Take Eurostar & TGV high-speed train from Paris to Nice, Marseille, Lyon, Bordeaux, Avignon, Strasbourg, Perpignan...

A TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de Lyon

Hotels in Paris

I want to go from Paris to...

     

       Click here for journeys starting in another city.

This page explains how to travel by train from Paris to other cities all over Europe and how to buy tickets the cheapest way.  Train information is current for 2018.

Tip:  If leaving from the Gare de Lyon, have a meal before your train at the fabulous Train Bleu restaurant or use the Big Ben bar as your VIP waiting lounge.  If leaving from the Gare du Nord, I recommend the Brasserie Terminus Nord across the road, or the l'Ardoise Gourmande 5 minutes walk away.

Before you buy your tickets...

Take a moment to read these tips for buying European train tickets.  They answer the usual questions, "Do I need to book in advance or can I just buy at the station?", "Can I stop off?", "Are there Senior fares?" and that old favourite, "Should I buy an $800 railpass or just buy a €35 point-to-point ticket online?".  Click here to understand how far ahead you can buy train tickets.

European train travel FAQ...

An introduction to European train travel

 

Senior fares (over 60)

 

Guide to Eurail passes (overseas visitors)

Important tips for buying European train tickets

Youth fares (under 26)

 

Guide to InterRail passes (for Europeans)

How to check European train times

Child fares & child age limits

 

Couchettes & sleepers on night trains

Do I need to book in advance?

Luggage on European trains

 

Train seat numbering plans

How far ahead can I book?

Luggage storage at stations

 

Wheelchairs & special needs

Can I stop off on the way?

Taking a bike by train

 

Real-time service updates

Should I travel 1st or 2nd class?

Taking a car by train

 

Hotels & accommodation

How long to allow for connections?

Taking dogs & pets by train

 

Changing stations in Paris by metro or taxi

How early to arrive at the station?

Maps of the European rail network

 

What to do when things go wrong...


Paris to Nice, Lyon, Bordeaux, Lourdes, Chamonix & other French destinations from €20...
Paris to Nice in 5h37 from €25:  See the Paris to Nice page...

The impressive TGV Duplex trains from Paris to Nice take just 5h36 centre to centre with fares from €25.  A flight takes 4 disjointed and stressful hours of train, airport, flight, airport & bus, as well as pumping up to 10 times the CO2 emissions into the upper atmosphere.  As an experience, there's no comparison:  After speeding down the scenic Rhone Valley at up tom 186 mph, they slow right down and pass Marseille with the Chateau d'If visible out in the bay.  After St Raphael, the train skirts the Cote d'Azur past rocky headlands, yacht-filled bays and millionaires' villas. THIS is the way to arrive!  For more information, see the Paris to Nice by train page.  Photo courtesy of Mike Sloan.

Coastal views from the train between Toulon and Nice

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Paris to London from €50.50, www.eurostar.com...
Other French cities to London...

All aboard Eurostar:  See the Eurostar page...

Eurostar e320   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar's new e320...

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

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Paris to Dublin from £87...

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Paris to Brussels, Antwerp or Liege from €29 at www.thalys.com...

Option 1, by Thalys high-speed trains - fast, comfortable, recommended...

A Thalys train from Amsterdam to Paris

A Thalys at Paris Nord.  See panorama photos inside a Thalys trainMore info about Thalys.

1st class (Comfort & Premium) seating on Thalys   2nd class seats on a Thalys train from Paris to Amsterdam

Comfort & Premium seats, 2+1 across the car.  Larger photo.

 

Standard seats, 2+2 across.  Larger photo.

Option 2, by new low-cost train operator Izy with fares from €10 - cheap, but budget airline on rails rather than normal train service...

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Paris to Bruges or Ghent from €35 at www.b-europe.com...
A Thalys for Amsterdam about to leave Brussels Midi... 1st class seats on Thalys Second class seats on board a 'Thalys' high-speed train to Cologne

1.  Thalys from Paris to Brussels...

1st class (Comfort or Premium).

2nd class (Standard).

A Belgian intercity train at Brussels Midi 2nd class 1st class

2.  Belgian InterCity train from Brussels to Bruges or Ghent.

2nd class seats...

1st class seats...

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Paris to Amsterdam in 3 hours 17 minutes from €35 at www.b-europe.com...
A Thalys train from Amsterdam to Paris

A Thalys at Amsterdam Centraal.  See panorama photos inside a Thalys trainMore info about Thalys.

1st class (Comfort & Premium) seating on Thalys   2nd class seats on a Thalys train from Paris to Amsterdam

Comfort & Premium seats, 2+1 across the car.  Larger photo.

 

Standard seats, 2+2 across.  Larger photo.

Dutch windmill!

You'll know when your Thalys reaches Holland!  North & South Holland are two provinces of the 12 that make up the Netherlands.  To understand the difference between Holland and The Netherlands, watch this nifty video...

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Paris to Luxembourg from €39...
A TGV about to leave Luxembourg for Paris

A TGV at Luxembourg, 2 hours 14 minutes from Paris.

  Luxembourg station

Luxembourg station, 15 minutes walk to the old town...

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Paris to Geneva, Lausanne, Bern, Basel, Zurich by TGV-Lyria from €29...
TGV-Lyria at Paris Gare de Lyon   TGV bar car

A TGV-Lyria at Paris Gare de Lyon.  There's no check-in, you just walk up to it & get on.

 

The cafe-bar, serving tea, coffee, beer, wine, cold snacks & microwaved hot dishes.  Larger photo.

TGV interior by Christian Lacroix, second class   TGV 1st class by Christian Lacroix

2nd class (standard class) with a mix or unidirectional seats & tables for 4.  Seats are 2+2 across car width.  360 degree photo.

 

1st class seats, used for standard première and business première. Seats are arranged 2+1 across the car width.  360 degree photo.

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Paris to Milan & Turin

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Paris to Venice, Verona, Florence, Rome, Naples or anywhere in Italy

Which option to choose?

Option 1, Paris to Verona, Venice, Florence, Rome or Naples in a single day from €49...

TGV bar car   TGV from Milan to Paris

The cafe-bar, serving tea, coffee, beer, wine, hot & cold snacks & microwaved hot dishes.  Larger photo.

 

The 14:41 TGV to Milan at the Gare de Lyon.  There's no check-in, just be on board at departure time...

TGV interior by Christian Lacroix, second class   TGV 1st class by Christian Lacroix

2nd class with a mix or unidirectional seats & tables for 4.  Seats are 2+2 across car width.  360 degree photo.

 

1st class with a mix of unidirectional seats, solo seats, tables for 2 & for 4.  Seats 2+1 across car width.  360 degree photo.

Mountains from the TGV train to Italy

The TGV from Paris to Italy calls at Lyon St Exupery then slows right down through the Alpine foothills.  These are autumnal mountains in France...

Scenery from the train between Oulx and Turin

...And these are mountains in Italy in summer.  Scenery between Oulx and Turin, courtesy of www.discoverbyrail.com.

Frecciarossa 1000 standard class   A Frecciarossa 1000 train at Milan Centrale

Standard class seats, 2+2 across width.  Larger photo.

 

Frecciarossa 1000 at Milan Centrale.  More about Frecciarossas

Frecciarossa 1000 Business class seats   At-seat meal on Frecciarossa 1000

Business class seats 1+2 across car width, with tables for 2 and tables for 4 and complimentary prosecco. Larger photo.

 

In business class you can order a simple meal at your seat, around €18.  More about Frecciarossas.

Option 2, Paris to Italy by TGV with overnight stop in Turin or Milan - as option 1 but with overnight stop...

Option 3, Paris to Italy overnight by Thello sleeper train from €35...

Refurbished sleeping-car on the Paris to Venice 'Thello' sleeper train   1, 2 or 3-bed sleeper, in evening mode, on the Paris-Venice Thello overnight train...   2-bed sleeper, night mode, on the Paris-Florence/Rome overnight train...

A sleeping-car on the Thello sleeper train to Venice boarding at Paris Gare de Lyon.  More Thello info here.

 

Sleeper with beds folded away.  Larger photo360.

 

2-bed sleeper.  Larger photo360 degree photo.

Thello couchette compartment   Boarding the Thello sleeper train at Paris.

4 or 6 berth couchette compartment.  Much more comfortable with just 4 people.  Larger photo360 degree photo.

 

A couchette car on the Thello train from Paris to Venice.  More Thello info here.

Option 4:  The ultimate scenic route, by Bernina Express through the Swiss Alps from €71. 

First class seats   Bernina Express panormaic cars

Bernina Express 1st class seats...

 

the Bernina Express uses panoramic carriages...

The train descends from the Bernina Pass

The Bernina Express descends from the Bernina Pass.  See the Bernina Express page.

Option 5, Paris to Milan, Verona & Venice with overnight stop in Geneva...

The restaurant car on an ETR610 EuroCity train   Meal on a Swiss EuroCity train between Switzerland & Milan

The restaurant car on an ETR610...

 

Lunch in the diner?

Lake Maggiore, seen from a Milan to Basel train

This is Lake Maggiore, seen from the dining-car of a northbound train over an excellent lunch of salmon tagliatelle & excellent (but expensive!) Swiss red wine.

2nd class seats on an ETR610 EuroCity train to Italy   ETR610 EuroCity train from Switzerland at Milan Centrale

2nd class seats on an ETR610, all with power sockets.  See panorama photo.

 

Buongiorno Milano!  When the EuroCity from Zurich reaches Milano Centrale, you've reached Italy with no airports & no flights...

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Paris to Barcelona & Spain...

Option 1, Paris to Barcelona, Girona, Figueres by high-speed train from €39... 

TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de Lyon   Upper deck second class on board a TGV Duplex.

TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de Lyon. These 200 mph double-deckers link Paris with Barcelona.  Watch TGV Duplex video.

 

2nd class table for 4 on TGV Duplex upper deck...

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

The cafe-bar on the upper deck in car 4, serving tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, snacks & microwave-style hot dishes....

 

2nd class seats, this is upper deck seating.  There's a mix or tables for 4 and unidirectional seating.

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

1st class seats on the upper deck, with a club duo on the left, a club quatre on the right.

 

A TGV Duplex at Barcelona Sants.  The red near the door indicates 1st class, pale green indicates 2nd class.

Lunch from the cafe-bar on the train to Barcelona   The hilltop cathedral at Beziers

Dinner from the cafe-bar...

 

View from the train, passing Béziers...

Mt Canigou in the Pyrenees

Mt Canigou & the Pyrenees...  One of the highest peaks in the mighty Pyrenees, the 2,784m (9,137 feet) high Mt Canigou dominates the skyline on the right all the way from Perpignan to Girona, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CanigouMore photos of what to see on the Paris-Barcelona train journey.

Option 2, Paris to Barcelona by overnight sleeper train...

 

The intercité de nuit overnight train has 1st class 4-berth & 2nd class 6-berth couchettes, each with lightweight sleeping-bag & mineral water...

 

Into the Pyrenees.  For the last hour & a half of the journey, the train climbs into the Pyrenees...

Latour de Carol, where two nations, two trains and three track gauges meet.  On the right, the French standard-gauge overnight couchette train arrived from Paris.  On the left, the Spanish broad-gauge suburban train about to leave for Barcelona.  The third gauge at Latour is the narrow-gauge Petit Train Jaune to Perpignan, its platform is behind the couchette cars shown here.

The snow gives way to autumnal browns & golds as the train to Barcelona wends its way south...

Paris to Madrid...

Option  1, by high-speed train from €74 - the fastest option...

Madrid Atocha station - the tropical garden in the old trainshed   At Madrid Atocha, high-speed trains depart from a modern extension.

Madrid Atocha station...  One of my favourite stations, the grand old trainshed has been preserved and turned into a tropical garden complete with turtle pool.  See the Madrid Atocha station guide.

Option  2, via San Sebastian from €42 - a cheaper but slower option...

Paris to Malaga, Seville, Cordoba, Granada, Cadiz, Algeciras (for Gibraltar) from €79... 

Option 1, Paris to Andalucía by high-speed trains, with overnight stop in Barcelona...

Complimentary at-seat meal in Club class & Preferente Class   AVE Club class on an S102 AVE train from Madrid to Malaga

AVE S112 as used from Barcelona to Malaga & Seville...  Known as a pato (duck), no prizes for guessing why!

 

AVE Preferente class...  Leather reclining seats, all with power sockets...

AVE Tourist class seats on an S102 AVE train from Madrid to Malaga   AVE Preferente seating on an S102 AVE train from Madrid to Malaga

AVE Turista class...  Comfortable seats, 2 abreast each side of the aisle, mainly unidirectional but some bays of 4 around a table like this...

 

AVE Turista Plus...  Reclining seats, power sockets for laptops & mobiles, mainly unidirectional but some tables for 2 and tables for 4...

Option 2, Paris to Andalucía by high-speed train in a single day - runs 2 June to 27 August 2018...

Paris to Valencia or Alicante from €65... 

Option 1, Paris to Valencia or Alicante by high-speed train, in one day...

Option 2, Paris to Valencia or Alicante by high-speed trains with overnight stop in Barcelona...

Paris to Bilbao
Paris to San Sebastian from €29...
Paris to Santiago de Compostela, Vigo, A Coruna...

Option 1, with overnight stop at the Spanish border...

Option 2, by TGV and trainhotel...

The cheapest way to buy train tickets within Spain... 

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Paris to Lisbon, Porto & Portugal from €119 with sleeper...

By TGV Duplex from Paris to the Spanish border...

TGV Duplex Oceane arrived at Bordeaux   TGV Duplex Oceane at Bordeaux

A TGV Duplex at Bordeaux St Jean on its high-speed run from Paris.  Many of these double-decker high-speed trains now have the all-new Océane interior shown here and carry the latest grey, silver & red TGV colours - although some trains still have the older TGV Duplex interior and remain in blue and grey. Other trains on the Paris-Hendaye/Irun route are single-deck TGV Atlantique units.

TGV Océane cafe-bar   TGV Océane 2nd class seats

TGV Océane cafe-bar, upper deck car 4 (or 14)

 

TGV Océane 2nd class seats...

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

TGV Océane 1st class seats.  An innovation on TGV Océane, all 1st class seats (except the very end ones) rotate to face the direction of travel, or can be rotated to make a face-to-face group of 2 or 4 seats.  The drop-down tables open to reveal USB and 2-pin power sockets.

...then by Sud Express from Hendaye to Lisbon: See more photos & information...

To Morocco by train...   En route to Morocco by train: gran classe 2-bed sleeper (day mode)   en route to Morocco by train: Gran Classes 2-bed sleeper (night mode)   Paris to Madrid & Barcelona by trainhotel: Gran Classe sleepers have a private shower and toilet

The Sud Express, about to leave Irun on the Franco-Spanish frontier, bound for Lisbon...  Courtesy of Ron Baker...

 

Gran Clase sleeper, in evening mode with the seats folded out...

 

....return from the bar to find the attendant has made up the beds...

 

Gran Clase private toilet & shower...

Sud Express trainhotel cafe-bar...    

The trainhotel's café-bar serves drinks & food.  Grab a barstool early, it gets crowded later on!  Only cash accepted, not cards.

 

4-berth tourist class sleepers (Turista Cama) are cosy & inexpensive...  They convert from beds to seats as shown.  See panorama photo of 4-berth tourist class sleeper.

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Paris to Andorra...

Option 1, by daytime trains + bus...

 

The modern TER regional train from Toulouse, arrived at l'Hospitalet station...

 

The smart interior of the regional train from Toulouse to l'Hospitalet.

Option 2, by overnight train + bus...

 

The intercité de nuit overnight train from Paris to Latour de Carol has 1st class 4-berth & 2nd class 6-berth couchettes, each with lightweight sleeping-bag & mineral water...

The bus to Andorra...   The bus to Andorra climbs into the mountains...

The bus ride across the mountain passes into Andorra is spectacular.  Nab the front seats for the best views...  www.andorrabus.com for bus times.

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Paris to Berlin from €39.90...

Option 1, by sleeper train from €99 - the safe, fun & time-effective option that saves a hotel bill...

Option 2, by high-speed train from €39.90 - the fastest option, Paris to Berlin in one chill-out day...

Class 407 ICE3 at Paris Est   2nd class seats on a class 407 ICE3

A Paris to Mannheim ICE, at Paris Gare de l'Est...

 

2nd class seats...

Bistro-restaurant on a class 407 ICE3   Class 407 ICE3 1st class seats

Bistro-restaurant car...

1st class seats...

Option 3, by high-speed train from €39.90 with overnight stop in Mannheim...

Option 4, by direct Russian sleeper train every Thursday night.

One of Russian Railways new international sleeping-cars   A 2-berth or 4-berth compartment in daytime mode

Standard sleepers with washbasin on the Paris-Moscow Express:  1st class 2-berth or 2nd class 4-berth.  More photos & information.

  One of Russian Railways new international sleeping-cars

VIP sleeper with en suite toilet & shower on the Paris-Moscow Express...  More photos & information

Option 5, Paris to Berlin with an overnight stop in Amsterdam...

  • This is a round-about route, but Amsterdam is such a great place for a stop and the journey so easy, fast & convenient, it's worth considering.  The stations are all incredibly central, you can stroll from Amsterdam Centraal to most city centre hotels, and can walk from Berlin Hbf to the Reichstag or Brandenburg Gate in 10-15 minutes.

  • Day 1, travel from Paris Gare du Nord to Amsterdam Centraal by 186 mph Thalys high-speed train in 3h09 from €35 in 2nd class (standard) or €72 in 1st class (comfort).  There is a departure every couple of hours through the day, you can leave central Paris as late as 19:25.  The trains have WiFi, power sockets at all seats and cafe-bar.

    Book this at www.b-europe.com and print your own ticket, or you can download the SNCB Europe app after booking and show it on your smartphone.

  • Stay overnight in Amsterdam.  Suggested hotels with good or great reviews:  The The Park Plaza Victoria Hotel is across the road from Amsterdam Centraal station and gets great reviews.  Other mid-range hotels include the Hotel Luxer, 7 minutes walk from the station & Hotel Sebastians, 10 minutes walk from the station.  Cheaper hotels include the fun floating boat hotel AmiciA, just 15 minutes walk from the station.  If you want to push the boat out, the top end famous Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam is 10 minutes walk from the station. 

    Incidentally, there's no reason why you can't do the journey in one day if you like, with a few hours in Amsterdam.  But an overnight stop breaks up the trip nicely.

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Paris to Hamburg from €39.90...

Option 1, by daytime trains in a single chill-out day...

Option 3, by sleeper train from €99...

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Paris to Munich from €39...
TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de l'Est   Upper deck second class on board a TGV Duplex.

TGV Duplex at Paris Est. These impressive 200 mph double-deck trains link Paris with Stuttgart & Munich...

 

2nd class table for 4 on TGV Duplex upper deck...

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

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

 

2nd class seats, this is upper deck seating.  There's a mix or tables for 4 and unidirectional seating.

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

1st class seats on the upper deck, with a club duo on the left, a club quatre on the right.

 

A TGV Duplex.  The red near the door indicates 1st class, pale green indicates 2nd class.

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Paris to Cologne (Köln) from €35...
A Thalys train from Amsterdam to Paris

A Thalys at Paris Nord.  See panorama photos inside a Thalys trainMore info about Thalys.

1st class (Comfort & Premium) seating on Thalys   2nd class seats on a Thalys train from Paris to Amsterdam

Comfort & Premium seats, 2+1 across the car.  Larger photo.

 

Standard seats, 2+2 across.  Larger photo.

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Paris to Mannheim, Frankfurt, Stuttgart from €39...
Class 407 ICE3 at Paris Est   2nd class seats on a class 407 ICE3

A Paris to Frankfurt ICE3, at Paris Gare de l'Est...

 

2nd class seats...

Bistro-restaurant on a class 407 ICE3   Class 407 ICE3 1st class seats

Bistro-restaurant car...

1st class seats...

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Paris to Salzburg from €39.90...

Option 1, in a single day via Germany - the fastest & cheapest option...

Option 2, by daytime trains via the Arlberg Pass, with an overnight stop in Zurich - the leisurely scenic option...

The morning RailJet from Munich has arrived in Budapest.   Economy class seats on the Munich-Vienna RailJet train

Railjet is Austrian Railways' premier train.  More photos & information about railjet trains

 

Economy class on railjet, comfortable open saloons with picture windows.  Some seats arranged around tables, most unidirectional.

  Premium class seats on the Munich-Vienna RailJet train   Railjet restaurant car

Railjet first class, with black leather seats...

 

Business class...

 

Restaurant car...

The lakes between Zurich and the Austrian border

Soon after leaving Zurich, the railjet is cruising alongside the Zürichsee, then along the Walensee.  The train cuts across Liechtenstein, passing non-stop through Schaan-Liechtenstein station - you clock up another country!

The mountains keep on coming...

Train into Austria, more scenery   Snowy peaks!

Mountain scenery and snowy peaks all the way, as the air-conditioned railjet crosses into Austria...

Taking the train through the Arlberg pass...   Lunch is served at your seat in first & business classes

In the Arlberg pass itself, the railway hugs the valley side, past fir forests and meadows...

 

In railjet first & business class, the stewardess takes your order & serves lunch at your seat...

View of Salzburg as the train crosses the River Salzach

Hello Salzburg!  This is the view of the Fortress Hohensalzburg as the railjet crosses the River Salzach approaching Salzburg station....

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Paris to Innsbruck, Linz or Vienna from €69... 

Option 1, Paris to Vienna by high-speed train in one leisurely chill-out day - the fastest option...

Option 2, by TGV & Nightjet sleeper train - the most time-effective option, with dinner in Zurich...

TGV-Lyria at Paris Gare de Lyon   TGV bar car

A TGV-Lyria at Paris Gare de Lyon.  There's no check-in, you just walk up to it & get on.

 

The cafe-bar, serving tea, coffee, beer, wine, hot & cold snacks & microwaved hot dishes....

TGV interior by Christian Lacroix, second class   TGV 1st class by Christian Lacroix

2nd class (standard class) with a mix or unidirectional seats & tables for 4.  Seats are 2+2 across car width.  Panorama photo.

 

1st class seats,used for standard première and business première.  Seats are arranged 2+1 across the car width.  Panorama photo.

    Double-deck sleeping-car on Vienna-Zurich Nigtjet at Zurich

4-berth couchettes, ideal for families.

 

2-berth standard sleeper with washbasin

 

Double-deck sleeping-car on the Vienna-Zurich Nightjet, at Zurich. Courtesy of DiscoverbyRail.com.

Option 3, by afternoon or evening TGV to Zurich, overnight in a hotel, then in daylight through the wonderful Arlberg Pass - the scenic option...

The morning RailJet from Munich has arrived in Budapest.   Economy class seats on the Munich-Vienna RailJet train

RailJet is Austrian Railways' premier train.  More photos & information about railjet trains

 

Economy class on railjet, comfortable open saloons with picture windows.  Some seats arranged around tables, most unidirectional.

  Premium class seats on the Munich-Vienna RailJet train   Railjet restaurant car

Railjet first class, with black leather seats...

 

Business class...

 

Restaurant car...

The lakes between Zurich and the Austrian border

Soon after leaving Zurich, the railjet is cruising alongside the Zürichsee, then along the Walensee.  The train cuts across Liechtenstein, passing non-stop through Schaan-Liechtenstein station - you clock up another country!

The mountains keep on coming...

Train into Austria, more scenery   Snowy peaks!

Mountain scenery and snowy peaks all the way, as the air-conditioned railjet crosses into Austria...

Taking the train through the Arlberg pass...   Lunch is served at your seat in first & business classes

In the Arlberg pass itself, the railway hugs the valley side, past fir forests and meadows...

 

In railjet first & business class, the stewardess takes your order & serves lunch at your seat...

View of Salzburg as the train crosses the River Salzach

At Salzburg, watch for this view of the Fortress Hohensalzburg as the railjet crosses the River Salzach approaching Salzburg station....

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Paris to Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Stockholm & Scandinavia from €79...

Option 1, Paris to Copenhagen via sleeper train...

Option 2, Paris to Copenhagen all in one day!  Onwards to Stockholm or Oslo next day...

A Danish IC3 train at Copenhagen station...   Inside a Danish IC3 train...

A Danish IC3 train at Copenhagen station...

 

Comfortable 2nd class seats on an IC3 train...

125 mph tilting 'X2000' from Copenhagen to Stockholm, at Copenhagen station 2nd class seats on the X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm The self-service buffet on the X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm...

A 125 mph X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm....

 

2nd class seating on the X2000.  All seats have power sockets for laptops & mobiles...

 

Self-service buffet car on the X2000 to Stockholm.

More about X2000 trains

Option 3, by comfortable daytime trains with overnight stop in Hamburg...

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Paris to Oslo & Norway...

Option 1, via Hamburg & Copenhagen - by train all the way...

Option 2, Paris to Oslo via the Kiel-Oslo Color Line cruise ferry - the most comfortable way to Oslo...

Germany to Oslo Color Line ferry at Kiel

This photo is taken from the exit of Kiel station, so you can see how close the ferry is.  It's a 5-6 minute walk across the harbour, with a street lift up to a connecting walkway which takes you to the ferry terminal. If you have reserved one of what Color Line call their "5 star suites", check in at the desk rather than the machines and you'll be directed to a special lounge to wait with free tea, coffee, juice, snacks & WiFi.  You'll also have priority boarding of the ship.  Photos courtesy of Andrew Leo.

Boarding the ferry in Kiel

Boarding the Color Line ferry to Oslo in Kiel...

Kiel to Oslo ferry, Color Class suite   Kiel to Oslo ferry, restaurant

A 5 Star Suite on the ferry...

 

More cruise liner than ferry!  The restaurant.

View from Color Line ferry to Oslo

Wake up to this....

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Paris to Helsinki & Finland...

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Paris to Prague from €54...   Paris to Cesky Krumlov...

Option 1:  By high-speed TGV-Lyria to Zurich & sleeper to Prague...

The sleeper train from Zurich to Prague

The sleeping-car to Prague, ready to leave Zurich HB.  Photo courtesy of Shaiq Ali Khan

City Night Line standard (economy) sleeper   City Night Line standard (economy) sleeper in day mode   City Night Line deluxe sleeper, private toilet & shower   Comfortline sleeper corridor

Standard sleeper set up as a 2-berth, with blind down & washstand open.  Each room can be used with 1, 2 or 3 beds.

 

The same sleeper with berths folded away & seats folded out, washstand closed.  Very similar to a deluxe, but without the shower & toilet.

 

Deluxe sleepers are similar to standard ones, but with a bit more floorspace & compact shower & toilet instead of washstand.

 

Just like a hotel, the corridor in a Comfortline sleeping-car.  There's a shower at end of the corridor for standard sleeper passengers.

Option 2, Paris to Prague from €55 in a single day - the cheapest option...

Option 3, Paris to Prague from €55 with overnight stop in Munich...

TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de l'Est   Upper deck second class on board a TGV Duplex.

TGV Duplex at Paris Est. These impressive 200 mph double-deck trains link Paris with Munich...

 

2nd class table for 4 on TGV Duplex upper deck...

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

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

 

2nd class seats, this is upper deck seating.  There's a mix or tables for 4 and unidirectional seating.

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

1st class seats on the upper deck, with a club duo on the left, a club quatre on the right.

 

A TGV Duplex.  The red near the door indicates 1st class, pale green indicates 2nd class.

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Paris to Bratislava & Slovakia

Option 1, Paris to Bratislava in a single day, via the scenic Arlberg Pass.  Runs Mondays-Saturdays from 9 December onwards...

Option 2, using the Zurich to Vienna nightjet sleeper train, the most time-effective option...

The train from Vienna to Bratislava, at Vienna Huaptbahnhof...   Inside the hourly train from Vienna to Bratislava...

The hourly regional express train from Vienna to Bratislava Hlavna, about to leave from Vienna Hauptbahnhof.  Behind the locomotive is a smart Slovakian air-conditioned intercity coach, whilst the rest of the train consists of more basic non-air-con Austrian City Shuttle carriages, with interiors as shown in the photo above right.  Find a seat in the more comfortable Slovakian car if you can!

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Paris to Budapest from €79...

Option 1, by high-speed TGV to Munich then EuroNight sleeper to Budapest...

TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de l'Est   Upper deck second class on board a TGV Duplex.

Step 1, take a 200mph double-deck TGV Duplex from Paris to Munich...  A relaxing journey with a reading book and glass or two of red.  Book an upstairs seat for the best views...

 

2nd class seats on TGV Duplex upper deck.  There's a mix of unidirectional seating and tables for 4 like this...

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

1st class seats on the upper deck, with a 'club duo' on the left, a 'club quatre' on the right.

 

A TGV Duplex.  The red near the door indicates 1st class, pale green indicates 2nd class.

The sleeper train to Budapest   Sleeper compartment in the Hungarian sleeping-car from Munich to Budapest

Step 2, catch the overnight sleeper from Munich to Budapest...

 

2-bed sleeper. Larger photo

6-berth couchettes on train to Budapest   4-berth couchettes on train to Budapest   Couchette car on the Kalman Imre to Budapest

6-berth couchettes...

 

4-berth couchettes

 

Hungarian couchette car at Munich

Option 2, by TGV to Munich, overnight hotel, then railjet to Budapest...

Option 3, by daytime trains with overnight stop, via the scenic Arlberg Pass...

  Premium class seats on the Munich-Vienna RailJet train   Railjet restaurant car

Railjet first class, with black leather seats...

 

Business class...

 

Restaurant car...

The lakes between Zurich and the Austrian border

Soon after leaving Zurich, the railjet runs alongside the Zürichsee, then along the Walensee...

Taking the train through the Arlberg pass...   Lunch is served at your seat in first & business classes

In the Arlberg pass itself, the railway hugs the valley side, past fir forests and meadows...

 

In railjet first & business class, the stewardess takes your order & serves lunch at your seat...

The mountains keep on coming...

Economy class seats on the Munich-Vienna RailJet train   The morning RailJet from Munich has arrived in Budapest.

Economy class on railjet, in open saloons, all with power sockets.

 

"The railjet has landed..."  A railjet arrived at Budapest's beautiful Keleti station.

Option 4, by high-speed TGV to Zurich then EuroNight sleeper to Budapest...

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Paris to Brasov, Bucharest & Romania
En suite toilet & shower on EuroNight sleeper train Ister to Bucharest   Single-berth sleeper on the EuroNight sleeper train 'Ister' to Bucharest   EuroNight sleeper train 'Ister' from Budapest to Bucharest

Deluxe sleeper...  The en suite toilet & shower in a deluxe sleeper from Budapest to Bucharest.  Courtesy Andy Brabin.

A sleeper set up as a  1-berth compartment with middle & top berths folded away against the wall.  Courtesy Andy Brabin.

 

The Budapest-Bucharest Ister:  This is the modern air-conditioned Romanian sleeping-car.  The letters above the windows say 'Voiture-Lits - Sleeping-car - Carrozza Letti - Vagon de Dormit'...  Welcome to your hotel on rails, some compartments with toilet & shower.

Couchette car on the Ister EuroNight train from Budapest to Bucharest   6-berth couchettes   Romanian couchette car from Vienna to Bucharest

The vagon cuseta (couchette car) on the Ister, at Budapest.

 

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

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Paris to Ljubljana or Zagreb from €73...

Option 1, by TGV to Munich, overnight stop, then scenic EuroCity train to Ljubljana & Zagreb...

The morning RailJet from Munich has arrived in Budapest.   Economy class seats on the Munich-Vienna RailJet train

A smart Austrian railjet train.  More photos & information about railjet trains

 

Economy class seats on railjet.

Austrian railjet seats   Scenery in the Austrian Alps between Munich & Ljubljana

1st class seats on the Austrian railjet from Munich through great scenery to Villach on the Slovenian border.  More railjet information...

 

Through the Austrian Alps...  Clinging to the mountainside high in the Austrian Alps, the train snakes along between snow-capped mountains, absolutely wonderful...

  2nd class seats on the Munich-Zagreb train

...and along the Sava river in Slovenia.  Now across the border in Slovenia, the EuroCity train runs along the pretty River Sava all the way to Ljubljana and Zagreb...

 

Comfortable seats:  The 2nd class seats in the Slovenian cars are arranged 2+1 abreast, the same as 1st class!

The EuroCity train 'Sava' from Munich to Ljubljana & Zagreb  

The EuroCity train Sava, arrived at Zagreb.

 

More scenery along the Sava between Ljubljana & Zagreb.

Option 2, by TGV Duplex to Munich, then EuroNight sleeper train to Zagreb...

TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de l'Est   Upper deck second class on board a TGV Duplex.

Step 1, take a 200mph double-deck TGV Duplex from Paris to Munch...  A relaxing journey with a reading book and glass or two of red.  Book an upstairs seat for the best views...

 

2nd class seats on TGV Duplex upper deck.  There's a mix of unidirectional seating and tables for 4 like this...

The 'Lisinski' sleeper train from Zagreb to Munich, at Zagreb main station   Sleeper compartment in the Croatian sleeping-car from Munich to Zagreb

Step 2, take the Lisinski from Munich to Zagreb.  This is sleeping-car on the Lisinski arrived at Zagreb.  The modern air-conditioned Croatian sleeping-car of the Lisinski from Munich to Zagreb has 10 compartments with washbasin, each of which can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 berth room, with toilets at the end of the corridor.  See larger sleeper photo.

4-berth couchettes on Munich to Zagreb train   Couchette car on Munich to Zagreb train, at Munich

The couchette car on the Lisinski has modern air-conditioned 6-berth and 4-berth compartments.  Above right, the westbound train is seen boarding at Zagreb. See panorama photo.

Scenery between Ljubljana, Zagreb & Belgrade

Wake up to scenery like this between Ljubljana & Zagreb, along the river Sava...

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Paris to Dubrovnik & Split...
Ancona to Split ferries in Split Harbour   Deluxe cabin onm Ancona to Split ferry

Blue Line & Jadrolinija ferries in Split Harbour...  Above right, a deluxe cabin on the Blue Line ferry, which comes complete with an en suite Jacuzzi...  Courtesy of Andrew Leo.

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Paris to Belgrade & Sofia...

Option 1, the fastest option

Option 2, a more leisurely & comfortable option...

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Paris to Bar, Podgorica, Budva & Kotor & Montenegro...

Option 1, by train all the way - the adventurous overland option...

Option 2, by train to Italy then overnight ferry across the Adriatic - a lovely way to reach Montenegro, once or twice a week....

Montenegro Lines ferry from Bar to Bari

The Montenegro Lines ferry to Bari at Bar ferry terminal...

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Paris to Warsaw, Krakow & Poland from €78...

Option 1, by daytime trains with overnight stop in Berlin...

The Berlin-Warsaw Express train   2nd class seating compartment on the Berlin to Warsaw Express train

The Berlin-Warsaw EuroCity trains have modern air-conditioned 1st & 2nd class coaches, most with compartments and side corridor like this, others with open-plan seating.

Bistro car on the Berlin-Warszawa Express train   Sausage soup on the Berlin-Warszawa Express   A main course schnitzel in the bistro-restaurant on the Berlin to Warsaw Express train

Option 2, by direct Russian sleeper train every Thursday night...

One of Russian Railways new international sleeping-cars   A 2-berth or 4-berth compartment in daytime mode

Standard sleepers with washbasin on the Paris-Moscow Express:  1st class 2-berth or 2nd class 4-berth.  More photos & information.

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Paris to Kiev & Ukraine

Option 1, via Warsaw...

The Kiev Express has modernised Ukrainian sleeping-cars with 2-berth & 3-berth compartments.  All bedding is supplied, and washrooms and toilets are at the end of the corridor.  Berths convert to seats for daytime use.  A smartly-uniformed Ukrainian railways sleeper attendant travels with each car.  Photos courtesy of Discoverbyrail.com,

The Kiev Express   1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper compartment   Each compartment has a washbasin

Boarding in Warsaw...

 

A sleeper compartment...

 

...with washbasin.

Option 2, via Vienna...

The Vienna-Kiev sleeping-car at Kiev Pass

The Vienna-Kiev sleeping-car at Kiev Pass.  Photos courtesy of Helmut Uttenthaler.

Sleeper to Kiev about to leave Vienna   Ukrainian sleeper corridor   1, 2 or 3 bed Ukrainian sleeper compartment

The Vienna-Kiev sleeper about to leave Vienna Hbf... Courtesy of Helmut Uttenthaler.

 

The sleeper corridor.  Courtesy Helmut Uttenthaler.

 

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper compartment.

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Paris to Moscow, St Petersburg & Russia

Option 1:  Ride the Paris to Moscow Express from €245!  See the Paris-Moscow Express page.

One of Russian Railways new international sleeping-cars   A 2-berth or 4-berth compartment in daytime mode

Standard sleepers with washbasin on the Paris-Moscow Express:  1st class 2-berth or 2nd class 4-berth.  More photos & information.

  One of Russian Railways new international sleeping-cars

VIP sleeper with en suite toilet & shower on the Paris-Moscow Express...  More photos & information

Option 2:  Paris to Moscow using the Warsaw-Moscow Polonez...

This option may not be as glamorous as the direct Paris-Moscow Express, but it's very comfortable.  It used to run daily but from June 2017 runs 3 times a week.  It can be cheaper as there are advance-purchase fares for the Paris-Berlin-Warsaw part of the trip, and you can stop off in Warsaw on the way...

Option 3:  Paris to Moscow via Kiev - avoiding the need for a Belarus visa...

  • It's not that difficult to get a Belarus transit visa and the Paris-Moscow Express is a superb train.  But some people want to avoid the cost & bureaucracy of yet another visa, and you can easily travel via Kiev.

  • Step 1, travel from Paris to Kiev as shown in the Paris to Kiev section above.

  • Step 2, travel from Kiev to Moscow by overnight train. There are several night trains and times vary by date, but for example there's usually one leaving Kiev around 19:33 and arriving in Moscow Kievskaya station next morning at around 10:00, with 2-berth & 4-berth sleepers available.  Check times for your date using www.bahn.de/en.  Note that there's also a direct train from Kiev to St Petersburg, but this passes through a small corner of Belarus, requiring a Belarus visa.

    Kiev to Moscow costs around €92 with a bed in 4-berth kupé or €180 with a bed in a 2-berth spalny vagon.

  • Use reliable Polish ticketing agency www.polrail.com to book both your Warsaw-Kiev and Kiev-Moscow trains.  Tickets are collected in Warsaw.

  • You can also book tickets from Kiev to Moscow at the Ukrainian Railways site https://booking.uz.gov.ua/en/ booking from Kyiv to Moskva Kievskaya.  You collect tickets at the station in Kiev.  Feedback appreciated!

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Paris to Athens & Greece

Option 1, Paris to Athens by train & ferry via Italy - the leisurely way I'd recommend...

  • Paris to Athens takes less than 48 hours this way, an epic adventure, and a great journey.  Highly recommended!

  • Day 1, travel from Paris to Milan by high-speed Paris-Milan TGV through the French Alps, leaving Paris Gare de Lyon around 14:41 and arriving Milan Porta Garibaldi around 21:50.  By all means book the earlier 10:41 if you'd like an evening in Milan.

    It's a comfortable and scenic ride, from €29 in 2nd class or €44 in 1st class booked at either www.loco2.com or www.trainline.eu.  Both sites can be used by anyone from any country, with print-at-home tickets.

  • Stay overnight in Milan.  The AC Milano Hotel (a Marriott Lifestyle Hotel) is 350 yards from Milan Porta Garibaldi station and gets good reviews.

  • Day 2 morning, travel from Milan to Bari on the daily 07:35 Frecciabianca train along the scenic Adriatic coast with fares from €29.90 in 2nd class or €39.90 in 1st class booked at either www.loco2.com or www.italiarail.com (easy to use, recognises English place names, Italiarail's small booking fee will be refunded if you email them at seat61@italiarail.com with your PNR) or Italian Railways own site www.trenitalia.com (requires Italian language place names, no booking fee, read this advice on using it first).

  • In Bari, it's a short taxi ride or 25 minute walk to the ferry terminal.  Remember the 2 hour check-in for the ferry, and allow plenty of time.

  • Day 2 evening, sail overnight from Bari to Patras in Greece with a comfy cabin on Superfast Ferries.  Daily except Sundays, a ferry sails from Bari at 19:30, arriving Patras 13:00 next day (day 3 from Paris).  Book this at www.superfast.com.  The cruise ferry has a range of en suite cabins (private or shared), reclining seats, lounges, bars & restaurants.  It's a lovely crossing, see the photos below...

  • Day 3, catch the bus+train combo from Patras to Athens, it's a Greek Railways (OSE) bus from Patras to Kiato then a modern air-conditioned train into Athens. There are departures every hour or two and whole journey takes just 3h02.  Buy a bus+train combo ticket at Patras station for around €18.

  • See the London to Greece page for detailed train & ferry times, fares, photos, Patras-Athens bus info and how to buy tickets.  Just disregard the London-Paris part.

A 2 or 4 berth cabin on the Italy-Greece ferry  

2 or 4-berth cabin with private toilet & shower.

 

Relaxing on deck...

The ferry from Bari to Greece at sea

At sea, passing Cephalonia & Ithaca.  This is what travel to Greece should be like!

Option 2, Paris to Athens overland by train via Munich & Belgrade - an overland adventure...

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Paris to Istanbul & Turkey
  • Paris to Istanbul is an epic and adventurous 3 or 4 night journey right across Europe into the Balkans, see the London-Istanbul video here.

  • For full details of how to plan and book a journey from Paris to Istanbul by train, see the London to Istanbul page - simply disregard the London to Paris part.

  • You have a choice of two main routes, Paris-Munich-Zagreb-Belgrade-Sofia-Istanbul or Paris-Munich-Budapest-Bucharest-Istanbul.  All of this journey can be booked online apart from the last Bucharest or Sofia to Istanbul leg, see the London to Istanbul page for details.

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Railbookers custom-made tours

Have your train tour professionally arranged...

If you just want to buy train tickets at the cheapest price, book online as shown on this page.  However, if you want someone to sort out your whole trip for you, arranging all your trains, hotels and transfers, and to look after you if anything affects your arrangements, the people to talk to are Railbookers.  Railbookers can custom-make a train trip around Europe to your own specification.  Just tell them what you want and they'll advise you on the best trains, routes & hotels.  They get good reports and a lot of repeat business!  They now have offices in the UK, North America and Australia.

  UK call 020 3327 0761, www.railbookers.co.uk.

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

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

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

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

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Hotels in Paris & other cities

    

Favourite hotel search & price comparison: hotelscombined.com

www.hotelscombined.com checks all the main hotel booking sites at once to find the widest choice of hotels & the cheapest seller.  It's been named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site in the World Travel Awards and I recommend it to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling the same hotel for less.

Favourite hotel booking site: www.booking.com

www.booking.com is my favourite hotel booking site, and unless HotelsCombined throws up major price differences I prefer doing my bookings in one place here. 

You can usually book with free cancellation - this allows you to confirm your accommodation at no risk before train booking opens.  It also means you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary, and alter your plans as they evolve - a feature I use all the time when putting a trip together.

A special hotel for a romantic break in Paris...

  • There's the famous Paris Ritz in the Place Vendôme (€490+ a night) or the similarly famous & expensive Le Meurice (which Von Choltitz made his headquarters during the occupation of Paris in WW2), but if you want a really special hotel for a luxury break or romantic weekend and can afford around €280 a night, I'd recommend the small, sumptuous, intimate L'Hotel.

  • It's 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.  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 close to the Gare du Nord, Gare de l'Est, Gare de Lyon & other Paris stations...

If you need to stay over between trains, here are some suggestions that are both very close and get good reviews:

Other hotel sites worth trying...

  • www.tripadvisor.com is a good place to browse independent travellers' reviews of the main hotels, and it has the low-down on destination sights & attractions, too.

  • www.accorhotels.com:  If you want a consistently good-quality hotel at a reasonable price, rather than unique character, try the Ibis, Mercure & Sofitel hotels run by Accor group in almost all French cities, with online direct booking.  A city-centre Ibis hotel booked in advance online can be a very good deal.

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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