Hotels in France, accommodation in France
This section is divided into two subsections: Lodging and Transportation. Each of them will provide the information necessary for you to plan where to stay and how to move on your vacations.
Hotels: a hotel is, by far, the most comfortable place to stay, no matter if you are on a pleasure trip or on a business trip. In both cases, nobody wants to waste the little time available doing things like cooking, washing, or even tidying his or her room. Staying at a hotel, you will be off domestic duty so that you can relax and enjoy your vacations. Besides, a hotel is also the most convenient option if you are planning to travel around several cities, because if you rented a room in a certain city for a certain number of days, then you would not be free to travel wherever you want. In France, hotels are classified into six categories: no-star, 1 star, 2 stars, 3 stars, 4 stars and 4 stars deluxe. France is full of independent hotels and also chains of hotels. Despite that, you should reserve your hotel room in advance of your arrival.
Tourist accommodations: lodging, food and services. For further information, please contact the corresponding local information bureau.
Camping sites: wanting to save money or, perhaps, just wanting some adventure, many tourists (mostly Europeans) decide to go camping. There are over 9,000 camping sites in France, between no-star and 4 stars. You can get the guide to French camping sites – which will cost you 3 euros – in kiosks, bookstores or even by mail. Free camping is not allowed unless the landowner permits it. Camping on the beach or near the route is strictly prohibited.
Furnished houses: chalets with furniture already in it. Unlike tourist accommodations, neither food nor cleaning service are included.
Gites (Guesthouses): private houses where visitors may stay (daily or weekly) and have meals (often breakfast and dinner). This option will let you know the French way of life in depth.
Concerning transportation, France has a wide variety of means of travel. When on vacation, it is always advisable to rent a car, since a car gives you the freedom to go wherever you want quickly.
Car hire: it is the most convenient option. Given that French cities are relatively near one another, a car will make it possible to go from one place to another without the necessity of getting tickets all the time or packing and unpacking constantly. Moreover, if you do not wish to stay longer in a particular city, all you have to do is get in the car and drive your way out of it. It is not difficult to hire a car in France, as there are hundreds of national and international car-hire agencies. There are certain traffic rules that you must know to avoid fines: for instance, street parking is usually for a fee. To hire a car, you must fulfill two requirements: being over 20 and having had your driver’s license for over a year.
Train: there are three types of train: HST (High Speed Trains), Corail trains and international trains. Corail trains are those traditional French trains which run around France. International trains connect France and the neighboring countries. The three of them has two classes, and prices vary accordingly.
Plane: Air France, the national airline, connects Paris and the other cities, and also the provinces among themselves.
Metro: present in many French cities, it is a quick and cheap means of travel. Prices vary according to the number of tickets you get, and there are free passes at certain times of the day. Do not confuse the metro with the RER (Red Express Regional), whose timetables are identical. The RER has five different lines (A, B, C, D and E) and it is found only in Paris and l’ile de France. Whenever you want to leave Paris, get informed about variations of price.
Bus: ordinary buses run between 5.30 a.m. and 8.30 p.m. However, there are night buses, too, which run from the center of Paris to its outskirts.
Bicycle and roller skates: France is always encouraging the use of bicycles and, occasionally, the use of roller skates. That is why it grants certain comforts to their users, like space dedicated paths.
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