Wine and cheese
Your visit to France will take you to some extraordinary places. Strolling along the Seine in Paris, soaking in the sun in Marseille, exploring the art of Lyon, the architecture in Versailles and the sandy beaches in Nice. Your pleasure, passion and adventure are ready to begin in France. Your Eurail pass gives you the keys to the kingdom. All you have to do is step inside.
Paris - a cultural center of the universe
The ‘city of lights’ is known for its art, architecture, fashion and cuisine. For centuries, the world standards for culture, cooking and couture have been led by the Parisians. And they wouldn’t have it any other way. The list of places to visit is almost endless: the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysée. Paris must be seen to be believed. View more things to do in Paris.
The Eiffel Tower is an 8-minute walk from train station Champ de Mars-Tour Eiffel.
History made real in Lyon
The centuries-old city of Lyon is a delight for the senses. Feast your eyes on the glorious landscapes, treat your taste buds to the sumptuous Beaujolais wines, breathe in the air as you sail along the rivers Rhone and Saône, and listen to the lessons of history in the centuries-old architecture, monuments and galleries. With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder that Lyon has been honored as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Station Lyon-St. Paul is in the center of the town, in walking distance of museums, galleries and monuments.
Regal rewards in Versailles
Come for the palace, stay for the passion. The Château of Versailles was once home to King Louis XVI and his extravagant wife Marie-Antoinette. Don’t miss the Hall of Mirrors and Marie-Antoinette’s elaborate gardens. In Versailles, you can stroll through the secret pedestrian pathways and discover craftsmen of all kinds. Artistry and function, architecture and beauty. 16th century style, and 21st century appeal.
It’s a 10-minute walk to the Château of Versailles from station Versailles-Rive Gauche.
Soul-quenching sun in the French Riviera
Stroll through the open markets and sip the local Bellet wine, explore the museums that fill the city, stretch out on your own piece of white sandy beach, or embark on a scuba-diving adventure, and you’ll know that Nice, and the rest of the French Riviera (Côte d’Azur), is like heaven on earth. The people are as warm and breezy as the weather, and enjoyment is in high demand.
Station Nice-Ville sets you off in the center of town, at the heart of all the Riviera’s activities.
Docking at the Port of the Moon
The port city of Bordeaux offers natural and man-made wonders of all kinds. Known, of course, as one of the finest wine regions in all the world, you can spend your entire visit sipping vino. But set down your glass, and sample the sights and sounds of the city. With nearly 350 registered national monuments, the architecture of Bordeaux has remained virtually unchanged since the 18th century, except for a polish and shine.
Bordeaux train station Gare de Bordeaux-St. Jean is centrally located in the city.
Read about traveling around France by train.
When to go
The best moments to use your Eurail France Pass are spring and the beginning of autumn, especially in the South and Southwest of France. July and August are the most crowded months.
Paris Music Festival
- August 22-26, 2013
During the Music Festival (Fête de la Musique), the city of lights becomes the city of sound. Everywhere you look – in every park, on every street corner, in all public amphitheaters and venues – the musicians of Paris (and the rest of the world) come alive. The festival is free, and it’s everywhere. Don’t miss it!
Use the capital’s extended public transport network to visit the festival sites.
Tour de France
- June 29 - July 21, 2013
Founded in 1903, the Tour de France is the most famous cycling event in the world. 198 riders from 22 teams test their strength, stamina, will and passion as they ride through mountains, valleys, and all sorts of terrain for a shot at immortality. The 2012 tour covers almost 2,157 miles (3,471 km) of France and Italy, so there are lots of opportunities to get a glimpse.
Most French cities the tour passes can be reached by train. The best thing to do is check this year’s route and decide where you want to join the crowds.
- July 14-15, 2013
The national celebration (La Fête Nationale) of the French Revolution and France’s eventual independence begins in the evening of the 14th. Just before nightfall, an impressive military parade along the Champs-Elysées gets the festivities started. That’s followed by an elaborate dance party and a spectacular fireworks show. Celebrations continue on through the 15th.
The Champs-Elysées can easily be reached by metro.
- July 19 - August 18, 2013
The Paris Plage is a man-made beach along the river Seine, and this year, along the Bassin de la Villette in north Paris. Music, cafes, games and activities have made this month-long celebration one of the most popular in Paris. Sip tropical cocktails and soak up the sun while it lasts!
The Paris Plage stretches from Pont de Sully to the Louvre. The many locations can be reached by metro.
Cannes Film Festival
- May 15-26, 2013
Known around the world as one of the most prestigious and noteworthy festivals of its kind, the 64th annual Cannes Film Festival will be presided over by Robert de Niro, as the president of the Jury. Filmmakers, actors, directors and cinematographers from around the world will gather to discuss, create, and celebrate their mutual love of film.
Cannes is a 5 hr train ride from Paris.
Monaco Grand Prix
- May 23-26, 2013
One of the highlights of the Grand Prix calendar is Monaco’s street circuit. Get your hands on a ticket, make friends with a boat or apartment owner and be blown away by top views of one of the greatest Grand Prix races. Even if you don’t make it for the annual race, you can still take a leisurely stroll around this famous circuit.
The train brings you directly into the center of Monaco.
Biarritz Surf Festival
- July 11-15, 2013
This popular surf festival, regarded as one of the highlights of the surf season includes competitions and shows. It attracts around 150,000 people each year. It’s as much about riding waves, as it is partying hard.
From Biarritz’s main train station take bus number 2 to the beachfront.
- July 5-26, 2013
A vibrant festival focused mainly on theater and drama.
The area of this festival is a 10-minute walk from the Gare d’Avignon Centre.