Travelling to and within France by railway

  • Atout France/Pascal Gréboval

    Atout France/Pascal Gréboval

Travelling to and within France by railway

Why travel by train to/in France?

France enjoys one of the best railway networks in the world. Travelling by train is:

  • Convenient
  • Comfortable
  • Reliable
  • Secure
  • Good value
  • FAST!! 

The extensive French railway network offers a perfect combination of high-speed trains (TGV) and regional trains enabling passengers to reach about 1400 cities throughout the country.

France also offers frequent and efficient train connections to its neighbouring countries:

-) Paris-London with Eurostar
-) Paris-Brussels / Amsterdam / Cologne with Thalys
-) Paris-Madrid with Elipsos

TGVs: comfort and technology

TGV trains or "Train à Grande Vitesse" (high speed trains) have considerably reduced travel times between most major French cities, enabling people to travel directly from city centre to city centre at over 300 km/hour.

Travel time examples:

Paris – Lille, 1 hour (220 km)
Paris – Lyons, 2 hours (460 km)
Paris – Bordeaux, 3 hours (585 km)
Paris – Marseilles, 3 hours (775 km)

with TGV Méditerranée 

A lot of foreign visitors have experienced the thrill of the French high-speed rail system.  A rail journey on a TGV really is a memorable part of any holiday in France. As you relax and sit back amidst the spacious ambience you watch the scenery pass by through large windows. Food and drinks are on hand whenever you wish.

TGV trains offer refined comfort. Comfortable seating, stunning bars, catering services, luggage compartments, and toilet facilities. All this combined with regular departures and ease of use makes for a very pleasant rail trip.

Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport TGV Station: from plane to train!

If you fly into Paris, it is very likely that you will land at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport. After a long flight, the last thing you need to worry about is how to get to your next destination.

At Charles de Gaulle it's easy!  A TGV station located right in the airport (terminal 2) offers direct connections to many cities: London, Brussels, as well as other destinations in France. A great way to save time and money when connecting!

Why get your ticket in advance?

Travellers from about 60 countries have the opportunity to purchase and book train tickets prior to departure. This is the best way to ensure a seat on selected trains, especially during peak seasons. Reservations are compulsory aboard TGV trains.

By booking in their country of residence, travellers avoid queues at counters when arriving, there's no language barrier to be overcome when booking with local staff and it saves time!

Where is it possible to purchase tickets before departing for Europe?

Please visit the Rail Europe website at for a complete list of our representatives world-wide.

What kind of rail ticket should I use to travel within France?

One of the most cost effective and flexible options is a France Railpass. This pass allows unlimited rail travel throughout France. The France Railpass is available for specific periods of time and therefore can be purchased to suit any itinerary. The France Railpass also offers "saver" versions (for 2 to 5 people travelling together), "senior" (for people of 60 years of age) and "youth" (for young travellers of less than 26 years).

With a France Railpass, travellers can take advantage of discounts on premier trains such as the Eurostar, Artesia, Elipsos, TGVs to Switzerland (Lyria), and TGVs to Brussels.  There are also many other products to which a discount applies.

If travellers wish to extend their European experience and visit other countries besides France, they can purchase an Eurailpass, Eurail Selectpass, a France 'N Italy Pass, a France 'N Switzerland Pass or a France 'N Spain Pass.

More information