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Travel in France

France is a very easy country to get around in, though do keep in mind that the position may vary considerably from urban to rural environments. Outside of the major city centers, public transport may be limited and unreliable, so most people there will use personal road transport. The roads are excellent, rarely crowded (outside of the bigger cities that is) and easy to drive on. Freeways (motorways/Autoroutes) are subject to tolls but all other roads are free. Longer distance inter-city travel can make use of the famous ultra-fast TGVs (Train à Grande Vitesse) that operate in a star network centered on Paris. They can make journeys between distant cities faster than by air, however, they are expensive and booking ahead is advisable both to secure a seat and to try and obtain the best price deals. There are local rail services between towns and cities that are regular and modestly priced, though their timetables and pricing structures baffle everyone - including some French people. In the towns, buses are regular and cheap and the larger cities may also have their own Metro system. Be alert to pickpockets on the Paris Metro though. Local tours through Withlocals can show you the quickest way to get from ‘A’ to ‘B’ in France and at the most affordable prices.

  • VIP Michelin Star Food Tour
  • Paris Kickstart Tour with a Local
  • The Secret Passages Tour
  • Bohemian Paris & Famous Artists
  • French Pastry Tour
  • Paris: The City of Lights by Night
  • The Must Do Parisian Family Tour
  • Enchanted Paris
  • Beer Tour
  • Artsy Family Day in Montmartre: Picnic & Crafts
  • Family fun discovery of Medieval Paris
  • Personalized Paris Tour with a Local
  • Artsy Family Day in Montmartre: Picnic & Crafts
  • Paris Favourite Food tour: the 10 Tastings
  • The Liberation of Paris 1944

Local ways of transportation France

France is a wealthy country overall. As such, the vast majority of people living outside of the major cities will have their own car or motorbike to get around with. Inside the big cities most people will use public transport but might also own their car or rent one at weekends if required. Many French cities now operate electric cycle hire schemes, whereby you can collect a battery-assisted cycle at one public recharge docking point then leave it at another near your destination.

Busses in the cities are very popular with locals. Outside of perhaps one or two of the very biggest cities, city-center parking is still relatively cheap and readily available in most towns. So, even short journeys by car in town are fairly common. Be aware that bus services in the countryside or smaller towns can be erratic and unlike some countries, the maximum number of passengers is strictly enforced – so you can wait some time for a bus only to find it’s full when it arrives.

Taxis are widely available everywhere and reasonably priced but in rural areas, remember to book in advance where possible, as there may not be many available ‘on instant demand’.



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Luxury transport France

Stretch limos and luxury car hire services are available in some of the bigger cities but they’re perhaps less commonplace than in some countries and such vehicles are widely perceived by locals to be ostentatious and a little vulgar, though special events like weddings might be an exception to that.

Private aircraft and helicopter hire is also available in and around the bigger cities.

Luxury boats and yachts can also be hired though that is more commonplace around the Mediterranean coast (e.g. Cannes) than on the Atlantic or Channel coastlines