There are many ways to get around France on a daily basis. By public transport, by bike or even by car, you have the choice for your everyday journeys. As a student, you can often subscribe at a reduced price.
USE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
In most French cities, public transport is generally provided by bus and tram. The networks are generally dense in the city center and easy to use. Do not hesitate to ask other students about timetables or to find a stop. Frequently, transportation companies have an office on campus that you can subscribe to during the back-to-school period.
With its 14 lines, the Paris metro is one of the most developed in the world. It is open until 1 a.m. on weekdays and until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. A night bus network then takes over. Apart from Paris, five French cities have one or more metro lines: Marseille, Lille, Lyon, Rennes and Toulouse. Often, automatic terminals in metro stations and tram stops allow you to buy tickets or to subscribe.
Tips for using public transport
Students and/or those under 26 benefit from preferential rates for public transport subscriptions. To benefit from it, it is generally sufficient to present your student card or identity card when taking out your subscription.
In Paris and Ile-de-France
The Imagine’R card : reserved for students from the Ile-de-France region, this special pass allows unlimited travel throughout the Ile-de-France for less than 350 euros per year.
The youth ticket : reserved for people under 26 and valid for 24 hours on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday, it allows you to move freely in a limited area for only 4 euros.
USE SELF-SERVICE TWO-WHEELERS
Vélib’ in Paris, Vélov’ in Lyon or Vélo Bleu in Nice, most major French cities have installed a self-service bicycle rental system. An annual subscription – between 15 and 30 euros on average – is the easiest way to use it.
In Paris, Neuilly-sur-Seine and Levallois, residents also have the option of using a self-service electric scooter . No subscription, the race is billed by the minute. No key either, no badge, everything is in your Smartphone.
In France, taxis are safe. Feel free to use them for your travels.
The rates charged are strictly regulated by law and are rather high compared to international averages. Crossing Paris costs around 30 euros. All taxis must have a meter that measures the fare. Otherwise, they are fake taxis, absolutely avoid them.
Tips for getting around by taxi
Shared taxi : developed by the G7 taxi company to face competition from VTC (passenger vehicle with driver), this service brings together users who go to the same place . The price of the race is specified in advance and remains fixed: whatever the final number of people in the taxi, you pay the advertised price.
VTC : many mobile applications allow you to travel by VTC. They offer cheaper fares than taxis. On the other hand, applications that allow individuals to offer races with their personal car are illegal and prohibited in France.
USING YOUR CAR IN FRANCE
In some cities, it may be useful to have a car to get around every day.
A few details to know if you make this choice: in France, you drive on the right with the steering wheel on the left, seat belts are compulsory, the use of mobile phones while driving is prohibited.
For safety reasons, it is compulsory to have a reflective safety vest, a warning triangle and two breathalyzers available in the vehicle. Moreover , for everyone’s safety, adopt this motto: the one who drives is the one who does not drink .
Holder of a driving license obtained in Europe or an international license if you are not European, you can drive in France. You can also use your personal vehicle in France. However, if you stay in France for more than six months, you will need to apply for an international permit and have your vehicle inspected .
Parking in the city can sometimes be complicated. If you plan to use a car daily, consider requesting a parking space with your accommodation . If you need to park on the street, residents-only subscriptions allow you to do so at a lower cost.
Tips for getting around by car if you don’t have one
Self-service cars : more than 80 French cities offer car-sharing services via the Citiz network or like Auto Lib’ in Paris. They allow you to rent a vehicle for a very short period, simply by being a subscriber.
Rental between individuals : Drivy , Ouicar or Koolicar connect individuals who need a vehicle and others who rent theirs. These rentals have fewer constraints than rental agencies, especially those related to foreign permits.