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Travelling by train is one of the best ways to see what Europe has to offer. If you're looking to discover France, then you'll want to check out the SNCF trains. France's national railway company operates throughout the country and in international destinations like Spain, Switzerland and Germany. The goal is to make travel between cities and towns easy without worrying about renting a car or finding public transportation.
Best of all, the SNCF offers some of the most scenic routes in Europe, so you can sit back and enjoy the views as you travel to your destination. Whether you're looking to explore the city of Paris or escape to the French countryside, travelling by train is a great way to see everything France offers.
Differences between SNCF trains
SNCF has different types of trains you can take to travel through France and its neighbouring countries. Each brand covers specific routes, have distinct amenities and provide different travel experiences. Here is a list of SNCF train companies:
The TGV Inoui trains are a high-speed rail service that operates in France. These trains are operated by the SNCF and offer service to various destinations throughout the country. The TGV Inoui trains are known for their speed, comfort, and convenience. They are a popular option for travellers looking to get around France quickly and efficiently.
Just so you can envision how fast these trains are, the top speed for regular SNCF Intercités trains is 200km/h. In comparison, TGV INOU has high-speed services that can reach up to 320km/h on specially built lines.
Also, all TGV trains are double-deckers equipped with free Wi-Fi, power sockets, wide legroom, and dining cars with ample menus with food for different tastes. The staff is also known to be attentive, polite, and prepared to offer personalized assistance to people with reduced mobility.
The TGV INOUI trains are a great option for travellers looking to get around France quickly and comfortably. They are sure to make your trip memorable.
The medium to long-distance passenger division of the SNCF, Intercités services operate on conventional lines on routes that are not covered by the high-speed TGV service. These trains have the most extensive coverage in France and connect different parts of the country comfortably and conveniently.
Intercités trains have daily trips between Paris - Nevers, Nantes - Lyon, Nantes - Bordeaux, Hendaye - Toulouse, Paris - Clermont-Ferrand, Paris - Limoges - Toulouse, Bordeaux - Marseille, Clermont-Ferrand - Béziers, all of them with stops in the cities in-between. Some of Intercités trains have free Wi-Fi and all of them have dining cart with food options.
The SNCF TER are regional trains that cover shorter distances between cities and towns. These are great if you're looking to explore a specific part of France without having to travel too far. Although these trains are slower than the TGV and make more stops, they are comfortable and modern, as the fleet has been renewed recently. TER trains are usually cheaper than other options for the same route, so it's a good choice if you're looking to save money.
This intermodal mobility option also includes buses in an effort to cover even the most remote areas not accessible by train, like more rural communities.
OuiGo offers high-speed travel at a lower price and is considered a budget-friendly option for those looking to travel fast when on a tight budget. These trains have fewer amenities than the TGV or TER, but they're still a comfortable and convenient way to get around.
Ouigo offers comfortable but basic seating. The trains have power sockets, toilets, and a bar car/cafeteria, although the menu options are not as diverse as the TGV.
OuiGo has routes in France, connecting cities like Paris - Nanes, Paris - Montpellier, Paris - Marseille, Paris - Bordeaux. Recently, the company started operating in Spain on the Madrid - Zaragoza - Barcelona route, but with plans to expand to other Spanish regions soon.
On OuiGo trains, you'll have the right to take cabin luggage and hand luggage but have to pay for extra baggage you may have. These trains will allow you to get where you're going at a fraction of the price, with comfortable seating and basic amenities.
TGC Lyria is a French-Swiss high-speed rail service connecting France and Switzerland. On these trains, you can go from Paris to cities like Paris, Geneva, Lausanne, and Zurich in about three hours. These trains offer a comfortable and convenient way to travel between the two countries, with modern amenities and great views.
The TGV Lyria trains have free Wi-Fi, power sockets, wide legroom, and dining cars with comprehensive menus. The staff is also known to be attentive and prepared to offer personalized assistance to people with reduced mobility.
The TGV Lyria trains are a great option for travellers looking to travel between France and Switzerland quickly and comfortably. They are sure to make your journey enjoyable.
Partly owned by SNCF, Eurostar trains are high-speed trains that operate between the UK and mainland Europe. These trains can reach up to 300 km/h and travel through the Channel Tunnel to connect London to cities like Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam.
Eurostar trains offer a fast and convenient way to travel between the UK and mainland Europe. They are particularly popular for business travellers and tourists who want to avoid flying.
Eurostar trains have many features that make them comfortable and enjoyable to travel on, including free Wi-Fi (on some trains), power sockets, comfortable seating, and ample legroom. The staff is also known to be attentive and helpful, and the trains are usually on time.
Overall, Eurostar trains offer a great way to travel between the UK and mainland Europe, and they are sure to make your journey enjoyable.
Thalys trains are high-speed trains that operate between France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. Recently, Thalys and Eurostar merged to increase train coverage in Europe, providing high-speed sustainable mobility and making it easier to travel between the group's five countries. Soon, the Thalys brand will be discontinued, and trains will be rebranded as Eurostar.
Book your train tickets today
Whether you're looking for a fast option to get between cities or a more relaxed, laid-back trip with great views, SNCF has a train that will suit your needs. So, next time you're planning a trip between French cities or between France and its neighbouring countries, be sure to check out the train options offered by SNCF.
Busbud partnered with SNCF to provide travellers with even more options for travel. With Busbud, you can easily compare and book SNCF tickets, making it even easier to plan your next trip. So, whether you're looking for a high-speed train to get between countries or a more leisurely option to enjoy the scenery, check out the options SNCF and Busbud. It's easy, convenient, and you're sure to find the perfect option for your needs.
SNCF’s Coverage in Numbers
- Daily Trains4178
SNCF User Reviews
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Busbud is a bus and train search tool – we include SNCF routes, schedules and prices in our searches along with many other train and bus companies. You can compare prices, amenities and times by searching for a route. If you find a suitable trip, you can go ahead and get your SNCF ticket from us. Note that train tickets sell out, SNCF and other operators generally charge a lot more for last-minute tickets or for tickets bought in person.
SNCF Popular Routes, Destinations and Stations
Top SNCF Train Lines
- Paris to Brussels£48
- Brussels to Paris£48
- Barcelona to Paris£94
- Marseille to Nice£39
- Nice to Marseille£39
- Paris to Lille£34
- Paris to Barcelona£80
- Marseille to Paris£68
- Paris to Marseille£64
- Strasbourg to Paris£74
- Paris to Strasbourg£74
- Perpignan to Barcelona£43
- Lille to Paris£34
- Bordeaux to Paris£64
- Lyon to Paris£68
- Paris to Bordeaux£64
- Nice to Paris£67
- Paris to Rennes£52
- Barcelona to Perpignan£43
- Geneva to Paris£75
Top SNCF Destinations
Top SNCF Stations and Locations
- MEININGER Hotel Lyon Centre Berthelot
- Amsterdam Schipol Airport
- Radisson Blu Hotel, Amsterdam City Center
- Costa Brava
- MEININGER Hotel München City Center
- Gare de Lyon
- Gare Montparnasse
- Lyon Part Dieu
- Nice Ville
- Brussels Midi South
- Toulouse Matabiau
- Gare Lille Europe
- Lille Flandres
- Gare du Nord
- Gare de Strasbourg
- Nice Ville
- Montpellier Saint Roch
- Avignon TGV