Travelling to and around France is easy, no matter the form of transport you choose. As the largest country in Western Europe, France offers a diverse range of scenery and sights – so make use of the transport available and don’t feel that you have to spend all your time in Paris.
If you’re in France for more than a couple of days, there’s really no limit to what you can do and see. In just a 90 minute car drive, you can find yourself in the Champagne region and explore local chateaus and vineyards. Or, in only 1h20 on a train, you can reach the historical northern city of Amiens. Jet to Marseilles for a Mediterranean coastal experience, or simply hop on the metro and explore the capital.
If you’re going to be visiting this beautiful country soon, check out our travel tips below and find the best way for you to get around France.
Flights to France
If you’re travelling from the US, you’ll probably fly in to Paris. From here, you can make use of all kinds of transport – from bikes to explore the city like a local, to trains that go all around the country. If you want to fly elsewhere from Paris, Air France is the main operating airline for internal flights, but there are also options available from a range of European carriers such as RyanAir.
If you want to skip Paris altogether, you’ll also find direct flights from the US to Nice and Lyon.
Driving in France
Driving is one of the simplest ways to get around France if you intend to explore the rural regions. If you’re travelling from the US, you’ll need to rent a car from the airport. This is easy as long as you do your research, and check out car hire France. You’re more likely to get the best deal if you book ahead of time rather than when you get there.
Do note that if you’re sticking to the major cities, you could just use the available public transport, as driving can be stressful in big cities if you’re not used to the system! Remember that you need to be at least 21 years of age to be able to rent a car in France, and you’ll need a major credit card for the payment process and deposit holding.
France by Rail
France boasts a fast and efficient railway system, allowing you to access almost any destination by train. The TGV (Train a Grande Vitesse) connects 150 cities in both France and its adjacent countries, travelling at speeds of up to 200mph. The state-owned railway company – SNCF – owns this service, and they also provide regular inter-city services across over 20,000 miles of railway line.
Ticket prices vary, so aim to book early. Rail Europe is the SNCF’s representative in North America, and you can find range of rail passes on their website. This is a good option if you don’t speak French.
Cycling in France
A number of French cities offer bike sharing services, allowing you to rent a bike from one location and drop it off at another. Charges for this kind of service vary from city to city, so make sure you check online before your trip.
If you are taking your own bike, you’ll find plenty of cycling trails and routes around the country. France is known as one of the best cycling destinations in the world, so it’s easy to do your research and find cycling routes that are suitable for you.
No matter the form of transport you choose, with a little research and planning you’ll be set for an amazing trip in France. With so much to explore, why not consider combining different forms of transport for a great all-round experience?