Paris, Bordeaux, Marseille, Nice. All these French cities are connected to the French rail network.
Tasting wine in famous vineyards, hiking in the French Alps, enjoying local cuisine, all of it is possible with an InterRail Pass for France.
How to get there
France has direct train connections to bordering countries Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium. It also has ferry connections to Great Britain and Ireland.
The Eurostar high-speed train connects Lille and Paris with London, the later via the Calais-Dover channel tunnel. This train is not included in the InterRail pass, but a special pass holder fare is available. The Thalys high-speed trains connect Paris to Brussels and onward to cities in the Netherlands and Germany.
Paris has several train stations. The most important ones are:
- Gare du Nord: the main railway hub for international high-speed trains like the Eurostar from the UK and the Thalys from the Benelux and Germany.
- Gare de Lyon: for (TGV) trains to Lyon, Aix en Provence, Marseille, the French Riviera, Geneva, and Italy.
- Gare d'Austerlitz: for destinations in southwestern France (Toulouse, Bordeaux), the Loire Valley, and Spain.
- Gare Saint-Lazare: for trains in the direction of Normandy (central Northern France).
- Gare de l'Est: for trains towards eastern France (Strasbourg, Alsace), parts of Germany, Luxembourg and central/eastern Europe.
- Gare Montparnasse: for TGV trains serving Nantes and Bordeaux.
Train stations of bordering countries
With an InterRail pass valid in France you can travel to the following train stations of countries that border France:
- Basel (Switzerland)
- Geneva (Switzerland)
- Portbou (Spain)
- Ventimiglia (Italy)
Train types & reservations
- TGV: high speed trains, reservations are required
- Thalys: high speed trains, reservations are required
- InterCités: intercity trains, reservations are required or recommended (depending on train)
- Eurostar: high speed trains, reservations are required
- TER: regional train, reservations are not required.
- CityNight Line (CNL), Elipsos(EN) and InterCité de Nuit: night trains, reservations are required.
There is a limited number of seats reserved for interrailers at a € 6 fare. If they are fully booked, you can travel at the € 18 peak price, which can only be booked last-minute locally. Or you can look for alternative connections with InterCités and TER services.
For details see the pages:
- Reservation fees for domestic trains (TGV, InterCités)
- Reservation fees for international day trains (Eurostar, ICE, Talgo de Jour, TGV, Thalys)
- How to make reservations
To travel between France and Italy you may need to use high-speed, international or night trains, or a combination of these. Most of the trains on these routes require a reservation. During the peak periods make reservations as soon as possible. View routes between France and Italy, including routes with no or low reservation fees.
France rail passes
Train reservations in France
Please note that the number of seats available for InterRail pass holders is limited on the following high-speed trains in France:
- TGV: all domestic and international routes.
- Thalys: on all routes between France and the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.
- InterCité trains: on some routes that require reservations.
- ICE: Paris – Frankfurt route only.
We recommend that you make reservations as soon as possible, ideally 2 months in advance. You can make reservations up to 3 months in advance. To check availability for the train, contact a booking center or visit a European railway station.
If a train is fully booked for pass holders you can:
- check our alternative routes.
- buy a full-fare ticket (if this is the only train you take that day it saves you a travel day).