France : SNCF

France’s railway network, SNCF, operates one of the world’s best railway networks. Its high-speed TGV trains connect 200-plus cities with excellent links from Paris.

Regular trains on France’s railway network managed by SNCF offer connections to Europe’s major international lines :

  • The high-speed Eurostar connects Paris with London
  • Thalys high-speed trains connect Paris to Brussels and cities in Netherlands and Germany
  • TGV Lyria connects Paris to Swiss cities such as Geneva, Bern or Zürich , reaching a top speed 300 km/h (186 mph) in commercial service between Paris and Strasbourg.

With SNCF and 5 TGV connections leaving directly from Brussels (from Brussels-Midi), you can reach 30 fascinating cities in different French regions in record time.

Geneva-Med TGV offers you high-speed train services from Geneva to the French Mediterranean destinations such as Avignon, Marseille, Montpellier or Nimes.

Elipsos, the Spain’s train-hotel, connects France to Spain and Thello & &TGV France-Italy offer TGV day or night trains between France and Italian main cities (Bologna-Florence-Rome or Milan-Turin-Venice).

The France Rail Pass provides unlimited travel on all 31,000km of SNCF’s network. Eurail Passes valid in France can also be used from France to Basel and Geneva (Switzerland), Port Bou (Spain) and Ventimiglia (Italy) and they’re valid from Paris Airport Charles de Gaulle to Paris Nord and other destinations.

SNCF trains stop at Monaco’s underground station (the Principality does not operate its own railway system) and daily trains connect Monaco with France, Italy and Europe. Use France Railways’ Téoz domestic trains to explore the South of France between Paris, Clermont-Ferrand, Bordeaux, Toulouse and Nice while the scenic Train Jaune in Languedoc passes dramatic scenery on its steep climb from Villefranche-de-Conflent to Bolquère.

You may need seat reservations on the SNCF’s network for some domestic and international trains, like the Eurostar to London, the ICE to Germany or Thalys to The Netherlands.

Our tips

  • The main SNCF rail stations put to your disposal a wide range of services and information points to ease your travel and stay in the cities: city and urban transport maps, shops, restaurants, banks, left-luggage lockers, etc…
  • SNCF also connects airports to city centres: start your travel from Paris Charles de Gaulle or Lyon St Exupéry to explore other regions of France.
  • With a Eurail Pass including France you can travel on all 31,000 kilometres and 7,000 stations of the SNCF network. Travel whenever you want onboard TGV trains with the France Rail Pass: you can book seat reservation until the last minute even if the train is full.

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