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France Transport

Transport

Transportation in France is convenient, swift and very comfortable. Train service, provided by the state, is fast and competent, in particular on the more than 12,000 km of electrified track. French trains are absolutely brilliant: modern, comfortable and clean, with some extremely fast ones linking the country to other European cities, or linking the capital Paris to the far flung large cities in France in a network of over 12,000kms. The main means of transportation in France are the same as in any developed country: road and rail. There are cars, lorries, motorbikes and coaches on roads. In cities there are buses, trams, trolley buses, and even an underground called Métro in the largest towns. France's road system is an important segment transportation in France and it provides access to all parts of the nation.

The main Air gateways to France include Paris' Orly Airport and Charles de Gaulle (Roissy) Airport. There also are helicopters to nip from one place to another quickly, and ferries to get to offshore islands or cross large rivers. Transportation in France in the domestic sector is provided by Air Inter with flights between Paris and all major cities. French motorways are plentiful, superb, well designed and maintained, and the ordinary network is also good.

Plane

If you're coming by air, there's a strong chance your plane will land in Paris. The main Air gateways to France include Paris' Orly Airport and Charles de Gaulle (Roissy) Airport. Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) is located 23kms northeast of the city. Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseilles, Nice, Strasbourg and Toulouse also have international airports of their own, as well as having excellent connections from Paris. The main airlines are Air France, Air Liberté, British Airways, AOM, and the low-cost : Buzz, Easyjet, Ryanair, Sky Europe and Wizz Air. Air France is the only airline that flies to all French destinations.

Train

Train service, provided by the state, is fast and competent, in particular on the more than 12,000 km of electrified track. French trains are absolutely brilliant: modern, comfortable and clean, with some extremely fast ones linking the country to other European cities, or linking the capital Paris to the far flung large cities in France in a network of over 12,000kms. From London, the Eurostar is probably the most straightforward mode of transport: only 3 hours from one city centre to the other (the Gare du Nord in Paris, Waterloo in London). From Brussels, it takes just 1h20 on the Thalys service to get to the French capital. From Paris, TGV services operate to most major towns and cities - reservation is essential. There are a large number of cheap youth fares available. The SNCF also offers a range of other reductions for couples, groups or advance reservations.

Bus

The Eurolines network is extensive, and links Paris with every other European capital. Eurolines is one bus company that serves France. Most of the Paris residents like to take the public bus, but it seems to be quite difficult for tourists as they may not recognize the place to take off. However, you could enjoy the street scenery in taking the bus whereas the subway could not offer. Please be aware that you have to buy the ticket rather than just put the coins in. If you do not have a ticket, you have to tell the driver your destination, buy the ticket and put in the ticket cutter. Actually, you could use the subway ticket in taking the bus. You could just show your fixed-time subway ticket to the driver and you could get on and take off at any station you like. There is no station broadcasting service inside the bus and you have to ring the bell in advance before taking off.

Metro- The French have made a large investment in public transportation, for example Paris has one of the best public transportation systems in Europe, metro trains run every few minutes and from anywhere in Paris you are never more that 400 meters from a Metro station. All major tourist attractions can easily be reached by Metro.

Car

Travelling by car is a comfortable way of moving around in France. The roads are perfectly maintained and the French road network is one of the best in the world. A car will offer you the freedom to see so much more of France, it will let you get out of Paris and discover the France of little villages. A car is best for getting around the countryside and is not suited for cities, where public transportation is much more efficient and inexpensive.

Taxi

Taxi is the most convenient transportation as you could take it in any place. Usually it is easier to get the taxi in the taxi station (Tete de Taxi) in the main streets, hotel or the stations. Most of the taxi drivers are very familiar with the streets, and they could take you to your destination as long as you could mention you address clearly. Please be aware that the front seat is not for passenger, and one taxi could take 3 passengers in principal.

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