Skip Navigation

Travelling through France

Travel Forums Europe Travelling through France

1. Posted by mcarmona (Budding Member, 2 posts) 1 Mar '07 15:30

mcarmona has indicated that this thread is about France

Hello. I'm planning a 2 week trip. I plan on starting in Berlin, Germany and eventually ending up in Spain or Portugal. So I will be passing through France. I wasn't going to stop at Paris because I'm saving that for another trip. But I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on where to go that is along the way. I'm getting a Eurail pass so I will be travelling by train. If anyone has any ideas of good cities or towns to stop by in Central France I would greatly appreciate it. I'm interested in mostly anything but am on a low budget. Culture, historical, nightlife, wine tasting, etc. Thank you!

2. Posted by spootnik (Full Member, 62 posts) 1 Mar '07 15:46


Dijon or Lyon should meet your requirements: wine tasting, culture, gastronomy, history, night life....
Lyon is much bigger than Dijon thouh so you might have more activities there.

Hope this helps,


3. Posted by ccsiaix (Budding Member, 15 posts) 1 Mar '07 20:45

I agree for Lyon and Dijon.
I suggest Avignon, Aix en Provence and Marseille, beautiful townw easy to reach by trains.
Welcome to France

4. Posted by james (Travel Guru, 4124 posts) 1 Mar '07 20:53

I also agreee about Lyon and Dijon.

Dijon is less touristy - a lovely town.

5. Posted by mcarmona (Budding Member, 2 posts) 1 Mar '07 22:39

Quoting ccsiaix

I agree for Lyon and Dijon.
I suggest Avignon, Aix en Provence and Marseille, beautiful townw easy to reach by trains.
Welcome to France

Thank you!! oh yes. I also don't speak French. I speak English and Spanish. Will it be difficult travelling around without knowing the language?

[ Edit: Edited on Mar 1, 2007, at 10:40 PM by mcarmona ]

6. Posted by ccsiaix (Budding Member, 15 posts) 2 Mar '07 18:09

English is spoken by most of the frenchs
BUT our command of this language is rather poor...
So you will have to manage with some sstrange situations.
I advice you to get a pre-paid SIM card for your mobile phone
and to have a contact in France to translate you by phone.

The book ' a year in Provence' will teach you a lot about us ....

7. Posted by Juju76 (Budding Member, 34 posts) 3 Mar '07 06:11


Visiting Germany, France, Spain and Portugal by train in 2 weeks is very ambitious.
The national train connections between the main towns are ok but the international train services between Germany France and Spain are not very good.
This is especially true for the trains between France and Spain. I don't know if it is because of the Pyrenees mountains which mark the border or because of the rail spacing which is different in both countries but getting from France to Spain in train takes ages.
There are plenty of things to do and see in each of the countries you mention. By trying to see too much in too little time you may end up sitting in the train for most of your trip.

If you really want to visit Germany and Spain you may consider flying as an alternative. This will also be cheaper if you take a flight on a low cost airline.

The book ' a year in Provence' will teach you a lot about us ....

... In complement to "A year in Provence" I would also recommand "A year in the merde", which is well documented and very funny!

8. Posted by S_Deisler (Respected Member, 266 posts) 3 Mar '07 06:35

It's not what you're asking but I think juju76 might be right, you would end up spending much time on a train and not seeing much. If you don't plan to see Spain you'd probably better take a ryanair flight or something..but if you wanna see spain, here you go:

From central France, will you be heading to Spain crossing the border near Perpignan, or the one near Bilbao?

You only have 1 train from Spain to Portugal, it's a daily night-train called "Lusitania", and it runs between Madrid and Lisboa every night at 22.45. You'd reach Lisboa at 8.15 in the morning, so if you want to see some bits of Spain I suggest you enter the country from the Perpignan border and stop in Barcelona or Girona, or even both, because you won't get to see much on the train to Lisboa.

If you prefere to enter through Bilbao, I suggest you take a day trip to San Sebastián, very nice city.