Travel to and around France
Paris airport - Charles de Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris is located 23 km northeast of the city. A taxi is probably the most convenient way to get to the city but also the most expensive – you might pay about €60. You can jump on the metro; the ride is about 35 minutes to Gard du Nord station and costs about €8.10.
Paris airport - Orly
Orly airport, 14 km south of the city, primarily serves domestic flights and international destinations in Southern Europe and around the Mediterranean. Buses and coaches leave regularly and take only 25 minutes to get to the city. Taxis are also available and will cost €35-45, or you could hop on the metro for a cheap ride (around €10 depending on destination).
Lyon airport is 25 km east of the city. You can jump in a taxi at a cost of €50 to the city center or the bus will cost €8.40.
Marseille airport is 30 km northwest of the city. A taxi will cost about €45 to the city center or take a bus to Provence at a cost of €7, or Cavaillon/Avignonand for €12.
How to get around
You can travel easily around France by air and there are a number of airlines that service the domestic airports.
State-run car ferries connect the larger islands on the Atlantic coast with the mainland; they also sail regularly across the mouth of the Gironde. The island of Corsica is served by ferries which run from Marseille, Toulon and Nice to Ajaccio, Propriano, Porto Vecchio and Bastia on the island. Boats can also be chartered.
With a network of over 34,200 km rail lines (and over 12,000 km of that electrified), you’ll find the trains a great way to get around France. If you have a need for speed, the TGV will get you from Paris to Brittany and southwest France at 300kph, to Lyon and the southeast at 270kph and to Strasbourg and the east at 320kph. Of course the Paris Metro is super efficient as well.
A rail pass is the best way to see the country and there are some great discounts if you’re under 26. Find out about rail passes for travel through France. (link to rail page)
The first thing to remember if you’re hiring a vehicle is that the traffic drives on the right, so no change there. Also be aware of the sometimes-observed rule on certain roundabouts where priority is given to traffic joining the roundabout (ie give way to the left). There is no definitive guide for when you should or shouldn’t observe this rule so approach French roundabouts with caution!
Organized tours are a great way to see the sites and soak up the local culture – especially if you’re traveling alone or are a first-time traveler. Check out some of the options for tours in France. (tours and treks link)