Your travel may be affected by the current COVID19 crisis, so please check before departure. Train operators’ exchange and refunds policies are available here. Deine Reise könnte von Einschränkungen auf Grund der Coronavirus Pandemie betroffen sein – bitte prüfe dies vor der Abfahrt. Die Stornobedingungen der einzelnen Transportunternehmen findest du hier (auf Englisch). Tu viaje puede verse afectado por la crisis actual de COVID19, por favorverifica tu itinerario antes de la salida. Las políticas de cambios y reembolsos de los operadores de trenes están disponibles aquí (en inglés). Il tuo viaggio potrebbe subire cambiamenti a causa dell’attuale crisi da COVID19. Per favore,controlla il tuo itinerario prima della partenza. Le politiche di modifica e rimborso dei vari operatori ferroviari sono disponibili qui (in inglese). Votre voyage pourrait être impacté par la crise de COVID19. Veuillez vérifier avant votre départ. Les politiques d'échange et remboursement de chaque transporteur sont disponibles ici.

Travelling on a TGV train

At a glance

  • High speed train
  • France
  • Luxembourg
  • Spain
  • Italy
  • Germany
  • Switzerland
  • Monaco
  • Belgium

Overview

High-speed Trains à Grande Vitesse or TGV trains are the comfortable, modern flagships of the French high-speed rail network. TGV trains run mainly on high-speed lines at speeds of up to 350 km/h. An increasing number of TGVs are double-decker trains, referred to as TGV Duplex.

The TGV is the fastest way to reach hundreds of destinations in France. TGV trains speed from Paris to major French cities including Bordeaux, Avignon, Lyon, Nantes and Nice. Operated by SNCF, the French national railway company, there are also inter-regional TGV services and direct TGV trains from France to a dozen cities in Germany and a handful of stations in Italy and Spain.

Practical information

©Pierre-Antoine Pluquet / SNCF

Before you board

There are no check-in or customs procedures before boarding TGV trains. However, ticket control and passport checks take place once onboard international services.

Onboard

Air conditioning comes as standard on TGV trains. There is good luggage space on board, but bear in mind that your luggage has to be labelled. On TGV Duplex trains, choose a seat on the upper level for better views.

A small number of TGVs now offer wifi in both Standard Class and First Class and all TGV trains offer power sockets in both classes too.

There are toilets, sometimes with baby-changing facilities, at the end of most carriages.

A bar-bistro carriage, called 'Le Bar TGV', is part of every TGV (although it may not be open on some short-distance services or at the very start or end of some longer journeys). It offers hot and cold snacks, sandwiches, breakfast, salads, cakes, hot and cold drinks, beer and wine.

Booking and printing options

TGV tickets are open for bookings 90 days in advance.

A reservation is needed to travel onboard all TGV trains.

TGV train tickets have no hidden fees and they include the price of your seat reservation.

Get the lowest prices on TGV trains by booking early and don’t wait until the last minute as cheaper seats sell out quickly.

Opt for off-peak TGV trains when you have to travel at short notice. Off-peak TGV trains are more affordable than ones running mornings and evenings along with those running around the holidays, Fridays and Sunday afternoons.

Classes of service

TGV trains offer seated accommodation in two classes: Standard Class and First Class

TGV First Class

Seating in TGV First Class is more spacious with three seats across the aisle rather than four. Some seats are arranged in groups of two or four across a table, others are airline style. On a small number of very new TGVs these airline-style seats can be reversed to face the direction of travel. For couples travelling together, a pair of seats across a table (called a 'Club duo') is a great choice.

A small number of TGVs now offer wifi in First Class, and SNCF plan to enhance connectivity as older trains are refurbished. All TGVs have power points for First Class passengers (European two-pin norm). Seats recline for added comfort and there is plenty of space for luggage.

TGV Standard Class

Seating in TGV Standard Class is arranged in pairs of airline-style seats across a central aisle in open-plan carriages. There are some groups of four seats around a table, while others are arranged in pairs, either facing or with your back to the direction of travel. A novelty on some of the newest TGVs is that these airline-style seats can be turned to face the direction of travel.

A small number of TGVs now offer wifi in Standard Class, and SNCF plans to enhance connectivity as older trains are refurbished. Most, but not all, TGVs have power points for Standard Class passengers.

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.