Chantilly gardens, Paris, Île-de-France
Map of Île-de-France
The Île-de-France  is the compact region immediately surrounding the capital of France, Paris. As such, the region includes the now far-flung suburbs of the Paris metropolis, together with several large surrounding towns that form part of the larger conurbanation. All is not urban sprawl, however: the region is also known for its natural beauties, in the form of parks, forests and river lands.
There are many cycle lanes on routes into Paris, but be careful as you also share the road with motorbikes and cars which can be inconsiderate.
There are several free Autoroutes and 4 lane roads for getting round Île-de-France, however on weekdays there is a lot of congestion between the hours 8 - 9:30 AM and 17:30 - 19:30 PM, and it is really not advisable to travel then. This congestion becomes a lot less worse the further away from Paris you are.
- Le boulevard périphérique: a road ring which marks the limit of "Paris will intra muros". This is essentially a motorway as there are no roundabouts or intersections, however it is famous for its obstructions. Be careful though, as the cars entering onto the road from the right have priority.
- A13 : (direction Rouen) Western Autoroute
- A6 : (direction Lyon) Southern Autoroute
- A5 : (direction Lyon) South eastern Autoroute
- A86 : Very useful road that nearly completely circles Paris. The recently opened tunnel between Rueil-Malmaison and Versailles is tolled (fairly expensive) and is open to cars only (trucks and motorcycles prohibited).
- A14 : Toll road, fairly expensive.
- N104 : La Francilienne. A half circular road around the eastern side of Paris. As it is further out than the A86, there is considerably less congestion.
- N118 : Connect western Paris to A10 and N104.
Map of central part of RER network
A network of regional trains (RER) takes you in and out of Paris. The RER has 256 stops in and around Paris, and runs on over 587 km (365 mi) of track. There are 5 lines, (A, B, C, D and E) that cross Paris, connecting suburbs on opposite sides. The stations are marked with blue signs with a white RER. There is also a separate network of trains (Transilien) that depart from the main train stations (Lyon, Est, Nord, St-Lazare, Montparnasse) and La Défense.
It is usually cheaper to purchase a daily ticket than a return ticket for most journeys, but check when purchasing.
Trains run from 4.45 a.m. to 1.30 a.m. Smoking is not allowed in the stations or on the trains.
- Le Musée Fragonard (L'Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire), 7, Avenue du Général de Gaulle (Métro : line 8 (Balard - Créteil) - Station : Ecole Vétérinaire de Maisons-Alfort), ☎ 00 33 1 43 96 71 72, . Closed in August Wednesday & Thursday : 2 - 6PM Saturday and Sonday : 1 - 6PM. This is a hidden gem. A veterinary museum that doubles as natural history museum. A lot of medical oddities, mostly of animals, but also include real human specimens. Move over Bodyworlds, this museum holds Fragonard's original human preservation (wax- not plastic) including the famous "horseman of the apocalypse." Adults 7 €. edit
If you decide to travel by motor home or caravan, or you wish to camp while discovering Île-de-France, then see this list which features the camp sites which are open all year round.
For full information about these caravan sites listed below, they can all be found at :
Camping de Paris (Camping du Bois de Boulogne)
Camping La Bouliniere
Camping Club Le Parc de Paris
Le Parc de la Colline
Le Beau Village
Camping les Canardieres
Camping Paris Est (Camping Champigny)
Camping Caravaning l’Etang de Belesbat
Website : www.camping-belesbat.com
Ile de Boulancourt
Camping La Base de Buthiers
Camping La Croix du Vieux Pont
Camping de Marsalin