Before you go, your best source of information is the French Government Tourist Office (www.franceguide.com), which can be reached at the following addresses:
- United States: 825 Third Ave., 29th Floor, New York, NY 10022 (tel. 514/288-1904; fax 212/838-7855); 205 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60601 (tel. 514/288-1904); or 9454 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 715, Beverly Hills, CA 90212 (tel. 514/288-1904).
- Canada: 1800 av. McGill College, Ste. 490, Montreal, QC H3A 2W9 (tel. 514/288-2026; fax 514/845-4868).
- United Kingdom: 178 Piccadilly, London W1J 9AL (tel. 09068/244-123 [60p per min.]; fax 020/7493-6594).
- Australia: 25 Blight St., Sydney, NSW 2000 (tel. 02/9231-5244; fax 02/9221-8682).
Although AAA has maps of France, the best are cartes routiéres (road maps) published by Michelin. Both map books and fold-outs are available at almost any large bookstore in Paris and other French cities, and are sometimes available at news kiosks. The Michelin maps offer alternative routes de dégagement, which you can travel to skirt big cities and avoid traffic-clogged highways. We recommend the France Tourist and Motoring Atlas (No. 20197).
Getting Tickets -- Global Tickets can order tickets to many of the musical and theatrical events at the Avignon festival as well as other cultural happenings throughout France. You'll pay a hefty fee (as much as 20%) for the convenience. Contact Global at 234 W. 44th St., Ste. 1000, New York, NY 10036 (tel. 800/669-8687; www.keithprowse.com).
- www.franceguide.com: The official website of the French Government Tourist Office, with helpful trip-planning information.
- www.franceway.com: A helpful site for dining, hotels, and transportation, with detailed Paris listings.
- www.parisinfo.com: The website of the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau provides information on hotels, restaurants, attractions, entertainment, and events. (For more Paris-specific sites, see Frommer's Paris 2010.)
- www.parisfranceguide.com: This site has plenty of useful information about Paris, with current nightlife, restaurant, music, theater, and events listings.
- www.chateauversailles.fr: The best site for the major attractions visited outside Paris.
- www.normandy-tourism.fr: This site takes you to Normandy, land of Calvados and the D-day beaches, with info including the most visited gardens in the region.
- www.bretagne.com: This site tries to lure you away from Normandy to sample the offerings of its neighbor to the west, with information on places of interest, hotels, transportation, and a calendar of events.
- www.nice-coteazur.org: It could be more helpful, but this site provides hotel data for Nice and a calendar of events.
- www.cannes-on-line.com: This site offers hotel data, a map of Cannes, and a calendar of events.
- www.sncf.fr: The official website of the SNCF (French National Railroads) provides timetables and fares, and sells seats online.
- www.mappy.fr: This useful site for motorists gives precise directions and toll prices, and estimates the amount of time required to drive to towns and cities in France.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.