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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

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

Regional trains

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

Fastest route

  • Travelling from Paris Nord to Amsterdam Central is fastest with the Thalys high-speed train

  • Travel time: 3hr 20min

  • Reservations are mandatory. Please note there are limited seats for people travelling 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

  • Travelling from Paris Gare de Lyon to Barcelona Sants is fastest with the TGV high speed train
  • Travel time: 6hr 30min
  • Reservations are mandatory. Please note there are limited seats for people travelling 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

  • Travelling from Paris Nord to Bruxelles Midi is fastest with the Thalys high-speed train

  • Travel time: 1hr 25min

  • Reservations are mandatory. Please note there are limited seats for people travelling 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

  • Travelling from Paris Est to Frankfurt Main is fastes by ICE or TGV* high-speed train

  • Travel time: 4 hours

  • Reservations are mandatory for the TGV train. Please note there are limited seats for people travelling with an Interrail Pass

  • Reservations are not needed for the ICE train, but they are recommended during busy times as trains can get full.

 

Alternative route (no reservations)

  1. Paris est to Chalons en Champagne - TER - 1hr 35min
  2. Chalons en Champagne to Metz Ville - TER - 1hr 40min
  3. Metz Ville to Strasbourg - TER - 1hr 45min
  4. Strasbourg to Offenburg - TER - 30min
  5. Offenburg to Frankfurt (Main) Hbf - InterCity - 1hr 45min
Total train travel time: 8hr 40min

 

Fastest route

  • Travelling from Paris Gare de Lyon to Milano P. Garibaldi is fastest with the TGV high-speed train
  • Travel time: 7hr 10min
 

Alternative route (with some reservations)

  1. Paris Austerlitz to Nice Ville - Intercité de Nuit* - 11hr 25min
  2. Nice Ville to Ventimiglia - TER - 50min
  3. Vetimiglia to Milano Centrale - InterCity** - 3hr 50min
Total train travel time 17hr 30min
 
*Reservation type: Mandatory; limited seats for pass holders
**Reservation type: Recommended
 

Alternative route (no reservations)

  1. Paris Bercy to Lyon Part Dieu - TER - 5hr 50min
  2. Lyon Part Dieu to Marseille St. Charles - TER - 3hr 35min
  3. Marseille St. Charles to Nice Ville - TER - 2hr 35min
  4. Nice Ville to Ventimiglia - TER - 50 min
  5. Vetimiglia to Milano Rogoredo - 4hr 20min
Total train travel time 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

  • Travelling from Paris Gare de Lyon to Zurich Hb is fastest by TGV* high speed train

  • Travel time: 4hr 5min

  • Reservations are mandatory

 

Alternative route (some reservations)

  1. Paris Est to Belfort Ville - InterCités* - 4hr 5min

  2. Belfort Ville to Mulhouse Ville - TER - 35min

  3. Mulhouse Ville to Basel SBB - TER - 25min

  4. Basel SBB to Olten - InterCity - 25min

  5. Olten to Zuerich Hbf - InterCity - 30min

Total train travel time 8hr 20min
 
*Reservation type: Mandatory; limited seats for pass holders

Fastest route

  • Travelling from Paris Montparnasse to Bordeaux St Jean is fastest by TGV* high-speed train

  • Travel time: 3hr 15min

  • Reservations are 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

  • Travelling from Paris Gare de Lyon to Marseille St Charles is fastest by TGV* high-speed train

  • Travel time: 3hr 20min

  • Reservations are 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

  • Travelling from Paris Gare de Lyon to Nice-Ville is fastest by TGV* high-speed train

  • Travel time: 5hr 40min

  • Reservations are 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

 

Fastest route

  • Travelling from Marseille St. Charles to Geneva is fastest by TGV high-speed train
  • Travel time: 3hr 40min
  • Reservations are mandatory
 

Alternative (no reservations)

  1. Marseille St. Charles to Valence VIlle - TER - 2hr 25min
  2. Valence Ville to Geneva - TER - 3hr 15min
Total train travel time 5hr 55min