Train travel in France
One visit to France and you'll quickly understand why one of its next-door neighbours tried darn hard to make it theirs during the Second World War. Check out the jaw-dropping Notre Dame Cathedral (but watch out for hunchbacks), say g'day to the enigmatic Mona Lisa at the Louvre or take off a kilo or two with a hike up the Eiffel Tower. And that's just Paris!
Things to do:
- Stop off in Carcassonne to visit a sensational medieval castle
- Visit the Perpignan wineries to sample some not so old sweet Rose
- Rub shoulders with the rich and win a fortune in Monte Carlo
- And whatever you do, do not miss one of France's most impressive sites, Mont Saint-Michel. Its present Benedictine abbey dates back to the 13th century.
Why travel by train in France?
The extensive French railway network offers a perfect combination of high-speed trains (TGV) and regional trains enabling passengers to reach about 1400 cities and towns throughout the country.
France also offers frequent and efficient train connections to its neighboring countries:
- Paris-London with Eurostar
- Paris-Brussels / Amsterdam / Cologne with Thalys
- Paris-Madrid with Elipsos
Travel time examples
- Paris – Lille, 1 hour (220 km)
- Paris – Lyons, 2 hours (460 km)
- Paris – Bordeaux, 3 hours (585 km)
- Paris – Marseille, 3 hours (775 km) with TGV Méditerranée
TGV trains offer refined comfort. Comfortable seating, stunning bars, catering services, luggage compartments, and toilet facilities. All this combined with regular departures and ease of use makes for a very pleasant rail trip.
Why get your ticket in advance?
Travellers from Australia and New Zealand have the opportunity to purchase and book train tickets before departing to Europe. This is the best way to ensure a seat on selected trains, especially during peak seasons as reservations are compulsory aboard TGV trains and limited. By booking in Australia, travellers avoid queues at counters when arriving in Europe and there’s no language barrier to be overcome when booking with local staff.