If you live in a big city, you probably already take the subway, the bus, the train or other public means of transportation to go to work every day. And if you visit another major city during your vacations, you probably will use them to go around and visit the city or reach your final destination. But there is a problem: subways and trains are not the same all around the world!
Here is our simple guide for your arrival in France.
Your arrival at the airport
If you arrive from an international flight, your firsts steps in France will probably be at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport. From here you have many possibilities: you can catch a national flight to your final destination, take a TGV at the airport’s train station, or maybe spend a couple of days in the City of Lights.
If you have to go to Paris city center, you have several possibilities:
– get a taxi: the easiest way to get to Paris, you just wait in line until you can hop in a car! More and more taxis accept credit cards but remember this is not always the case.
– take the RER: the RER is the suburban subway of the Paris region. You can take the B line (blue) from each terminal of the airport. The line makes several stops in Paris city center, once there you can easily commute and take the city subway to reach your accommodation.
– take the Roissy Bus: this bus stops at each terminal of the CDG airport. It will take you to the Place de l’Opéra in Paris city center. From here, you can take different subway lines to reach your final destination.
You also have Le Bus Direct (previously known as Les Cars Air France), similar to the Roissy Bus service. You have three different lines: one to the Champs Elysées, one to the Eiffel Tower and the last one to the Gare Montparnasse.
If you arrive at another city’s airport, you will always find a bus or subway lines to reach the city center. Otherwise, you always have the cab!
ps: If you need more specific information about a city and how to get there, just leave us a comment or ask your tour consultant!
Taking the train
If you decide to skip Paris and go straight to your trip’s departure city, you can generally take a train from CDG airport. From the airport’s TGV station you can reach the major French cities easily, without having to go to Paris city center first.
If you are staying in Paris before heading to another town remember that there are many different train stations in the city. Gare de Lyon, Gare Montparnasse, Gare d’Austerlitz, Gare du Nord, Gare de l’Est… Read carefully what’s on your ticket before heading to the station!
There are two types of trains in France, the “normal” trains and the amazing TGVs! The TGV trains run at 320 km per hour, and they are often the easiest way to reach your tour’s departure city from Paris, instead of taking another flight. If a TGV line doesn’t serve your destination, you can stop in a nearby city and catch a regional train.
Regional trains usually stop in many towns along their way. They are the easiest way to reach other minor cities or explore the region you are staying in.
For national trains, you can buy your tickets in advance to have lower rates. We can add your train tickets to your trip, or if you prefer buying them on your own, we suggest the website Captain Train, very user-friendly.
For regional trains, there are more departures per day and the rates change less, you can buy your tickets the same day or a couple of days before. Remember to check the train schedule before making any plans.
Usually, e-tickets are available for most of the national lines. You can buy your tickets online, download them and print them before your departure – attention: your tickets must be printed and shown to the ticket inspector once on the train.
For some train lines, only “print at the station” tickets are available. You will be given a ticket reference, which you will use to print your tickets once you arrive in a French station. You can use one of the self-service yellow machines, like one of these:
And now sit back, and enjoy your trip!