Trains to La Rochelle

As the nearest city to Paris on France’s west coast, La Rochelle is ever popular with Parisiennes looking for a short break by the sea. And it also pulls big crowds from Britain in the summer season. La Rochelle is arguably the nicest seaside town in France (devotees of Deauville or Menton might disagree!). Highlights include the elegant Rue du Palais and the hubbub of maritime life around the Vieux Port, where you’ll find oysters and mussels aplenty in a fine range of seafood restaurants.

The main railway station, easily spotted from afar by its dominant clock tower, is called La Rochelle Ville. It is a 15-minute walk south-east of the town centre on boulevard Joffre. A second station to the north of the city centre is La Rochelle Porte Dauphine. It is a minimalist affair, used only by local trains to and from Rochefort.

From La Rochelle Ville there are direct TGVs to Poitiers and Paris. Since the opening of a new high-speed line between Tours and Poitiers in July 2017, the travel time for the 470-km journey to Paris has been trimmed to under three hours. The very fastest trains from the capital to La Rochelle now take just two-and-a-half hours - and that's year-round, not merely in the peak summer season. There are regular regional or Intercités trains running south to Bordeaux, north to Nantes and east to Poitiers.

There is also a very useful SNCF bus which runs from La Rochelle Ville over a dramatic bridge to the island of Ré. Tickets for this bus service can be purchased here on our site. Book to the island’s picturesque main settlement at Saint-Martin-de-Ré, or if you really want to experience the back of beyond, book to Les Portes-en-Ré at the very tip of the island.

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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.