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bordeaux/saintes/royan by train


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Hi I'm new here.

I'm flying to Bordeaux Merignac and geting the airport bus to Bordeaux St Jean, getting the train to Saintes and changing trains to get one to Royan.  I'm hoping to book this via Rail Europe website.  Has anyone got any advice re the airport and the stations, is it easy changing trains at Saintes?  Never travelled via train in France before, I don't speak much French.   When I get there I'm hoping to get a taxi to St Georges.  Does anyone know if there are taxis outside Royan station and if I can get one easily or do they have to be booked over the phone.

Lots of questions I know but I'd really apreciate it if anyone had any advice or tips.



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Saintes is not a huge station so it shouldn't be difficult to change trains there and find the connection. You could do the booking by phone with Rail Europe and get advice from a "real" person.

"Never travelled via train in France before, I don't speak much French. "

It's not that difficult but remember that you have to get your ticket stamped / validated in the (orange) machine on the platform (or station concourse) before you board the train.

I would think there would be taxis outside Royan station but if not maybe the station staff would call one for you.

Bonne chance

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You could do the booking by phone with Rail Europe and get advice from a "real" person


I have just looked at sncf website and the booking looks straightforward, with trains at approximately two hourly intervals. The latest train on a Saturday seems to leave Bordeaux at 18.18 so hopefully your flight will arrive in plenty of time to catch that one. I seem to remember that buses from the airport leave every 45 minutes for Bordeaux station.

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So Bordeaux to St Georges (outside Royan) seems to be do-able then,oh I forget to mention this is on a Sunday.  Flight gets in about 11.30 and train from Bordeaux is 2.15 ish.  Information regarding Saintes is helpful - looks like can't go wrong there!  Just heard some iffy stories about Bordeaux station; watch your bags, etc.

Never thought of asking the station staff to call taxi at Royan - have to get practising that phrase now!

Thanks a lot for your help Blanche.  Nice to have such a positive reply so soon.

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From the train station in Royan to St Georges de Didonne is about 4 or 5 kms, perhaps a bit more depending on exactly where you need to be in St G. I have walked it quite a few times as OH and I were staying in St G but used to go out to eat in Royan - better choice of restos. Nothing like a leisurely stroll after a super meal - good for the digestion.

Sue [:)]

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've spent a few hours on Bordeaux station, (along with most large stations in France), and have never had, or seen any trouble. French railway police are generally around on large stations, identified by their armbands.

Watching of bags and wallets is fairly commonsense in ANY crowded areras, mind, including the UK.

As for changing trains, all French trains have a "train number". This will be shown on the timetable posted on most platforms, on any info screens, and on the main info screen at the platform entry. It is then USUALLY shown on info screens on the platform it will arrive at, or by wooden post type signs ditto. Simply look for it's number and then find it's platform. On small stations you're MUCH less likely to have to change platforms because the train did. If you want to experience THAT particular pleasure, I suggest a visit to Birmingham New Street[:@]

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