Local transportation in France


In France, the quickest and easiest way to travel is by train. Nearly every city has its own train station, or “gare” that is serviced by public transportation and typically centrally located. There are two main types of trains: RER and TGV. The RER designates a regional train line that stops at smaller cities and towns, whereas the TGV stands for “train de grande vitesse”, or high-speed train, and is often used for speedy travel between large cities or cross-country trips.

Timetables, prices, stations, and discounts are all posted on the SNCF website.


#Cisabroadtraveltip: If you will be in France for a few months or more, purchase a “Carte Jeune”, or “Youth Card” to get great discounts on train tickets. The Carte Jeune costs 50 euros, but you’ll get 30%-70% off the price of every train¬†trip. Bonjour Paris! Bonjour Nice!

Within a city itself, there are multiple forms of public transportation. Depending on the size of the city, you can either take the metro, the tram, the bus, or all three! The price of a one way ticket on any of these modes of transportation is about 1 euro to 3.75 euros. You also have the option of buying a transportation pass if you’re participating in a longer program. Although taxis are available throughout the city, it is much easier to make use of the metro, bus, or tram since they usually run until about 1:00 AM.

Learn how to ride the metro:

If you plan on travelling to other countries during your stay in France, you can either take the train internationally or hop on a quick flight! There are several airlines such as RyanAir and EasyJet that offer affordable flights to major destinations across Europe. Make sure you check the baggage limits and specifications for these airlines as normal allowances you would find on larger carriers may not be included.

While traveling in France is a breeze, it is always important to be aware of your surroundings. Pick-pocketing is a major occurrence, especially in larger cities. Make sure that your bag is zipped up and carried in front of you and that your wallet is tucked away safely. It is also a good idea to keep copies of your passport and essential documents in your dorm or hotel room, just in case. Keep an eye out for yourself and your friends on crowded metro trains and don’t be afraid to make a lot of noise if you see something out of place. Pick-pockets scare easily!

For more information on travel, check out: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/france/transport/getting-around