If you are planning your journey around France and are eager to take in its incomparable charm to the fullest, trains are definitely the way to go! Interconnecting not only major cities of the country but also small towns in rural areas, the French train system holds the title of one of the most developed ones in Europe. All French trains are comfortable, modern, punctual, and offer first-class service on board. To be fully prepared for your upcoming adventure, below you can find France train map as well as some useful information about the types of trains operating on the French railway lines.
Overall length of rail tracks in France: 29 901 km
Types of trains in France: regular & high-speed
Number of French routes sold on Rail Ninja: 20+
Fastest train speed of French trains: 300 km/h
Top Choices for France Train Travel
Providing connections between major hubs in France, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands, the Thalys train is among the best options for your Europe exploration. Apart from offering top-notch facilities onboard, including individual sockets, comfortable seats, and free WiFi, the Eurostar train has a restaurant car where snacks and beverages are sold. Moreover, the maximum speed capability of Thalys is 300 kph (186 mph), making it one of the fastest trains operating on the train routes in France!
Eurostar is another icon of the high-speed rail in France as its maximum speed reaches 300 kph (186 mph)! These trains are designed to provide maximum comfort and offer everything needed for a pleasant journey like spacious seats, power sockets, free WiFi, and special luggage storage where you can place your bags during the trip. What is more, the Eurostar schedule features more than 10 daily departures making the planning of your train travel in France absolutely worry-free.
Running with a speed of 140 kph (86 mph) and interconnecting all major towns in the country, modern Intercity is a favored train in France among travelers. Enjoy the smooth ride and relax, while it to the final destination. The train offers several classes to select from and is equipped with great amenities on board, including spacious seats with plenty of legroom, power sockets, free WiFi, and special places for your luggage.
Should I buy French train tickets in advance?
Planning a trip beforehand is always a wise choice. A great advantage of making a reservation on Rail Ninja is that you can choose from various types of trains and buy your tickets as far as two years in advance before the chosen date of travel. We also recommend buying your France train tickets early as you can get them cheaper thanks to more appealing rates.
Is the French railway nationalised?
Before 1938 the French railway network was mostly operated by private companies. When the private operators started facing financial difficulties, the government decided to fully nationalize the main train system and created the Societe Nationale des Chemins de Fer Francais (SNCF), which is the national rail operator of France today.
How to travel in France by train?
Train stations in France can be quite confusing to navigate, so we recommend to arrive at the station at least 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time. Another peculiarity of traveling by train in France is that you need to validate your ticket before boarding the train. On the stations, you will find yellow machines where you need to insert your ticket into the special slot and then retrieve it. One more thing: though train traveling by train in France is convenient and safe, make sure not to leave your luggage unattended to avoid unpleasant situations.