Travel to France

Information on travel to France

Arrival & Departure

SNCF is the national railway company, and you can check train schedules and book fares at http://www.voyages-sncf.com.

Brive railway station, where can we pick you up before the tour starts, and drop you off after the tour is over, is on train lines between Paris & Toulouse and also Paris & Aurillac. It’s just over four hours by train from Paris, departing from the Austerlitz station, and it’s two and a half hours north of Toulouse by train. The train schedules and times can be found here or on the SNCF website.

If you plan to arrive into Bordeaux by plane, you can find airport information here.

Documents (visas, etc.)

Information about who needs a visa, application processes, and application timelines can be found at the France Diplomatie site. Short stay tourist visa information can also be found here. It is always a good idea to verify what the requirements are for travel into France by visiting the website of your local french consulate or embassy.

Whenever traveling internationally, always make sure that your passport has at least two empty pages inside, and that it is not set to expire within the next 3-6 months.

What to pack

Pack comfortable light weight, casual clothing. Comfortable footwear is a must as we want to enjoy to the full our walks in the countryside and through the lovely hilly towns with its cobbled streets. It is advisable to limit your luggage to one medium-size suitcase and one carry-on especially if you’re traveling by train.

www.onebag.com has some great tips for packing light that you may find helpful.

Learn some French

About.com’s French language is a free on-line resource for English speakers looking to learn French basics, or improve their French grammar – they provide tutorials for all levels of language learning. Below, we have provided information from their page on Essential French as a starting point for learning the basics.

Even if you’re just going to France for a week, you should know some survival French – a few essential words and phrases that you’ll use over and over. This is a somewhat miscellaneous list of the basics, so be sure to follow the links at the end for even more essential French like “hello” and “please.”

Je parle (un peu de) français
I speak (a little) French.

Parlez-vous anglais ?
Do you speak English?

Comment ?
What?

Je ne comprends pas.
I don’t understand.

Que veut dire ___ ?
What does ___ mean?

Répétezs’il vous plaît.
Repeat, please.

Plus lentement
More slowly

Encore une fois
One more time

Comment dit-on ___ en français ?
How do you say ___ in French?

Je ne sais pas
I don’t know

J’ai une question
I have a question

J’ai un problème
I have a problem

oui    yes
non    no
si    yes (in reponse to a negative question)
d’accord    OK

et    and
ou    or

qui    who
quoi    what*
quand    when
    where
pourquoi    why
comment    how

*Be careful, there are several ways to say “what” in French

Practice essential French vocabulary

More essential French

For more in-depth study, check out French for Beginners

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