Tour thru France

Your travel guide to France

This summer, visit the nicest French destinations. Travel easily to Perpignan, Bordeaux, Marseille or Lyon by international train. With no waiting times at the airport and no extra charges for your luggage. Your holiday starts at the station: with a good book on the way and plenty of time for a game with travel companions or relaxing.
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A day in Lyon

The city of Lyon is located in eastern France, where the Rhône and Saône rivers meet. It is one of the country's largest cities and ideal for a city break. Special neighbourhoods, good food, fun summer events and easy access by international trains.
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Historic city

Lyon was once the capital of Roman Gaul and remains can still be found in the city, such as the ancient theatre Lugdunum. As such, the historic city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A city of narrow streets, passageways and secret courtyards. With riverside promenades, green parks, shopping districts and a vibrant nightlife. Have lunch here with a Lyon-style baguette. Or sample the delicious brioche rolls at Restaurant Ravigote.

Magically lit

Do you love good food? Then Lyon is definitely the place for you. Enjoy food in the huge market halls or in one of the many traditional taverns known as bouchons. Our tip: Bouchon Les Lyonnais, where you can immerse yourself in French cuisine. The menu features only authentic French dishes. Lyon is also called Europe's second city of lights, after frontrunner Paris. In the evening, more than 200 squares and buildings are magically lit up! End the day at a vibrant street-style wine bar: Satriale Lyon,a small establishment, run by five friends, with lots of biological and local wines.

A day in Bordeaux

One of France's most visited cities is Bordeaux. Not surprising, as this charming city offers impressive sights, picturesque streets and plenty of character.
The southern vibe, French cuisine and local wine are reason enough for a trip to this city. The international train will bring you quickly to the city centre.
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Vibrant Saint Michel

Start the day in one of the most vibrant neighbourhoods: Saint Michel. A melting pot of students, artists and tourists will welcome you. Besides the sights, hip bars, (vintage) shops and restaurants, this is the site of Basilica Saint Michel with its distinct 114-metre-high bell tower. From Tuesday to Sunday mornings, visit the covered food market Les Capucines. Especially on Sundays, this is a great place and you can browse among the stalls for lunch, wine, tapas, oysters and more.

Need a break?

Walk to the iconic Place de la Bourse square in the heart of the city. Here lies the impressive Grand Theâtre, which you can also visit with a guided tour. Picnic in the pleasant Jardin Public or visit Bordeaux's botanical gardens where you can escape the hustle and bustle of the city. There is also a museum, restaurant, library and gift shop at the gardens. End the day among the locals at Guinguette Chez Alriq on the waterfront (open in the summer season starting in May). This terrace has a lovely free vibe and you can enjoy live performances. Also very suitable when travelling with children.

A day in Marseille

Vibrant and historic, that's Marseille in a nutshell. A delightful destination for a city break; with the international train, you will travel to the heart of the city centre. Located on the Mediterranean, it is a centre of commerce, and its rich history can still be felt in the city. Today, it is a most vibrant place, with an industrial edge, full of terraces, hotels, shops, rooftop bars and art. Many young artists have studios in the city's old quarters. Marseille is also home to some of the country's best-known museums, including Musée de Beaux-Arts.
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Strolling through Panier District

Start the day in one of the city's oldest and most iconic neighbourhoods. Once known for its many basket-weaving shops, today this neighbourhood is being revived by young artists and designers. Stroll the narrow streets lined with cafés, galleries and shops and past charming squares. Enjoy a coffee and croissant at one of the terraces at Place des Pistolets. Here you overlook the graffiti artworks of street artist Nhobi.

Creatief pakhuis

Visit the old port, Vieux-Port. In a row of dilapidated warehouses on the port, you will find the shopping mecca Les Docks Marseille. The buildings have been refurbished with high glass ceilings and lots of greenery. You will find shops by young French designers, art exhibitions, terraces and restaurants. In the port itself, eat the local speciality bouillabaisse or fresh fish from the local fish market. At night, the port and Notre-Dame de la Garde basilica are magically lit up. Visiting Marseille with children? Combine the city centre with a day at the beach. Children under 18 get a large discount when travelling by train.

A day in Perpignan

Perpignan is a compact, historic city that you can explore on foot. Because of its location, some 30 kilometres from the Spanish border, the atmosphere is typically Catalonian. Even better: with 300 sunny days a year, it is one of the warmest destinations in France. By train, you will rush past all traffic jams, and, before you know it, arrive at Perpignan's beautiful railway station, decorated by none other than artist Salvador Dalí.
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Local treats

With several branches in the city centre, La Cafetière Catalane is the place to be for a local morning coffee (or tea). Then stroll through the charming streets rich in history and browse the shops full of local sweet treats. Also fun: book a guided city walk; this can even be done in English and Dutch. Ideal when visiting with children.


Le Castillet, a 14th-century fortress that forms part of the city walls that used to surround it, is stunning. At restaurant Txoko, you get a nice view of it.

Lunch at the Market Hall

Have lunch in the bustling Les Halles Vauban market hall. Buy local produce, enjoy tasty dishes at one of the food stalls or on the sunny terrace behind the market hall. From oysters with champagne, salads, cheeses and meat dishes to sweets or tapas with drinks. The halls are next to department store El Corte Ingles, which you may know from Spain or Portugal. Next, take a nice stroll along the city's canals. Walk to the Pont Magenta bridge (close to Le Castillet) for the best view of the city.

The earlier you book...

Want to visit one of these destinations? Booking the international train early is worth it. The earlier you book, the more tickets are still available for the cheapest rate. In other words, the earlier you book, the lower the price. So book now for summer and autumn and before you know it you will be travelling to your favourite destination for the best price.

Plan your trip

South of France with kids

On holiday to the South of France with the kids. Very enjoyable and super-fast with Thalys.