Covered Bridges of Strasbourg

Traveling 4,000 km Through France by Train in One Month


I was in Strasbourg, France eating a plate of homemade spaghetti in my appart’hotel when I got an e-mail from SNCF (the French rail company). Great.

“Brooke, vous avez parcouru l’équivalent du diamètre de la Lune!” 

So, I may not have traveled around the whole world yet. But from Paris to Bordeaux to Marseille to Strasbourg, I have managed to travel around the moon! (If France were on the moon, I suppose).

4,052 Km Through France by Train for €80

That’s right! All of this train travel was covered by my TGV Max pass (80 Euros & IBAN number required). It is unlimited train travel, limited to 6 tickets at a time. When I bought the pass I hoped not to regret it. Now, 4,052 km later and having seen so much of France by train, I love my decision! I have many more KM to go! (But not before I sleep).

This is the kind of train pass one would buy when living in France for an extended period of time. In addition, you must be ages 16-27 and have it for at least 3 months before canceling. This website explains it very clearly. 


Mareille Train Station - France by Train

KM 0-585 : Paris – Bordeaux

Armed with enough luggage for the next year of my life and a cat, I tripped out of the airport onto French soil on September 8th. Bordeaux was my final destination, and these kilometers of travel involved a lot of jet lag and playing with Pierre (my cat, remember?).

Bordeaux is truly the best place to base my travels through France by train. It is my favorite city in all of France! Read more about Bordeaux here:

KM 586-1,230 : Bordeaux – Marseille

The ride between Bordeaux and Marseille offers entertaining and endless views of the Pyrenese rising in the distance, cypress trees reminiscent of impressionist paintings, hills covered with vineyards, La Ville Rose Toulouse, The city of Sète rising out of the first glimpse of the Mediterranean, and finally the Hollywood inspired MARSEILLE sign.

Sunset in Marseille from Notre Dame de la Garde

KM 1,231 – 1,874 : Marseille – Bordeaux

Marseille is a stunning destination. I have never seen anywhere like it before- it’s mixture of all French architectural styles; Colorful buildings covered in shutters, vibrant roofs, and elaborate iron railings. It is the oldest city in France and the 2nd largest with an area of 240,6 km². And to add to the drama, it is built on mountains rising out of the sea. Until I saw it from a boat, I didn’t realize how large the city was.

My destination article about Marseille will be published soon! Stay up to date by liking The Student Traveler on Facebook!

View of Marseille from Gare de Marseille-Saint-Charles
View of Marseille from Gare de Marseille-Saint-Charles
Marseille Old Port
Marseille’s Old Port

KM 1875-2,963 : Bordeaux – Strasbourg

I love diverse yet cohesive cultures of France. Strasbourg contrasts Marseille so strongly, one might question how they are in the same country. Yet the French remain the French no matter where you are in their country! Strasbourg is so close to Germany you could walk. Therefore, the main architectural influence is German design. Mixing it with French details creates a fairy tale atmosphere! At one point I got lost down an old brick path that ended up winding through a street of traditional cafes and beautiful homes. How quaint!

Ponts Courverts in Strasbourg, France
Ponts Courverts in Strasbourg, France

KM 2,964-4052 : Strasbourg – Bordeaux

Any weekend in Strasbourg will be a relaxing experience. Strolling through paths in La Petite France feels like entering a new century. Additionally, the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg is one of the most beautiful in France. The amount of detail on the facade is almost overwhelming!

I will be publishing a destination article about Strasbourg soon. So, subscribe to my blog by email so that you can be updated when it comes out! (Don’t worry, I only send emails when new posts are published!)

Architecture reminiscent of German designs in Strasbourg, France
Architecture reminiscent of German designs in Strasbourg, France
Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg
Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg



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