Domestic Transportation in France

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Means of Transport Recommended in Town

Almost all French cities have a public transport network which is safe, and quality is high (in regards to frequency, comfort, safety/security, limited risk of accidents, etc.) Where there are only buses in the smallest towns, the biggest cities have trams, metro, buses and self-service bicycles. Using taxis is also very practical. However, they are very difficult to find in rush hours except for people who have a season ticket. The Paris metro is one of the most extensive in the world. In the ranking of the world's 10 best metro systems, it is in 2nd position.
Maps of Urban Networks
The Paris RATP network (Paris city transport authority)
The Ile de France Transilien train network
The Lyon transport network (in French)
The Marseille transport network
Urban Transport Agencies
The RATP (Paris city transport authority)
Find an Itinerary
Finding an itinerary in Paris
Taxi Companies
French taxis (Fares, taxi stands, etc.)

Transportation From Airport to City Centre:






Car Rental
Paris - Charles de Gaulle/Roissy (CDG) 24km / 15 miles EUR 50-60 / 45 min EUR 14 - EUR 6.15 / 35-60 min EUR 8.10 / 50 min Available
Paris - Orly (ORY) 14km / 9 miles EUR 35-55 / 20-35 min EUR 9 / 20-30 min EUR 7.20, EUR 9.30 + RER ticket / 40-50 min Available
Marseille - Provence (MRS) 21 km / 13 miles of Marseille or Aix-en-Provence EUR 40-50 / 30 min EUR 8.5-7.5 / 25-30 min - Available
Lyon - St Exupéry (LYS) 19 km / 12 miles EUR 40-50 / 30-40 min EUR 8.40 / 45 min - Available
Lille - Lesquin (LIL) 8 km / 5 miles EUR 15 / 12-20 min EUR 4.6 / 20 min - Available
Nice - Côte d'Azur (NCE) 4 km / 7 miles EUR 20-30 / 15 min - - Available
Toulouse - Blagnac (TLS) 8 km / 5 miles EUR 20-25 / 10-20 min EUR 4 / 20 min - Available
Bordeaux - Merignac (BOD) 9 km / 6 miles EUR 45 / 20-25 min EUR 6.5 / 30-45 min - Available

Means of Transport Recommended in the Rest of the Country

To travel from city to city the best means of transport is the train. From Paris you should expect between 2 and 4 hours to reach other big cities; fares are affordable, the trains are comfortable and you arrive directly in the city center.
By plane it is about 1 hour 30 minutes' travel time to go from one end of the country to another.
As soon as you leave the city center, you really need a car to get around.
Rail Companies
The SNCF (French national rail company) and its on-line reservation service


Name Type Domestic Flights International Flights
Air France Major Yes Yes
Air Linair Major Yes No
Transavia low cost No Yes
Easy jet low cost Yes Yes

You Can Consult the List of Airlines Banned Within the EU. Look Also at the rating of the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).


Traveling By Yourself

Traveling by your own means in France poses few problems; it is easy to rent a vehicle, the road network is very good and the road sign system is very clear (in French).
The French authorities have set up a large number of speed cameras on the roads to encourage drivers to keep to speed limits. For further information, consult regulations and penalties enforced (in French).
There is a high risk of traffic jams in and around the big cities.
Driver's License
The EU driver's license is recognized in France. Other driver's licenses are also recognized on condition that they are accompanied by an official translation. After living in France for a year, the foreign resident must exchange his license for a French one.
For further information, consult:
- the brochure concerning driver's licenses issued outside the European Union ;
- conditions for recognizing and exchanging foreign driver's licenses.
Conditions For Renting a Vehicle
Being at least 21 years of age, and having had one's driver's license for more than two years.
Rental Agencies
Tolls or Taxes
You have to pay on motorways. Payment is made at the entrance or exit of the motorway, at the tollbooth. Keep your ticket carefully until you come to pay.
Road Maps
Map of the motorway network
Motorways and national (main) roads
Find an Itinerary
Traffic Conditions Online
Real-time traffic conditions on French motorways
Traffic information provided by the French Ministry of Equipment
Parking Facilities
Parking in town is regulated and you generally have to pay. Payment is made at a ticket machine located in the street, with coins or parking cards which you can buy at a tobacco shop. Authorized parking places are shown by white markings on the ground.
All cities have parking lots (most often underground), in the center or on the outskirts, with connections with means of public transport.

Rules of the Road

Minimum Driving Age
Side of the Road For Driving
Speed Limits
50km/h in town, 90 on main roads, 130 on motorways
Safety Belts
Permitted Amount of Alcohol in the Blood
0.5 g/liter of blood, i.e. 0.25 mg of alcohol per liter of air breathed out
National Roads Organizations
Road safety department

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