What's the best way to get from Paris to Lyon at the end of July? Should I rent a car?
I'd take the TGV, fast-speed train. It's fast, comfortable, and you get too see the scenery without the hassle of driving. However, be careful of dates because many French go on vacation at the end of July so the trains are really full. You'd need to reserve now on the SNCF website:
No – don’t go by car! Two reasons: the train is fast, efficent and more planet-friendly than going by car and, much more importantly, the end of July is the busiest weekend of the year on the roads. Typically, French families spend a month in the sun each summer and this weekend is when most of them get in their cars to drive south. No only are the traffic jams appalling, it’s a peak weekend for accidents. Book TGV (Trains à Grands Vitesse – it literally means “very fast train”) tickets through
website (you can choose to do it in English or German). There are a couple every hour from Paris Gare de Lyon (where else?) to Lyon Part Dieu and the journey takes about two hours.
I fully agree with the others. The TGV is the best, fastest and most relaxed way to head south, especially in this time of the year when all roads are clogged with tourists heading for the Mediterranean !