Transport in France

Explore your options for France's Transport

By Plane

The two major international airport in Paris are Roissy-Charles de Gaulle and Orly. They are both easily accessible.

By Train

The French national railway company (SNCF), manages one of Europe's most efficient rail networks. The TGV (train a grande vitesse, or high speed) trains, the fastest in the world, run from Paris to major cities in France, as well as to Geneva and Lausanne, Switzerland. Rapide trains are slower and the local Express trains, are oddly the slowest option.

By Bus

Within France, long-distance buses are a secondary transportation choice, as service is relatively infrequent. However, in some regions buses are indispensable for reaching out-of-the-way towns. "Gare Routiere" is French for bus station.

By Ferry

Ferries across the English Channel link France to England and Ireland. The shortest and most popular route is between Dover and Calais, and is run by P&O Stena Line, SeaFrance, and Hoverspeed. Hoverspeed also travels from Dieppe to Newhaven, England. Brittany Ferries travels from Caen and St-Malo to Ports-mouth.

By Chunnel

Traversing 27 miles under the sea, the Chunnel is undoubtedly the fastest, most convenient, and least scenic route from England to France. There are two types of passenger services. Eurostar runs a frequent train service from London to Paris and Brussels, with stops at Ashford in England and Calais and Lille in France.

By Car

Unless you are traveling in a group of three or more, you won't save money traveling long distance by car rather than train, thanks to highway tolls, high gasoline cost, and rental charges. If you can't decide between train and car travel, get a Rail 'n Drive pass from railpass vendors. The French drive on the right-hand side of the road. France maintains its roads well, but the landscape itself often makes the roads a menace, especially in twisting Corsica.

By Bike and by Hike

Of all Europeans, the French may be alone in loving cycling more than soccer. Drivers usually accommodate bikers on the wide country roads, and many cities banish cars from select streets each Sunday. Renting a bike beats bringing your own if touring will be confined to one or two regions. Many consider France the hardest country in Europe to get a lift. 'Hitch Hiking' is not recommended in France.


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