France has everything students could want in a vacation, particularly if you’re part of a student travel group. So many fun and exciting things are at your disposal, from famous museums and beautiful vineyards to river cruises and icons like the Eiffel Tower.
A student vacation to France is not as costly as you might think. By shopping around, you can find a student tour operator that offers student group discounts. Since you are trying to pack a lot into a short period of time, you’ll need to limit the cities you visit. That said, you’ll definitely want your group to spend some time in Paris, Lyon and the Riviera.
Upon arriving in Paris, coaches and shuttle buses can be utilized to get from the airport to your hotel, but you need not be confined to the motorcoach for your entire trip. France has various modes of public transportation, including bus, funicular (cable railway), subway, metro, buses and railroad. Bicycling is also very popular in France, and the country has designated roads for bicyclists, as well as bike rental shops.
Student Performance Venues in France
Many student groups traveling to France are in search of performance venues where they can showcase their talents while also having a little fun. You may want to check into performing arts tour programs and workshops; they can help you find venues that allow students to perform such as concert halls, town squares and churches.
The Paris Tourist Office can help you find venues for ballet and modern dance, music concerts, mime, musicals, comedy and drama. Venues in Paris might include Théâtre de la Ville, Théâtre du Châtelet, Notre Dame de Paris and Café Theatré. Disneyland Paris also offers students the chance to perform for possibly large audiences if your group meets their performance requirements.
In Lyon, students can enjoy Opéra de Lyon, La Halle Tony Garnier, Célestins Theater and Le Transbordeur, Absinthe Bar. The Riviera also has various churches that allow performances.
Student Travel to Paris
Situated on the River Seine, Paris is the capital of France and the most populous city, with a metropolitan area comprising more than 12 million people. With over 85 Michelin-starred restaurants, your students can enjoy endless culinary experiences. Visitors enjoy mild temperatures year-round. Your group will not want to miss the ambiance of the Left Bank in Paris, located south of the River Seine. The Left Bank offers unique shopping, excellent restaurants and pastries that can’t be beat!
Getting Around Paris
While the Paris Metro railway system is the most popular method of transportation, the city also offers the RER train station. While both of these are subway systems, the RER will take you to outer areas of the city and is also the cheapest. Taxis and rental cars are also available, but they should be a last resort because of their high cost.
Sights to See in Paris
Known for its excellent food, fine wine and beautiful cathedrals, Paris has so much to see and do. Famous landmarks include 16th-century gardens like the Tuileries Garden, Luxembourg Garden or the Jardin des Plantes. Other famous sites include Place des Vosges, Paris’s oldest square; Pont Neuf, the oldest bridge in Paris; Palais Royale, a 16th-century palace; Champs-Elysées, the most famous street in Paris; and the iconic Louvre, the world’s most visited art museum. Theaters are also a large part of this city’s history. And of course, you absolutely cannot miss the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral! The Museum of French History, Paris College of Art, 19th-century Opéra Garnier and the modern Opéra Bas are sights you may include if time permits.
Student Travel to Lyon
Known for its historical landmarks and Lyonnaise cuisine, Lyon is a city in east-central France about 292 miles from Paris. You’ll find colder winters and hotter summers here. Two of the largest wine-growing regions are near Lyon. On the subject of cuisine, Lyon is known for its morning snacks of mâchons, made of charcuterie. Your student group will love the food, the culture and the historical landmarks found in Lyon.
Getting Around Lyon
Getting around Lyon is relatively easy because it offers an extensive and affordable selection of public transportation that includes Métro, tramway, trolley, funicular, bus and a bicycle-sharing program. The Métro is the fastest method of transportation, followed by tramway and the trolley. Many of the sights are best seen while walking.
Can’t-Miss Sights in Lyon
The Cathedral of St. John is one of several medieval churches with architecture dating back to the 13th century. Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon is one of France’s largest art galleries. Students also enjoy Place Bellecour, one of Europe’s largest town squares; Park de a Tête ‘Or, France’s largest urban park; and Jardin Botanique de Lyon, France’s largest municipal botanical garden.
Student Travel to the French Riviera
Student group travelers coming to the Riviera will be surrounded by artists, museums and tons of festivals. Typically known as the French Riviera, this region along the Mediterranean coastline in the southeastern corner of France was the country’s considered France’s first modern resort area. This great student vacation center boasts sunshine 300 days a year, 3,000 restaurants, 14 ski resorts and miles of beaches.
Getting Around the Riviera
While student groups typically utilize the motorcoach for their travels, during free time, you’ll be able get around the Riviera easily with the various modes of transportation available, including trains, buses, car rentals and ferries.
Popular Attractions in the Riviera
When they’re not performing somewhere, your student group can spend a lot of time sightseeing in this beautiful region. You’ll definitely want to take in a tour that offers you a panoramic view of the beautiful city of Nice. Other sites worth checking out are the Matisse Museum, Russian Cathedral, Bay of Angels and Old Town and Castle Hill. Check with your tour operator about the boat ride around Calanques. Enjoy the beautiful gardens at the Villa & Jardins Ephrussi de Rothschild or the colorful Cours Saleya market in Nice. The market has a service that escorts customers through the market, assisting them in buying food and teaching them how to cook them. Don’t leave Nice without seeing the Cathedral Ste-Réparate and the Chapelle de la Misérjcorde, a famous Baroque church.
More Resources for Student Group Travel to France
If you’re ready to take your planning to the next step, check out our bookstore for various guidebooks about travel to France. Moreover, you will find hundreds of tips on planning student travel under the Advice tab.