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OverviewOutside the French capital lively cities, from Marseille to Mulhouse, ooze culture like a ripe brie while 22 regions dish up unique local food, wine and joie de vivre. Take along your phrase book and uncover France beyond the clichés.
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|Nice||Paris Cdg Airport||06:36||HK$673|
|Paris Cdg Airport||Avignon||03:09||HK$359|
|Paris Cdg Airport||Lyon||01:59||HK$224|
|Paris Cdg Airport||Marseille||03:45||HK$359|
|Bordeaux||Paris Cdg Airport||04:10||HK$332|
The national railway company of France is known as the SNCF (for Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français). France has over 32,000 km of railway network. Train tickets for trains operating in France can be booked in advance. International trains connect France with neighbouring countries such as England and Italy. Book train tickets to visit main cities of France by train. French cities including Paris, Nice and Lyon are all served by trains.
Take in Paris’ inside-out Pompidou Centre and skyscraping Eiffel Tower before heading the South to Renaissance Lyon and Spanish-influenced Toulouse. France’s SNCF train network takes you the West to neo-classical Bordeaux, East to canal-crossed Strasbourg and North to Rouen’s inspiring Gothic cathedral.
Travel by train through France’s lush Provence region, chateau-hop in the Loire Valley or touch prehistoric stones in wind-swept Brittany. Run with wild horses on the Camargue plateau or go blueberry-picking in the Alps. Paraglide in the Pyrenees, canoe along Ardèche’s river or swim in Corsica’s clear waters.
Buy olive oil in Provence, foie gras in Dordogne and blue-veined Roquefort cheese. Bag designer labels in Paris, Saint-Tropez and Cannes, bargains at Lille’s outlets, handmade gloves in Millau or Limoges porcelain. Stock up on Loire, Burgundy and Bordeaux wines, and pear cider from Normandy.
Eat & Drink
Take the train around France to sample cassoulet (pork and bean stew) in the southwest, Normandy’s galettes (savoury pancakes), and Marseille’s bouillabaisse (fish soup), washed down with anise-flavoured Pastis or good-value Languedoc vintages.
Hang out at contemporary art venues like Abattoires in Toulouse or Paris’ Palais de Tokyo, or swoop along the Millau viaduct, Norman Foster’s breathtaking bridge.
Rail Pass benefits in France
Private and Scenic Trains
- Passholder fares to travel on board the Eurostar which links Paris to Lille, Ashford and London. For Eurail pass holders with a valid rail pass including France, Eurostar offers a discount on First and Second Class tickets. The pass holder discount is also available with a Second Class Youth rail pass.
- Discounted fare to travel on board Thello International trains between France and Italy. Discounted fares applied if pass is valid in France and/or Italy. Routes: Marseille-Toulon-Les Arcs St Raphael-Cannes-Antibes-Nice-Monaco-Ventimiglia-San Remo-Imperia-Diano- Marina-Alassio-Albenga-Finale Ligure-Savona-Genova-Voghera-Pavia-Milano. Paris-Dijon-Milano-Brescia-Verona-Vicenza-Padova-Venice
Ferries and Cruises
30% reduction on the standard foot passenger fares on ferry crossings from Cherbourg to Rosslare (Ireland) (February to December) and Roscoff to Rosslare (Ireland) (May to September) operated by Irish Ferries. Advance booking is recommended and reservations required. No daily sailings.
- Free Travel from Digne – St Auban/Veynes
- Free Travel from Oloron – Canfranc (Spain)
- If you have a Global Pass, you only need a seat reservation to board the international IC bus. Otherwise if you have a rail pass which is not valid in a country where the bus operates, you will need a reservation and a ticket.
Museums and Attractions
Get a free gift in the Rock Shop for purchases over € 25. Hard Rock Cafe Nice, 5 Promenade des Anglais and Paris, 14 Boulevard Montmartre.
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Nearby and easily reachable by train
"Comfortable train ride"Nurhuda Binte j. 25/11/2013
It was the first time taking Thalys from Amsterdam to Paris and it was a nice experience. It was comfortable. Since we booked our tickets in advanced, it was value for money and we were allocated to seats that we wanted.
"Great first experience"Efendy e. 28/05/2013
My partner and I enjoyed both trip from and to Paris. The seats were comfortable, it was 1st class anyway. The only trouble was that we had to carry our heavy luggage (after doing quite some shopping in Paris) to the 2nd floor (where our seats are located). We assumed it wasn't wise to leave it on the 1st floor considering the increasing rate of crime in Europe at this time. Over all the experience was great. Nice view and we enjoyed the scenery on the way to Paris. It rained almost the whole trip to Nice so the return trip made up to it. In my opinion, the choice at the bar should have more variety. And I couldn't ask for hot water even though I'm more than willing to pay. Instead I was offered to buy a bottle of mineral water, pour it into my instant noodle cup and the attendant heat it up in the microwave, which is not exactly hot enough.