VISIT FRANCE BY RAIL ( TRAIN ), railway in France, train in France

France holidays by train, railroads, railway, sncf, Paris

Traveling in France by rail is convenient, while french railways (SNCF) have a good reputation of ponctuallity.

All tickets are sold by the SNCF in the railway stations, city centers and on the Internet. There are many cheap prices for couples, families, elderly…

Here is the Web site of the french train company (SNCF) in english : http://www.voyages-sncf.com/dynamic/_SvHomePage?_CMD=cmdHomepageUK

Coming to France from England by Eurostar or from Benelux and Germany by Thalys

Eurostar and Thalys are beautiful and comfortable trains serving England and Benelux (Belgium, Amsterdam, Germany…)

Going from a big city to another : high speed train TGV

TGV is the high-speed train (300 kph), serving most of the french cities from Paris, but also Roissy-Charles de Gaule airport and from many big cities to others big cities.

Inside regions : regional trains or TER

From a town to another, you may take a TER train, which is a classical train.

Inside Paris : RER

Inside Paris and its suburbs, there is a subway but also a train network called RER.

VISIT FRANCE by plane, paris airports

There are many ways to discover France : by plane, car, train, boat…

plane flight france

Plane is a convenient way to go to France and travel inside the country

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A flight to France

There are many companies flying to France.

You will find many flights to France in this site : http://www.amadeus.net/home/index.htm

When arriving in Paris, there are two international airports in Paris : Roissy-Charles de Gaule on the north and Orly on the South of Paris. Transfers from an airport to another and to Paris center can be made by shuttle bus, subway or taxi (the most expensive solution…).

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A flight in France

There are few domestic companies in France and the main domestic flights are made by Air France. Some low cost companies also serve main cities. Air travel times throughout France, from a city to another is usually one hour.

Opening time, opening hours of shops, banks… in Paris and France

Shops opening hours in France during your vacations and holidays

Companies :

Most companies open from 9 AM to 12 AM and from 2PM to 6 PM from monday to friday

Administration :

Administrative offices usually close at 5 PM.

Shops :

They are generally open from 10 AM to 7 PM from monday to saturday. Some of them may be closed on Monday.

Banks :

They are generally open from 9 AM to 5 PM from monday to friday.

Monuments and museums :

They are usually closed on Monday or Tuesday.

COMMUNICATIONS IN FRANCE, internet, mail, phone from Paris and France

Where to find a cybercafe (internet cafe) in Paris and France, how to have a call from france

Mail boxes :

French post is called La poste. Mail boxes are in the streets, colored in yellow

Stamps :

Stamps can be bought at Post Office and tobacconist’s.

Phone in France : french phone, mobile phone, cellular phone in France

French numbers :

All phone numbers in France are composed of 10 digits beginning by a 0.

* To call somewhere in France from France, dial the 10 digit number.
* To call from France to a foreign country: dial 00 + the country code + the number.

To call France from antoher country, dial the access international code (usually 00 or 011 for the USA) + 33 (country code), then the 9 digit number without the 0
French phone :

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The payphones :

There are many phone boxes in France. They usually work with telephone cards available at Post Offices, tobacconist’s, souvenir shops…

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Mobile or cellular phone

France is well covered by the mobile phone operators. With the help of your own operator you may use easily your cellular phone in France. US citizens may experience problems withe their cell phones in France.

Check your cellular phone operator before leaving
Internet in France : the Web and email, find a cybercafé or Internet café in France

High speed Internet can be found at many places in France and there are many Internet cafes in the cities

MONEY IN FRANCE: euro, currency, money and costs

Find an ATM in Paris and France, money in France (currency is Euro)

Currency :

The currency used in France is EURO (€).

Tipping :

Almost all hotels and restaurants include tax and service charge in their prices. Tip is not usual in France.
Exchange :

Currency exchange can be made in most banks, post offices and exchange offices. You will recognise them by the « Change » sign).
Credit cards :

You can use debit card almost in every shop, especially Visa and Mastercard.
ATM, Cash machines.

There are plenty of ATMs in cities and in small towns too. Check with your bank that your credit card will work in France before leaving.
Traveller’s cheques :

Traveler’s checks can be exchanged in banks or exchange offices.
Costs :

traveling in France is quite expensive : for example, a dinner may cost 30-40 € per person or a hotel room 50-200 € for two people…

Transportation (car rental, fuel, plane…) are expensive too, except train which is quite inexpensive.

Touristic places (Paris, Riviera, Loire Valley…) are more expensive than others.

FRANCE BY BOAT : Ferry to France, boat in France, France by cruise

France by ferry and boat holidays and vacations in France

Traveling in and to France by boat is a nice way to discover the country
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Coming to France from England by Ferry

There are many ferries goind from south england to France. Ferries serve french ports from Dunkerque (North of France, near Belgium) to Roscoff (Brittany). The main way goes from Dover to Calais.

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Going from France to an island by ferry

It is possible to visit many islands around France by ferry : Belle-ile, Corsica…

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Sailing in France

France’s extensive coasts give many opportunities for sailing

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Sea cruises and barging on rivers and canal

Cruising on the sea or barging on french rivers and canals is a very romantic way of discovering France. Find some more informations on sea cruises and barging in France here

FRANCE BY CAR, car rental in Paris and France, how to drive on the french roads

Rent a car in Paris and France, driving on the roads of France during your holidays

The french people drive on the right and overtake on the left. Some say that they are on the road as in their lives : stuffy and arrogant…

France travel guide : car rental in France, drive a car in France, driving, roads of France
Welcome to Travel France vacation

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France visit : car rental, driving in France, France by car

Don’t be afraid, this is not the only kind of car for rent in France !

The french people drive on the right and overtake on the left. Some say that they are on the road as in their lives : stuffy and arrogant…

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Road network
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Motorways or highways : « autoroutes »

French motorways are designated by the letter A (for autoroute) followed by a number (for example A10 from Paris to Bordeaux) but also with an European number (A10 is also E05).

Driving on french motorways is convenient but quite expensive because most of them are toll motorways and petrol (gasolene, fuel) is more expensive.

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Other ways : « Nationales » and « Departementales »

Other ways are numbered like highways, but the number is preceded by a D (départementales roads) or an N (National roads).

To go to a city, you just have to follow its destination.
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Road and driving rules
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Paperwork

For driving in France you must be at least 18 of age and an International driver’s licence is recommended. you may also have your passport.

If you wish to drive your own car, you must carry your insurance certificate (« carte verte d’assurance ») and ownership papers (« carte grise »).

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Speed limit

Usually, speed limit
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on Motorway is 130kph (110 kph when wet conditions)
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on dual carriage ways is 110kph (90 kph in wet conditions)
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on one-way roads is 90 kph
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in Towns is 50kph

You will find signs remebering you the right speed with a « Rappel », meaning that the restriction goes on.

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Alcohol

The limit in France is 50mg of alcohol per liter of blood, whiwh means approximatively 2 glasses of alcohol for a 60kg person.

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Cell phone

Having a phone conversation is strictly prohibited while driving.

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Seat belt

Seatbelts are required for every passenger, in the front and also at the rear of the vehicule.
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« Priorité à droite »

The rule of priorité à droite means giving way to vehicles coming from your right. This is the rule if there is no stop or « cédez le passage », meaning « give the way » on the road coming from the right.

Ususally, a sign showing a yellow diamond on a white background means that you have right of way, while the same sign with a black line through it informs you that vehicles emerging from the right have priority.

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Breakdown

In case of breakdown you should stop on the right of the road, turn on your hazard warning lights, and put your red warning triangle on the pavement or the road approximatively a hundred meters behind your vehicle to inform other drivers that there is a hazard.

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Accident

In case of accident, you will be asked to fill in a « constat amiable » (an amiable declaration) with the other driver. Be careful of what is written by the other driver, take down names and addresses of witnesses and don’t hesitate to take photographs.

You may also call for a police help by calling the 17 (free call).
If you are involved in an accident involving any sort of injury you MUST wait until the police arrives. Firemen-Emergency phone number is 18 (free call).
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Parking in France

Parking in towns is controlled and there is frequently a charge (« Payant »). For paying, you need to take a ticket at the ticket machines on the pavement and place it in view on the dashboard of your car. You may also find many underground parking in towns, were you can pay by credit card.

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Car rentals / Rent a car in France

There are many car rental agencies in France. They ar usually located in airports, city centers and railway stations.

The minimum age limit for renting a car in France is usually 21 but some companies may ask for an extra insurance for drivers under the age of 25. Check it with the company.

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Traffic information / Times and places to avoid

Usually, roads around the cities are crowded in the morning between 6 to 9 AM and at night from 5 to 8 PM.

You should avoid also driving around the cities on friday and saturday nights.

Electricity in Paris and France, electric supplies in France

France electricity and voltage during your vacations and holidays

The current is displayed at 220 V-230 V. You may carry a voltage transformer. Remember the plugs are two pins shaped. You may carry an adaptator for electricity sockets.

GAY PARIS AND FRANCE : France travel for gay and lesbian…

Gay and lesbians France travel and vacations, holidays, hotels, Gay Paris

The gays and lesbians will find lots of places dedicated to the gay and lesian community in France, in Paris of course, but also in all the country. Many accomodation (hotel, guesthouse…), restaurants and activities are gay and lesbian friendly.

France is a country of liberty and French people are very tolerant and free of mind with the gay and lesbian community

Gay Paris

Paris offers many places dedicated to the gay community : hotels, guesthouses, restaurants, bars, saunas…, mainly concentrated in the 4rth district, called Le Marais, but you will find many gay and lesbian establishments all around Paris.

Gay and lesbian France travel

The gay and lesbian community thrives through all the country, especially in the South of France.

All the big cities of France display many places for gays and lesbians and the french population is usually as tolerant as Parisians do for gay and lesbians.

FRANCE TRAVEL WITH PETS : France tourism with pets and animals

Travel in France with your cat or dog, France holidays with animals pets, Paris with pets

Pets are welcome in France, but there are rules for visiting France with an animal :

Age : Pets must be at least 3 months old

Tag : Pets must be tagged

Rabies : Check your veterinary doctor befor leaving because the rules against rabies may chage from a day to another. Ususally, pets must be vaccinated against rabies more than one month and less than a year ago before entering to France, or the pet must have been re-vaccinated within the year (bring your vaccination card issued by a veterinary doctor) or you must have a certificate issued by a veterinary doctor, stating that the pet is in good health, the pet comes from a country with no rabies since at least three years and the pet has remained in thic country for the past six months or since its birth.

Pets must have a collar with your name and address.

Are there animals forbidden or prohibited in France ?

Yes there are animals forbidden in France, such as :

Less than 3 months animals

Dangerous fighting dogs : pit bulls, Boer bulls…

Check with your veterinary doctor if your animal is allowed in France