Driving is the best option for most visitors to Château de Chenonceau but public transportation and day-trip tours are alternatives.
Getting to Château de Chenonceau on the Cher River in the Loire region of France is easiest by car but public transportation is also available with trains arriving from Tours and Bourges. Cycling is an option from Amboise and other towns in the region. Chenonceau is a firm favorite on day-trip and bus tours with numerous excursion trips offered from Paris and Loire towns.
Driving to Château de Chenonceau
Driving is the easiest way to reach Château de Chenonceau on the banks of the River Cher in the small village Chenonceaux. (The chateau lost the X after the French Revolution.) The nearest large town is Amboise on the Loire, a 12 km drive (or pleasant cycle) away. Ample free parking is available right at the castle entrance.
Distances to Château de Chenonceau from other cities are around: (Google Maps)
- 35 km / 0:45 from Tours
- 45 km / 1:00 from Blois
- 125 km / 1:30 from Bourges
- 130 km / 1:50 from Le Mans
- 240 km / 3:00 from Paris
Driving times to Château de Chenonceau from some other chateaux in the region are:
- 12 km / 0:15 from Chateau de Amboise / Close Lucé
- 20 km / 0:30 from Chateau de Chaumont
- 40 km / 0:50 from Chateau de Cheverny
- 50 km / 0:40 from Chateau de Villandry
- 50 km / 0:40 from Chateau de Azay-le-Rideau
- 50 km / 1:00 from Chateau de Valencay
- 60 km / 1:20 from Chateau de Chambord
By Train to Château de Chenonceau
Getting to Château de Chenonceau on public transportation is a bit more challenging but doable.
Chenonceaux is a stop on the regional TER trains that link Tours and Bourges (with trains sometimes going as far as Dijon and Lyon).
Trains are generally available every two hours but there are gaps in the schedule big enough to drive a TGV through so always double check, especially when traveling on Sundays and public holidays.
Traveling time on the TER trains to Chenonceaux is around 30 minutes from Tours and 1h20 from Bourges – exact times depend on the number of stops en route. The TER train station at Chenonceaux is almost next to the Château de Chenonceau entrance.
Traveling time by train from Paris Montparnasse is around 1:30 to 2 hours – usually change from the TGV train at St-Pierre-des-Corps (outskirts of Tours) for the regional train to Chenonceaux.
French train tickets are available for print at home from the official English websites of French Railways – Oui SNCF (Europe) or RailEurope (USA & Rest of the World), or worldwide from easy-to-use Trainline.
A further option is to take a group tour – Château de Chenonceau is a firm favorite on day-trip bus tours from Paris or other Loire towns. Get Your Guide can give an idea of prices and what kind of tours are available but many different options are on offer that rarely need reservations more than a few days in advance. Double-check what is included if prices vary widely from the average.
How to Buy French Train Tickets Online
French railway tickets are available online from many resellers. SNCF has several official websites: Oui.SNCF is the main site but visitors may be passed on to other SNCF sub-sites with many non-European based users ending up at RailEurope sites that often sell only long-distance train tickets. Two independent resellers, Trainline and Omio, are generally a lot easier to use and may include searches for competing buses, such as Flixbus, that are price and time competitive with trains on some popular routes. Trainline and Omio also sell cross border journeys and tickets for many other European countries. Print at home tickets are generally the best option, collecting tickets at the station is time-consuming. Tickets for short journeys and trains in urban areas (RER & Metro) are usually not sold online.