A Ouigo train in Paris

A Ouigo TGV at Paris Gare de Lyon.  Fares start from just €10 at www.ouigo.com...

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Ouigo:  A budget airline on rails...

In 2013, SNCF (French Railways) created a wholly separate subsidiary company called Ouigo to run lo-cost high-speed trains on key routes in France following the no-frills airline model.  Ouigo trains are one-class only with no catering, no first class, a half hour check-in, strict baggage limits with fees for larger or additional bags, it even costs €2 extra for a seat with a power socket.  You won't find Ouigo trains on normal booking systems as it's a completely separate stand-alone service.  Tickets can only be bought online, and you combine Ouigo with other connecting trains at your own risk.  But (I'll say it again) it's cheap...

  Where does Ouigo run?

  How to check times & buy tickets

  What are Ouigo trains like?

  Luggage on Ouigo

  Travel tips

  The Man in Seat 61's opinion of Ouigo

Where does Ouigo run?

Ouigo links Paris with major cities including Lyon, Avignon, Aix, Marseille, Cannes, Nice, Nimes, Montpellier, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Rennes, Angers, Nantes, Strasbourg.  It also links Lille & CDG airport with Lyon, Avignon & Marseille.  It's less frequent than SNCF's regular TGV service, for example Ouigo runs Paris-Nice just twice a day.  Check routes and times at www.ouigo.com.

How to buy ticketsParis to Lyon, Bordeaux from €10, Nice from €19...

Buy tickets at www.ouigo.com.  Fares start at just €10, but vary dynamically just like budget air fares.

Tickets are only available online at www.ouigo.com plus one or two designated partner sites such as www.trainline.eu (which adds a small booking fee) & Oui.sncf.  You cannot buy Ouigo tickets by phone or at stations or on normal train booking websites such as www.loco2.com or Rail Europe.  InterRail & Eurail passes aren't valid on Ouigo.

After booking, tickets with your seat & car number are made available 3-4 days before travel, you can either print your ticket out or download the Ouigo app and load your ticket into it using your name and booking reference so you can show it on your smartphone.

IMPORTANT:  Whichever site you use to book, only payment cards from the countries listed below are accepted.  I'm told this is a deliberate policy, if you're from Australia, Canada, NZ, Asia, Africa, South America or even Norway, tough, you cannot buy Ouigo tickets unless you ask a European friend to help.

Payment cards accepted:  Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guiana, French Polynesia, French Southern Territories, Germany, Greece, Guadeloupe, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Martinique, Mayotte, Monaco, Netherlands, New Caledonia, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, St Pierre & Miquelon, Sweden, Switzerland, United States, United Kingdom.

What are Ouigo trains like?

Ouigo uses French Railways TGV Duplex trains, which have had the cafe-bar removed, 1st class removed, and one class of high-density seating installed, 644 seats per 8-car train - and you'll sometimes find Ouigo departures consisting of two 8-car TGV Duplex sets coupled together with 1,288 seats!  They run at up to 300km/h (186 mph) on France's high-speed lines.

Ouigo TGV train at Lyon St Exupery

An afternoon Ouigo train to Paris arrives at Lyon St Exupéry.  Two 8-car trains coupled together, 1,288 seats!

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.

Ouigo train, downstairs seating   Ouigo train luggage rack, upstairs

Downstairs on Ouigo, 1+3 across the car width.  You cannot specify a solo seat & might get the middle seat of 3, with no armrests.  Larger photo.

 

There are luggage racks & toilets both upstairs and downstairs.

A Ouigo train at Lyon St Exupery bound for Paris

Boarding a Ouigo train to Paris at Lyon St Exupéry...

Important:  Luggage on Ouigo...

Tips for travel with Ouigo...

The Man in Seat 61's opinion of Ouigo...

Check-in for a Ouigo train, Lyon St Exupery   Scanning a Ouigo ticket

Check-in for a Ouigo TGV from Lyon St Exupéry to Paris.

 

All they do at check-in is scan your ticket.


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