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The country’s network of public transport is wide, extensive and good value, particularly in regards to rail journeys, with the high-speed train network able to get you from Calais to Marseille in around six hours.
Trains here are clean and punctual and tickets are cheap with accessible ticket offices able to help you get to your final destination (depending on the quality of your French).
In most cases, you’re also be able to buy tickets online on the Voyage SNCF website, if you’re the type that likes to plan ahead.
If you’re based in a major city such as Paris, Lyon or Marseille, you’ll find yourself faced with a cocktail of public transportation options, including metros (if in Paris), buses, taxis and suburban rail networks.
In Paris, taking the metro is the most sensible choice if you plan to do a lot of exploring. Buying a carnet of ten tickets for €14.10 is the cheapest option and you can use these on suburban RER trains and local buses as well.
In other cities, getting around on public transport is perfectly feasible, but note that in smaller cities and towns you might face difficulty travelling after dark. Some buses stop running after 7.30pm or 8pm and taking a taxi will be your only option.
It probably goes without saying, but the more rural your location, the more you will need to rely on having a private car for your own use, or simply walking or cycling everywhere.
If you’re a keen cyclist, make use of one of the many city bike-sharing schemes throughout the country.
Paris was one of the first cites to launch a bike sharing network with the Vélib’; they’ve been a hit ever since.
Lyon, Montpelier, Strasbourg and Nice are among the cities to have followed suit and also installed their own bike-hire schemes.
While the bikes tend to be heavy, they are generally very reliable, and a great way to get to know a new city.
If you’re not taking your own wheels across the English Channel, look into good-value car hire. Discover your options on our France car hire page.