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Travelling in France
Nestled in the heart of Europe, France is an ideal point of departure for discovering other cultures and horizons during the holidays or even just for a weekend. It is also very easy to travel within France because of the quality and diversity of transport available.
The cheapest flights are the low-cost ones that depart from most French airports. Here are some links to sites that compare flights:
The French rail system works very well and links together the whole territory through TGV network (high speed trains) which serve the biggest towns and cities.
To benefit from cheaper prices, you have the choice between:
- TGV Prem's tickets (FR) that give you very advantageous prices provided you reserve a long time in advance. Be careful, as these tickets are non-refundable.
- The 18-27 card (FR) for travellers aged between 12 and 27 years inclusive: valid for one year for a cost of only 50 euros, this card offers discounts of between 25% and 60% when you buy tickets 3 months in advance (you can buy your card up until your twenty-sixth birthday and use it for one year afterwards).
The European rail system also allows you to reach many cities by train throughout the continent.
The Interail pass is for travellers who have lived in Europe for at least six months before their journey.
Ideal form of transport for tight budgets, the bus allows you to travel cheaply, particularly in Europe.
Eurolines, the European transport companies network, links over 600 destinations in France and Europe. There is an unlimited pass for 50 major European cities, valid for between fifteen and thirty days.
You can rent a car in France as long as you are not a minor and have a valid driver's license. Most car rental agencies require that the driver be of a minimum age (21, 23 or 25 years) and have sufficient driving experience.
The speed limits on French roads are as follows:
- 50 km/h in populated areas (70 km/h on the peripheral boulevard of Paris)
- 90 km/h on national roads in unpopulated areas
- 130 km/h on highways (110 km/h in case of rain)
French highways all have tollbooths that take cash or credit cards: calculate the cost of your journey, including the tollbooths.
International students can find out more about the specificities of driving in France with a non-European driver's license by checking out the website of the préfecture (in French).
Car-sharing is another relatively common practice in France and a great way to save money (especially when you decide to travel at the last minute). Make sure you read the comments on the drivers, which will help you to make the best choice.
Visit the websites of each campus for more information on public transport: