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 BETS--Putting People on the Right Track Since 1978!
800-441-9413; 800-441-2387; in KS & MO, 877-441-2103

      • Rail Connections from Charles de Gaulle Airport
      • Paris to Italy Trains
      • Paris Day Trips: Versailles; Giverny & Monet's Gardens; Chartres; Reims & Épernay

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France

   

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France Flexipass

This pass provides 3 to 9 days of unlimited rail travel to be used anytime over 1 month on the French national railway system. French trains are among the best in Europe, with service being frequent, punctual and fast. And none are faster than the TGVs that travel up to 200 mph on routes out of Paris to many places, such as Nice, Bordeaux, Strasbourg, Geneva, Brussels, Amsterdam and London. If you're focusing only on France, the France Flexipass is a true bargain when compared to point-to-point tickets; but a direct comparison is difficult because France uses a market-based pricing system for point-to-point rail tickets, where there is a range of fares for any particular route with peak-time trains costing more (sometimes considerably more) than off-peak ones. Further complicating the calculation, many of the cheapest French rail tickets have advance purchase requirements (usually 14 to 30 days). But unless just doing a day trip out of Paris or a few short trips, the France Flexipass will usually be cheaper than any tickets whether bought here or in France. In fact, even if you are taking as few as two long train rides, the France Flexipass may save you money. A striking example is the 5.5 hour train ride from Paris to Nice on the French Riviera; the 3-day 1st-class France Flexipass is actually cheaper than nearly all 2nd-class round-trip rail tickets. And if you can use the third rail day, the deal is even better! Certainly, if you are planning on taking two long-distance train rides or more, or three 2-hour rides or more, buy the France Flexipass. Even if point-to-point tickets are somewhat cheaper than the railpass, the pass allows flexibility, with changes to schedules and routes possible, something that is not possible at all on any of the cheaper French rail tickets.
 
Inexpensive Splurge
As there is on average only about a $15 per day price difference between 1st-class and 2nd-class France Flexipasses, treat yourself to 1st class -- if traveling as a couple, you can reserve two plush seats facing each other across a small table, where each of you will have an aisle and a large picture window to view the scenery. In addition, as you have much more personal space, it is easier to store luggage right at your seat. If traveling in a party of four, you can reserve Club 4 seating, where your seats are also arranged around a table with a large picture window.
 
Seat Reservations
Seat reservations are required on all high-speed TGV trains, on many regular intercity trains and most international trains. On regional and local trains, reservations are not needed. Reservations can be made up to 90 days before the train departure date at a small extra fee for railpass holders. The reservations can be done in Europe right up to the departure time, but should be done as early as possible for popular routes or times as the number of seats for railpass holders is limited and can sell out. If you need to be on a particular train or don't want to waste valuable vacation time standing around French train stations, we recommend making them before you leave for Europe. (Call BETS for seat reservations: for all travelers buying their railpass or point-to-point tickets from us, we do all of the work, getting you the best seats available--all you have to do is show up before the train departs.)

Questions About Rail Travel in France ?
Talk to a Real Person !
Before buying your France Flexipass, talk to one of our rail experts about your French itinerary to make sure you make the most of your precious vacation time and get the right pass for your trip. Our rail consultants have traveled extensively in France.
 
For Info or To Order Your France Flexipass
Just call BETS!
Call 800-441-9413 or 800-441-2387
(in KS & MO, call 877-441-2103)
9am-5pm Mon-Fri (Eastern Time)
 

 

To Order Your France Pass Online, Click Here

 

France Flexipass

This flexipass offers 3 up to 9 rail days within 1 month on the French national rail network.
Validity
(in 1 month)
Adult1
Single Traveler
1st Class
Adult1
Single Traveler
2nd Class
Saver2
2 Adults
1st Class
(Price/Adult)
Saver2
2 Adults
2nd Class
(Price/Adult)
Senior
Ages 60+
1st Class Only

 Youth3
Ages 16-25
2nd Class

3 days
4 days
5 days
6 days
7 days
8 days
9 days
$308
$352
$396
$440
$480
$523
$567
$250
$286
$321
$356
$389
$422
$453
$270
$311
$351
$387
$425
$459
$501
$219
$253
$286
$316
$343
$374
$402
$275
$311
$352
$391
$428
$466
$505
$189
$215
$244
$270
$300
$326
$354
  1. Children under 12: half single adult fare -- under 4: free.
  2. Price is per person based on two or more people traveling together; children 4-11: half Saverpass fare.
  3. Youthpass is also available in 1st class at approx. 25% off corresponding 1st-class single adult traveler rate.

Pass must be validated within 6 months of purchase. Prices are in U.S. dollars, and are subject to change due to fluctuations in the dollar to euro exchange rate.


  • To order this pass online, click on the text link to the right.
  • Or call Budget Europe to order your pass directly from one of our rail experts, who will make sure this pass is the best deal for you and will also happily answer any questions you have about rail travel at the same time.
  • 1-800-441-2387 or 1-800-441-9413

For More Info,
To View a Rail Map
or
To Order Online,
Click the Link Below

France Flexipass

Map of France

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Eurostar — The Fastest Way Between London and Paris

High-speed Eurostar "Chunnel" trains have made this an easy trip; you simply board right in the center of London and get off 2 hours and 15 minutes later in the heart of Paris. You have none of the airport hassles; you save time; and with nearly hourly departures, you can conveniently leave when you want. And about every 2 hours, there is a Eurostar train running between London and Brussels, taking just 2 hours. Brussels has hourly connecting trains to Amsterdam or to Germany.

There is a complicated tiered-fare structure for Eurostar, and no railpass covers this train; however, railpasses valid in Britain, France or Belgium do allow you to buy a passholder fare, which is the cheapest one-way fare available for adults 26 and older. For people 25 and younger, under 12, or 60 and over, there are youth, child and senior tickets available. For first-class passengers, a very good meal served with champagne or other beverages is included in the Eurostar ticket price.

Tickets can be purchased up to nine months in advance; if you want a chance at the cheapest tickets, try to reserve as early as possible, especially for peak-time trains. You'll have a better chance of snagging a lower-cost fare if you can be flexible about travel times and avoid weekend and holiday travel.

Call BETS to book or for more information.

For More Info
About Eurostar,
or
To Order Online,
Click the Link Below

Eurostar Booking Center

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First Trip to France

For many "France" is only Paris. But Europe's largest country is a lot more than just the sights of Paris -- its real beauty lies in the bucolic countryside punctuated by crumbling orange-roofed villages lost in time. France, the country, like Paris, is not to be missed. Unfortunately, most tourists are able to go to France for only a week or two, and yet there are a year's worth of places to visit. With this in mind, this two-week circular trip, will give you an introduction -- but just an introduction -- to regional France. This itinerary is designed to take you, with short and easy train rides, to French cities and villages that still retain much of the look of your imagination -- historic old towns of twisting narrow streets inside medieval walls. From Paris, modern, comfortable TGV trains, traveling at nearly 190 mph, take you to the walled city of Avignon with its famous 14th-century Palace of the Popes; to Carcassonne, often called the world's most impressive fortified medieval town, with its double defensive walls and 52 towers dating from the 13th century; to Toulouse, a city of unique regional architecture, which serves as a base to visit Albi or Lourdes; to Tours, a university town in the Loire Valley that makes a good base to explore the many nearby chateaux before returning to Paris.

Day
Place
Train Travel Time
1-3
Sightseeing in Paris
 
4
Train to Avignon
2.75 hrs
5
Sightseeing
Day trip to Arles
Day trip to Nimes (add 1 day)
 
20 mins
30 mins
6
Train to Toulouse*
* If wishing to go the French Riviera, Nice makes a good base to explore the surrounding Mediterranean villages and beaches, including Monaco and Cannes (both 30 min from Nice). A local rail service (valid with railpass) runs frequently to all towns along the coast. Add in 2-3 days.
4 hrs
7-8
Day trip to Carcassonne
Day trip to Albi or
Lourdes (if doing both, add 1 day)
1 hr
1 hr
2 hrs
9
Train to Tours
 
5.5 hrs
 
10
Day trip to Chateau de Chenonceau
Or you can train to Blois (40 min), rent a bike and enjoy a leisurely 10-mile cycle ride through the Forest of Chambord to the Chateau de Chambord, which along with Chenonceau is the consensus most spectacular chateau.
30 mins
11
Train to Paris
1 hr

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Point-to-Point Rail Tickets


Compare the Cost of a Pass Versus Tickets

Check Schedules


Get Your Tickets
Before You Go

Have questions? Just call BETS!
Our rail experts will gladly help you find the perfect railpass for your itinerary.

Call 800-441-9413 or 800-441-2387
(in KS & MO, call 877-441-2103)

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For Your Information

  • Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) is connected to the Gare du Nord rail station in central Paris by Line B of the RER (Rapid Area Transport System; 35 mins; 4 trains/hr). Due to often congested road conditions, this is usually the quickest way to cover the 15-mile distance from the airport into Paris. From the Gare du Nord, located in the north part of Paris, it is only a short cab or Metro ride (usually no more than 2 miles) to most Paris hotels. Cost of this RER rail ticket is about $12; railpasses are valid on this line to the Gare du Nord rail station. There is a RER station in Terminal 2 (Air France terminal); but from Terminal 1, you must take the free CDGVAL shuttle, an automatic light rail line, to the RER station.
  • Connections from Charles de Gaulle Airport to other parts of France: There is a TGV rail station at the airport (in Terminal 2; need to take the automated shuttle from Terminal 1), from which you can take direct high-speed TGV trains to Lyon (2 hrs); Avignon (3 hrs); Aix-en-Provence (3.5 hrs); Marseille (4 hrs); and Nice (5 hrs). There are also direct trains to St. Pierre-des-Corp, near Tours and the Loire Valley (2 hrs); Bordeaux (4.25 hrs); Nantes (3 hrs); Rennes (3 hrs); Strasbourg (2.5 hrs); and Lille (50 mins). There are also direct trains to Brussels (1.5 hrs).
  • Paris to Italy: Many travelers ask us about rail service from Paris to Italy. There are two daily night trains from Paris: the first departs Paris at 7pm and arrives in Florence at 7:16am the next day and terminates in Rome at 9:50am; the second departs Paris at 8:28pm and arrives in Milan at 5:38am the next day and terminates in Venice at 9:28am. Sleeper compartments consist of singles, doubles, triples and 4- or 6-person couchettes. These trains are often sold out, especially around holidays and in the summer months, and should be booked as early as possible (up to 90 days in advance). People with railpasses only pay the sleeper supplement.
Call BETS to book or for more information.

Also there are three daily trains from Paris to Milan departing at 8:04am, 2:14pm and 3:50pm, and arriving at 2:50pm, 9:20pm and 10:50pm respectively. Seat reservations are required. Despite the overall time of this trip, this is an enjoyable ride as it takes you through much scenic French countryside and via the French Alps into Italy to Turin and on to Milan. At Milan there is hourly train service to Venice (3 hrs), Florence (3 hrs), Lake Como (40 mins), Cinque Terre (3 hrs; change in Genoa) and Rome (4.5 hrs).

  • Paris Day Trip to Versailles: There are three rail/RER stations in Versailles. The Rive Gauche Station is the closest to the chateau (less than one-half mile) and is served by RER Line C5 from central Paris about every 15 minutes. The other two stations are just under a mile from the chateau: Chantiers Station is served frequently by both RER (Line C8) and national rail (from Montparnasse Station in Paris); and Rive Droite Station is connected to St. Lazare Station in Paris by national rail about every 15 minutes. Railpasses are valid on all services, but the ticket costs only about $5 each way. RER Line C runs through central Paris along the Left Bank of the Seine (south side of the river) and can be boarded at any Left Bank RER station. As RER Line C has several branches, you need to pay attention to which RER C you are getting on: Branches C5 and C8 both go to Versailles, but C5 takes you closer to the chateau entrance.
  • Paris Day Trip to Giverny & Monet's Gardens: Train 1 hr to Vernon (from St. Lazare Station in Paris), from where you can take a bus (meets most trains) or taxi the 4 miles to the gardens that were the inspiration for many of Monet's impressionistic works including his famous Water Lily series.
  • Paris Day Trip to Chartres: Only one hour from Paris (Montparnasse Station), Chartres is in its own right a charming French village, but is most famous for its magnificent 12th-century Gothic cathedral and its sublime "Chartres blue" stained-glass windows considered to be the most extraordinary medieval windows ever crafted.
  • Paris Day Trip to Reims and/or Épernay: Both are easily reached from Paris Est Station (Reims, 45 mins by high-speed train; Épernay, 1 hr 20 mins by local train). Reims is noted for its cathedral, the traditional coronation site of the French kings, and its champagne tours. Most of the famous champagne houses offer guided visits through the chalk caves to see how the precious bubbly is made. Nearby Épernay is home to several of the most prestigious houses, such as Moët & Chandon. As frequent local trains connect Reims and Épernay (25mins), ambitious people can combine both cities in a single day trip.

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Thalys Trains: Paris to Brussels, Amsterdam or Cologne

Thalys high-speed 186-mile-per-hour service operates on two routes: Paris-Brussels-Amsterdam and Paris-Brussels-Cologne. Between Paris and Brussels, there is about one train per hour, taking just 1 hour and 22 minutes to go from city center to city center. Depending on the day, five or six of these trains continue on to Amsterdam, with the total rail time between Paris and Amsterdam being only 4 hours and 11 minutes; another six trains continue on to Cologne, with the total rail time between Paris and Cologne taking 3 hours and 50 minutes. Cologne is a main rail hub with excellent connections to anywhere in Germany.

Getting to Brugge from Paris: Take any Thalys train to Brussels and change to a local train to Brugge (two local trains per hour, taking 55 to 62 minutes). On Saturdays only, there is one direct Thalys train running round trip between Paris and Brugge, making for a convenient day trip (departs Paris about 8am, arrives Brugge about 10:30am; departs Brugge about 6pm, arrives Paris about 8:30pm).

Thalys trains and railpasses: Passes are accepted, but a passholder supplement must be paid. In first class, the supplement for railpasses covering the whole route costs between $56-87 (depending on the city pairs) and includes, besides a seat reservation, a meal (appropriate to the time of day and served at your seat) and free Wi-Fi; in second class, the supplement costs between $35-54 and does not include a meal or Wi-Fi. When traveling between Amsterdam and Brussels, you can easily avoid this surcharge on railpasses by taking the local intercity trains, which take only a few minutes longer (trains are hourly and no seat reservation is required). When going between Paris and Brussels or Paris and Amsterdam, there is not a simple way to avoid the Thalys supplement. The only way is to take a domestic French train (seat reservation required, but inexpensive) to Lille, France and then change to a local Belgian train. Unfortunately, the connection time in Lille is often only about five minutes; and unless you're in sprinting shape, you'll probably have to wait an hour for the next local train. Also besides the change in Lille, you'll often have to change trains one more time before getting to Brugge or Brussels.
 
Call BETS to book or for more information.
 

For More Info
About Thalys Trains,
or
To Order Online,
Click the Link Below

Thalys Booking Center

 

 

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800-441-9413 or 800-441-2387
in KS & MO, 877-441-2103

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