How to Book Train Travel From Paris to Lyon

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Lyon is France's second biggest city behind Paris, so it makes sense to choose two of the most metropolitan and fast-paced cities to see in this country. Just a quick train ride to the southeast, Lyon offers visitors countless culinary opportunities the likes of which are rarely found in the world. Fondue, bouchon lyonnais and more await hungry diners as well as lots of upscale shopping and museums.

Things You'll Need

  • Passport
  • Computer with Internet access to purchase tickets

Prepare for Train Travel From Paris to Lyon

  • Book point-to-point tickets at the ticket counter, or guichet in French. Know that if you purchased your tickets online, you will also need to stop here to pick them up personally.

  • Don't validate your ticket until you're ready to travel. Once you've validated your ticket, you must travel the first leg of your trip by midnight that same day.

  • Pay less for youth tickets. You can typically book a rail pass within France for several days of travel for passengers aged 12-25 for 25 to 50 percent off the adult fare.

  • Make sure to bring photo ID for youth or senior discount ticket purchases.

Find Help If You Need It Between Paris and Lyon

  • Know that timetables are posted in every station clearly. Be sure to check that your train and time for departure match your ticket.

  • Seek a station helper near the big "i' (for information) sign in the Paris or Lyon stations. Typically, these helpers speak English well and can point you in the right direction.

  • Learn what French signs mean so that you don't get confused. This includes words for men's and women's restrooms, departures, arrivals, caution, exit and no entry.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be sure to get your ticket validated before you board your train to and from your destination. This can be done at the orange validation machines located just near the boarding platforms in most stations.
  • Realize that for a TGV train to Lyon, you absolutely must have a reservation, so be sure that you have confirmed a seat in first class, second class, a sleeper car or couchette.
  • Enjoy a free map with every train ride you book, as well as hotel, ferry, car rental and excursion bonuses in both Paris and Lyon.
  • Know that the trip from Paris to Lyon takes 2 hours by high speed TGV train.
  • Understand that trains from Paris to Lyon depart every 30 minutes.
  • Book train travel from Paris to Lyon through Rail Europe by visiting the Web site (see Resources) or by calling a North American agent at (888) 382-RAIL.
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