France – the world’s most popular travel destination – can rightly claim to offer a visitor everything: glamorous beaches, picture-postcard castles, wonderful landscapes and fascinating cities. Combining dramatic contrasts – the broad boulevards of Paris, the timeless natural beauty of the Loire Valley, the broad slopes of the Alps, the lavender fields of Provence, the gourmet restaurants of Lyon, the rustic charm of Corsica – the country is hard to beat as a total tourist package beat. Paris is rightly one of the greatest cities in the world. Haute couture, haute cuisine and numerous historical places and buildings, Paris is all of this, but it’s just one of the many world-class destinations that France has to offer. “How can you describe a country that has 365 types of cheese?” French President Charles De Gaulle once mused. Good question. France is a member of European Union defined by computerannals.
Arriving by plane
Direct flights with Air France (AF) to Paris from the following airports: Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hanover, Munich, Nuremberg, Stuttgart, Vienna, Basel, Geneva and Zurich and to Lyon from Düsseldorf, Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt and Vienna. Air France (AF) flies from Geneva to Paris-Roissy, Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly. With Austrian Airlines (OS) from Vienna to various French cities. Other airlines flying to France: British Airways (BA), KLM (KL), Swiss (LX), Lufthansa (LH), Eurowings (EW) and Easyjet (EC). With Tuifly (X3) from numerous major German cities as well as from Vienna and Zurich. Chair Airlines (GM) flies from Bern to Corsica in summer. Traveling by train to flight to France, is available from Berlin, Düsseldorf, Hanover, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Nuremberg, Munich and Stuttgart. From these cities it is easy to get to France by train. Air France and the French railway company SNCF offer the following Train + Air connections with the TGV: From/to Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle Airport (CDG) to/from Aix-en-Provence, Angers Saint-Laud, Avignon TGV, Bordeaux Saint-Jean, Champagne-Ardenne, Le Mans, Lille Europe, Lorraine, Lyon Part-Dieu, Marseille Saint-Charles, Montpellier Saint-Roch, Nantes, Nimes, Poitiers, Rennes, Saint-Pierre-des-Corps, Strasbourg and Valencia. From/to Paris Orly Airport (ORY) to/from Angers Saint-Laud, Avignon, Bordeaux Saint-Jean, Champagne-Ardenne, Marseille Saint-Charles, Le Mans, Lille Europe, Lorraine, Lyon Part-Dieu, Nantes, Poitiers, Rennes, Saint Pierre des Corps,
Frankfurt – Paris: 1 hour 30 minutes; Vienna – Paris: 2 hours 05 minutes; Zurich – Paris: 1 hour 20 minutes
Arrival by car
By car: France has an excellent road network, with connections to all neighboring countries. From northern and western Germany, travelers can take the free A 34 via Sedan and Reims to the A 4 to Paris. Vacationers from southwest Germany can drive continuously on the autobahn to Le Havre; from Saarbrücken via the A 4 to Reims, there on the A 26 to St-Quentin and then on the A 29 to Le Havre; Greater Paris can be avoided on this route. The east-west A19 motorway from Sens to Orleans offers a continuous cross connection for travelers from the Rhine-Main area and Saarland to the Loire Valley and Brittany. Through the Mont Blanc Tunnel it goes to Italy and through the Pyrenees Tunnel to Spain. The route leads from Montrejeau on the French A 64 (Pau – Toulouse) through the Central Pyrenees and the Vall d’Aran to the Tunnel de Vielha and from there on to the Spanish N 230 to Lleida (Lerida). Long-distance bus: Flixbus, Blablabus and Eurolines drive from Germany, Austria and Switzerland to France. Tolls: Motorways in France are subject to tolls, except for parts of the city motorways and around large cities. The French motorway companies ASFA provide detailed information. Payment is usually made when leaving the motorway, in cash or by credit card. Some sections are paid upon entry, where you dump the displayed amount into a funnel. A toll is also payable for various tunnels. Documents: The national driving license is sufficient.
Arrival by train
The rail connections between France and neighboring European countries are excellent. There are daily connections with the ICE from Frankfurt/M. to Paris (journey time: 4 hours). The Thalys runs daily on the Dortmund, Essen, Duisburg, Düsseldorf Airport, Düsseldorf, Cologne, Aachen, Liège, Brussels and Paris routes. The French high-speed train TGV connects Munich, Frankfurt am Main, Strasbourg, Basel, Geneva, Zurich and Vienna with Paris several times a day. The ÖBB Nightjet night train connects Vienna with Paris via St. Pölten, Linz, Salzburg and Munich. The Léman Express commuter train connects the Swiss cantons of Vaud and Geneva with the French region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. The well-developed EuroCity network is constantly being expanded. There are direct connections with various long-distance trains from Paris to Cologne, Frankfurt/M., Karlsruhe, Stuttgart, Munich, Vienna and Zurich and from Strasbourg via Munich East and Salzburg to Vienna. The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express luxury train connects Vienna with London and Paris. The Eurotunnel Shuttle travels through the Channel Tunnel between Calais and Folkestone, transporting lorries, cars and buses. Car trains and passenger shuttles operate. The journey time from terminal to terminal is 35 minutes, from highway to highway about 1 hour.
The Interrail One Country Pass and the Interrail Global Pass are also valid in France.
Arrival by ship
In April, Aida Cruises’ AIDAdiva cruises from Gran Canaria in the Atlantic and also calls at Le Havre. There are numerous ferry services from Britain and the British Channel Islands to France, including with Brittany Ferries: Portsmouth – Caen, Portsmouth – Cherbourg, Portsmouth – Le Havre, Poole – Cherbourg, Plymouth – Roscoff; Condor Ferries (Jersey/Guernsey – St Malo; Portsmouth – Cherbourg); DFDS Seaways (Newhaven – Dieppe; Dover – Calais; Dover – Dunkirk; Portsmouth – Le Havre); P&0 Ferries (Dover – Calais). From Algeria, Algerie Ferries (Algiers/ Oran/ Bejaia/ Skikda/ Annaba – Marseille) offer passenger and car ferry services. Crossings from Italy to Corsican ports are organized by Corsica Ferries (Savona – Bastia), Moby Lines (Genoa – Bastia) and CMN La Méridionale (Porto Torres (Sardinia) – Propriano). CTN offers ferry services between Tunis and Marseille. For more information on ferry connections, see Ferry Online.