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Trains in France

Providers, Schedules and Tickets

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Everything you need to know about French railways, trains, and prices to book your rail travel in France
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Travel by train in France

All you need to know about trains in France

The train is certainly one of the best ways to travel within French boundaries because of the reduced timings with respect to buses still at affordable prices. Buy your train tickets to travel in France with Wanderio and save time and money while planning your next adventure!

In France, the most popular route is the one that goes from Paris to Lyon. Alternatively, you can get from Nice to the French capital. Then, if you want to discover the lavender-filled Provence region, just get on a Nice to Aix-en-Provence train or travel from Nice to Avignon. Trains from Paris to Strasbourg, instead, are mostly used by business travelers.

Train providers in France

SNCF: the French railway company

SNCF, the French national railway company, was established in 1938 as a consequence of the centralization and nationalization of the 6 train companies that operated in the different areas of the country until then. Therefore, this is currently the only rail provider you can find for traveling within French boundaries.

SNCF cooperates with other companies of which, in some cases, is the partial owner. Among these, we can mention Thello, for trips to and from Italy by train, Eurostar for heading to the United Kingdom and, more specifically, to its capital city, thanks to the world-renowned Paris to London train route through the English Channel.

Also Thalys - partial property of SNCF - is much used for getting from France to Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium.

Finally, for going to Spain by train, you can rely on Renfe-SNCF en Cooperación, the result of the cooperation between the French railways and Renfe, the Spanish train company.

What kind of trains can I find in France?

TGV - inOUI

Crossing France by train is pleasant and fast thanks to the TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse) trains - recently renamed inOUI. With these high-speed trains you can travel to the most important destinations in France, like Lyon and Strasbourg.

Ouigo is the low-cost version of TGV - inOUI: get to more than 25 destinations in France from Marseille to Avignon, the former Pope residence, Lyon and, of course, Paris with fares starting as less as € 10.

Intercité

With 325 daily trains, the Intercité trains connect more than 300 cities in France. A little less fast than the TVG trains, Intercité trains have more affordable prices and a comparable service and comfort.

TER

TER trains (“transport express régional” in French), part of the regional transport network, will lead you to the smallest French villages. On TER trains reservation is not mandatory and prices are fixed, as for regional trains in Italy.

Tickets

Buying your tickets for a train in France online

Apart from the ticket office, you can purchase your SNCF train tickets online and choose from different options for collecting them.

For instance, you can opt for having them sent at home, picking them at the station or at one of the company offices outside of France.

However, the best alternative is definitely printing your ticket at home once received the reservation confirmation email or traveling with an e-ticket. Please note that not all trains are accessible with an e-ticket - on an Ouigo, for example, you can only get on board with a printed ticket.

On Wanderio, you can choose the type of train and the perfect fare for your itinerary and book your SNCF trip: once your reservation has been confirmed, not only will you find your tickets in your inbox, but also on the Wanderio App - definitely handy if you can travel with an e-ticket!

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