France

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Overview Outside 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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Popular routes

Nice Paris 05:39 $34
Avignon Paris 02:41 $43
Paris Lyon 01:56 $43
Aeroport C De Gaulle Nice 06:35 $126
Paris Marseille 03:05 $43
Nice Avignon 02:54 $34
Nice Lyon 04:27 $52
Bordeaux Paris 02:04 $95
Nice Marseille 02:32 $40
Aeroport C De Gaulle Avignon 03:09 $69
Lyon Aeroport C De Gaulle 02:01 $52
Toulouse Paris 05:29 $26
Bordeaux Nice 08:50 $34
Montpellier Paris 03:21 $43
Aeroport C De Gaulle Marseille 03:45 $69
Monaco Paris 06:08 $118
Avignon Lyon 01:02 $26
Nice Toulouse 06:43 $34
Avignon Marseille 00:29 $25
Montpellier Nice 04:26 $34
Aeroport C De Gaulle Bordeaux 04:16 $64
Lyon Marseille 01:38 $34
Dijon Paris 01:31 $26
Nice Monaco 00:14 $15
Avignon Bordeaux 05:33 $83
France

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.

Cityscape

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.

Landscape

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.

Take Home

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.

New Perspective

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.

Benefits

Rail Pass benefits in France

City Cards
French Riviera Pass
Offer: Discover Nice and the Côte d’Azur with a single card! Show your Pass at the Tourist Information Centre to get 10% discount on the French Riviera Pass.
This discount is available at one of the three welcome desks of Nice Tourism Board: outside the central train station (gare Thiers), on Promenade des Anglais nr. 5, and in the central city gardens next to Massena square.
Info: For more information, please visit www.frenchrivierapass.com. If you have any questions, feel free to call ++33(0) 4 92 14 46 14, or send an email to info@otcnice.com.
Lyon City Card
Offer: Explore the city of Lyon for less thanks to your Pass. Show your Pass at the Tourist Information Centre to get 20% off one Lyon City Card, and a 50% discount off a second Lyon City Card.
Info: This offer is only available at the Tourist Information Centre at Bellecour Square, 69002, Lyon (Metro A/D stop Bellecour), which is open every day from 09:00 to 18:00, except 1st January and 25th December. For more information, please visit www.lyoncitycard.com, call +33 472 776 969, or send an e-mail to info@lyon-france.com.
Please note: The discount only applies to adult cards and it cannot be used with the Rhonexpress City Card.
Marseille City Card
Offer: Explore the city of Marseille for less thanks to your Pass. Show your Pass at the Tourist Office and Convention Bureau (11 La Canebière 13001 Marseille) to get a 15 % discount on the Marseille City Pass (1, 2 and 3 days).
Info: For more information, please visit www.marseille-tourisme.com.
Nantes City Card
Offer: Explore the city of Nantes for less thanks to your Pass. Show your Pass at the Tourist Information Centre to get 50 % discount on the Nantes City Pass Adult 24h.
Info: Nantes Tourisme desk 9 rue des Etats (front of the Castle of Brittany), 44000 Nantes. For more information, please visit http://www.nantes-tourisme.com/en/visit/nantes-pass, or call +33 272 640 479 (from abroad), 0892 464 044 (0,35€/min from France), or send emails to info@nantes-tourisme.com

Attractions & Tours
Disneyland® Paris (Eurail only)
Offer: Eurail Pass holders get an exclusive 20-euro discount on pre-booked entrance tickets via https://www.city-discovery.com/lp/disneyland.
THALYS Related Benefits
Offer: Pass holders with a Thalys train reservation can enjoy discounts on museums, exhibitions, car rentals and hotels in France.
Info: For more information, please visit https://www.thalys.com/nl/en/destinations/partner-events

Ferries
Irish Ferries
Offer: If you’re planning on travelling between Ireland and France by boat, you benefit from a 30% discount with Irish Ferries on the following routes:
arrow Cherbourg-Rosslare (February to December)
arrow Roscoff-Rosslare (May to September)
Info: To make a reservation go to www.irishferries.com. For help or assistance, please use the following telephone numbers: Ireland +353 (0)818 300 400, France +33 (0)233 234 444, +33 (0)170 720 326 (in French).
Please note: Sailings do not operate every day, and a reservation is compulsory.
Stena Line
Offer: Travel by boat between Great Britain and France, Ireland or the Netherlands for less with discounted passage on Stena Line. Pass holders benefit up to 30% discount on foot passenger fares on the following routes:
arrow Cherbourg - Rosslare
Info: Discounted tickets can be booked by phone or purchased at the port on presentation of the Rail Pass. Phone UK +44 (0)8445 762 762, Ireland: +353 (0)1907 5388. For more information go to www.stenaline.com. Offer code EURAIL.

Accommodation
Citadines Apart’hotels
Offer: Get a 10% discount on the Best Flexible Rates at Citadines Apart’hotels. Enjoy amazing guest facilities and amenities at central locations in Paris, Lyon, Cannes, and more famous French cities.
Info: Offer only available on www.citadines.com using the promo code EURAIL.

Transportation
SNCF Bus
Offer: Upon presentation of your Pass, you can enjoy free public transport on the following SNCF bus routes:
arrow Digne - St Auban
arrow Digne - Veynes
arrow Canfranc (Spain) – Oloron
Thello international night and day trains between France and Italy
Offer: If your Pass is valid in France and/or Italy, you can enjoy a 25% discount on adult fares on the following day/night trains between France and Italy.
arrow Marseille-Toulon-Les Arcs-St. Raphael-Cannes-Antibes-Nice-Monaco-Menton-Vintimille-San Remo-Imperia-Diano Marina-Alassio-Albenga-Finale Ligure-Savona-Genova-Voghera-Pavia-Milan
arrow Paris-Dijon-Milan-Brescia-Verona-Vicenza-Padova-Venice
Info: Bookings can be made via www.thello.com and www.trenitalia.com. Alternatively, make a booking in France at the Thello self-service ticket machines and at Thello Boutiques at Paris Gare de Lyon and Nice Ville. In Italy, bookings can be made at Trenitalia ticket windows and self-service ticket machines. In other countries, you can make a booking at any of the points of sales listed on http://www.trenitalia.com/tcom-en/Purchase/Abroad/Find-a-TRENITALIA-agency-close-to-you
Please note: The discounted fare is subject to availability. Non-exchangeable fares can sometimes be cheaper than Pass holder fares. Pass holder fares cannot be purchased on board.

Lounges
The THALYS Lounge & More at Paris-Nord
Offer: 1st class Pass holders with a valid THALYS reservation have free access to THALYS Lounge at Paris-Nord stations (22 Rue de Dunkerque 75010 Paris).
Info: Open Mondays to Fridays from 6 am to 10 pm, Saturdays from 6 am to 8:30 pm, and Sundays from 7 am to 10 pm.

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Airports in France

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Customer reviews

  • "Locating Train was difficult"    
    I had some trouble finding the track at Gare de Lyon in Paris. Also I had trouble finding my coach at the Lyon Airport train going to Paris.  
  • "Evertything worked"    
    I think it was a good idea to book the tickets in advance - the system at the train stations can be confusing. We had the print at the station option, and managed to make it work.  
  • "Comfortable train ride"    
    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"    
    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.