Train tickets in France


© manjik

Exploring France by train is easy and affordable. France launched its first high-speed rail route in 1981 and there are now fast TGV (Trains à Grande Vitesse) services connecting most major cities across the country, and the network is ever expanding.

Yet still, for many visitors, the highlight of train travel in France is exploring rural routes with slower, regional express trains (TER for short) which meander from the likes of Paris to Provence, Lyon to the Loire or Brittany to Bourgogne.

The principal French rail operator is SNCF, but a number of longer-distance, international services are run by other companies, such as Thalys which takes you to the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, Alleo trains to Germany, Lyria trains to Switzerland, Thello trains to Italy (including direct overnight services from Paris to Milan, Verona and Venice), Eurostar trains to England and Renfe which operates a superb service to Spain, otherwise known as the France-Spain High Speed service.

It’s worth knowing that you can get Discount 'Prems' fares that offer discounts of up to 70% on advance bookings for train journeys in France. You can read more about ‘Prems’ fares and other cheap European train tickets in our blog.

Trains in France

© Eurostar

What trains can you travel with in France?

  • TGV
  • TER
  • Intercités
  • Intercités de Nuit
  • Eurostar
  • Intercity (IC)
  • Thalys
  • TGV Lyria
  • Thello EuroCity
  • Thello night train
  • AVE
  • France rail map - click on map to enlarge

    France rail map

    © 2017-2020 European Rail Timetable Ltd

    Airport train stations

    Airport train stations in France

    France’s main airports are Paris Charles de Gaulle, Paris Orly, Paris Beauvais, Bordeaux, Lyon, Nice, Marseille, Nantes, Mulhouse and Toulouse. With many other small ones scattered through its regions. They all have good connections to their city centres.

    Getting from Paris Charles de Gaulle, Marseille and Lyon airports to their respective city centres and elsewhere by train is particularly easy, as they have their own train stations within the airports.

    Please note, we do not sell tickets from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, or from any other French airport, to its nearby city centre. These train tickets need to be bought locally.

    See our detailed airport guides

  • Paris Charles de Gaulle airport
  • Child and youth passengers

    The definition of "Child" and "Youth" varies by country and operator. This is why we ask for the age of young passengers.

    Sometimes children below a certain age can travel without a seat for free. If you want to guarantee a seat for child passengers, enter '6' as the age of the child.

    Read more about child and youth passenger ages. See also youth discounts and railcards.