The train inside Paris Disneyland is an internal transportation system for the convenience of visitors. You may take the train ride which circles the main Disney attractions between the various land from Adventureland to Frontierland, Fantasyland and Discoveryland to Main Street USA. It is a good way to rest your feet. Beside you are guaranteed of good view of Paris Disney attractions as the train runs above ground. The train is spacious, quite comfortable and has plenty of seats.
You can travel by buses no: 98 or 99 operated by Ligne d' azur from Aeroport Nice Cote d' Azur to Central Nice, a distance of approximately seven kilometers. Bus no: 98 departs for Nice bus station and bus no: 99 departs for Nice railway station from the airport. It takes approximately 25 minutes to travel between the airport and Central Nice. Buses are available at an intervals of between 15 and 30 minutes from 6.00 a.m. to 9.00 p.m. daily.
It costs 4.00 euros for a one day pass. However the bus ticket can be used for local travels in the city of Nice for the entire day until midnight. You can make full use of the bus ticket to travel to the outskirts of the city or to travel from one end of Nice City to the other end! Or you may preferably purchase just one way ticket for 1.30 euros to the destination of your choice.
Paris Metro is a mass rapid transit sytem which is the second busiest in Europe after the metro system in the city of Moscow. Paris Metro handles approximately 4.5 millions passengers per day. It has a total of 16 lines mostly located underground with approximately 300 subway stations. The total lenght of tracks is approximately 210 kilometers. It was opened to the public as early as 1900. Paris Metro is the easiest means of transportation to travel from one area to another in such a large city! Most foreign tourists will use the system when they stay in the city of Paris for more than three days. Below are several Paris Metro's websites where you can check for details!
I love traveling by train and therefore found that trainride in France was a great pleasure. Naturally this is because of the famed TGV, the world's fastest train. It can run at up to 300 km per hour.
The TGV and other the trains in this massive rail network is operated by SNCF. All trains are quite comfortable and run frequently. Lines seem to stretch out to every little town in France. This makes France probably the easiest country I have ever traveled in with regards to getting from point "A" to point "B".
Free timetables are available at every train station.
Naturally like every other country in Europe, there are rail passes available. I am not a big fan of Eurorail passes as they are too expensive. I recommend instead always buying a railpass for the country (or countries) you intend upon visiting especailly if you are sure of your itinerary. This includes France. For us North Americans and those from Australia and New Zealand, we can all purchase four days in a month long period pass for US $240/210 (first-/second-class). If you intend to travel more frequently than this, then you can purchase up to six more days for an additonal $30 per day. I think that this is a good deal.
Surprisingly I met alot of very friendly locals on the train in France. In hindsight I wondered how the French managed to get this reputation of being snobs. This was certainly not the case with me.
The TGV (Train a Grande Vitesse = high speed train) is the world's fastest train...and it was created in France!
And it is SO smooth and comfortable!!
It travels all over France and sweeps around Paris taking in Charles de Gaulle Airport (handy!!). It travels between the large cities within France and between outlying foreign cities.
*Seat reservations are compulsory.
*Eurail and Europasses are valid on TGV but you need to pay a supplement for a seat reservation.
*You can check the connections, timetable, and make reservations online. Go to the website address below:
Those in possession of an EU-issued driving license are entitled to drive in France with no further ado.
While others may be legally able to drive in France on the strength of their national licenses for a few months, it's safest to get an International Driving Permit (IDP), which is essentially a translation of your regular license into 10 languages, including French.
The IDP, valid for one year, must be issued in your own country before you depart. You must be 18 years old to receive the IDP.
The IDP is in addition to, not a replacement for, your home license, and is not valid without it. An application for an IDP usually includes one or two photos, a current local license, and an additional form of identification, and requires a fee.
If you plan to drive (rent a car) in France then make sure you have your home license and IDP with you.
"Don't leave home without it!"
...and don't forget INSURANCE TOO!!!
EU residents driving their own cars do not need extra insurance coverage in France. For those renting, paying with a gold credit card usually covers standard insurance. If your home car insurance covers you for liability, make sure you get a green card, or International Insurance Certificate to prove it. If you have an accident abroad, it will show up on your domestic records if you report it to your insurance company. Also, be prepared to pay US$8-10 per day for rental car insurance. Leasing should include insurance and the green card in the price. Some travel agents offer the card; it may also be available at border crossings.
Cosica island is a biker's heaven. Expect your tires to wear out on the side only and forget straight roads anywhere on the island, except for a ahort stretch south of Bastia. Coastal ride is recommended counterclockwise to appreciate views and to have a lesser number of blind bends, which is essential to detect stopped traffic or stray animals. Watch out for pigs, cows, sheep or donkeys on your way. Always keep your throttle at bay and don't be fooled by speed fantasies. Always park on solid ground as sidestand dives into tar under the summer scorching sun. And, unlike us, try to pack light. In fact, back in 1998 this was the first two-wheeler vacation for my pillion and partner in life....and to give a useful lesson I allowed her to bring the extra. Still, it seems Corsica has a bad reputation for theft. Make sure to bring extra locks and, possibly, sleep next to your bike in a campsite. "Wild" camping is forbidden anywhere on the island and it might be unsafe.
When you go to the Tour you must take your bike. The problem will be how to get from CDG to your hotel in the center of Paris. Those bike cases will not fit in your avrage taxi. Solution: Set up a pick up with Blue Vans. They have a lot of luggage room in the back that will easily accomodate bike cases. I called them and made a reservation for pick up. They told me exactly where to wait outside the terminal for pick up. And sure enough the van came and took us to our hotel no problems. They even came to pick us up to take us back to CDG when our trip was over.
I'd go with them again in a heartbeat. The website says they will only deliver you to a certain range of zip codes but they still took us to our hotel just outside the southern boundary of those areas. When I called them they were very helpful and accomodating.
SNCF offers the Carte Sénior to older persons (about 50.00 € ).
Persons aged 60 years and over are eligible for a 25% discount from SNCF (French Railways System). The discount applies only for travel beginning in a "blue" period, when traffic is light, i.e., times other than Friday and Sundays afternoons, Monday mornings and holidays.
Check the SNCF calendars, which are available in France.
Or you can consult the "Calendrier Voyageurs" on French National Railways website at: http://www.sncf.fr .
If you plan to travel frequently in France over the course of a year, the Carte Senior may be for you.
It allows discounts of 25-59% for one year from the date of purchase. This card is ONLY SOLD in FRANCE.
These reductions are not valid for traveling by train in the Paris area.
Discounts are available for people aged over 60 at most museums, galleries, and public theatres. An ID such as a passport or other may be required as a proof of your date of birth
Running from approximately May through September (we luckily caught the last day of the tours), there are boat trips that take off from the Quai du Pavilion Renaissance.
The tour guide is an extremely charming man (his narrative is in French only) and his enthusiasm for his region is contagious.
The trip runs perhaps 40 minutes and is slow-paced and relaxing. A perfect fit for this area of the country.
If you are using the car for 21 or more days (17 or more with Citroen), you should consider the buy-back (lease) program. We always do this and it is wonderful. You get a brand new car of your choice. We use the Peugeot 207 automatic for ourselves and also when we have one of our daughters with us. Four people would need the 307 or 407. There are larger models available. Since parking spaces are small, fuel expensive and roads can be very narrow, I suggest you get the smallest car you can fit all your things into. It's a good idea to keep everything you tote in the trunk out of sight but you usually have all your luggage only from the airport to your accommodations so you can put things in the back seat for that one trip . . . and keep an eye on the car at all times when stopped.
You have full insurance coverage, 24-hour roadside assistance and a new car. We always pick up and drop off in France so we don't have to pay extra charges but you can get the car nearly anyplace in Europe. Drop-off charges can be very high so consider picking up at a location in France near where you are going. For example, we pick up in Nice when going to Italy and pick up in Strasbourg when visiting Germany.
We have used Auto France the last few times but AutoEurope.com and Kemwel.com also have the Open Europe Lease Program with Peugeot.
Renault has a similar program but we haven't used them. I have heard from others that it works the same way and is equally satisfactory. I can highly recommend the Peugeot program because we've used it so many times and love it. I've added as many of our Peugeots as I can find. Taking pictures of cars is a bit unusual for me so there aren't too many.
If you live in the US, you can call 1 (800) 572-9655 toll free for an estimate. If you live elsewhere, you can visit the autofrance web site I gave above and get a phone number or e-mail them.
There are numerous "deals" passed by one generation of travelers to other. The worst deals currently are all kinds of Eurail (for overseas visitors) and Interrail (for European residents). These were never a bargain but were "decent" to consider 10-20 years ago. These days both became a tourist trap. In France many small paces of great interest are difficult to visit in a single day. A pass with only few days of validity will be "consumed" up too quickly.
The tickets I am referring to need to be bought outside of France in any country which can issue international "CIV/TCV" tickets - most European countries can. What "TCV" (do not confuse it with TGV trains!) means is explained on my home page. You see a picture of a typical (unrelated) CIV/TCV ticket.
My suggestion to see most of the France would be a simple roun-trip TCV ticket similar to this:
To Toulouse: Kehl(GR) -> St.Amour/Dijon -> Nimes ->Toulouse Matabiau, TCV tariff code 07914, 1054 km or 89.60 Euro
From Toulouse: Toulouse Matabiau -> Cahors -> Paris -> Kehl(GR), TCV Tariff code 07922, 1225 km or 100 Euro
The French international tariff is very degressive: the longer is the route, the less is the Euro/km rate. For these tickets the "base" price would be 100 + 89.60 = 189.60 Euro. Using a special "Découverte Séjour" 25% discount for the round-trip the price drops to 142.2 Euro
The rule of "Découverte Séjour" is simple:
- over 200 km
- the traveler has to stay in France at least a weekend
- the traveler cannot enter France on weekend between 3 PM and 8 PM. or Monday between 5 AM and 10 AM
Once entered France the traveler has 2 month to complete his travel. There is no other limit on stops or days the ticket can be used within France. The ticket cannot be used on trains with "global price" or there could be a surcharge. The regular fast trains, IC, EC, express and local trains can be used without surcharge.
The ticket as above costs significantly less than an "pass" and covers many major tourist destinations of France.
My 1995 trip to France coincided with major strikes (big surprise ;-)). . .in fact, that my flight was over half-empty due to cancellations. I wasn't able to rely on train and bus networks as originally planned, so I rented a car upon leaving Paris.
Having the car was a blessing in disguise (although my budget suffered for it), as it allowed me to get to some very off-the-beaten-track places that I might not have reached otherwise.
Traffic and parking weren't an issue, but I did park the car as soon as I entered any metros. I enjoy walking too much to rely on automobiles.
Update: Here's another reason to take a map along. One very cloudy week in a rather remote area, our GPS could not locate a satellite. We fortunately had a GPS on the car and it was fine but we kept our own on just to see how long it would take to find the satellite. The last day of a 7-day stay in the country it finally found a satellite and came to life . . . in exactly the same place we'd been trying it all week. It was a nice clear day!
The GPS is fine but take a decent map. It's not just losing the signal (which happens everyplace including in our home driveway); it is the GPS being programmed incorrectly. I think of the peoples' driveway we ended up in three times last spring in France, and being sent to the wrong address in our own town this past week. There are programming mistakes because all of this is input by humans and humans make typos.
There is the famous case of a couple last winter lost in a blizzard because their GPS was programmed incorrectly and they survived by eating some energy bars they had taken along. The local joke is, "don't forget the energy bars" when someone says they are using their GPS.
We are never sorry to have our map long. It is particularly important when you don't speak the language because way out in the boonies, people may have a second language but it may not be English . . . or Spanish . . . or Italian . . . or German . . . or whatever it is that you speak. With a map, you can all just point and find the right road.
Just a thought.
The autoroute is the French equivalent of the American interstate. We used this series of fast lanes from Lucerne to Paris. The part of the autoroute in the photo is just south of Paris when we started to get stuck in the notorious urban European traffic jam.
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