Jeff Steiner's Americans in France.
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French Travel PlannerTransportation in France

Air- All major French cities have airports. But in my opinion the costs of flying within France outweighs the time saved. Over the last few years a few budget airlines, EasyJet and Ryan Air, have started to serve France. But most only fly selected routs, few within France. Air France is the only airline that flies to all French destinations.

Bus- France does have private bus companies but they, excuse the pun, take a back seat to trans and cars. The one time traveled by bus, during a rail strike, was from Paris to Bordeaux, it took over eight hours as apposed to three by train and the costs was not that much cheaper.
Eurolines is one bus company that serves France.

Car- This means of transportation in France will on the upside, offer you the most freedom, getting off the beaten path, on the downside the most costs, from $75 to $100 a day depending on type of fuel consumed, always rent diesel as it is 25% cheaper than unleaded, and tolls. Generally speaking once your party gets over four to five people a car becomes cheaper than a train. This can also depend on travel preferences and time of year travel.
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.
If you do need to drive in a French city, try to give yourself extra time to get where you are going. Most French cities where laid out in medieval times, thus their streets are small and the names are not well marked and can change every block.
If you do decide to travel by car please see my Driving section.
One of my sponsors Auto Europe rents cars for France.

Public (Metro/Tram/Bus)- Mode of transportation suited for those that are visiting French cities. 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 bus or Metro.
Most other big cities, Bordeaux, Lyon, Strasbourg etc, also have high-quality systems. Even those without a metro will have a bus system that will run often and take you where you want to go. Read about and see photos of the Paris subway system.

Train- See my article about Train Travel in France.


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