Getting Around France

With nine host cities and a long list of must-visit destinations along the way, your France Rugby World Cup itinerary will take you all over France. Whether you opt to rent a car, hop on a plane, or take the train, getting around France during the Rugby World Cup is easy, but advance booking is essential to get the best deals. Here’s a run-down of your options. 

Trains

France’s state-owned railway company SNCF operates a wide network of long-distance trains connecting towns and cities all over France, including:

Car Rentals

Renting a car is the most practical way to get around in France, especially if you want to explore smaller towns and villages, as public transport is often limited in rural areas. However, car rentals are unlikely to be the cheapest option, with petrol prices continuing to climb, motorway tolls (péages) ranging from a few euros to more than €60 for certain routes and distances, and inner-city parking both expensive and limited.

Renting a car to explore regional attractions might still be a smart idea, but take care that your vehicle has the appropriate Crit’Air emission sticker if you plan on driving in urban areas and opt for a hotel or accommodation with free parking where possible. 

Another popular option for long-distance journeys is BlaBlaCar, France’s carpooling app, which allows drivers and passengers to connect and split the cost of the journey. 

Buses

Long-distance buses provide an alternative to train travel, and there are three main intercity bus/coach service operators in France: Ouibus, Isilines and Flixbus. The rugby host cities of Paris, Lille, Nantes, Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, and Bordeaux all have long-distance coach routes. 

Renting a car to explore regional attractions might still be a smart idea, but take care that your vehicle has the appropriate Crit’Air emission sticker if you plan on driving in urban areas and opt for a hotel or accommodation with free parking where possible. 

Another popular option for long-distance journeys is BlaBlaCar, France’s carpooling app, which allows drivers and passengers to connect and split the cost of the journey. 

Flights

Domestic flights are often the quickest and cheapest way to travel between France’s major cities, and there are direct flight routes between most of the nine host cities. The only host city without an international airport is Saint-Étienne, which can be reached by train from nearby Lyon. 

*A note about air travel in France: From April 2022, some short-haul domestic flights have been banned in France in a bid to encourage more environmentally friendly travel using the country’s high-speed train network. While we recognise that there are instances where air travel is most convenient, Experience France 2023 is committed to encouraging sustainable travel wherever possible.

Getting around the host cities

Once you’ve made it to Bordeaux, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Nice, Paris, Saint-Étienne, or Toulouse, our host city guides have everything you need to know to experience the best of each city. Before match day, be sure to check out our stadium guides to find out how to get to the stadium by car or public transport.