Traveling by train in France

Map of France with capital city Paris

Your Eurail France rail pass is the key to all your train travel needs. France is the world's most popular travel destination. And no wonder, with so many interesting stops, like Paris, the French Riviera, and ski resorts in the Alps and the castles in the Loire Valley.

Please keep in mind that French high-speed and night trains always need reservations in advance and often have limited seating for Eurail pass holders.

Gallery
Quick facts
Trains in France
Places to visit
Events
Eurail passes for France
Pass benefits in France
 

Gallery

Eiffel Tower, Paris

Eiffel Tower, Paris

Mirror's Hall, Versailles

Mirror's Hall, Versailles

Vineyard in Bordeaux region

Vineyard in Bordeaux region

Mont Saint Michel

Mont Saint Michel

Cote d'Azur

Cote d'Azur

France quick facts

 
  • Capital: Paris

  • Population: 65 million

  • Language: French

  • Currency: Euro (EUR)

  • Dialing code: +33

Trains in France

 
Logo of French railway SNCF

France is home to high-speed trains like TGV and Thalys. You can get from Paris to just about anywhere in a couple of hours.

Read more about trains in France

Places to visit

 
Chateau and vineyard in Margaux, Bordeaux
Chateau and vineyard in Margaux, Bordeaux

Docking at the Port of the Moon

The port city of Bordeaux offers natural and man-made wonders of all kinds. Known, of course, as one of the finest wine regions in all the world, you can spend your entire visit sipping vino. But set down your glass, and sample the sights and sounds of the city. With nearly 350 registered national monuments, the architecture of Bordeaux has remained virtually unchanged since the 18th century, except for a polish and shine.

 

Bordeaux train station Gare de Bordeaux-St. Jean is centrally located in the city.

The basilica of Notre Dame de Fourviere, Lyon
The basilica of Notre Dame de Fourviere, Lyon

History made real in Lyon

The centuries-old city of Lyon is a delight for the senses. Feast your eyes on the glorious landscapes, treat your taste buds to the sumptuous Beaujolais wines, breathe in the air as you sail along the rivers Rhone and Saône, and listen to the lessons of history in the centuries-old architecture, monuments and galleries. With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder that Lyon has been honored as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Station Lyon-St. Paul is in the center of the town, in walking distance of museums, galleries and monuments.

Eiffel Tower, Paris
Eiffel Tower, Paris

Paris - a cultural center of the universe

The ‘city of lights’ is known for its art, architecture, fashion and cuisine. For centuries, the world standards for culture, cooking and couture have been led by the Parisians. And they wouldn’t have it any other way. The list of places to visit is almost endless: the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysée. Paris must be seen to be believed.

The Eiffel Tower is an 8-minute walk from train station Champ de Mars-Tour Eiffel.

The Château of Versailles
The Château of Versailles

Regal rewards in Versailles

Come for the palace, stay for the passion. The Château of Versailles was once home to King Louis XVI and his extravagant wife Marie-Antoinette. Don’t miss the Hall of Mirrors and Marie-Antoinette’s elaborate gardens. In Versailles, you can stroll through the secret pedestrian pathways and discover craftsmen of all kinds. Artistry and function, architecture and beauty. 16th century style, and 21st century appeal.

It’s a 10-minute walk to the Château of Versailles from station Versailles-Rive Gauche.

Cap d'Antibes, Cote d'Azur
Cap d'Antibes, Cote d'Azur

Soul-quenching sun in the French Riviera

Stroll through the open markets and sip the local Bellet wine, explore the museums that fill the city, stretch out on your own piece of white sandy beach, or embark on a scuba-diving adventure, and you’ll know that Nice, and the rest of the French Riviera (Côte d’Azur), is like heaven on earth. The people are as warm and breezy as the weather, and enjoyment is in high demand.

Station Nice-Ville sets you off in the center of town, at the heart of all the Riviera’s activities.

Events

 
Cannes Film Festival
Cannes Film Festival

Cannes Film Festival

May 14 - May 25, 2014

The annual Cannes Film Festival is one of the most prestigious and noteworthy festivals of its kind. Filmmakers, actors, directors and cinematographers from around the world will gather to discuss, create, and celebrate their mutual love of film.

Cannes is a 5 hr train ride from Paris.

Race track at the Grand Prix of Monaco
Race track at the Grand Prix of Monaco

Monaco Grand Prix

May 22 - May 25, 2014

One of the highlights of the Grand Prix calendar is Monaco’s street circuit. Get your hands on a ticket, make friends with a boat or apartment owner and be blown away by top views of one of the greatest Grand Prix races. Even if you don’t make it for the annual race, you can still take a leisurely stroll around this famous circuit.

The train brings you directly into the center of Monaco.

Concert during Paris Music Festival
Concert during Paris Music Festival

Paris Music Festival

June 21, 2014

During the Music Festival (Fête de la Musique), the city of lights becomes the city of sound. Everywhere you look – in every park, on every street corner, in all public amphitheaters and venues – the musicians of Paris (and the rest of the world) come alive. The festival is free, and it’s everywhere. Don’t miss it!

Use the capital’s extended public transport network to visit the festival sites.

Tour de France
Tour de France

Tour de France

June 25 - June 27, 2014

Founded in 1903, the Tour de France is the most famous cycling event in the world. 198 riders from 22 teams test their strength, stamina, will and passion as they ride through mountains, valleys, and all sorts of terrain for a shot at immortality. Each year, the Tour covers over 2,000 miles (3,218 km) of France, so there are lots of opportunities to get a glimpse.

Most French cities the tour passes can be reached by train. The best thing to do is check this year’s route and decide where you want to join the crowds.

Surf Festival, Biarritz
Surf Festival, Biarritz

Biarritz Surf Festival

July 13 - July 20, 2014

Dates unconfirmed.

 

This popular surf festival, regarded as one of the highlights of the surf season includes competitions and shows. It attracts around 150,000 people each year. It’s as much about riding waves, as it is partying hard.

From Biarritz’s main train station take bus number 2 to the beachfront.

Bastille Day, Paris
Bastille Day, Paris

Bastille Day

July 14 - July 15, 2014

The national celebration (La Fête Nationale) of the French Revolution and France’s eventual independence begins in the evening of the 14th. Just before nightfall, an impressive military parade along the Champs-Elysées gets the festivities started. That’s followed by an elaborate dance party and a spectacular fireworks show. Celebrations continue on through the 15th.

The Champs-Elysées can easily be reached by metro.

Paris beach along the Seine
Paris beach along the Seine

Paris Beach

July 19 - August 18, 2014

The Paris Plage is a man-made beach along the river Seine, and this year, along the Bassin de la Villette in north Paris. Music, cafes, games and activities have made this month-long celebration one of the most popular in Paris. Sip tropical cocktails and soak up the sun while it lasts!

The Paris Plage stretches from Pont de Sully to the Louvre. The many locations can be reached by metro.

Eurail passes for France

 

Most popular passes with France

Eurail Global Pass from USD$263

The Eurail Global Pass is the flexible and value-for-money train pass that lets you explore up to 27 countries by rail. Hop on board comfortable trains that take you right to the center of Europe's cities. One day you're relaxing on a gondola ride in Venice and the next you're discovering Prague's fairy-tale castle.

View Eurail Global Pass

Eurail Select Pass 4 countries

Discover 4 bordering countries with the Eurail Select Pass – 4 countries. Plan the route of your choice between and within each country, and spend as much time as you like at each stop.

View Eurail Select Pass 4 countries

Eurail France - Italy Pass from USD$267

The Eurail France-Italy Pass is your key to uncovering two of Europe's most popular countries by rail. Visit the Eiffel Tower in Paris, lie on the beach in Nice, gaze up at the Statue of David in Florence and get around Venice by gondola. Plus, enjoy breathtaking views of the French Alps and rolling Umbrian hills as you travel between cities.

View Eurail France - Italy Pass

Eurail France - Spain Pass from USD$267

The Eurail France-Spain Pass lets you explore France and Spain by train. Visit the Eiffel Tower in Paris, relax on the beach in Nice, admire Gaudí's unique architecture in Barcelona and savor delicious tapas in Madrid. Plus, along the way, gaze out at sprawling vineyards and the mountainous scenery of the French Alps and the Pyrenees.

View Eurail France - Spain Pass

All Eurail passes with France

Here's a list of all Eurail passes for your travels through this country:

Eurail passes Prices from
USD$ 263
USD$ 309
USD$ 309
Eurail passes Prices from
USD$ 267
USD$ 267
USD$ 309

Pass benefits in France

 

Check out the extra discounts and offers for Eurail pass holders in France, including reduced prices on certain ferries and museums.


View the pass benefits in France

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