Traveling in France -
how to get around by train or car
France offers one of the most comprehensive public transport system in Europe. It incorporates high speed (TGV) and regular trains, subway, buses and lake steamers. Roads and highways are well maintained and signposted. Internal flights between several destinations are available from many local airports throughout of France.
The French train network is run by SNCF and the network is extensive and very efficient. You can also connect with any other major city in other European countries. SNCF operates normal trains as well as the high-speed TGV (train a grand vitesse) which reach 300 km/h (180 mph). These new generation trains are also extremely comfortable and are on a par with flying for convenience and speed, as you don't have to go through the hassles of security checks and collecting your bags. When travelling on a TGV, you will be allocated a particular seat but, on normal trains, you can just sit anywhere.
The best way for tourists to get around by train is to purchase a France Rail Pass. These passes are available with different options and for various amounts of days. The best way to purchase them is in advance with RailEurope, since they can only be purchased outside of France. These train passes represent the best value! If your time in France is only one leg of your journey, however, you might consider to buy a pass that is valid Europe-wide.
There are car-rental agencies in all major destinations and at all French airports. Driving in France is easy and all roads are well maintained, well signposted and generally not too congested, except in the main vacation season in July and August. Getting to France by road is simple, since there are fast highways from all surrounding countries.
The main entry point for international flights is Paris/Charles de Gaulle International Airport (CDG). It is located 23km northeast of the city. It is the largest airport serving Paris, and the second busiest passenger airport in Europe after London Heathrow.