Monday, 10 November 2008

How to get to Vimy Ridge

When I was looking into visiting Vimy Ridge I had difficulty finding good instructions on getting there. It didn't occur to me to call Veteran's Affairs, which would be a good place to start. But anyhow, here's my insight, should anybody happen to google by.

Step 1: Get your ass over to Paris.
Step 2: Go to Gare du Nord, and catch a train to Arras. If you wish to reserve a ticket in advance, it can done at any train station.
Step 3 / option 1 (recommended): take a cab from the Arras train station to the Vimy Ridge national historic site. Approx cost: €20 one way.
Step 3 / option 2 (not recommended unless you have little money): take a bus to the Vert-Tilleul stop (the last of the three stops in Thelus). Walk approx 1 km up the highway to the turn off to Vimy Ridge. Warning: it is a busy highway and there are no shoulders. Follow the road another 3 km-ish to get to the park. Cost: €1.

The bus does not run very often, and it does not leave from the train station in Arras either. The cab is by far your best bet. Keep the phone number for the cab (06.17.59.7101). When you are ready to leave you can call one out to get you, or ask one of the nice folks who work at the park office to call one for you.

If you are really lucky, like I was, you might get a free lift back into town by a kind French gentleman named Monsieur Devloo who often gives Canadians rides to and from Vimy Ridge. [02/10/09 edit: Mr. Devloo recently passed away]


TO THE VALOUR OF THEIR COUNTRY-MEN IN THE GREAT WAR AND IN MEMORY OF THEIR SIXTY THOUSAND DEAD THIS MONUMENT IS RAISED BY THE PEOPLE OF CANADA

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[12/10/09 edit: I still get fairly regular hits on this post. If you are visiting Vimy and have suggestions or updated information upon returning from your visit, please feel free to add them to the comments or send me an email (see side bar for my address .. replace *at* with @) so that other visitors might benefit from your experience. Thanks, and bonne chance.]

[03.2016 update: A commentor below gave the following numbers for taxis to/from Vimy: 06 69 34 74 75 or 06 58 23 36 37]

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just rent a car. Thats what I do when in France. Unlimited mileage is always good for a laugh when they see how much a Canadian can clock

cherenkov said...

That was actually my original plan, but I had the Eurail passes with extra days to use up.

Unlimited mileage, eh?

LyndaC said...

I am commenting two years after going to Vimy Ridge. I used the suggestion on this blog and it worked out wonderfully. I do not drive in Europe, Especially in France. we took the train and casught a taxi outside of the train station. We asked the price before we left. It came to 21 Euros we tipped the man and gave him 25. He gave us his card and said he would gladly come back out to get us. The girl on the tourist desk called hime for us and he came fairlyquickly. The monument is not to be missed. It is awesome. Thenks to these directions we had a wonderful day.

cherenkov said...

Thanks for your comments! I really appreciate it. I'm glad your visit worked out well.

I still get hundreds of hits a year on this post, but it's nice to get feedback.

Brian Forbes Colgate said...

Thanks for your blog, and for the commenters' posts.

I am going to walk a pilgrimage from Lourdes to Muxía on the Atlantic coast via the Camino Francés, but I'd like to visit my great uncle Oscar's grave in the British Military Cemetery at Thélus. I first thought it might be better to go to London, cross at Dover-Calais, then work my way down to Lourdes, but after reading this I think going to Paris first makes more sense.

cherenkov said...

I'm sure it will work out well either way you do it. Sounds like a worth-while trip.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the advice! Planning a trip for next spring and was having a hard time finding a way to do a day trip to Vimy that didn't cost $$$. Will definitely take the train and then cab it!

cherenkov said...

Yes, seems to be the way to go. Have a great trip!

Anonymous said...

TGV from Paris then taxi from Arras (E$25), got his card and called for a return pickup (E$25)when we were ready. Traveled in July 2014.

cherenkov said...

Thanks for the note, Anon. I hope you enjoyed the experience.

mango_mango said...

I'm on my way there in a couple of weeks. Thank you for your insight!

cherenkov said...

You're welcome! Sorry I didn't catch your comment sooner. If you read this let me know how things went.

rebls said...

I just did exactly this last week and it worked out perfectly! Took the morning train from Gare du Nord, and went to the taxi stand outside the station in Arras. There was another couple waiting who were speaking English and they saw my camera and we made the connection that we were both going to Vimy so we shared a cab. Our cab driver was not put off or at all surprised that we wanted to go to Vimy Ridge, so I think this is an option that a lot of people take. He gave us a card with a number to call when we were ready to go back to the train station and the staff at the Welcome Centre at Vimy happily called them for us. We had a different cab driver on the way back who gave us a tour of other Commonwealth, French and German cemeteries nearby! If the only site you want to see if Vimy, this is most definitely the way to go!

cherenkov said...

Thanks for the comment! Good to know it worked well.

Frank Hochban said...

A wonderful trip and low stress because of the advice given here. The train from Gare Nord, tickets easily purchased at the station. When we arrived in Arras we went for a little walk around the town and stopped for some lunch. What was a great surprise is that food and drink was considerably less compared to Paris, about half the cost. The taxis at that train station were wonderful. They understand and appreciate that you want to visit the memorial. It is 25 Euro one way. The taxis are spotless as well and the drivers made you feel very welcome, with guest books to sign in the back seat. It was nice to see the comments from so many people.
The return trip was very simple as well. The staff at the memorial called the taxi for us.

cherenkov said...

Thanks Frank! It's great to hear about peoples' experiences. Also good to know the cost of a cab ride hasn't gone up too much.

Wilson Lau said...

I did it! Did exactly as you said today. My French is pretty elementary but the cab driver told me she drives people everyday. Came out to about EUR 26 each way, plus a tip. The girl at the visitor centre phoned the cab back for me which showed up in about 20 mins. The number she gave me was 06 69 34 74 75 or 06 58 23 36 37. I'm not sure why there are two. Maybe there are only 2 cabs in the city lol. Thanks for your useful information.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad I found this information. Heading out to Paris in August and definitely wanted a side trip to Vimy. This makes my planning so simple. Thank you.

Musique said...

Thank you so much for this information. We visited Vimy a few weeks ago (August 2016) and were able to catch a cab right from the Arras train station. Our driver, Bruno, was excellent and we would highly recommend him (his number is 06 31 25 01 23). It cost us just over 30 Euros each way including tip.

cherenkov said...

Thanks for the comments! The phone numbers are helpful.

 
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