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Getting There By Road

France - Getting There By Road

France is perhaps one of the easiest of the European countries to get to by road, even for those that live in the UK, getting there by car or even coach is extremely straight forward. From the UK you can take the Eurotunnel from Folkestone in Kent right into Calais. Whatever vehicle you are traveling to France on, be it a car, a mini bus or even a bicycle, you just get on the train and in just 35 minutes you will be on the platform in Calais. The charge for the Eurotunnel will vary depending on the time of year of travel and pre-booking is advisable which can also save you money. There are many roads to get into Paris, and depending on which direction you are coming from will determine which of the major motorways you will use.

If you are travelling from the UK you will be likely to find yourself on the A1 heading into the capital. The A1 is the main road between Paris and Lille and is also the road you would be travelling on if you were to be entering France from Belgium.

The A4 leads between Paris and the eastern areas including Strasbourg, Nancy and Metz. If you were travelling into France from Germany there are many smaller roads from across the border into Strasburg, where you can then join the A4 to continue on to Paris. This is also the road to take for those who are heading towards Disneyland Paris. If you are heading towards Metz, you can also continue on cross the border into Luxembourg.

The A6 is the route you would take between Italy and France and is the most direct route for those heading towards the French Alps and to Lyon. This stretch of road is well known for traffic jams around Lyon as many holiday makers head towards the French Riviera, so much so it was actually considered to be the worst road for heavy traffic in the whole of the country.

The A10 heads in a south-westerly direction towards Spain, the Pyrenees and Bordeaux. The road is 549 Km long and is largely a toll road. There is only one stretch of the A10 that is free to motorists and that is between exits 20 and 22.

The A13 is the route you would take to Normandy and the Northwest areas of France. It was opened in 1946 and as such is Frances oldest motorway. It is mainly a toll road, but the section located in the Ile-de-France region can be travelled on free of charge. The A41 can be taken if coming into France via Switzerland. It passes through the French Alps and is a very popular road with holiday makers heading to the mountains for snow sport based holidays.

From countries other than the UK and the UK itself, there are buses that can take you to Paris. During the 1990s the French Government devised a scheme that restricted long haul buses from entering the city centre. If you have chosen to travel by bus, which is one of the most popular ways to get into the capital then you will have to disembark at a bus station that is around 35 minutes away from Paris on the Metro. The long haul buses have toileting facilities and have regular stops for refreshments. The largest bus operator is Eurolines France and the arrival and departure point is the line 3 terminus in the suburb of Bagnolet, to the east of Paris.

Border controls are in force when heading in or out of France. EU citizens may need to show official photo identification when passing through, this can include a driving licence, an ID card or a passport. For those from countries who are a part of the Schengen Agreement this may not be necessary. The Schengen Agreement permits free movement between all the countries who have signed the agreement. The UK and Ireland declined to join and so a passport will always be necessary for those traveling between these two countries and the rest of the EU. For non EU citizens a passport is necessary at all times. This should be carried safely with you and produced whenever it is required. As a general rule, always have valid identification on hand so it can be produced to the authorities when asked for no matter which country you are traveling to or from.

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