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Amoret Apr 20th, 2004 07:48 PM

Best Way to Get Around France
We are planning a honeymoon to France in July and are about to make reservations at three separate places, each in a different part of France. One near Paris, one near Italy, and another near Dijon. We were just wondering what would be the easiest and most cost effective method of transportation to get from one place to another. We have never traveled outside of the country, so this is the most stressful part. We both speak a bit of French, but are not masters of the language by any means.

Any advice would be appreciated!

nytraveler Apr 20th, 2004 07:53 PM

Without knowing exactly where you'll be and what sort of train service is available it's hard to tell. I always recommend driving if at all possible because it gives you so much more freedom to see what you want at your own pace - and removes the hassles of dealing with luggage and trains. Not knowing much French is not really an issue - and for two people renting a car is probably a wash ve trains in terms of cost.

If you give more details on where you'll be maybe someone can provide perspective on trains.

Amoret Apr 20th, 2004 08:05 PM

Thanks for the information. My fiance has the names of the towns and I don't remember which ones they are since we have debated so many different places. We are leaning towards a car, but were just looking for general opinions.

SalB Apr 20th, 2004 08:12 PM

If you are staying 17 days or more, consider leasing a car. That would truly be less expensive than trains.

We leased on our first trip years ago and at the time neither of us spoke much French. We had no trouble at all and have leased ever since. (We've also learned a lot more French!)

Once you get where you're going, you will have more sightseeing choices if you have a car.

We do not get a car in Paris because we don't like to pay for the parking. Fly into Paris, enjoy your stay and then pick up your rental car as you leave town. That way you are free to use the Metro in Paris and will have a car for the rest of the trip. If you pick up the car at one of the airports, there are good RER connections and then you can simply drop the car at the airport when you are ready to leave.

Have a wonderful honeymoon.

Gretchen Apr 21st, 2004 03:31 AM

Probably the TGV services. Take the train to Dijon and rent a car to tour the countryside there. Train to the coast, rent a car. Train back to Paris if that is where your return flight is. Hopefully rather than "near Paris" you are going to be "IN Paris". Please do not rent outside the city planning to go in for the day. Being in the city is just magical and fun. Commuting is not.

isabel Apr 21st, 2004 04:01 AM

I agree with Gretchen except I wouldn't rent the car twice. I'd train to Dijon, rent a car and drive around that area and down to the coast (possibly go through the edge of the Alps - or just visit some small towns in that region - from Dijon to the coast is not far enough to warrant returning the car and then getting another one) and keep the car for day trips in the Cote d'Azure. Then train back to Paris.

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