Just looking for some advice on travelling from Bordeaux to Montpellier and maybe on to Nice in the month of November. I haven't travelled by train in France before, and I'm wondering if it's easy to book tickets on spec or whether it needs to be done in advance. My travel dates aren't definite and a lot of the journey will be on the spur of the moment.
Is train travel the best means of getting around in France or are buses a good option? And how easy is it to stop in places like Aix-en_Provence for example?
Thanks so much for your help
Welcome to France Samsara !
You will find many answer on
Train is a good option
except for Aix-en_Provence
where bus are numerous
tgv need advance booking. ordinary trains can be booked at the station before travelling.
there are special offers for tgv with early bookings
ryanair have some cheap internal flights, but also need to be booked online in advance
Book tickets direct from the voyages-sncf website. Book as early as possible for TGV tickets because the prices go up as the trains book out.
There are lots of local bus services but finding the timetables can be something of a challenge. If you want to get to somewhere and can't work out how to, you might be best off e-mailing the tourist office for the area and asking them, they'll usually be able to help.
When marcfreund says 'never forget to get a stamp' he means it - you have to validate the ticket yourself BEFORE you get on the train by poking the end of the ticket into the yellow validation machines. They stamp the date on the ticket (I think this is so you can't claim any sort of refund or exchange on the ticket). I've forgotten to do this a couple of times, and got out of it by playing the idiot foreign tourist card, but it didn't make the ticket inspectors very happy.
[ Edit: Edited on 30-Aug-2013, at 08:17 by magykal1 ]
I had a Eurail pass that allowed me to travel 10 times in the period of time that I was travelling in through France and Italy. Most of the time I turned up on the day and jumped on when I was ready to travel to a new destination. When I arrived in a new city, I would often jump on one of the ticket machines and check departing times for where I wanted to go next so I wouldn't be hanging out at the train station all day. But yes, remember to validate your ticket before you hop on
Thanks everyone for your help!