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.
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.
Paris Gare de Lyon to Nice-Ville - High-speed TGV* - 5hr 40min
*Reservation type: Mandatory.
Alternative route (with some reservations)
Paris Bercy to Lyon Part Dieu - TER - 5hr 5min
Lyon Part Dieu to Marseille St Charles - TER - 3hr 35min
Marseille St Charles to Nice Ville - TER - 2hr 35min
Total train travel time: 11hr 10min
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