Train travel in France is one of the most efficient forms of transportation in the world. SNCF (Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer), the government-owned French national railroad, serves almost every town in France.
France rightly takes great pride in its trains, including the world-famous TGV system (Trés Grande Vitesse). These mighty high speed trains whoosh you to your destination in less than half the time it would take you to drive. The TGV and other high-speed networks serve all of France's major cities, including Angers, Avignon, Bordeaux, Dijon, Lyons, Strasbourg, Toulouse, Tours, and many others. Let's take a look at the extensive rail system, the passes that are available, and the gares (train stations) of Paris.
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All of France and Europe are connected by rail, and, since Paris is a rail hub, train travel from Paris can get you almost anywhere on the continent, and quickly. In our article we'll tell you how to get where you want to go, and the best way to buy your train tickets and rail passes before you leave home.
In only two hours and fifteen minutes, traveling in a luxury coach, you can train from London to Paris, or back the other way. The Eurostar the connects London & Paris is by far the the best way to travel between these capitals. We've done it both ways and we can attest that the train beats airline travel hands down. You end up at the center of the city refreshed and ready to enjoy your time. We'll give you the details.
To catch your train you'll need to know a bit about the gares of Paris. The six Paris train stations are where you make your connection to all of France and most of Europe. Read our guide to find out how to reach your gare, what destinations are serviced by each stations, and even how to book train tickets online.
Now, let's examine one of the Paris train stations in detail, the busiest gare in Europe — Gare du Nord. It's here that you catch trains to northern France and northern European cities like Brussels, Amsterdam, and Cologne. It's where you find the luxurious Eurostar high-speed train to London. We'll tell you about how to get here, the Metro lines that service the gare, the shopping, dining, history, and where to buy train tickets.
Rail service in France is always improving, and that applies to the train stations — gares — of Paris. To prepare for increased traffic during the 2024 Paris Olympics, to plan for the future, and to make riding the train an even more enjoyable experience, four stations in Paris are seeing major changes, expansions, and improvements. Let's find out what's happening at Gare du Nord, Gare de Lyon, Gare d'Austerlitz, and Gare Montparnasse.
Other than walking or cycling, the best way to experience the wonders of local French culture is by traveling on the train. And an easy way to travel by train is by using the France Rail Pass.
The pass gives you unlimited train travel in France without the worries of airline schedules, car rentals or getting lost. You'll wend your way through endless sunflower fields of Charentes, the mountain villages of the Alps, or the vineyards of Provence. Wherever you travel in France, a rail pass gives you a comfortable, hassle-free way to get around the country.
If you're only going to a couple of places in France you probably don't need a rail pass for the whole country. Instead, it's a great idea to buy your TGV tickets online and have them with you when you arrive in France, complete with seat reservations. It's easy to do, we do it all the time!
If you'll be traveling elsewhere in Europe, we've found a great tool to help you get the right rail pass for you, and at the best price! The Europe Rail Pass Finder shows you all the options available for your travel, allowing you to choose what's best for your needs, dates, and itinerary.
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If you're going on a real European Odyssey then maybe the Eurail Global Pass is the thing for you. Check this out, unlimited travel in 20 countries — Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and The Netherlands!
Train Travel in France
• Train Travel From Paris…
• Eurostar: London & Paris…
• Paris Train Stations…
• Guide to Gare de Nord…
• Station Upgrades 2007-2024…
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