Coming to France by train
Ticket prices vary according to the level of comfort (there are 2 classes) and departure time (rush hour or not). There are many attractive price options reserved for foreign travellers (Inter-Rail.), which can be obtained from your country of origin before you leave.
Voyages-sncf.com is your European rail expert.
Trains from London to Paris, onward connections throughout France and rail passes can be booked via their website or call centre.
Tel: 0844 848 5 848
(calls to 0844 numbers cost 7p per minute plus the phone company's access charge)
Tel: 08700 841 410
Eurostar's ultra modern, high-speed service travels from London St Pancras International or Ebbsfleet International in Kent direct to Paris or Lille. Eurostar also offers direct services to Disneyland Paris and to the French Alps. Certain services also serve Ashford International in Kent and Calais-Fréthun.
Take Eurostar to Paris, Lille, Lyon Avignon and Marseille and simply connect onto the TGV, France's high-speed rail network. In most cases, you only need to make one simple change of train. You will arrive in the heart of your chosen destination, feeling fresh, relaxed and ready to enjoy your stay. It's simple, it's speedy - it's the smart way to travel!
The Eurotunnel is the fastest cross Channel operator, taking only 35mins to cross the Channel. This option allows you to arrive in France by train with your car, giving you the freedom to explore France at your own pace and in the comfort of your own car. The Eurotunnel train operates between Folkestone (UK) and Calais (FR).
High-speed train (TGV)
With an average speed of 300km per hour, the TGV is one of France's technological pride and joy. Safe, punctual and comfortable, it allows travel to city centres in record times: Paris-Lille in 1 hour, Paris-Marseilles or Paris-Bordeaux in 3 hours (until Summer 2017), Paris-Rennes in 2 hours. Please note that booking is obligatory, even if it is just before departure time.
The InterRail Pass has always been the perfect companion to anyone exploring Europe as it provides a fun and economical way to see all that Europe has to offer. Visitors to France can purchase an InterRail France Pass priced from £180 for adults. The key benefits of the pass are: the ability to choose dates of travel within 1 month, staying in one countryfor the Country Pass, or, for the Global Pass Unlimited 1st or 2nd-class travel within a month between 30 European countries. Special discounted fares are available on Eurostar services from London or Ashford to Paris or Lille, refer to the availability of fares in advance of expected travel.
Bonus discounts on local museums and other attractions are also available, refer to information from InterRail for current deals on offer.
Enjoy the experience of taking your own car on holiday - without the bother of driving it there. The easiest way to take your car to multiple destinations across France at any time of year is by AutoTrain. Drive to Paris, put your car on the overnight car carrying train and then you follow on. Travel by day or overnight on a separate passenger train where you can relax in a choice of couchette or sleeper accommodation. Then simply collect your car when you get there – no tiring drive, expensive tolls, or wear and tear on the car. Services operate to Avignon, Bordeaux, Brive, Fréjus/St Raphaël, Lyon, Marseille, Narbonne, Nice, Toulon and Toulouse
Booking and information:
Tel: 0033 892 35 35 35 (calls charged at 5p per minute)
An £8.00 fee per booking will apply.
Once you have arrived in France, there is an extensive network of trains to help you get to your next destination, run by SNCF. If arriving into Paris, your connecting train may depart from a different station. There are 5 main train stations in Paris (Gare du Nord, Gare de l'Est, Gare de Lyon, Gare d'Austerlitz and Gare Montparnasse) each of which can be easily found on the Paris Métro or RER network.
You must always validate your ticket before getting onto your train (yellow or orange ticket punching machines situated at the end of the platforms). If it has not been done, advise the ticket inspector straight away, so that you may be able to avoid fine!
Access to trains:
Eurostar check-in closes 30 minutes prior to departure. Beyond that time, passengers may not be allowed to board the train.