Getting Around France
Traveling by Road:
The highway and road system in France is very developed with almost 630,000 miles of roads. Highways that require a toll will be marked with signs containing an "A" for Autoroutes. Rush hour in major cities is usually from 7:30a.m.to 9:30a.m and 5:30p.m to 7:30p.m. Roads and highways can become congested during holidays. Seat belts are required for all passengers in the car and all driving is done on the right side of the road. Speed limits on highways are usually 81mph, while in built up areas it is 31mph. Renting a car in France gives you the freedom to explore any area of the country that you desire, and on your own terms. Renting a motor home in France also gives you the freedom of the open road plus the convenience of a hotel room right there with you at all times.
Traveling by Rail:
The French rail system (SNCF) is a very thorough and efficient transportation system just like it is throughout Europe. Traveling by rail is often the most economical and time efficient way of traversing the country. The rail system connects all major cities and towns throughout the country, as well as inter-city rail systems. Traveling by train enables the passenger a choice between 1st and 2nd class cabins, each offering different levels of service, comfort and amenities. France also has the option of high speed trains that travel up to 186mph, which allows passengers to travel between London and Paris in under 3 hours.
Traveling by Bus:
Due to the efficiency of the rail system in France, traveling around by bus isn't a popular option in France. Long haul domestic coaches and city bus tours are available, but traveling by train is usually the first option in France. The bus network does do a good job in picking up where the rail network leaves off, allowing you to reach destinations in the Alps and Pyrenees with ease.
Traveling by Boat:
With over 5,600 miles of navigable waterways, getting around by boat in France is always an option. It may not always be the most efficient way of transport, but it does offer an interesting view point on the country. Canals connecting to the rivers of France provide important industrial shipping lines as well as the opportunity for a river cruise holiday.
Traveling by Taxi:
Taxis are readily available throughout France, being more prominent in the major cities and larger towns. They can be hailed on the street, picked up from a taxi rank (taxi station) or called to pick passengers up. Note that if a taxi is called, the cost of the journey to the pick up point will be added to that fare. Tipping is customary and usually is about 10-15%. Make sure the taxi has a meter in it before starting your journey as fraudulent taxis have been known to show up around France.