Take Eurostar & TGV high-speed train from London to Nice, Marseille, Lyon, Bordeaux, Avignon, Strasbourg, Perpignan or anywhere in France

France without flying

Buy train tickets from London to France

Advice for buying tickets to France

Take a high-speed train to France

It's the civilised alternative to flying.  Take Eurostar from London to Lille or Paris, then a 300 km/h  TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse) through the French countryside with a glass of red wine to hand from Lille or Paris to Avignon, Marseille, Nice, Nîmes, Montpellier, Perpignan, Lyon, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Rennes or Nantes...  It's affordable, too: London to Paris from £52 one-way or £78 return, Paris to Bordeaux, Lyon, Nice, or Perpignan from around €29 each way.  Centre to centre, no baggage fees, no airport taxes, significantly less impact on the environment & infants go free.

Choose your destination:    

Train times, fares & tickets

small bullet point  London to Paris

small bullet point  Other UK towns & cities to Paris & France

small bullet point  London to Disneyland & Versailles

small bullet point  London to Nice, Cannes & Côte d'Azur

small bullet point  London to Avignon, Aix-en-Provence, Marseille

small bullet point  London to Nîmes, Montpellier, Sète, Agde

small bullet point  London to Narbonne, Carcassonne, Perpignan

 Interactive map:  Click on a destination...

 ...for train times & fares from London, and how to buy tickets.

Route map, London to France by train

See detailed map of the French rail network London to Paris by Eurostar

small bullet point  London to Biarritz, Irun, Lourdes & Tarbes

small bullet point  London to Lyon & Grenoble

small bullet point  London to Bordeaux

small bullet point  London to Strasbourg

small bullet point  London to Limoges, Brive, Cahors, Toulouse

small bullet point  London to Vichy & Clermont Ferrand

small bullet point  London to Le Mans, Angers, Rennes & Nantes

small bullet point  London to Normandy

small bullet point  London to Mont St Michel

small bullet point  London to Calais, Lille & Northern France

small bullet point  London to Bourg St M, Chamonix & French Alps

small bullet point  London to Corsica

small bullet point  London to any other destination in France

small bullet point  Eurostar information & check-in procedures

small bullet point  Starting from other UK towns & cities

small bullet point  How to cross Paris by metro or taxi

small bullet point  About changing trains in Lille

small bullet point  Travel to France using an Interrail pass

small bullet point  How to buy train tickets from UK to France

Train travel within France

small bullet point  Train travel in France, a beginner's guide

small bullet point  What are French TGV trains like?

small bullet point  What are French overnight trains like?

small bullet point  Paris to Nice by TGV

 

Book your hotels at Booking.com

International trains to & from France

small bullet point  Trains to Paris from other European cities

small bullet point  Trains from Paris to other European cities

small bullet point  Trains from Nice to other European cities

small bullet point  Trains from Marseille to other European cities

small bullet point  Trains from Lyon to other European cities

small bullet point  Trains from Bordeaux to other European cities

small bullet point  Trains from Toulouse to other European cities

small bullet point  Trains from Strasbourg to other European cities

Station guides

small bullet point  London St Pancras

small bullet point  Lille Europe

small bullet point  Paris Gare du Nord

small bullet point  Paris Gare de l'Est

small bullet point  Paris Gare de Lyon

small bullet point  Paris Gare d'Austerlitz

 

small bullet point  Paris Gare Montparnasse

small bullet point  Paris Gare de Bercy

small bullet point  Paris Gare St Lazare

small bullet point  Lyon Part Dieu

small bullet point  Marseille St Charles & Nice Ville

small bullet point  Train Bleu restaurant at Paris Gare de Lyon

Other useful information

small bullet point  Useful country information - dial code, currency...

small bullet point  European train travel general information

small bullet point  Luggage on trains & Left luggage at stations

small bullet point  Child age limits & travel with kids

small bullet point  Taking your bike & Taking your dog

small bullet point  Eurail passes - for overseas visitors

small bullet point  Interrail passes - for European residents

 

small bullet point  Holidays & short breaks by train

small bullet point  Hotels in France

small bullet point  Ski holidays in the French Alps by train

small bullet point  Travel with disabilities

small bullet point  Train seat maps

small bullet point  Car hire

small bullet point  Travel insurance, data packages & other tips


Useful country information

Train operator in France:

 

SNCF (Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer), www.sncf-connect.com (formerly www.voyages-sncf.com, formerly oui.sncf).  To check train times & fares & book trains within France see www.raileurope.com or www.thetrainline.com (residents of any country).  To check for disruption affecting trains in France (in French), see www.sncf.com/fr/horaires-info-trafic.  Eurostar trains from London to Paris: www.eurostar.comCorsican Railways Nice-Digne railwayPetit Train Jaune.

   

Buy French train tickets:

 

www.sncf-connect.com or www.raileurope.com or www.thetrainline.com

Paris bus & métro:

 

www.ratp.fr.  For a Paris metro map, select 'plans'.

Railpasses:

 

Beginner's guide to European railpasses    Buy a rail pass online

Time zone:

 

GMT+1 (GMT+2 from last Sunday in March to last Saturday in October).    

Dialling code:

 

+33

Currency:

 

£1 = approx 1.15 euros  Check current exchange rates

Tourist information:

 

www.franceguide.com    Guidebooks     Tours to France by train

Hotels & guesthouses:

 

Finding accommodation in France  Reviews: www.tripadvisor.com

Motorail & car hire:

 

Motorail: taking your car by train    Car hire in France

Page last updated:

 

4 May 2024. Train times valid 10 December 2023 to 14 December 2024.


London to Paris

 

Buy Eurostar tickets at www.eurostar.com

small bullet point  Buy tickets at www.eurostar.com and print your ticket or show it on your phone in the Eurostar app.

small bullet point  Eurostar bookings open up to 6 months ahead, sometimes longer.

small bullet point  Business Premier & Standard Premier = 1st class with drinks & meals. Standard = 2nd class.

small bullet point  For journeys beyond Paris, it can be better to book at www.raileurope.com or www.thetrainline.com, see the relevant destination section on this or other pages.

small bullet point  Tips for choosing a specific Eurostar seat

small bullet point  Advice on buying connecting tickets from other UK towns & cities

Eurostar train from London to Paris & beyond

A Eurostar at St Pancras in London. 

See guide to travel by Eurostar.

Eurostar train first class from London to Paris

Eurostar first class

See tips for choosing your seat.

Eurostar second class from London to Paris

Eurostar standard class.

See tips for choosing your seat.

Cafe-bar on a Eurostar train from London to Paris

The cafe-bar:  Each Eurostar has two café-bars serving drinks & snacks including a range of wraps & sandwiches plus hot dishes such as Chicken Tikka Massala.

 
 
 

Option 1, by Eurostar: See the Eurostar page

Eurostar is the high-speed passenger train from London St Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord via the Channel Tunnel, taking as little as 2h15 at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  Typically, 95% of Eurostar trains run on time or within 15 minutes, against just 65%-70% of flights on the same routes, it's not surprising that Eurostar now has over 70% of the London-Paris market.

Option 2, by train & ferry: See the train & ferry page

It takes 9 hours and you must buy separate tickets for train, ferry & French train, there are long walks between train & ferry on both sides of the Channel and it costs more than a cheap advance-purchase Eurostar ticket.  But you get to sail across the English Channel, you avoid going through the Channel Tunnel if that's an issue for you, and at short notice it can be cheaper.  There's also an overnight 'sleeper' option, with a cosy cabin on the overnight Portsmouth-Caen ferry.

Short breaks to Paris

A short break is sometimes cheaper than booking Eurostar & hotel separately - and if you need to travel at short notice it can even be cheaper than a regular Eurostar ticket.  Try these companies:

small bullet point  Railbookers, www.railbookers.co.uk

small bullet point  Eurostar, www.eurostar.com

small bullet point  Last Minute, www.lastminute.com


Other UK towns & cities to Paris

Use a London International CIV ticket

After buying a Eurostar ticket from London to Lille or Paris, you can buy a separate ticket from most British stations to a special destination called London International CIV, designed for use with Eurostar.

These exist from most stations in Britain, they include the Underground across London to St Pancras and they generally have few or no time restrictions (so an off-peak price may apply even in the peak).  You're covered by the international CIV conditions of carriage if there's a delay to the UK train and you miss your Eurostar, you're entitled to be re-booked on a later one.  More about tickets from your local station to London International CIV.

Or book Britain to France at www.raileurope.com

Raileurope.com connects to both the British and French ticketing system, so you can book from any British station to Paris or anywhere in France as one easy transaction.  It simply adds a normal domestic ticket from your chosen British station to London to an onward Eurostar from London to Lille or Paris and a French train ticket from Lille or Paris onwards. There's a small booking fee.

West of England or South Coast to Paris

By ferry+train:  If you live in the West Country or along the south coast, consider a ferry crossing from Plymouth, Poole, Portsmouth or Newhaven to France, then a train onwards to Paris.  Check ferry routes, times & fares at the Direct Ferries website which covers all routes & operators, or at www.brittany-ferries.co.uk, www.dfds.com or www.condorferries.co.uk.  Then check UK train times from your local station to the UK port using www.nationalrail.co.uk or www.raileurope.com.  Finally, check train times & fares from the French port to Paris and book online at www.sncf-connect.com, www.raileurope.com or www.thetrainline.com.  Allow at least an hour, preferably 90 minutes, between train and ferry on both sides of the Channel.

By Night Riviera sleeper + Eurostar:  From Devon or Cornwall, you can also use the overnight Night Riviera sleeper train to London then a morning Eurostar to Paris, for more information see here.

Scotland to Paris

By daytime trains:  You can buy tickets from Glasgow or Edinburgh to Paris by daytime inter-city train & Eurostar at www.raileurope.com.  Or buy a separate ticket from Scotland to London International CIV as explained here.

By Caledonian Sleeper + Eurostar:  A time-effective way to avoid flying is to hop on the overnight Caledonian Sleeper from Inverness, Aviemore, Aberdeen, Perth, Dundee, Fort William, Glasgow, Edinburgh to London, then take a morning Eurostar to Paris.  See the Caledonian Sleeper page.

Belfast or Dublin to Paris

Belfast or Dublin to Paris using Eurostar, via London:  You can buy a cheap SailRail train+ferry ticket from Belfast to London for around £55, or Dublin to London for €52 each way, see the Northern Ireland page or Ireland page for timetables, fares & full details.  Then book Eurostar separately at www.eurostar.com, from £52 one-way or £78 return.  Allow plenty of time to cross London, including time for the Eurostar check-in and any delay to your train from Scotland or Holyhead to London.  When connecting with a non-changeable, non-refundable Eurostar, bear in mind that the all-weather cruise ferries are very reliable, but the fast ferries can be cancelled in bad weather.

Belfast or Dublin to Paris using the Rosslare-France or Cork-France ferries, avoiding London:  Travel by train from Belfast to Dublin then Dublin to Rosslare or Cork (see www.irishrail.ie), then sail either by Irish Ferries cruise ferry from Rosslare to Roscoff or Cherbourg in France (see www.irishferries.com) or by Brittany ferries (www.brittany-ferries.co.uk) from Cork to Roscoff or Cherbourg for a train to Paris (see www.raileurope.com or www.sncf-connect.com).  To plan this, start by checking ferry sailing dates & times at www.irishferries.com or www.brittany-ferries.co.uk.  Then work out the best connection from Dublin to Rosslare or Cork using www.irishrail.ie, then the connection from Belfast also at www.irishrail.ie.


London to Disneyland

Eurostar at Marne la Vallee station, for Disnelyland Paris

A Eurostar at Marne La Vallée, the station for Disneyland Paris.  Photo courtesy of Justin on Eurostar.

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London to Versailles

Back to top


London to Nice & Cannes

 

Chill out by train to Nice

TGV train from Paris to Nice boarding at the Gare de Lyon...

Lunch at the Train Bleu restaurant, then stroll to your TGV.  There's no check-in to worry about.

London to Nice by train:  A first class 'club duo' table for two on the upper deck of the Paris-Nice TGV Duplex.

Relax. A table for two in first class, upper deck on a TGV Duplex from Paris to Nice, perfect.Chill out by high-speed train from London to Nice!

Chill. Bring your own picnic & wine or visit the café-bar.  You arrive in the centre of Nice.

It's easy to travel from the UK to Cannes, Nice or Monte Carlo by Eurostar and high-speed TGV, a chance to chill out with a good book and a glass of wine, and maybe have lunch in Paris on the way.

Which route to choose?

What's the journey to Nice like?

Settle back into your seat and watch the scenery glide past with a glass of red to hand.  From Lille or Paris to Lyon, the TGV passes rich farmlands and picturesque villages with pretty churches.  South of Lyon, the TGV flies at ground level along the Rhône Valley, crossing and re-crossing the River Rhône on dramatic viaducts high above the valley floor, passing more pretty villages and the occasional hilltop chateau.  It then passes through the hills of Provence to reach Marseille.  Watch out for the huge viaduct over the Rhône just before Avignon, with views of the famous Palais des Papes in the distance to the left - though if you can spot anyone dancing sur le pont d'Avignon you have better eyesight than me.  You'll see the Alpine foothills in the distance to the left, and catch a glimpse of Marseille harbour with its Chateau d'If of Count of Monte Cristo fame to the right before arriving at Marseille St Charles station.  If you're bound for Cannes, Nice or Monte Carlo, the scenery along the Côte d'Azur is wonderful, as the train runs along the coast past yacht-filled harbours, beaches, rocky inlets and millionaires' villas.

The Man in Seat 61 says:  "Attending a conference on the Côte d'Azur, I travelled from London to Nice by train.  A morning Eurostar to Paris, lunch at the Train Bleu restaurant at the Gare de Lyon, then an afternoon TGV Duplex to the South of France, with a 1st class Club Duo seat on the upper deck.  Wonderful!  I put my feet up & relaxed, watched the French villages of the Rhone Valley pass by, caught up on my reading & emails and watched a movie on my iPhone.  To anyone who has only known the stresses of airports, flights & motorways, chilling out on a high-speed train is a revelation..."

Watch the video:  On board a double-deck TGV Duplex (Paris-Nice)

Watch the video:  On board a single-deck Christian Lacroix TGV (Lille-Nice)

For more photos of the train ride from Paris or Lille to Nice, see the Paris to Nice by train page.

Option 1, London to Nice via Lille

This is the easiest option as there's no need to cross Paris, just easy same-station changes at Lille & Marseille.  It's ideal if you've luggage, kids or mobility problems.  Take Eurostar from London St Pancras to Lille Europe and change onto a direct TGV to Marseille St Charles by-passing Paris, then take another TGV from Marseille to Toulon, St Raphael, Cannes, Antibes or Nice.  For a wider choice of departures and in many cases cheaper fares, also check out journeys via Paris in option 2 belowTips for changing trains at Lille.   Unfortunately, SNCF discontinued the daily direct Lille-Nice TGV in December 2018.

Timetable outward 2024

 London ► Nice

 Eurostar, 30 minute check-in

Monday-Friday

Saturdays

Sundays

 London St Pancras

depart

11:04

11:04

11:04

 Lille Europe

arrive

13:26

13:26

13:26

 Easy change at Lille onto a high-speed TGV

 Lille Europe

depart

14:01

14:01

14:01

 Marseille St Charles

arrive

18:50

18:50

18:50

 Change at Marseille onto another TGV

 

 Marseille St Charles

depart

19:59

19:59

19:59

 Toulon

arrive

20:41

20:41

20:41

 St Raphael for St Tropez

arrive

21:35

21:35

21:35

 Cannes

arrive

22:00

22:00

22:00

 Antibes

arrive

22:12

22:12

22:12

 Nice Ville

arrive

22:28

22:28

22:28

Timetable inward 2024

 Nice ► London

 TER regional train, 2nd class only

Monday-Friday

Saturday

Sunday

 Nice Ville

depart

08:25

11:25

08:25

11:25

08:25

11:25

 Antibes

depart

08:48

11:48

08:48

11:48

08:48

11:48

 Cannes

depart

09:02

12:02

09:02

12:02

09:02

12:02

 St Raphael for St Tropez

depart

09:25

12:25

09:25

12:25

09:25

12:25

 Toulon

depart

10:22

13:18

10:22

13:18

10:22

13:18

 Marseille St Charles

depart

11:08

14:06

11:08

14:06

11:08

14:06

 Change at Marseille onto a TGV

           

 Marseille St Charles

depart

12:14

15:12

12:14

15:12

12:14

15:12

 Lille Europe

arrive

16:58

19:57

16:58

19:57

16:58

19:57

 Easy change at Lille onto Eurostar, remember the 30 minute check-in

 Lille Europe

depart

19:35

21:35

18:36

21:00

18:36

21:33

 London St Pancras

arrive

19:57

21:57

18:57

21:27

18:57

21:57

Notes for the timetable

How to read these timetables:  It's easy, you read downwards, each column is a journey you can take.  You change trains at each grey bar.

How to buy tickets   Tips for changing trains at Lille   How to reach St Tropez, Monte Carlo, Juan les Pins, Menton

Always check times for your specific dates using www.raileurope.com or www.thetrainline.com, as the times shown here can vary.  Don't book any Eurostar tickets until you have confirmed onward train times.  Eurostar doesn't run on 25 December.

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

Using an Interrail pass

What are the trains like?

1. London to Lille by Eurostar

Eurostar trains link London & Lille in 1h22, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in, as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More about Eurostar & check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide Lille station guide & tips on changing trains.

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at St Pancras.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Lille to the South of France by TGV

TGV or Train á Grande Vitesse is French Railways high-speed train, with 1st & 2nd class and a cafe-bar.  They come in various types, some single-deck, some double-deck TGV Duplex, you could get either on cross-France routes from Lille.  Most have power sockets at seats, most now have free WiFi.  The photos below show a single-deck TGV with the Christian Lacroix designer interior.  The direct TGVs from Lille by-pass Paris on a high-speed avoiding line via Charles de Gaulle Airport station.  More about TGV.

2nd class on a Paris-Milan TGV   TGV from Paris arrived at Luxembourg

2nd class with mix of unidirectional seats & tables for 4.  Seats 2+2 across car width. Larger photo.

 

TGV arrived at Paris Gare de l'Est.

Cafe-bar on the Paris-Milan TGV   1st class on the Paris-Milan TGV

Cafe-bar selling tea, coffee, beer, wine, cold snacks & microwaved dishes.  Larger photo.

 

1st class with a mix of unidirectional seats, solo seats, tables for 2 & for 4.  Seats 2+1 across car width.  Larger photo.

Back to top

Option 2, London to Nice via Paris

This is the fastest & most frequent option, if you don't mind changing trains & stations in Paris.  It's usually cheaper than going via Lille, too.  Take Eurostar from London St Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord in just 2h20, change stations in Paris by metro or taxi as explained here, then take a 300 km/h double-deck TGV Duplex from Paris Gare de Lyon to Nice in as little as 5h40.  A same-station change in Lille may be easier, but you'll find a wider range of departures via Paris, and usually cheaper fares available.  Why not take an earlier Eurostar and have lunch at the fabulous Train Bleu restaurant inside the Gare de Lyon before chilling out on an afternoon TGV Duplex to the Sunny South of France?  For an account of the journey in pictures, see the Paris to Nice by train page.

Timetable outward 2024

 London ► Nice

 Eurostar, 30 min check-in

Mondays-Fridays

Saturdays

Sundays

 London St Pancras

depart

09:31

12:31

20:01

06:31

09:31

12:31

20:01

09:31

12:31

20:01

 Paris Gare du Nord

arrive

12:50

15:50

23:18

09:48

12:50

15:50

23:18

12:50

15:50

23:18

 Cross Paris by metro or taxi to the Paris Gare de Lyon and board a high-speed TGV Duplex

 Paris Gare de Lyon

depart

14:10

17:22

09:10

11:22

14:10

17:22

09:10

14:10

17:22

09:10

 Toulon

arrive

18:11

21:11

13:11

15:11

18:11

21:11

13:11

18:11

21:11

13:11

 St Raphael

arrive

19:01

22:01

14:01

16:01

19:01

22:01

14:01

19:01

22:01

14:01

 Cannes

arrive

19:26

22:26

14:26

16:25

19:26

22:26

14:26

19:26

22:26

14:26

 Antibes

arrive

19:39

22:39

14:39

16:39

19:39

22:39

14:39

19:39

22:39

14:39

 Nice Ville

arrive

19:55

22:55

14:55

16:58

19:55

22:55

14:55

19:55

22:55

14:55

Timetable inward 2024

 Nice ► London

 High-speed TGV Duplex

Mondays to Fridays

Saturdays

Sundays

 Nice

depart

10:04

12:03

16:58

07:58

10:04

12:03

16:58

07:58

10:04

12:03

16:58

 Antibes

depart

10:20

12:20

17:21

08:20

10:20

12:20

17:21

08:20

10:20

12:20

17:21

 Cannes

depart

10:33

12:34

17:33

08:31

10:33

12:34

17:33

08:31

10:33

12:34

17:33

 St Raphael for St Tropez

depart

10:58

12:58

|

08:55

10:58

12:58

|

08:55

10:58

12:58

|

 Toulon

depart

11:49

13:49

18:48

09:50

11:49

13:49

18:48

09:50

11:49

13:49

18:48

 Paris Gare de Lyon

arrive

15:50

17:50

22:38

13:50

15:50

17:50

22:38

13:50

15:50

17:50

22:38

 Cross Paris by metro or RER to the Gare du Nord and take Eurostar, minimum 30 minute check-in

 Paris Gare du Nord

depart

18:12

20:12

07:12

16:12

19:12

20:12

08:12

16:12

18:12

20:12

07:12

 London St Pancras

arrive

19:30

21:30

08:30

17:30

20:30

21:30

09:30

17:30

19:30

21:30

08:30

Notes for the timetable

How to read these timetables:  It's easy, you read downwards, each column is a journey you can take.  You change trains at the grey bar.

You don't have to book the exact Eurostar I show above as connecting with that particular TGV.  Eurostar links London & Paris almost every hour, by all means book an earlier Eurostar outward or a later one back if it has cheaper fares or you want to spend time in Paris.  Lunch at the Train Bleu restaurant at the Gare de Lyon?

Always check times for your specific date using www.raileurope.com, www.thetrainline.com or www.sncf-connect.com as times can vary.  Don't book a Eurostar ticket until you have confirmed onward times.  Eurostar doesn't run on 25 December.  How to reach St Tropez, Monte Carlo, Juan les Pins, Menton

Shaded = time-effective journey with overnight hotel stop in Paris.  By all means choose an earlier evening Eurostar outward or a later morning one inwards.  Or a later morning TGV going south, or an earlier evening TGV going north.  Your call!  Suggested hotels near the Gare du Nord or Gare de Lyon in Paris

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

Using an Interrail pass

What are the trains like?

1. London to Paris by Eurostar

Eurostar trains link London & Paris in 2h20, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More about Eurostar & check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide Paris Gare du Nord station guideHow to cross Paris by metro or taxi.

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at Paris Nord.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Paris to Cannes or Nice by TGV Duplex

TGV or Train á Grande Vitesse is French Railways high-speed train, with 1st & 2nd class seats, free WiFi, power sockets at all seats and a cafe-bar.  The direct Paris-Nice trains are operated by double-deck TGV Duplex trains which reach 300km/h (186 mph) on the high-speed line before slowing right down to travel from Marseille to Cannes & Nice over the classic line along the coast, with great views of rocky headlands, yacht-filled bays and millionaires' villas.   More about Paris-Nice TGV Duplex trainsParis Gare de Lyon station guide.

TGV Duplex from Paris to Nice

TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de Lyon in the new InOui colours.

TGV Duplex cafe-bar   TGV Duplex upper deck 2nd class seats

Cafe-bar on upper deck car 4, serving tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, snacks & microwaved hot dishes.

 

2nd class upper deck seats with a mix of tables for 4 & unidirectional seating.  360º photo.

First class on board a TGV Duplex   An TGV Duplex at Paris Est.

1st class upper deck seats, club duo on the left, club quatre on the right.  360º photo.

 

TGV Duplex. The 1 next to the door indicates 1st class, a 2 indicates 2nd class.

TGV Duplex:  Stairs to upper deck   TGV Duplex:  Power outlets   TGV Duplex:  Luggage racks

The stairs to the upper deck. Just 9 steps, wide, shallow with double handrails.  No problem!

 

Power sockets:  All seats in both classes have power sockets, 2-pin 230v.  Your train may have WiFi, whilst in France.

 

Luggage racks.  You take your bags on board with you and place them on the racks.  There are racks both upstairs and downstairs, both at the car ends and (as here) between the seats.

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Option 3, London to Nice by sleeper

Discontinued in December 2017 along with other popular French night trains, the French government has now restored the most important night train services as a climate-friendly alternative to flying.  First to be restored, the Paris-Nice Intercité de Nuit made a welcome return in April 2021.  Take an afternoon Eurostar from central London, dinner in Paris (see my suggested restaurants here), then sleep your way south in a couchette to Toulon, Cannes, Antibes or Nice.  Why not go one-way by sleeper and the other way by TGV?  Watch the video.

London ► Toulon, Cannes, Antibes, Nice

Nice, Antibes, Cannes, Toulon ► London

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

Using an Interrail pass

What are the trains like?

1. London to Paris by Eurostar

Eurostar trains link London & Paris in 2h20, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More about Eurostar & check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide Paris Gare du Nord station guideHow to cross Paris by metro or taxi.

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at Paris Nord.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Paris to Cannes or Nice by Intercité de Nuit

The intercité de nuit overnight train has 1st class couchettes in 4-berth compartments & 2nd class couchettes in 6-berth compartments, each berth supplied with lightweight sleeping-bag, mineral water, amenities kit, reading light & power socket.  There are toilets & washrooms at the end of the corridor, and free WiFi.  More about intercités de nuitWatch the video guide Paris Austerlitz station guide.

Intercite de nuit overnight train at Paris Austerlitz

Intercité de nuit sleeper train at Paris Gare d'Austerlitz More about Intercités de Nuit.

Intercite de Nuit 2nd class 6-berth couchette   Intercite de Nuit 2nd class couchette

1st class 4-berth couchettes

 

2nd class 6-berth couchettes

Intercite de Nuit 1st class couchette   Intercite de Nuit 1st class 4-berth couchette

1st class couchette, made up for the night.

 

2nd class couchette.

The Paris to Nice sleeper running along theMediterranean coast

The Paris to Nice sleeper running along the Côte d'Azur in the morning sun.  Courtesy of Noam auf Gleis 13.

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Option 4, London to Nice by lo-cost Ouigo

In 2013, French Railways launched a budget-airline-on-rails called Ouigo.  Ouigo offers two lo-cost no-frills one-class trains a day from Paris to Cannes & Nice using special double-deck TGV Duplex trains with no catering & no 1st class.  Like budget airlines, there are baggage limits and extra fees for large or additional bags.  See more about Ouigo including travel tips & luggage limits and the Man in Seat 61's opinion of Ouigo.

You can use a Eurostar ticket from London to Paris plus a lo-cost Ouigo ticket from Paris to Toulon, Cannes, Antibes or Nice, as long as you allow plenty of time between trains in Paris, meaning 2 or 3 hours not the usual 1 hour you might allow with regular trains.

That's because Ouigo is a separate company (even though wholly-owned by SNCF French Railways).  You'll have separate tickets for the Eurostar & Ouigo, Ouigo has no agreement in place with Eurostar to guarantee onward travel if there's a missed connection, unlike the Railteam arrangement which protects your connection between Eurostar and normal TGV InOui trains.  So if Eurostar train runs late and you miss your Ouigo or vice versa. you may have to pay for a new ticket.  It's your risk, which is why you should allow 2 or ideally 3 hours between trains in Paris, not one.

London ► Cannes, Nice

Nice, Cannes ► London

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

What are the trains like?

1. London to Paris by Eurostar

Eurostar trains link London & Paris in 2h20, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More about Eurostar & check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide Paris Gare du Nord station guideHow to cross Paris by metro or taxi.

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at Paris Nord.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Paris to Cannes or Nice by Ouigo

Ouigo is a subsidiary company of SNCF French Railways, set up as a budget airline on rails. It uses double-deck TGV Duplex trains, but one class only, with no 1st class, no catering, airline-style baggage limits and a 30-minute check-in.  More about OuigoParis Gare de Lyon station guide.

A Ouigo train at Lyon St Exupery bound for Paris

A double-deck Ouigo train  More about Ouigo.

Ouigo train, stairs to upper deck   Ouigo train upstairs seats

9 steps to upper deck. Larger photo.

 

Upstairs seats on Ouigo, 2+2 across the car width.  Choosing the Power plug or Quiet options guarantees you an upper deck seat.  Larger photo.

Back to top


Connections on the Cote d'Azur

St Tropez

Juan les Pins, Villefranche sur Mer, Beaulieu sur Mer

Monaco-Monte Carlo, Menton & Ventimiglia

Back to top


How to buy train tickets to France

You can buy train tickets to anywhere in France, either at www.raileurope.com or www.thetrainline.com.

  Buy train tickets to Italy at Raileurope.com
 

For hotels

www.booking.com allows you to book your accommodation before train bookings open, with free cancellation.

Booking.com logo

Click here for suggested hotels in Paris.

 

Option 1, buy at Raileurope.com

Option 2, buy at Thetrainline.com

Option 3, buy at SNCF-connect.com

Or have your trip arranged as a package

How to buy tickets by phone

Back to top


London to Avignon, Aix, Marseille

It's easy to travel from the UK to Avignon, Aix or Marseille by Eurostar & high-speed TGV, a chance to chill out with a good book & a glass of wine, and maybe even have lunch in Paris on the way.  It's affordable too.

Which route to choose?

Option 1, London to Provence via Lille

This is the easiest option.  Take a Eurostar from London to Lille, make one simple same-station change of train at Lille onto a direct TGV to Provence, by-passing Paris.  Ideal if you've luggage, kids or mobility problems.  Although going via Paris gives a wider choice of departures and often cheaper fares, see option 3 below.

Timetable outward 2024

 London ► Avignon, Aix, Marseille

 Eurostar, 30 minute check-in

Mon-Thurs

Fridays

Saturdays

Sundays

 London St Pancras

depart

11:04

19:34

11:04

13:01

19:34

11:04

13:01

19:34

11:04

15:04

19:34

 Lille Europe

arrive

13:26

22:04

13:26

15:27

22:04

13:26

15:27

22:04

13:26

17:26

22:04

 Easy change at Lille onto a high-speed TGV

 Lille Europe

depart

14:01

07:24

14:01

17:01

07:24

14:01

17:00

07:24

14:01

18:30

07:24

 Avignon TGV

arrive

18:12

11:53

18:12

21:31

11:53

18:12

21:31

11:53

18:12

23:13

11:53

 Aix en Provence TGV

arrive

18:35

|

18:35

21:54

|

18:35

21:54

|

18:35

23:36

|

 Marseille St Charles

arrive

18:50

12:24

18:50

22:15

12:24

18:50

22:15

12:24

18:50

23:52

12:24

Timetable inward 2024

 Marseille, Aix, Avignon ► London

 High-speed TGV

Mondays to Fridays

Saturdays

Sundays

 Marseille St Charles

depart

06:36

12:14

15:12

17:12

06:36

12:14

15:12

17:12

06:36

12:14

15:12

17:12

 Aix en Provence TGV

depart

06:50

12:28

15:26

17:26

06:50

12:28

15:26

17:26

06:50

12:28

15:26

17:26

 Avignon TGV

depart

07:15

12:50

15:49

17:49

07:15

12:50

15:49

17:49

07:15

12:50

15:49

17:49

 Lille Europe

arrive

11:29

16:59

19:59

21:58

11:29

16:59

19:59

21:58

11:29

16:59

19:59

21:58

 Easy change at Lille onto Eurostar, 30 minute minimum check-in

 Lille Europe

depart

13:35

18:35

21:35

08:35

13:35

18:35

21:00

09:30

13:35

18:35

21:35

08:35

 London St Pancras

arrive

13:57

18:57

21:57

08:59

13:57

18:57

21:27

09:57

13:57

18:57

21:57

08:59

Notes for the timetable

How to read these timetables:  It's easy, you read downwards, each column is a journey you can take.  You change trains at the grey bar.

Always check train times for your specific dates using www.raileurope.com or www.thetrainline.com, as the times shown here can vary.  Don't book any Eurostar tickets until you have confirmed onward train times.  Eurostar doesn't run on 25 December.

Shaded = time-effective journey with overnight stop in Lille.  I suggest the Crowne Plaza EuroLille or Novotel Suites Lille Europe, both hotels are located at Lille Europe station with good reviews.  By all means choose an earlier evening Eurostar and/or later morning TGV outbound, or an earlier afternoon TGV and/or later morning Eurostar inbound.

Avignon TGV station is 3 miles from Avignon city centre & Avignon Centre station.  A new rail link from Avignon TGV station to Avignon Centre station opened in 2013 and shuttle trains now run every 30-45 minutes, journey time 5 minutes, fare around €1.80.  If you'd rather travel to Avignon Centre, simply specify 'Avignon Centre' when booking at www.raileurope.com and it'll add the shuttle train for an extra £1.50.  Map of Avignon showing stations.

Aix en Provence TGV station is 10 miles from Aix city centre.  A shuttle bus runs from Aix TGV station to Aix Gare Routière in the town centre every 15 minutes for most of the day, journey time 23 minutes.  On arrival at Aix-en-Provence TGV, cross over to the west side of the station and leave via the Porte Sud following signs downstairs for bus.  The bus stop is located on the eastbound carriageway of the D9 main road that passes underneath the station.  See www.lepilote.com, it's route 40.

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

Using an Interrail pass

What are the trains like?

1. London to Lille by Eurostar

Eurostar trains link London & Lille in 1h22, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More about Eurostar & check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide Lille station guide & tips on changing trains.

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at St Pancras.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Lille to the South of France by TGV

TGV or Train á Grande Vitesse is French Railways high-speed train, with 1st & 2nd class and a cafe-bar.  They come in various types, some single-deck, some double-deck TGV Duplex, you could get either on cross-France routes from Lille.  Most have power sockets at seats, most now have free WiFi.  The photos below show a single-deck TGV with the Christian Lacroix designer interior.  The direct TGVs from Lille by-pass Paris on a high-speed avoiding line via Charles de Gaulle Airport station.  More about TGV.

2nd class on a Paris-Milan TGV   TGV from Paris arrived at Luxembourg

2nd class with mix of unidirectional seats & tables for 4.  Seats 2+2 across car width. Larger photo.

 

Business end of a TGV.

Cafe-bar on the Paris-Milan TGV   1st class on the Paris-Milan TGV

Cafe-bar selling tea, coffee, beer, wine, cold snacks & microwaved dishes.  Larger photo.

 

1st class with a mix of unidirectional seats, solo seats, tables for 2 & for 4.  Seats 2+1 across car width.  Larger photo.

Back to top

Option 2, London to Provence via Paris

This is the fastest & most frequent option and also usually cheapest, if you don't mind changing trains & stations in Paris.  Take Eurostar from London to Paris in 2h20, change stations in Paris by metro or taxi, then take a 300 km/h double-deck TGV Duplex from Paris Gare de Lyon to Marseille in as little as 3h05.  A same-station change in Lille is easier (see option 1 above), but going via Paris offers a much wider range of departures and usually cheaper fares.  Why not take an earlier Eurostar and have lunch at the fabulous Train Bleu restaurant at the Gare de Lyon before boarding your TGV to the South of France?

Timetable outward 2024

 London ► Avignon, Aix, Marseille  (Monday-Friday)

 Eurostar, 30 min check-in

Mondays to Fridays

 London St Pancras

depart

06:01

07:01

09:31

09:31

10:24

11:31

12:31

13:31

13:31

14:31

20:01

 Paris Gare du Nord

arrive

09:20

10:19

12:50

12:50

13:50

14:48

15:50

16:48

16:48

17:50

23:18

 Cross Paris by RER to the Paris Gare de Lyon and board a high-speed TGV Duplex

 Paris Gare de Lyon

depart

10:38

11:38

14:10

14:38

15:38

16:38

17:38

18:10

18:38

19:56

07:38

 Avignon TGV

arrive

13:19

14:19

|

17:20

18:21

19:20

20:17

|

21:22

22:46

10:23

 Aix en Provence TGV

arrive

13:41

14:41

|

17:43

18:44

19:48

20:41

|

21:46

23:08

10:48

 Marseille St Charles

arrive

13:56

14:56

17:14

17:58

18:59

20:08

20:56

21:14

22:01

23:23

11:03

 London ► Avignon, Aix, Marseille (Saturday & Sunday)

 Eurostar, 30 minute check-in

Saturdays

Sundays

 London St Pancras

depart

06:31

09:31

09:31

10:24

12:31

14:31

20:01

09:31

09:31

10:24

11:31

12:31

13:31

13:31

14:31

20:01

 Paris Gare du Nord

arrive

09:48

12:50

12:50

13:50

15:50

17:50

23:18

12:50

12:50

13:50

14:48

15:50

16:48

16:48

17:48

23:18

 Cross Paris by RER to the Paris Gare de Lyon & take a TGV Duplex 

 Paris Gare de Lyon

depart

11:38

14:10

14:38

15:38

17:38

19:38

07:38

14:10

14:38

15:38

16:38

17:38

18:10

18:38

19:38

07:38

 Avignon TGV

arrive

14:19

|

17:20

18:21

20:17

22:17

10:23

|

17:20

18:21

19:20

20:17

|

21:22

22:17

10:23

 Aix en Provence TGV

arrive

14:41

|

17:43

18:44

20:41

22:41

10:48

|

17:43

18:44

19:48

20:41

|

21:46

22:41

10:48

 Marseille St Charles

arrive

14:56

17:14

17:58

18:59

20:56

22:56

11:03

17:14

17:58

18:59

20:08

20:56

21:14

22:01

22:56

11:03

Timetable inward 2024

 Marseille, Aix, Avignon ► London  (Monday-Friday)

 High-speed TGV

Mondays to Fridays

 Marseille St Charles

depart

06:04

07:03

09:03

12:02

12:46

14:03

15:02

16:04

19:04

 Aix en Provence TGV

depart

06:18

07:17

09:18

12:18

|

14:18

15:18

16:18

19:18

 Avignon TGV

depart

06:41

07:39

09:41

12:41

|

14:41

15:41

16:40

19:40

 Paris Gare de Lyon

arrive

09:22

10:22

12:22

15:22

15:50

17:22

18:22

19:23

22:22

 Cross Paris by metro or RER to the Gare du Nord and take Eurostar, minimum 30 minute check-in

 Paris Gare du Nord

depart

11:12

12:12

14:42

17:12

18:12

19:12

20:12

21:12

07:12

 London St Pancras

arrive

12:30

13:30

16:00

18:32

19:39

20:30

21:30

22:30

08:30

 Marseille, Aix, Avignon ► London  (Saturday & Sunday)

 High-speed TGV

Saturdays

Sunday

 Marseille St Charles

depart

07:03

09:03

10:45

12:02

12:46

15:02

19:04

07:00

09:03

10:45

12:02

12:46

14:03

15:02

16:04

19:04

 Aix en Provence TGV

depart

07:17

09:18

|

12:18

|

15:18

19:18

07:14

09:18

|

12:18

|

14:18

15:18

16:18

19:18

 Avignon TGV

depart

07:39

09:41

|

12:41

|

15:41

19:40

07:36

09:41

|

12:41

|

14:41

15:41

16:40

19:40

 Paris Gare de Lyon

arrive

10:22

12:22

13:50

15:22

15:50

18:22

22:22

10:22

12:22

13:50

15:22

15:50

17:22

18:22

19:23

22:22

 Cross Paris by metro or RER to the Gare du Nord and take Eurostar, 30 min check-in

 Paris Gare du Nord

depart

12:12

14:12

16:12

17:12

19:12

20:12

08:12

12:12

14:42

16:12

17:12

18:12

19:12

20:12

21:12

07:12

 London St Pancras

arrive

13:30

15:30

17:30

18:32

20:30

21:30

09:30

13:30

16:00

17:30

18:32

19:39

20:30

21:30

22:30

08:30

Notes for the timetable

How to read these timetables:  It's easy, you read downwards, each column is a journey you can take.  You change trains at the grey bar.

You don't have to book the exact Eurostar I show above as connecting with that particular TGV.  Eurostar links London & Paris almost every hour, by all means book an earlier Eurostar outward or a later one back if it has cheaper fares or you want to spend time in Paris.  Lunch at the Train Bleu restaurant at the Gare de Lyon?

Always check times for your specific date using www.raileurope.com, www.thetrainline.com or www.sncf-connect.com as times can vary.  Don't book a Eurostar ticket until you have confirmed onward times.  Eurostar doesn't run on 25 December.

Shaded = Time-effective journey with overnight hotel stop in Paris.  By all means choose an earlier evening Eurostar or later morning TGV outward or an earlier evening TGV & later morning Eurostar inwards. Suggested hotels near the Gare du Nord or Gare de Lyon in Paris.

Avignon TGV station is 3 miles from Avignon city centre & Avignon Centre station.  A new rail link from Avignon TGV station to Avignon Centre station opened in December 2013 and shuttle trains now run every 15-30 minutes, journey time 5 minutes, fare around €1.80.  If you'd rather travel to Avignon Centre, simple specify 'Avignon Centre' when booking at www.raileurope.com and it'll add the shuttle train for an extra £1.50.  Map of Avignon showing stations.

Aix en Provence TGV station is 10 miles from Aix city centre.  A shuttle bus runs from Aix TGV station to Aix Gare Routière in the town centre every 15 minutes for most of the day, journey time 23 minutes.  On arrival at Aix-en-Provence TGV, cross over to the west side of the station and leave via the Porte Sud following signs downstairs for bus.  The bus stop is located on the eastbound carriageway of the D9 main road that passes underneath the station.  See www.lepilote.com, it's route 40.

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

Using an Interrail pass

What's the journey like?

1. London to Paris by Eurostar

Eurostar trains link London & Paris in 2h20, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More about Eurostar & check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide Paris Gare du Nord station guideHow to cross Paris by metro or taxi.

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at St Pancras.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Paris to Avignon, Aix or Marseille by TGV Duplex

Sit back with a glass of red and enjoy the ride - book an upper deck seat for the best views.  The train is equipped with power sockets for laptops & mobiles at all seats in both classes, and a cafe-bar serves drinks, snacks & microwaved hot dishes.  More about TGV DuplexParis Gare de Lyon station guide.

TGV Duplex from Paris to Nice

TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de Lyon in the new InOui colours.

TGV Duplex cafe-bar   TGV Duplex upper deck 2nd class seats

Cafe-bar on upper deck car 4, serving tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, snacks & microwaved hot dishes.

 

2nd class upper deck seats with a mix of tables for 4 & unidirectional seating.  360º photo.

First class on board a TGV Duplex   A TGV Duplex from Nice to Paris.

1st class upper deck seats, club duo on the left, club quatre on the right.  360º photo.

 

A TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de Lyon.

TGV Duplex:  Stairs to upper deck   TGV Duplex:  Power outlets   TGV Duplex:  Luggage racks

Stairs to upper deck. 9 steps, wide, shallow with double handrails.  No problem!

 

Power sockets:  All seats in both classes have power sockets, 2-pin 230v.  Your train may have WiFi, whilst in France.

 

Luggage racks.  You take your bags on board with you and place them on the racks.  There are racks both upstairs and downstairs, both at the car ends and (as here) between the seats.

Back to top

Option 3, London to Provence by lo-cost Ouigo

In 2013, SNCF (French Railways) launched a budget-airline-on-rails called Ouigo.  Ouigo operates several no-frills trains a day from Paris to Lyon, Aix en Provence, Avignon, Marseille, Nîmes & Montpellier using special double-deck TGV Duplex trains with one class, no catering, no 1st class.  Like budget airlines, there are baggage limits and extra fees for large or additional bags.  See more about Ouigo including travel tips & luggage limits and the Man in Seat 61's opinion of Ouigo.

You can use a Eurostar ticket from London to Paris plus a lo-cost Ouigo ticket from Paris to Avignon, Aix or Marseille, as long as you allow plenty of time between trains in Paris, meaning 2 or 3 hours not the usual 1 hour you might allow with regular trains.

That's because Ouigo is a separate company (even though wholly-owned by SNCF French Railways).  You'll have separate tickets for the Eurostar & Ouigo, Ouigo has no agreement in place with Eurostar to guarantee onward travel if there's a missed connection, unlike the Railteam arrangement which protects your connection between Eurostar and normal TGV InOui trains.  So if Eurostar train runs late and you miss your Ouigo or vice versa. you may have to pay for a new ticket.  It's your risk, which is why you should allow 2 or ideally 3 hours between trains in Paris, not one.

How to buy tickets

What are the trains like?

1. London to Paris by Eurostar

Eurostar trains link London & Paris in 2h20, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More about Eurostar & check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide Paris Gare du Nord station guideHow to cross Paris by metro or taxi.

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at Paris Nord.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Paris to the South of France by Ouigo

Ouigo is a subsidiary company of SNCF French Railways, set up as a budget airline on rails. It uses double-deck TGV Duplex trains, but one class only, with no 1st class, no catering, airline-style baggage limits and a 30-minute check-in.  More about OuigoParis Gare de Lyon station guide.

A Ouigo train at Lyon St Exupery bound for Paris

A double-deck Ouigo train  More about Ouigo.

Ouigo train, stairs to upper deck   Ouigo train upstairs seats

9 steps to upper deck. Larger photo.

 

Upstairs seats on Ouigo, 2+2 across the car width.  Choosing the Power plug or Quiet options guarantees you an upper deck seat.  Larger photo.

Back to top


London to Nîmes, Montpellier, Carcassonne, Perpignan

Option 1, by Eurostar & TGV via Lille

This is the most stress-free way to travel from London to the south of France.  Take a Eurostar to Lille and make a simple same-station change of train onto a 300 km/h (186 mph) TGV direct to Nîmes & Montpellier with no need to cross Paris.  South of Lyon the TGV runs along the scenic Rhône Valley, crossing and re-crossing the River Rhône, flying at ground level through the hills of Provence over some breathtaking viaducts, passing pretty French villages and the occasional chateau.  If you're going beyond Montpellier, watch out for your first sight of the Mediterranean coast and for the flamingos on the various étangs (lakes) which the train passes or crosses on a causeway.

Timetable outward 2024

 London ► Nîmes, Montpellier, Carcassonne, Perpignan  

 Eurostar, 30 minute check-in

Mon, Tue, Wed

Thursdays

Fridays

Saturdays

Sundays

 London St Pancras depart

13:01

11:04

13:01

11:04

13:01

13:01

11:04

13:01

 Lille Europe arrive

15:26

13:26

15:26

13:26

15:26

15:26

13:26

15:26

 Easy change at Lille onto a high-speed TGV to Nîmes & Montpellier

 Lille Europe depart

17:01

15:22

17:01

15:22

17:01

17:01

15:22

17:01

 Nîmes Pont du Gard arrive

|

|

|

|

|

|

|

|

 Nîmes arrive

21:39

20:12

21:39

20:12

21:39

21:39

20:12

21:39

 Montpellier Sud de France arrive

|

|

|

|

|

|

|

|

 Montpellier Saint-Roch arrive

22:07

20:49

22:07

20:49

22:07

22:07

20:49

22:07

 Change at Montpellier (unless shown as direct)

direct

direct

 

 Montpellier Saint-Roch depart

22:51

21:03

22:51

21:03

22:12

22:12

21:17

23:09

 Sète arrive

23:09

|

23:09

|

22:28

22:28

2133

23:09

 Agde arrive

23:24

|

23:24

|

22:43

22:43

21:48

23:24

 Béziers arrive

23:38

21:42

23:38

21:42

22:58

22:58

22:03

23:38

 Narbonne arrive

23:56

21:58

23:56

21:58

23:14

23:14

22:19

23:56

 Carcassonne arrive

 -

22:31

 -

22:31

|

|

|

 -

 Perpignan arrive

-

-

-

-

23:46

23:46

22:58

-

Timetable inward 2024

 Perpignan, Carcassonne, Montpellier, Nîmes ► London

 Take a train to Montpellier:

Mondays-Fridays

Saturdays

Sundays

 Perpignan depart

-

05:59

11:09

07:03

12:08

07:03

12:08

 Carcassonne depart

-

|

 11:28m

|

 11:28m

|

 11:28m

 Narbonne depart

-

06:39

12:07

07:46

13:05

07:46

13:05

 Béziers depart

-

06:35

12:22

08:04

13:20

08:04

13:20

 Agde depart

-

07:09

12:34

08:18

13:32

08:18

13:32

 Sète depart

-

07:25

12:49

08:34

13:47

08:34

13:47

 Montpellier Sud de France depart

-

07:44

|

|

|

|

|

 Montpellier Saint-Roch arrive

 -

-

13:09

08:54

14:07

08:54

14:07

 Change at Montpellier onto a TGV to Lille:

direct

 

direct

 

 Montpellier Saint-Roch depart

 05:28**

-

14:51

08:59

14:51

08:59

14:51

 Montpellier Sud de France depart

|

09:12

|

|

|

|

|

 Nîmes depart

 05:56**

|

15:19

09:27

15:19

09:27

15:19

 Nîmes Pont du Gard depart

|

09:33

|

|

|

|

|

 Lille Europe arrive

10:40f

14:24

19:57

14:18

19:57

14:18

19:57

 Change at Lille onto Eurostar to London, 30 minute minimum check-in

 Lille Europe depart

13:35

15:30

21:35

15:30

21:00

15:30

21:33

 London St Pancras arrive

13:57

15:57

21:57

15:57

21:27

15:57

21:57

Notes for the timetable

How to read these timetables:  It's easy, you read downwards, each column is a journey you can take.  You change trains at the grey bar.

*  Runs on Fridays, also runs on some Thursdays & Sundays.

**  The 05:28 from Montpellier & 05:56 from Nimes runs on Mondays and Fridays only.

Nimes Pont du Gard & Montpellier Sud de France are out-of-town stations several km from each city.

Nimes & Montpellier St Roche are in the centres.

f = this TGV arrives Lille Flandres, 500m walk to Lille Europe for the Eurostar to London.

m = The 11:28 from Carcassonne is an Intercité direct to Montpellier Saint Roche, arriving 12:56, change at Montpellier for the TGV to Lille.

There are many other journey possibilities changing trains and stations in Paris. 

Always check train times for your specific dates using www.raileurope.com or www.thetrainline.com, as the times shown here can vary.  Don't book any Eurostar tickets until you have confirmed onward train times.  Eurostar doesn't run on 25 December.

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

Using an Interrail pass

What are the trains like?

1. London to Lille by Eurostar

Eurostar trains link London & Lille in 1h22, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More about Eurostar & check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide Lille Europe station guide & tips on changing trains.

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at St Pancras.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Lille to the South of France by TGV

TGV or Train á Grande Vitesse is French Railways high-speed train, with 1st & 2nd class and a cafe-bar.  They come in various types, some single-deck, some double-deck TGV Duplex, you could get either on cross-France routes from Lille.  Most have power sockets at seats, most now have free WiFi.  The photos below show a single-deck TGV with the Christian Lacroix designer interior.  The direct TGVs from Lille by-pass Paris on a high-speed avoiding line via Charles de Gaulle Airport station.  More about TGV.

2nd class on a Paris-Milan TGV   TGV from Paris arrived at Luxembourg

2nd class with mix of unidirectional seats & tables for 4.  Seats 2+2 across car width. Larger photo.

 

Business end of a TGV.

Cafe-bar on the Paris-Milan TGV   1st class on the Paris-Milan TGV

Cafe-bar selling tea, coffee, beer, wine, cold snacks & microwaved dishes.  Larger photo.

 

1st class with a mix of unidirectional seats, solo seats, tables for 2 & for 4.  Seats 2+1 across car width.  Larger photo.

Back to top

Option 2, by Eurostar & TGV via Paris

Going via Paris is more frequent, usually faster and often cheaper than going via Lille, if you don't mind changing stations in Paris by metro or taxi.

If you allow an extra hour or two between trains, you can have lunch at the amazing Train Bleu restaurant at the Gare de Lyon.  You'll see the same great scenery along the rural Rhône Valley then across the South of France as taking the Lille route.

I won't list all the options here, to find train times & prices via Paris, simply run an enquiry at www.raileurope.com, www.thetrainline.com or www.sncf-connect.com.

Tip:  If you use Raileurope.com, you can click More options and enter Paris as a via station with a suitable stopover duration to add time for lunch or a longer stop.

For help crossing Paris by metro or taxi, see the Changing Stations in Paris page.

Option 3, by Eurostar & sleeper train

This is the most time-effective way to the Occitane region.  The Paris-Perpignan-Cerbère intercité de nuit sleeper train was discontinued in 2016, but it was saved and reinstated in 2017, running daily in summer, Friday & Sunday nights off-season.  It has 4-berth 1st class and 6-berth 2nd class couchettes.  If you want to use it, here's how.  More about Intercités de nuit.

London  ► Narbonne, Perpignan, Port Vendres

Port Vendres, Perpignan, Narbonne, Carcassonne  ► London

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

Using an Interrail pass

What's the sleeper train like?

The intercité de nuit overnight train has 1st class couchettes in 4-berth compartments & 2nd class couchettes in 6-berth compartments, each bunk supplied with lightweight sleeping-bag & mineral water.  More about Intercités de NuitWatch the video guide Paris Austerlitz station guide.

Intercite de nuit overnight train at Paris Austerlitz

Intercité de nuit sleeper train at Paris Gare d'Austerlitz More about Intercités de Nuit.

Intercite de Nuit 2nd class 6-berth couchette   Intercite de Nuit 2nd class couchette

2nd class 6-berth couchettes.

 

A cosy 2nd class couchette.

Intercite de Nuit 1st class couchette   Intercite de Nuit 1st class 4-berth couchette

1st class couchette, made up for the night.

 

1st class 4-berth couchettes.

Back to top


London to Biarritz, Hendaye & Lourdes

There are two options, both benefitting from the opening of the extension of the Paris-Tours high-speed line all the way to Bordeaux on 2 July 2017.  This knocked another hour off the journey.

Timetable outward 2024

 London ► Biarritz, Irun, Pau, Lourdes, Tarbes

 Eurostar, 30 min check-in

Mon-Fri

Sat

Mon-Sat

Mon-Fri

Sun

daily

daily

Fri, &

Sun*

Mon-Fri,

 Sun

Mon-Fri,

 Sun

Mon-Fri,

 Sun

 London St Pancras depart

07:01

07:31

08:01

11:31

13:31

13:31

16:31

20:01

20:01

20:01

 Paris Gare du Nord arrive

10:19

10:48

11:20

14:48

16:48

16:48

19:50

23:18

23:18

23:18

 Cross Paris by metro to the Gare Montparnasse & board a high-speed TG Duplex

sleeper

hotel

hotel

hotel

 Paris Gare Montparnasse depart

12:11

12:11

14:05

16:11

18:11

18:11

22:12

06:39

10:11

07:11

 Dax

15:28

15:28

17:28

19:28

21:30

21:30

|

10:05

13:28

10:28

 Bayonne

16:03

16:03

|

20:03

22:03

|

07:13

|

|

11:03

 Biarritz

16:16

16:16

|

20:16

22:16

|

|

|

|

11:16

 St Jean de Luz

16:32

16:32

|

20:32

22:32

|

 

|

|

11:32

 Hendaye (border, French)

16:47

16:47

|

20:47

22:47

|

|

|

|

11:47

 Irun (border, Spanish)

 

 

|

 

 

|

|

|

|

 

 Pau

 

 

18:25

 

 

22:28

08:38

10:54

14:26

 

 Lourdes

 

 

18:54

 

 

22:56

09:05

11:22

14:54

 

 Tarbes

 

 

19:20

 

 

23:22

09:24

11:48

15:20

 

Timetable inward 2024

 Tarbes, Lourdes, Pau, Hendaye, Biarritz ► London

 High-speed TGV Duplex

daily

Mon-Sat

daily

Mon-Fri,

Sun

Sat,

Sun

daily

daily

Fri &

Sun*

daily

Mon-Fri,

Sun

Sat, Sun

Mon-Fri

 Tarbes

 

06:40

 

10:39

 

 

12:34

19:00

 

 

16:36

17:34

 Lourdes

 

06:57

 

11:03

 

 

12:57

19:28

 

 

17:00

17:58

 Pau

 

07:25

 

11:33

 

 

13:25

19:48

 

 

17:28

18:26

 Hendaye (border)

07:06

|

09:34

|

11:10

13:07

|

|

16:11

18:08

|

|

 St Jean de Luz

07:19

|

09:46

|

11:23

13:21

|

|

16:25

18:21

|

|

 Biarritz

07:32

|

09:59

|

11:36

13:34

|

|

16:38

18:34

|

|

 Bayonne

07:48

|

10:14

|

11:52

13:49

|

20:59

16:53

18:50

|

|

 Dax

08:26

08:26

10:48

12:29

12:25

14:25

14:25

|

17:26

19:25

18:22

19:25

 Paris Gare Montparnasse arrive

11:49

11:49

14:16

15:49

15:49

17:49

17:49

07:23

20:55

22:53

21:49

22:53

 Cross Paris by metro to Gare du Nord for Eurostar, 30 minute check-in

sleeper

hotel

hotel

hotel

hotel

 Paris Gare du Nord depart

14:42

14:42

16:12

18:12

18:12

20:12

20:12

09:12

07:12s

07:12

07:12

07:12s

 London St Pancras arrive

16:00

16:00

17:30

19:39

19:39

21:30

21:30

10:30

08:30s

08:30

08:30

08:30s

Notes for the timetable

How to read these timetables:  It's easy, you read downwards, each column is a journey you can take.  You change trains at the grey bar.

* = This Intercité de Nuit runs Friday & Sunday all year, may or may not run, often only opens for booking a month ahead, what a way to run a railway!

s = On Sunday mornings, the earliest Eurostar connection is at 08:12 from Paris arriving London at 09:30.

Sleeper = Intercité de Nuit with 1st & 2nd class couchettes & 2nd class seats.

You don't have to book the exact Eurostar I show above as connecting with that particular TGV.  Eurostar links London & Paris almost every hour, by all means book an earlier Eurostar outward or a later one back if it has cheaper fares or you want to spend time in Paris.

Always check times for your specific date using www.raileurope.com, www.thetrainline.com or www.sncf-connect.com as times can vary.  Don't book a Eurostar ticket until you have confirmed onward times.  Eurostar doesn't run on 25 December.

Shaded = time-effective journey with overnight hotel stop in Paris.  By all means choose an earlier evening Eurostar outward or a later morning one inwards.  See suggested hotels near the Gare du Nord or Gare de Lyon in Paris

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

Using an Interrail pass

What are the trains like?

1. London to Paris by Eurostar

Eurostar trains link London & Paris in 2h20, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More about Eurostar & check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide Paris Gare du Nord station guideHow to cross Paris by metro or taxi.

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at Paris Nord.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Paris to Southwest France by TGV Duplex Océane

Almost all these trains on this route are new TGV Duplex double-deck trains with the Océane interior shown here.  The trains have 1st & 2nd class with free WiFi and power sockets at all seats, and a cafe-bar.  More about TGV Duplex OcéaneParis Gare Montparnasse station guide.

TGV from Paris Gare Montparnasse to Hendaye, for the train to San Sebastian

A TGV Duplex at Paris Gare Montparnasse.

TGV Océane cafe-bar   TGV Océane 2nd class seats

TGV Océane cafe-bar on the upper deck in car 4 or 14 (above left) and 2nd class seats (above right).

TGV Océane 1st class seats   TGV Océane 1st class drop-down table

TGV Océane 1st class seats.  All 1st class seats (except the end ones) rotate to face direction of travel.  There are USB & 2-pin outlets above each drop-down table.

TGV Océane stairs and landing   TGV Océane luggage racks

TGV Océane stairs, just 9 easy shallow steps.  There are toilets & luggage racks upstairs & downstairs.  Above right, luggage racks upstairs.

TGV Duplex at Bordeaux

The TGV pauses at Bordeaux St Jean en route to Hendaye.

Back to top


London to Lyon & Grenoble

Option 1, London to Lyon & Grenoble via Lille

Timetable outward 2024

 London ► Lyon & Grenoble

 Eurostar, 30 min check-in

Mondays to Fridays

Saturdays

Sundays

 London St Pancras depart

07:04

11:04

13:01

15:04

07:04

11:04

13:01

11:04

13:01

15:04

 Lille Europe arrive

09:26

13:26

15:27

17:26

09:26

13:26

15:27

13:26

15:27

17:26

 Easy change at Lille onto a high-speed TGV

 Lille Europe depart

11:02

14:01

17:01

19:03

11:01

14:01

17:01

14:01

17:01

19:03

 Lyon Part Dieu arrive

14:00

17:00

20:00

22:00

14:00

17:00

20:04

17:00

20:04

22:00

 For Grenoble, change at Lyon Part Dieu onto a TER local train

 Lyon Part Dieu depart

14:16

17:16

20:16

22:16

14:16

17:16

20:16

17:16

20:16

22:16

 Grenoble arrive

15:39

18:39

21:40

23:39

15:39

18:39

21:40

18:39

21:40

23:39

Timetable inward 2024

 Lyon & Grenoble ► London

 TER local train

Mondays to Fridays

Saturdays

Sundays

 Grenoble depart

06:21

08:51

11:21

15:51

06:21

08:21

11:21

14:21

06:21

08:21

11:21

14:21

 Lyon Part Dieu arrive

07:44

10:15

12:45

16:15

07:44

09:44

12:44

15:44

07:44

09:44

12:44

15:44

 High-speed TGV

 

 

 

 Lyon Part Dieu depart

08:30

11:00

14:00

17:00

08:30

11:00

14:00

17:00

08:30

11:00

14:00

17:00

 Lille Europe arrive

11:27

14:24

16:58

19:57

11:27

14:24

16:58

19:57

11:27

14:24

16:58

19:57

 Easy change at Lille onto Eurostar, 30 minute minimum check-in

 Lille Europe depart

13:35

15:30

18:35

21:35

13:35

15:30

18:35

21:00

13:35

15:30

18:35

21:35

 London St Pancras arrive

13:57

15:57

18:57

21:57

13:57

15:57

18:57

21:27

13:57

15:57

18:57

21:57

Notes for the timetable

How to read these timetables:  It's easy, you read downwards, each column is a journey you can take.  You change trains at each grey bar.

Always check train times for your specific dates using www.raileurope.com or www.thetrainline.com, as the times shown here can vary.  Don't book any Eurostar tickets until you have confirmed onward train times.  Eurostar doesn't run on 25 December.

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

Using an Interrail pass

What are the trains like?

1. London to Lille by Eurostar

Eurostar trains link London & Lille in 1h22, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More about Eurostar & check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide Lille Europe station guide & tips on changing trains.

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at St Pancras.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Lille to Lyon by TGV in as little as 2h57

TGV or Train á Grande Vitesse is French Railways high-speed train, with 1st & 2nd class and a cafe-bar.  They come in various types, some single-deck, some double-deck TGV Duplex, you could get either on cross-France routes from Lille.  Most have power sockets at seats, most now have free WiFi.  The photos below show a single-deck TGV with the Christian Lacroix designer interior.  The direct TGVs from Lille by-pass Paris on a high-speed avoiding line via Charles de Gaulle Airport station.  More about TGVLyon Part Dieu station guide.

2nd class on a Paris-Milan TGV   TGV from Paris arrived at Luxembourg

2nd class with mix of unidirectional seats & tables for 4.  Seats 2+2 across car width. Larger photo.

 

Business end of a TGV.

Cafe-bar on the Paris-Milan TGV   1st class on the Paris-Milan TGV

Cafe-bar selling tea, coffee, beer, wine, cold snacks & microwaved dishes.  Larger photo.

 

1st class with a mix of unidirectional seats, solo seats, tables for 2 & for 4.  Seats 2+1 across car width.  Larger photo.

Option 2, London to Lyon via Paris

This is more frequent, sometimes faster and often cheaper than going via Lille, if you don't mind changing stations in Paris by metro or taxi.  If you allow an extra hour or two between trains in Paris you can have lunch at the amazing Train Bleu restaurant inside the Gare de Lyon.

Train times

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

Back to top


London to Bordeaux

Option 1, London to Bordeaux via Lille

Timetable outward 2024

 London ► Bordeaux

 Eurostar, 30 min check-in

Mondays to Fridays

Saturdays

Sundays

 London St Pancras depart

11:04

19:34

11:04

19:34

11:04

19:34

 Lille Europe arrive

13:26

22:04

13:26

22:04

13:26

22:04

 Change at Lille onto a high-speed TGV

 Lille Europe depart

-

-

-

-

-

-

 Lille Flandres depart*

17:16

06:15

17:16

06:15

17:16

06:15

 St Pierre des Corps (Tours)

20:03

10:03

20:03

10:03

20:03

10:03

 Poitiers arrive

20:39

10:39

20:39

10:39

20:39

10:39

 Angoulême arrive

21:22

11:22

21:22

11:22

21:22

11:22

 Bordeaux St Jean arrive

22:02

12:02

22:02

12:02

22:02

12:02

Timetable inward 2024

 Bordeaux ► London

 High-speed TGV

Mondays to Fridays

Saturdays

Sundays

 Bordeaux St Jean depart

05:58

12:58

05:58

12:58

05:58

12:58

 Angoulême depart

06:36

13:36

06:36

13:36

06:36

13:36

 Poitiers depart

07:19

14:19

07:19

14:19

07:19

14:19

 St Pierre des Corps (Tours)

07:55

14:56

07:54

14:56

07:54

14:56

 Lille Flandres arrive*

10:40

|

10:38

|

10:38

|

 Lille Europe arrive

-

17:57

-

17:58

-

17:57

 Easy change at Lille onto Eurostar, 30 minute minimum check-in

 Lille Europe depart

13:35

21:35

13:35

21:00

13:35

21:35

 London St Pancras arrive

13:57

21:57

13:57

21:27

13:57

21:57

Notes for the timetable

How to read these timetables:  It's easy, you read downwards, each column is a journey you can take.  You change trains at the grey bar.

Always check train times for your specific dates using www.raileurope.com or www.thetrainline.com, as the times shown here can vary.  Don't book any Eurostar tickets until you have confirmed onward train times.  Eurostar doesn't run on 25 December.

* Lille Flandres station is an easy 500m 6-minute walk from Lille Europe Eurostar/TGV station.

Only journeys via Lille are shown here.  There are many other journey opportunities changing trains and stations in Paris, check times and prices at www.raileurope.com or www.thetrainline.com.

Shaded = time-effective journey with overnight stop in Lille.  By all means choose an earlier evening Eurostar outbound, or later morning Eurostar inbound.  I suggest the Crowne Plaza EuroLille or Novotel Suites Lille Europe, both hotels are located at Lille Europe station with good reviews.

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

Using an Interrail pass

What are the trains like?

1. London to Lille by Eurostar

Eurostar trains link London & Lille in 1h22, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More about Eurostar & check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide Lille station guide & tips on changing trains.

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at St Pancras.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Lille to Bordeaux by TGV

TGV or Train á Grande Vitesse is French Railways high-speed train, with 1st & 2nd class and a cafe-bar.  They come in various types, some single-deck, some double-deck TGV Duplex.  Some Paris-Bordeaux TGVs are single-deck with the Christian Lacroix interior, see the photos here, most are TGV Duplex, some with the excellent new Océane interior.

TGV Duplex at Bordeaux

Hello Bordeaux!  A 186 mph TGV Duplex double decker has arrived in Bordeaux from Lille.

Inside Bordeaux st Jean station   Bordeaux st Jean station

Bordeaux St Jean is a beautiful station, superbly renovated.  Note the map of the French rail network on the far wall!

Option 2, London to Bordeaux via Paris

This is more frequent, sometimes faster and often cheaper than going via Lille, if you don't mind changing stations in Paris by metro or taxi.  The southern section of the Paris-Bordeaux TGV line opened in July 2017, making it possible to go from central London to Bordeaux in as little as 5h45 - in fact, I travelled from London to Bordeaux and back as a day trip soon after the new high-speed line made such a thing possible.  I may have been one of the first people in history to have made a day trip from London to Bordeaux by train!  But why not take an extra hour or two and have a leisurely lunch in Paris on the way?

Train times

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

Using an Interrail pass

Back to top


London to Strasbourg

Option 1, London to Strasbourg via Lille

Timetable outward 2024

 London ► Strasbourg  (via Lille)  

 Eurostar (30 min check-in)

daily

daily

 London St Pancras depart

11:04

19:34

 Lille Europe arrive

13:26

22:04

 Easy change at Lille onto a high-speed TGV

 Lille Europe depart

14:01

08:01

 Strasbourg arrive

17:37

11:05

Timetable inward 2024

 Strasbourg ► London  (via Lille)  

High-speed TGV

Monday-Friday

Saturday

Sunday

 Strasbourg depart

05:59

17:01

05:59

17:01

05:59

17:01

 Lille Europe arrive

08:57

20:08

08:57

20:08

08:57

20:08

 Easy change at Lille onto Eurostar, 30 min check-in

 Lille Europe depart

11:35

21:35

11:35

21:00

11:35

21:35

 London St Pancras arrive

11:57

21:57

11:57

21:27

11:57

21:57

Notes for the timetable

How to read these timetables:  It's easy, you read downwards, each column is a journey you can take.  You change trains at the grey bar.

Always check train times for your specific dates using www.raileurope.com or www.thetrainline.com, as the times shown here can vary.  Don't book any Eurostar tickets until you have confirmed onward train times.  Eurostar doesn't run on 25 December.

Shaded = time-effective journey with overnight stop in Lille.  By all means choose an earlier evening Eurostar.  I suggest the Crowne Plaza EuroLille or Novotel Suites Lille Europe, both hotels are located at Lille Europe station with good reviews.

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

What are the trains like?

1. London to Lille by Eurostar

Eurostar trains link London & Lille in 1h22, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More about Eurostar & check-in procedureSt Pancras station guideLille station guide & tips on changing trains.

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at St Pancras.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Lille to Strasbourg by TGV

TGV or Train á Grande Vitesse is French Railways high-speed train, with 1st & 2nd class and a cafe-bar.  They come in various types, some single-deck, some double-deck TGV Duplex, you could get either on cross-France routes from Lille.  Most have power sockets at seats, most now have free WiFi.  The photos below show a single-deck TGV with the Christian Lacroix designer interior.  The direct TGVs from Lille by-pass Paris on a high-speed avoiding line via Charles de Gaulle Airport station.  More about TGV.

2nd class on a Paris-Milan TGV   TGV from Paris arrived at Luxembourg

2nd class with mix of unidirectional seats & tables for 4.  Seats 2+2 across car width. Larger photo.

 

Business end of a TGV.

Cafe-bar on the Paris-Milan TGV   1st class on the Paris-Milan TGV

Cafe-bar selling tea, coffee, beer, wine, cold snacks & microwaved dishes.  Larger photo.

 

1st class with a mix of unidirectional seats, solo seats, tables for 2 & for 4.  Seats 2+1 across car width.  Larger photo.

Exterior of Strasbourg station

Strasbourg's remarkable railway station, where a glass 'bubble' has been built over the original historic facade.

Inside the glass bubble at Strasbourg station   Main concourse inside Strasbourg station

Back to top


London to Limoges, Brive & Toulouse

Take Eurostar to Paris in just 2h20.  There are then two rail routes from Paris to Toulouse:  The classic route from Paris Gare d'Austerlitz to Toulouse via Limoges & Brive uses conventional 200 km/h (125 mph) trains.  The high-speed route from Paris Gare Montparnasse to Toulouse via Bordeaux uses 300 km/h (186 mph) TGVs, this is a longer way round but it's still faster.

Timetable outward via high-speed line

 London ► Toulouse

 Eurostar, 30 min check-in

Monday-Friday

Saturdays

Sundays

 London St Pancras depart

06:01

10:24

12:31

14:31

06:31

10:24

14:31

10:24

12:31

14:31

 Paris Gare du Nord arrive

09:20

13:50

15:48

17:48

09:48

13:50

17:47

13:50

15:50

17:48

 Cross Paris by metro from the Gare du Nord to the Gare Montparnasse

 Paris Montparnasse dep.

11:11

15:11

17:11

19:08

11:11

15:11

19:08

15:11

17:11

19:08

 Toulouse Matabiau

15:38

19:29

21:38

23:42

15:38

19:29

23:42

19:29

21:38

23:42

Timetable outward via classic route

 London ► Limoges, Brive, Toulouse

 Eurostar, 30 min check-in

Monday-Friday

Saturdays

Sundays

daily

daily

 London St Pancras depart

09:31

11:31

12:31

09:31

11:31

12:31

09:31

11:31

12:31

16:31

20:01

 Paris Gare du Nord arrive

12:50

14:48

15:48

12:50

14:48

15:48

12:50

14:48

15:48

19:50

23:18

 Cross Paris by metro from Gare du Nord to Gare d'Austerlitz

Sleeper

Hotel

 Paris Austerlitz depart

14:28

16:28

17:28

14:28

16:13

17:28

14:28

16:14

17:28

21:40

 06:08*

 Limoges

18:02

19:57

20:58

18:02

19:40

20:57

18:02

19:39

20:57

|

 09:44*

 Brive-la-Gaillarde

19:11

21:08

22:08

19:11

20:51

22:04

19:11

20:47

22:04

|

 10:51*

 Cahors

20:23

-

23:20

20:23

-

23:18

20:23

-

23:18

|

 12:03*

 Toulouse Matabiau

21:45

-

-

21:45

-

-

21:45

-

-

06:30

 13:25*

Timetable inward via high-speed line

 Toulouse, Brive, Limoges ► London

 TGV

Monday-Friday

Saturdays

Sundays

 Toulouse Matabiau

06:19

08:19

10:31

12:27

06:19

08:19

12:27

08:19

10:31

12:27

 Paris Montparnasse arrive

10:49

12:49

14:49

17:09

10:49

12:49

17:09

12:49

14:49

17:09

 Cross Paris by metro to the Gare du Nord for Eurostar, 30 minute check-in

 Paris Gare du Nord depart

13:12

15:12

17:12

19:12

13:12

15:12

19:12

15:12

17:12

19:12

 London St Pancras arrive

14:30

16:30

18:32

20:30

14:30

16:30

20:30

16:30

18:32

20:30

Timetable inward via classic route

 Toulouse, Brive, Limoges ► London

 Intercité train

Monday-Friday

Saturday

Sunday

daily

daily

 Toulouse Matabiau

-

07:18

10:25

-

07:18

10:25

-

10:25

16:24

22:23

 Cahors

-

08:39

11:39

-

08:39

11:39

07:50

11:39

17:40

|

 Brive-la-Gaillarde

05:53

09:54

12:54

05:53

09:54

12:54

09:04

12:54

18:55

|

 Limoges

07:01

11:01

14:00

07:01

11:01

14:00

10:16

14:00

20:04

|

 Paris Austerlitz arrive

10:32

14:31

17:32

10:32

14:31

17:32

13:46

17:32

23:37

07:03

 Cross Paris by metro to the Gare du Nord for Eurostar, 30 minute check-in

Hotel

Sleeper

 Paris Gare du Nord depart

13:12

17:12

20:12

13:12

17:12

20:12

16:12

20:12

07:12e

09:12

 London St Pancras arrive

14:30

18:32

21:30

14:30

18:32

21:30

17:30

21:30

08:30e

10:30

Notes for the timetable

How to read these timetables:  It's easy, you read downwards, each column is a journey you can take.  You change trains at the grey bar.

Sleeper = Intercités de Nuit couchette train between Paris & Toulouse, with 2nd class 6-berth couchettes, 1st class 4-berth couchettes, reclining seats.  Watch the Intercités de Nuit video.  Times may vary.

* Monday-Saturday mornings, later trains are available if you prefer.  On Sundays, the first train runs later than this, check times online.

e = First Eurostar of the day runs later on Sundays.

Trains marked TGV are high-speed TGV trains.  Trains running via Limoges are 200 km/h Intercité (formerly Téoz) trains, see photos below.

You don't have to book the exact Eurostar I show above as connecting with that particular TGV or Intercité.  Eurostar links London & Paris almost every hour, by all means book an earlier Eurostar out or a later one back if it has cheaper fares or you want to spend time in Paris.

Always check times for your specific date using www.raileurope.com, www.thetrainline.com or www.sncf-connect.com as times can vary.  Don't book a Eurostar ticket until you have confirmed onward times.  Eurostar doesn't run on 25 December.

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

Using an Interrail pass

What are the trains like?

1. London to Paris by Eurostar

Eurostar trains link London & Paris in 2h20, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More about Eurostar & check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide Paris Gare du Nord station guideHow to cross Paris by metro or taxi.

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at Paris Nord.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Paris to Toulouse by TGV Duplex Océane

The high-speed trains between Paris Montparnasse and Toulouse are mostly TGV Duplex double-deckers with the Océane interior shown here.  The trains have 1st & 2nd class with free WiFi and power sockets at all seats, and a cafe-bar.  More about TGV Duplex OcéaneParis Gare Montparnasse station guide.

TGV from Paris Gare Montparnasse to Hendaye, for the train to San Sebastian

A TGV Duplex at Paris Gare Montparnasse.

TGV Océane cafe-bar   TGV Océane 2nd class seats

TGV Océane cafe-bar (above left) and 2nd class seats (above right).

TGV Océane 1st class seats   TGV Océane 1st class drop-down table

TGV Océane 1st class seats.  All 1st class seats (except the end ones) rotate to face direction of travel.  There are USB & 2-pin outlets above each drop-down table.

TGV Duplex at Bordeaux

The TGV pauses at Bordeaux St Jean.

Or Paris to Limoges, Brive or Toulouse by Intercité

Although merely 200km/h (125mph) trains not TGVs, most Paris-Limoges-Brive-Toulouse trains now use stylish air-conditioned coaches like this, with a unique interior design formerly branded Téoz.  1st class seats have power-recline and are fitted with power-points for laptops/mobiles.  There's a small children's play area in 2nd class, & baby-changing room.  There is usually a cafe-bar or at least a refreshment trolley service.  Seat map Paris Austerlitz station guide.

An Intercite train, formerly Teoz

An Intercité train.  Courtesy of Christoph Grafe

1st class Teoz seats   2nd class seats on a Teoz train

1st class seats.

 

2nd class seats.

Or Paris to Toulouse by Intercité de nuit sleeper train

The intercité de nuit overnight train from Paris to Toulouse has 1st class 4-berth & 2nd class 6-berth couchettes, each with lightweight sleeping-bag & mineral water.  More about Intercités de NuitParis Austerlitz station guide.

Intercite de nuit overnight train at Paris Austerlitz

Intercité de nuit sleeper train at Paris Gare d'Austerlitz More about Intercités de Nuit.

Intercite de Nuit 2nd class 6-berth couchette   Intercite de Nuit 2nd class couchette

2nd class 6-berth couchettes.

 

A cosy 2nd class couchette.

Intercite de Nuit 1st class couchette   Intercite de Nuit 1st class 4-berth couchette

1st class couchette, made up for the night.

 

1st class 4-berth couchettes.

Back to top


London to Vichy & Clermont Ferrand

Take Eurostar from London St Pancras to Paris Nord, change stations by taxi or metro to the Gare de Bercy and catch a southbound express to the Massif Central.

Timetable outward

 London ► Vichy, Clermont Ferrand

 Eurostar, 30 min check-in

Monday-Friday

Saturdays

Sundays

 London St Pancras

08:01

10:24

11:31

12:31

13:31

08:01

10:24

13:31

08:01

10:24

12:31

13:31

 Paris Gare du Nord arrive

11:20

13:50

14:48

15:48

16:48

11:20

13:50

16:48

11:20

13:48

15:48

16:48

 Cross Paris by metro to the Gare de Bercy for a Intercité train

 Paris Gare de Bercy depart

13:00

16:01

16:57

17:57

18:57

13:00

16:01

18:57

13:00

16:01

17:57

18:57

 Vichy

15:53

18:53

19:53

|

21:53

15:53

18:53

21:53

15:53

18:53

21:00

21:53

 Clermont Ferrand

16:27

19:27

20:27

21:09

22:27

16:27

19:27

22:27

16:27

19:27

21:33

22:27

Timetable inward

 Clermont Ferrand, Vichy ► London

 Intercité train

Monday-Friday

Saturdays

Sundays

 Clermont Ferrand

05:29

08:29

10:29

13:29

06:30

08:29

10:29

13:29

08:29

13:29

14:32

 Vichy

06:02

09:02

11:02

14:03

07:03

09:02

11:02

14:03

09:02

14:03

15:05

 Paris Gare de Bercy arrive

08:57

11:57

13:57

16:57

09:57

11:57

13:57

16:57

11:57

16:57

17:59

 Cross Paris by metro to the Gare du Nord for Eurostar, minimum 30 minute check-in

 Paris Gare du Nord depart

11:12

14:12

16:12

19:12

13:12

14:12

16:12

19:12

14:12

19:12

20:12

 London St Pancras

12:30

15:30

17:30

20:30

14:30

15:30

17:30

20:30

15:30

20:30

21:30

Notes for the timetable

You don't have to book the exact Eurostar I show above as connecting with that particular TGV.  Eurostar links London & Paris almost every hour, by all means book an earlier Eurostar outward or a later one back if it has cheaper fares or you want to spend time in Paris.

Always check times for your specific date using www.raileurope.com, www.thetrainline.com or www.sncf-connect.com as times can vary.  Don't book a Eurostar ticket until you have confirmed onward times.  Eurostar doesn't run on 25 December.

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

Using an Interrail pass

What are the trains like?

1. London to Paris by Eurostar

Eurostar trains link London & Paris in 2h20, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More about Eurostar & check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide Paris Gare du Nord station guideHow to cross Paris by metro or taxi.

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at Paris Nord.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Paris to Vichy & Clermont by Intercité

Although merely 125mph trains not TGVs, most Paris-Vichy-Clermont trains now use stylish air-conditioned coaches like this, with a unique interior design formerly branded Téoz.  1st class seats have power-recline and are fitted with power-points for laptops/mobiles.  There's a small children's play area in 2nd class, & baby-changing room.  There is usually a cafe-bar or at least a refreshment trolley service.  Watch the videoSeat mapParis Bercy station guide.

An Intercite train, formerly Teoz

An Intercité train.  Courtesy of Christoph Grafe.

1st class Teoz seats   2nd class seats on a Teoz train

1st class seats.

 

2nd class seats.

Back to top


London to Le Mans, Nantes & Rennes

Option 1, London to Brittany via Lille

Timetable outward

 London ► Nantes, Rennes & Brittany

 Eurostar, 30 min check-in

Mondays to Fridays

Saturdays

Sundays

 London St Pancras depart

13:01

13:01

13:01

13:01

13:01

13:01

 Lille Europe arrive

15:27

15:25

15:27

15:27

15:27

15:27

 Easy change at Lille onto a high-speed TGV

 Lille Europe depart

15:52

17:42

15:52

17:42

15:52

17:42

 Le Mans

18:29

20:30

18:29

20:30

18:29

20:30

 Rennes

|

21:29

|

21:29

|

21:29

 Angers

19:10

 

19:10

 

19:10

 

 Nantes

19:50

 

19:50

 

19:50

 

Timetable inward

 Nantes, Rennes & Brittany ► London

 High-speed TGV train

Mondays to Fridays

Saturdays

Sundays

 Nantes

 

05:59

 

15:17

 

05:59

 

15:17

 

05:59

 

15:17

 Angers

 

06:40

 

16:02

 

06:40

 

16:02

 

06:40

 

16:02

 Rennes

06:25

 |

12:00

|

06:25

 |

12:00

|

06:25

 |

12:00

|

 Le Mans

07:29

07:29

13:00

16:57

07:29

07:29

13:00

16:57

07:29

07:29

13:00

16:57

 Lille Europe arrive

10:17

10:17

15:49

19:35

10:17

10:17

15:49

19:35

10:17

10:17

15:49

19:35

 Easy change at Lille onto Eurostar, 30 minute check-in

 Lille Europe depart

11:35

11:35

18:35

21:35

11:35

11:35

18:35

21:00

11:35

11:35

18:35

21:35

 London St Pancras arrive

11:57

11:57

18:57

21:57

11:57

11:57

18:57

21:27

11:57

11:57

18:57

21:57

Notes for the timetable

How to read these timetables:  Each column is a service you can take.  You read downwards, changing trains where you come to the grey bar.

Always check train times for your specific dates using www.raileurope.com, www.thetrainline.com or www.sncf-connect.com, as the times shown here can vary.  Don't book any Eurostar tickets until you have confirmed onward train times.  Eurostar doesn't run on 25 December.

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

Using an Interrail pass

What are the trains like?

1. London to Lille by Eurostar

Eurostar trains link London & Lille in 1h22, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More about Eurostar & check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide Lille station guide & tips on changing trains.

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at St Pancras.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Lille to Le Mans or Brittany by TGV

TGV or Train á Grande Vitesse is French Railways high-speed train, with 1st & 2nd class and a cafe-bar.  They come in various types, some single-deck, some double-deck TGV Duplex, you could get either on cross-France routes from Lille.  Most have power sockets at seats, most now have free WiFi.  The photos below show a single-deck TGV with the Christian Lacroix designer interior.  The direct TGVs from Lille by-pass Paris on a high-speed avoiding line via Charles de Gaulle Airport station.  More about TGV.

2nd class on a Paris-Milan TGV   TGV from Paris arrived at Luxembourg

2nd class with mix of unidirectional seats & tables for 4.  Seats 2+2 across car width. Larger photo.

 

Business end of a TGV.

Cafe-bar on the Paris-Milan TGV   1st class on the Paris-Milan TGV

Cafe-bar selling tea, coffee, beer, wine, cold snacks & microwaved dishes.  Larger photo.

 

1st class with a mix of unidirectional seats, solo seats, tables for 2 & for 4.  Seats 2+1 across car width.  Larger photo.

Back to top


London to Normandy

  Brittany Ferries 'Bretagne' about to sail from Portsmouth to France...

A great way to go:  Brittany Ferries' excellent ship, the Bretagne waiting to sail overnight from Portsmouth to France.

There are two ways to reach Normandy, for example St Malo, Caen, Bayeux, St Lo, Arramanches or Cherbourg.  You can travel by Eurostar and connecting trains via Paris, or you can cross the Channel by ferry with Brittany Ferries.  Caen makes a good base for visiting the D-Day beaches, although to get to the beaches you'll need to use buses or hire a car.

By Eurostar

By ferry

Visiting the D-day beaches

How to get to Mont St Michel

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London to Lille & Northern France

London to Calais & Lille by Eurostar

London to Boulogne, Etaples, Le Touquet, Amiens & Northern France

The train & ferry alternative

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London to the French Alps

 

French Alps ski resort connections

Map of bus transfers to ski resorts from train stations served by Eurostar ski train & Rail Europe Snow Train

Dark blue line = stations served by Eurostar ski train & Rail Europe Snow Train

Light blue lines = bus or taxi transfers from rail stations.

There are two ways to reach the French Alps by train, getting your holiday off to a good start.  And yes, skis and snowboards are allowed on Eurostar and French TGV & TER trains.

1. Eurostar ski train to the French Alps every winter Saturday, click here

A Eurostar ski service links London with the French Alps every Saturday from late December to February.  It leaves London in the morning and arrives early evening at Moutiers, Aime & Bourg St Maurice in the French Alps, see the map opposite for the resorts it serves.

This is the easiest way to reach the Alps from London during the skiing season, and its available both to independent travellers and as part of many skiing holidays. See the Eurostar Ski Train page.

2. Daily scheduled trains to the Alps, all-year round

Alternatively, you can take regular scheduled trains running daily year-round to destinations in the French Alps.  You'll find additional direct Paris-Bourg St Maurice trains on Fridays & Saturdays in the skiing season.

Timetable outward 2024

 London ► French Alps

 Eurostar, 30 min check-in

daily

all year

Mon-Fri

all year

Sat & Sun

all year

Winter

Saturdays

daily

all year

 London St Pancras depart

09:31

09:31

09:31

09:31

10:24

 Paris Gare du Nord  arrive

12:50

12:50

12:50

12:50

13:50

 Cross Paris by metro to the Paris Gare de Lyon for high-speed TGV

 Paris Gare de Lyon depart

14:18

14:47

14:47

14:48

16:18

 Chambéry

|

17:36

17:36

17:36

|

 Albertville

|

 18:40g

 19:13 g

18:40

|

 Moutiers-Salins

|

 19:11 g

 19:46 g

19:11

|

 Aime la Plagne

|

 19:27 g

 20:07 g

19:27

|

 Bourg st Maurice (for Les Arcs)

|

 19:45 g

 20:27 g

19:52

|

 Annecy

|

     

|

 St Gervais arrive

  19:16 b

     

21:14 b

 Chamonix arrive

  20:13 c

     

-

Timetable inward 2024

 French Alps ► London

 High-speed TGV

Mon-Fri

all year

Saturdays

in winter

daily

all year

daily

all year

Winter

Saturdays

Sat & Sun

in winter

 Chamonix depart

-

  07:55 d

09:55 d

 

 

   11:55 d

 St Gervais depart

07:33 b

09:27

10:49 b

 

 

 12:49

 Annecy

|

|

|

 

 

|

 Bourg st Maurice (for Les Arcs)

|

|

|

  10:13 g

13:15

|

 Aime la Plagne

|

|

|

  10:32 g

13:37

|

 Moutiers-Salins

|

|

|

  10:49 g

13:57

|

 Albertville

|

|

|

  11:22 g

14:28

|

 Chambéry

|

|

|

13:23

15:04

|

 Paris Gare de Lyon arrive

13:14

14:29

15:42

16:16

18:11

17:42

 Cross Paris by metro to the Gare du Nord for Eurostar, 30 minute check-in  

 Paris Gare du Nord depart

15:12

17:12

18:12

18:12

20:12

20:12

 London St Pancras arrive

16:30

18:32

19:39

19:39

21:30

21:30

Notes for the timetable

How to read these timetables  Each column is a service you can take.  You read downwards, changing trains where you come to the grey bar.

Important:  Trains to the Alps vary enormously by date & time of year, in fact I'd call SNCF's timetable on these routes a total mess, so use these times as an example, go and check for your own specific date of travel at www.raileurope.com, www.thetrainline.com or www.sncf-connect.com.

b = change at Bellegarde.

c = change at Bellegarde & St Gervais.

d = change at St Gervais.

e = Eurostar leaves London at 09:24 on most Saturdays.

g = change at Chambéry.

Les Arcs is linked to Bourg St Maurice station by a funicular railway which runs every 20 minutes.

How to buy tickets

Using an Interrail pass

French Alps ski resort connections

Map of bus transfers to ski resorts from train stations served by Eurostar ski train & Rail Europe Snow Train

Dark blue line = stations served by Eurostar ski train & Rail Europe Snow Train

Light blue lines = bus or taxi transfers from rail stations.

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London to Corsica

  Corsica Ferries' Mega Express II from Nice arrives in Ajaccio at sunset

Arriving in Ajaccio at sunset on Corsica Ferries Mega Express II from Nice.

Corsica is a fantastic destination, with Mediterranean beaches, great mountain scenery and excellent hiking opportunities (check out the GR20 walking route across the island!).  Corsica doesn't get overcrowded either, even in summer.  The Corsican tourist office website is www.visit-corsica.com.

UK to Corsica without flying?  No problem!  Just take Eurostar and a high-speed TGV or overnight couchette train from London to the south of France, then a ship or fast ferry across the sunny Mediterranean to Corsica. 

Two ferry companies, Corsica Linea (www.corsicalinea.com) & Corsica Ferries (www.corsica-ferries.co.uk), sail from Marseille, Toulon or Nice on the mainland to Bastia, Ajaccio on Corsica.  There are also ferries from Italy (Savona & Livorno, www.moby.it).  The crossing from Nice to Bastia takes 5½ hours by comfortable ship.  There are daily overnight ferries from Marseille & Toulon to Ajaccio & Bastia with comfortable cabins.  Here are two suggested ways to reach Corsica, though naturally they aren't the only options:

London to Corsica, via overnight ferry from Marseille

  • Step 1, travel from London St Pancras to Marseille St Charles, see the train times above.

    Check ferry times first, make sure you have several hours ion hand in Marseille, if necessary stay overnight.  Book these trains as shown above.

    On arrival at Marseille St Charles station, either take a taxi to the Corsica Linea (formerly SNCM) ferry terminal, or use the Marseille Metro (www.rtm.fr) from St Charles station 2 stops to Place de la Joliette, you want line 2, direction Bougainville, and the fare is around €1.80.  Place de Joliette metro station is just 50m from the entrance to the ferry terminal.  You can walk from the station to the ferry terminal via Marseille's famous Vieux Port, but it's a fair old way and not an attractive or easy walk once past the Vieux Port.

  • Step 2, sail from Marseille to Ajaccio or Bastia, Corsica's first and second cities respectively.

    Corsica Linea (www.corsicalinea.com, successor to defunct state-owned SNCM) sails overnight daily to both cities.  Sailing times vary, but the ship usually sails from Marseille at around 19:00-21:00 arriving Bastia or Ajaccio around 07:00-08:00.  Cabins have en suite toilet & shower, and even satellite TV if you don't mind watching Midsomer Murders in French!

    The best way to book the ferry is online at www.corsicalinea.com, you simply print out your own ticket and show it at the port, or you can book most ferry routes & operators to Corsica on the Seat61 online ferry booking page.  Alternatively, you can book by phone with their UK agent, Southern Ferries, on 020 7491 4968.

  • In the return direction, there are daily overnight ferries from both Ajaccio & Bastia to Marseille.  Allow at least 2 hours next morning to make the connection in Marseille, then choose one of the TGV and Eurostar services from Marseille to London shown above. You'll arrive in St Pancras in the early evening, less than 24 hours after leaving Corsica.

London to Corsica, via Corsica Ferries' afternoon sailing from Nice

  • Step 1, travel from London to Nice by daytime trains and spend a night and morning in Nice.  See the train times & fares above, and book the trains online as shown above.  Spend the morning exploring Nice.  At lunchtime, walk or take a taxi past the Old Town and around the headland to Nice's old port from where the ferries leave.

  • Step 2, Corsica Ferries (www.corsica-ferries.co.uk) have a more or less daily afternoon sailing from Nice to Bastia, and on some days another one to Ajaccio, leaving Nice around 14:00-15:00 and arriving in Bastia or Ajaccio around 19:30-20:30 (all on day 2 from London).  Top tip:  Even though it's a daytime ferry, spend an extra €30 on a private day cabin, so you can snooze, take a shower and freshen up.  Corsica Ferries ships are modern and very comfortable.  The easiest way to book the ferry is online at www.corsica-ferries.co.uk, you simply print out your own ticket and show it at the port, or you can book most ferry routes & operators to Corsica on the Seat61 ferry booking page.  The price varies depending on the season.

  • In the return direction there's normally a morning sailing from Bastia (and on some days Ajaccio) to Nice, leaving around 08:00.  Stay overnight in Nice then travel to London via Paris or via Lille, see the train times & fares above.

Corsica Ferries' Mega Express Four at the quayside in Nice's old port   A cabin on Corsica Ferries

Corsica Ferries Mega Express Four about to sail from Nice.

 

A cosy cabin on a Corsica Ferries ship.

Holidays from the UK to Corsica, by train & ferry

  • If you'd rather leave all the organisation to someone else, rail travel specialists www.railbookers.co.uk (0207 864 4600) can tailor-make a holiday to Corsica by train & ferry for any length of time, leaving on any date you like, using a variety of train & ferry options.

  • Byway (Byway.travel) is a UK-based eco-holiday firm with a 5-star TrustPilot rating, they can also sort a holiday to Corsica by train not plane, and customise it to your own requirements.  Byway includes package protection, a 100% Covid refund guarantee, free disruption and re-planning and on-demand WhatsApp support while you're away.  They can build a trip to your requirements if you email them or use this contact form.  Please say you heard about them from Seat 61.

Train travel in Corsica:  Ajaccio, Corte, Bastia, Ile Rousse, Calvi...

A delightfully scenic narrow-gauge train links Bastia, Ponte Leccia, Corte, Vizzavona & Ajaccio (four trains per day), with a branch from Ponte Leccia to Ile Rousse & Calvi (two trains per day).  The line winds right up through Corsica's dramatic central mountains, which explains why the 152km from Ajaccio to Bastia takes 3½ hours!  Highly recommended, although it can get hot and crowded in summer.  It's run by French Railways (SNCF) though is branded CFC - Chemins de Fer de la Corse.  For a route map and timetables, see official site cf-corse.corsica or unofficial site Chemins de Fer de la Corse.  You may find more up-to-date timetables, as well as bus timetables, at independent website www.corsicabus.org.  Nw air-conditioned trains with panoramic windows are now in service, linking Bastia & Ajaccio in under 3 hours at up to 100 km/h even on Corsica's narrow metre-gauge tracks.

New train for Corsica   Inside Corsica's new trains

New panoramic trains finally in service on Corsica.  Courtesy of Nigel Edmund-Jones.

Taking the train across Corsica, from Ajaccio to Bastia

Vizzavona:  An Ajaccio-Corte-Bastia train at Vizzavona.

  Train travel inCorsica - Viaduc du Vechju, between Vizzavona & Corte

The Viaduc du vechju, in central Corsica

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London to other destinations in France

You can get to just about anywhere in France by train from London.  Dijon, Reims, Clermont Ferrand, Versailles, Orleans, Blois, and so on.

  • Go to www.raileurope.com or www.thetrainline.com.

  • You can book from London to your final destination in one go.  Look for journeys with an easy-same-station change in Lille if there are any shown.  If you are offered this option, it's simpler than crossing Paris.

  • However, for journeys via Paris, it's often better to split the journey in Paris as follows.  This is so you can allow longer in Paris for a meal, or if an earlier Eurostar has cheaper fares available, it also allows you to avoid some sub-standard 40-minute cross-Paris connections which have unfortunately been pre-programmed into SNCF's database.  I recommend nothing less than 60 minutes for any cross-Paris connection between Paris Nord and Paris Gare de Lyon.

  • Step 1, book from Paris to your final destination at www.thetrainline.com.  Step 2, allowing at least 60 minutes to cross Paris southbound, 90 minutes northbound (as this includes the 30 minute Eurostar check-in), book from London to Paris and back at www.eurostar.com.  You can choose an exact seat on Eurostar if you book this way too, see tips on choosing a seat here.

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Using an Interrail pass

  • Pass or point to point?

    Let's be clear, a pass will not save money over the cheaper point-to-point advance-purchase fares you normally see when booking a few months ahead.  But when point-to-point fares are expensive (for example, at short notice) OR you want flexibility, for example the ability to change your mind, re-route or reschedule at will, you can travel from anywhere in the UK to anywhere in France & back using an Interrail pass.

    If flexibility is what you want, buy the pass.  If it's about saving money, you'll have to check point-to-point prices and do the maths.

    It's worth doing the maths if you are under 28, if you have kids (kids get a free pass when accompanying an adult but still need to pay reservation fees) or if you live a long way from London (as a pass covers you from your home station to London). 

    Passes are available in 1st & 2nd class.  By all means go out one way, back another, with an Interrail pass you can use almost any of the trains & routes shown on this page.  For a tour of France, an Interrail pass is less risky than stack of inflexible advance-purchase tickets.

  • How to use a pass for a trip to France

    Step 1, buy a 4-days in 1-month Interrail pass from www.raileurope.com (click Rail passes and select Europe) or www.interrail.eu for €283 adult, €212 youth or €255 senior.  You load the pass into the Railplanner app on your phone.  See pass prices on the Interrail page.

    4 days is the shortest pass period available, it's sufficient to get from almost anywhere in mainland Britain to anywhere in France & back.  By all means buy a longer period pass for a more extensive trip.

    A 4-day pass gives you unlimited train travel on any 4 dates you choose in an overall 1 month period.  The first travel day can be any date you select in the 11 months after buying the pass.  The 1 month period starts from that date.  Learn about how Interrail passes work here.

    Incidentally. you're only allowed 2 days of travel in your home country.  Eurostar counts as travel in Britain for us Brits.  So if (for example) you wanted to go Inverness to Nice, you have to go Inverness to Paris on the first day and Paris-Inverness on your last day.  You can't stop overnight in London as that would clock up 4 days travel in Britain and you're only allowed 2.  More about inbound/outbound days here.

    Step 2, you need to buy a Eurostar passholder ticket from London to Lille or Paris & back for €30 each way.  See prices & how to make Eurostar passholder reservationsTip:  Eurostar passholder availability is limited, so check availability before buying a pass.

    Step 3, you need a reservation for each high-speed TGV or Intercité you take in France and for couchettes on Intercités de nuit, see prices here.  You can make these reservations online using the official Interrail reservation service.  Interrail is not valid on Ouigo lo-cost trains.

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  Train Bleu restaurant sign

The Train Bleu restaurant, Gare de Lyon

I highly recommend eating at the famous and remarkable Train Bleu restaurant inside the Gare de Lyon, on the main concourse, see the Train Bleu restaurant page for more details.

Or at the Gare du Nord, the Brasserie Terminus Nord

If you'd like a decent meal near the Gare du Nord rather than the Gare de Lyon, try the typically French Brasserie Terminus Nord (www.terminusnord.com), directly across the road from  the front of the Gare du Nord.  It's good quality French cuisine in classic Parisian brasserie surroundings, famous for its oysters and seafood.  Main dishes cost around €18-€24.


Holidays  & short breaks by train

Several good companies organise holidays & short breaks to France by Eurostar & TGV, with no airport hassles and no days spent in cramped coaches on motorways.

Short breaks to Paris or Lille

Plenty of companies offer combined Eurostar+hotel deals for an economical short break in Paris or Lille.  There are times when a combined Eurostar+hotel offer can be cheaper than a normal Eurostar ticket!  Try:

Railbookers logoRailbookers, railbookers.co.uk

  • Railbookers can tailor-make a flight-free holiday or short break to France for you, with train travel, transfers & hotels included, leaving on any date you like.  For example, they offer a 2-night break to Avignon or a 6-night holiday to Nice & Cannes with daytime train travel by Eurostar & TGV.   If you tell them what you want, they'll advise you on the best trains, routes & hotels and sort it all out for you.  They get a lot of repeat business!

    UK flag  UK call 0207 864 4600, www.railbookers.co.uk.

    US flag  US call free 1-888-829-4775, see website.

    Canadian flag  Canada call free 1-855-882-2910, see website.

    Australian flag  Australia call toll-free 1300 971 526, see website.

    New Zealand flag  New Zealand call toll-free 0800 000 554 or see website.

Byway logoByway, byway.travel

  • Byway (byway.travel) is a new UK-based eco-holiday firm with a 5-star TrustPilot rating.  If you're nervous about booking train travel yourself, they'll book a UK-France trip for you as a package, including overnight hotels, starting from any British station you like.

    To see pre-configured packages from London to Lille, Bordeaux, Strasbourg, Avignon, Marseille and even Bastia & Ajaccio on Corsica, use the journey planner on their website.

    Alternatively they can build a trip to your requirements, email them or use the contact form.  Please say you heard about them from Seat 61.

    Byway includes package protection, a 100% Covid refund guarantee, free disruption & re-planning and on-demand WhatsApp support while you're away.

Tailor Made Raill logoTailor Made Rail, tailormaderail.com

  • Tailor Made Rail offers packages from the UK to France by train which can be customised your requirements, with any stopovers you want.  As it's a package, they'll take care of you if anything happens on one part of the trip, for example, a national strike.  They're TTA-protected, which is like ATOL, but not just for agencies that sell air travel.  Website www.tailormaderail.com/destinations/france.

  • Call their dedicated seat61 phone line 020 3778 1461 and quote seat 61 when booking.  From outside the UK call +44 20 3778 1461.  Lines open 09:00-17:30 Monday-Friday.

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Car hireCar Rentals in France

Car hire comparison:  www.carrentals.co.uk

  • The award-winning website www.carrentals.co.uk compares many different car hire companies including Holiday Autos, meaning not only a cheapest price comparison but a wider choice of hire and drop off location.

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European Rail Timetable & maps

Thomas Cook European Timetable -  click to buy onlineTraveller's Railway Map of Europe - buy onlineThe European Rail Timetable (formerly the Thomas Cook European Timetable) has train & ferry times for every country in Europe plus currency & climate information.  It is essential for regular European train travellers and an inspiration for armchair travellers.  Published since 1873, it had just celebrated 140 years of publication when Thomas Cook decided to pull the plug on their entire publishing department, but the dedicated ex-Thomas Cook team set up a private venture and resumed publication of the famous European Rail Timetable in March 2014.  You can buy it online at www.amazon.co.uk (UK addresses) or www.europeanrailtimetable.eu (shipping worldwide).  More information on what the European Rail Timetable contains.

Rail Map Europe is the map I recommend, covering all of Europe from Portugal in the west to Moscow & Istanbul in the east, Finland in the north to Sicily & Athens in the south.  Scenic routes & high-speed lines are highlighted.  See an extract from the map.  Buy online at www.europeanrailtimetable.eu (shipping worldwide) or at www.amazon.co.uk (UK addresses).


Guidebooks

Amazon logoPaying for a guidebook may seem an unnecessary expense, but it's a tiny fraction of what you're spending on your whole trip.  You will see so much more, and know so much more about what you're looking at, if you have a decent guidebook.  I recommend the Lonely Planet or Rough Guides as the best ones out there for independent travellers.  Click the images to buy the books - if you buy anything at Amazon through these links, Seat61.com gets a small commission (at no extra cost to you) to help support the site.  My own book, an essential handbook for train travel to Europe based on this website called "The Man in Seat 61", was first published in June 2008 and revised April 2010, and is available from Amazon with shipping worldwide.

Click the images to buy at Amazon.co.uk

Lonely Planet Paris - click to buy online   Lonely Planet France - click to buy online   Lonely Planet Western Europe - click to buy online   Lonely Planet Europe on a shoestring - click to buy online

Alternatively, you can download just the chapters or areas you need in .PDF format from the Lonely Planet Website, from around £2.99 or US$4.95 a chapter.

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Hotels in France

A special hotel for a short break in Paris

  • There are the obvious choices such as the famous (and expensive) Paris Ritz in the Place Vendôme, founded by the Swiss hotelier César Ritz & French chef Auguste Escoffier in 1898.  Anyone who's anyone has stayed here, from Hemingway to Princess Diana.

  • And the equally famous & expensive Le Meurice, which Von Choltitz made his headquarters during the occupation of Paris in WW2.  It was at Le Meurice where Von Choltitz took the call from his Führer demanding to know "Is Paris burning?"

  • But if for a special hotel for a luxury break or romantic weekend, I'd recommend the small, sumptuous, intimate L'Hotel, on the bohemian left bank, walking distance from the Seine, the Ile de la Cité & Notre Dame.

    Playwright Oscar Wilde spent the last days of his life here in room 16, famously quipping, "My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go.".  Fortunately the wallpaper is now all in very good taste (Mrs 61 & I had to room next to Oscar's).  The hotel has been used by many famous people since then, from Sinatra to Mick Jagger.  Rooms are on the cosy side, but they are beautifully decorated and have character that bigger and flashier hotels lack.  Check prices & book a stay at l'Hotel.

Room 14 at l'Hotel in Paris   The stairway at l'Hotel, Paris

Room 14 at l'Hotel, next door to room 16 in which Oscar Wilde spent his last days.

 

The beautiful light well at l'Hotel with a circular landing on each floor.

Hotels near Paris stations

Hotels close to the Gare du Nord

  • The 25 Hours Terminus Nord would be my first choice for a stay between trains, a big 3-star hotel directly across the road from the Gare du Nord.  Formerly the Mercure Terminus Nord, it's been refurbished in a decidedly funky style and gets great reviews - I've had great feedback from Seat61 users too.

  • The Libertel Gare du Nord Suede is 5 min walk from Gare du Nord, 2-star.

  • You could also try the Art Hotel (3-star);  Avalon Hotel (2-star);  Hotel Cambrai (5 min walk from Gare du Nord, 1-star).

Hotels close to the Gare de l'Est

Hotels close to the Gare de Lyon

  • The Mercure Paris Gare De Lyon is part of the station complex itself, ideal if you've an early train next morning.  It receives over 8/10 in reviews for staff, comfort & cleanliness.  It gets less than 8 for facilities and room size, but that's not as important for one night between trains.

  • The Citizen M Hotel gets great 8/10 or better reviews on all counts, close to 9/10 on some and I've had great feedback from seat61 users too.  It's 160m 2-minute walk from the station.  4-star.

  • Also try the Hotel Terminus Lyon (right in front of the station, 3-star);  Novotel Paris Gare de Lyon (opposite the station, 4-star);  Hotel 26 Faubourg (5 min walk from Gare de Lyon, 2-star).

  • There aren't many cheap places around the Gare de Lyon, try the Hotel Ibis Styles Gare de Lyon across the road.  If you're prepared to walk a bit, try the Libertel Austerlitz Jardin des Plantes as this is significantly cheaper but still with a 8+ review score, a 13-minute walk across the river Seine past the Gare d'Austerlitz.

Hotels close to the Gare Montparnasse

Hotel Mercure at Paris Gare de Lyon

Entrance to the Mercure Hotel at the Gare De Lyon, right next to the station's famous clock tower.  Handy for early trains!

Find hotels at Booking.comMy favourite hotel search: www.booking.com

Booking.com is my favourite hotel booking site and I generally use it to book all my hotels in one place.  I've come to trust booking.com's review scores, you won't be disappointed with any hotel that scores 8.0 or more.  Crucially, booking.com usually lets you book with free cancellation, which means you can confirm accommodation risk-free before train booking opens and/or you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary and alter your plans as they evolve - a feature I use all the time when planning a trip.  I never book hotels non-refundably!

Backpacker hostels: www.hostelworld.com

www.hostelworld.com:  If you're on a tight budget, don't forget about backpacker hostels.  Hostelworld offers online booking of cheap private rooms or dorm beds in backpacker hostels in Paris and most other European cities at rock-bottom prices.

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Travel insurance & other tips

 

Staysure travel insurance

 

Columbus Direct logo

Always take out travel insurance

You should take out travel insurance with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover from a reliable insurer.  It should cover trip cancellation and loss of cash & belongings up to a reasonable limit.  These days, check you're covered for covid-19-related issues, and use an insurer whose cover isn't invalidated by well-meant but excessive Foreign Office travel advice against non-essential travel. An annual policy is usually cheapest even for just 2 or 3 trips a year, I have an annual policy with Staysure.co.uk myself.  Don't expect travel insurance to bail you out of every missed connection, see the advice on missed connections here.  Here are some suggested insurers, I get a little commission if you buy through these links, feedback always welcome.

UK flag  www.staysure.co.uk offers enhanced Covid-19 protection and gets 4.7 out of 5 on Trustpilot.

UK flag  www.columbusdirect.com is also a well-know brand.

US flag  If you live in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

 

Maya.net logo

Get an eSIM with mobile data package

Don't rely on WiFi, download an eSIM with a European mobile data package and stay connected.  Most newer mobile phones can download a virtual SIM including iPhone 11 & later, see device compatibility list.  There's no need to buy a physical SIM card!  Maya.net is a reliable eSIM data retailer with a 4.5 out of 5 Trustpilot rating and a range of packages including unlimited data.

 

Curve card

Curve card

Get a Curve card for foreign travel

Most banks give you a poor exchange rate then add a foreign transaction fee on top.  A Curve MasterCard means no foreign transaction fees and gives you the mid-market exchange rate, at least up to a certain limit, £500 per month as I write this.  The money you spend on your Curve card goes straight onto one of your existing debit or credit cards.  And you can get a Curve card for free.

How it works:  1. Download the Curve app for iPhone or Android.  2. Enter your details & they'll send you a Curve MasterCard - they send to the UK and most European addresses.  3. Link your existing credit & debit cards to the app, you can link up to two cards with the free version of Curve, I link my normal debit card and my normal credit card.  4. Now use the Curve MasterCard to buy things online or in person or take cash from ATMs, exactly like a normal MasterCard. Curve does the currency conversion and puts the balance in your own currency onto whichever debit or credit card is currently selected in the Curve app.  You can even change your mind about which card it goes onto, within 14 days of the transaction.

I have a Curve Blue card myself, it means I can buy a coffee on a foreign station on a card without being stung by fees and lousy exchange rates, just by tapping the Curve card on their card reader.  The money goes through Curve to my normal debit card and is taken directly from my account (in fact I have the Curve card set up as payment card on Apple Pay on my iPhone, so can double-click my phone, let it do Face ID then tap the reader with the phone - even easier than getting a card out).  I get a little commission if you sign up to Curve, but I recommend it here because I think it's great.  See details, download the app and get a Curve card, they'll give you £5 cashback through that link.

 

Express VPN

Get a VPN for safe browsing.  Why you need a VPN

When travelling you may use free public WiFi which is often insecure.  A VPN encrypts your connection so it's always secure, even on unsecured WiFi.  It also means you can select the geographic location of the IP address you browse with, to get around geoblocking which a surprising number of websites apply.  See VPNs & why you need one explainedExpressVPN is a best buy with a 4.7 out of 5 Trustpilot ranking which I use myself - I've signed up as an ExpressVPN affiliate, and if you go with expressvpn.com using this link you should see a special deal, 3 months free with an annual subscription.  I also get some commission to help support this site.

 

Anker Powerrbank

Carry an Anker powerbank

Tickets, reservations, hotel bookings and Interrail or Eurail passes are often now held on your mobile phone.  You daren't let it run out of power, and you can't always rely on the phone's internal battery or on being near a power outlet.  I always carry an Anker powerbank which can recharge my phone several times over.  Buy from Amazon.co.uk or buy from Amazon.com.

Touring cities?  Use hill walking shoes!

One of the best things I've done is swap my normal shoes for hill-walking shoes, in my case from Scarpa.  They're intended for hiking across the Pennines not wandering around Florence, but the support and cushioning for hiking works equally well when you're on your feet all day exploring foreign cities.  My feet used to give out first and limit my day, now the rest of me gives up before they do!


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