Within most major cities in France—including Paris, Lyon, and Marseille — public transportation is efficient, comprehensive, and cheap. In smaller towns, such as Rouen, Arles, or Antibes, it’s easy to navigate the city center on foot. Here is an important information for the tourists visiting France regarding French public transportation. These are the most convenient ways to get around in France.
Air France is the country’s primary carrier, serving around 30 cities in France and 30 more destinations throughout Europe. Air travel time from Paris to almost anywhere in France is about 1 hour. British Airways and Easy Jet link London with Paris, Bordeaux, Grenoble, Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, Nantes, Strasbourg, Toulouse, and Nice.
Renting a car
The most charming châteaux and country hotels lie far from the main cities and train stations. Renting a car is a good way to travel around France, especially along the Normandy beaches, the Loire Valley, the vineyards of Bordeaux, and in rural Provence. Day car hire is inexpensive, so visitors may want to rent a vehicle just for a day en-route if they wish. To rent a car, you’ll need to present a passport, a driver’s license, and a credit card. You will also have to meet the company’s minimum-age requirement: 21 or above. The biggest agencies have pickup spots all over France. Automatic transmission is a luxury in Europe. If you prefer it to stick-shift, you must specifically request it—and you’ll pay a little extra for it. In France, you drive on the right. Drivers are supposed to yield to the car on their right (priorité a droite), except where signs indicate otherwise, as at traffic circles. If you violate the speed limit, expect a big fine. Limits are 130 kmph (80 mph) on expressways, 110 kmph (68 mph) on major national highways, and 90 kmph (55 mph) on country roads. In towns, don’t exceed 50 kmph (31 mph).
The world’s fastest trains—known as Train à Grande Vitesse, or TGVs—link some 50 French cities, allowing you to travel from Paris to just about anywhere else in the country within hours. You can travel in first or second class by day and couchette by night. Most trains have light dining facilities.