Reservations in France

France is one of the most popular countries in Europe. It's also a country where there are limited seats for Eurail Pass holders on many trains. Therefore it's important to make your reservations as early as possible and avoid fully-booked trains. Most French high-speed trains and night trains can be reserved up to 2 months in advance.

French trains with limited seats for Eurail Pass holders
Regional trains in France
Alternative routes for French trains

The video below tells you more about train travel in France and making reservations.

When you travel with Eurail your pass gives you access to most trains in Europe but it's good to know that the majority of trains in France need to be reserved in advance. As many of the popular routes in France get busy and because there are limited seats on international French trains for Eurail pass holders, we recommend making your reservations as early as possible. You can make your reservations either at the train station or if you bought your Pass from Eurail.com you can head to our website and let our reservations team take care of them for your. If you have any questions, we're here to help.

Read on to learn more about trains with limited seats and how to find find alternatives.

French trains with limited seats for Eurail Pass holders

 

It’s good to know that the number of seats available for Eurail pass holders is limited on the following trains:

We highly recommend you reserve these trains as soon as possible. If you leave booking these reservations too late, there’s a big chance the allocation of seats to Eurail pass holders will be full. Reservations on the above trains can be made up to 2 months in advance.

Regional trains in France

 

The train you want to take may be fully booked for Eurail Pass holders, or you may want to avoid having to pay the additional reservation fees. In these cases, we recommend using regional trains that don’t require a reservation.

This can mean a few more train transfers and longer journey times, but it also gives you the chance to see more of the beautiful French countryside. It’s not always possible to avoid trains with reservations, but it’s always worth checking on the Eurail timetable.

For more information, visit France by train.

Alternative routes for French trains

 

If the French train you want to take is full, you‘ll need to find a different way to make your journey. We’ve researched the 10 most popular French train routes, domestic and international. We show the fastest option using trains with limited seats for pass holders, as well as some alternative options.

Please keep in mind that train durations stated are approximate and include the time it takes to change trains.

 

 

Fastest route

From To Train type Travel time
Paris Nord Amsterdam Centraal High-speed Thalys* 3hr 20min

*Reservation type: Mandatory; Limited seats for passholders

Alternative route (with some reservations)

From To Train type Travel time
Paris Nord Amiens InterCités*  1hr 20min
Amiens Lille Flandres Regional TER  1hr 20min
Lille Flandres Antwerp Centraal InterCity 2hr 5min
Antwerp Centraal Rotterdam Centraal InterCity 1hr 15min
Rotterdam Centraal Amsterdam Centraal InterCity 40min
      7hr 40min

*Reservation type: Mandatory; Limited seats for passholder.

 

Fastest route

From To Train type Travel time
Paris Gare de Lyon Barcelona Sants High-speed TGV* 6hr 30min

*Reservation type: Mandatory; Limited seats for passholders

Alternative route (with some reservations)

From To Train type Travel time
Paris Austerlitz Port Bou Intercité de Nuit* 10hr 25min
Port Bou Barcelona Sants   2hr 36min
      15hr 15min

*Reservation type: Mandatory; Limited seats for passholders

 

Fastest route

From  To Train type Travel time
Paris Nord Bruzelles Midi High-speed Thalys* 1hr 25min

 

Alternative (no reservations)

From To Train type Travel time
Paris Nord Amiens TER 1hr 20min
Amiens Lille Flandres TER 1hr 20min
Lille Flandres Tournai InterCity 20min
Tournai Bruxelles Midi InterCity 1hr
      4hr 55min

 

Fastest route

From To Train type Travel time
Paris Est Frankfurt Main High-speed ICE / TGV* 4hr

*Reservation type: Mandatory; Limited seats for passholders

Alternative route (no reservations)

From To Train type Travel time
Paris Est Chalons en Champagne TER 1hr 35min
Chalons en Champagne Metz Ville TER 1hr 40min
Metz Ville Strasbourg TER 1hr 45min
Strasbourg Offenburg TER 30min
Offenburg Frankfurt (Main) Hbf InterCity 1hr 45min
      8hr 40mi

 

Fastest route

From  To Train type Travel time
Marseilles St Charles Geneva High-speed TGV* 3hr 40min

*Reservation type: Mandatory

Alternative (no reservations)

From  To Train type Travel time
Marseilles st Charles Valence Ville TER 2hr 25min
Valence Ville Geneve TER 3hr 15min
      5hr 55min

 

Fastest route

From  To Train type Travel time
Paris Gare de Lyon Milano P. Garibaldi High-speed TGV 7hr 10min

 

Alternative route (with some reservations)

From To Train type Travel time
Paris Austerlitz Nice Ville Intercité de Nuit* 11hr 25min
Nice Ville Ventimiglia TER 50min
Ventimiglia Milano Centrale InterCity** 3hr 50min
      17hr 30min

*Reservation type: Mandatory; limited seats for pass holders
**Reservation type: Recommended

Alternative route (no reservations)

From To Train type Travel time
Paris Bercy Lyon Part Dieu TER 5hr 50min
Lyon Part Dieu Marseille St Charles TER 3hr 35min
Marseille St Charles Nice Ville TER 2hr 35min
Nice Ville  Ventimiglia TER 50min
Ventimiglia Milano Rogoredo   4hr 20min
      25hr 45min

Traveling 25 hours might not be something everyone is willing to do. However, instead of making the journey in one go you could also decide to make a stopover on the route and continue traveling the next day. How about having an early breakfast in Paris then have dinner in Marseille, continue your travels to Nice. Spend a bit of time discovering the beach city of Nice before continuing on to Milan. 

 

 

Fastest route

From To  Train type Travel time
Paris Gare de Lyon Zuerich Hb High-speed TGV* 4hr 5min

*Reservation type: Mandatory

Alternative route (some reservations)

From  To Train type Travel time
Paris Est Belfort Ville Intercités* 4hr 5min
Belfort Ville Mulhouse Ville TER 35min
Mulhouse Ville Basel SBB TER 25min
Basel SBB Olten InterCity 25min
Olten Zuerich Hb InterCity 30min
      8hr 20min

*Reservation type: Mandatory; limited seats for pass holders

 

Fastest route

From  To Train type Travel time
Paris Montparnasse Bordeaux St Jean High-speed TGV* 3hr 15min

*Reservation type: Mandatory

Alternative route (some reservations)

From To Traintype Travel time
Paris Austerlitz Vierzon Ville Intercité 1hr 40min
Vierzon Ville Limoges Benedictins TER 2hr 5min
Limoges Benedictins Perigeux TER 1hr 20min
Perigueux Bordeaux St Jean TER 1hr 25min
      8hr 25min

 

Fastest route

From To Train type Travel time
Paris Gare de Lyon Marseille St Charles High-speed TGV* 3hr 20min

*Reservation type: Mandatory

Alternative route (no reservations)

From To Train type Travel time
Paris Bercy Lyon Part Dieu TER 5hr 5min
Lyon Part Dieu Marseille St Charles TER 3hr 35min
      9hr 15min

 

Fastest route

From To Train type Travel time
Paris Gare de Lyon Nice Ville High-speed TGV* 5hr 40min

*Reservation type: Mandatory

Alternative route (no reservations)

From

To

Train type

Travel time

Paris Bercy Lyon Part Dieu TER 5hr 5min
Lyon Part Dieu Marseille St Charles TER 3hr 35min
Marseille St Charles Nice Ville TER 2hr 35min
      12hr 30min

 

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