Taking the train to Paris

In Europe, the shortest (and cheapest) distance between two points is lined with railroad tracks. Trains range from local runs that stop at every tiny station to the TGV bullet train, which set the world's speed record for a national rail run (201 miles per hour, though it usually cruises at 130 miles per hour).

Choose the right passThe train is the preferred mode of travel by everyone, from farmers and grannies to businesswomen and visitors.

French trains run on time, are clean and comfortable, and are part of a vast network that visits almost every minor city.

For train schedules and ticket prices in Europe, check out Rail Europe (www.raileurope.com) and the French National Railways (www.sncf.com).

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The high-speed Eurostar train through the Channel Tunnel gets you from London to Paris or to Brussels in just 2:40
The high-speed trip on the Eurostar through the Channel Tunnel is a 45-minute non-event in darkness—but, hey, you sure do get to Paris in no time. Still, I kinda miss watching the white cliffs of Dover recede into the distance whilst chugging across the English Channel aboard a slow ferry (though I don't miss the ten hours it took to get to Paris that way).