local Champagnes. 

In case you want a guided tour of Reims, you can always check the free guided tours on GuruWalk.

Morning:

For this itinerary I would recommend starting your day in Epernay. You can have breakfast in one of the small bakeries or little cafés in the centre of Epernay. I would recommend heading to Pâtisserie Vincent Dallet. Their croissants look absolutely delicious and they even have some Macarons you can pick up for a little snack along the way. 

After your breakfast you can head to Champagne de Venoge. This is a Champagne houses that was founded in 1837. Champagne de Venoge offers guided tours of their beautiful mansion and their impressive Champagne cellars. During the tour you will learn about the history and the way they produce Champagne. You can also taste some of their amazing Champagnes such as the Princes Blanc de Noirs.

Mid-Morning:

Next up I would recommend heading to Hautvillers. You can either take a taxi or go by bus. You can visit the Abbey of Hautvillers. It’s here that Dom Pérignon is buried and you can even see some of the tools he used when making Champagne. 

I would also recommend keeping an eye out for the gorgeous wrought-iron signs outside the buildings in the village. Most shops, restaurants and Champagne cellars have them!

You can head to Champagne Dom Caudron. This is a cooperative Champagne house founded in 1929. The house is known to produce champagne with a lot of respect for nature and biodiversity. Taste some of their champagnes such as the Sublimité Extra Brut or the Confidences Rosé.

Lunch:

You can either choose to have a light lunch in Hautvillers or a picnic. There is a bakery called Chez Poulain in Hautvillers which sells sandwiches and baguettes. If you are looking for a little restaurant I would recommend choosing Claisse Claire Yolande Germaine. They have a beautiful outside terrace and offer an extensive choice of Champagne. 

Afternoon:

After lunch you can take a bus or train to Reims. Reims is unofficially known as the capital of the Champagne region. Here you can visit the Cathedral of Reims, also known as the Notre-Dame de Reims. This is the Cathedral where almost all kings of France were crowned. 

You can also head to the Palace du Tau. This large Palace was the Palace of the bishops of Reims. It is now a museum that houses some of the most amazing treasures such as the Talisman of Charlemagne and the Reliquary of Saint Ursula

You can also visit Champagne Pommery. Champagne Pommery is probably one of the best Champagne houses in the world. You can also head to Champagne Pol Couronne, a boutique champagne house.

There are lots of amazing restaurants in Reims. I would recommend having a look at Le Bocal. They are known for their seafood and their salmon tartare is divine! 

Another great thing to do in Reims is shop for Champagne in the little boutique Champagne shops. Here you can often find smaller vintages or rare Champagnes if you are into this kind of stuff. If not, you can always stroll through Halles Du Boulingrin and buy some of the amazing pates and other local delicacies. Reims also has some amazing antique shops like Le Beau Coin where you can unearth some old treasures. 

Champagne in a bucket on a table.

Tips for Travellers going to the Champagne region 

To help you on your way, I have put together some tips for people travelling to the Champagne region: 

  • Pack light and comfortable shoes. Do not wear sport or tennis shoes, flip flops or slippers. 
  • Be respectful and polite when visiting the Champagne houses. Hold the glass by the stem, and drink the Champagne – even when it might not be for you. 
  • Stay hydrated. Bring enough water to drink between the tastings. The last thing you want to do is overdo it and ruin your day. Try to drink at least half a litre of water after every round of tastings. 
  • Book everything in advance. The Champagne region can get pretty busy and during the spring and summer a lot of tasting sessions and tours will be fully booked. Book your train tickets as soon as possible. The TGV almost always needs booking in advance as I have often had the problem that my TGV had filled up and sold out at least two months in advance! 

Conclusion on planning 1 day in the Champagne region

The Champagne region is an amazing day trip from Paris. I would recommend taking the train down to Reims or Epernay. Do book your train beforehand because the TGV can sell out pretty quickly. 

There is a lot to do in the Champagne region for people with all kinds of budgets. You can either follow one of my two itineraries or maybe mix and match the experiences from both itineraries. You can also take a day trip down to the Champagne region from Paris if you would rather have everything arranged for you.

Additional Resources

I have put together some additional resources you might want to have a look at if you are travelling to the Champagne Region. These resources will help you book your trip and plan the perfect day out in Champagne! 

  • SNCF: This is the official website of the French National Railway. You can check the train schedule and book tickets online here. I am not a big fan of the website but it works well enough.
  • OMIO: This is a great website I often use when travelling abroad. It allows you to check both trains and buses from a lot of different companies and businesses. And they have some of the best prices on the web! 
  • Rentalcars.com: We use Rentalcars.com to rent cars when travelling. They offers great prices and have rental cars in both Paris and Reims. So even if you take the train down to Reims you can still pick up a rental car there.
  • GetYourGuide: This is a website that offers tours and activities. They have lots of tours in the Champagne Region from Paris, Reims, or even Epernay. The tours from Paris will often pick you up from your hotel while the tours from Reims or Epernay leave from the station. 
  • Guruwalk: If you are on a limited budget you can also take one of the free guided tours in Reims by Guruwalk.

If you want some more information about visiting the Champagne region, here are some other articles I have written that might help you plan your trip.

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