France

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France quick facts

  • Population: 65 million

  • Language: French

  • Currency: Euro (EUR)

  • Dialing code: +33

Trains in France

Logo of French railway SNCF

Get information about France’s rail network, various train types and reservation requirements.
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Interrail passes for France

Interrail France Pass

The Interrail France Pass let's you travel comfortably to all highlights of France, like Paris, the French Riviera or the Loire Valley.

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Interrail Global Pass from € 208

The Interrail Global Pass is the flexible and budget-friendly way to get around up to 30 countries in Europe. Travel by train from one cool destination to the next. One day you're on a pub crawl through Amsterdam and the next you're white-water rafting in Interlaken, Switzerland.

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Places to visit

Château de Chambord, Loire Valley
Château de Chambord, Loire Valley

Grandiose palaces and enchanting castles

Just a stone’s throw away from Paris is Versailles, a place where you’ll be rewarded by the exquisitely decorated Palace of Versailles. It was once home to the French monarchy until the start of the French Revolution. Also, be sure to use your Interrail France Pass to get you to a real French château and if the wow-factor is important, Château de Chambord, will certainly impress. Located in the Loire Valley, the French Renaissance architecture blends both French and Italian style. This is the kind of castle that fairytales are woven from.

The Palace of Versailles is a 15-minute walk from the Versailles Chantiers train station. To reach Chateau du Chambord get off at Blois train station and then take the shuttle bus.

Mt Saint Michel
Mt Saint Michel

Island gem and turquoise riviera

A visit to Normandy’s north-west coast wouldn’t be the same without a day at Mont St Michel – a tiny island just 1 kilometre off the French coast. Give your calf muscles a run for their money, as you wander around the steep, quaint town atop this island. Down south, find gorgeous beaches dotted along the French Riviera and an influx of French heading that way at the height of summer. Try Nice, St Tropez or Montpellier and feel like you’re living the high life! And don’t forget a day at the tiny municipality of Monaco – aka millionaires’ fairground!

Take the train to Rennes, where you can pick up a bus to Mont St Michel.

Coast near Biarritz
Coast near Biarritz

Let the adrenaline flow

The Alps are not only an adventurer’s dream in winter, but in summer Europe’s great mountain range becomes a playground of cool, outdoor activities, including paragliding, white water rafting, rock climbing and mountain biking. Biarritz, situated in the French Basque Country, is Europe’s surf capital. There you can catch yourself some decent waves, whilst checking out the gathering of attractive surfer dudes and board babes. If you find man-made adrenaline-pumping a thrill, then the rollercoasters and water rides, at French theme park, Parc Astérix will have you hanging onto your seat.

From Biarritz’s main train station take bus number 2 to the beachfront. There is a daily shuttle bus running from the Louvre to Parc Astérix.

Eiffel Tower in Paris
Eiffel Tower in Paris

Paris: Everything and more

Every cliché ever uttered about Paris is true and that’s precisely why you should visit the French capital. Make sure you see all the tourist hotspots and by night fit in an ambience-absorbing walk along the Seine, with the Eiffel Tower gracefully twinkling in the background. Then, hit Rue de Lappe, in the heart of Bastille and enjoy its trendy offering of bars and clubs. As European cities go, Paris is one that absolutely should not be missed. Even if you’re not there for love, you’ll certainly get whisked along by the romantic breeze!

Rue de Lappe is a few minutes by foot from the Bastille Metro Station.

Terrace in Lyon
Terrace in Lyon

Techno, champagne and fine cuisine

Check out a popular place with party revellers, Spartacus club in Aix-en-Provence and be treated to your favourite techno and house DJs. For a great choice of French and international restaurants visit the buzzing student town of Lyon with more restaurants per square metre, than possibly any other city. Prices are quite reasonable too. A trip to France isn’t complete without experiencing the origin of their most important products: wine and champagne. Visit Épernay, 130 km by train from Paris and home to many world-renowned champagnes. Check out the local vineyards surrounding the town and get sloshed on a bubbly tasting tour.

Épernay is a 20-45 minute train journey from Reims.

Events

Events in France | Official poster of Festival HIP Opsession

HIP Opsession

March 1 - March 6, 2018

HIP Opsession is one of the major European festivals in Nantes entirely dedicated to the hip hop culture through all its disciplines: music, dance and visual arts. During two weeks, almost 50 events are organized in 20 venues: concerts, dance shows, battles, exhibitions, conferences, projections… The Battle Opsession is one of the most popular battles in the world. Hip Opsession festival is a powerful vector for social and cultural boundaries,
 

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Events in France | Official poster of Séquence Danse Paris

Séquence Danse Paris

March 13 - April 14, 2018

Produced by CENTQUATRE-PARIS, Séquence Danse Paris Festival focuses on contemporary dance with artists in residency who bring the discipline to the fore. This Festival aims to promote and help the development of creations in collaboration with cultural venues. Each spring since its first edition in 2012, the Festival presents a rich and challenging programme gathering well-known as well as emerging choreographers.

 

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Events in France | Official poster of Festival Spring

Festival Spring

March 15 - April 18, 2018

SPRING is an annual contemporary circus festival that takes place throughout Normandie. More than 60 venues present circus shows in partnership with the new Platform 2 Circus Centers in Normandy : La Brèche in Cherbourg and Cirque Théâtre dElbeuf, during the month of March. The companies are international and represent the most advanced and high levels of creativity in the field of circus art. In 2017, more tan 100 performances will take place in more than 60 venues.

 

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Events in France | Official poster of Festival Détours de Babel

Festival Détours de Babel

March 16 - April 8, 2018

« Les Détours de Babel » takes place throughout Grenoble and the Isere counties, working through a network of partners sites, but also investing public spaces (museums, heritage and natural sites, suburbs, rural areas…). Concerts, shows, performances, dancing music, workshops and debates diversify the programme and gather professionals, amateurs and the population at large, around contemporary music, the great oral traditions of the jazz and the world music.

 

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Events in France | Official poster of Le Grand Bain

Le Grand Bain

March 21 - April 9, 2018

Le Grand Bain in Roubaix, carried out by the Centre for Choreographic Development Le Gymnase, is thought as an immersion into the choreographic landscape. The idea is to embrace the spectrum of contemporary dance, and offer performances going from experimental forms to more accessible ones, from solos to group pieces, from ‘pure’ to hybrid forms, from emerging to more experienced choreographers.

 

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