Domestic Transportation in France
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:
|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|
|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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