The Art of Traveling from Nice to Geneva by Train

TGV Lyria traveling between France and Switzerland

TGV Lyria traveling between France and Switzerland

The train that travels from Nice to Geneva is called the TGV Lyria. “Lyria” is a musical, artsy name for a train, isn’t it? It’s also a very appropriate name, considering that this train travels between Nice, France – the capital city of the artsy French Riviera – and Geneva, Switzerland — a city known for some of nature’s most artful Swiss landscapes.

Exploring Nice, France:

Nice National Theater, Nice France

Nice National Theater, Nice France

Nice has the artsier reputation of the two cities, perhaps because of the artists who made it famous in the early twentieth century.  Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Raoul Dufy, and other painters found inspiration in this colorful, playful city by the sea. In the years since they made their famous paintings, travelers of all walks of life have found similar inspiration in the area – backpackers, art lovers, couples looking for romance, or even friends on a summer beach getaway.

The city is more than just pretty promenades and art history, though. Take a stroll past the Catedrale Orthodoxe Russe St. Nicolas – the largest Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia – or bring your friends along for a picnic in the Parc du Chateau, a park offering panoramic views of the entire city.

One of the buildings you’ll see from the park is the Chateau L’Anglais, named for a man called Robert Smith who was, for a time, the only foreigner living permanently in Nice year-round. You can’t miss it — it’s bright pink.

Exploring Geneva, Switzerland:

Geneva, Switzerland

Jet D’eau, the world’s tallest water fountain, Geneva, Switzerland

The artfulness doesn’t stop there: in Geneva, prepare for another dose of beautiful scenery and quaint cafes. Like Nice, Geneva is located on the water – Lake Geneva rather than the ocean – and water is probably the most important feature of the city. Its most famous monument, the Jet D’eau, is the world’s tallest water fountain.

Explore one of Geneva’s more than 30 art museums and galleries – if you’re traveling with a Swiss Pass, entry to museums is free! – or spend your souvenir money on Market Street, known for the famous Swiss watches.

If you stop by Carouge – a particularly bohemian neighborhood – and wander the little cafes, artisan shops, and jazz clubs, you may have a feeling of déjà vu. This is because the neighborhood is modeled after the equally quaint streets of Nice!

Geneva is home to some of nature’s best artwork, as well. Whether you want to hike, boat, bike, ski, or swim, the countryside is your gorgeous playground. Geneva is located at the foot of the Alps, making it the perfect branching off point for scenic treks into the mountains during both summer and winter.

Discounts on Travel Around Nice and Geneva

Nice and Geneva are both fairly small as far as European cities go, and so they are fairly easy to traverse once you arrive. If you’re traveling with a Swiss Pass, you can enjoy free transportation on any buses, boats, or trams in Geneva – and in Switzerland in general! The pass also comes with a Swiss Museum Pass, so you can access over 400 museums in Switzerland for free.

And a bonus that most people don’t even realize is there – in Geneva, your Swiss Pass will earn you 30% off the City Walks of Geneva Tour!

In Nice, you can take the Nice Le Grand Tour, which will not only drop you off at the city’s most popular sights, but it will also take care of the money you’d normally spend on buses or taxis. We’ve discussed previously how convenient these bus tours can be for navigating a city when you don’t have much time to spend there – when you only have a few days or even a week, there isn’t much time to waste getting lost on your way from place to place.

Travel by Train from Nice to Geneva

As we mentioned, the TGV Lyria train will take you from Nice to Geneva once you book your ticket. Lyria is a high-speed train and part of the TGV family. The ride between the cities is about 330 miles, which will take you 6 hours on the train.

The Lyria offers point to point tickets in Economy (second class), Comfort (first class) and Premier (business class).

Alternatively, in place of a point to point ticket, travelers can purchase a seat reservation supplement in conjunction with a rail pass. The following rail passes will cover the route from Nice to Geneva:

Eurail Global Pass
Eurail France-Switzerland Pass
France Rail Pass
Eurail France-Italy Pass
Eurail France-Spain Pass
Eurail Benelux-France Pass
Eurail France-Germany Pass

And now, with your city guide information, your train ticket tips, and a few unfairly pretty photos, you’re ready to take the train from Nice to Geneva! We’d love to follow along with your trip, so make sure to tag your travel photos #RailEurope on Twitter and Instagram. If we like your photo, you may see us feature it on our Facebook page.

As always, happy traveling!

  • Stephan

    Good afternoon – this may be a silly question, but does the TGV Lyria train also run from Geneva to Nice as a direct route with no transfers? If so, how far in advance are those schedules and tickets posted? I can’t seem to find any schedules that show a direct route. Thanks!

    • Amiee

      Sorry for the late reply, but yes, there is a direct train that is bookable within 60-days of the day you wish to travel. The direct train typically departs Geneva around 12:40pm, and is about a 6.5 hour train trip.

  • suhaila

    Hi I can’t seem to see this train over on Raileurope’s site. Thanks

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