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Reservations in France

 

With your Interrail pass you can travel on most trains in France. However, many French trains need to be reserved in advance, and some of them have limited seats for Interrail pass holders. 

Limited seats on French trains

The following trains have limited seats for Interrail pass holders. We highly recommend you reserve these trains as soon as possible.

Regional trains in France

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

 

This usually means you'll have 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 in the Interrail timetable.

Alternative routes in France

These are the 10 most popular French train routes, domestic and international. We show you the fastest option and the best alternative, in case your train is fully booked.

 

 

Fastest route

  • Paris Nord to Amsterdam Central - High-speed Thalys* - 3hr 20min


*Reservation type: Mandatory; Limited seats for people with an Interrail Pass.


Alternative route (with some reservations)

  1. Paris Nord to Amiens - InterCités* - 1hr 20min

  2. Amiens to Lille Flandres - Regional TER - 1hr 20min

  3. Lille Flandres to Antwerp Centraal - InterCity - 2hr 5min

  4. Antwerp Centraal to Rotterdam Centraal - InterCity - 1hr 15min

  5. Rotterdam Centraal to Amsterdam Centraal - InterCity - 40min

  • Total train travel time: 7hr 40min


*Reservation type: Mandatory; Limited seats for people with an Interrail Pass.

 

Fastest route

  • Paris Gare de Lyon to Barcelona Sants - High-speed TGV* - 6hr 30min


*Reservation type: Mandatory; Limited seats for people with an Interrail Pass.


Alternative route (with some reservations)

  1. Paris Austerlitz to Port Bou - Intercité de Nuit* - 10hr 33min

  2. Port Bou to Barcelona Sants - Regional - 2hr 36min

  • Total train travel time: 13hr 9min


*Reservation type: Mandatory; Limited seats for people with an Interrail Pass.

 

Fastest route

  • Paris Nord to Bruxelles Midi - High-speed Thalys* - 1hr 25min


*Reservation type: Mandatory; Limited seats for people with an Interrail Pass.


Alternative route (no reservations)

  1. Paris Nord to Amiens - TER - 1hr 20min

  2. Amiens to Lille Flandres - TER - 1hr 20 min

  3. Lille Flandres to Tournal - InterCity - 20min

  4. Tournal - Bruxelles Midi - InterCity - 1hr

  • Total travel time: 4hr

 

Fastest route

  • Paris Est to Frankfurt Main - High-speed ICE / TGV* - 4hr


*Reservation type: Mandatory; Limited seats for passholders

Alternative route (no reservations)

FromToTrain typeTravel time
Paris EstChalons en ChampagneTER1hr 35min
Chalons en ChampagneMetz VilleTER1hr 40min
Metz VilleStrasbourgTER1hr 45min
StrasbourgOffenburgTER30min
OffenburgFrankfurt (Main) HbfInterCity1hr 45min
   8hr 40min

 

Fastest route

From ToTrain typeTravel time
Marseilles St CharlesGenevaHigh-speed TGV*3hr 40min

*Reservation type: Mandatory

Alternative (no reservations)

From ToTrain typeTravel time
Marseilles st CharlesValence VilleTER2hr 25min
Valence VilleGeneveTER3hr 15min
   5hr 55min

 

Fastest route

From ToTrain typeTravel time
Paris Gare de LyonMilano P. GaribaldiHigh-speed TGV7hr 10min

 

Alternative route (with some reservations)

FromToTrain typeTravel time
Paris AusterlitzNice VilleIntercité de Nuit*11hr 25min
Nice VilleVentimigliaTER50min
VentimigliaMilano CentraleInterCity**3hr 50min
   17hr 30min

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

Alternative route (no reservations)

FromToTrain typeTravel time
Paris BercyLyon Part DieuTER5hr 50min
Lyon Part DieuMarseille St CharlesTER3hr 35min
Marseille St CharlesNice VilleTER2hr 35min
Nice Ville VentimigliaTER50min
VentimigliaMilano 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

  • Paris Gare de Lyon to Zurich Hb - High-speed TGV* - 4hr 5min

*Reservation type: Mandatory

Alternative route (some reservations)

  1. Paris Est to Belfort Ville - InterCités

From ToTrain typeTravel time
Paris EstBelfort VilleIntercités*4hr 5min
Belfort VilleMulhouse VilleTER35min
Mulhouse VilleBasel SBBTER25min
Basel SBBOltenInterCity25min
OltenZuerich HbInterCity30min
   8hr 20min

*Reservation type: Mandatory; limited seats for pass holders

 

Fastest route

  • Paris Montparnasse to Bordeaux St Jean - High-speed TGV* - 3hr 15min

*Reservation type: Mandatory

Alternative route (some reservations)

  1. Paris Austerlitz to Vierzon Ville - InterCités - 1hr 40min

  2. Vierzon Ville to Limoges Benedictins - TER - 2hr 5min

  3. Limoges Benedictins to Périgueux- TER - 1hr 20min

  4. Périgueux to Bordeaux St Jean - TER - 1hr 25min

  • Total travel time: 6hr 30min

 

Fastest route

  • Paris Gare de Lyon to Marseille St Charles - High-speed TGV* - 3hr 20min

*Reservation type: Mandatory

Alternative route (no reservations)

  1. Paris Bercy to Lyon Part Dieu - TER - 5hr 5min

  2. Lyon Part Dieu to Marseille St Charles - TER - 3hr 35min

  • Total train travel time: 8hr 40min

 

Fastest route

  • Paris Gare de Lyon to Nice-Ville - High-speed TGV* - 5hr 40min


*Reservation type: Mandatory.


Alternative route (with some reservations)

  1. Paris Bercy to Lyon Part Dieu - TER - 5hr 5min

  2. Lyon Part Dieu to Marseille St Charles - TER - 3hr 35min

  3. Marseille St Charles to Nice Ville - TER - 2hr 35min

  • Total train travel time: 11hr 10min